Team Mopar Driver Johnson Chases Second Win of 2011 at Brainerd
Allen Johnson looks to move up in points as NHRA Countdown to the Championship nears
Auburn Hills, Mich. — Team Mopar® NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson has clinched a spot in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs, but the veteran driver is not resting on his laurels. Johnson will seek to solidify his position in the ramp up to the six-race shootout with a strong outing at the 30th Annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minn., Aug. 18–21.
Johnson has reached the semifinals at Brainerd in two of the last three years and three times overall in his career, as he seeks his first final round appearance and overall victory at the venue. The second generation driver has been among the four fastest qualifiers in each of his last three visits to Brainerd and has been one of the strongest this season in Pro Stock qualifying, with three No. 1 Qualifier spots and starts in the top half of the field at 13 of 14 events thus far.
“We need to be consistent and fast right out of the box,” said Johnson. “Every qualifying run is important and we have to make sure we put down good runs each time we are on the track. Brainerd is a high altitude type of track, kind of like Denver, and that lends itself to our Mopar HEMI® engines. We’re looking to go there and continue our strong qualifying, go to the finals and make up a round or two to get into the top-four in points.”
Johnson is currently sixth in the Pro Stock standings after advancing to the quarterfinals at Seattle, setting top speed for the event and also recording the best reaction time. The Team Mopar veteran is just two markers out of the fifth position and 33 points out of the fourth spot with two races remaining in the regular season, as the top-10 drivers will have their points reapportioned to reflect their spot in the standings before the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs begin.
“We’re pretty solid right now, so we’re not going to try anything too much out of the ordinary at Brainerd or Indy,” said the J&J Racing driver and team owner. “We are focused on the next two races and winning rounds so we can hopefully move up those two spots in points. We want to hit our stride from here on out. Starting at Brainerd we are pretending that the Countdown has already started and we are going to turn up the wick. We have to make good decisions each and every round and make sure we don’t make any mistakes.”