IOWA NATIVE WON'T BE AFFECTED BY COOL TEMPS AT VIRGINIA MOTORSPORTS PARK INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 10, 2006) -- The average temperature in Ottumwa, Iowa this week will hover in the 40-degree range. So it won't bother Tommy Johnson, Jr. one bit if the...
IOWA NATIVE WON'T BE AFFECTED BY COOL TEMPS AT VIRGINIA MOTORSPORTS PARK
INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 10, 2006) -- The average temperature in Ottumwa, Iowa this week will hover in the 40-degree range. So it won't bother Tommy Johnson, Jr. one bit if the temps cool down in Richmond, Va., for this weekend's Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals.
The race was postponed for a week because of heavy rain showers. On the East Coast during this time of year, a week can mean the difference between 75 degrees and 55 degrees. Either way, it's no problem for the Iowa native. The driver of the Don "the Snake" Prudhomme-owned Skoal Racingsm Monte Carlo is ready for anything.
"I really hope we have cooler temperatures because I think if the track is ready and we have cooler conditions, it is going to be very advantageous for the teams," Johnson said. "I think more than anything, it will help our performance on the track and help make up for the week delay. It should be an even better show for the fans."
This is the second time this season a race has been postponed because of poor weather conditions. The race in Reading, Penn., was originally scheduled for Sept. 17 but didn't happen until Oct. 1.
"It seems like this season doesn't want to end," Johnson said. "I'm the type of driver who really enjoys the back-to-back races because I think it helps keep me in a rhythm. The only aggravation comes from being at the track and not being able to race (because of rain) but I'm ready to race 90 percent of the time. I'm anxious to get back to Richmond and pretend like the week off didn't happen."
With just three races remaining in the season Johnson and the Mike Green-tuned Funny Car are sixth in the NHRA POWERade point standings -- just 36 points out of fifth place. Knowing they are less than two rounds of racing out of fifth has sparked some conversation between the driver and crew chief about what the team can accomplish before the season ends.
"I think the way the car is running it's not out of the question for us to earn another No. 1 qualifying position," Johnson said. "Mike and I have both talked about it and we will all be disappointed if we don't win at least one of the remaining three events."
If they can earn some points and move up to fifth place, it will be a career-best for Johnson.
"Our goal is to finish in the top five," he said. "We finished sixth last year and it's not a bad finish at all, but we want to show our continued improvement of this team and finish higher than last year. We have improved so much and it's nice to know that we're the only team with a single Funny Car in the top 10. Now we want to be the only single-car in the top five."