Johnson takes Dodge Stratus R/T to its first Pro Stock semifinal Mopar Funny Cars drive to the second round HEBRON, Ohio (June 15, 2003) -- Allen Johnson drove the new Mopar backed Dodge Stratus R/T Pro Stock car to its first semifinal ...
Johnson takes Dodge Stratus R/T to its first Pro Stock semifinal
Mopar Funny Cars drive to the second round
HEBRON, Ohio (June 15, 2003) -- Allen Johnson drove the new Mopar backed Dodge Stratus R/T Pro Stock car to its first semifinal during today's NHRA national event at National Trail Raceway.
Johnson lost in the semifinal to Greg Anderson, who posted quick time of the round at 6.895 seconds at 199.91 mph. Johnson logged a 6.907-second elapsed time at 199.49 mph.
Johnson defeated Jim Yates in the first round, clicking off a 6.900-second elapsed time at 198.96 mph. It was the third-quickest elapsed time time of the round. The Greeneville, Tenn., resident then took out defending Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin, Jr., in round two. Johnson ran a 6.907-second lap at 198.85 mph.
"I thought if I could have gotten by the second round -- I would have had a shot at it," Johnson said. "The Stratus was absolutely awesome all day. We ran three 6.90-second runs in a row. It was like bracket racing out there. The team did an awesome job this weekend and we've found our power again. If we have a break or two -- we'll win some races."
Darrell Alderman and his Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T fell in the first round of competition to Kurt Johnson. The three-time POWERade Pro Stock World Champion shut off at half track, allowing Johnson to cruise to victory.
"The car just spun the tires off the track," Alderman said. "We were better than Kurt all the way up to that point, but we got real loose and I had to shut it off. We were spinning the tires a little bit too."
FUNNY CAR WRAP...
Whit Bazemore and his Matco Tools Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car were barely edged at the finish by John Force in the second round of competition. The duo ran identical elapsed times of 4.980 seconds, but Force's .061 of second reaction time was quicker than Bazemore's .077.
Bazemore advanced to the second round by outrunning Dean Skuza. The Indianapolis resident logged a 4.866-second elapsed time at 315.93 mph; while Skuza drove to a 4.913-second elapsed time at 295.21 mph.
"It's pretty frustrating," Bazemore said. "It may have been a close race, but it's still frustrating. We have a team over hear that's capable of winning every single race. But we just didn't get the job done today. I did the best job I could do, and had the best light of the weekend against John. It's just how it goes some times."
"We always prepare ourselves," Bazemore added. "We have built the very best Dodge Stratus we could build, but you still need chips to fall your way."
The Oakley backed Dodge Stratus R/T of Gary Scelzi smoked the tires in the second round and lost to Ron Capps. In round one, Scelzi ran a 4.830-second elapsed time at 321.42 mph to beat out Cruz Pedregon's 5.217-second lap at 223.95 mph.
"It's frustrating," Scelzi said. "I had a great car in qualifying and had a great car in the first round. It became hot in the second round and we thought we pulled it back enough. It puffed the tire once, I brought it back, but then it just went up in smoke. I don't know how to fix it and I don't know what to say. It's just frustrating. We've been getting in trouble before the Dodge body can take over. We weren't trying to run a big speed, we were just trying to get down the race track. A five flat probably would have won the race. It's just one of those deals."