Norwalk: Team Mopar preview

Team Mopar® Driver Allen Johnson Eyes Twin Wins and $50,000 Bonus at Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Center Line, Mich. -- Allen Johnson has ambitious plans for his Mopar®/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T NHRA Pro Stock team this weekend.

Team Mopar® Driver Allen Johnson Eyes Twin Wins and $50,000 Bonus at Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals

Center Line, Mich. -- Allen Johnson has ambitious plans for his Mopar®/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T NHRA Pro Stock team this weekend. The Greeneville, Tenn. native and veteran Team Mopar driver is seeking the $50,000 K&N Horsepower Challenge bonus and also the main event win at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio on June 26--29.

Johnson is the No. 2 seed in the race-within-a-race K&N Horsepower Challenge bonus event. The Challenge will take place on Saturday, June 28 during qualifying for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. The top eight Pro Stock qualifiers dating back to the 2007 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals will fight for the $50,000-to-win first-place bonus.

Johnson has been outstanding in qualifying during the K&N Horsepower Challenge 24-event stretch. With the help of his father and engine builder, Roy Johnson, and crew chief Mark Ingersoll, he has placed his HEMI®-powered Pro Stock car in the top half of the field in ten of 11 2008 NHRA POWERade events to date. Johnson also grabbed his fourth career No. 1 qualifier spot at the NHRA Phoenix event in February.

"It's a big deal," said Johnson of the bonus event. "We're the No. 2 qualifier. The consistency in qualifying this year has been great, and it's really a testament to the performance of the entire J&J Racing team, and also our Mopar HEMI engines. K&N is putting up a lot of money, and we're one of the best cars in qualifying so far. We're going to go out and try to turn our season around with a win on Saturday and then go into Sunday as the favorite to double up."

Johnson, who will compete in the bonus event for the fifth year, added, "Last year we were really fast, but the transmission broke. I think this year we're probably in better shape than any other if we can just get everything to come together. We're hoping this weekend will be it."

The Team Mopar drag racer has good reason to feel encouraged heading to the Summit Motorsports Park quarter-mile. Johnson advanced to the semifinals in the inaugural event at Norwalk last year. His momentum coming out of the event helped AJ claim victory at the next race, the 2007 Mopar Mile-High Nationals, and was the start of a 2007 second-half surge in which he became one of only four Pro Stock drivers to qualify in the inaugural NHRA Countdown to 1 title playoff.

"The facility is awesome. It's one of the best in the country," raved Johnson. "We came out of this race last year with a semis appearance and then had a strong run through the Western swing (Denver, Seattle, and Sonoma). That's what we're looking to do again. Even though we haven't won a lot of rounds, we've been qualifying well and we've been in a position to win. If we can do what we did last year starting at this race and going through the next three or four, we ought to be up towards the top of the standings. That's what we have in mind--using this race as a jump start beginning on Saturday."

-credit: mopar

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Series NHRA
Drivers Allen Johnson , Roy Johnson