Phoenix: Tommy Johnson Jr Saturday summary

CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 6, 2004) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. posted his best qualifying position since last June Saturday by racing his Don Prudhomme-owned blue Skoal Racing Chevy Monte Carlo to the No. 4 qualifying spot at Firebird International ...

CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 6, 2004) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. posted his best qualifying position since last June Saturday by racing his Don Prudhomme-owned blue Skoal Racing Chevy Monte Carlo to the No. 4 qualifying spot at Firebird International Raceway.

Johnson powered his Skoal-backed flopper to a performance of 4.823 seconds at 283.19 mph on Friday evening to claim the No. 4 position at the CSK Nationals.

"We talked about qualifying hurting us last week at Pomona; we cured that problem this weekend," Johnson said. "Now, it's up to us to prove on Sunday that qualifying is important. This track appears like it will be tricky and lane choice in the first round should show how important qualifying is."

Faced with complex track conditions for the first time in 2004, Johnson's Chevy lost traction on both qualifying runs on Saturday. As a result, the blue Skoal Racing squad learned what the F.I.R. quarter-mile will handle as the crew will face similar race conditions during eliminations on Sunday.

"We didn't go out and set the big number today, but we learned what we can do. We learned what not to do and what won't work. I think we'll be fine tomorrow. I'm actually excited about the tricky track conditions. I think it will bring the driver back into play."

Johnson and his Mike Green-tuned Chevy Monte Carlo will battle Bob Gilbertson in the opening round of eliminations which roar to life at 11 a.m. (MT) on Sunday.

ESPN2 will televise three hours of final eliminations at 7 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, March 7.

-www.snakeracing.com

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tommy Johnson , Tommy Johnson Jr.