Team Mopar Driver Johnson Hauls In First Final Appearance Of The Season At Houston

By Auto News Log • April 13th, 2010

Team Mopar® NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson bettered his run of four consecutive semifinals appearances by racing all the way to a runner-up finish at the 23rd annual NHRA Spring Nationals on Sunday, April 11, at Houston Raceway Park. Johnson fell to Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the final but moved to second in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock standings with his first final appearance of the year and 18th of his career.

Johnson started the 2010 season by reaching four straight semifinals in his new NHRA Pro Stock Mopar Dodge Avenger, leaving the Greeneville, Tenn., native happy but still hungry for a final round berth. He began his march at Houston by qualifying No. 3 in his Mopar HEMI®-powered Dodge, then defeating his former partner Johnny Gray in the opening round with a 6.594-second pass at 210.11 mph.

The Team Mopar veteran and J&J Racing driver and team owner had luck on his side in the quarterfinals, knocking out Ronnie Humphrey with a slow-motion pass of 12.133/101.41 after both cars shook violently and got out of gear after take off. Johnson bested Ron Krisher in the semis with a 6.628/209.95 run. AJ’s reaction time in the final was a bit slower than Coughlin’s (.045 to .024), giving his opponent just enough of a lead to best Johnson’s slightly quicker 6.596/210.77 pass.

“We tested at Dallas for two days and made some changes to get better with the new weight rule,” said Johnson, who moved from third to second in the standings behind leader Mike Edwards. “During qualifying we tested those changes and did quite well. With the adjustments the Mopar Dodge Avenger has a big window, so we don’t have to be perfect to make a solid pass. It’s great to get that first final appearance and gain some momentum going forward.”

V. Gaines qualified No. 6 in his Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge Avenger and exited in the first round at Houston. Next up for Johnson and Gaines is the 11th annual NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, April 16-18.

Source: Mopar Speed




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