Seattle: Tommy Johnson Jr. preview

SIR HISTORY: Johnson won his first professional race there in Top Fuel in 1993. He reached the semifinals in 1994.  In four Top Fuel races at the track Johnson lost in the first round only once.   STANDING: Seventh place, 709 points after...

SIR HISTORY:

Johnson won his first professional race there in Top Fuel in 1993. He reached the semifinals in 1994.  In four Top Fuel races at the track Johnson lost in the first round only once.  

STANDING:

Seventh place, 709 points after 14 of 24 NHRA Winston Series events.

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE NORTHWEST NATIONALS:

"I told a reporter from the Seattle area that Ron (Capps, Johnson's Skoal Racing teammate) and I are going to have to fight to see who wins that race," Johnson said.  "It's been a good track for both of us. We both won our first professional races there.  

"It will be good to get to Seattle," said Johnson.  "You can tell the summer tune-up on both our cars is really good right now.  We have a good handle on how to get down the racetrack in the heat of the day.  That should really help when we get to Seattle.

"Both our cars are running good again.  It's nice that we are able to watch one car run and see what changes we need to make to the other one (before it runs)."

The Seattle track has been unpredictable for some drivers, but Johnson doesn't seem to mind.

"A lot of drivers might not like the Seattle track as far as conditions go," he said.  "And they dread racing three weeks in a row.  I really enjoy racing at all these tracks.  Even though conditions may not be the best, they're the same for everybody."

The third race of this three-week stint unfolds next week at Sonoma, Calif.

Johnson's Skoal Blue Camaro ran well at Denver last weekend, qualifying fifth at 4.961 seconds. He also ran 4.977 seconds.  He advanced to the quarterfinals and moved from eighth to seventh in the standings.

"We're slowly moving back up in points," he commented.  "We aren't moving up as quickly as we fell, but at least we are moving in the right direction." He now trails Capps by 102 points.

A LOOK BACK AT THE MILE-HIGH NATIONALS:

Tire smoke, always prevalent during any race day at Denver, led to Johnson's quarterfinal exit.

He was leading Bob Gilbertson when the tires began spinning near half-track. Johnson pedaled the throttle and shortly thereafter the engine expired.

"I had a good lead," Johnson said, pointing to his .477 reaction time to Gilbertson's .497. "At half-track I could see the nose of his car and then our car started spinning the tires. I pedaled it once and then it blew up.  

"Overall it was a pretty good weekend. The car ran well and we qualified well.  Actually the only disappointing thing about the whole weekend was that the engine blew up and we had a fire."  The only things damaged were engine parts.

-Skoal Racing

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