JOHNSON SHOOTS TO SEMIS AT SEASON-OPENING NHRA WINTERNATIONALS Allen Johnson proved once again that he belongs on any list of elite drivers on the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock circuit, as the Team MoparÂ® driver made a strong run to the semifinals...
JOHNSON SHOOTS TO SEMIS AT SEASON-OPENING NHRA WINTERNATIONALS
Allen Johnson proved once again that he belongs on any list of elite drivers on the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock circuit, as the Team Mopar® driver made a strong run to the semifinals today in the season-opening NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.
Johnson's goal for his Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T team was to gain momentum for the long NHRA Pro Stock campaign right out of the gate, and that's exactly what we did. The veteran HEMI®-powered driver qualified No. 5, then took out fellow Mopar Pro Stocker Matt Hartford in the first round with a pass of 6.645/207.85. AJ then dispatched of Warren Johnson with a run of 6.702/205.54, before bowing to eventual event champ Greg Anderson, posting a solid-but-losing run of 6.654/207.85 to Anderson's 6.643/208.62.
The strong showing was huge for Johnson, who finished fourth in the Pro Stock points in 2007 despite a slow start to the year, which included a first-round exit at Pomona. The fast start bodes well for AJ's championship hopes.
"Any time you can go the semifinals, you have to be happy with that," said Johnson. "It's a good start. We'll to Phoenix and see if we can't improve and go to the final round."
Mopar-powered Pro Stockers joining Johnson and Hartford in the 16-car field were veterans Max Naylor, V. Gaines and newcomer Johnny Gray. All three suffered first-round defeats.
Johnson, a Greeneville, Tenn., native, has already turned his attention to the next event, the Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix, Ariz., scheduled for Feb. 22-24, as he attempts to continue his hot start to the 2008 season.
"We'll probably test in the Phoenix area before we race there," said Johnson. "The more you can run, the more you figure out. We'll go out there and try to get faster and faster."