Richmond: Allen Johnson preview

Team Mopar Driver Johnson Needs to Reel in a Win at Richmond Johnson hopes to recapture magic at site of his first career win J Auburn Hills, Mich. -- Only three events remain in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series entering the...

Team Mopar Driver Johnson Needs to Reel in a Win at Richmond Johnson hopes to recapture magic at site of his first career win

J Auburn Hills, Mich. -- Only three events remain in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series entering the Virginia NHRA Nationals this weekend in Richmond, Va. Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T driver Allen Johnson is fifth in the NHRA Countdown to 1 playoffs and needs to replicate his winning performance at Richmond in 1999 if he's to have a shot at the NHRA Pro Stock title. The Virginia NHRA Nationals is scheduled for Oct. 9--11 at Virginia Motorsports Park.

"I have good memories there," said Johnson, who earned his first career NHRA victory at Richmond in 1999. "I like the track. It's close to home and it's always fast. It should be really fast this weekend if the weather keeps up."

Johnson realizes that to keep up in the hunt for the Pro Stock championship he must capture his third win of the season and eighth of his career.

"We have to win the race and Mike [Edwards, the Pro Stock points leader] needs to stub his toe," emphasized Johnson. "He sort of did that at Memphis but we didn't get to the final. We could have made up a few points. This is pretty much a do or die deal here. We have to go out there and win the race."

Johnson qualified in the top half of the field (No. 6) at the previous event in Memphis, giving the Greeneville, Tenn., native 18 berths in the top half in 21 NHRA events thus far. Yet he's far from satisfied with his J&J Racing team's performance in qualifying as of late.

"We're not happy with the way we are qualifying at all," said Johnson of his team, which includes his father and engine builder, Roy Johnson, as well as co-crew chiefs Mark Ingersoll and Jeff Perley. "We've got more than what we're showing. We're not making very good runs right now. We're testing today at Budds Creek, Md., to see if we can sort things out."

Allen Johnson remains confident his team can bring home the Pro Stock title.

"I'm still optimistic," said Johnson. "Dad is making great horsepower with our Mopar HEMI engines, and I know we can find some more. We're going to continue to fight to bring home the championship for Mopar."

-credit: mopar

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Series NHRA
Drivers Allen Johnson