Johnson Drives Mopar Dodge Avenger to No. 1 Spot in Friday Qualifying at Dallas Ennis, Texas (Sept. 24, 2010) -- NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson powered his Mopar Dodge Avenger to the No. 1 spot after the...
Johnson Drives Mopar Dodge Avenger to No. 1 Spot in Friday Qualifying at Dallas
Ennis, Texas (Sept. 24, 2010) -- NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson powered his Mopar Dodge Avenger to the No. 1 spot after the first two sessions of qualifying today at the O'Reilly Auto Parts Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals. The Team Mopar veteran earned three bonus points in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs with his Friday performance at Texas Motorplex near Dallas.
Johnson clocked a 6.678-second run at 208.17 mph, the top speed of a first qualifying session marked by scorching track temperatures near 140 degrees. Johnson was No. 6 heading into the second round of qualifying, which was much cooler with track temps hovering around 119 degrees. The Greeneville, Tenn. native promptly rocketed to the top of the qualifying charts with a 6.632/208.04 effort.
"We're very happy. We were probably low in 60-ft, and that's what we've been missing lately," said Johnson, who will attempt to hold his position tomorrow for his fifth No. 1 spot of the season. "We'll take it and run with it. In the first round we were a little hot, and we toned it down. We actually had a breakage, which caused us to be a little off. We made a few changes, and I've got a great crew that adapts to the track very well. Hopefully tomorrow we'll keep adapting a little better and put a little more margin between us and (the No. 2 qualifier)."
Johnson dropped from second to fifth in the Countdown to the Championship standings after the NHRA stop at Concord, N.C. last weekend. A.J. and his J&J Racing team are intensely focused on making up the lost ground, starting at Dallas.
"We know we have to work harder than anybody out here to overcome (last week)," said Johnson. "Everybody is willing to put in whatever it takes to do that. The encouragement from the fans, from everybody--our fan base probably doubled this week. Family, friends, fans, even NHRA folks have just been phenomenal. Hopefully we can take that and do something with it.
"We're looking forward. We're going to be solid hopefully every run and gain a bunch of those points back. We're very focused (coming into Dallas). We're positive, and we've still got this thing in sight. We've just got to have a couple of good races."
V. Gaines, from Lakewood, Colo., jumped from No. 14 to No. 5 with a 6.662/207.34 mark in his Mopar-powered Dodge Avenger in the second qualifying session.