“I can remember my first one like it was yesterday and remember wondering if I’d get another one after that,” Johnson reminisced jokingly as a 17 year NHRA veteran. “It’s been a great year for the Mopar Dodge Avenger qualifying no. 1 and earning four wins this year, and hopefully I’ll add a couple more here readily.”
“We’re hitting on all cylinders and we have a very consistent strategy right now,” added Johnson who is maintaining his status as current points leader heading into the second of six playoff races in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship. “I’m trying to make good clean safe runs on every run, without pushing it at all and we’re still right up front. Hopefully we can take that strategy and work the Eliminations on Sunday. If we need a little more we’ve got a little more and can push the envelope a little bit and that’s a really good feeling right now.”
Johnson will face Warren Johnson for a first round elimination match up.
Fellow HEMI-powered entries of Vincent Nobile and V. Gaines qualified fourth and seventh respectively, while Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger driver Jeg Coughlin Jr. qualified in 10th spot.
Nobile matches up with Larry Morgan in the first round, while Gaines and Coughlin will face each other in a good old fashioned Texas shootout with their Mopars.
In Funny Car, Don Schumacher Racing’s Jack Beckman led the Mopar Dodge Charger R/T contingent with a third place qualifying run and a best time of 4.109 seconds / 303.98 mph.
Beckman, along with his two other DSR teammates Ron Capps and Johnny Gray, also took part in the ‘race within a race’ inaugural Traxxas Nitro Shootout, where eight cars battled for $100,000 in an All-Star battle. Beckman lost in the first round while his DSR teammates faced each other in the semi-final match up that saw Capps eliminate Gray. Capps went on to battle fellow veteran driver John Force in the finals, losing by just two-hundredths of a second.
The fourth DSR Mopar Dodge Charger R/T driver Matt Hagan sits in seventh place after his qualifying efforts with a best run of 4.151 sec. / 296.63 mph.
Source: Team Mopar