Thursday, May 1, 2008

Team Mopar® Driver Allen Johnson Hopes Third Time is the Charm at O’Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals

• Johnson stats
• O’Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals event details

Center Line, Mich.

Team Mopar® driver Allen Johnson is a two-time runner-up at the O’Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals. The pilot of the Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T Pro Stock car wants to make his third event finals appearance and take his first win at the venue when NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series action rolls into Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. on May 2–4.

“We feel good going there,” remarked Johnson. “It seems like that’s always one of the tracks that we do good at. Plus, that’s home to my crew chief, Mark Ingersoll, and our clutch specialist, Mike Gott. They’ll have a lot of family and friends out there.”

The veteran HEMI®-powered hotshoe has advanced to the quarterfinals and qualified no worse than fifth through all six NHRA POWERade events held thus far. His solid outings have placed him fifth in the NHRA Pro Stock standings. But struggles in the latter rounds have bitten Johnson.

“We’ve been all over the board this year,” said Johnson, runner-up at Gateway in 1999 and 2003, of his late-round woes. “We’ve been a little bit inconsistent with tire shake, and this past weekend [at Atlanta] we got on the other side of that and were really too conservative on race day. Through Atlanta, we’ve had all scenarios, and we’ve tested in all scenarios, and we know where we need to be now on one kind of track or another.”

Johnson, going for his first win of 2008 and the sixth of his career, added, “I think we’re poised to really get in our stride. We’ve been all around the bull’s-eye and now we are ready to pull the trigger and go for it.”

Johnson stats
• Currently fifth in the NHRA Pro Stock points standings
• Finished runner-up in 1999 and in 2003 at the O’Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals
• Has two semifinals appearance through the first six events in 2008
• Qualified no worse than fifth in the first six 2008 NHRA POWERade events
• Has advanced to at least the quarterfinals in each of the first six 2008 NHRA POWERade events
• Claimed his fourth career No. 1 qualifier award at the 2008 Phoenix event
• Has an 8-6 round win record through six events
• Reached the semifinals in the season-opening NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif.
• Finished fourth in the 2007 NHRA POWERade Pro Stock points standings
• One of only four Pro Stock drivers to qualify in the inaugural NHRA Countdown to 1 title playoff
• Captured his 5th-career win at the 28th Annual Mopar® Mile-High Nationals in July 2007
• Posted two runner-up finishes in 2007
• Advanced to 12 career final rounds

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