Johnson Moves to Ninth in Standings after NHRA 4-Wide Nationals; Mopar-Powered Beckman Triumphs in Funny Car
Concord, N.C. (April 17, 2011) – Mopar® Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson advanced to the second round today at the VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA 4-Wide Nationals, moving up one spot to the ninth position in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series NHRA Pro Standings. Mopar also made a winner’s circle appearance at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C., thanks to a victory by Mopar HEMI®-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Jack Beckman.
Johnson faced off against Greg Anderson, Kurt Johnson and Ronnie Humphrey in the opening round, crossing the finish line first with a 6.563-second pass at 211.26 mph, coupled with a strong .023 reaction time. In the second round the Team Mopar veteran was coupled with Anderson, Greg Stanfield and Mike Edwards, without lane choice. Johnson left second quickest of the four-car field with a .022 reaction time but came in third, behind Anderson’s 6.549/210.93 run and Stanfield’s 6.547/211.49 pass.
“I’m tickled to death with the progress we are making,” said Johnson. “We’ve just got to continue down this road, keep making progress, and we’ll be okay. We’re addressing areas that need to be addressed on the car, and I think our program, including me and my driving, are right there.
“We’re just working our way towards the front. We gained ground in the points at Vegas, we gained ground here at Charlotte, and by the time the NHRA Countdown playoffs get here, we’ll be perfect.”
Mopar-powered Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car driver Beckman posted a 4.079/313.66 pass to reach the finish line first in an opening round that included Mike Neff, Tony Pedregon and Jeff Arend. Beckman was also first in the second round with a 4.103/312.57 run against Neff, Jim Head and John Force, and closed out the win with a 4.120/309.63 pass to defeat Head, Bob Tasca and Tim Wilkerson in the final round.
“I was given the baddest hot rod this weekend,” said Beckman, who claimed his tenth career Funny Car win with Mopar HEMI power. “We clearly had the car. I didn’t have to drive the car, I had to stage it. We didn’t leave anything on the table.”
Mopar-powered Pro Stock rookie Vincent Nobile reached his second consecutive final round in just his fourth career start. The Dodge Avenger driver reeled off a 6.560/211.96 run to cross the finish line first in an opening-round face-off with Erica Enders, Roger Brogdon and Mopar-powered V. Gaines, who fouled out on a redlight.
Nobile also passed the timing lights first with a 6.584/210.93 pass in a second-round foursome which included Enders, Dave Connolly and Ron Krisher. Nobile, fifth in the standings, shook shortly after takeoff in the third and final round, but his strong performance helped the rookie gain ground on fourth-place Mike Edwards.
Next up for the Mopar-powered NHRA Pro Stock and Funny Car drivers is the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals, April 29–May 1 at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston, Texas.