ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 11, 2016) – Allen Johnson drove his Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart to the number five spot after four rounds of qualifying at the 47th annual NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
Johnson arrived on Friday and prepared to hit the track for the first qualifying session just a few hours later. Johnson started his Dodge Dart in the first session and NHRA officials shut him off because they had to do some more work on the track before they could proceed. Johnson was pushed back and when he went to re-fire the engine, a mechanical issue caused the car to not reignite. The Marathon Petroleum team regrouped and came back in Friday’s night session and clocked in with a 6.565-second pass at 212.06 mph.
“Friday was a testament to our team and the experience we have,” Johnson said referring to missing out on the first run and coming back with an impressive run in the second session. “We had really bad luck that first session and my team came back and adjusted for the second run and we made a really good run for the conditions.”
On Saturday’s first session, Johnson crossed the finish line with a 6.650, 207.59. Johnson closed out qualifying with a 6.665, 208.26 in hot track conditions - conditions that the Marathon Petroleum team seems to excel in.
“We had a good setup for a hot track and the heat on that last run,” he said. “We made one little boo boo in the last session today that probably cost us a couple of hundredths. I think we could’ve gone a 64 so we’ve got a little more in it for them tomorrow.”
Qualified in the No. 5 spot, Johnson will have lane choice over Alex Laughlin in the first round of eliminations beginning at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow.
“Weather conditions seem to be the same for tomorrow and if we set it up correctly, we’ll be in the running to win this race.”
ALLEN JOHNSON, MARATHON PETROLEUM CO./J&J RACING DODGE DART
Qualified: No. 5
JOHNSON vs. Alex Laughlin
FRIDAY: No Time (Session 1); 6.565-seconds, 212.06 mph (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 6.650, 207.59 (Session 3); 6.665, 208.26 (Session 4)