Team Mopar NHRA Pro Stock Driver Johnson Focuses on Fast Start at NHRA Winternationals
Auburn Hills, Mich. -- Team Mopar NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson threw down the gauntlet in the off-season, recording a 6.498-second elapsed time during testing, an unofficial record for a Pro Stock car. Johnson is ready now to carry the fight to where it matters most -- the NHRA regular season, which begins this week at the Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., Feb. 24--27.
Johnson finished the 2010 season in sizzling fashion, recording four straight No. 1 Qualifier Awards to end the season, including at the NHRA Finals in Pomona back in November, with eight total poles on the year. Despite enjoying one of the best seasons of his career, the lack of a championship (he finished sixth in the final 2010 standings) prompted Johnson to break in a new chassis on his Mopar Dodge Avenger for 2011 and place a raging fire in the belly of the veteran Pro Stocker to bring home his first title.
"I feel like that (6.498-second) run sort of set the stage for the upcoming year," said Johnson, who has one career final-round appearance at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, a runner-up in the '03 Winternationals. "If we have the right air at Pomona, we can break the record. The air would have to be in the 500-ft. range or something like that, and then it would be very possible. We ran a 6.541 pass with 1,700-ft. air in the fall. Everybody is going to be working their butts off to shoot for us. I'm up for the challenge, and I know my J&J Racing team is up for it."
Johnson's team returns intact, with Mark Ingersoll back as crew chief and Allen's father, Roy Johnson, building the Mopar HEMI engines for the J&J squad. A goal during testing was to make the new 2011 Mopar Dodge Avenger more consistent than last year's car.
"Every win is special, and I believe this year we are going to have more than one," said Allen Johnson. "To go out to Pomona and qualify in the top three, win the race and have a consistent car, that's our goal. That's the biggest thing, to show that we are consistent."
The 2011 season will mark Johnson's 16th behind the wheel of a Mopar-powered Dodge. With five straight top-10 points finishes in the last five years, the Greeneville, Tenn. has never been more confident that he can make the leap into the No. 1 spot, with the help of the Mopar brand.
"It's great having Mopar as a sponsor, with the power and performance of Mopar parts backing us," said Johnson. "The brand's support over the years for my J&J Racing team has been huge, and I feel very lucky to have them on board again in 2011. I feel we have the correct tools to get the job done, with the Mopar Dodge Avenger and the Mopar brand behind us."