Team MoparÂ® Driver Allen Johnson Ends Season with Quarterfinals Finish at NHRA Finals Pomona, Calif. (Nov. 15, 2009) -- Team MoparÂ® NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson wrapped up his 2009 season with a quarterfinals finish today...
Team Mopar® Driver Allen Johnson Ends Season with Quarterfinals Finish at NHRA Finals
Pomona, Calif. (Nov. 15, 2009) -- Team Mopar® NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson wrapped up his 2009 season with a quarterfinals finish today in the elimination rounds of the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals. Johnson knocked out Vinnie Deceglie in the first round before losing to Jason Line in the quarters.
Johnson, the No. 6 qualifier and driver of the Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T, drew Deceglie in an opening-round battle of J&J Racing-prepped Mopar HEMI®-powered Dodges. The left lane appeared problematic for the Pro Stockers during the first two matchups, prompting Johnson to switch to the right lane. The decision proved prescient as Johnson captured the round win with a 6.648-second elapsed time (ET) at 207.18 mph, with Deceglie struggling to make it down the track with a 7.187/128.19 mark.
Johnson squared off with Line in the second round. A.J. was first off the starting line with a reaction time of .023 (.000 is perfect) to Line's mark of .057, but his lead was short-lived, as his Mopar Dodge shook the tires shortly after take off, bringing an end to his 2009 campaign.
"I'm not that happy with our ending today," said Johnson. "I think we had a package there that maybe could have knocked him (Line) out. We had a really good light. It's not the ending we wanted. But, you know, it's been another year and we're all safe. We'll come back next year and try to get that title."
Johnson finished the season with two victories, at the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka and the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver. The two triumphs were a single-season career high for the Greeneville, Tenn., native. The Team Mopar veteran also captured his seventh career No. 1 Qualifier Award at the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle. Johnson is scheduled to switch to a new Mopar Pro Stock Dodge Avenger in 2010.
"I was real happy with the first part of the season," said Johnson. "Next year we'll look to at least double our win total from this year. We're pumped up about the new Mopar Dodge Avenger. We can't wait to start testing and then come back here to Pomona in February and show it off."
Mopar-powered driver Johnny Gray went down in defeat in the first round, losing to Kurt Johnson. HEMI-powered Pro Stockers Larry Morgan and Rickie Jones also exited in the opening stanza.
Allen Johnson finished seventh in the final NHRA Pro Stock Countdown to 1 point standings. The 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will commence with the 50th Annual Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals in Pomona on Feb. 11--14, 2010.