JOHNSON JR. DRIVES SKOAL RACING CHEVY TO NO. 4 POSITION AT TOPEKA TOPEKA, Kan. (May 28, 2005) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. qualified his Skoal RacingSM Chevy flopper in the top half of the Funny Car order for the sixth time this season Saturday at ...
JOHNSON JR. DRIVES SKOAL RACING CHEVY TO NO. 4 POSITION AT TOPEKA
TOPEKA, Kan. (May 28, 2005) -- Tommy Johnson Jr. qualified his Skoal RacingSM Chevy flopper in the top half of the Funny Car order for the sixth time this season Saturday at Heartland Park Topeka after the Iowa native finished fourth in the 16-car order with a 4.796-second pass.
Johnson recorded his quickest run of qualifying under the Heartland Park lights on Friday evening when he blistered the H.P.T. quarter mile with a run of 4.796-seconds at 323.58 mph. Johnson's fourth-place qualifying finish is his second best qualifying effort of the year. He qualified third at Atlanta earlier this month.
Johnson opened Saturday's qualifying with a nice, conservative 4.923, 308.07 effort on a hot, sticky track. The Skoal Racing Chevy suffered a mechanical failure on its final qualifying attempt and dropped a cylinder early in the run forcing the six-time NHRA winner to shut off and coast to a run of 8.607 at 96.65. Johnson's fourth place finish moved him to sixth place in the Skoal Showdown standings.
"We went down and made a nice run when the sun was out this afternoon," Johnson said. "I'm confident with that and happy that we ran well then. The car was safe, so we can step on it even more on Sunday. We had a mechanical glitch in the ignition system on the last run. We'll fix it and be ready for tomorrow. The No. 4 spot shows that we're strong in qualifying and with that, we gained a position in the Skoal Showdown standings. Now, we're looking to close in on the No. 5 position."
Johnson will face veteran driver Phil Burkart Jr. in the first round of Funny Car eliminations on Sunday morning at Heartland Park. Johnson is 1-2 in his career against Burkart. In their only 2005 match-up, Johnson defeated Burkart in the final round of the season-opening Winternationals in February.