Team Mopar Driver Johnson Hopes Practice Makes for Perfect Weekend at O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals Allen Johnson looks to build on strong start in NHRA Countdown to 1 playoffs Auburn Hills, Mich. -- Team Mopar NHRA Full ...
Team Mopar Driver Johnson Hopes Practice Makes for Perfect Weekend
at O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals
Allen Johnson looks to build on strong start in NHRA Countdown to 1 playoffs
Auburn Hills, Mich. -- Team Mopar NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock Driver Allen Johnson jumped out to a strong start in the NHRA Countdown to 1 playoffs, advancing to the semifinals at the NHRA event last weekend in Concord, N.C. Johnson closed to within one round of second place and will seek to move up the Countdown standings with a victory this weekend at the O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals. The event is scheduled for Sept. 24--27 at Texas Motorplex near Dallas.
The Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T driver defeated Jason Line to advance to the semis at Concord on the strength of a .012 reaction time off the starting line (.000 is perfect). Johnson credits his improved performance off the line to hours spent practicing on a simulator recently built by his J&J Racing team and says he expects his hard work to also pay dividends this weekend at Dallas.
"We built a simulator and I've been working my butt off on it the last three weeks," said Johnson, currently fifth in the Countdown standings. "I've been doing about 200 lights a day, practicing my reaction times. I put my helmet on and it's just like being in the car. It seems like it's helped me immensely with my focus and my rhythm, as well as my confidence."
Johnson's surging confidence is much needed as the heat is on the Pro Stock field heading into the second event in the six-race Countdown to 1 playoffs. The Greeneville, Tenn., native's goal is to at least reach the semifinals at Dallas, and from there have a shot at his first career final appearance and victory at the Texas Motorplex venue.
"Right now, you've got to be perfect," Johnson remarked. "I feel like we have to go to the semis at each race, and we did it at the first one [Concord] and it puts us in a position to go to Dallas and do the same thing. It would be really awesome for the top four or five drivers in the points to be within one round of each other heading into the last few races. It would be a lot of pressure, but a whole lot of fun.
"We had a pretty tough package to beat in our Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge last weekend. Hopefully we can take it to Dallas and close ground on [point leader] Mike [Edwards] a little bit, and put ourselves in better position in the Countdown standings."