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Top 10 Mopar Moments of '11
#5 - Mopar-Powered Nobile Makes History as Youngest Winner in Pro Stock.

Mopar HEMI®-powered Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock driver Vincent Nobile will forever have a special place in his heart for Royal Purple Raceway near Houston, Texas. The 19-year-old rookie captured his first career win at the venue on May 1, defeating Rodger Brogdon in the final round of the NHRA Spring Nationals to become the youngest winner in the 41-year history of the Pro Stock class.

Nobile, competing with Mopar HEMI engines supplied by Allen Johnson’s J&J Racing team, used a reaction time of .007 to earn his first Pro Stock victory. The New York native and Mountain View Dodge driver scored a holeshot win with a 6.625-second pass at 209.72 mph to beat Brogdon’s 6.624/208.78 run in a photo finish. Nobile’s margin of victory was approximately six inches.

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19-year-old Mopar-powered driver Vincent Nobile became the youngest event winner in the 41-year history of the Pro Stock class with his victory on May 1 at the NHRA Spring Nationals near Houston.


Top 10 Mopar Moments of '11
#9 - Allen Johnson Wins All-Mopar Final at Englishtown.

Allen Johnson defeated Vincent Nobile in an all-Mopar final round to earn his ninth career win in 22 final-round appearances during the 42nd Annual NHRA Supernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. on June 5.

Johnson won at the starting line, as Nobile, who also competes with Mopar HEMI® engines supplied by Roy Johnson, Allen’s father, fouled out on a red-light start by a mere 0.006-seconds. Allen Johnson, owner and driver of the J&J Racing Mopar Dodge Avenger, turned in a pass of 6.689-seconds at 210.64 mph with a reaction time of 0.013 in the final round. The matchup marked the first all-Mopar Dodge final in Pro Stock since the Fall 2009 Las Vegas event (Larry Morgan vs. Rickie Jones).

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Allen Johnson (near lane) claimed his first NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock win of the season at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. on June 5 over fellow Mopar-powered Pro Stocker Vincent Nobile (far lane).


Team Mopar Driver Johnson Advances to Semis at NHRA Finals, Takes Fourth in Pro Stock Standings.

Mopar® Dodge Avenger NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson advanced to the semifinals on Sunday, Nov. 13 in the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, moving up to fourth in the final NHRA Pro Stock standings and tying his best career finish in points.

Johnson ended the year with one victory, three runner-up finishes, three No. 1 Qualifier awards and a 28-21 round win record. The Team Mopar veteran finished in the top 10 in the standings for the ninth time in his career.

"It was a strong ending to the year, with two finals and a semis appearance in the last three races," said Johnson, who completed his 16th year behind the wheel of a Mopar-powered Dodge Pro Stock car.

Johnson, the No. 9 qualifier, dodged a bullet in the first round in a Mopar vs. Mopar fight with rookie sensation and No. 8 starter Vincent Nobile, who competes with Mopar HEMI® engines supplied by Johnson’s J&J Racing team. Johnson shook the tires and slowed shortly after launching to record a 12.493-second elapsed time at 71.35 mph and watched Nobile cross the line first, but the win light went to Johnson as Nobile left the starting line too soon, losing on a red-light foul.

Johnson was much stronger in his quarterfinals duel with No. 1 Qualifier Mike Edwards, posting a 6.603/210.57 run to the 6.634/189.20 effort of Edwards, who also red-lighted. The pass gave Johnson lane choice against Greg Stanfield in the semis. A.J. had Stanfield beat as far as the 1,000-ft mark down track, but his Mopar Dodge got out of the groove and drifted towards the centerline. Johnson almost corrected it, but was forced to lift, posting a losing 6.737/177.46 effort to Stanfield’s 6.609/209.23 run.

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Allen Johnson, shown above in action in his Mopar Dodge Avenger, reached the semifinals of the season-ending 47th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals on Sunday, Nov. 13 at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Pomona, Calif.


Mopar® and Four-Time NHRA Pro Stock Champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. Join Forces.

Mopar® recently announced at the 2011 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas that four-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. will join the Team Mopar roster in 2012, campaigning a new Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock class.

"Jeg Jr. is a proven winner, with four Pro Stock championships on his résumé," said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand. "We are thrilled to add an elite driver to Team Mopar, and we look forward to sharing in his great success at the drag strip next season."

"I’m extremely excited to join forces with Mopar in 2012," said Jeg Jr., the only racer in the history of the NHRA to win a national event in six different classes. "The entire Coughlin Brothers Racing team has high expectations for the 2012 season and we expect to field a premier program with our Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger team, from top to bottom.

"When we pull through the gates at Pomona for the NHRA Winternationals (the 2012 season-opening event), with the lofty goals we’ve set for ourselves, we expect to have a car that can qualify on the pole and win on Sunday. I believe the Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge will be able to fire some shots off the bow immediately."

The announcement marks a return to the Pro Stock class by Jeg Jr. after a one-year hiatus. It’s also a return to the Mopar fold for the 40-year-old Delaware, Ohio native, who has a long history with the brand. Jeg Jr. captured the 2004 U.S. Nationals Mopar HEMI® Challenge event win driving a 1968 Plymouth Barracuda, raced a Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge Pro Stock car during the 2005 NHRA season and currently owns and occasionally competes in Sportsman events in a Mopar Challenger Drag Pak.

"I have a number of firsts involving Mopar," said Jeg Jr. "My first car was a 1983 Dodge Charger. One of my first jobs as a teenager at our JEGS business was to organize the warehouse and create space for a brand that was expanding its parts line – the Mopar Direct Connection brand.

"The passion I’ve witnessed in the folks I’ve dealt with at Mopar and Chrysler Group is second-to-none. Their enthusiasm and excitement is a big reason this program came together, and that passion is something that will fuel our team next year."

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Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand (left) and four-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. (right) at the unveiling of the 2012 Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger at SEMA.

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The Mopar Dodge Avenger that four-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. will drive in 2012, on display recently at the SEMA show in Las Vegas.

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Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand (center) with Team Mopar drivers Allen Johnson (left) and Jeg Coughlin Jr. (right).


Johnson Reaches Pro Stock Final in Las Vegas, Moves into Top Five in Standings.

Allen Johnson steered his Mopar® Dodge Avenger NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock car to a runner-up finish on Sunday, Oct. 30 in the 11th Annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, advancing to his second-straight final, fourth of the season and 25th of his career. The second-place result moved Johnson to fifth in the Pro Stock standings, just six markers out of the fourth spot.

Johnson, the No. 3 qualifier, faced off with Greg Stanfield in the opening stanza. Johnson’s Mopar Dodge proved too much for Stanfield, with the HEMI®-fueled driver posting a 6.648-second elapsed time at 207.56 mph to Stanfield’s 6.699/206.76 mark.

In the quarterfinals Johnson knocked off Larry Morgan with a 6.680/207.56 pass to his opponent’s 6.716/206.83 mark to capture the 250th round win of his career. Johnson lacked lane choice in his semifinals matchup with Jason Line, but took the win over the newly-crowned 2011 NHRA Pro Stock champ with a 6.674/207.53 run after Line pushed the "Tree" too far and red-lighted. The Greeneville, Tenn. native’s run ended in the final, where again lacking lane choice Johnson fell, recording a 6.668/208.01 run to his foe Mike Edwards’ winning 6.641/208.30 effort.

"I feel really good about my team, my car, my driving, just the whole package right now," said Johnson, who advanced to his first career final at Vegas. "Mike (Edwards) has a little performance advantage right now, and we’ve got to even that up, but overall it was a great weekend. We moved up a spot in the standings, and hopefully we can move up even more at Pomona, go to our third straight final and get the win."

Fellow Mopar-powered Pro Stock drivers Vincent Nobile and V. Gaines both fell in the opening round at Las Vegas.

Nobile is currently fourth in the point standings, with Johnson fifth as just one race remains in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Next up for the Mopar-powered NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series competitors is the 47th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, Nov. 10–13 at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.

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Allen Johnson, shown above in action (near lane), reached the final at Las Vegas, moving into the top five in points, in addition to picking up the 250th career round-win of his career during the event.


Team Mopar Driver Johnson Competes in Dodge Viper Cup Event at Daytona.

Team Mopar® NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson competed in the season-ending Dodge Viper Cup championship on Saturday, Oct. 22 and Sunday, Oct. 23 at Daytona International Speedway, as a celebrity driver. Ben Keating and Kuno Wittmer split wins at the famed race course to wrap up the 10-race 2011 campaign.

Johnson took the wheel of a Mopar-powered Dodge Viper ACR-X owned by Cindi Lux for both races of the two-day weekend. The native of Greeneville, Tenn. finished second in the celebrity class in the opener and was 14th overall on the track in just his third-ever start on a road course.

In the finale, Johnson moved up a couple of spots and finished 12th overall. The second generation driver will shift his sights back to the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series this coming weekend, with a stop in Las Vegas for the penultimate event of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

Keating was awarded the win in the opener, after his teammate Dominik Farnbacher was disqualified in post-race inspection. Farnbacher jumped to a quick lead at the start, but Keating closed in by the completion of the first lap one. The two drivers built a comfortable margin back to A.J. Morgan, who was closely pursued by Jeff Courtney, who finished third.

Kuno Wittmer emerged as the leader in the finale, following a wild first couple of laps that saw contact between several of the front runners, forcing a number of drivers to the pit area for repairs. Wittmer would hold off a late race charge by Craig Stanton to pick up with win, with Courtney in third.

Keating finished 15th, to wrap up the Dodge Viper Cup championship, after an early race pit stop to change a flat tire. For more information on the Dodge Viper Cup championship visit http://www.viperheadquarters.com.

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Allen Johnson, shown above in action, competed as a celebrity driver in the final two rounds of the 2011 Dodge Viper Cup championship at Daytona International Speedway in a Mopar-powered Dodge Viper ACR-X.

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Ben Keating (shown above) was crowned the 2011 Dodge Viper Cup champion at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 23.


Nobile Wins All-Mopar Final over Johnson in Phoenix.

It was an all-Mopar® Pro Stock final-round in the 27th Annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Ariz. near Phoenix on Sunday, as NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series teammates Allen Johnson and Vincent Nobile faced off, with Nobile earning the third win of his rookie season.

Johnson opened the event, which was the fourth round of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs, as the No. 6 qualifier, dispatching Greg Stanfield in the opening round with a pass of 6.653-seconds at 209.59 mph, coupled with a 0.020-second reaction time to his opponent’s 6.661/207.88. Johnson downed fellow Mopar-powered Pro Stocker V. Gaines in the quarterfinals with a run of 6.664/209.20. The semifinals pitted the native of Greeneville, Tenn. against Roger Brogdon, with Johnson using a 6.662/209.36 to move into the final against Nobile.


Nobile, the No. 8 qualifier, downed Larry Morgan in the opening frame, before defeating Mike Edwards in the quarters and Erica Enders in the semis, to advance to his fifth final-round of the season and second against Johnson.

Nobile got off the line first against Johnson with a 0.009-second reaction time, followed by a 6.678/208.30 number to defeat the Team Mopar veteran, who ran a quicker 6.655/209.49, with a slightly slower 0.034-second reaction time. For Nobile, it was the third win of his rookie season in a Mopar-powered Dodge Avenger.

"This is amazing," said Nobile. "We’ve struggled at the last couple of races and coming here, we knew we needed to pull together and get ourselves back on track. I knew we could do it and we proved it today. The team supplied me with a fast car, and I did my job. It just proves that if you keep your head up that you can win races."

Nobile is currently third in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs with two races remaining, while Johnson is sixth.

Next up for the Mopar-powered NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series competitors is the 11th Annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Oct. 27–Oct. 30.

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Vincent Nobile (above) earned his third win of the season in a Mopar-powered Dodge Avenger at Firebird International Raceway on Sunday, Oct. 16.

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Vincent Nobile (near lane) was victorious over his teammate Allen Johnson (far lane) in the 27th NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway.


Johnson Exits in Pro Stock First Round at Reading in Round Three of Playoffs.

The third round of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs took Mopar® NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson to Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa., near Reading, with the veteran falling in the first round on Sunday, Oct. 2.

Johnson, the No. 13 qualifier, faced off with Greg Anderson in the opening frame. The native of Greeneville, Tenn. got off the line first with a 0.018-second reaction time to his opponent’s 0.069-second reaction time. Severe tire shake forced Johnson to abort the run, thus ending his day.

Fellow Mopar-powered Pro Stocker Vincent Nobile, the No. 15 qualifier, used a starting line advantage to launch first against Ronnie Humphrey, though the rookie also had his pass cut short with a problem in the first round.

V. Gaines in his Mopar-fueled machine turned in an opening round run of 6.597-seconds at 210.05 mph, with a reaction time of 0.039-seconds, falling to his opponent Rodger Brogdon, who ran a 6.542/210.64, with a nearly perfect 0.001-second reaction time.

Next up for the Mopar-powered NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series competitors is the 27th Annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Ariz. near Phoenix, Oct. 14–Oct. 16.

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Allen Johnson, shown above in action, at the 27th Annual NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa., near Reading on Sunday, Oct. 2.


Johnson Bows Out in Pro Stock First Round at Dallas.

Team Mopar® NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson debuted a new car in the second round of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs, on Sunday, Sept. 25 during the 26th Annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, falling in the opening round.

Johnson, the No. 6 qualifier in his Mopar Dodge Avenger, was matched up against Kurt Johnson (no relation) in the opening frame. The native of Greeneville, Tenn. turned in a pass of 6.622-seconds at 209.69 mph with a reaction time of 0.066-seconds, while Kurt Johnson edged him with a 6.625/208.46 coupled with a starting line advantage of 0.027-seconds.

Mopar-powered rookie Pro Stocker Vincent Nobile also fell in the first round. Nobile, who was the No. 4 qualifier, faced Steve Kent in the first round, running a 6.663/208.49 with a 0.020-second reaction time to his opponent’s 6.646/207.66 with a 0.007-second reaction time. Fellow Mopar-fueled driver V. Gaines bowed out in the opening stanza to Greg Stanfield.

Johnson is currently seventh in the Pro Stock standings, following the second round of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs, with Nobile fifth. Next up for the Mopar-powered NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series competitors is the 27th Annual NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa., near Reading., Sept. 29–Oct. 2.

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Allen Johnson, shown above in action, is seventh in the standings following the second round of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs.


Team Mopar Driver Johnson Exits in First Round in Playoff Opener at Charlotte.

Team Mopar® Dodge Avenger driver Allen Johnson opened the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship playoffs with a first round exit on Sunday, Sept. 18 at zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C.

The native of Greeneville, Tenn. was the No. 3 qualifier, matching up against Greg Stanfield in the first round. Johnson got off the line with a strong 0.020-second reaction time, though severe tire shake right at the start ended his day in the opening frame. Fellow Mopar-powered Pro Stocker driver V. Gaines also bowed out in the first round.

Vincent Nobile, the No. 10 qualifier, used a 0.007-second reaction time coupled with a 6.558-second pass at 211.20 mph to down Larry Morgan to advance to the quarterfinals. In the quarters, Nobile got off the line first with a 0.011-second reaction time against Shane Gray. The rookie sensation ran a 6.575/210.57 to his opponent’s 6.594/209.20.

Nobile was matched up with Kurt Johnson in the semifinals and again had a nearly perfect reaction time, leaving the line in 0.004-seconds. Nobile’s pass of 6.586/210.87 was not quite enough to hold off Johnson, who tracked him down with a slightly quicker 6.550/209.82.

Allen Johnson is currently sixth in the Pro Stock standings following the first round of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs, with Nobile third. Next up for the Mopar-powered NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series competitors is the 26th Annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, Sept. 22–25.

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Allen Johnson, shown above in action, is currently sixth in the Pro Stock standings, following the opening round of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs.


Team Mopar Driver Johnson Ready for NHRA Countdown to the Championship Playoffs.

With 16 regular season events in the books, the post-season is here for Mopar® Dodge Avenger NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson, as the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs begin with the NHRA Nationals at zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C., Sept. 15–18.

Johnson opens the six-race shootout as the No. 6 seed, following a consistent regular season in which the Team Mopar driver scored a win at Englishtown, N.J. and advanced to at least the semifinals in four events. The second generation driver starts the post-season 70 points out of the top spot, as he chases his first NHRA Pro Stock title. With his birth this year in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs, Johnson has now qualified for the post-season all five seasons since the format was adopted.

"We’re going in the right direction heading into the Countdown," said Johnson. "The main thing is that we have to be consistent with our Mopar Dodge Avenger. We were consistent going into Indy, but not quite fast enough. Our main goal is to be consistent and not make any mistakes. We’ve tested a ton at Charlotte recently to be ready, so we need to have a good first race."

The native of Greeneville, Tenn. advanced to the second round of the Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte in April, and has reached the semis in two of his five career appearances at the state-of-the-art venue. Johnson has qualified in the top half of the field three times at Charlotte and has been one of the fastest drivers this season, with three No. 1 Qualifier awards and starts among the top half of the field in 15 of 16 events. Johnson was the top qualifier in each of the last four races of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs last season.

"We really enjoy the Countdown," noted Johnson. "It was created to bring excitement for the fans and I think it does exactly that. We have proven that we are one of the big boys year after year by making the Countdown, and this year is no exception. We are very focused heading into it and have one goal, and that is to win a championship."

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Allen Johnson, shown above, will open the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs this weekend in the No. 6 position, as he chases his first title.


Team Mopar Driver Johnson Reaches Semifinals at Indy.

Team Mopar® driver Allen Johnson advanced to the semifinals of the 57th Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Ind. in his Mopar Dodge Avenger on Monday, Sept. 5.

Johnson qualified No. 4 and took out defending event champion Greg Stanfield in the opening stanza with a 6.589-second pass at 209.39 mph coupled with a solid .017 reaction time off the starting line, in comparison to his opponent’s 6.623/208.39 effort. The Team Mopar veteran next ended Ronnie Humphrey’s day with a 6.582/209.79 run to his opponent’s 6.570/210.70 pass.

Johnson, in his fifth career U.S. Nationals semifinals, had lane choice in his matchup against Jason Line. The Greeneville, Tenn. native absolutely blistered the starting tree, recording a near-perfect .003 reaction time to Line’s .043 mark. In the end Johnson’s 6.612/209.43 run wasn’t enough to hold off Line at the top end, who posted a winning 6.550/210.08.

"We’re very encouraged at how the Mopar Dodge performed today and yesterday," said Johnson, who will start sixth in the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs, his fifth straight playoffs appearance. "We changed the car around after doing all that shaking on Friday and Saturday. We’ll take this and build on it as we prepare for the first race in the Countdown to the Championship at Charlotte."

Mopar-powered Dodge Pro Stock rookie Vincent Nobile exited in the quarterfinals on a red-light loss to Mike Edwards. HEMI®-fueled compatriot V. Gaines bowed out in the first round. Nobile will also join Johnson in the Pro Stock Countdown playoffs, in the No. 4 position.

Next up for the Mopar-powered NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series competitors is the 4th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, Sept. 15–18 at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.

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Allen Johnson, shown above in action, during the 57th Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Ind.


Johnson Looks to Wrap up Regular Season with Momentum at U.S. Nationals.

One race remains for NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson before the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs begin, and the Mopar® Dodge Avenger driver is seeking to build momentum to carry into the six-race shootout as he chases his first title. Johnson will get his chance at the final regular season event, the 57th Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Ind., Aug. 31–Sept. 5.

Johnson was the No. 2 qualifier last season at the U.S. Nationals, advancing to the semifinals for the fourth time in his career at Indy. He first reached the semis at the 2002 event, with back-to-back appearances in the semifinals in 2005 and 2006. The Team Mopar veteran claimed the top spot in qualifying at the U.S. Nationals in 2008 and has been among the four fastest drivers in qualifying at the event in each of the last four years. The second generation driver has garnered three No. 1 Qualifier awards this season and has lined up in the top half of the field in 14 of 15 starts.

"I always love going to Indy," said Johnson. "It’s a great race and a landmark event. We aim to do well there every year. We’ve run pretty strong there over the years and have been to the semifinals several times. We need to treat it like the Countdown has already started. We have to be fast right out of the box in our first qualifying run and have the car right."

Johnson is currently sixth in the Pro Stock standings heading into the U.S. Nationals, with the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs kicking off in two weeks. The top-10 drivers will have their points reapportioned to reflect their spot in the standings before the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs begin.

"Our goal still is to move up in points," said the native of Greeneville, Tenn. "That was our goal going into Brainerd as well, and we stubbed our toe there. We want to be in a good position when the Countdown begins and we are going to do some testing before Indy to work on our consistency and fine tune our Mopar Dodge Avenger."

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Allen Johnson, shown above in action, heads into the 57th Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals sixth in the Pro Stock standings with one race remaining before the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs begin.


Johnson Reaches Quarters in Pro Stock at Brainerd.

Team Mopar® NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson advanced to the quarterfinals of the 30th Annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 21.

Johnson, the No. 7 qualifier, opened eliminations against Ronnie Humphrey, using a run of 6.618-seconds at 208.94 mph with a reaction time of 0.037 to his opponent’s 6.643/207.21 mark with a 0.199-second reaction time to move to the quarterfinals.

In the quarters, Johnson paired off with Greg Anderson. Johnson got off the line first with a 0.021-second reaction time, running a 6.611/209.43, with Anderson tracking him down with a 6.580/209.33 pass coupled with a reaction time of 0.031 to take the win.

Rookie sensation Vincent Nobile reached the semifinals at Brainerd. Nobile was victorious in the opening round against fellow Mopar–powered Pro Stocker V. Gaines. In the quarters Nobile used a pass of 6.624/208.84 and a reaction time of 0.017 to dispatch Mike Edwards, who fouled out on a red light.

Nobile was matched up with Anderson in the semis, and got off the line first with a reaction time of 0.023, followed by a run of 6.640/207.85. Anderson chased down Nobile to win with a 6.600/208.68 effort.

Johnson is currently sixth in the NHRA Pro Stock standings, while Nobile is fourth, with one race remaining before the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs begin. Next up for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is the 57th Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Ind., Aug 31–Sept. 5.

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Allen Johnson, shown in action above, advanced to the quarterfinals of the 30th Annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 21.


Johnson No. 1 Qualifer at Sonoma; Advances to Quarterfinals.

Team Mopar® Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson was the No. 1 Qualifier at the 24th Annual Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway for the second straight year, setting a new track record of 6.538-seconds at 211.58 mph. For Johnson, it was his third No. 1 qualifying position of the season and the 18th of his career, and the second consecutive Pro Stock track record that Johnson has set, following a record-setting run at the previous event, the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.

The Team Mopar veteran would reach the quarterfinals in eliminations on Sunday, July 31, moving up to fifth in points, as he continues to close in on a spot in the Countdown to the Championship. Johnson was paired against fellow Mopar-powered Pro Stocker V. Gaines in the first round at Sonoma. The native of Greenville, Tenn. used a run of 6.563-second elapsed time (ET) at 210.50 mph with a reaction time of 0.20 seconds to move on to the quarterfinals.

Johnson was matched up against Jason Line in the quarters, running a very solid 6.569/210.73 with a reaction time of 0.018 to his opponent’s 6.564/210.34 with a reaction time of 0.023. Line edged Johnson by 0.0003 second, which was approximately one inch on the track.

Vincent Nobile, who was the No. 11 qualifier, downed Ronnie Humphrey in the opening round with a pass of 6.581/210.24, coupled with a reaction time of 0.046 seconds, before falling to Erica Enders in the quarterfinals.

Johnson is currently just 37 points behind Nobile, who is fourth, with three races remaining before the Countdown to the Championship begins. Next up for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is the 24th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash., Aug. 5–7.

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Allen Johnson is currently fifth in NHRA Pro Stock points with three races remaining until the Countdown to the Championship begins.


Johnson Advances to Final Round at Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.

Mopar® Dodge Avenger Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson advanced to his fifth straight final at Bandimere Speedway on Sunday, July 24 in the 32nd Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.

Johnson qualified No. 1 for the second straight year at his primary sponsor Mopar’s headline event and faced Steve Kalkowski in the opening round. Johnson posted a 6.962-second elapsed time (ET) at 198.06 mph to beat Kalkowski, which was low ET of the weekend — until the Team Mopar veteran set the Bandimere ET track record with a 6.955 run paired with a 198.15 speed to knock off defending Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson.

Looking for this third straight Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals win, Johnson bested Kurt Johnson (no relation) in the semifinals with a 6.988/197.48 pass to advance to the 23rd final round of his career and sixth at the Mopar Mile-Highs. Without lane choice in the final round against opponent Mike Edwards, the Mopar HEMI®-powered racer would see his quest for four wins in the last five years end with a red-light foul off the starting line. Johnson’s stellar runner-up weekend at Denver moved the Greeneville, Tenn. native to sixth in the standings, just four markers out of fifth place.

"The whole Mopar/J&J Racing team was strong, and we have to be happy with our performance," said Johnson, who joined NHRA legend Lee Shepherd as the only Pro Stock drivers to advance to five consecutive final rounds at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals. "One little boo-boo all weekend, in the semis, and it cost us lane choice and the race. But five straight finals, three wins in five years — I just love coming to the Mopar Mile-High Nationals. It’s great to rub elbows with all the folks from Mopar who help us and support us all year long.

"We’re getting our groove on right now. The Mopar Dodge is working great, the motors are running great. This was an awesome way to start the Western Swing. We’ll see if we can go to two more finals at Sonoma and Seattle and end the trip well into the top-five in points."

Mopar HEMI-powered No. 2 Pro Stock qualifier and Lakewood, Colo. native V. Gaines advanced as far as the quarterfinals before falling to Larry Morgan on a red light foul. Pro Stock rookie Vincent Nobile exited in a first-round loss at the hands of Kurt Johnson.

Mopar tallied awards in a number of categories at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals. Allen Johnson’s Mopar/J&J Racing crew captured the NHRA Full Throttle Hard Working Crew Award, Steve Johnson’s 1941 Willys took home Best Appearing Car, Johnny Gray’s Dodge Charger R/T team was honored as Best Appearing Crew, and James Caro’s 2010 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak was named Best Engineered Car. Mopar also provided racing fans with a special treat, as NHRA 60th Anniversary legend Shirley Muldowney took the wheel of a 2011 V-10 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak for a demonstration race against Mopar Viper Comp Coupe driver Cindi Lux.

Next up for the Mopar-powered NHRA stars is the FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., July 29–31.

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Team Mopar driver Allen Johnson advanced to the finals of the 32nd Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Natioanls at Bandimere Speedway for the fifth straight year.

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Shirley Muldowney shown above in action (far lane) took the wheel of a 2011 V-10 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak for a demonstration race against Mopar Viper Comp Coupe driver Cindi Lux (near lane) during the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.


Johnson Looks for Three-peat at 32nd Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.

Team Mopar® NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson feels right at home at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo. Johnson is counting the days until the 32nd Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, July 22–24, the flagship event for his primary sponsor, as he attempts to score his third consecutive win and fifth straight final-round appearance at Thunder Mountain.

Johnson has triumphed at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in 2007 and 2009–2010, and scored runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2002. The J&J Racing team owner and driver also notched top qualifying honors at Bandimere Speedway last year, as well as in 2007. The Greeneville, Tenn. native heads to Bandimere with a surplus in the confidence department.

"For years we have tested a lot at Denver and have found a combination that we feel is superior and that really works with the air up there," said Johnson. "I feel like all of that testing is what has made our Mopar Dodge so successful at Bandimere Speedway. Anytime you’ve done well at a track, especially places you have won at it, you go back there with confidence and that helps a lot as well."

Johnson enters the 32nd Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals eighth in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Standings. He was victorious earlier this season in the NHRA SuperNationals at Englishtown, N.J. and was the No. 1 Qualifier at his home track of Bristol Dragway. The Team Mopar veteran has been among the top half of the field in qualifying in 10 of 11 races this season.

"We have a really good race car right now in the Dodge Avenger and these Mopar engines are running great," shared the Team Mopar veteran. "I feel like we should be able to keep things going there. We get to rub elbows with a lot of the Mopar executives that we only get to see a time or two each year at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals, and that adds to the event as well. I get really focused and intense when the Mopar Mile-Highs roll around, and we have very high expectations for the event."

Matt Hagan will sport special Mopar graphics on his Dodge Charger R/T for the second consecutive year at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals. Hagan, who is currently fifth in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car standings, was the No. 1 Qualifier in Funny Car last season at Bandimere Speedway, reaching the semifinals.

"Running in the Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car was huge last year," said Hagan. "We qualified number one. It sparked a lot of interest in us. We had fun with it, especially at the Mopar Big Block Event, along with everything we did with Mopar in the Denver area. We’re glad to be a part of Mopar’s motorsports world."

The 32nd Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals will kick off on Thursday, July 21 from 6 to 10 p.m. (MDT) with the free-admission 10th Annual Mopar Big Block Event, which will transform the quaint streets of downtown Golden, Colo. into one giant Mopar Nation celebration. Highlighting the event will be a Team Mopar autograph session scheduled from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. featuring NHRA stars including Allen Johnson, Matt Hagan, Vincent Nobile, V. Gaines, Jack Beckman, Spencer Massey, Roy Johnson, Judy Lilly and SCCA road-racing star Cindi Lux.

"The Block Party is always a great time and something we really enjoy," said Johnson. "All of the loyal Mopar fans are there and it’s a neat experience. It doesn’t matter how many times you have done it, it’s enjoyable each and every time out there. Many of the Mopar enthusiasts come year after year to the Mile-Highs and it’s the only time we get to see them each year, so we try tomake sure we spend as much time as we can with the fans at the Block Party."

Famed blues-guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd, who will reclaim the keys to a special Dodge 330 built for him by Mopar, will also sign autographs at the event. SpeedFreaks radio hosts Kenny Sargent and Crash Gladys will emcee the proceedings, which will include a Mopar trivia contest where fans may test their knowledge about their favorite Mopar drivers in exchange for Mopar prizes. The Mopar Big Block Event will also feature a "Personalization Station," where Mopar technicians will demonstrate the easy installation of select Mopar parts and accessories on to a Dodge Charger. In addition, a Mopar Express Lane exhibit will be on site to spotlight Mopar’s new quick oil-change service.

Mopar race car and display vehicles will line the streets, providing Mopar enthusiasts a glimpse at a variety of high-performance vehicles that perform both on the track and on the street. Mopar clubs from the area will also exhibit their personal rides. Local rock band Rated M will kick out the jams throughout the night, with food and beverages available for purchase at booths manned by local vendors.

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Allen Johnson (above on right) was victorious in the 2010 Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, earning the event win for the second consecutive year and third time in his career. The native of Greeneville, Tennessee has reached the finals of the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals four straight years.

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Matt Hagan will sport special Mopar graphics on his Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car for the second consecutive year at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.

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The 32nd Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals will kick off on Thursday, July 21 from 6 to 10 p.m. (MDT) with the free-admission 10th Annual Mopar Big Block Event, highlighted by a Team Mopar autograph session scheduled from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.


Team Mopar® Driver Johnson Exits in First Round at Joliet.

Team Mopar® NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson exited in the first round of the 14th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., on Sunday, July 10.

Johnson qualified in the No. 8 position, which paired him against Roger Brogdon, the No. 9 qualifier, in the first round. Johnson got off the line first with a reaction time of 0.051 to his opponent’s 0.065, before getting very loose and out of the racing groove, with Brogdon taking the win.

Rookie sensation Vincent Nobile, who uses engines from Johnson’s J&J Racing shop, qualified 10th at Joliet and advanced to the quarterfinals. In the opening round, Nobile downed Greg Stanfield with a run of 6.669-seconds at 207.08 mph with a reaction time of 0.028 seconds to his opponent’s 6.674/206.04 with a nearly identical 0.029 reaction time. Nobile's margin of victory was 0.0064 seconds, which equates to about 21 inches on the track.

Nobile found himself up against Jason Line in the quarters. Nobile got off the line first with a reaction time of 0.035 to Line’s 0.059. The New York native ran a 6.688/206.45 and wound up falling by a mere 0.0040 seconds at the finish line.

Nobile is fourth in the NHRA Pro Stock standings, with Johnson eighth. Next up for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is the 32nd Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, Colo., July 22–24.

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Allen Johnson is currently eighth in the NHRA Pro Stock standings after 11 events. The 32nd Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway are up next for the native of Greeneville, Tennessee, July 22–24.


Johnson Advances to Quarters at Norwalk; Nobile Uses Mopar Power to Score Second Career Win.

Team Mopar® NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson advanced as far as the quarterfinals on Sunday, June 26 at the 5th Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, while his Mopar-powered teammate Vincent Nobile continued to wow the Pro Stock class, capturing his second career win in the fourth final-round appearance thus far of his rookie season.

Johnson, the Mopar Dodge Avenger pilot and No. 8 qualifier, opened eliminations against Greg Anderson, winner of the K&N Horsepower Challenge on Saturday. The Greeneville, Tenn. native gutted out a holeshot win with a 6.629-second pass at 208.59 mph coupled with a .026 reaction time, preventing Anderson (who posted a 6.604/208.52 run with a slower .070 mark off the starting line) from capturing the $25,000 bonus for doubling up at Norwalk. Johnson lacked lane choice in the quarterfinals against Greg Stanfield and was unable to overcome the disadvantage, posting a losing 6.635/208.88 effort to Stanfield’s winning 6.622/208.42 pass.

"We have to be happy with doing what we did with our Mopar Dodge in the first round, and beating the fastest car on the property," said Johnson of defeating Anderson. "We just never quite got a handle on things. We didn’t kill our momentum. We still have a little left, and we’ll try to pick up where we left off with our win at Englishtown and semis run at Bristol, and get on track at Joliet (site of the next NHRA event)."

No. 4 qualifier Nobile, running with Mopar HEMI engines supplied by Allen Johnson’s J&J Racing team in his Dodge Avenger, knocked off Pro Stock legend Warren Johnson with a 6.600/208.33 pass in their opening round fight, then sent home Ronnie Humphrey with a 6.616/208.14 run. Nobile defeated Stanfield with a 6.616/208.26 effort to earn lane choice against Larry Morgan in the final round, where he completed his domination at Summit Motorsports Park with a 6.615/208.26 mark to earn the win.

"My team supplied me with a car that was top-notch this weekend," said the 19-year-old Nobile, who became the youngest winner in the history of the Pro Stock class with his victory at the O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals in May. "I couldn’t have asked for anything more from my team. It’s like a non-stop dream. Roy and Allen Johnson supply me with the best engines out there, Mopar HEMI engines. They work their butts off to give us the best engines each race."

"It’s a testament to how good the Mopar HEMI engine is and to the work we are doing with it," said Roy Johnson of Nobile’s victory.

Mopar-driven Pro Stocker and No. 10 starter V. Gaines exited on a red-light foul after leaving the starting line too soon in his first-round match with Larry Morgan. Nobile moved to third in the point standings following his win, with Johnson seventh in points.

Next up is the 14th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals, July 7–10 at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill.

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Vincent Nobile (above, in front of car) celebrates his win at the 5th Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, on Sunday, June 26.

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The Mopar-powered Nobile, who became the youngest winner in NHRA Pro Stock history earlier this season in the Spring Nationals, shows off his Wally trophy after earning his second win of the season.


Team Mopar Driver Johnson's Bid for Hometown Bristol Win Ends in Semis.

Tennessee native and Mopar® Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson fell short in his quest for a much-desired victory at his home track of Bristol Dragway, running to the semifinals on Sunday, June 19 at the 11th Annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. Johnson advanced to his second straight semifinal at the quarter-mile he calls home, losing to Erica Enders by a margin of approximately five inches.

The crowd favorite and Greeneville, Tenn. native qualified No. 1 at Bristol for the second year in a row, matching up with No. 16 starter Steve Kent in the opening stanza after an hours-long rain delay. Johnson eliminated Kent with a 6.706-second pass at 206.32 mph, coupled with a .034 reaction time, to his opponent’s 6.758/203.61 run and .051 mark off the starting line.

The Team Mopar veteran lacked lane choice in his quarterfinals fight with Jason Line, but it was no matter. Johnson took the win on a 6.679/206.45 effort and .027 reaction time after Line fouled out on a red-light and recorded a slower 6.694/204.63 pass. The stellar run earned A.J. lane choice honors in his semifinals showdown against Erica Enders.

Johnson and Enders engaged in a lengthy staging duel before launching, with Johnson recording a .020 reaction time, not far behind Enders’ .014 mark. Unfortunately, the Team Mopar star’s 6.692/205.41 pass, the quickest and fastest of the session, wasn’t enough to run down Enders on her 6.697/205.26 run.

"We got over against the center line for some reason, and the car got to bouncing and bumping," said Johnson, who matched his career best performance at Bristol with his semifinals showing. "We had it nailed other than that. I don’t know why it moved over there; there must have been something on the track. It definitely got to bouncing, and that’s what beat us.

"We’ve got a really good race car right now. We’re going to be the car to beat, or one of the top two cars to beat, for the rest of the year. You’re going to have breaks like today and get beat by a thousandth of second. That’s just racing. We’re happy. It was a good weekend here at Bristol. We may have that monkey off our back here."

Johnson’s teammate, Vincent Nobile, took out Ronnie Humphrey in the first round, posting a 6.715/204.88 run paired with a scorching .009 reaction time. Nobile barely let up in the quarterfinals with a .012 mark off the starting line anchored to a 6.708/205.19 run, but it wasn’t enough to best Mike Edwards’.010 reaction time and 6.697/205.91 mark. Mopar-powered Dodge Avenger pilot V. Gaines was a bit too quick off the start, bowing out to Ron Krisher in the first round on a red-light foul after he left the starting line too early.

Johnson is seventh in the point standings, with Nobile in fifth. Next up for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is the 5th Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, June 23–26, in Norwalk, Ohio.

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Team Mopar driver Allen Johnson in action at the Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals at his home track of Bristol Dragway in Tennessee.

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Allen Johnson (center) accepts his award for taking the No. 1 Qualifier spot at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.


Team Mopar NHRA Racers Allen and Roy Johnson Enter Bristol Homecoming on a Winning Note.

There’s nothing like coming home a winner.

The J&J Racing/Mopar® Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock team of Allen and Roy Johnson will do just that when they compete in the 11th Annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway, June 17–19. The father-and-son duo and Greeneville, Tenn. natives are fresh off their first win of the season at the NHRA SuperNationals in New Jersey on June 5, and will look to double up at Bristol Dragway, a short one-hour jaunt north from their J&J Racing shop. And for the second year in a row, the Johnsons will both race on Father’s Day weekend.

"Momentum in racing anytime is great, but to have some heading into your home race is even better," said Allen Johnson, who drives the Mopar Dodge Avenger, while his father Roy builds the Mopar HEMI® engines that power the Pro Stock car. "We are really looking forward to heading to Bristol. Hopefully, we can keep it going for Mopar and Dodge and make it two wins in a row.

"There is a lot going on for us during Bristol week. It’s nice to race at home and have a lot of family, friends and employees (Johnson owns and operates Greeneville Oil & Petroleum in his hometown) come to the track. They support us all year, so for them to get out to the track and have some fun with us and see what we do is great. Hopefully, we can put on a good show for them and win some rounds and make it to the final. Bristol is definitely one of the places I want to win at, especially with it being our home track."

Johnson was the No. 1 Qualifier at Bristol last season, with a 6.722-second run at 205.10 mph in his Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge. He has qualified sixth or better in each of his last four visits to Bristol, as he continues to close in on his first win at the venue.

"It would mean a lot to win at Bristol," shared the Team Mopar veteran. "We’ve had some good runs there in the past and have been fast. We qualified in the top spot last year and had trouble in the semis. It would be great to celebrate a win with all of the family and friends that will be in attendance."

In addition to maintaining his son’s Pro Stock engines, Roy Johnson will also compete at Bristol for the second consecutive year in the Stock Eliminator class in his Mopar Challenger Drag Pak car-making Father’s Day weekend that more special for the Johnson clan. Roy Johnson took his Mopar Drag Pak to the semifinals at Bristol last year, after a 30-year layoff from driving.

"It’s always neat to see him out there, and it’s always fun getting to race with him and watching him race," said Allen Johnson. "With it being Father’s Day weekend, we’ll have the whole family there and hopefully both of us can run well. We’ll certainly have a lot of fun and get to visit with a lot of people."

The elder Johnson was the second fastest qualifier in the Stock Eliminator class last year at Bristol with a 10.630-second pass. The 69-year-old stunned the Stock Eliminator field, defeating Mike Moller, Monty Bogan Jr., David Rampy and Tex Miller before losing to Russell Johnson on a red light in the semifinals.

"It will be cool to get to race again," said Roy Johnson. "We’ll be hard-pressed to do as good as we did last year, but I think we’ll be okay. We’ll need a little luck though, that’s probably the biggest thing. I’m very accustomed to the NHRA system and know what they want and what to expect. It’s not like someone who has never been out there or never has raced. I know what to expect right when we pull through the gate."

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Allen Johnson (left) and his father Roy celebrate their recent NHRA Pro Stock win at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.

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Allen Johnson and his father Roy Johnson will spend Father's Day Weekend competing at Bristol Dragway, their home track. Allen will compete in the NHRA Pro Stock class, while Roy will be in action in the Stock Eliminator division.


Allen Johnson Live Fan Web Chat on Friday, June 10 at 12:30 p.m. EDT.

Mopar® Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock Driver Allen Johnson, winner of last week’s NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, in Englishtown, N.J. will take part in a live fan web chat on Friday, June 10 at 12:30 p.m. EDT.

Fans can take part in the live web chat by logging on to http://www.mopar.com/live.

Johnson, who is currently seventh in the NHRA Pro Stock point standings, returns to action next weekend at his home track of Bristol Dragway in Tenn., for the 11th Annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

To interact with Johnson during the live web chat on Friday, June 10 at 12:30 p.m. EDT, visit http://www.mopar.com/live.

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Mopar Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock Driver Allen Johnson will take part in a live fan web chat on Friday, June 10 at 12:30 p.m. EDT. To join in the live fan web chat visit http://www.mopar.com/live.


Allen Johnson Wins All-Mopar NHRA Pro Stock Final at Englishtown.

Mopar® Dodge Avenger NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson earned his first win of the season at the 42nd Annual NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. on Sunday, June 5, defeating teammate Vincent Nobile in an all-Mopar final round to earn his ninth career win in 22 final-round appearances.

Johnson won at the starting line, as Nobile, who also competes with Mopar HEMI® engines supplied by Roy Johnson, Allen’s father, fouled out on a red-light start by a mere 0.006-seconds. Allen Johnson, owner and driver of the J&J Racing Mopar Dodge Avenger, turned in a pass of 6.689-seconds at 210.64 mph with a reaction time of 0.013 in the final round. The matchup marked the first all-Mopar Dodge final in Pro Stock since the Fall 2009 Las Vegas event (Larry Morgan vs. Rickie Jones).

"It feels great to win," said an exuberant Johnson. "We’ve been close this season. This Mopar Dodge Avenger has been fast, and we always have plenty of power with the Mopar HEMI under the hood. We have been taking a different approach this year and have been working into developing a good product with this new chassis. I think we are almost there, but not quite. We are almost where we want to be with six races left until the Countdown. We are still refining things, and continue to work hard each and every day."

"All of us at Mopar are proud of Allen’s performance," said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand. "Having two Mopar-powered Dodge cars in the final round serves as a validation of the power and performance of our Mopar HEMI engines in NHRA competition."

Johnson, the No. 6 qualifier, downed Kurt Johnson (no relation) in the first round with a run of 6.536/211.86 to his opponent’s 6.671/209.43. In the quarterfinals Allen Johnson used a 0.029 reaction time to defeat Erica Enders, recording a run of 6.533/211.23 to Ender’s 6.547/211.36 mark with a 0.031 reaction time. The semifinals found AJ matched up against veteran Greg Stanfield. Johnson’s reaction time of 0.030, followed by a run of 6.555/210.70, helped the Mopar Dodge driver edge Stanfield, who ran a 6.559/210.87 with a reaction time of 0.040.

"It was great to have two Mopar-powered Dodge Avengers in the final, especially with Vincent being the car that we power and help out," said Johnson. "Once again Mopar power has proven it can get the job done, and that’s our recipe for the rest of the season. Earlier in the year, we almost had a couple of final rounds that would have put Vincent and us against each other, so to do that here today, it felt great."

Johnson, who moved up to seventh in the NHRA Pro Stock points after the win on Sunday, will look to carry the momentum from his win into the 11th Annual Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals at Bristol Dragway, his home track, June 17–19. Bristol is just an hour north of the J&J Racing Shop in Greeneville, Tenn., with Johnson seeking his first career win at the venue.

"Momentum in racing anytime is great, but to have some heading into your home race is even better," shared the Team Mopar veteran. "The car is very consistent right now and we can continue to fine tune it and learn things. We are really looking forward to heading to Bristol and hopefully we can keep it going for Mopar and Dodge, and make it two wins in a row."

Next up for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is the 11th Annual Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tenn., June 17–19.

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Allen Johnson celebrates his first NHRA Pro Stock win of the season at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. on Sunday, June 5.

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Allen Johnson goes head-to-head with Vincent Nobile in the finals at Englishtown. Both drivers utilize Mopar-powered engines from Johnson's J&J Racing shop.


Team Mopar Driver Allen Johnson Reaches Quarterfinals at Topeka.

Team Mopar® veteran Allen Johnson advanced to the quarterfinals aboard his Mopar Dodge Avenger Pro Stock car at the 23rd Annual NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka in Kansas on Sunday, May 22.

In four rounds of consistent qualifying at Topeka, Johnson was first, fourth, third and third, setting the top speed of the event at 207.24 mph during his second qualifying attempt. Starting out of the No. 3 spot, Johnson won on a holeshot in the opening round over Larry Morgan with a 0.013-second reaction time and a run of 6.711 seconds at 206.20 mph to Morgan’s 6.706/206.10 effort, coupled with a 0.074 reaction time.

The second round found Johnson facing off against Greg Anderson. The pair got off the starting line with identical 0.023 reaction times, but Anderson edged Johnson at the finish line with a 6.715/204.17 run to Johnson’s 6.762/203.58 mark.

Mopar-powered Vincent Nobile fell to Greg Stanfield in the Pro Stock opening round at Topeka. Nobile, winner of the May 1 NHRA Houston event, ran a 6.718/206.23 with a strong reaction time of 0.015. Unfortunately, Stanfield’s 6.725/205.91 pass and perfect .000 reaction time proved the difference.

Nobile currently is sixth in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock standings, just one point out of the top five, with Johnson in the eighth position after seven of 22 scheduled events. Next up for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is the 42nd Annual NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., June 2–5.

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Allen Johnson is currently eighth in the NHRA Pro Stock standings as he chases his first win of the 2011 season aboard his Mopar Dodge Avenger.


Team Mopar Driver Johnson Advances to Semifinals at Atlanta.

Team Mopar driver Allen Johnson continued to build momentum in the early part of the 2011 campaign, advancing to the semifinals for the first time this season on Sunday at Atlanta Dragway in the 31st Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals.

Johnson began eliminations as the No. 3 qualifier, edging Greg Stanfield in the first round with a pass of 6.605-second/ 209.43 mph to Stanfield’s 6.626-second/208.46 mph. The pair left the line with nearly identical reaction times, with Stanfield having a slight edge 0.023 to 0.025. Johnson used the Mopar-power under the hood of his J&J Racing Avenger to nip Stanfield at the line by about six feet. The Mopar veteran turned in a run of 6.618-second/209.20 mph with a 0.018 reaction time in the second round to down Ronnie Humphrey. Johnson is 4-0 in his career against Humphrey, which put him in the semis.

Johnson found himself against eventual event winner Jason Line in the semifinals. The native of Greeneville, Tenn. got off the line first with a 0.015 reaction time, though severe tire shake caused Johnson to shut his machine down, thus ending his weekend.

Mopar-powered Vincent Nobile, who became the youngest winner in NHRA Pro Stock history at Royal Purple Raceway on May 1, downed Mopar veteran V. Gaines in the first round at Atlanta recording his fastest pass of the weekend at 6.623-second/208.81 mph. In the quarterfinals, Nobile fell to eventual winner Jason Line after red lighting by just 0.001-second.

Nobile is currently tied for fourth in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock points with Johnson gaining a spot to take over the eighth position in the standings. Next up for NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is the 23rd Annual NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka in Topeka, Kan., May 20–22.

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Allen Johnson, in action above aboard his Mopar-powered Avenger, made it to the semifinals of the 31st Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway on Sunday.


Team Mopar Driver Allen Johnson Seeks Second Win at Atlanta.

Mopar Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson returns to action this week at a track that he is very familiar with and at which he has experienced a good amount of success over the years — Atlanta Dragway, site of the 31st Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, May 13–15.

Johnson won at Atlanta in 2002 after qualifying third, claiming the second Pro Stock victory of his career. The Team Mopar veteran has since gone on to claim six more event wins. Last season the native of Greeneville, Tenn., was the top qualifier at the Southern Nationals, setting low elapsed time (ET) of the event with a pass of 6.634-seconds at 208.23 mph.

"It’s close to home," said Johnson, when asked about his past success at Atlanta. "It was our home track for the longest time until Bristol came about. We’ve done a lot of testing down there over the years. We can wait until the last minute to go down there and work on the engines and some development stuff a little longer. We are always pumped and primed when we get to that track."

Prior to heading to Atlanta, Johnson has been involved in relief efforts following the deadly tornadoes that ripped through the South on April 27. Three tornadoes touched down just a couple of miles from his home in Greeneville, Tenn., with seven people losing their lives in the destruction. The community, including Johnson and employees at his business, Greeneville Oil and Petroleum, have banded together since the tragedy to aid in the cleanup.

"We are helping out with the disaster relief as best as we can," said Johnson. "A number of my company employees are helping out with funds and fuel and things like that. We’ll continue to help out as best as we can and wish all those affected nothing but the best."

The 31st Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals is scheduled to take place May 13–15 at Atlanta Dragway in Atlanta, Ga. Two-and-half-hours of qualifying coverage will air on Saturday, May 14 beginning at 7 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD. Three hours of eliminations coverage will air on Sunday, May 15, beginning at 7 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD.

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Allen Johnson, shown above and below aboard his Mopar-powered Dodge Avenger, will look for his second career win at Atlanta Dragway this weekend in the 31st Annual Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals.

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"I feel like we are really close with the Mopar Dodge Avenger," shared Johnson, who was the No. 1 Qualifier at Atlanta last season. "I’ve been driving pretty well and we are right there, I think. We just have to be patient. We could have gone to the finals at Houston with what we ran in that first round, but it was just the wrong draw against the only car that had a better time than us. I’m looking forward to Atlanta, and I think we can go some rounds."


Mopar-Powered Nobile Makes History at Houston, Becomes Youngest Winner in Pro Stock History.

Mopar® HEMI®-powered Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock driver Vincent Nobile will forever have a special place in his heart for Royal Purple Raceway near Houston, Texas. The 19-year-old rookie captured his first career win at the venue on Sunday, May 1, defeating Rodger Brogdon in the final round of the O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals to become the youngest winner in the 41-year history of the Pro Stock class.

Nobile, competing with Mopar HEMI engines supplied by Allen Johnson’s J&J Racing team, used a "James Bond" reaction time of .007 to earn his first Pro Stock victory. The New York native and Mountain View Dodge driver scored a holeshot win with a 6.625-second pass at 209.72 mph to beat Brogdon’s 6.624/208.78 run in a photo finish. Nobile’s margin of victory was approximately six inches.

"It was close, I didn’t even know who won at the stripe," said Nobile, who also defeated Kurt Johnson, Jason Line and Greg Stanfield in his third career final round appearance. "Then everyone was screaming in my ear that we won. It was incredible. It’s crazy how competitive Pro Stock is. Every driver is great out here. There are no easy rounds. I race with a bunch of great people. We are definitely living on a high right now."

Mopar Dodge Avenger driver Allen Johnson bowed out in the opening round, falling to Erica Enders despite leaving the starting line first, with a .015 reaction time to Enders’ .031 mark. Johnson posted a 6.650/209.49 run to Enders’ quicker 6.629/208.97 effort. Dodge Avenger driver V. Gaines also exited in the opening stanza, losing to Mike Edwards.

Nobile is now fourth in the point standings, with Johnson ninth. Next up for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series is the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, May 13–15 at Atlanta Dragway.

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19-year-old Mopar-powered driver Vincent Nobile (above) became the youngest event winner in the 41-year history of the Pro Stock class with his victory on Sunday at the O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals near Houston.

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Nobile celebrates with his Mountain View Dodge Avenger team and Allen Johnson's Mopar Dodge Avenger squad in the winner's circle at Royal Purple Raceway (Johnson is third from right, behind car). Nobile competes with Mopar HEMI engines supplied by Johnson’s J&J Racing shop.


Johnson Moves to Ninth in Standings after NHRA 4-Wide Nationals; Nobile Makes Another Finals Run.

Mopar Dodge Avenger Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson advanced to the second round at the VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA 4-Wide Nationals, moving up one spot to the ninth position in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Standings.

Johnson faced off against Greg Anderson, Kurt Johnson and Ronnie Humphrey in the opening round, crossing the finish line first with a 6.563-second pass at 211.26 mph, coupled with a strong .023 reaction time. In the second round the Team Mopar veteran was coupled with Anderson, Greg Stanfield and Mike Edwards, without lane choice. Johnson left second quickest of the four-car field with a .022 reaction time but came in third, behind Anderson's 6.549/210.93 run and Stanfield's 6.547/211.49 pass.

"I'm tickled to death with the progress we are making," said Johnson. "We've just got to continue down this road, keep making progress, and we'll be okay. We're just working our way towards the front. We gained ground in the points at Vegas, we gained ground here at Charlotte, and by the time the NHRA Countdown playoffs get here, we'll be perfect."

Mopar-powered Pro Stock rookie Vincent Nobile reached his second consecutive final round in just his fourth career start. The Dodge Avenger driver reeled off a 6.560/211.96 run to cross the finish line first in an opening-round face-off with Erica Enders, Roger Brogdon and Mopar-powered V. Gaines, who fouled out on a redlight.

Nobile also passed the timing lights first with a 6.584/210.93 pass in a second-round foursome which included Enders, Dave Connolly and Ron Krisher. Nobile, fifth in the standings, shook shortly after takeoff in the third and final round, but his strong performance helped the rookie gain ground on fourth-place Mike Edwards.

Next up for the Mopar-powered NHRA Pro Stockers is the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals, April 29–May 1 at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston, Texas.

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By advancing to the second round at the VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA 4-Wide Nationals, Mopar Dodge Avenger driver Allen Johnson continued to move up the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock standings. Johnson is now in the ninth position.

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Mopar-powered Dodge Avenger Pro Stock rookie Vincent Nobile (near lane), all of 19-years-old, reached his second consecutive final round in just his fourth career start at the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals.


Team Mopar Driver Johnson Goes to Quarterfinals at Vegas; Nobile Scores First Final-Round Appearance.

For the second time in the first three events of the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, Mopar® Dodge Avenger Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson saw his day end at the hands of teammate and fellow Mopar-powered driver Vincent Nobile. Johnson scored his first round win of the season before falling in the quarterfinals of the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals on Sunday, April 3 to the young Nobile, who went on to record a runner-up finish in his first career final-round appearance.

Johnson qualified No. 3 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in his Mopar Dodge Avenger and had lane choice in his first-round match against Kurt Johnson. Allen posted a 6.713-second elapsed time at 205.41 mph with a .022 reaction time to defeat Kurt Johnson, but lost lane choice for the second round. The rookie Nobile, competing with Mopar HEMI® engines supplied by Allen Johnson’s J&J Racing team, motored to the quarterfinals win with a 6.703/205.85 run paired with a .017 reaction time to AJ’s 6.737/206.29 pass on a .032 reaction time.

"The kid (Nobile) is doing great," said Allen Johnson. "It’s a joy to watch him do well, and it feels good to have our Mopar/J&J engine in the final round. I think in the next couple of races if we can get on opposite sides of the ladder, you’ll see us both in the finals. If we can both get up there in the top five, it’ll start to get fun."

Nobile defeated Warren Johnson with a 6.694/205.60 run in the opening round prior to his Mopar vs. Mopar battle with AJ. He then unleashed a powerful 6.697/205.88 pass from the inferior right lane to best Greg Stanfield (who also redlighted) in the semifinals.

Unfortunately for Nobile his stellar run wasn’t enough to claim lane choice against final-round opponent Mike Edwards. Nobile, per usual, was quicker off the line in the final with a .019 reaction time to Edwards’ .030, but the veteran eventually ran down the rookie. Nobile’s 6.713/205.69 effort wasn’t enough to best Edwards’ 6.695/205.98 pass. Edwards' margin of victory: about seven thousandths of a second, or approximately two feet.

"This is a dream come true to make it to a final," said the 21-year-old Nobile, who advanced to a final round in just his third career Pro Stock start. "I really can’t thank Nick and Irene Mitsos enough and the entire Mitsos family from Mountain View Tire. I can’t thank Mopar enough, a great organization. It’s just real exciting for the whole Mountain View Dodge Avenger team."

V. Gaines, the third Mopar Dodge in the Vegas field, also enjoyed a solid outing, advancing to the semifinals in his first start of the year. Gaines surprised No. 4 qualifier Ron Krisher on a holeshot win in the first round with a near perfect .004 reaction time, then knocked off Shane Gray in the quarterfinals before falling to Edwards.

Nobile is fifth in the Pro Stock standings, with Johnson tenth and Gaines 13th. Next up is the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals, April 14–17 at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C.

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"We’re starting a little slower than we did last year, but we’re maturing into it as a team. We’re having informational meetings each morning and we’re gaining on it. We got our first round win today and I feel confident that we’re back on track. I feel confident that we’ll go to Charlotte and do well." -- Team Mopar driver Allen Johnson, on his outing at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas. Johnson was knocked out in the quarterfinals by fellow Mopar-powered driver Vincent Nobile.

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Vincent Nobile made his first career final-round appearance in just his third Pro Stock start, driving his Mopar-powered Mountain View Dodge Avenger to the money round at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas, where he was inched out of the win by two feet. Nobile is now fifth in the Pro Stock point standings.


Team Mopar® Dodge Pro Stockers Allen Johnson, Kurt Busch Exit in First Round at NHRA Gatornationals.

Team Mopar® NHRA Pro Stock drivers Allen Johnson and Kurt Busch bowed out early in the elimination rounds at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals on Sunday, March 13, losing to Greg Stanfield and Erica Enders, respectively, at Gainesville Raceway.

Johnson, the No. 9 qualifier in his J&J Racing Mopar Dodge Avenger, faced No. 8 Stanfield in the opening round, without lane choice. The Team Mopar veteran shook the tires as soon as he left the starting line and watched his opponent speed down the track to seize the round win.

"We have to qualify well. Being first out is a place that we’re not familiar with," said Johnson, who was in the first pair to compete in eliminations. "It’s a very precarious place to be. It’s very hard to get off the starting line in a very fast fashion. You can be conservative, but we didn’t think we could do that racing Greg. Qualifying bad is what got us.

"Otherwise, it was a great weekend. With the run he made and the light he had, Kurt (Busch) would have beat eight of the 16 cars out here, and he’s happy about that fact. But we’ve got to get our car on track. I felt good about my driving today; I felt good about everything. Qualifying and being first out got us."

Despite his first-round exit, Busch was upbeat concerning his Gatornationals performance. The Pro Stock rookie, No. 12 qualifier and Dodge Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup star drew Enders in the first round after quieting the naysayers with passes of 6.532/211.46 and 6.554/211.06 in qualifying yesterday. Advancing to eliminations in his very first Pro Stock event, Busch nearly pulled off a major upset against the veteran Enders, posting a 6.541/211.59 run to her 6.538/211.69 mark. Busch also notched a solid .049 reaction time off the starting line in his Shell Dodge Avenger. Enders’ margin of victory: a mere 10 feet.

"It was a great experience, to be competitive like we were," said Busch, who will return to his regular No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger next weekend in the NASCAR Cup event in Bristol, Tenn. "It was a solid burnout, it was a great staging. I felt like she (Enders) was taking a long time to jump in and stage, so I rolled in first. It was the best (data) graph we produced in all of testing and in all of our rounds here at Gainesville, with our shift marks and everything else. It was the best run we’ve ever put together, and we just came up short."

Asked once again about his future plans in the NHRA Pro Stock class, Busch said, "The way that we evolved, the way that we advanced through this weekend to feel more comfortable as a crew and as a driver, it was a fantastic, gratifying experience. Do I want to go do it again? Yes. Does the schedule pan out? It shows that we could go to Denver in July (at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals). That’s getting close to the cutoff point on when we really need to focus on our Cup points battle. If we’re right there in the 10th or 11th spot of making our Chase, then it’s not going to be the appropriate time to go and do that event. Only time will tell."

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Mopar Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson exited in the first round at the NHRA Gatornationals, falling to Greg Stanfield.

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"This was a weekend I’ll never forget. I feel we can hold our heads high about this. To have the opportunity to be out here and to make the field was one accomplishment, and to see our run and see how we produced in that first-round effort, we would have beat half the field, with adding together reaction time and elapsed time. So we put together a solid run." -- Dodge Motorsports NASCAR star Kurt Busch, shown above in action and below in the staging lanes at Gainesville Raceway, on his NHRA Pro Stock debut over the weekend at the NHRA Gatornationals.

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Team Mopar® Driver Johnson Hopes Both He and NASCAR Star Kurt Busch Shine at NHRA Gatornationals.

The goal is two-fold for Mopar® Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson this weekend at the 42nd Annual NHRA Gatornationals, March 10–13 at Gainesville Raceway: Bring home his first career win at one of the NHRA’s most prestigious events and also help Dodge Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup star Kurt Busch make the show in his NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock debut.

Johnson advanced to the semifinals at the 2010 NHRA Gatornationals and scored his first career final-round appearance at the 2009 event. The Team Mopar veteran would love to check off a win at the tradition-rich Gainesville race from his career to-do list this weekend.

"The NHRA Gatornationals is one of the biggest, most important races on the NHRA schedule. It’s one of those historic events that every driver really wants to win; it means a lot," said Johnson, who is currently ninth in the NHRA Pro Stock standings after one event. "All the hoopla over the NHRA 60th Anniversary celebration begins at Gainesville as well, so that just takes it up another notch."

Johnson will test with NASCAR Sprint Cup star Kurt Busch at Bradenton (Fla.) Motorsports Park tomorrow in preparation for the NHRA Gatornationals. It’s the final of three joint test sessions for the two racing stars. Busch will compete at Gainesville with Mopar HEMI® engines supplied by Johnson’s J&J Racing team in his Shell Dodge Avenger, and Johnson’s crew chief, Mark Ingersoll, will assist the 2004 Sprint Cup champion as he tries to qualify in the always-tight Pro Stock field. Johnson is confident Busch can excel in his switch from mashing the pedal and turning left to mashing the pedal and going straight.

"We’ve got one more day of prep with Kurt, so we can make sure he shines at the Gators," said Johnson. "Kurt and I have traded text messages, and I know he’s excited to come to Gainesville. His Shell Dodge will be right there with my Mopar Dodge, as far as the quality of the car and engine. As far as the finer points of racing Pro Stock, such as shifting and staging, Kurt has done real well so far, and we’ll have even more time to practice those skills on Tuesday. I really see no reason why he can’t qualify in the top half of the field at the Gatornationals."

The 42nd Annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals is scheduled to take place March 10–13 at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway.

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Mopar Dodge Avenger driver Allen Johnson (above) will attempt to score his first career win at the NHRA Gatornationals this weekend. Johnson advanced to the semifinals at the 2010 Gatornationals and scored his first career final-round appearance at the 2009 race.

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Allen Johnson's J&J Racing team will supply Mopar HEMI engines for Kurt Busch's Shell Dodge Avenger as the NASCAR Sprint Cup star (shown above at a recent test session) attempts to qualify in Pro Stock at the NHRA Gatornationals.


Johnson Falls to Nobile in Mopar® vs. Mopar First Round Duel at NHRA Winternationals.

Mopar® Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson was dealt a tough first-round defeat at the hands of fellow Mopar-powered Pro Stocker and teammate Vincent Nobile, exiting on a holeshot loss on Sunday, Feb. 27 in the Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif.

Johnson knew the rookie Nobile would be a formidable opponent — the young Mountain View Dodge Avenger driver competes with Mopar HEMI® engines supplied by Johnson's J&J Racing team and the two drivers share a crew chief, J&J Racing's longtime wrench-turner Mark Ingersoll.

Johnson, the No. 3 qualifier, recorded a 6.559-second elapsed time at 212.39 mph, coupled with a .055 reaction time off the starting line. Nobile's near-perfect .002 reaction time proved the difference, however, paired with his solid 6.561/211.73 run. The No. 14 qualifier and Pro Stock rookie seized his first round win in his first career start.

"I don't like to lose at all, but Vincent is going to be a good driver and his team is going to do well this year," said Johnson, who leaves Pomona with the No. 9 spot in the standings. "It wasn't a good day at the office. Maybe we're going to reverse it; last year we had a bad run at the end of the year, but maybe this year we'll get the bad stuff out of our system early.

"We plan to test at Bradenton (Fla.) with Kurt Busch a few days before the Gatornationals, and we'll work out any bugs. We are real happy with the Mopar Dodge Avenger, real happy with the new chassis, real happy with our Mopar HEMI engines. This weekend the driver goofed it up, but we will rebound. We'll come back at Gainesville and be strong, try to qualify No. 1 and win the race."

"Getting that first round win was awesome," said Nobile, who fell in the second round to Jason Line and is now No. 8 in the points. "I'm having the time of my life out here. It's very exciting. I had a .002 on the tree. When I see yellow on the lights, I just let go of the clutch. That's all I do."

The third member of the Mopar-powered Pro Stock trio, V. Gaines, saw his day end in a first-round loss to Line, ending the event in the No. 10 position of the Pro Stock standings. The Mopar-fueled trio will become a quartet at the next race, the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals, March 10–13, in Gainesville, Fla., when NASCAR Sprint Cup star Kurt Busch makes his Pro Stock debut in his Shell Dodge Avenger.

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Mopar Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson (above) qualified well at the NHRA Winternationals, taking the No. 3 spot, but his day ended early with a first-round loss to Mopar-powered driver and teammate Vincent Nobile.


Johnson and Busch Enjoy Stellar Test Sessions at Bradenton.

If NASCAR Sprint Cup star Kurt Busch is a superstitious man, he might be hitting the drag strip more often.

Busch, who plans to compete in the Pro Stock class at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., March 10–13, took part in a test session with Mopar® Dodge Avenger Pro Stocker Allen Johnson on Feb. 9 at Bradenton (Fla.) Motorsports Park. Three days later Busch drove his No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger to a win in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 12, scoring his first-ever Daytona victory.

Busch proved he is a dual threat both on the circle track and the drag strip earlier in the week, posting a solid best run of 6.58 seconds in his Shell Dodge Avenger Pro Stock car at Bradenton. Busch also recorded elapsed times (ETs) of 6.57 seconds and 6.60 seconds in a January test session at the facility. The 2004 Sprint Cup champion, who will compete in Pro Stock with Mopar HEMI® engines supplied by Allen Johnson’s J&J Racing team, has a real chance in his quest to qualify for the NHRA Gatornationals, according to Johnson.

"He’s a professional, and he has that extreme drive-to-win found in all successful racers," said Johnson of Busch. "I really believe he will make the show at the Gators. The rest of the folks in the Pro Stock class better not take him lightly."

The Pro Stock class would be wise not to take Johnson lightly, either. During six days of testing at Bradenton Johnson broke the 6.50-second barrier for a Pro Stock car with a 6.498 pass, an unofficial record for a Pro Stock car, at 213.06 mph. He did so despite breaking in a brand-new chassis on his Mopar Dodge Avenger.

"I have a real fire to make 2011 the year we put it all together," said Johnson, who claimed eight No. 1 spots and one victory during the 2010 season. "This J&J Racing team has proven we are among the elite in Pro Stock, and now it’s time to take that next step and go all the way."

Johnson will begin his 2011 title hunt at the NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 24–27 in Pomona, Calif.

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Mopar Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock veteran Allen Johnson (above) took part in a test session with Dodge Motorsports Penske Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kurt Busch at Bradenton Motorsports Park on Feb. 9. Johnson is tutoring the NASCAR star and providing Mopar engines in Busch's attempt to qualify in Pro Stock at the NHRA Gatornationals, March 10–13.

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Three days prior to winning the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway, Kurt Busch made test runs at another track in Florida, going straight instead of in circles at Bradenton Motorsports Park. Busch posted a best run of 6.58 seconds in his Shell Dodge Pro Stock Car (above) during the session.


Breaking News: Team Mopar® Driver Johnson Beats 6.5-Second Barrier at Bradenton.

Mopar® Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson broke the 6.5-second barrier during a test session today at Bradenton (Fla.) Motorsports Park. Johnson posted an eye-popping 6.498-second elapsed time (an unofficial record for a Pro Stock car) at 213.06 mph.

Johnson has been hard at work testing at Bradenton since Feb. 3, breaking in a new Mopar Dodge Avenger chassis in preparation for the season-opening NHRA Winternationals, scheduled for Feb. 24–27 in Pomona, Calif. According to the Team Mopar veteran, his Mopar HEMI®-powered Dodge has the potential to better its recent run.

"It was an okay run. It wasn’t perfect, but the new car is working awesome," said Johnson, who finished sixth in the 2010 Pro Stock standings. "We left probably a hundredth (of a second) on the table. This chassis seems to have a lot bigger window. I’m not sure we’ve got everything we want out of it yet."

Johnson has a joint test session tomorrow with NASCAR star Kurt Busch, who will make his Pro Stock debut in March at the NHRA Gatornationals.

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Allen Johnson recorded a 6.498-second elapsed time (an unofficial record for a Pro Stock car) at 213.06 mph in his Mopar Dodge Avenger during a test session today at Bradenton (Fla.) Motorsports Park.


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