Gainesville: Team Mopar final summary

ALLEN JOHNSON, MOPAR/J&J RACING DODGE STRATUS R/T: Without lane choice, No. 9 qualifier Allen Johnson lost a close opening round of eliminations today at the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals against Jeg Coughlin. Driving the Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge ...

ALLEN JOHNSON, MOPAR/J&J RACING DODGE STRATUS R/T: Without lane choice, No. 9 qualifier Allen Johnson lost a close opening round of eliminations today at the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals against Jeg Coughlin.

Driving the Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T, Johnson nailed a near-perfect reaction time of .014 (.000 is perfect) to Coughlin's .042, but a slight diversion out of the groove resulted in a losing 6.618-second elapsed time at 208.65 mph to Coughlin's winning 6.582/210.01. Margin of victory: .0081 of a second!

Johnson's run marked his second-quickest ET of the weekend, and his fastest speed of his career. His 6.602-second qualifying lap was also his career-best elapsed time.

"The lanes, of course, were worth a lot," he said. "We lost lane choice that last run in qualifying. That hurt us. You know, as bad as everything was this weekend (with teammate Richie Stevens not qualifying and struggling with car problems), maybe we learned a lot and it sent us in a little different direction and we'll come out of Houston with a lot of gusto.

"Last year we went the first six races before we got on track. So, maybe we will cut that in half this year and do well."

Next up for Team Mopar is the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, Texas, March 30-April 1.

-credit: tm/dar

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Series NHRA
Drivers Allen Johnson