Team Mopar Pro Stock Racer Johnson to Start NHRA St. Louis Event in No. 2 Spot; Mopar-Powered Beckman Earns Funny Car Pole
Allen Johnson will match his Mopar Dodge Avenger against Greg Stanfield in the opening round of the AAA NHRA Midwest Nationals Current NHRA Pro Stock ‘Countdown to the Championship’ leader Johnson earns six bonus points overall during St. Louis qualifying
All five Mopar-powered Dodge Avenger Pro Stock cars entered make the show at Gateway Motorsports Park
Jack Beckman earns the top spot in his Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, will face Alexis DeJoria in the first round
Four-man Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Funny Car squad set to do battle on Sunday
Madison, Ill. (Sept. 29, 2012) – Team Mopar driver Allen Johnson earned the No. 2 spot following the final two qualifying rounds on Saturday, Sept. 29, for the AAA NHRA Midwest Nationals. The current leader in the NHRA Pro Stock “Countdown to the Championship” playoffs, Johnson will match his Mopar Dodge Avenger against Greg Stanfield in the first round of eliminations on Sunday, Sept. 30, at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis.
As with the two qualifying sessions on Friday, Johnson was No. 2 in the first round on Saturday, recording an elapsed time (ET) of 6.517-seconds at 212.39 mph, earning two bonus points, and six total during qualifying. Johnson posted a 6.534/212.56 in the final qualifying round, to go along with the 6.534/212.46 and 6.516/212.76 performances he notched during the two Friday qualifying stanzas.
Johnson will battle tomorrow for his sixth win of the season and first career victory at Gateway Motorsports Park, and will attempt to add to his Pro Stock points lead with only three events remaining following the St. Louis race.
“We tried some changes on the last run, and we actually picked up more against Jason (Line, the No. 1 qualifier) than it showed,” said Johnson, who is seeking his second consecutive win following his recent triumph at the NHRA Dallas event. “We just made a bad run down low. I think we’ve got a good combination going into tomorrow to possibly be the quickest car again. Stanfield is always tough, and you have to do your job against him.
“This Mopar team will do like we did last week, take every round one at a time and race myself, and not pay attention to who is in the other lane. Hopefully, I can do my job, and the Mopar/J&J Racing crew can get our Dodge dialed in. Every race you can win in the Countdown is special. It would also be special to get my sixth win of the season, and first here at St. Louis. But like I said, we’re just going round by round, making sure to keep our focus.”
“We ran decent, but not as good as we could have or should have,” said Mark Ingersoll, crew chief for Johnson’s Mopar Dodge Avenger. “We’re looking right now where we can make some improvements that we hope can help us get a big win here at St. Louis.”
Johnson, a major golf fan, supported the U.S. squad in their battle against Europe for the Ryder Cup this weekend in Medinah, Ill., by placing Ryder Cup decals on his Mopar machine. Johnson also carried the latest score of the tournament (the U.S. is in the lead) on the side windows of his Dodge race car.
“The U.S. is kicking butt, and it’s getting me pumped up to watch it,” said Johnson. “I hope I can use that as some inspiration. The fans seemed excited about the Ryder Cup decals on my Dodge, so that’s cool. I’ll update the score tomorrow on my windows, hopefully with more good news for the U.S.”
Vincent Nobile posted his Mopar-powered Mountain View Dodge Avenger No. 6 (6.530/212.33) and will square off with fellow Dodge racer Chris McGaha (No. 11, 6.553/210.31) in the first round. Veteran Mopar Pro Stocker V. Gaines will begin in the No. 9 spot (6.548/210.47) and will draw Buddy Perkinson in the opening stanza. Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger team owner and driver Jeg Coughlin Jr. earned the No. 16 position (6.581/210.14) and will meet pole sitter Line to start off his Sunday.
Mopar-powered Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Dodge Charger R/T driver Jack Beckman (4.049/308.85) will attempt the event sweep on Sunday, as the No. 1 seed will meet up with Alexis DeJoria in the first round. The 2011 NHRA Funny Car champion, Matt Hagan, captured the No. 3 spot (4.061/305.42) and will seek an opening–round victory over opponent Jim Head.
Current Funny Car “Countdown to the Championship” leader Ron Capps ended the day in the No. 6 slot in his Dodge Charger (4.083/309.34) and will continue the fight for his first Funny Car title against the fourth member of the vaunted DSR Dodge Charger R/T team, Johnny Gray (No. 11, 4.126/305.15). Todd Lesenko was unable to make the show in his Dodge Funny Car.
Source: Team Mopoar