Hometown Favorite Allen Johnson Scores No. 3 in Friday Qualifying at Bristol
Greeneville, Tenn. native and Mopar® Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson enjoyed a strong first day of qualifying at his home track of Bristol Dragway, taking the preliminary No. 3 spot today at the 11th Annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
Johnson, fresh off his first victory of the season at the NHRA SuperNationals in New Jersey on June 5, put down a strong qualifying effort in his first pass, a 6.709-second effort at 206.70 mph. The local boy and South Greene High School graduate (Class of ’77) posted a 6.696/205.98 in the night session at Thunder Valley to move from fourth to third heading into the final two rounds of qualifying tomorrow.
“We’re just trying to be consistent with this Mopar Dodge Avenger, make solid runs, and we are right on track,” said Johnson, whose J&J Racing shop is also located in Greeneville, a little more than a half hour’s drive from Bristol Dragway. “We’re right there, real close to everyone else. Sunday will be anybody’s day.
“The local fans are awesome. I could stand out there all day and not move and there would still be people waiting for autographs. Just the area, the people, my friends — they are all just awesome, all the support they give us.”
The Team Mopar veteran qualified No. 1 at Bristol last year and feels there is a chance for a repeat if conditions cooperate tomorrow.
“Tomorrow morning may be the best hit, because that humidity rolled in tonight and kicked everybody in the butt,” said Johnson. “Everybody lost about a mile an hour on their speeds. In the morning, if it’s clear, cool, with some cloud cover, we might have our best run.”
Johnson’s Mopar-powered Dodge Avenger teammate, Vincent Nobile, clocked in at No. 8 with a best run of 6.725/205.44. V. Gaines is No. 11 in his Dodge Avenger with a top pass of 6.736/204.45.
“Being in the top half of the field is our goal,” said Nobile, a Pro Stock rookie, who became the youngest winner in the history of the class with his win at the NHRA Houston event. “There is definitely room for improvement. We made a little mistake tuning-wise, but I think we will be alright tomorrow. This is my first time racing at Thunder Valley, and it’s a really cool deal.”
In Mopar NHRA Sportsman qualifying news, Joseph Teuton of Houma, La. powered his 2011 V-10 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak to the No. 1 spot in Stock Eliminator with a 10.006-second pass at .994 under index, also claiming the A/SA class win. Teuton’s father, Jeff Teuton, took home the F/SA class victory and was one of three other Mopar Challenger Drag Paks to crack the top-10 in Stock qualifying, including Keith Lynch and Dave Thomas.
Allen Johnson’s father and engine builder, Roy Johnson, qualified No. 21 in Stock Eliminator behind the wheel of his 2009 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak, recording a best pass of 10.373 at 0.627 under index. Johnson advanced to the second round in class eliminations in Stock Eliminator, defeating Harold Costello to the cheers of his home crowd before falling to fellow Drag Pak driver Lynch in the second round. Johnson will compete in overall Stock eliminations tomorrow, with a chance to race on Sunday with his son.
“It’s fun to come out and compete,” said Roy Johnson. “If we can dial in our Mopar Challenger Drag Pak tomorrow, and I can do what I’m supposed to do, we can go rounds. It would be cool if Allen and I could both get a trophy on Father’s Day.”
-source: team mopar