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Johnson earns first win in three years

2/17/2005

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.