mostlycloudy
Wednesday July 1st, 2015 8:03AM

Johnson, Jr. breaks drought with Thunder Valley win

By Pete McCole
Related Articles
BRISTOL, TN - Tommy Johnson, Jr. scored his first NHRA victory in seven years with a win over Tim Wilkerson in the Funny Car finals in Sunday's Thunder Valley Nationals NHRA Mello Mello Drag Racing Series event at Bristol Dragway.<br /> <br /> Defending Top Fuel World Champion Shawn Langdon defeated Doug Kalitta to score his first Wally of the season, while Pro Stock points leader Erica Ender-Stevens notched her third win of the year with a victory over Jonathan Gray.<br /> <br /> "Upset" was the word of the day in Sunday's eliminations as none of the top qualifiers in the top three divisions made it out of the second round, with Top Fuel No. 1 qualifier Brittany Force falling to "The Greek" Chris Karamesines in the opening round.<br /> <br /> Tommy Johnson, Jr., competing in his first full NHRA season since 2008, advanced to his first final round of the season and beat out Wilkerson for his first win since Englishtown in 2007, breaking a 53-race final-round drought and collecting his 10th-career win.<br /> <br /> Johnson, who came into Sundays eliminations as the fifth qualifier, knocked out Cruz Pedregon, points leader Robert Hight and Matt Hagan to reach the finals for a first-ever money-round match-up against Wilkerson.<br /> <br /> At the start, both drivers left the tree even, but Johnson quickly pulled ahead. Despite losing cylinders at the 700-foot mark, Johnson managed to hold on for the win, going 4.156 at 302.14 over Wilkerson's 4.423, 227.34.<br /> <br /> "I'm thrilled that we were able to get it done and all that work paid off," Johnson, Jr. said. "The guys did a great job today. We've qualified great we just couldn't get it to go our way on race day. We've been competitive and we just couldn't close the deal. It's tough out here. I wanted to prove that we're not in a slump and we needed to step it up a little bit and we did."<br /> <br /> Hight remains atop the points standings in the Funny Car division over his boss
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 6 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 5 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 5 months ago )
Sports
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 6 months ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 6 months ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 6 months ago )
Professional Sports
Garbo, Jr. to compete in NASCAR K&N East with Whelen sponsorship
CHARLOTTE, NC--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- When Marsh Racing and longtime team sponsor Whelen Engineering Company, Inc. got the opportunity to put together a race team for 2015, they looked closely at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
12:00PM ( 6 months ago )
Former NASCAR racer pleads guilty in high-speed chase
ST. GEORGE, UT (AP)
12:51PM ( 6 months ago )
Chili Bowl entry list again nearing record 300 mark
TULSA, OK - For the past couple years, the entry list for the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals has flirted with the 300 mark. Once again, the number of teams registering for the indoor Midget event is nearing the three century mark with 285 entries received for the 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.
11:59AM ( 6 months ago )
NASCAR News
U.S. women head to WWC final with 2-0 shutout of Germany
Carli Lloyd buried a penalty kick, Hope Solo got another shutout and the United States beat top-ranked Germany 2-0 on Tuesday night to advance to the title match at the Women's World Cup.
By The Associated Press
9:23AM ( 1 hour from now )
Nats continue dominance over Braves
Jordan Zimmermann took a shutout into the eighth inning and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 6-1 on Tuesday night to continue their season-long dominance of the division rivalry.
By The Associated Press
11:53PM ( 8 hours ago )
Daytona offers American flags in exchange program
Daytona International Speedway will not ban the Confederate flag from track property this weekend, but will offer the American flag to those who wish to fly it on property.
By The Associated Press
10:12PM ( 9 hours ago )
Hawks' Korver expected to be ready after elbow surgery
Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver is expected to be ready for the start of training camp following surgery to remove loose bodies in his right elbow.
By The Associated Press
9:48PM ( 10 hours ago )
Garner named new girls soccer coach at Gainesville
Former Gainesville High School athlete and coach, Shelly Garner, has been named new girls soccer coach at Gainesville.
11:44PM ( 1 day ago )