Johnson Jr. claims 21st career No. 1 qualifier

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Don Schumacher Racing was not able to have their annual Riley’s Children event on Friday of the U.S. Nationals. While they had to do it virtually this year, their Riley Children’s Hospital Funny Car will lead the field on Sunday.

Tommy Johnson Jr. is the No. 1 qualifier at the Denso Spark Plugs U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in Brownsburg, Indiana. The Avon, Indiana native went 3.878 at 326.40 mph to claim the top spot.

Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car pilot Tommy Johnson Jr. racing on Saturday at the Denso Spark Plugs U.S. Nationals
Tommy Johnson Jr. racing on Saturday at the Denso Spark Plugs U.S. Nationals (Photo by the NHRA)

This is Johnson Jr.’s third No. 1 qualifier of the four restart events since July. This is his 21st career No. 1 qualifier.

“The guys went for it,” Johnson Jr. said. “The sun started to set, it got a little darker and it was cooling down. I could feeling it cooling down and I knew we were going for it. It laid me back in the seat and I thought, ‘This thing is trucking.’ I saw the time and I knew we were going for it. We had to keep our streak going.”

Fellow Don Schumacher Racing pilot Ron Capps is the No. 2 qualifier. The Carlsbad, California native went 3.881 at 327.19 mph.

Levi, Ray, and Shoup Inc. Funny Car pilot Tim Wilkerson is the No. 3 qualifier. The Springfield, Illinois native went 3.906 at 326.63 mph.

Funny Car Elimination Ladder:

– Tommy Johnson Jr. vs. Dale Creasy Jr.

– Ron Capps vs. Jim Campbell

– Tim Wilkerson vs. Dave Richards

– Bob Tasca III vs. Terry Haddock

– Matt Hagan vs. Paul Lee

– Alexis DeJoria vs. Bob Bode Jr.

– Jack Beckman vs. Cruz Pedregon

– J.R. Todd vs. Blake Alexander

Justin Schriefer did not qualify for the event.

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