Phoenix: Tommy Johnson Jr preview

Johnson Jr. and Skoal Racing Blue Crew's Confidence High after Solid First Round Performance at Winternationals. CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 1, 2004) -- Even though Tommy Johnson Jr. and the blue Skoal Racing Funny Car crew fell in the opening...

Johnson Jr. and Skoal Racing Blue Crew's Confidence High after Solid First Round Performance at Winternationals.

CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 1, 2004) -- Even though Tommy Johnson Jr. and the blue Skoal Racing Funny Car crew fell in the opening round at the Winternationals at Pomona Raceway, the Iowa native, who just began his fourth season driving for Don Prudhomme Racing, enters the second event of the 2004 NHRA campaign with the belief that his Skoal Racing Chevy Monte Carlo is prepared to do some damage in the NHRA Funny Car wars.

"As tough as it is to have a first round loss at the first race of the year, there were some positives that came out of the day," Johnson said. "The Skoal Racing Monte Carlos ran a lot better. We're real close with the tune-up on these cars and that gives us a lot of confidence going into Phoenix."

Last season at the Phoenix event, Johnson's Skoal Racing partner Ron Capps left the Valley of the Sun on top of the Funny Car world after winning his 14th career race. Capps' previous success at the Arizona facility along with five days of testing in early February give Johnson and the Skoal Racing crew the baseline they need to win rounds on Sunday when the NHRA POWERade Series returns to the Phoenix area, March 5-7, for the 20th annual CSK Nationals.

"I can't wait to get to Phoenix," Johnson said. "I want to get to Firebird Raceway and get racing again because I think we're getting a lot closer to winning some rounds. I hate the off weeks. I'm glad we only have a few days off because these Skoal Racing Chevys are ready to win races."

Johnson and Capps were at a slight disadvantage during testing as the finishing touches were being dressed on the new Monte Carlo Funny Car before the bodies were delivered to Pomona, Calif. for their maiden voyage down the quarter-mile at the Pomona Raceway. As a result, the Skoal Racing duo had to test with last season's Camaro body.

With five runs down the drag strip at Pomona, the crew gathered valuable information that should help both Johnson and Capps qualify in the top half of the Funny Car order at Phoenix, which gives you the upper hand towards reaching a racer's ultimate goal--the winner's circle.

"Qualifying is so important," Johnson said. "We drew the wrong guys in the first round at Pomona and that all goes back to qualifying. It's much more important than you think it is. You need to be in the top half of the bracket and you need to have lane choice. If we get the cars to run better during qualifying, then race day will be a little easier and we'll have a definite shot at winning races."

-www.snakeracing.com

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , Tommy Johnson , Don Prudhomme , Tommy Johnson Jr.