Johnson Puts Mopar Dodge Avenger in No. 4 Starting Spot at U.S. Nationals
Clermont, Ind. (Sept. 5, 2011) – NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson will start No. 4 tomorrow in the elimination rounds of the 57th Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway, lining up his Mopar® Dodge Avenger against defending event champion Greg Stanfield in the opening stanza.
Under NHRA rules, only the top 12 elapsed times are recorded provisionally heading into the final day of qualifying. Johnson was No. 13 after the first three rounds, posting a 6.707-second, 207.72 mph effort on Friday followed by 6.691/207.78 and 6.733/207.56 marks on Saturday, meaning the Greeneville,Tenn. native was still looking to crack the field in the remaining two qualifying sessions today.
Johnson wasted no time in placing his Mopar squarely in the mix, driving to the No. 6 position on the strength of a 6.643/207.91 run in the morning qualifying round. In his final effort Johnson took additional steps up the starting ladder, powering to No. 4 with a 6.623/208.33 pass.
“We’re still not perfect, but that’s a good thing,” said Johnson, who will go for his second win of the season tomorrow and his first ever at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. “The car still has a hundredth left in it. Now that the car is solid, we need to go out there and be consistent, and I need to drive well.”
Said Johnson of his team’s adjustments to the much cooler track temperatures of today as compared to those of Friday and Saturday, “We just went back to our base and looked at our notes. Tomorrow is going to be a little better, with a little better air. The team took the entire car apart last night, and they were here until 2 a.m. The work paid off, as we had a much better car tomorrow. We’ll keep plugging and hopefully have a bad to the bone car for tomorrow as well.
“It would be a thrill to win the U.S. Nationals. It’s what every driver dreams of.”
Joining Johnson in Pro Stock eliminations tomorrow will be Mopar-powered Dodge drivers Vincent Nobile, who qualified No. 6 and will face Chris McGaha, and No. 10 V. Gaines, who will match up with Rodger Brogdon in the opening round. In the NHRA Funny Car class Mopar Dodge Charger R/T driver Matt Hagan will start out of the No. 4 spot and will face Tim Wilkerson in round one. Hagan’s Mopar-powered Don Schumacher Racing teammates Ron Capp (No. 3), Jack Beckman (No. 5) and Johnny Gray (No. 11) will face Jim Head, Paul Lee and Daniel Wilkerson, respectively.