Allen Johnson will look to lock down the No. 1 spot in Pro Stock at the 54th Annual NHRA Winternationals on Saturday
Pomona, Calif. (Friday, Feb. 7) – If the rest of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season can go as good as the first day, then Team Mopar driver Allen Johnson is in for a memorable year. The Greeneville, Tenn., native raced his Mopar Dodge Avenger Pro Stock car to the provisional pole position following the first two qualifying sessions on Friday at the season-opening 54th annual NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.
Johnson, the 2012 NHRA Pro Stock champion, was No. 4 after the first qualifying session, but with the top speed of the round, 212.53 mph. In the second session on Friday the J&J Racing team owner and driver jumped to the No. 1 spot with a 6.517-second elapsed time at the same exact speed as his first run, 212.53, knocking former teammate Vince Nobile from the pole.
Reigning NHRA Pro Stock champ Jeg Coughlin Jr., Johnson’s J&J Racing teammate, penciled his JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger into the third spot on Friday with a best pass of 6.541 for a solid start to the defense of his 2013 series title. Veteran Mopar Pro Stocker V. Gaines was ninth thanks to a 6.554 effort. Deric Kramer and Matt Hartford were 14th and 15th, respectively, in their Mopar-powered Avengers.
In NHRA Funny Car, Ron Capps was the quickest Mopar on the charts, recording a 4.014/304.67 during a wild, fiery run in his Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Charger R/T to claim the provisional No. 3 position on the starting grid. Close behind was his DSR teammate Matt Hagan (4.077/316.01), who was sixth in his debut of the Mopar Express Lane graphics on his Dodge. Newcomer to DSR Tommy Johnson Jr. (4.082/314.75) was eighth, while Jeff Arend (4.104/309.06) clocked in at ninth and Gary Densham (4.199/289.20) 10th in their respective Dodge race cars. The fourth member of the DSR contingent, Jack Beckman (5.409/103.74), was listed 16th during Friday qualifying.