Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
Johnson Jr. aims for two Indy wins
While that’s all fine and dandy, team owner Don “the Snake” Prudhomme isn’t happy unless the team captures the $400,000 champion bonus from POWERade and the big “Wally” trophy. However, a strong showing Labor Day weekend can make just about any team’s season and for some, a career as the NHRA series rolls into the motor sports capital of the world, Indianapolis, for the 51st running of the storied Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.
Johnson, who advanced to the final round of NHRA drag racing’s ‘Super Bowl’ event in 2002, is piloting one of the best race cars he’s driven since turning pro in 1989 and is confident that the Skoal Racing flopper can be a player for the $100,000 bonus as he makes his second career appearance in the Skoal Showdown on Sunday, September 4.
“I like our chances in the Skoal Showdown, but you have to remember that you’re looking at the eight best Funny Cars,” Johnson said. “It’s going to be a tough race, but we’ve had one of the top three or four cars recently. I’m excited to be a part of the event.”
In an effort to bring their best product to the table, Prudhomme’s Funny Car team spent two days testing the Skoal Racing Monte Carlo at Indianapolis Raceway Park, posting solid elapsed times in both day (4.839 seconds) and night (4.836 seconds) conditions.
“We’ve run pretty good all year, but this summer, we’ve really refined our tune-up,” Johnson said. “We’re peaking at the right time of the year. No matter what conditions we’ll face, we’ve got a good tune-up. Qualifying has really helped our performance, and the Friday and Saturday night sessions will be so important at Indy. I want to have a solid qualifying position so that we don’t have to worry about our position on Sunday and we can focus on the Showdown.”
If the Indy test session pays off for the Skoal Racing crew, Johnson’s 2005 campaign could be just a little more fruitful and $100,000 sweeter.
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