Route 66 Raceway
Team Mopar Driver Johnson Heads to Joliet Chasing Second Win of 2011
Johnson hopes to move up the point standings as NHRA Countdown nears
Team Mopar® NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson heads into the 14th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., July 7–10, in search of his second win of the 2011 season.
Johnson was victorious earlier this year at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. and has advanced to at least the semifinals in two of the past three NHRA events, and has reached the quarterfinals in each of his past five starts. Johnson has been one of the fastest drivers in Pro Stock qualifying all season, garnering the No. 1 qualifying spot at his home track of Bristol Dragway in Tennessee. The J&J Racing owner and driver has qualified among the top half of the field in nine of the first 10 races of the 2011 campaign.
Johnson was the No. 3 qualifier at Joliet last season, reaching the quarterfinals for the sixth time in his career at the track. The Team Mopar veteran reached the semis at Route 66 Raceway in 2002, as he continues to look for his first win at the track in the Chicagoland area, which joined the NHRA circuit in 1998.
“You have to be quick right off the truck there and the track is always awesome and very racy,” said Johnson of Route 66 Raceway. “It has a lot of bite and some of the best 60-foot times of the year are run there. If it gets a little bit cool, the air is just right and it can be awesome-fast. We have plenty of notes to use at Joliet and hopefully we unload quick and can go from there. We have plenty of horsepower with these Mopar engines and continue to tweak on our new chassis to get this Dodge Avenger feeling just how we want it to feel.”
Johnson is currently seventh in the Pro Stock standings, just 21 points out of the sixth spot and 67 markers out of the top-five, heading into Joliet. A total of 10 events have been contested so far this season, with six races remaining until the NHRA Countdown to the Championship begins. The top-10 drivers at the end of the regular season will earn a spot in the NHRA Countdown to the Champion, with each having their points reapportioned at the beginning of the six-race showdown.
“We started this season out a little slow, but our momentum has been building and we have to keep that going over the next six races,” explained the native of Greeneville, Tenn. “We’ve learned so much about this new chassis and continue to gain speed and make progress each time we make a run. Our goal is to get this Mopar Dodge Avenger into the top-five in points going into the Countdown.”