Denver: Allen Johnson Saturday notes

Johnson to Start in No. 2 Spot at 30th Annual Mopar® Mile-High NHRA Nationals Morrison, Colo. (July 11, 2009) -- Team Mopar® NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson held his grip on the top spot through three rounds of qualifying...

Johnson to Start in No. 2 Spot at 30th Annual Mopar® Mile-High NHRA Nationals

Morrison, Colo. (July 11, 2009) -- Team Mopar® NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson held his grip on the top spot through three rounds of qualifying for the 30th Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals. Unfortunately, the fourth and final qualifying session today proved to be Johnson's undoing, as Mike Edwards bested the Mopar-powered driver's track record run on Saturday to bump A.J. to the No. 2 spot for tomorrow's eliminations.

Johnson seized the provisional top spot yesterday in qualifying with a run of 7.038/195.70. After an hours-long rain delay, the Team Mopar veteran recaptured the No. 1 Qualifier position in dramatic fashion, posting a Bandimere Speedway track record ET of 6.964 to bump Greg Anderson from the qualifying lead.

In the first qualifying session today, Johnson was the only driver to crack the six-second mark, putting up an impressive pass of 6.993/196.53. Johnson was in the final pair following Edwards' run but was unable to recapture the pole and his track record as his Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T lost the groove and slowed shortly after leaving the starting line.

Johnson, winner of the 2007 Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals and runner-up in 2008, remains confident he can bring home a win for primary sponsor Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC's Parts division, in the brand's headline event. The Greeneville, Tenn. native will face fellow Mopar HEMI®-powered Pro Stock driver Danny Gruninger in the opening round tomorrow.

"We had a transmission malfunction and couldn't get it in second gear. We had three great runs, and then one marginal run," said Johnson, who had the quickest pass in each of the first three qualifying rounds. "It's a good thing it happened tonight instead of tomorrow in the first round. So we'll try to make a positive out of it.

"I've just got to go out there tomorrow and do my job. I've got to get from A to B correctly. We're not taking anybody lightly. We know we have the car to bring home a victory for Mopar."

Local favorite and Mopar-powered driver V. Gaines grabbed the No. 7 spot and will face Johnson's J&J Racing partner, Johnny Gray, in the first round. Larry Morgan, who will go up against Jeg Coughlin in the opening stanza, and Rickie Jones, who will line up against Roger Brogdon, round out tomorrow's group of six Mopar HEMI-powered Pro Stock competitors.

-credit: team mopar

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Larry Morgan , Allen Johnson , Johnny Gray , Rickie Jones , Mike Edwards , Danny Gruninger