With title in reach, Johnson will start No. 2
LAS VEGAS, NV – The prize is near, but Team Mopar driver Allen Johnson knows plenty of work remains in order to reach the ultimate goal: the 2012 NHRA Pro Stock championship. Johnson will start No. 2 and face fellow Mopar-powered driver Deric Kramer in the opening round of eliminations at the NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Johnson enters the Sunday money rounds with an 86-point lead over the second-place Jason Line, with just eight rounds of eliminations remaining: four at Vegas and four at the season-ending event in Pomona, Calif.
The Greeneville, Tenn., native and Mopar Dodge Avenger/J&J Racing driver and team owner claimed the provisional pole with an elapsed time (ET) of 6.600-seconds at 208.68 mph on Friday, and was second quickest in the first qualifying session today with a 6.606/209.07, earning two bonus points. Johnson wrapped up the day by posting a 6.622/208.36 effort, giving him the quickest pass in three out of the four qualifying sessions and a total of 11 all-important bonus markers as he attempts to lock down the first Pro Stock championship of his 17-year career.
“It seems like when the track gets a little warmer it comes into our arena, so we made some changes for the afternoon run and they worked on our Mopar Dodge,” said Johnson, who took the victory in the spring Vegas race, one of a career-best five wins he has earned thus far this year. “That will be a really good race day set up, because the track should be a little warmer tomorrow. I really don’t mind who I’ll be paired up against in eliminations, as I’m going to drive the best I can run every round. Hopefully it’s good enough, and we’ll continue to go rounds.”