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Marathon Petroleum’s Allen Johnson Finds Gremlins, Encouraged After SpringNationals.

HOUSTON, Tex. (April 23, 2017) – Allen Johnson and the Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart Pro Stock team may have not turned on the win light in the first round of eliminations, but perhaps they found something a little more important: the gremlin that has been plaguing their performance so far this season.

Johnson came into raceday as the No. 13 seed with his fastest pass during qualifying being a 6.645, 207.94. That granted him a first-round matchup against Bo Butner.

In the first round, Johnson bettered his best pass of the weekend by an outstanding eight-thousandths of a second. He crossed the finish line at Royal Purple Raceway with a 6.567, 211.16 but Butner’s 6.523, 213.33 advanced to the second round.

Despite being a first-round runner-up, Johnson left the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals extremely optimistic and encouraged.

“We traded out everything electrical and fuel-related in the car,” Johnson said. “The win light might’ve not turned on in our lane but I feel really positive about the performance of my Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart in the first round. I think we found our gremlin!”


Allen Johnson Focused on SpringNationals For Season Turn-Around.

HOUSTON, Tex. (April 22, 2017) – Allen Johnson and the Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart team qualified No. 13 this weekend at the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals.

In the first session on Friday, Johnson clocked in with a 6.656-second pass at 208.84 mph. The Adam Hornberger-led team returned for Friday’s session and crossed the finish line at Royal Purple Raceway with an almost identical 6.656, 208.46.

On Saturday, Johnson improved his qualifying position with a 6.645, 207.94. In the final qualifying session of the weekend, he had trouble at the launch and coasted to the finish line with a 13.028, 82.44.

“We’re consistently fighting to get faster,” Johnson said. “I figure we can try new things, change some stuff and try to get faster or we don’t change a thing and stay slow. We’re trying a lot of things but it’s hard to keep up with it and make good runs. We’re looking for the magic spot for this Marathon Petroleum Co. Dodge Dart.”

No. 13 Johnson will race No. 2 Bo Butner in the first round of eliminations on Sunday morning. The pair has yet to race this year in eliminations.

“I’m very hungry for some round wins,” he added. “I’m going to need to be perfect tomorrow and he’s gonna need to screw up. We’ll never give up and eventually our luck will turn around. I’m hoping it turns around this weekend.”


Marathon Petroleum’s Allen Johnson Looking to Knock Houston Off His List.

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (April 18, 2017) – Royal Purple Raceway is one of the tracks on Marathon Petroleum Corporation/J&J Racing driver Allen Johnson’s short list of tracks he has yet to win at. The 2012 Pro Stock World Champion has been in the final round a total of three times in his career at Houston and he’s ready to capture his first win this weekend at the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals.

“Houston is one of the tracks I haven’t won at yet and this Marathon Petroleum team is ready to take that one off the list this weekend,” Johnson said.

As the red, white, and blue Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart enters the property, it will mark Johnson’s 485th race in Pro Stock and a perfectly opportune time to bring home his first win of 2017. Houston is only one of eight racetracks on the current NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour that Johnson hasn’t parked himself in the winner circle at and after a test session last week at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina, they may be coming up on a tune-up to make that victory a reality.

“We tested a few new motor combinations and manifolds in Charlotte last week and we’re trying to find something that’s better than what we have right now,” he added. “We’re digging to find the power. We’re not giving up and we’ll keep trying new things in our Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart.”

Aside from competing this weekend, Johnson plans on visiting a Marathon Petroleum refinery on Thursday before the event.

“I enjoy visiting the refinery when we come to the Houston race,”
he said. “We do an appearance there with the truck and then a lot of the Marathon people join us out at the track during the weekend; it’s a special race for our team.”


Allen Johnson Moving Forward with Tune-Up After Qualifying at DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (April 1, 2017) – Allen Johnson drove his Marathon Petroleum Co./J&J Racing Dodge Dart to the No. 13 spot after four rounds of qualifying at the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals.

On Friday, Johnson began qualifying at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a 7.127-second pass at 162.78 mph after they suffered a mechanical issue on their Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart GT. The Greeneville, Tenn.-native returned in the second session with an improved 6.749, 204.82.

The K&N Horsepower Challenge was held on Saturday afternoon during the third qualifying session. No. 7 Johnson matched up against No. 2 Greg Anderson. The pair staged and it was time to battle for the win. Johnson crossed the finish line ahead of Anderson with a 6.746, 204.85 but Anderson’s 6.670, 205.19 took the victory after Johnson red lit by .057-seconds at the hit. Johnson’s pass was not enough to send him to the second round of the K&N Horsepower Challenge but his elapsed time was still counted towards qualifying.

Johnson finished out qualifying with his fastest pass of the weekend when he clocked in with a 6.736, 204.91.

“We keep easing up on it one run at a time with some new equipment,” Johnson said. “We’re still not making the car run down low and that’s our problem right now but if we can match those guys to the eighth-mile, we’re gonna be real close. “

He finished out the day in the No. 13 spot and will have a first-round matchup against Greg Anderson in the morning.

“We’ll go out there and make our best run in our Marathon Petroleum Co./J&J Racing Dodge Dart and maybe we’ll have some luck on our side.”


Two-time K&N Horsepower Challenge Winner Allen Johnson Set to Triumph as Lone Mopar in Las Vegas’ Bonus Race.

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (March 28, 2017) – Marathon Petroleum Corporation/J&J Racing Dodge Dart driver Allen Johnson is not unfamiliar with being the standalone Mopar competitor in Pro Stock in his 20-year racing career. When he first entered Pro Stock in 1996, he was the lone Mopar driver in competition for several years and this weekend is no different as he competes in this weekend’s double-header.

The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will offer two opportunities for victory for Allen Johnson and the Marathon Petroleum team – the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals and the prestigious K&N Filters Horsepower Challenge.

“Being the only Mopar in the K&N Horsepower Challenge and the only full-time Mopar in Pro Stock, it motivates our whole Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing team to get our car competitive so we can stand out in this bonus race,” Johnson said. “Standing out among the other manufactures always is extra motivation. When we started out, it was the same way. We were the only Mopar out there from ’96 to ’98.”

The K&N Horsepower Challenge began in 1985 and this year will mark Johnson’s 14th year competing in the bonus race. He is one of nine elite Pro Stock drivers that has won the K&N Challenge and then went on to win the main event in the same weekend.

“That 2013 double-up was real exciting,” Johnson reminisced. “Another double-up would be great but just to be in a competitive position to win either race right now would be a very big plus.”

FAST FACTS: ALLEN JOHNSON’S HISTORY AT THE STRIP AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  • Johnson has won the DENSO Spark Plug NHRA Nationals two times (2008, 2013)
  • He became one of nine drivers to double-up when he won the main event and the K&N Horsepower Challenge in 2013
  • Johnson has a special history at this track. Starting in the spring of 2012, he won three consecutive races at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He won the spring event in 2012 over Vincent Nobile, the fall 2012 event over Nobile again and came back in the spring of 2013 and took home the Wally over Erica Enders
  • This is Johnson’s 14th time competing in the K&N Horsepower Challenge
  • He’s tied with Bruce Allen, Erica Enders, and Jim Yates for the fourth winningest drivers in the K&N Horsepower Challenge with two wins each

Challenging Qualifying Brings Bright Spot for Allen Johnson in Marathon Petroleum Co. Dodge Dart.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 18, 2017) – Qualifying is complete at the 48th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals and the Marathon Petroleum Co./J&J Racing Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson is starting from the No. 11 seed, his highest of the 2017 season so far.

On Friday, Johnson brought his Dodge Dart to the starting line and squared the tires at the hit; he coasted to the finish line with a 13.879-second pass at 85.62 mph. He returned in Friday’s afternoon session with his Adam Hornberger-tuned car and they put the power to the track. Johnson launched with ease but the Dodge Dart made a hard left straight for the wall and Johnson was forced to push the clutch back in; he clocked in with a 9.838, 93.04.

Despite the challenging Friday at Gainesville Raceway, the Marathon Petroleum team never let it phase them. Johnson jumped up the ladder instantly when he posted a 6.549, 211.56 on the scoreboard in Saturday's first session.

“That run felt really good,” Johnson said. “I think we were fifth of the session and that was what we were shooting for – the middle of the pack. It was the first pass all season that was worth anything really so we were real happy with it.”

Johnson closed out qualifying with a troubled 18.562, 60.69 because of a broken shock potentially impacted during the burnout in the final session.

“We were shooting to go up there and do a little better than earlier today and it looks like it broke the shock in the burnout,” he admitted. “We’ll go back to the setup we had in the third session and give them something in the first round.”

No. 11 Allen Johnson will race No. 6 Shane Gray in the first round tomorrow. They have raced already once this year in Pomona and Johnson is ready to settle the score.

“We owe him one for Pomona,” he added. “We’re running better than we were in February so hopefully our Marathon Petroleum Dart makes a solid run and I do my job as a driver.”


Allen Johnson Heads to East Coast to Second Home Track for New Beginning.

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (March 14, 2017) – This week marks the third of 24 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing tour as Allen Johnson and the Marathon Petroleum Co./J&J Racing team head to Gainesville Raceway for the 48th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals. Dubbed his “second home track” after buying a home in the sunshine state a few years ago, Johnson is hoping home court advantage will come into play this weekend.

“We always look forward to coming to the east coast,” Johnson said. “We have our second home here and Gainesville Raceway is at sea-level; it’s like a new beginning.”

The stakes are high this weekend for the 2013 and 2014 Gatornationals Pro Stock winner because he will be competing for the event title while making sure he qualifies well enough to maintain his spot in the K&N Horsepower Challenge that will take place at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in two weeks. Currently, Johnson is in the No. 7 spot and if he accumulates enough points over No. 8 Chris McGaha, he will be added to the K&N Horsepower Challenge roster and the eighth spot will be decided by a fan vote.

“We’re going to need to qualify ahead of McGaha,” he added. “We’re shooting to get back into the middle of the pack this race and give ourselves a better starting position for raceday.”

Qualifying at the 48th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals begins on Friday, March 17th with two sessions at 12:45 and 4:15 p.m. (ET) Two more qualifying sessions will be on Saturday, March 18th at 12:00 and 2:30 p.m. (ET) Eliminations will be on Sunday, March 19th at 11:00 a.m. (ET) starting with Top Fuel.

“We’ve spent the last two weeks at home working on engine stuff in our shop and going back to ‘home base’ with our Marathon Petroleum Co./J&J Racing Dodge Dart,” he said. “We’re trying some new stuff and we’re looking to do better in Gainesville.”

ALLEN JOHNSON’S HISTORY AT THE AMALIE MOTOR OIL NHRA GATORNATIONALS

• Allen has won the Gatornationals twice – 2013 and 2014.
• AJ has been in the finals three times (including those two wins listed above) at this event.
• No. 1 qualifier in 2012.
• Last year’s performance: qualified No. 7; lost in the semifinal final to Greg Anderson.


Allen Johnson No. 12 at NHRA Arizona Nationals.

PHOENIX, Ariz. (February 25, 2017) – Marathon Petroleum Co./J&J Racing Dodge Dart driver Allen Johnson qualified No. 12 at the 33rd annual NHRA Arizona Nationals. The 2012 Pro Stock world champion came to Wild Horse Motorsports Park as a man on a mission with his eyes set on one goal: outperforming his competition on raceday.

On Friday, Johnson began qualifying with a solid 6.592-second pass at 209.62 mph. The popular Pro Stock competitor bettered his standings when he crossed the finish line with an improved 6.583, 209.36 in the second session.

In Saturday’s first session, Johnson was on a smooth, clean run until he began to experience engine troubles. Being able to sense the engine giving, Johnson clicked off the engine and coasted to the finish line with a 7.293, 135.76. Johnson closed out qualifying with a 6.601, 208.97.

“When we hurt the engine in the third session, we had to put in a new one right before the final run,” Johnson admitted. “We missed the tune-up a little bit when we went up there but luckily, we’ve still got a little left in it. We’ll keep digging in our Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart.”

Johnson’s qualifying efforts landed him in the No. 12 spot and it’ll be a battle of the former Pro Stock world champions when he takes on Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the first round Sunday morning.

“Jeg is always tough competition,” he said. “We’ll have to make our best run and I’ll make sure to be on my game to give our Marathon Petroleum team a shot at the win tomorrow.”


Allen Johnson Revved Up to Revive Momentum in Phoenix.

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (February 20, 2017) – Marathon Petroleum Corporation Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson returns to Wild Horse Motorsports Park this weekend for the 33rd annual NHRA Arizona Nationals. Johnson is well-acquainted with the winner circle in Phoenix and returning to the winner circle after an early exit at the season opener would be the exact catalyst for the momentum they’re seeking.

“A win in Phoenix can really boost our momentum and give us a solid foundation to work off of and that’s what we hope to do this weekend,”
Johnson said. “We’re doing the best we can to try to get more torque out of our Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart and we know what direction to go after Pomona.”

The Greeneville, Tennessee-based racer has been to three final rounds at the Arizona Nationals and has taken home top honors in 2005 over Ron Krisher and 2014 over V. Gaines.

“Getting a win early in the season is crucial,” he added. “We struggled in Pomona because we spent the whole winter on the dyno trying squeeze everything we could out of our Hemi. Not testing kicked us in the butt but we learned what not to do in Pomona; I expect a much better weekend in Phoenix for our team.”


Allen Johnson Looking to Phoenix for Rebound Performance.

POMONA, Calif. (February 12, 2017) – Marathon Petroleum’s Allen Johnson will be putting the 57th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals in the rear-view mirror after a first round loss in eliminations. Although the early exit comes as a frustration, Johnson admits that there are things to be learned from this weekend at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

Johnson began eliminations from the No. 13 seed and had a first round matchup against Shane Gray. Johnson staged his Marathon Petroleum/J&J racing Dodge Dart and matted the throttle. At the launch, Johnson’s red, white, and blue Pro Stocker made a hard left turn towards the centerline. Johnson dipped into his two decades worth of experience to try to recover and defeat Gray but when he car got out of shape a second time, Johnson knew it was time to push in the clutch. Johnson clocked in with an 8.845-second pass at 101.72 mph.

“It can only go up from here,” Johnson smirked. “We just went up there today really aggressive with our tune-up hoping something might happen and it just took a hard left. We’ve learned a lot this weekend on what doesn’t work and we’re looking to rebound in Phoenix.”


Allen Johnson Drives Marathon Petroleum Corporation Dart to No. 13 at Winternationals.

POMONA, Calif. (February 11, 2017) – Allen Johnson drove his Marathon Petroleum Corporation/J&J Racing Dodge Dart to the No. 13 spot after qualifying action at the 57th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals.

In Friday’s first session, Johnson began the season with a solid 6.636-second pass at 207.94 mph. As rain clouds lingered overhead, the Greeneville, Tennessee-native returned for the Friday afternoon session and outran Mother Nature when he crossed the finish line with a 6.663, 207.66.

On Saturday, the Adam Hornberger-led team took advantage of the sunshine to improve their standings on the ladder. In the first session of the day, Johnson clocked in with a 6.621, 208.33 at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. He closed out qualifying with a consistent 6.622, 208.52.

“We spent the winter on the dyno and elected not to go testing before Phoenix earlier this week,” Johnson admitted. “If we did a little of testing, we would’ve been able to see what was working and what wasn’t but I’m confident we can get it all worked out in the near future.”

Johnson finished qualifying in the No. 13 spot and will have a first round matchup against No. 4 Shane Gray.

“Outdriving these guys tomorrow is going to be real important,” Johnson added. “I need to be dead on the tree and hope the person in the other lane isn’t. I usually focus on racing my own lane on raceday but we may have to do something tomorrow that’s unexpected to throw a monkey wrench into their game but I still gotta run my own race; I gotta be perfect.”


Marathon Petroleum’s Allen Johnson Sets Goals for Pomona, Assured for 2017 Season.


GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (February 7, 2017) –
Marathon Petroleum Corporation/J&J Racing Dodge Dart driver Allen Johnson heads to Pomona, California this weekend for the season opening 57th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals. The 2012 Pro Stock World Champion racer is eager to qualifying at Auto Club Raceway at Pomoma after testing at Wild Horse Motorsports Park.

“We’re excited to be testing and starting the new year out,” Johnson said. “Yesterday’s testing didn’t go as well as planned in our Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart but we’ve got a couple more days of testing before this weekend to get a good setup.”

The feeling surrounding Johnson and the Adam Hornberger-led team is in stark contrast to how they felt pulling into the gates at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona one year ago.

“I’m much more relaxed than this time last year,” Johnson remarked. “I think we’ll start out this year a lot better than we did last year. It’s going to be a knock-out, drag-out with everyone on raceday because everyone’s got a good handle on the fuel-injection now.”

2016 produced three final round appearances for Johnson, including his enormous Mopar Mile-High Nationals win in Denver, Colorado. After a respectable eighth place finish in the point standings, Johnson has realistic expectations for Pomona.

“If we can qualify in the top half this weekend and go a few rounds on raceday, I’d be very happy with that for the first race of the year,” he said.


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