Johnson earns first win in three years

Updated: February 17, 2005, 8:30 PM ET
Associated Press

POMONA, Calif. -- Tommy Johnson Jr. raced to his first Funny Car victory in three years Sunday, beating Phil Burkart in the final of the season-opening Winternationals at Pomona Raceway.

Johnson powered to a 4.741-second run at 327.59 mph in a Chevy Monte Carlo to take his sixth career victory, while Burkart lost traction and limped to a 7.069 at 123.34.

"We absolutely needed this win so bad for our team,'' Johnson said. "It's no secret how bad we've struggled for the last couple of years. I ran my career-best time and speed on that run so that's about as picture-perfect as it gets.''

Scott Kalitta and Dave Connolly also won their divisions.

Kalitta raced to his 17th Top Fuel victory, beating Doug Herbert with a run of 4.487 seconds at 328.46 mph. In Pro Stock, Connolly claimed his fourth career win by outrunning Warren Johnson in 6.711 at 204.98.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press