Gainesville: Team Mopar preview

Team Mopar® Driver Allen Johnson Seeks to Sustain Strong Start at the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals This Weekend Center Line, Mich. -- Team Mopar® and J&J Racing driver Allen Johnson is off to a fast start. He's earned a semifinals appearance,...

Team Mopar® Driver Allen Johnson Seeks to Sustain Strong Start at the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals This Weekend

Center Line, Mich. -- Team Mopar® and J&J Racing driver Allen Johnson is off to a fast start. He's earned a semifinals appearance, a No. 1 qualifier award and the fifth spot in the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock standings through the first two events. The Greeneville, Tenn., native would like to keep the momentum going at this weekend's ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals. The event is scheduled for March 13 -- 16 at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Fla.

"I feel like we've got the stuff for them," said Johnson about the recent performance of his Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T. "I feel like we can just carry [the strong start] into this race and just challenge for it again. The car is really working well. We've got great power [courtesy of his engine builder and father, Roy Johnson, and crew chief Mark Ingersoll] from our Mopar HEMI® engine. We'll just try to do a little bit better track management on Sunday."

Johnson added, "If we're going to challenge for that top spot at the Countdown break [the end of NHRA Countdown to 10 regular season, which comes after the 18th event], which is what we are trying to do to get that 30-point bonus, we've got to catch up with a couple of people up at the front at Gainesville, so we can stay right in the mix. We can't let them get far ahead of us."

"It's great to see Allen and the Mopar/J&J Racing team doing so well in the first few races of the season," said Rob Richard, Director of Global Mopar Parts, Sales and Service Marketing, Chrysler LLC.

Richard is scheduled to speak at the International Drag Racing Hall Fame induction banquet on Thursday, March 13 in Gainesville. Mopar greats Ken Veney and the "Frantic Four" of Weekly, Rivero, Fox and Holding are among those to be inducted into hallowed halls. Mopar is an event sponsor.

Richard added, "I'm looking forward to attending the Hall of Fame induction ceremony and the NHRA Gatornationals. It's an opportunity to honor the legends that are a key part of Mopar's rich racing heritage and to visit with our current lineup of drag racing stars. It's also a chance to talk with the grassroots fans about their Mopar passion."

Johnson Gears up for the NHRA Gatornationals with multiple test sessions The ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals is one of biggest events on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule. Huge crowds of fans pack the Gainesville Raceway pit areas. A Gatornationals Wally is a much-desired trophy for an NHRA driver, one that Johnson would love to take home.

In preparation for the Gatornats, Johnson took part in the 2008 ESTN Drag Racing Pros event in Valdosta, Ga., over the weekend. Johnson had yet another test session scheduled in Bradenton, Fla., following the Valdosta event.

"It seems like it's basically the first race of the season," observed Johnson of the Gatornationals. "You come back to the East Coast. It's really the start of the big churn of the season. The first two races almost seem like warm-ups. We'll head to Bradenton and test along with some of the top cars before we go to Gainesville. We've got a good start. We just need to keep building on it. You know, qualify high and go a few rounds, and not stub our toe like we did at Phoenix."

-credit: mopar

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Series NHRA
Drivers Allen Johnson , Roy Johnson