Topeka: Team Mopar preview

Center Line, Mich. -- NHRA POWERade Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson and his Mopar®/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T team will look to put their first "W" in the 2008 win column when they head to the drag strip at Heartland Park Topeka [Kan.] on May ...

Center Line, Mich. -- NHRA POWERade Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson and his Mopar®/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T team will look to put their first "W" in the 2008 win column when they head to the drag strip at Heartland Park Topeka [Kan.] on May 30--June 1 for the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals.

Johnson has been one of the most consistent drivers in the NHRA Pro Stock series this year. He is fifth in the points standings, has qualified no worse than six through the first eight races and has advanced to at least the quarterfinals in seven events. Those solid performances have made his struggles to get into the winner's circle even more perplexing for the Greeneville, Tenn. native.

"Week in and week out, our Mopar-powered Dodge Stratus R/T is the car to beat," said Johnson. "We just haven't been able to get over the track issues. We're testing our butts off, though, and we're trying to massage it and get it right. We're only four or five rounds out of first place despite a tough start to the year. We really want to turn up the flame with our HEMI® power and get up there to the No. 1 spot."

Johnson hasn't been alone in his struggles. All five drivers at the top of the Pro Stock standings, including Johnson, were out by the second round at the Bristol event last weekend.

"It's not only us, it's everyone fighting the same beast," observed Johnson. "Some of the struggles are with track prep and changing track prep. If the track is really sticky and good, we've got the setup for that. We'll quit being gun shy and go for it."

Johnson and his J&J Racing team, led by his father and engine builder, Roy Johnson, and crew chief Mark Ingersoll, have been putting in the time and hard work needed to get over the hump and claim their first 2008 victory. Johnson and his crew extended their stay at Bristol for two days to shakedown the Mopar Dodge Stratus R/T. The team also plans to stop next week at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago for another test session on their way to Topeka.

Johnson asked the Team Mopar engineers and specialists to work on the setup of his Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T.

"We've had Mopar engineers at some of our test sessions to help us overcome the issues we're facing," Johnson said. "Shock specialists from Mopar have also been out, and that's been a real help. We feel like we're making a lot of head way with our chassis. We have the best chassis out there--we just need to make better decisions in reading which way the track prep is going. I think we're starting to put it together."

-credit: mopar

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Series NHRA
Drivers Allen Johnson , Roy Johnson