Mopar® driver Allen Johnson sure knows how to start the year
off with a bang. The NHRA Pro Stock Mopar Dodge Avenger driver greeted
his father, Roy Johnson, with a belated Christmas present on New
Year’s Day that would turn any father green with envy—a
brand-new Dodge Challenger Drag Pak by Mopar vehicle.
Johnson built a reputation on the drag strip as a champion sportsman
racer, earning the 1975 and 1976 IHRA world championships driving
a 1971 Dodge Challenger and inspiring his son’s racing career,
before assuming engine builder duties for Allen Johnson’s
J&J Racing team. Allen overheard his dad raving about the Mopar
Drag Pak during the vehicle’s debut at the 2008 Mopar Mile-High
NHRA Nationals in Denver and a seed was planted for how the son
could pay back the father.
was talking about wanting to play with one of those Drag Paks at
Denver in 2008," said Allen Johnson. "I began thinking
about it and then I talked with Dale (Aldo, Coordinator, Performance
Parts, Mopar) about getting in line for a Mopar Drag Pak vehicle
Johnson had the Drag Pak body delivered to B&B Racecars, based
in Hohenwald, Tenn., toward the end of October 2009. B&B hammered
out the car, complete with a retro paint scheme nearly identical
to that in which Roy Johnson campaigned in the ‘70s, in a
little over two months. Roy Johnson’s Drag Pak will be powered
by a 5.7L HEMI® engine supplied by noted Mopar engine builder
Gary Stanton and is the lowest serial-numbered vehicle of the few
Drag Paks to carry the 5.7L HEMI.
group of about 20 friends and relatives crowded the J&J Racing
shop on New Year’s Day for the surprise reveal, after Allen’s
mom, Revonda Johnson, took husband Roy out on an "errand"
for a few hours.
they came back, I watched for them and when they pulled in, I hollered
at Dad to come into the shop," Allen recalled. "He walked
in, opened the door, and it was like, ‘Bam!’ It was
awesome. Dad was completely surprised and shocked."
Johnson plans to compete in his Mopar Drag Pak at divisional races
close to home during down time from the NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock
circuit, and may compete in NHRA national events at Bristol and
Atlanta. He joins other celebrity owners of Dodge Challenger Drag
Pak by Mopar vehicles, including "Big Daddy" Don Garlits,
owner of the first factory-built Drag Pak, and Pro Stock driver
Jeg Coughlin, who plans to debut his Mopar Drag Pak at the NHRA
Winternationals in February.