JOHNSON OPENS SEASON FINALE IN POMONA WITH NO. 6 QUALIFYING RUN POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 9, 2006) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. is more than happy to be in the No. 6 position at the 42nd annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals. After all,...
JOHNSON OPENS SEASON FINALE IN POMONA WITH NO. 6 QUALIFYING RUN
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 9, 2006) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. is more than happy to be in the No. 6 position at the 42nd annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals.
After all, he has two more days of qualifying before final eliminations of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing series season finale takes place on Sunday.
Johnson drove his Don Prudhomme-owned Skoal Racingsm Monte Carlo to the sixth position with a 4.798-second run at 320.81 mph. Qualifying continues Friday.
"We weren't trying to go to the No. 1 spot by any means," Johnson said. "It was more important for us to qualifying in a solid position and see what the track has to offer us this weekend.
"I'm really happy with the 4.79 run. I think the first run can often dictate your weekend and we wanted to get a good start. This gives us great information to tune from for the rest of the weekend. The guys put in a great effort to make sure we got down the track on the first try."
Johnson has two wins in three final round appearances this season. He sits in sixth place of the NHRA POWERade Funny Car point standings, 49 points away from Tony Pedregon and the No. 5 position. Johnson is the only single car entry in the top 10 and now has good information to use in hopes of making the final push into the top five in points.
"Getting qualified in the top half of the field on the first run gives us the opportunity to play a little bit now," Johnson said. "I think we are going to see a step up in performance numbers now that we have seen what the track is like. An opening run like this gives us the freedom to try a few things before Sunday rolls around."
Johnson has one career win in two final round appearances at Pomona Raceway along with one No. 1 qualifying award.
Professional qualifying continues at 2:30 p.m. on Friday and wraps up at noon and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Final eliminations for the 23rd of 23 NHRA POWERade events will start at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
All the action at the Auto Club Finals can be seen on ESPN2 starting Saturday with two hours of coverage at 10 p.m. (ET), continuing with three hours of final eliminations on Sunday at 7 p.m. (ET).