Gainesville, Florida (March 20, 2016) – Marathon Petroleum Corporation/J&J Racing Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson drove his Dodge Dart GT all the way to the semifinal round at the 47th annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.
Johnson entered raceday in the No. 7 spot and had lane choice over 2x Pro Stock Champion Erica Enders. Johnson left the line with a slight reaction time advantage over the champ and crossed the finish line with a 6.634-second pass at 208.97 mph over Enders’ 6.639, 208.65.
“Anytime you can be the fastest Dodge on raceday and beat the world champ in round one is a big day,” chimed Johnson.
In the second round, Johnson had a matchup against Bo Butner. Johnson had a sizeable reaction time difference again with a .035 light compared to Butner’s .090 reaction time. With a .055-second jump start on Butner, Johnson was able to cross the finish line and turn on the win light with a 6.675, 208.04 over Butner’s 6.637, 209.26.
“Bo is still coming into his own and he’s got great power right now,” saidJohnson. “Beating Bo was a huge win for our team.”
Continuing the pattern in the semifinal round, Johnson had the starting line advantage over KB Racing’s Greg Anderson. Johnson clocked in with a 6.646, 208.59 but was unable to outrun Anderson’s 6.596, 209.98.
Reaching the semifinal round for the first time this season, Johnson felt very pleased with the performance of the car and the tune-up calls his team made in qualifying and on raceday.
“You know, we started out this weekend very conservative. We made progress the fourth qualifying run and every run today. We’ve still got a ways to go to catch up with the guys up front but we made a lot of progress this weekend.”
The next event will bring us to the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The event will be held April 1- April 3, 2016. The DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals will also double as the platform for the K&N Horsepower Challenge where a select eight Pro Stock racers are able to compete in an additional race during qualifying for a chance at the title and $50,000. Qualifying will begin at 1:30 and 4:30 on Friday, April 1, 2016.
“This weekend added motivation to our team and something to smile about.”
ALLEN JOHNSON, MARATHON PETROLEUM CO./J&J RACING DODGE DART
Qualified: No. 7
First Round: JOHNSON (6.634-second, 208.97 mph) def. Erica Enders-Stevens (6.639, 208.65)
Second Round: JOHSNON (6.675,208.04) def. Bo Butner (6.637, 209.26)
Semifinal: Greg Anderson (6.596, 209.98) def. JOHNSON (6.646, 208.59)
FRIDAY: 6.702-second, 206.13 mph (Session 1); 6.662, 206.29 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 6.669, 206.73 (Session 3); 6.628, 207.91 (Session 4)