JOHNSON JR. LOOKING FOR MORE FAST TIMES AT READING READING, Pa. (Sept. 11, 2006) Tommy Johnson, Jr. has a fast hot rod. The eight-time NHRA winner and driver of Don "the Snake" Prudhomme's Skoal RacingSM Chevy Funny Car has proven to be one ...
JOHNSON JR. LOOKING FOR MORE FAST TIMES AT READING
READING, Pa. (Sept. 11, 2006) Tommy Johnson, Jr. has a fast hot rod. The eight-time NHRA winner and driver of Don "the Snake" Prudhomme's Skoal RacingSM Chevy Funny Car has proven to be one of the quickest racers in NHRA tough Funny Car division over the course of the 2006 season. Having carded two victories (Phoenix and Brainerd, Minn.) and clocked low elapsed time of the event at Joliet, Ill. and Brainerd, Johnson and his silver bullet Monte Carlo are the only single-car team to be ranked in the top 10 of the POWERade NHRA Funny Car standings.
Entering NHRA's annual September gathering at Maple Grove Raceway, Johnson has his special edition Skoal Racing flopper placed sixth in the Funny Car category. The 1999 winner of the Reading race is aiming for a repeat performance of that weekend when the NHRA roars into Eastern Pennsylvania for the 22nd annual Toyo Tires Nationals, Sept. 14-17, at the always fast Maple Grove Raceway.
"The way the car is running lately, whether cool or hot, we've run well," Johnson said. "To go to a track that's known for yielding big numbers, I'm excited. We qualified third at Indy and I think we can go to Reading and do the same and put together a string of big E.T.s on Sunday. Our car is as good as any in the class."
Johnson, who clocked the third quickest Funny Car pass in NHRA history this June (4.672-seconds), heads into the Reading race after making the third quickest run of his Funny Car career, 4.701-seconds, during qualifying at the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. With visions of a top five position bouncing around in his head, the veteran nitro pilot has loads of confidence in his Mike Green-led race crew and his speedy Monte Carlo, which has the multi-car factions on the lookout.
"Going into a race with our car running so well, it's one less thing I have to think about," Johnson said. "You go to the starting line knowing you've got a shot to qualify well and win races. The team has a lot of confidence and that makes things easier for everyone, including myself."
Having long been considered one of the elite drivers in the nitro ranks, having the confidence in knowing you have a consistently quick race car to strap into makes going to work a whole lot easier. And with a barrage of 4.7-second time slips, Johnson and company will be quite content if they put in a little overtime on Sunday afternoon.
-credit: snake racing