Johnson Jr. sits 11th after Friday qualifying
Faced with a cold, tricky Gainesville Raceway drag strip and cool temperatures that the NHRA pros are more accustomed to facing in Joliet, Ill. rather than the Sunshine State, Johnson and the Skoal Racing crew powered to a run of 7.186 seconds at 121.72 mph on his opening run to place the six-time NHRA winner in the No. 11 position. There are 20 cars attempting to make the 16-car field for the 36th annual Mac Tools Gatornationals. On Friday’s final pass, the Don Prudhomme-owned Chevy flopper shook the tires as Johnson coasted to a run of 8.772 at 96.96.
“It was a real narrow window and you had to have the tune-up just right,” Johnson said. “Most cars were either too weak or too aggressive. The last thing we expected was to come here and face these conditions. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better and we can put our normal tune-up in the car and go right down the race track.”
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