DENVER, Co. (July 23rd, 2017) – Fans came from far and wide to see the spectacle that is racing on the mountain at Bandimere Speedway and Marathon Petroleum’s Allen Johnson was just happy to be a small part of it all.
Johnson came into raceday in the No. 6 spot, his second highest qualifying position of the 2017 season. In his 494th raceday start in his illustrious 20-year career, Johnson had a first round matchup and lane choice over current points leader Bo Butner.
At the launch, Johnson was .035-seconds on the tree and drove the red, white, and blue Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart straight down the boulevard and clocked in with a 6.995-second pass at 196.87 mph. Butner clocked in with an identical 6.995 at 197.36 and barely edged out Johnson will a small starting line advantage.
“We started running the brand new implemented Goodyear tire in Chicago and we’ve got limited amount of tires with very limited runs on them,” Johnson said. “We came in this morning and the set we really prepared with a lot of runs on them had a hole in it and we really couldn’t fix it so we had to go to a set of tires that we haven’t run since Chicago which are practically brand new. They don’t have as many runs and they’re bigger and that changed our setup. We missed the setup with them and they were slower down the back-half of the track. The combination of those two things are what got us first round, sadly.”
His early exit at Bandimere Speedway is the first time he hasn’t advanced to the final round since 2006.
“The last decade at Bandimere has been real great,” he smiled. “We love it and it’s been so good to us. We’ve never had bad luck at this track and we just came up with a little bit of bad luck today but this race will always be special to us. I will never forget the run we had here and hopefully we can pick up where we left off next year.”
ALLEN JOHNSON, MARATHON PETROLEUM/J&J RACING DODGE DART
Qualified: No. 6
First Round: Bo Butner (6.995-seconds, 197.36 mph) def. JOHNSON (6.995, 196.87)
Friday: 6.959-seconds, 197.48 mph (Session 1);
Saturday: 6.987, 197.48 (Session 2); 6.965, 198.35 (Session 3)