Team Mopar driver Allen Johnson’s home-away-from-home might well be in the Evergreen State, specifically the Pacific Raceways drag strip near Seattle, WA. The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock star has earned one No. 1 Qualifier Award, two runner-up finishes and one victory at Seattle and will seek his fourth final-round appearance in five years at the venue during the NHRA Northwest Nationals, July 911.
“I can’t really put my finger on it,” said Johnson, a native of Greeneville, TN, of his current streak of successful Seattle outings. “It seems like the Mopar Dodge Avenger/J&J Racing team has some good notes there, and our Mopar HEMI engines really like that air with a lot of oxygen. The track is usually really good. It’s just one of those venues that we’ve got a great setup for and it seems to work each year.”
Johnson and his J&J Racing crew made the most of the holiday break following a grueling stretch of four consecutive races, prepping the Mopar Dodge Avenger and recharging their batteries for the NHRA’s annual Western Swing. The three-event jaunt out West begins in Seattle, continues in Sonoma, CA, and wraps up at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver, CO, on July 2325.
“We really relished the break, very much so,” stated Johnson, who is coming off a runner-up outing at the NHRA Norwalk event, his third final-round appearance of the season. “We took a three-day break for the race shop, for the first time in a long time. They had some good luck last week and got our top-three engines rebuilt without any hiccups, so everything is leaving the shop and going out West fresh.
“It would be awesome to really start our championship drive during the Western Swing. We’d like to eliminate mistakes and go to three finals during the Swing and win at least one of the races. That’s our plan right now. This is really the beginning of the championship chase, at Seattle, and we need to keep performing like we have, except maybe go one round better and collect some wins.”
NHRA Northwest Nationals
The NHRA Northwest Nationals is scheduled to take place July 911 at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash. Two hours of qualifying coverage will air on Saturday, July 10, beginning at 10 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD. Two hours of eliminations coverage will air on Sunday, July 11, beginning at 11:30 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD. For more information on the NHRA, log on to http://www.nhra.com.