Team Mopar’s Allen Johnson has collected four consecutive semifinals appearances to open the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season, but like any true competitor he’s far from satisfied. The NHRA Pro Stock Mopar Dodge Avenger pilot, craving a shot at a Wally trophy, needs look no further than his previous track record at Houston Raceway Park to find encouragement as he seeks his first final round appearance and victory of the season this weekend at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals.
Johnson scored a runner-up finish at the NHRA Houston event in 2007 and qualified No. 2 and advanced to the semifinals in 2008. Factor in his new Pro Stock Mopar Dodge Avenger, which Johnson feels is superior to his previous ride, and it’s no wonder the Greeneville, Tenn. native and his J&J Racing team have a promising feeling heading to the Lone Star State.
“I’ve been to a final at Houston and performed well there in the past, so we’re going to go there with a good attitude and hopefully make our first final of the year,” said Johnson. “This track can get a little iffy if the sun is out, plus you’ve got really good air here, usually. Getting the power down to a marginal track, especially on Sunday, is probably the key here.”
Johnson is currently third in the point standings and has nothing but praise for his new Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge Avenger, but the Team Mopar veteran is still working to fine tune his ride. Johnson and his J&J Racing crew, including crew chief Mark Ingersoll and team engine builder Roy Johnson, Allen’s father, plan to make adjustments during test sessions today and tomorrow.
“The season so far, I’d give us a B+ on all the ingredientsthe driver, the car, the motors,” said Allen Johnson. “To be where we are, we feel good about the rest of the year. We’re going to try some different things in testing this week to improve the car a bit and to get the window on the car a little bigger. We have to hit it perfectly every time to make good runs. We’ll try to make some changes and get that window a little bigger so we don’t have to hit the nail right on the head every single time to make a solid run.
“The Mopar Dodge has been great. Our job is to keep finessing it to where it’s really consistent and really good by the time the Countdown rolls around. If we can still be in the top two or three in the points by the arrival of the Countdown playoffs, we’ll be in good position.”
Johnson’s Statistics of Note at Houston Raceway Park
Qualified No. 2 and advanced to the semifinals at the 2008 Houston event
Posted a runner-up finish at Houston in 2007
Advanced to four straight semifinals to start the season
Currently ranked third in the NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock point standings
Has a 7-4 round win record through four events
Clinched a spot in the 2009 NHRA Countdown to 1 six-race playoffs
Captured two wins, at Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver and O’Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka
Finished seventh in NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock point standings
Made three finals appearances, scoring a runner-up finish at NHRA Gatornationals
Captured seventh career No. 1 Qualifier Award at NHRA event in Seattle, reaching semis
Made eight semifinals appearances
Posted a 30-20 round win record for the season
Finished seventh in NHRA Pro Stock standings
One of only 10 drivers to qualify for NHRA Countdown to 1 six-race playoffs
Won K&N Horsepower Challenge bonus event at Norwalk, recording perfect .000 reaction time to defeat Greg Anderson for victory
Powered to three No. 1 Qualifier Awards
Made eight semifinal appearances
Posted two straight runner-up finishes at Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals and Schuck’s Auto Supply NHRA Nationals
Racked up 28-24 round win record
Finished career-best fourth in NHRA Pro Stock point standings
One of only four Pro Stock drivers to qualify for inaugural NHRA Countdown to 1 playoff
Claimed win at Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver
Finished sixth in NHRA Pro Stock standings, scoring win at Seattle
Qualified for Countdown to 1 in each of first three years since NHRA adopted playoff format in 2007
Claimed seven career NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock wins
Claimed 195 career round wins
Recorded 17 career final round appearances
Competed in 300th race at 2009 NHRA St. Louis event
Scored second career win at Atlanta in 2002 and finished eighth in point standings
Seized first career win in 1999 at Richmond and went on to claim first top 10 finish in standings
Made NHRA Pro Stock debut in 1996, driving a Mopar-powered Dodge Avenger
O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals
The O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals is scheduled to take place April 911 at Houston Raceway Park in Houston, Texas. Two hours of qualifying coverage will air on Saturday, April 10, beginning at 10:30 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD. Three hours of eliminations coverage will air on Sunday, April 11, beginning at 8 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD. For more information on the NHRA, log on to http://www.nhra.com.
Mopar is Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand.
Mopar distributes approximately 280,000 parts and accessories in more than 90 countries and is the source for all original-equipment parts for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram vehicles. Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered with the same teams that create factory-authorized vehicle specifications for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram vehicles a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide.
When Chrysler bought Dodge in 1928, the need for a dedicated parts maker, supplier and distribution system to support the growing enterprise led to the formation of the Chrysler Motor Parts Corporation (CMPC) in 1929.
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked for a line of antifreeze products in 1937. It also was widely used as a moniker for the CMPC. The Mopar brand made its mark in the 1960s the muscle-car era. The former Chrysler Corporation built race-ready Dodge and Plymouth “package cars” equipped with special high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of “special parts” for super-stock drag racers and developed its racing parts division, called Mopar Performance Parts, in order to enhance speed and handling for vehicles both on the road or at the track.