READING, Pa. (September 24, 2017) – Allen Johnson drove his Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart to the semifinal round after defeated Kenny Delco and Drew Skillman in eliminations at the 33rd annual Dodge NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
Johnson came into raceday as the No. 4 seed and had lane choice over Kenny Delco in the first round of eliminations. The duo was almost identical on the tree at the launch but Johnson showcased the pure power of his Adam Hornberger-led Dodge Dart when he clocked in with a 6.641-second pass at 208.26 mph and turned on the win light over Delco’s 6.753, 204.51.
Second round, Johnson remained consistent on a tricky race surface when he ran a 6.649, 208.46 and advanced to his first semifinal round since the U.S. Nationals in 2016 when Drew Skillman ran a troubled 15.286, 55.62.
“How about that?” Johnson said at the top end at Maple Grove Raceway after his second round win. “We’re making great runs. The right lane was a little suspicious and I was a little worried when I saw Tanner shake right in front of me but we got it done. My team has done a great job and it might just be our day.”
With his second round win, Johnson moved around Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the points and inked his name in the No. 7 spot in the Pro Stock Countdown to the Championship points.
In the semifinal round, Johnson fell off his consistent raceday performance with a 6.682, 207.46 and Bo Butner’s 6.656, 206.54 narrowly edged out Johnson for the winning ticket to the final round.
“I really think we hurt the engine in the second round and that’s why we slowed down in the semis,” he said. “I can’t be happier for the team and can’t be happier celebrating our 500th race with this performance. Things are coming together and maybe we can have even more success these last few races before we retire.”
ALLEN JOHNSON, MARATHON PETROLEUM/J&J RACING DODGE DART
Qualified: No. 4
First Round: JOHNSON (6.641-seconds, 208.26 mph) defeated Kenny Delco (6.753, 204.51)
Second Round: JOHNSON (6.649, 208.46) defeated Drew Skillman (15.286, 55.62)
Semifinals: Bo Butner (6.656, 206.54) defeated JOHNSON (6.682, 207.46)