Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals
Johnson Jr. aims to stay hot at night in St. Louis
With the weather forecast calling for temperatures in the upper 90s, air conditioning, shade and water are essential to survive the first of two night races on the 2005 NHRA POWERade Series schedule, when the ninth annual Sears Craftsman Nationals, June 24-26, heads to Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis.
“The heat will be a little tough on your body,” Skoal Racing Funny Car driver
Wrestling his 8,000 horsepower Skoal Racing Monte Carlo is a chore under ideal weather conditions, add in sizzling summertime temperatures and humid conditions and that makes the task of driving a 320-mph nitromethane-powered Funny Car that more challenging.
“The high temperatures will slow the whole field down,” Johnson said. “Thankfully, we’re running at night, but it will still be tough with hot temperatures. If it was a day race, we’d be in trouble. We’ll just concentrate on having a quick car every qualifying session, and that will judge how good you are.”
With seven round wins at the past three races, Johnson and his Skoal Racing crew have been pretty darn good. The solid Mike Green/Johnny West tune-up has vaulted the six-time NHRA winner to fourth in the Funny Car standings. Johnson is confident his team can continue its hot streak as they continue the climb towards the top spot in the flopper rankings.
“Right now, we’ve got a good thing going, so I’m looking forward to it,” Johnson said. “We’ve run really well in both cool and hot conditions. Our tune-up is as flexible as it’s ever been. Running at night is not a concern at all. I’m ready to go.”
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