All in. Go for broke. Don’t hold nothin’ back. All the cliches really do apply for NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series driver Allen Johnson. The Mopar Dodge Avenger Pro Stock pilot is aware of the importance of a victory this weekend at the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway if he is to have any chance of claiming the 2010 Pro Stock championship.
The Team Mopar veteran is currently fifth in the standings, 168 markers behind points leader Greg Anderson. Even if Johnson wins the final two races of the season, he’ll need a lot of help from the drivers ahead of him in the standings for a realistic shot at the title. Despite the long odds, the Greeneville, TN, native says there is a lot of fight left in his Mopar/J&J Racing team.
“We’re going to be more aggressive than we’ve probably ever been,” said Johnson, who enters the Vegas race after earning consecutive No. 1 Qualifier Awards at the NHRA Dallas and NHRA Reading events. “The Mopar Dodge Avenger team is going to battle all the way to the end and hope that we do something great and the guys in front of us make some boo-boos. That’s all that we can do.
“If we could go to Vegas and get the maximum points, get bonus points in qualifying, and have the drivers ahead of us exit in round one, we have a chance. It’s a real long shot, but we can at least control how we perform, and that’s what we’re focused on. We can’t control what others do, but we can control what we do.”
Johnson and his J&J Racing crew have captured a single-season career high six No. 1 spots during the 2010 season, with one victory at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in July. Johnson hopes to carry their qualifying success over to Sunday at Vegas.
“The J&J Racing team has been awesome during qualifying,” said Johnson. “We also have to be awesome and go 4-for-4 in having good runs in eliminations on Sunday. That’s what we intend to go out there and do.”
Johnson dares Pro Stockers to join him in ‘Troxel Challenge’ Stratosphere SkyJump
Allen Johnson will not only join Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car driver Melanie Troxel in her 108-story free fall from the top of the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas to raise money for Speedway Children’s Charities, but the Team Mopar driver is also daring his fellow Pro Stock competitors to take part in the “Troxel Challenge.” Johnson will donate $100 for every driver from the Pro Stock ranks taking part in the jump.
Troxel made the initial challenge, putting up $100 for every driver in the nitro categories who makes the jump, scheduled to take place on Oct. 28 at 9 p.m. PDT at SkyJump Las Vegas at the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower. Ever the daredevil, Johnson also decided to participate and, in the spirit of the good-natured rivalry between the Pro Stock and nitro ranks, challenge his Pro Stock colleagues to show up the other classes.
“We don’t want to let the nitro drivers beat us out at anything, so the Pro Stock folks need to turn out in record numbers,” said Johnson. “We need to put out the challenge for them to come out and support this deal.
“I’m scared to death right now. I’ll probably be even more scared when I get up there. I bungee jumped once from 200 feet, but nothing like this. I hope I don’t have a heart attackI’m old, you know! But it’s for a good cause, and we try to support Speedway Children’s Charities at all of Bruton Smith’s tracks, including Bristol and Charlotte.”
Allen Johnson will also take part in the NHRA Fan Fest event at the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, where he will sign autographs and meet with fans from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 28, just prior to the “Troxel Challenge.”
“The folks at Vegas do an awesome job in promoting the race and the Fan Fest,” said Johnson. “Participating in the Vegas Fan Fest is a big deal, and in my opinion it’s the biggest and best NHRA fan event of them all.”
Las Vegas NHRA Nationals
The Las Vegas NHRA Nationals is scheduled to take place Oct. 2831 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. One-and-a-half hours of qualifying coverage will air on Sunday, Oct. 31 beginning at 1 a.m. (EDT) on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD. Two-and-a-half hours of eliminations coverage will air on Sunday, Oct. 31, beginning at 9 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD. For more information on the NHRA, log on to http://www.nhra.com.
About the Mopar Brand
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, Dodge, Jeep and Ram Truck vehicles. Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered with the same teams that create factory-authorized vehicle specifications for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram Truck vehicles a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. A complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts is available at http://www.mopar.com.
More than 70 Years of Mopar
When Chrysler bought Dodge in 1928, the need for a dedicated parts manufacturer, 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 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 to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use.