Team Marathon Petroleum Makes Big Jump in Performance in Topeka, Hopeful About Upcoming Four-In-A-Row
TOPEKA, Kans. (May 21, 2017) – Allen Johnson drove his Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart to the quarterfinals on raceday at the 29th annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals.
No. 10 Johnson had a first round matchup against No. 5 Matt Hartford. Only two hundredths apart between their qualifying positions, Johnson knew if he could do his job at the starting line, there was a very good chance at inking his 451st round win of his career.
In first round, Johnson was .029 on the tree and had over four hundredths on Hartford at the launch. Johnson crossed the stripe at Heartland Park Topeka with a 6.587-second pass at 209.39 mph and carried that starting line advantage to a holeshot win over Hartford’s 6.578, 210.67.
Second round, the 2012 Pro Stock World Champion lined up against Jeg Coughlin. Johnson slowed to a 6.634, 209.98 after tire shake at the launch and wasn’t able to recover in time to outrun Coughlin’s 6.575, 209.23.
“As a team, we picked up and we’re within two hundredths when we were about six or seventh hundredths a few races ago so we’ve made a big jump in performance this weekend,” Johnson beamed. “If we can start there next race, we can take it down to one hundredth and be even closer. A round win for the first time this year isn’t anything to brag about and it’s been a tough season so far but I think we’ve got the data to run right with them now. We’re really close.”
ALLEN JOHNSON, MARATHON PETROLEUM/J&J RACING DODGE DART
Qualified: No. 10
First Round: JOHNSON (6.587-seconds, 209.39 mph) def. Matt Hartford (6.578, 210.67)
Second Round: Jeg Coughlin Jr. (6.575, 209.23) def. JOHNSON (6.634, 209.98)
Friday: 6.697-seconds, 206.13 mph (Session 1);
Saturday: 6.583, 209.17 (Session 2); 6.587, 210.11(Session 3)