By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
MD Anderson Cancer Center Funny Car pilot Tommy Johnson Jr. is the leader in his class on Saturday at the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in Brownsburg, Indiana. The Indiana native went 3.983 at 317.72 mph in his 11,000 horsepower Funny Car.
Johnson Jr. picked up his 19th career No. 1 qualifier. He will face his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps in the first-round of eliminations
“It’s just a great start after such a long layoff and all the uncertainty,” said Johnson, who is second in points. “It’s great to be able to carry the momentum from Phoenix right into this race and not miss a beat. The guys worked hard those four months so to be able to give them a No.1 qualifier right out of the box and just carry that momentum is really good. I have a really good race car and it shows that Phoenix wasn’t a fluke.
“It was a good race car and is continuing to be. Testing on Friday before the event was so valuable. To find issues on Friday and be able to run so well on Saturday, it just shows you that we needed a couple of runs to work everything out after being off for four months.”
Johnson Jr. had success despite nearly five months away from his hot rod. He won the last Funny Car race at the NHRA Arizona Nationals on February 23rd.
The NHRA had been on a hiatus due to the coronavirus. The teams were in Gainesville, Florida in March when the event was canceled due to the virus.
Here is the Funny Car ladder:
- Tommy Johnson Jr. vs. Ron Capps
- Paul Lee vs. Blake Alexander
- J.R. Todd vs. Alex Miladinovich
- Alexis DeJoria vs. Dale Creasy Jr.
- Jonnie Lindberg vs. Bob Bode Jr.
- Cruz Pedregon vs. Tim Wilkerson
- Jack Beckman vs. Mike McIntire Jr.
- Matt Hagan vs. Daniel Wilkerson