ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 11, 2017) – Allen Johnson drove the Marathon Petroleum Co./J&J Racing Dodge Dart to the quarterfinal round of competition after defeating Matt Hartford on raceday at the 48th annual NHRA Summernationals.
First round, Johnson began raceday in his highest qualifying position of the season at No. 4 and had lane choice over Matt Hartford. Battling high track temperatures, the Pro Stock class knew it was a driver and tuner combination that would win each round of racing in Englishtown. Both competitors were almost identical off the tree and Johnson's 6.637-second pass at 209.59 mph was enough to take out Hartford’s 6.645, 209.79.
“The track is hot and grimy,” Johnson said at the top end following first round. “We got a little aggressive and the car spun like crazy. I started going towards the centerline and I just started pulling gears and it was good enough to win.”
Johnson took over lane choice against Greg Anderson in the second round with his performance in the first round of eliminations. Johnson crossed the finish line at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park with an improved 6.622, 209.56 but fell short in a very close matchup against Anderson’s 6.611, 210.14.
“We’re in the ballpark now,” he smiled. “It’s just a matter of a few breaks coming our way but I’m tickled to death that the car is running good. We’re just a little bit out of practice on raceday but if I can get my left foot off the clutch faster and tune it back up, they better watch out for our Marathon Petroleum team.”
ALLEN JOHNSON, MARATHON PETROLEUM/J&J RACING DODGE DART
Qualified: No. 4
First Round: JOHNSON (6.637-seconds, 209.59 mph) def. Matt Hartford (6.645, 209.79)
Second Round: Greg Anderson (6.611, 210.14) def. JOHNSON (6.622, 209.56)
Friday: 6.640-seconds, 210.54 mph (Session 1); 6.567, 210.90 (Session 2)
Saturday: 6.582, 210.44 (Session 3); N/A (Session 4)