CHARLOTTE, N.C. (September 17, 2016) – If there’s one word to describe Allen Johnson and his Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing team’s 2016 season, it’d be consistency. Qualifying this weekend at the Ninth annual NHRA Carolina Nationals was no different as Johnson qualified in the top half in the No. 6 spot at zMAX Dragway.
For Friday’s first session, Johnson clocked in with a 6.614-second pass at 208.55 mph placing him solidly in the No. 5 position. The importance of lane choice on raceday is crucial and Johnson was searching to find a tune-up in the humid track conditions on Friday in hopes of helping him on raceday. For the second session, Johnson clocked in with an improved 6.603, 209.01 but remained No. 5.
On Saturday, Johnson and his Adam Hornberger-tuned Dodge Dart ran a 6.610, 209.04 in the first session and then experienced engine trouble in the final session when Johnson lost power near the top end; this pass resulted in a 6.673-second pass at a slowed 194.35 mph.
“We’ve got the car working really good besides that last qualifying run,” Johnson said. “It’s running well but we’re not running the back half like we should. I think the tune-up is a little off there but overall, the car is running good on the hot racetrack and the Marathon Petroleum team is happy.”
Johnson closed out qualifying in the No. 6 spot and will have lane choice over No. 11 Jeg Coughlin tomorrow in the first round of eliminations. The weather forecast for raceday is a blistering 90-degrees and although most teams would be intimidated by the high temperatures, Johnson and his team welcome the heat.
“We’ve got the setup for the heat,” he added. “We came here last week and tested in 98-degree weather at zMAX so we know how to tune for it. This Marathon Petroleum Dart is going to run well tomorrow.”
ALLEN JOHNSON, MARATHON PETROLEUM/J&J RACING DODGE DART
Qualified: No. 6
JOHNSON vs. Jeg Coughlin
Friday: 6.614-seconds, 208.55 mph (Session 1); 6.603, 209.01 (Session 2)
Saturday: 6.610, 209.04 (Session 3); 6.673, 194.35 (Session 4)