MARATHON PETROLEUM CO/J&J RACING DODGE DART
RACE REPORT: 36TH ANNUAL SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT NHRA SOUTHERN NATIONALS
Allen Johnson Propels Marathon Petroleum Dodge to Semifinal Round at NHRA Southern Nationals
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 15, 2016) – Raceday at the 36th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals manifested a semifinal round appearance for the Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson. After qualifying in the top half of the field, Johnson went to the third round before his raceday efforts were halted by eventual event winner Jason Line.
First round, Johnson had lane choice over Vincent Nobile. Johnson ripped the early numbers on that pass and crossed the finish line with a 6.600-second pass at 209.79 against Vincent’s equally quick 6.602, 208.78. The margin of victory in the first round was .0118-seconds with Johnson taking the win.
In the second round, Johnson gained lane choice again but this time over Alex Laughlin. Johnson ran a 6.680, 209.33 next to Laughlin who experienced trouble in the left lane and clocked in with a 6.838, 207.34.
Johnson lost lane choice to Jason Line in the semifinals but knew his Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart GT had a solid tune-up in it, regardless of what lane he raced in.
In the semifinals, he clocked in with a stout 6.656, 208.20 in the heat of the day but it wasn’t enough to hold off Line’s 6.603, 210.24.
“The track this weekend was a real big challenge for us,” voiced Johnson. “It looks like they [Jason Line] had a better handle on the track than we did that round but that’s about the only challenge we had this weekend. I’m very proud of my team and us making it to the semifinals.”
This race marks the third time Johnson has made it to the semifinal round this season. He feels it’s only a matter of time before they turn on the win light in the semifinals and continue on to the winner circle.
“I feel really good,” he smiled. “We’re just on the cusp on something I think. Just gotta keep going down this path and doing what we’re doing. We need to be the top four or fifth car each race, maintain lane choice and hopefully that’ll be the way we get to the winner circle.”
The next event on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will bring the Marathon team to Heartland Park Topeka for the NHRA Kansas Nationals on May 20-22.
ALLEN JOHNSON, MARATHON PETROLEUM CO./J&J RACING DODGE DART
Qualified: No. 6
First Round: JOHNSON (6.600-second, 209.79 mph) def. Vincent Nobile (6.602, 208.78)
Second Round: JOHNSON (6.680, 209.33) def. Alex Laughlin (6.838, 207.34)
Semifinals: Jason Line (6.603, 210.24) def. JOHNSON (6.656, 208.20)
FRIDAY: 6.670, 207.11 (Session 1); 6.649, 208.46 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 6.725, 205.76 (Session 3); 6.687, 207.30 (Session 4)
NHRA PRO STOCK POINT STANDINGS
Jason Line 812
Greg Anderson 716
Bo Butner 553
Drew Skillman 432
Chris McGaha 393
Allen Johnson 392
Jeg Coughlin 308
Vincent Nobile 294
Erica Enders 289
Alex Laughlin 272