JOHNSON'S NEW HELMET AND ENTHUSIASM



johnson_helmet.jpgTommy Johnson Jr., got a present in Las Vegas and it wasn’t a 21 on the blackjack table. It was a joint effort from his crew.

“I try to get my guys something every year,” Johnson said. “I do it because I want to say thank you for a great season. They also give me something.”




johnson_helmet.jpgTommy Johnson Jr., got a present in Las Vegas and it wasn’t a 21 on the blackjack table. It was a joint effort from his crew.

“I try to get my guys something every year,” Johnson said. “I do it because I want to say thank you for a great season. They also give me something.”

This year his crew beat him to the punch.

“It just goes to show you what a special crew I’ve got,” Johnson said. “They wanted to get me something that I collect and they knew I keep all my helmets at the end of the year in a collector’s case. They shocked me. It was really great to know you have a group of guys that think that much of you.

‘To go and get all of that done and not let you know about it is something special. Not only can you win races and have such a special group of guys, you can have a great friendship with them. This means a lot to me. I don’t know of many crews that have done that for their driver.”

johnson_vegas.jpgJohnson admits the 2006 tour has been his best since joining Don Prudhomme Racing in 2001.

“A lot of that goes back to the same group of guys,” Johnson said. “These guys have worked together for a long time. We have a lot of continuity and chemistry working in our favor. That’s probably a result of why we are starting to do so much better. The car is running better and we are starting to do better.”

Downsizing to a one-car team has made a difference.

“It has made one,” Johnson said. “The focus is so much better. Finding key people to keep these things going makes the difference. When you’re trying to find those people for multiple cars, it gets difficult. It’s been a key to our success. The downsizing of the focus to one team has been great. There are some drawbacks but the plusses outweigh the minuses.”

The rumor mill has suggested the one-car flopper team will expand to two again. Johnson admits he’s heard the talk but knows of nothing beyond the rumors.

“You never know,” Johnson said. “They are looking for a sponsor…it will depend on what they want.”
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