Team Mopar Driver Allen Johnson's Gateway Visit Marks 300th Career Race; Johnson hopes to celebrate milestone race with his first victory of the season Center Line, Mich. -- Team Mopar NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson is hoping...
Team Mopar Driver Allen Johnson's Gateway Visit Marks 300th Career Race; Johnson hopes to celebrate milestone race with his first victory of the season
Center Line, Mich. -- Team Mopar NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson is hoping to make a special weekend at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. even more special. The long-serving Team Mopar veteran will compete in his 300th race at the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals, scheduled for May 1--3, and would like nothing better than to mark the occasion by bringing home his sixth career win and first of the 2009 campaign.
"That's a big one," said Johnson of reaching the 300-race mark. "I never thought we would race this long. But I have to say now that we're here, I could see us going on and getting to the 500-race mark. I can only count a handful of teams that have been around as long as we have. We have to be doing something right."
The Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T driver added, "We've been very lucky to have Mopar as a sponsor for almost our entire career, so obviously that partnership has paid dividends. To sustain a team for that long and to be a productive team, that's really something."
Johnson and his J&J Racing squad have reached one final this year, at the NHRA Gatornationals in March, taking away a runner-up finish. The Team Mopar driver has also experienced his fair share of previous success at the Gateway drag strip, located on the outskirts of St. Louis, claiming runner-up finishes in 1999 and 2003. The Greeneville, Tenn. native is banking on a third trip to the finals at Gateway this weekend, but with a different--and decidedly better-- outcome.
"I always feel confident going to St. Louis," Johnson remarked. "I like the track and we've had some success there in the past, with a couple of runner-ups. One of my crew chiefs, Mark Ingersoll, and my crewman Mike Gott, are from the area, so it's always an upbeat atmosphere at Gateway. We think we can put this Mopar-powered Stratus into the winner's circle this weekend and make the atmosphere even more upbeat."