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Allen Johnson Hopes to Bring the Thunder to the Valley on Raceday in Bristol.

BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 17, 2017) – Marathon Petroleum Co./J&J Racing Dodge Dart driver Allen Johnson drove his way to the No. 7 spot after four rounds of qualifying at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

On Friday, Johnson began his qualifying efforts with a solid 6.730-second pass at 205.13 mph. Battling against high humidity, the entire Pro Stock class made their best attempts in the extreme conditions. In the second session, Johnson and the Adam Hornberger-led team clocked in with a 6.745, 204.26.

Saturday, the red, white, and blue Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart crossed the finish line at Bristol Dragway with a 6.752, 205.60. It was a 6.738, 204.63 that closed out qualifying for the Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing team after a brief rain delay.

“In the final session, we really got after it and it finally 60-footed better,” Johnson said. “I know we can be competitive tomorrow.”

No. 7 Johnson will have lane choice over No. 8 Alex Laughlin in the first round. In eliminations, Johnson is 5-0 against Laughlin.

“Our tune-up is really close to the top right now,” he added. “It’s going to be hot and tricky out there but we have a setup for that kind of weather. We don’t change our tune-up a lot during raceday unless the weather changes a bunch but we just gotta get after it tomorrow like we did today in the final session. If we can do that, we could very well win this thing tomorrow.”


Allen Johnson’s Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart Strengthening Performance Heading into Home Race.

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (June 14, 2017) – There are only eight racetracks on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing circuit that Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing driver Allen Johnson has yet to win at and his home track of Bristol Dragway is one of them. With new found momentum, Johnson is ready to capitalize on their performance gains this weekend at the 17th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

Johnson has been to the final round 59 times in his 20-year Pro Stock career and surprisingly, only one of those has been at Bristol Dragway back in 2012. He’s been the No. 1 qualifier at this event in 2010, 2011, and 2012 and it is more than possible for Johnson to outperform the competition this weekend and bring home the elusive Thunder Valley Nationals win once and for all.

“I love this race because this is where we get to sort of give back to all of our friends and our employees that allow us to race like we do,” Johnson said. “We have a lot of employees that have a suite and it’s always fun coming here. My dad has raced in the area since the 1960’s and it’s nice to be gelling as we head into this race. We’ve got a shot to win it for the first time.”


Allen Johnson Takes Marathon Petroleum Dart to Quarterfinal Finish at NHRA Summernationals.

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 11, 2017) – Allen Johnson drove the Marathon Petroleum Co./J&J Racing Dodge Dart to the quarterfinal round of competition after defeating Matt Hartford on raceday at the 48th annual NHRA Summernationals.

First round, Johnson began raceday in his highest qualifying position of the season at No. 4 and had lane choice over Matt Hartford. Battling high track temperatures, the Pro Stock class knew it was a driver and tuner combination that would win each round of racing in Englishtown. Both competitors were almost identical off the tree and Johnson's 6.637-second pass at 209.59 mph was enough to take out Hartford’s 6.645, 209.79.

“The track is hot and grimy,” Johnson said at the top end following first round. “We got a little aggressive and the car spun like crazy. I started going towards the centerline and I just started pulling gears and it was good enough to win.”

Johnson took over lane choice against Greg Anderson in the second round with his performance in the first round of eliminations. Johnson crossed the finish line at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park with an improved 6.622, 209.56 but fell short in a very close matchup against Anderson’s 6.611, 210.14.

“We’re in the ballpark now,” he smiled. “It’s just a matter of a few breaks coming our way but I’m tickled to death that the car is running good. We’re just a little bit out of practice on raceday but if I can get my left foot off the clutch faster and tune it back up, they better watch out for our Marathon Petroleum team.”


Allen Johnson Skyrockets Marathon Petroleum Co. Dodge Dart to No. 4 Spot.

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 10, 2017) – What a weekend it has been for the Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart team so far at the 48th annual NHRA Summernationals. 2012 Pro Stock World Champion drove to his highest qualifying position of the season after only participating in three out of four sessions.

On Friday, Johnson clocked in with an honorable 6.640-second pass at 210.54 mph. Knowing they had more in it, the Adam Hornberger-led team finessed the tune-up and improved eight thousandths of a second in the evening session when he crossed the finish line with an impressive 6.567, 210.90.

Saturday, Johnson ran a 6.582, 210.44 and electrified the competition when he was second fastest of the session. His performance collected him two bonus points and his first bonus points of the season. Immediately after his run, Johnson hopped on a plane back to Tennessee to support his wife Pam in her charity event with Dancing with the Tri-Cities Stars. He did not compete in the final session but he remained in the No. 4 spot.

“You know, we just keep gaining on them and we’ve really turned a corner with our program,” Johnson said. “We’re taking baby steps each run and to make a big jump up to No. 4 like that was really awesome. We just gotta keep diggin’ you know?”


Allen Johnson Tapping into Past Englishtown Success for NHRA Summernationals.

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (June 6, 2017) – Marathon Petroleum’s Allen Johnson is ready to put the early exit at the New England Nationals in the rear-view mirror and redirect his focus to this weekend at the 48th annual NHRA Summernationals.

Johnson has been in the final round three times at this event and won in 2011 over Vincent Nobile. He always went on to be the No. 1 qualifier in 2006 and 2014.

“Englishtown has always been one of my favorite races,” Johnson said. “Englishtown was a Mopar race for a really long time after I first started racing Pro Stock and through the Mopar race, we’ve gotten to know a lot of great people at this race. The Summernationals always is pretty good to our Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing team.”

Despite a first round loss just a few days ago in Epping, Johnson still remains confident in the advancements in their performance the last three races.

“We’ve got a setup for if the track gets hot and grimy and we’ve got a setup for if it gets cold out there,” he added. “I feel like I have more confidence right now than I have in a long while which is good going into this long stretch. Maybe we can go some rounds and get some crucial points this weekend.”


Allen Johnson Posts Season High No. 8 Qualifying Spot Heading into Raceday at New England Nationals.

EPPING, N.H. (June 3, 2017) – The Marathon Petroleum Corporation/J&J Racing team has really begun to hit their stride as of late. The red, white, and blue group is showing their true talent with a No. 8 qualifying spot at the Fifth annual NHRA New England Nationals.

Allen Johnson began his quest to his highest qualifying spot of the season on Friday at New England Dragway with a solid 6.562-second pass at 211.10 mph placing him in the No. 5 spot. Johnson bettered his performance in the second session on Friday evening with a 6.551, 211.43.

Saturday, Johnson remained consistent when he drove his Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart to a 6.552, 210.77 and with a .975-second 60-foot time, he was second fastest to the 60-foot mark. Where starting line advantages and quick 60-foot times are crucial, the performance was a definite confidence booster.

Moments before the final qualifying session, the J&J Racing team discovered the engine was broke and they did a last minute engine swap. With one pair in the burnout box as he pulled into the staging lanes, Johnson rushed to get suited up and make his final run. In all the chaos, Johnson was able to run another dependable 6.559, 209.79.

“The motor didn’t sound right when I cranked it over right before our third qualifying run but it made a good pass so I didn’t think too much of it,” Johnson explained. “Right before they called us to the lanes, I asked the boys if we could crank it over one more time. When I did that, it was making a squeaky noise and I knew we had to swap the engine quick. That was at 3:40 and we were scheduled to run at 4:00. We swapped it in 20-25 minutes and were able to make the run.”

Johnson wrapped up qualifying at the Fifth annual NHRA New England Nationals in the No. 8 spot and will have a matchup against Jason Line in the first round.

“Our Marathon Petroleum team has made some serious strides these last few races,” Johnson added. “Like I said last race in Topeka, if we can start out qualifying well and progress all four runs, we can get real close to those top guys. We’ve got another engine now with a different setup that is just as good as this one we’ve got right now. We really are gaining on them.”


Marathon Petroleum’s Allen Johnson Primed for Return to Victory Lane at New England Nationals.

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (May 30, 2017) – Marathon Petroleum Corporation/J&J Racing Dodge Dart driver Allen Johnson is heading back to New England Dragway this weekend. The Epping, New Hampshire-based track has brought much success for Johnson; he has been in the final round three times since the inaugural event in 2013.

Johnson drove his way to the winner circle at the inaugural event in 2013 and returned to the final round two more times in 2015 and 2016.

“We always enjoy coming back to Epping,” Johnson said. “The area around the track kind of reminds me of the mountains where I live so I feel at home when we come here. Being the first winner there in 2013 makes me feel like there’s some prestige when we race there every year. We’re real excited to get there because we finally have some momentum on our side.”

The New England Nationals is the beginning of what could be considered the most strenuous section of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule. Racing every weekend in June, Johnson knows the importance of keeping everything in tip-top shape during the four-in-a-row.

“We have to make sure all of our parts, pieces, and employees are fresh and everything is good to go because it can take a toll on you,”
he added.

Johnson was able to break through into the second round for the first time this season at the last event in Topeka, Kansas and that performance seems to have boosted moral in the Marathon Petroleum pits.

“The whole team is a little more upbeat and more confident in what we’re doing,”
he said. “I hope we can take that little bit of momentum from the last two races and project it into a win this weekend at the New England Nationals.”


Team Marathon Petroleum Makes Big Jump in Performance in Topeka, Hopeful About Upcoming Four-In-A-Row.

TOPEKA, Kans. (May 21, 2017) – Allen Johnson drove his Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart to the quarterfinals on raceday at the 29th annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals.

No. 10 Johnson had a first round matchup against No. 5 Matt Hartford. Only two hundredths apart between their qualifying positions, Johnson knew if he could do his job at the starting line, there was a very good chance at inking his 451st round win of his career.

In first round, Johnson was .029 on the tree and had over four hundredths on Hartford at the launch. Johnson crossed the stripe at Heartland Park Topeka with a 6.587-second pass at 209.39 mph and carried that starting line advantage to a holeshot win over Hartford’s 6.578, 210.67.

Second round, the 2012 Pro Stock World Champion lined up against Jeg Coughlin. Johnson slowed to a 6.634, 209.98 after tire shake at the launch and wasn’t able to recover in time to outrun Coughlin’s 6.575, 209.23.

“As a team, we picked up and we’re within two hundredths when we were about six or seventh hundredths a few races ago so we’ve made a big jump in performance this weekend,” Johnson beamed. “If we can start there next race, we can take it down to one hundredth and be even closer. A round win for the first time this year isn’t anything to brag about and it’s been a tough season so far but I think we’ve got the data to run right with them now. We’re really close.”


Allen Johnson Closing in On Field at the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals.

TOPEKA, Kans. (May 20, 2017) – Allen Johnson powered the Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart to the No. 10 position after three rounds of qualifying at the 29th annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals.

On Friday, it was all but considered a wash-out as Mother Nature lingered overhead with dark clouds and persistent rain all throughout the afternoon. With a brief break in the storms, the NHRA Safety Safari was able to dry the track in record time and Pro Stock was able to make one run. Johnson crossed the finish line at Heartland Park Topeka with a 6.697-second pass at 206.13 mph.

Saturday’s weather presented a different set of challenges for the Marathon Petroleum team. The Adam Hornberger-tuned team turned heads in the first session of the day when he clocked in with a 6.583, 209.17. That pass was sixth fastest of the session – one of their best performances of the season thus far.

“That run sure felt good,” Johnson smiled. “Each week, we try to do ‘knock it out of the park’ type stuff and you know, it’s basically starting over every week because we try new stuff on the dyno and then bring that to the next race. That run felt real good and it’s still got a little left in it. It feels really good to be as close as we are to the competition.”

Johnson finished qualifying with a consistent 6.587, 210.11 and landed in the No. 10 position. He will race Matt Hartford in the first round of eliminations tomorrow; the last time this pair staged up against each other in eliminations was Dallas, Texas in 2014. Despite losing lane choice for first round, Johnson is confident it’ll be a driver-tuner combination that’ll come out victorious on raceday.

“Everybody on this Marathon Petroleum team is gonna have to do their job tomorrow,”
he added. “Everybody is so close right now and it’s anybody’s game right now. We’ve got a shot at it.”


Allen Johnson Knows Importance of Performance at Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals.

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (May 16, 2017) – If there was one word to describe Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing driver Allen Johnson’s season, it’d be progress. He is hoping to take that progress and ink his first victory of the season at this weekend’s 29th annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.

“It’s getting to the part of the season where it’s very important to do well,” Johnson said. “We’ve made a few more gains this past week on the dyno so we’re hoping our performance may be just a little better than it was in Atlanta. It’d be nice to get lane choice for first round and start winning some rounds.”

In the eighth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, there are eleven races in the regular season left to get into the Countdown to the Championship. Sitting on the outside looking in, Johnson knows the importance of knocking down some of his competition on raceday.

“Points are important and we have to start paying attention to them because we’re not in the top ten right now,” Johnson admitted. “You know, we’re just gonna take it round by round like we always do in our Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart and try to get better. We gotta get better to get points and win rounds.”

With questionable weather on the horizon that may threaten Friday’s qualifying, capitalizing on the qualifying runs they do get is very crucial.

“We just go into each race with the best setup we have on the dyno,”
Johnson admits. “We haven’t tested it because we made some big changes. If the weather cuts our qualifying short, we’re prepared to go up there with our best estimated and educated guess from the dyno.”


Allen Johnson Rockets Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart to Season High No. 9 at NHRA Southern Nationals.

COMMERCE, Ga. (May 6, 2017) – Allen Johnson and the Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart team have smiles from ear to ear after qualifying a season high No. 9 at the 37th annual NHRA Southern Nationals.

After qualifying got cancelled before any runs were made at Atlanta Dragway on Friday for the Pro Stock class, Johnson knew capitalizing on Saturday’s qualifying would be crucial.

“When you only get two runs, you gotta be perfect in qualifying just like you have to be on raceday,” Johnson said. “You gotta be more focused.”

On Saturday, the team was greeted with sunshine and no clouds in sight. On the first run, Johnson clocked in with a 6.623-second pass at 208.62 mph which put him in the No. 9 spot. In the second and final qualifying session, Johnson posted a consistent 6.652, 208.78 up on the scoreboard at the Commerce, Ga.-based track.

After the second qualifying sessions, Johnson remained in the No. 9 spot. That No. 9 position granted him a first round matchup against No. 8 Vincent Nobile in the first round.

“We tried to start today just how we ended in Charlotte and build on it,”
he smiled. “We had a plan for this weekend to stay very close to what we did in Charlotte and not change a whole lot. I’m really excited about being No. 9. It just psyches the heck out of me.”


Team Marathon Petroleum Race Preview: NHRA Southern Nationals.

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (May 2, 2017) – Allen Johnson took home the win at Atlanta Dragway fifteen years ago in 2002 and he can’t think of a better time to bring his Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart all the way to the winner circle once again.

The 37th annual NHRA Southern Nationals is the seventh of 24 races in the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series and as of the last two races, Johnson has found some major performance gains in their engine department.

“We made some serious gains in Houston and Charlotte and I’m looking forward to going to this final race in the three-in-a-row to see what’ll happen,” Johnson said. “We’re not 100% there yet but if I had one word for last weekend in Charlotte, it’d be progress.”


Allen Johnson Makes Best Run of Season at NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Heading to Atlanta with Progress Made.

CONCORD, N.C. (April 30, 2017) – Marathon Petroleum Co./J&J Racing Dodge Dart driver Allen Johnson fell in the first round of eliminations at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals but the team is looking to next weekend’s race in Atlanta with fresh eyes and a positive outlook on their current race setup.

Johnson qualified No. 12 and had a first round quad against Chris McGaha, Jason Line, and Alan Prusiensky. Johnson improved his qualifying time by over four-thousandths in the first round when he clocked in with a 6.612-second pass at 209.26 mph. The Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing team made great improvements in that round but Johnson not able to advance to the second round over McGaha’s 6.601, 210.24 and Line’s 6.594, 210.67.

“That’s the closest we’ve run to the field all season,” Johnson said. “If we can qualify like that, we can get a better spot on the ladder and that’ll give us a better draw on raceday. We’ve had a lot of progress this weekend and I’m tickled to death. This weekend was definitely a step in the right direction.”


Team Marathon Petroleum No. 12 at NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.

CONCORD, N.C. (April 29, 2017) – Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson will head into raceday at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in the No. 12 position in his Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart.

On Friday, Johnson hit zMAX DRAGWAY with a tune-up to see what the track would hold. The Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart launched a little too aggressively and he shook a little after the 60-foot mark; he coasted to a 12.005-second pass at 94.79 mph. The Adam Hornberger-led team came back in the second session on Friday and greatly improved with a 6.657, 208.33.

In the first session on Saturday, Johnson ran his best of the weekend when he lit up the scoreboards with a 6.644, 208.55. Johnson clocked in with a 6.674, 209.14 in the closing round of qualifying but he felt there was more out there for his car in the final session.

“The run in the third session was the best run we’ve made all year compared to the rest of the field,” Johnson said. “We were sixth-fastest of the session in Q3. I think we could’ve done that the fourth round too if the car in front of us wouldn’t have leaked any fuel on the track the pair before us.”

“We definitely made some improvements here at zMAX DRAGWAY this weekend so far in our Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart,” he added.

Johnson’s No. 12 qualifying position will line him up against Jason Line, Chris McGaha and Alan Prusiensky in the first round of eliminations tomorrow.

“With the Four-Wide, I need to focus on my own lane and just get staged first, get on the throttle first, and hopefully get off the clutch first.”


Allen Johnson Hopeful About Performance Gains, Looking to Nab First Four-Wide Victory.

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (April 25, 2017) – Performance gains couldn’t have come at a better time for Allen Johnson and the Marathon Petroleum Corporation/J&J Racing Dodge Dart team. In the second of three races in a row, Johnson is hoping to translate his performance momentum into round wins this weekend at the eighth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway.

“We tested at zMAX Dragway two weeks ago,” Johnson said. “We should be able to use most of that data for this weekend and the track surface should be close to what it was when we were testing.”

The uniquely-formatted NHRA Four-Wide Nationals presents different challenges than a regular raceday but despite the challenge of staging and competing against three other racers, Johnson seems to be almost unaffected by it all.

“I don’t have to change my routine really,” Johnson admitted. “I just try to stage first and let everyone else figure it out. It’s a fun race to do once a year but if you don’t pay attention when you’re staging, it can really be a mess with fuel-injection.”


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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