SONOMA, Calif. (July 31, 2016) – Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson went to the second round of eliminations before lane conditions sealed his fate and ended his day at the 29th annual Toyota Sonoma NHRA Nationals at Sonoma Raceway.
Johnson began raceday in the top half of the field from the No. 6 spot. Johnson clocked in with a stout 6.587-second pass at 209.72 mph to take the win over Aaron Strong’s 6.633, 208.71.
Losing lane choice to Shane Gray by only .005-seconds second round, Johnson was put in the left lane – a decent but less preferred lane. Johnson launched and immediately went into severe tire shake and aborted the run. Johnson clocked in with a 13.925, 88.88 and Gray advanced to the semifinals with a 6.609, 210.44.
“It’s a bummer that it was a loss for us because of what lane we were in,” Johnson said. “Every year when the sun comes out, the left lane goes away; there was nothing there. McGaha shook right before me and Nobile shook right after me and barely got the track but it’s our fault. We lost lane choice by five-thousandths and we had more left in it in first round. But you know what? We’ll leave here in good point standings and head to Seattle and get better.”
The next event on the NHRA Mello Yello is at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Washington next weekend for the Protect the Harvest Northwest Nationals. Qualifying will begin on Friday, August 5th at 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. (PT)
ALLEN JOHNSON, MARATHON PETROLEUM CO./J&J RACING DODGE DART
Qualified: No. 6
First Round: JOHNSON (6.587-second, 209.72 mph) def. Aaron Strong (6.633, 208.71)
Second Round: Shane Gray (6.609, 210.44) def. JOHNSON (13.925, 88.88)
FRIDAY: 6.644-second, 208.62 mph (Session 1); 6.588, 209.95 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 6.603, 208.33 (Session 3); 6.646, 209.01 (Session 4)