GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (March 28, 2017) – Marathon Petroleum Corporation/J&J Racing Dodge Dart driver Allen Johnson is not unfamiliar with being the standalone Mopar competitor in Pro Stock in his 20-year racing career. When he first entered Pro Stock in 1996, he was the lone Mopar driver in competition for several years and this weekend is no different as he competes in this weekend’s double-header.
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will offer two opportunities for victory for Allen Johnson and the Marathon Petroleum team – the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals and the prestigious K&N Filters Horsepower Challenge.
“Being the only Mopar in the K&N Horsepower Challenge and the only full-time Mopar in Pro Stock, it motivates our whole Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing team to get our car competitive so we can stand out in this bonus race,” Johnson said. “Standing out among the other manufactures always is extra motivation. When we started out, it was the same way. We were the only Mopar out there from ’96 to ’98.”
The K&N Horsepower Challenge began in 1985 and this year will mark Johnson’s 14th year competing in the bonus race. He is one of nine elite Pro Stock drivers that has won the K&N Challenge and then went on to win the main event in the same weekend.
“That 2013 double-up was real exciting,” Johnson reminisced. “Another double-up would be great but just to be in a competitive position to win either race right now would be a very big plus.”
Qualifying at the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals begins on Friday, March 31st, with two runs at 2:00 and 4:30 p.m. Two more qualifying sessions will take place on Saturday, April 1 at 1:40 and 4:05 p.m. The K&N Horsepower Challenge will be at 1:30, 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. on April 1, 2017. Main event eliminations will be on Sunday, April 2, at 12:00 p.m. starting with Top Fuel.
FAST FACTS: ALLEN JOHNSON’S HISTORY AT THE STRIP AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Johnson has won the DENSO Spark Plug NHRA Nationals two times (2008, 2013)
He became one of nine drivers to double-up when he won the main event and the K&N Horsepower Challenge in 2013
Johnson has a special history at this track. Starting in the spring of 2012, he won three consecutive races at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He won the spring event in 2012 over Vincent Nobile, the fall 2012 event over Nobile again and came back in the spring of 2013 and took home the Wally over Erica Enders
This is Johnson’s 14th time competing in the K&N Horsepower Challenge
He’s tied with Bruce Allen, Erica Enders, and Jim Yates for the fourth winningest drivers in the K&N Horsepower Challenge with two wins each
18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals Race Schedule
Friday, March 31: Two qualifying sessions at 2:00 and 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 1: Two qualifying sessions at 1:40 and 4:05; K&N Horsepower Challenge at 1:30, 4:00 and 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 2: Pre-Race Ceremonies at 11:15 a.m. and eliminations begin at 12:00 p.m. starting with Top Fuel.
18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals TV Schedule
Friday, March 31, FS1 will televise qualifying beginning at 6:30 p.m. (ET)
Saturday, April 1, FS1 will televise qualifying at 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Sunday, April 2, FS1 will televise three hours of live finals coverage at 6 p.m. (ET)