EPPING, N.H. (June 6, 2016) – The Fourth annual NHRA New England Nationals quickly became the affectionately known “Monday Nationals” at New England Dragway when Mother Nature caused raceday on Sunday to be postponed to Monday. Although the weather delayed raceday action, Allen Johnson and his Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing team took out Chris McGaha, Vincent Nobile, and Shane Gray on their way to the final round today in Epping.
After qualifying No. 6, Johnson had lane choice over No. 9 Chris McGaha. At the launch, Johnson had .015-seconds advantage over McGaha and carried that advantage all the way to the finish line with a 6.639-second pass at 208.20 mph over McGaha’s 6.653, 208.71.
In the second round, Johnson faced Vincent Nobile. Similar to first round, Johnson left the starting line first. This time, he had a huge advantage of .035-seconds. Johnson clocked in with a 6.662, 208.65 and took the win light over Nobile’s 6.683, 209.49.
In the semifinal round, Johnson took on Gray Motorsport’s Shane Gray. At the launch, both drivers rattled the tires and it was a battle of driving ability to the finish line. Johnson was able to outdrive Gray to the finish with a 6.726, 207.72 while Gray clocked in with a 6.737, 208.88.
Finally taking the win light in his fourth semifinal round in a row, Johnson was looking forward to trying his hand at taking down the three-time winner this season Greg Anderson. Johnson approached the starting line and accomplished his job as a driver. Very similar to how he’d been on the tree all day, Johnson left on Anderson by .023-thousands of a second and drove his Dodge Dart down the 1320 and clocked in with a 6.673, 208.71. Unfortunately, Johnson’s great effort in the heat of the New Hampshire day was not enough to overcome Anderson’s 6.598, 210.44.
“We had a lot of luck today,” said Johnson. “I feel like I had an angel riding on my shoulder today because our good friend Justin Humphrey’s dad is fighting for his life. I was trying to win it for him and I think a lot of the luck that came my way today was from him.”
By reaching the final round, Johnson becomes the top Mopar driver in the point standings and also the first Mopar Pro Stock car to reach the final round in 2016.
“We didn’t run this weekend like I thought we were gonna run but we’re learning every week and it’s paying off by going rounds,” he added. “I’m tickled that we made it to the finals today. Now we just gotta get our performance back up to what it was in on Sunday in Topeka.”
Four short days from now, Johnson will have another shot at taking home the Wally at the 47th annual NHRA Summernationals in Englishtown, New Jersey. Qualifying will begin on Friday June 10 at 3:45 p.m. (ET) at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.