GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (March 14, 2017) – This week marks the third of 24 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing tour as Allen Johnson and the Marathon Petroleum Co./J&J Racing team head to Gainesville Raceway for the 48th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals. Dubbed his “second home track” after buying a home in the sunshine state a few years ago, Johnson is hoping home court advantage will come into play this weekend.
“We always look forward to coming to the east coast,” Johnson said. “We have our second home here and Gainesville Raceway is at sea-level; it’s like a new beginning.”
The stakes are high this weekend for the 2013 and 2014 Gatornationals Pro Stock winner because he will be competing for the event title while making sure he qualifies well enough to maintain his spot in the K&N Horsepower Challenge that will take place at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in two weeks. Currently, Johnson is in the No. 7 spot and if he accumulates enough points over No. 8 Chris McGaha, he will be added to the K&N Horsepower Challenge roster and the eighth spot will be decided by a fan vote.
“We’re going to need to qualify ahead of McGaha,” he added. “We’re shooting to get back into the middle of the pack this race and give ourselves a better starting position for raceday.”
Qualifying at the 48th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals begins on Friday, March 17th with two sessions at 12:45 and 4:15 p.m. (ET) Two more qualifying sessions will be on Saturday, March 18th at 12:00 and 2:30 p.m. (ET) Eliminations will be on Sunday, March 19th at 11:00 a.m. (ET) starting with Top Fuel.
“We’ve spent the last two weeks at home working on engine stuff in our shop and going back to ‘home base’ with our Marathon Petroleum Co./J&J Racing Dodge Dart,” he said. “We’re trying some new stuff and we’re looking to do better in Gainesville.”
ALLEN JOHNSON’S HISTORY AT THE AMALIE MOTOR OIL NHRA GATORNATIONALS
Allen has won the Gatornationals twice – 2013 and 2014
AJ has been in the finals three times (including those two wins listed above) at this event
No. 1 qualifier in 2012
Last year’s performance: qualified No. 7; lost in the semifinal final to Greg Anderson
48th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals Race Schedule:
Friday, March 17th: Qualifying at 12:45 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.
Saturday, March 18th: Qualifying at 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 19th: Eliminations begin at 11:00 a.m. starting with Top Fuel
48th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals TV Schedule:
Friday, March 17: Qualifying coverage on FS1 at 12:00 p.m. (ET)
Saturday, March 18: qualifying coverage on FS1 at 11:00 p.m. (ET)