Team Mopar press release
Team Mopar Driver Johnson Looks to Heat Up in Phoenix
Three races remain in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs
Auburn Hills, Mich. — Mopar® Dodge Avenger NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson has excelled on hot, slick race tracks over the years, and that bodes well for the Team Mopar veteran, as the final three races of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs will be contested in warm-weather environments. The native of Greeneville, Tenn. welcomes the conditions in the 27th Annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Ariz., near Phoenix, Oct. 14–16.
Johnson enters the event, which is the fourth race of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs, in the eighth position, just 53 points out of fifth and 88 markers out of third, as the six-race showdown winds down.
“We have to be really aggressive these last three races,” said Johnson. “We are shooting for that top-three that we know Mopar would like us to have. We are well within striking distance and we are going to do everything we can to get it.”
The Team Mopar veteran was victorious in Phoenix in 2005 and reached the semifinals at the venue last season. He was the No. 1 Qualifier at Firebird International Raceway in 2008 and has been among the four fastest drivers in qualifying in each of his past three visits to the track. Johnson has earned three No. 1 Qualifier awards this season and has been among the top half of the field in qualifying in 17 of 19 events.
“We’ve always had a good set-up for hot conditions,” noted Johnson. “We’re looking to continue that with the new car, and the testing we are doing this week will certainly help us with that. We have a veteran team, and can adapt to different weather conditions pretty well.”
Johnson has competed in a new Mopar Dodge Avenger, with a special Mopar Express Lane paint scheme in each of the past two Countdown events. He was the third-fastest qualifier at Dallas in his debut in the new car.
“We’re still learning our new Mopar Dodge Avenger,” said the second-generation driver. “It’s a different animal, even though it’s a sister car to the one that Vincent has, which they have run all year. It’s still a little different, and we are working hard to figure out what it likes and what it doesn’t like and how to make it faster. We are testing this week in Tulsa (Okla.), and that will certainly help as well, before we head to Phoenix.”