Johnson Jr. and Skoal Racing Blue Team Qualify Sixth on First Day of Racing at Pomona POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2004) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. christened Chevrolet's Monte Carlo make into NHRA Funny Car competition Thursday at Pomona Raceway by ...
Johnson Jr. and Skoal Racing Blue Team Qualify Sixth on First Day of Racing at Pomona
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2004) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. christened Chevrolet's Monte Carlo make into NHRA Funny Car competition Thursday at Pomona Raceway by clocking a run of 4.930 seconds at 295.21 mph, good enough for the No. 6 position.
Johnson, who qualified No. 1 three years ago at the season-opening event, and fellow Skoal Racing driver Ron Capps unveiled the Monte Carlo body prior to Thursday's first run.
"I can see tremendously better with the new Monte Carlo body," Johnson said. "It's unbelievable how good the vision is out of this car. I'm really looking forward to making many runs with the new body."
Johnson qualified his Mike Green-tuned flopper solidly into the Funny Car field despite suffering engine damage near the end of the run.
"I don't know what happened, but the car laid over about the 1,000-foot mark," Johnson said. "The engine through rods out and was on fire, and then Ron (Capps) came up right behind me and did the same thing.
"With the potential rain in the weather forecast, I couldn't have asked for more. Around 500 feet, that entered my mind. It was on a good run and I knew we were in the show. It might not have been a record-setting run, but we're qualified."
Johnson looks to move up the Funny Car order when qualifying continues at 3 p.m. on Friday. The Skoal Racing Chevys also will have two qualifying attempts on Saturday afternoon.
The K&N Filters Winternationals will be televised on ESPN2. On Saturday, Feb. 21, ESPN2 will broadcast two hours of qualifying highlights at 10 p.m. (ET), and on Sunday, Feb. 22, they will show two hours of final eliminations at 10 p.m. (ET).