Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson considers Bristol Dragway his home track, yet the facility has failed to provide Johnson a “home court” advantage. Despite his best efforts, the Greeneville, TN, native has been denied a visit to the winner’s circle in the NHRA’s annual visit to the Tennessee quarter-mile. Johnson will try to solve the Bristol puzzle once and for all this weekend at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, scheduled for May 1517.
Johnson and his J&J Racing team, led by co-crew chiefs Mark Ingersoll and Jeff Perley and Mopar HEMI engine builder Roy Johnson, Allen’s father, have been putting in the time needed to change their fortunes. The Greeneville, TN-based team spent two days of testing in Bristol last week, searching for the key to put Allen over the hump. Johnson also took part in a media luncheon promoting the NHRA Bristol event last week in which the subject of his home track woes was raised.
“At the press conference we were talking about my Bristol record,” said Johnson. “Somebody asked if I knew why I haven’t had any luck at Bristol, and what I could do to change it. I said, ‘Let’s go around the room and ya’ll can tell me some stuff to try.’ I think this is going to be our break through year at Bristol, though.”
Johnson found encouragement at the previous NHRA event near St. Louis, where he once again qualified in the top half of the cutthroat NHRA Pro Stock field, taking the No. 5 spot. Johnson feels he can better that performance, both in qualifying and on Sunday, at Bristol.
“Yeah, we’ve got everybody working well,” said Johnson. “I feel like I’ve got the monkey off my back. We’re just going to go in with a great attitude and all the confidence in the world to try and qualify No. 1 to win this race.”
Competed in his 300th race at the previous event in St. Louis
Currently sixth in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock point standings
Advanced to the finals and scored a runner-up finish at the NHRA Gatornationals earlier this year
Has a 7-7 round win record thus far in 2009
Qualified No. 3 at each of the first three events of 2009
Finished seventh in the 2008 NHRA Pro Stock standings
One of only 10 drivers to qualify for the 2008 NHRA Countdown to 1 six-race playoffs
Has qualified for the Countdown to 1 in each of the first two years since the NHRA adopted the playoff format
Powered to three No. 1 Qualifier Awards in 2008
Has six career No. 1 Qualifier Awards
Made eight 2008 semifinal appearances
Posted two straight runner-up finishes at Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals and Schuck’s Auto Supply NHRA Nationals in July 2008
Racked up a 28-24 round win record in 2008
Won the K&N Horsepower Challenge bonus event [June 2008 NHRA stop in Norwalk, Ohio] recorded a perfect .000 reaction time
Has 15 career final round appearances
Finished a career-best fourth in the 2007 NHRA Pro Stock points standings
One of only four Pro Stock drivers to qualify for the inaugural 2007 NHRA Countdown to 1 playoff
Recorded five career wins
NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
The NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals is scheduled to take place May 1517 at Bristol Dragway. Two hours of qualifying coverage will air on Saturday, May 16 beginning at 6 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD. Eliminations coverage will air on Sunday, May 17 from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD. For more info on NHRA, log on to http://www.nhra.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 1960’sthe 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.
Today, Chrysler LLC’s Parts division is responsible for the distribution of nearly 350,000 authentic Mopar replacement parts, components and accessories for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles sold around the world. To assure quality, reliability and durability, all Mopar parts and accessories are designed in strict adherence to Chrysler engineering standards.