MAIDSON, Ill. (September 24, 2016) – In humid air and track temperatures this weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park, Allen Johnson and the Marathon Petroleum team qualified No. 9 at the Fifth annual AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals.
On Friday, Johnson started out qualifying with a solid 6.669-second pass at 206.95 putting him in the middle of the pack. Johnson returned on Friday evening and made a big move up the qualifying list when he clocked in with a 6.625, 208.46.
Saturday’s track conditions turned out to be the most similar to raceday conditions on Sunday so the Adam Hornberger-led team wanted to hone in on a setup that would help them turn on four win lights on Sunday. With track temperatures exceeding 115 degrees, Johnson ran a 6.644, 208.10 in the third qualifying session. Johnson closed out qualifying with a 6.641, 207.46.
Johnson and the Marathon team made steady runs all weekend but they’re always in search of more.
“I think we underestimated the track three out of four runs and that’s why we’re No. 9,” Johnson said. “We just didn’t get after it like we should’ve.”
No. 9 Johnson will take on No. 8 Drew Skillman. The duo has raced three times this season and Johnson has taken the win each time they have matched up in 2016.
“I don’t know if lane choice will be important being the first pair out tomorrow against Drew,” he added. “We’ll just go up there with our best setup. First round will most likely be up to the driver.”
ALLEN JOHNSON, MARATHON PETROLEUM/J&J RACING DODGE DART
Qualified: No. 9
JOHNSON vs. Drew Skillman
Friday: 6.669-seconds, 206.95 mph (Session 1); 6.625, 208.46 (Session 2)
Saturday: 6.644, 208.10 (Session 3); 6.641, 207.46 (Session 4)