Mopar Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson took a break from his usual straight-line racing endeavors for a foray into road course action during the Dodge Viper Cup stop at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA, on Sept. 1012. The NHRA star adjusted well to the new racing discipline, earning two top-ten finishes in his road course racing debut.
Johnson, currently second in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship Pro Stock playoffs standings, drove his No. 52 Mopar Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR-X to an impressive sixth-place finish in the first Dodge Viper Cup event at Pocono on Saturday, Sept. 11, with a best lap time of 1:27.732. One of two celebrity drivers at the event, Johnson had to deal with a rain-soaked, puddle-filled track in qualifying for the 20-lap Sunday Pocono race. Johnson qualified ninth and battled through the unfamiliar conditions to move up one spot and post an eighth-place result in the finale, with a best lap time of 1:27.463.
“This weekend was absolutely awesome,” said Johnson, who had only one practice session with Dodge Viper Cup celebrity driver program manager Cindi Lux prior to the Pocono event. “It was so much fun, yet it was so physically demanding. Every inch of my body was soaked in sweat and my muscles just ached. I think I’m in pretty good shape, but I went back to my hotel and collapsed on the bed after the event.
“I haven’t really encountered anything that I’m afraid to push to the limit. You have to push these cars so hard into the turn, and I found myself saying, ‘I don’t think I should push this any farther.’ It was a fun and challenging experience. I hung with some of the fast cars for the first eight laps or so on Sunday before I fell back a little. Next time, I plan to come out and be even more competitive.
“I would like to thank all the Dodge Viper Cup drivers for being so helpful, and Cindi and Fred Lux, the celebrity driver program managers, for being so supportive. The Dodge Viper Cup is a great series, and I’m glad Gary Johnson and all the folks at Dodge Motorsports included me in this event. I positively want to drive in another race, maybe even this year.”
Keith Verges came from dead-last to win the Saturday Dodge Viper Cup race, with Ben Keating earning the win in the Sunday event. The Sept. 11 Pocono event will be broadcast on Versus on Sunday, Oct. 10 at 3:30 p.m. (ET). The Sept. 12 Pocono event will be broadcast on Versus on Sunday, Oct. 17 at 3:30 p.m. (ET).
The Dodge Viper Cup is a ten-race spec series featuring the new Dodge Viper ACR-X the ultimate special-edition model of America’s ultimate sports car. A contingency program sponsored by Dodge Motorsports and Mopar will pay out more than $200,000 during the 2010 season. Payouts for each race are in cash and Mopar vouchers come as credit toward purchase of Mopar parts and accessories.
The next Dodge Viper Cup event takes place Oct. 23 at Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, UT. For more information on the series, visit http://www.viperheadquarters.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.