Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals
Johnson Jr. races to No. 9 spot
St. Louis, Saturday: Tommy Johnson Jr. drove his Skoal Racing Chevy Funny Car to a qualifying-best run of 4.887 seconds at 318.32 mph to earn the No. 9 qualifying position Saturday at Gateway International Raceway.
Johnson powered to his best run of qualifying on Friday’s second attempt under the lights at the St. Louis-area track when he used a tune-up from crew chiefs Mike Green and Johnny West to record the 4.887, 318.32 run.
“We were too soft on the first run and the car got out of the groove on the second pass and smoked the tires,” Johnson said. “We’re going to find out why it’s moving around so much. I’m confident that we can go out and make a good run in the first round. We’ll fix it and go race.
For the third consecutive event, Johnson will face Tim Wilkerson in the first round of flopper eliminations. Johnson has defeated the fellow Chevy driver at the past two races and has an 8-3 career record against Wilkerson.
“If it’s a game of confidence, we win already,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, that will be in their heads. I’m confident that we can go up there and make it three in a row.”
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