Team Mopar NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson has tasted victory in the past at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, OH, winning the K&N Horsepower Challenge in 2008 and banking the special event’s $50,000 bonus. Johnson is hoping to go 2-for-2 at Norwalk this weekend, with a K&N Horsepower Challenge victory on Saturday and main-event win on Sunday at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, scheduled for June 2427.
The Greeneville, TN, native, currently second in the NHRA Pro Stock standings, is one of the hottest drivers on the circuit, with two runner-up finishes, eight semifinal appearances in 12 events and two No. 1 Qualifier Awards, including one last week at his home track of Bristol Dragway. Following a positive weekend on his “home court ,” where he advanced to the semifinals in his Mopar Dodge Avenger, Johnson feels he can deliver his first event win of the year at Norwalk, with a Saturday K&N victory to boot.
“We sure got a lot of attention at Bristol. I think we were on the front page of every newspaper in Tennessee,” said Johnson. “We’ve got the momentum coming out of Bristol and we’re going to carry it right into Norwalk and win the race, but also try to win the K&N Horsepower Challenge. It’s special to me; K&N is an awesome company. I’ve still got a little bur under my saddle from not doubling up back in ’08. I had the best car on Sunday that year, but I was late on the tree. I’m going to make up for it this week, get the snowball rolling and win us some races.”
Johnson’s father and J&J Racing engine builder, Roy Johnson, will return to focusing solely on maintaining his son’s Mopar HEMI engines at the Norwalk event following an amazing comeback outing behind the wheel last weekend at Bristol. Roy Johnson ended a nearly 30-year retirement from racing by driving his Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak car to the No. 2 spot in qualifying, earning a berth in the Stock Eliminator semifinals and just missing a final-round appearance on a red-light loss. Roy’s Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak car was also honored by the NHRA with the Best Appearing Car award at Bristol.
“I don’t think he wants to race that much, maybe two or three events a year, at places close to home, like Bristol, Atlanta or Charlotte,” said Allen Johnson of his father. “He didn’t miss a beat, though. He went out there and battled the big boys and took out two or three of them, a couple who had won national events in Stock Eliminator. It was a dream weekend for us, and it added 20 years to his life, I think. The guys at the J&J Racing shop said Dad can be a little crusty now and then, he’s so focused on making horsepower, but he smiled more last weekend than he smiled in a year combined.”
The NHRA Norwalk event is the closest to the headquarters of Mopar, Allen Johnson’s primary sponsor for the majority of his professional racing career. The father-and-son duo expects a large cheering section from Mopar’s Auburn Hills, MI, home base to attend the race this weekend.
“We’ll be tickled to death to visit with Mopar representatives at the race,” said Allen Johnson. “Hopefully we can show off for ’em a little bit, qualify No. 1, win the K&N Challenge and the main event on Sunday, and enjoy a big weekend heading into the Western Swing.”