Team MoparÂ®'s Allen Johnson Scores Runner-up at Gatornationals, Jumps to Second in Points Gainesville, Fla. (March 15, 2009) -- Team MoparÂ® NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson scored his first NHRA Gatornationals finals...
Team Mopar®'s Allen Johnson Scores Runner-up at Gatornationals, Jumps to Second in Points
Gainesville, Fla. (March 15, 2009) -- Team Mopar® NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson scored his first NHRA Gatornationals finals appearance today, losing by a mere one hundredths of a second to Jason Line. It was the 15th career finals appearance for Johnson on a day when the veteran Mopar driver saw his 350th round of racing and moved from fifth to second in the NHRA Pro Stock point standings.
Johnson was quicker than Line with a pass of 6.607/209.01 to Line's 6.614/209.20. The difference maker came off the start as Johnson's solid reaction time of .046 was beaten by Line's .029 mark (.000 is perfect).
"We're very happy with the weekend," said Johnson. "I need to work a bit to get a couple more hundredths off of the tree. But it's the third race of the year and we're already in the finals, so this is a great start. We're going to win four or five races this year."
Johnson, the No. 3 qualifier for the third consecutive event, defeated Ron Krisher in the opening round to advance to his 350th round of racing, posting a pass of 6.612/208.30. Johnson earned lane choice over two-time defending Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin in the quarterfinals and won handily with a run of 6.617/208.52.
The Greeneville, Tenn. native drew Greg Stanfield in the semifinals, his second semis appearance in three 2009 events. Johnson's Mopar/J&J Pro Stocker quickly got loose out of the gate but the veteran driver reeled in his HEM®-powered machine to muster a 6.709/207.24 pass, which was enough to best Stanfield and set up his battle with Line.
"It's really special to have a great showing with folks from Mopar out this weekend, and on my mom's [Revonda Johnson's] birthday," said Johnson. "It was a nice little treat for her. This was my first finals at the Gatornationals, so we can feel pretty good about this weekend. It's something to build on and we'll go to the next one and try to win it."
Mopar HEMI-powered driver and NHRA Pro Stock sophomore Rickie Jones enjoyed a standout outing on Sunday. Just one year after making his Pro Stock debut at the Gatornationals, Jones defeated HEMI-powered veteran Larry Morgan in the opening stanza then shocked No. 1 Qualifier Mike Edwards with a holeshot win before losing to Line in the semis. Johnny Gray, the Mopar HEMI-powered partner of Allen Johnson, exited in a first-round matchup with Stanfield.
Next up for Team Mopar driver Allen Johnson and the Mopar-powered Pro Stock contingent is the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, Texas, March 27--29.