Championship Drag Racing

NHRA Nationals
Las Vegas, NV
(April 6-9)

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Tommy Johnson
Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger

Johnson Jr. finishes fifth, posts quickest Saturday run

Las Vegas, Saturday: Tommy Johnson Jr., who scored his first victory as a member of Don Prudhomme Racing at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in April 2001, raced his Skoal Racing Chevy to the No. 5 qualifying position Saturday at The Strip at LVMS

After struggling on the opening day of qualifying at The Strip, Johnson and his Mike Green-led race team rebounded like true champion on Saturday’s opening qualifying effort. Entering the day in the No. 21 qualifying position, the veteran nitro pilot powered his Chevy flopper to a performance of 4.767 seconds at 327.82 mph. It was the quickest elapsed time of the day, and top speed of the weekend in the flopper division. On his fourth and final attempt, Johnson posted another strong effort as he raced to a run of 4.845 at 322.88 to claim the No. 5 qualifying position at the seventh annual Nationals.

“We knew we had a good race car,” Johnson said. “For some reason, the circumstances didn’t allow us to show it on Friday. We were confident we could run the numbers that we posted today. Saturday’s first run was outstanding; it was one of the best runs of the weekend so far. To run that number with the sun out gives us the confidence that we can run well on race day.

“On the last run, the conditions got better really quickly and we didn’t have enough time to make the changes we needed to improve the performance. It was still a good run. Today, we showed that it’ll make it if we run aggressive or soft.”

In a marquee first-round match-up, the seven-time NHRA winner will face off against 2005 NHRA Funny Car champion Gary Scelzi in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations on Sunday morning at The Strip at LVMS. Johnson is 4-5 in his Funny Car career versus Scelzi.

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