LAS VEGAS, Nev. (April 1, 2017) – Allen Johnson drove his Marathon Petroleum Co./J&J Racing Dodge Dart to the No. 13 spot after four rounds of qualifying at the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals.
On Friday, Johnson began qualifying at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a 7.127-second pass at 162.78 mph after they suffered a mechanical issue on their Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart GT. The Greeneville, Tenn.-native returned in the second session with an improved 6.749, 204.82.
The K&N Horsepower Challenge was held on Saturday afternoon during the third qualifying session. No. 7 Johnson matched up against No. 2 Greg Anderson. The pair staged and it was time to battle for the win. Johnson crossed the finish line ahead of Anderson with a 6.746, 204.85 but Anderson’s 6.670, 205.19 took the victory after Johnson red lit by .057-seconds at the hit. Johnson’s pass was not enough to send him to the second round of the K&N Horsepower Challenge but his elapsed time was still counted towards qualifying.
Johnson finished out qualifying with his fastest pass of the weekend when he clocked in with a 6.736, 204.91.
“We keep easing up on it one run at a time with some new equipment,” Johnson said. “We’re still not making the car run down low and that’s our problem right now but if we can match those guys to the eighth-mile, we’re gonna be real close. “
He finished out the day in the No. 13 spot and will have a first-round matchup against Greg Anderson in the morning.
“We’ll go out there and make our best run in our Marathon Petroleum Co./J&J Racing Dodge Dart and maybe we’ll have some luck on our side.”
ALLEN JOHNSON, MARATHON PETROLEUM/J&J RACING DODGE DART
Qualified: No. 13
JOHNSON vs. Greg Anderson
Friday: 7.127-seconds, 162.78 mph (Session 1); 6.749, 204.82 (Session 2)
Saturday: 6.746, 204.85 (Session 3); 6.736, 204.91 (Session 4)