Team Mopar's Allen Johnson Out in Quarterfinals at Vegas Las Vegas (Oct. 31, 2010) -- Mopar Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson fell short in his efforts to parlay his third consecutive No. 1 spot into a victory in the elimination...
Team Mopar's Allen Johnson Out in Quarterfinals at Vegas
Las Vegas (Oct. 31, 2010) -- Mopar Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson fell short in his efforts to parlay his third consecutive No. 1 spot into a victory in the elimination rounds today at the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals, falling to Greg Stanfield in the quarterfinals.
Johnson had the dominant car during qualifying in driving to the pole at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and that trend continued in his matchup with former teammate Johnny Gray in the first round. The Team Mopar driver dispatched Gray with a solid 6.678-second elapsed time (ET) at 207.40 mph.
Johnson had lane choice in his second-round fight with Stanfield. The Greeneville, Tenn. native posted top speed of the event with a 6.664/208.04 run to Stanfield's 6.667/206.01. However, Johnson's Halloween day would end unhappily with a .048 reaction to his opponent's .016 mark off the lights, enough margin to give Stanfield the victory.
"This race car is a little finicky," said Johnson. "Our Mopar HEMI engines are making great power; the tune-up changes the J&J Racing team made worked well. It's just when the track gets really good like it did today, we fight this race car.
"It's a testament to the horsepower dad (Roy Johnson, Allen's father and J&J Racing engine builder) is making that we've scored seven poles this year. If we can get the car more consistent to match the motors, this Mopar Dodge Avenger will be even more of a force to reckon with next year."
Allen Johnson also had a chance to visit with Mopar executives in town for the 2010 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, scheduled for Nov. 2--5 in Las Vegas. Johnson will take part in a one-hour autograph session along with fellow NHRA drivers Matt Hagan, Ron Capps, Jack Beckman, V. Gaines and Vinnie Deceglie in Mopar's SEMA exhibit starting at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 2
"We had a chance to meet Mopar's new Director of Marketing, Tricia Hecker, and welcome her to the Mopar racing family," said Johnson. "I was hoping that having Tricia, Jim Sassorossi and all the Mopar folks here would be my good look luck charm, like it was when they were out in Denver for my win this year, but it didn't work out today.
"The Mopar/J&J Racing team will keep digging. We'll go to Pomona and try to qualify No. 1 and win the race, but we've just got to do better on Sunday. If we can do that and end the season with a win, maybe it can set a positive tone for our 2011 campaign."
The hard luck bug bit No. 2 qualifier and Mopar-powered Dodge Avenger driver V. Gaines in his opening round battle with Bob Yonke. Gaines reeled off a scorching 6.640/207.15 pass, low ET for the weekend, but his efforts were negated when the Denver, Colo. native left early off the starting line and red-lighted.
Johnson is currently fifth in the point standings. Next up is the final event of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif., Nov. 11--14.