NHRA U.S. Nationals Qualifying and Eliminations Rescheduled For Next Weekend;
Mopar Driver Johnson Retains No. 1 Spot in Countdown Playoffs
• Sunday Qualifying and Monday Eliminations cancelled due to persistent wet weather affecting the racing surface
• Mopar driver Allen Johnson will earn No. 1 position in Countdown to the Championship Pro Stock playoffs by qualifying for U.S. Nationals
• Qualifying will be reopened giving Johnson chance to improve on No. 3 qualifying position
• Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger driver Jeg Coughlin Jr. battles for Pro Stock playoff spot
• Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car pilot Matt Hagan also hunts for playoff spot
Clermont, Ind. (Sept. 3, 2012) – Inclement weather finally forced the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series to reschedule the 58th Annual U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis to next weekend, September 8–9, at Lucas Oil Raceway when the series will reopen qualifying with two sessions on Saturday.
The postponement will give all six Mopar-powered Dodge drivers in Pro Stock and five in the Funny Car category a chance to make or improve their qualifying positions for Sunday’s eliminations.
While currently third in qualifying in the Pro Stock class, Mopar driver Allen Johnson’s qualifying berth will assure him the No. 1 spot and valuable points in the Pro Stock Countdown to the Championship, the six-race playoff that will begin at the next NHRA event in Charlotte.
“The plus side is we get to go to go home and make improvements to our No. 1 Mopar HEMI engine and have it in for next weekend,” said Johnson. “You can look at it two ways; the weather for qualifying could be a lot worse and the Top-12 numbers stick and we’re no worse off, or the weather might be perfect and give us the opportunity to get that pole position in qualifying. We’ll focus on the positives.
“I’m mad that I haven’t won at the U.S. Nationals. This is probably the most prestigious race on the circuit, and it would mean a lot to get the victory here at Indianapolis.”
Vincent Nobile is currently the No. 2 qualifier in his Mopar Dodge Avenger. Richie Stevens Jr., driving a Mopar-powered entry with J&J Racing, had qualified seventh in his return to Pro Stock but will not be able to qualify next Saturday due to a race scheduling conflict, but hopes his time will stand in order to be able to return to Indy and participate in eliminations on Sunday.
Rounding out the current Top 12 qualifying positions are Mopar Dodge drivers V. Gaines in the 11th spot and Mopar/JEGS.com driver Jeg Coughlin Jr. in 12th, both of whom are still in the hunt for a spot in the Pro Stock Countdown.
In NHRA Funny Car, current scoring sheets have Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T driver Jack Beckman as the No. 2 qualifier. Don Schumacher Racing’s Ron Capps is in the fifth spot and his teammate Johnny Gray is eighth. Meanwhile, their DSR teammate Matt Hagan, who is sporting special Mopar 75th Anniversary graphics on his Mopar Dodge Charger R/T, stands in 12th place and is also looking to secure a berth in the Funny Car playoffs.