Team MoparÂ® Drivers Allen Johnson and Gary Scelzi Will Compete in the 'NHRA Stars in Short Track Cars' Event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Center Line, Mich. -- Team MoparÂ® and NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series drivers Allen Johnson and Gary...
Team Mopar® Drivers Allen Johnson and Gary Scelzi Will Compete in the 'NHRA Stars in Short Track Cars' Event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Center Line, Mich. -- Team Mopar® and NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series drivers Allen Johnson and Gary Scelzi will trade their usual quarter-mile drag strip "office" for a three-eighths mile asphalt oval when they line up for the "NHRA Stars in Short Track Cars" event. The event will be held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway's Bullring on Saturday, April 12.
The HEMI®-powered duo will do battle in the final two qualifying sessions of the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday before heading to The Bullring at LVMS that night for the short-track race. The Mopar pair will strap themselves into Thunder Roadster cars manufactured by 600 Racing and compete against fellow NHRA drag racers Doug Kalitta, J.R. Todd, Jeg Coughlin and Morgan Lucas in the 15-lap match race.
Johnson, driver of the Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T and currently fifth in the NHRA Pro Stock points standings, is eager to go head-to-head with his fellow NHRA competitors in a venue other than the customary quarter-mile.
"I'm looking forward to it," said Johnson, who drove a junk stock car for fun at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the October NHRA Las Vegas stop last year. "I love doing events like this, and would love to do even more in the future. It's really not hard for me to transition from the drag strip to the circle track. Anything that involves competition, I love it."
Scelzi says he's 'going to wax' Mopar teammate Allen Johnson Gary Scelzi, the four-time NHRA champion and pilot of the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, may have a leg up on the competition. The Fresno, Calif. resident owns his own USAC Mopar Midget National team and has himself competed against the world's top midget car drivers at the annual Dodge Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Okla.
The outspoken Scelzi playfully predicted that he's going to run away with the win or at least beat Mopar teammate Allen Johnson to the finish line.
"I'm just going to wax him. Allen Johnson is not going to have a chance unless he has dad [engine builder Roy Johnson] over there tuning on that engine. That's the only chance that Allen Johnson's got to beat me, is if his dad's tuning on that engine."
Scelzi took part in the event last year and finished third.
"We did it last year. T.J., [teammate Ron] Capps, myself, Cruz Pedregon. It was so much fun to run on pavement. My preference is obviously running on dirt, but we absolutely had a ball. The fans enjoyed the heck out of it. We have Doug Kalitta going to play this year, who was a USAC world champion. It's going to be a lot fun. The fans will have something else to do to look at a different style of racing if they're drag race fans. And the circle-track people will have a look at what the drag racers can do."
'NHRA Stars in Short Track Cars' event details The "NHRA Stars in Short Track Cars" event is scheduled for April 12 at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race is part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Racing Series short track event that will be held that evening. For schedule and ticket information on the "NHRA Stars in Short Track Cars,"