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Old 10-28-2012, 12:52 PM
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Mopar Pro Stock Driver Johnson Earns Preliminary Pole at Vegas, Pads Lead with Six Critical Bonus Points

Mopar Dodge Avenger driver Allen Johnson scores six bonus points to add to his advantage in the NHRA Pro Stock playoffs
Six Dodge Avenger drivers are in the mix to make the Pro Stock show at Vegas
Mopar HEMI-powered racer Jack Beckman paces a seven-strong contingent of Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car drivers


October 26, 2012 , Las Vegas, Nev. - Each point accumulated represents another step towards the Championship title for Mopar Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock driver and current points leader Allen Johnson. The 17-year Team Mopar veteran took exactly six more important steps towards securing that elusive first Pro Stock championship, racking up the most bonus points possible and seizing the provisional pole following the first two rounds of qualifying for the NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday.

Johnson shot to the top spot in his first qualifying effort, putting up an elapsed time (ET) of 6.600-seconds at 208.68 mph. The Greeneville, Tenn., native and five-time Pro Stock event winner this season was also quickest and fastest in the second session, as he once again had the field covered with a 6.609/207.69, giving him six huge bonus points and total lead over second-place Jason Line of 87 markers, which represents more than four rounds of racing.

“Starting off the weekend, our goal was to get every little point we could and hopefully get that round away from 80 (points ahead), so when we were able to accomplish that today I feel like today was very successful,” said Johnson, who will seek a class-best 11th No. 1 Qualifier spot of the season on Saturday. “We’re setting out to do our own deal and be the number one car every single run and put ourselves in a position on Sunday to win.”

V. Gaines, looking for back-to-back wins after taking his Dodge Avenger to victory at the most recent NHRA event in Reading, Pa., had a strong first day at Vegas. The favorite son of Lakewood, Colo., clocked a best run of 6.639/208.30 to secure the preliminary No. 6 position.

Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger pilot Jeg Coughlin Jr., looking to keep the momentum rolling from a semifinals appearance at Reading, drove his HEMI-fueled machine to the provisional eight spot on the starting grid on the strength of a 6.647 effort. Young superstar Vincent Nobile, who also runs with Mopar HEMI engines supplied by Allen Johnson’s J&J Racing team, ended the day in No. 9 spot thanks to a 6.649 ET. A weight issue resulted in the nullification of Nobile’s first qualifying attempt.

At No. 11 with a 6.665-second ET, Chris McGaha made it five Mopar-powered Dodge Avenger machines inthe top twelve at Vegas. Part-time Pro Stocker Deric Kramer (6.690), listed at No. 14, wasn’t far behind, Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car drivers Jack Beckman and Ron Capps are locked in a tight battle for the championship, with only 23 points separating the pair of Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammates. The close fight was mirrored in the qualifying charts, as current points leader Beckman took his Dodge to the No. 4 spot with an ET of 4.093-seconds, while Capps was one berth behind, claiming the provisional fifth position with 4.098 ET.

Dodge Charger pilot Johnny Gray (4.123), fourth in the standings, will head into tomorrow’s qualifying sessions in the tenth position, while the fourth member of the DSR Dodge gang, Matt Hagan, posted his Mopar 15th.
Paul Lee (No. 17, 4.282), Josh Crawford (No. 18, 4.706) and Tommy Johnson (No. 20, 8.890) rounded out the Dodge Charger drivers attempting to make the fiercely competitive field at Vegas.

Qualifying for the NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will wrap up with two final Pro sessions, scheduled to begin on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 10:30 a.m. PT. Qualifying highlights will air on ESPN2 on Sunday from 1:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. (ET), with a re-airing on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. (ET).
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:53 PM
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With Pro Stock Title in Reach, Mopar Dodge Avenger Driver Johnson Will Start No. 2 at Vegas

Allen Johnson is quickest in three of four qualifying sessions, earns 11 bonus points and will face Deric Kramer in Vegas opening round
Johnson holds 86-point lead over Jason Line with eight elimination rounds left in the 2012 season
Six Mopar Dodge Pro Stock drivers will race for the Wally at Vegas
No. 4 qualifier and Mopar Dodge Charger R/T pilot Matt Hagan leads six Mopar-powered Funny Car competitors into Sunday


October 27, 2012 , Las Vegas, Nev. - The prize is near, but Team Mopar driver Allen Johnson knows plenty of work remains in order to reach the ultimate goal: the 2012 NHRA Pro Stock championship. Johnson will start No. 2 and face fellow Mopar-powered driver Deric Kramer in the opening round of eliminations at the NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Johnson enters the Sunday money rounds with an 86-point lead over the second-place Jason Line, with just eight rounds of eliminations remaining: four at Vegas and four at the season-ending event in Pomona, Calif.

The Greeneville, Tenn., native and Mopar Dodge Avenger/J&J Racing driver and team owner claimed the provisional pole with an elapsed time (ET) of 6.600-seconds at 208.68 mph on Friday, and was second quickest in the first qualifying session today with a 6.606/209.07, earning two bonus points. Johnson wrapped up the day by posting a 6.622/208.36 effort, giving him the quickest pass in three out of the four qualifying sessions and a total of 11 all-important bonus markers as he attempts to lock down the first Pro Stock championship of his 17-year career.

“It seems like when the track gets a little warmer it comes into our arena, so we made some changes for the afternoon run and they worked on our Mopar Dodge,” said Johnson, who took the victory in the spring Vegas race, one of a career-best five wins he has earned thus far this year. “That will be a really good race day set up, because the track should be a little warmer tomorrow. I really don’t mind who I’ll be paired up against in eliminations, as I’m going to drive the best I can run every round. Hopefully it’s good enough, and we’ll continue to go rounds.”

The Pro Stock field will be thick with Mopar HEMI-power, as all six Dodge Avenger race cars on the entry list will vie for the Vegas win. Johnson’s young J&J Racing teammate, Vincent Nobile (No. 5, 6.635) will take part in a Mopar vs. Mopar matchup with Chris McGaha (No. 12, 6.653). Veteran Mopar-powered racer V. Gaines (No. 8, 6.639)., searching for back-to-back wins after his recent NHRA Reading triumph, will meet up with No. 9 Warren Johnson.

Four-time NHRA Pro Stock champion and Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger driver Jeg Coughlin Jr. (No. 10, 6.647) will take part in a critical duel of former Pro Stock champs, as he fights it out with Jason Line’s teammate, No. 7 starter Greg Anderson.

The talented quartet of Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car drivers seized prime spots on the Funny Car starting grid. Mopar Dodge Charger R/T DSR pilot Matt Hagan (No. 4, 4.077) will face the Dodge of No. 13 starter Jon Capps. Rounding out the DSR Dodge foursome, Johnny Gray (No. 5, 4.089) will battle No. 12 Tim Wilkerson, current points leader Jack Beckman (No. 7, 4.091), who holds a 24-marker advantage over teammate Ron Capps, will duke it out with John Force. Ron Capps (No. 8, 4.098) will tussle with Tony Pedregon. In addition to the DSR gang, Paul Lee (No. 14, 4.125) was briefly bumped out of the show before racing his Dodge back in on his final attempt. He’ll face No. 1 qualifier Cruz Pedregon.

Eliminations for the NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will commence at 11 a.m. PT on Sunday, Oct. 28. Qualifying highlights will air on ESPN2 on Sunday from 1:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. (ET), with a re-airing on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. (ET). Three hours of eliminations coverage will also air on Sunday starting at 8 p.m. (ET).
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:21 AM
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Mopar Pro Stock Driver Johnson Hits Jackpot with Vegas Victory, All But Clinches Title Heading to Pomona Finale

In a rematch of the spring final at Vegas, Allen Johnson takes the Wally trophy in an all-Mopar race with teammate Vincent Nobile

Johnson enters the season finale at Pomona needing only to qualify to realize his 17-year quest for the NHRA Pro Stock championship

Ron Capps wins a Mopar vs. Mopar final against Jack Beckman in the Funny Car class, now just four markers shy of Beckman in points lead

October 28, 2012 , Las Vegas, Nev. - For NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson, the dream the Mopar Dodge Avenger driver has harbored for 17 years is so close he can almost touch the championship trophy, almost taste the champagne. The key word: Almost.

Johnson emerged triumphant in a Mopar final-round duel on Sunday at the NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, knocking out teammate Vincent Nobile to earn a sweep of both 2012 NHRA Vegas events. It is his sixth victory of the season and 15th Pro Stock win of his career. Most importantly, Johnson is now 126 points ahead of the second-place Jason Line — the Team Mopar veteran needs only to qualify at the season-ending NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif., to clinch his first title.

And as strong as the day was for Johnson, it was even better for Mopar. The brand celebrated not one, but two Pro class wins at Vegas, as Ron Capps defeated fellow Dodge Charger R/T driver Jack Beckman in an all-Mopar Funny Car final. The Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) duo are 1-2 in the points standings, with Capps now just four points behind Beckman in the chase for the Funny Car championship — giving Mopar the distinct possibility of dual championship celebrations at Pomona.

“All of us at Mopar are very proud of Allen Johnson and Ron Capps on doubling up today at the NHRA Nationals in Vegas,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “Mopar-powered cars have either led or been near the front of the field all year in both Pro Stock and Funny Car, which shows the strength of our Mopar HEMI engines that compete in the NHRA. We look forward to Team Mopar drivers continuing to battle for one last win, and two championships, in the final race of the season in Pomona.”

Johnson, starting No. 2, met fellow Mopar-powered racer Deric Kramer in the opening round, and used a pass of 6.630-seconds at 207.85 mph to advance to the quarterfinals. Awaiting was another Mopar Dodge, the Mopar/JEGS.com machine of four-time Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. Johnson basically replayed his first run, posting a 6.630/207.98 to Coughlin’s 7.020/166.60 to claim the round win.

Johnson has preached consistency as the key to his success all season, and such was the case in the semifinals, as the Greeneville, Tenn., native notched another 6.63 run, this time a 6.631/208.20 to defeat Ron Krisher (6.654/207.34). The win set up a HEMI vs. HEMI fight with Nobile, in a repeat of the spring final round at Vegas, which Johnson won.
Nobile, competing with Mopar engines built by Johnson’s J&J Racing team, dispatched Mopar racer Chris McGaha, Erica Enders, and, in a huge aid to his teammate Johnson’s title hopes, the second-place Line in the semifinals, who lost on a red-light foul.

In the final round, Johnson left the starting line with a 0.20 reaction time, just a tad behind the always-quick Nobile, who recorded a .013 launch, but at the finish, Johnson and his Mopar Dodge had enough to edge out Nobile, with a winning 6.637/208.17 (once again, a consistent 6.63) to Nobile’s 6.670/204.39. Nobile is fourth in points, with V. Gaines (who exited in the first round in his Dodge) seventh and Coughlin eighth.

“The Mopar Dodge Avenger has just been so consistent and that’s what we’ve preached all year long,” said Johnson, who advanced to the 35th final round of his career, and tenth of the season. “That showed today with four 63s, and in the heat of the day we made our best run. My crew is doing an awesome job and to cushion that point lead there so that we breathe a little easier going to Pomona is great. But I want to go to Ponoma and win that last race and really come down on this championship with an iron fist. We wanted to win this race, not just leave with a big points lead. We want to win the last two races and win this thing decisively.”

A Pro Stock championship would bring to fruition the dream of not just Johnson, but also his father and engine builder, Roy Johnson, himself a former championship-winning Mopar-powered sportsman racer. The father-and-son duo has worked side-by-side ever since Johnson entered the NHRA Pro Stock ranks.

“We’ve been here a long time, and to do this with my father for 17 years, by ourselves and with the help from Mopar, of course, is a tremendous feeling right now,” said Allen Johnson. “He just turned 71 years old and to be so close to accomplishing a championship with him is something special.”

In the NHRA Funny Car class it was an all-Mopar affair as well, with Mopar HEMI-powered DSR teammates Beckman and Capps meeting in the final round. Beckman eliminated a trio of John Force Racing drivers to advance to the final: 15-time Funny Car Champ John Force in the opening-stanza, Mike Neff in the quarterfinals and Courtney Force in the semis. Capps’ run to the final went through Tony Pedregon, No. 1 qualifier Cruz Pedregon and fellow Mopar Dodge DSR driver Johnny Gray (who defeated Mopar Dodge Charger R/T driver Matt Hagan in the second round).

In the Mopar vs. Mopar duel, Capps bested Beckman, taking the event title with a 4.070/315.12 over Beckman, who smoked the tires. Capps closed to within just four points of Beckman for the Funny Car championship, with both DSR Dodge Charger R/T drivers seeking their first overall title in the class. Gray is fourth in points, with Hagan 11th.

Next up for the contingent of Mopar-powered NHRA Pro Stock and Funny Car drivers is the season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals, Nov. 8–11 at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif. For more information on the NHRA, visit NHRA.com.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:18 AM
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Team Mopar Driver Johnson on the Cusp of First NHRA Pro Stock Championship

Allen Johnson set to clinch first-career Pro Stock title by qualifying at Pomona
Just four points separate Jack Beckman and Ron Capps in Funny Car title fight
Jeg Coughlin Jr. in position to add to accomplishments at Pomona
Mopar-powered Matt Hagan has one more chance to win in 2012


November 6, 2012 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Team Mopar Pro Stock Allen Johnson was faced with a similar situation at the U.S. Nationals: qualify for the event and lock up the top spot in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs. This week at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona the stakes are a bit higher — qualify for the 48th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, which are set for Nov. 8–11, and Johnson will clinch the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock championship.

“A little bit of the pressure is off, but we want to go to Pomona and make a statement that we’re the best car this year,” said Johnson. “We want to go there and seal the deal, push just as hard as we have all year and win the race. We are approaching it the same way as we would if we only had a 26-point lead.”

Johnson claimed his series-leading sixth win of the season in the most recent NHRA event at Las Vegas on Oct. 28, in a Mopar vs. Mopar matchup against teammate Vincent Nobile, which helped him extend his points lead to 126 markers over his nearest competitor. Johnson’s six wins are a career-high for the 17-year Pro Stock veteran. The native of Greeneville, Tenn., has also earned a career-high 51 rounds wins in his Mopar Dodge Avenger with a possible four rounds of racing remaining this season.

“I’ve been to the final round at Pomona, but I’ve never been able to get the win,” said Johnson. “Winning there is like a win at Indy or Gainesville — it’s a must-do. It’s still on my ‘bucket list’ to do, and there’s no better time to do it now and put an exclamation point on our season.”

The Team Mopar veteran has reached the final round at Pomona once in his career, and has advanced to at least the semifinals on six occasions. He opened the 2012 season at the venue located just outside of Los Angeles as the No. 4 qualifier and raced his way into the quarterfinals. Johnson has qualified among the top half of the field in 11 of his last 13 starts at Pomona, scoring his first career No. 1 Qualifier award at the venue in the season-ending event in 2010.

“We’ll go at qualifying just like we have all year, trying to be No. 1 each round and get all the little qualifying points we can,” said Johnson. “We’re going to proceed like we’ve got a big hammer in our hands. We learned a few things at Pomona earlier in the year that should help us this week.”

Johnson has earned a career-high 10 No. 1 Qualifier awards this season and has been sixth or better on the clock in all 22 events thus far in 2012. At one point during the summer, the Mopar-powered racer was the quickest qualifier in six straight events.

Johnson has led the Pro Stock standings after each of the first five rounds of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs. The current 126-point advantage is the largest lead he has held thus far during the first five rounds of the six-race Countdown.

Jack Beckman and Ron Capps bring one of the closest Funny Car title battles in the history of the series to Pomona. Capps was victorious at the NHRA event in Las Vegas to close to within four points of Beckman, as the pair of Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Don Schumacher Racing teammates squared off in the final round at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Teammate Johnny Gray, who enters the event at Pomona with a pair of wins in 2012, is fourth in points. Matt Hagan looks to end the year with his first win, piloting his Dodge Charger R/T with a special Mopar paint scheme. The native of Christiansburg, Va., was victorious in the season-ending event at Pomona last year en route to claiming the Funny Car championship.

Jeg Coughlin Jr., driver of the Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger, advanced to the final round in the season-opening event at Pomona, which marked his return to the Pro Stock ranks after a one-year hiatus. In his career, the native of Delaware, Ohio, has won six times in Pro Stock at Pomona in 10 final round appearances. His most recent victory at the venue came in 2007. Coughlin enters the event at Pomona eighth in points, less than 30 markers out of seventh and within striking distance of the top-five.

Johnson’s Statistics of Note

At Auto Club Raceway at Pomona

No. 1 Qualifier in 2010
Reached final round in 2003
Advanced to the semifinals six times


2012 Statistics of Note

Pro Stock point leader
Six Pro Stock wins
10 final round appearances
10 No. 1 Qualifier awards
51 round wins


Career

Qualified for Countdown to Championship in all six years since NHRA adopted playoff format in 2007
Claimed 15 career NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock wins
Captured 28 career No. 1 Qualifier Awards
Recorded 35 career final round appearances
Claimed more than 300 career round wins
Has a career best elapsed time of 6.486-seconds and a career best speed of 212.53 mph
Competed in 300th race at 2009 NHRA St. Louis event
Has won the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals four times and reached the final round six times in his sponsor’s event
Won the K&N Horsepower Challenger in 2008, recording a perfect .000 reaction time in the final round
Seized first career win in 1999 at Richmond and went on to claim first top 10 finish in standings
Made NHRA Pro Stock debut in 1996, driving a Mopar-powered Dodge Avenger


Coughlin’s Statistics of Note

At Auto Club Raceway at Pomona

Earned six Pro Stock wins
10 final round appearances
No. 1 Qualifier in 2001


2012 Statistics of Note

One final round appearance
Eighth in points


Career

Four-time NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock champion (2000, 2002, 2007, 2008)
Has qualified for the Countdown to the Championship playoffs four times
Claimed 52 career Pro Stock wins
Earned 17 No. 1 Qualifier Awards
Recorded 85 career final round appearances in Pro Stock
Has earned over 450 career round wins in Pro Stock
Has a career best elapsed time of 6.520-seconds and a career best speed of 212.29 mph
Only driver in the 60 year history of NHRA to win in six different categories (Pro Stock Comp, Super Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Top Dragster)
NHRA Rookie of the Year in 1998
Three-time winner of K&N Horsepower Challenge (1999, 2000, 2009)
Only driver in history to win national events in four categories in one season – Pro Stock, Super Stock, Competition, and Super Gas (1997)
Two-time Mopar HEMI® Challenge winner (Indianapolis, 2004 and Las Vegas, 2006)


48th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals
The 48th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals is scheduled to take place Nov. 8–11 at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Pomona, Calif. One and a half hours of qualifying coverage will air on Saturday, Nov. 10, beginning at 10:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD. Three hours of eliminations coverage will air on Sunday, Nov. 11, starting at 7 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD. For more information on the NHRA, log on to NHRA.com.


About Mopar Motorsports
Mopar’s commitment to professional motorsports competition was established in the 1950’s when a partnership ignited with drag racing pioneer, Don Garlits. Combined efforts between Garlits and the Mopar brand resulted in the breaking of numerous speed and performance barriers in a HEMI-powered car over the next several decades. Mopar has remained a fixture on the racing scene in the North America ever since and is currently involved with the NHRA, NASCAR, USAC and TORC series. Mopar also sponsors many motorsports events, including title sponsorship of the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Colorado for nearly 25 consecutive years; and it is a proud supporter of amateur racing within NHRA and USAC.

Mopar-First Features
Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:


Vehicle-information apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers
Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals in a DVD and brief user-guide format
Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
Wireless charging: first to introduce in-vehicle wireless charging for portable devices
Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to market with a new interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters
2011 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak: first to introduce a 500-plus cubic-inch V-10 drag-race package car
Camper trailers: first to introduce off-road camper trailers
WiTECH: first to support vehicle diagnosis and software updates leveraging off-the-shelf personal computers and a dedicated wireless tool network


About the Mopar Brand
Mopar is Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand and distributes 280,000 parts and accessories. With the creation of the Chrysler Group and Fiat S.p.A. partnership, Mopar is extending its global reach, integrating service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance dealer and customer support worldwide. Combined with Fiat SpA, Mopar’s global portfolio includes more than 500,000 parts and accessories that are distributed in more than 120 countries. Mopar is the source for all genuine parts and accessories for Chrysler Group and Fiat SpA brands.

Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered with the same teams that create factory-authorized vehicle specifications for Chrysler Group and Fiat S.p.A.vehicles — a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. A complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts is available at Mopar Parts ? Buy Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat Parts & Accessories Online.

75 Years of Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked for antifreeze product in 1937. The Mopar brand made its mark in the 1960s — the muscle-car era. The Chrysler Corporation built race-ready Dodge and Plymouth “package cars” equipped with special high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of “special parts” for super-stock drag racers and developed its racing parts division called Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use. The brand has expanded to include technical service and customer support.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:20 AM
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With Pro Stock Title Virtually in Hand, Mopar Dodge Avenger Driver Johnson is No. 2 in Friday Qualifying at NHRA Finals

Only two qualifying sessions stand between Johnson and his first career NHRA Pro Stock championship

The crown would bring the Mopar brand’s first Pro Stock title since the 1994 season

Johnson also seeks first career win at Pomona, and seventh of the 2012 season

Mopar-fueled Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car driver and points leader Jack Beckman zooms to preliminary pole


November 9, 2012 , Pomona, Calif. - It’s been 17 long years in the making, but now Mopar Dodge Avenger driver Allen Johnson is just a day away from putting himself and his J&J Racing team in the record books as NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock champions. Johnson ended the single Friday qualifying session at the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif., in the No. 2 spot, with only two final qualifying rounds tomorrow standing between him and the 2012 NHRA Pro Stock title.

The Team Mopar veteran was No. 1 after Thursday qualifying with a pass of 6.565-seconds at 210.47 mph. He bettered that mark with a 6.537/211.56 run on Friday, the second-quickest of the day behind Greg Anderson, who knocked Johnson from the preliminary pole. Needing simply to qualify to earn his first career Pro Stock championship, Johnson is virtually assured of the crown considering his current No. 2 position. But true to perfectionist form, he and his J&J Racing squad are more focused on reclaiming the pole at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona than on any impending celebration.

“We really want to make a statement here, and qualify No. 1 and close this race out with a win, with a big ‘ole iron fist,” said Johnson, who is attempting to earn his first career win at Pomona, and a class-best seventh of the season. “Tomorrow morning will bring conditions for the best run, so hopefully we can get back the top spot. The consistency of this team is unequaled. Every run, we’re first, second, or third down the track, and you can’t ask for any better than that.”
“It’s everybody’s goal to run as fast as we can for Mopar,” added Johnson’s longtime crew chief, Mark Ingersoll. “We’re just really trying to concentrate on winning this race.”

Johnson has at least allowed the notion of his impending Pro Stock championship, the first for the Mopar brand in the class since 1994, to sink in as a possible reality.

“It’ll definitely be the biggest night of our racing lives tomorrow, if we can hold this and ride down with the championship trophy,” said Johnson, who began in Pro Stock back in 1996 with his father and engine builder, Roy Johnson, who still tunes the HEMI engines in his Dodge. “It’ll be a big day in racing history for the J&J Racing team. It’s a little bit of a relief to know that run today makes it close to 100 percent that we’re going to stay in the show.”

With Johnson a virtual lock for the title, his fellow Mopar-powered Pro Stock drivers are jockeying to finish as the close to the top spot as possible. V. Gaines (6.544) held on to the No. 4 spot he secured on Thursday in his Dodge, while Vincent Nobile (6.567), Johnson’s teammate, moved his Mountain View Dodge to sixth. Chris McGaha (6.602) clocked in at 14th, Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger driver Jeg Coughlin (6.603) was 15th, and Deric Kramer (6.635) rounded out the Mopar Dodge contingent in the 18th position.

Mopar HEMI-powered Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver and current points leader Jack Beckman gained valuable bonus points and rocketed to the preliminary pole with a 4.025 run on Friday. Fellow DSR Mopar Dodge teammate Ron Capps, second in points, had a more difficult day, ending in the 16th slot with a 4.700 pass.

Mopar-powered DSR racer Johnny Gray (4.060) ended Friday fifth, with Paul Lee (4.082) making a big move in his Dodge up to seventh spot. DSR Mopar Dodge Charger R/T driver Matt Hagan (4.100) was ninth, with Dodge driver Grant Downing (4.108) tenth. Tommy Johnson (4.374) was 15th, and Josh Crawford (4.840) was listed at 17th.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:14 PM
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Team Mopar Driver Johnson Captures First Career NHRA Pro Stock Championship

Allen Johnson ends 17-year quest with a first career NHRA Pro Stock championship, qualifies No. 2 at NHRA Finals

Johnson’s Pro Stock crown gives the Mopar brand its first title in the class since 1994

The Greeneville, Tenn., native, who along with his father and engine builder, Roy Johnson, began racing in Pro Stock in 1996, realizes the ultimate dream of the father-and-son team

Johnson will look to cap a career season with possible seventh win of the year during eliminations on Sunday at the NHRA Finals in Pomona


November 10, 2012 , Pomona, Calif. - After 17 years, Mopar Dodge Avenger driver Allen Johnson and his J&J Racing team can finally claim a long sought after and much-desired label: NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock champions. By qualifying No. 2 for the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif., Johnson clinched the 2012 NHRA Pro Stock title, and will have one last chance to top off a dream year by working towards victory in the elimination rounds of the NHRA Finals on Sunday.

“Mopar salutes the new NHRA Pro Stock World Champion and we offer our heartfelt congratulations to AJ, Roy and the whole team on their efforts and well-earned honor,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “Allen’s tenacity and competitive spirit is a true testimony to the Mopar DNA. It has been a tremendous season for the J&J team earning six Wallys and 51 round wins in the Dodge Avenger, and we look forward to watching them finish out this championship season by contending for one last win on Sunday.”

Johnson was No. 2 after the first two qualifying sessions with a best pass of 6.537-seconds at 211.56 mph. On his historic day, the Greeneville, Tenn., posted runs of 6.534/211.79 and 6.518/211.99, locking into the field in the second spot and securing his first Pro Stock crown.

“For our whole Mopar team and especially my dad, this is a dream come true after 17 long years, a lot of work, a lot of money and a lot of sweat, and to finally realize it is indescribable,” said Johnson, who brought home the first Pro Stock title for a Mopar driver since 1994, giving the brand a crown during the celebration of its 75th anniversary. “When we were able to go out there and consistently finish in the top two or three cars, I knew we had a legitimate shot at a championship. The Mopar Dodge Avenger was the fastest and most consistent car out there and racking up all those little points mid-season made all the difference, and we learned how to win.”

“It’s been quite the journey,” added Johnson. “The first year we started, out of 22 races I qualified only one time, and the second year we qualified just five times. We started this as a family and built it from there, and to finally reach the pinnacle has taken a long time, but it has been well worth it.”

The championship is the realization of a lifelong dream for Johnson, who began racing in the sportsman Super Stock classes with his father and current engine builder, Roy Johnson, in the late Seventies. Allen and his father decided to make the leap into the Pro Stock ranks in 1996, beginning a battle for the title filled with many high and lows, a hard-fought, 17-year quest for a Pro Stock championship that ended on Saturday by qualifying for the season finale in Pomona.

“I couldn’t help getting a little emotional, because 44 years ago I started all this, and it’s been 17 years getting here with my son, with a lot of fussing and arguing, but we made it,” said Roy Johnson. “I had my lights go out in 2007 (Roy suffered a near-fatal heart attack at the NHRA Phoenix event that year), and they shocked me back to life. I’m glad they didn’t leave my lights out, so we could enjoy this moment together.”

“This is just an awesome feeling and everyone has worked super hard for this, and everyone can see that,” said Mark Ingersoll, longtime crew chief for Johnson & Johnson Racing. “I lost my dad this year, and would have liked to have shared this with him, like Allen and Roy are able to do, but to do this with my racing family is very special.”

“Roy and Allen have put together such a great program here, surrounding themselves with good people who have an unquestionable work ethic, and we made some big gains in the past two years,” said Jim Yates, J&J Racing team engineer, who came onboard last season to provide valuable assistance to Ingersoll and the J&J Racing team. “I think next year is just going to be even better.”

Johnson notched his J&J Racing squad in the NHRA record book as champions thanks to a career season. Heading into elimination rounds at the NHRA Finals on Sunday, Johnson has earned six wins in 2012, tripling his career best for victories in a season, advanced to a career-best 10 final rounds, claimed 10 No. 1 Qualifier awards, a class-best, and posted a career-best 51-16 round win record thus far. The Team Mopar veteran will attempt to claim his 16th career win and first ever at Pomona on Sunday.

Elimination rounds for the NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona will begin tomorrow at 11 a.m. PT, with Johnson set to lineup against Greg Stanfield in the opening round. Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car drivers Jack Beckman and Ron Capps (who claimed the Funny Car pole on Saturday) are also favorites for the 2012 NHRA Funny Car championship, as the duo are 1-2, respectively, entering tomorrow, giving the Mopar brand the chance for a two-championship haul this weekend.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:36 PM
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Two Championships and a Win for Mopar in NHRA Finals
Johnson Punctuates Championship with Seventh Win of the Season; Beckman Claims Funny Car Crown with Mopar Power at NHRA Finals


Johnson caps his championship season with his first career win at the historic Pomona venue

Mopar-powered Dodge driver Jack Beckman captures NHRA Funny Car crown, gives Mopar a pair of 2012 NHRA championships

Beckman edges out follow Mopar-powered driver Ron Capps by two points in one of the closest Funny Car title fights in history

In Mopar’s 75th anniversary year, Mopar-powered drivers captured 10 wins in each of the Pro Stock and Funny Car classes

November 11, 2012 , Pomona, Calif. -

The 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season can now be dubbed ‘Year of the HEMI’ as Pro Stock World Champion Allen Johnson wrapped up his winning season by taking the victory in an all-Mopar final round battle while Jack Beckman added another Championship trophy to Mopar’s mantle by earning the Funny Car crown for Don Schumacher Racing on Sunday at the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona. The two championships highlight the brand’s 75th anniversary year in which Mopar-powered drivers also captured 10 wins in each of the Pro Stock and Funny Car classes.

“All of us are very proud of Allen Johnson and Jack Beckman on bringing home two NHRA World Championships for Mopar,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “Allen’s impressive win at Pomona solidified his mark on his Championship and all the hard work behind it. It was also amazing to watch Jack and Ron Capps battle each other in their Dodge Charger R/Ts for the crown.”

“Mopar-powered cars have either led or been near the front of the field all year in both Pro Stock and Funny Car, which shows the strength of our Mopar HEMI® engines that compete in the NHRA,” added Gorlier. “It was tremendous to watch our Team Mopar drivers battle for wins all season long and be rewarded with two championships.”

After clinching the World Championship on Saturday, Johnson drove his Mopar Dodge Avenger to the win over teammate Vincent Nobile earning a career-best seven wins in one season and first at Pomona.

“Our team is so awesome and the Mopar Dodge Avenger has just performed flawlessly,” said Johnson after punctuating his first championship with the win.

When asked what kept him going for 17 years he added, “Determination and my father (who is his engine builder). He wanted to do this all his life and my whole focus was winning this with him. A lot of hard work and determination went into winning this. We had a dominating performance in this Countdown, won a championship and ended with a win. What more can we do? That has added just a little more emotion to it.”

Johnson, starting from the No. 2 spot, first dispatched of Greg Stanfield in the opening round with a run of 6.513-seconds at 212.76 mph to Stanfield’s 6.564/210.77. In the quarterfinals Johnson (6.520/212.63) took out veteran Ron Krisher (6.537/211.79), earning lane choice for his semifinals battle with Mike Edwards. Johnson was quickest of the round with a 6.526/211.16 to best Edwards, who slowed after launch, and advanced to his 11th final of the year, and his third against teammate Vincent Nobile, who competes with Mopar HEMI engines built by Johnson’s J&J Racing team.

Nobile was stellar off the starting line at Pomona, recording a perfect .000 reaction time in his first-round defeat of Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger driver Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Coughlin finished ninth in the final NHRA Pro Stock standings). Nobile nearly matched that in the quarterfinals with a .002 reaction time, scoring a stunning hole shot victory over Jason Line, who posted the quickest run of the round with a 6.495/213.13 but still fell to Nobile’s 6.546/211.79. Nobile was quickest again against Erica Enders in the semis, scoring yet another holeshot win thanks to a .015 reaction time and 6.543/211.49 run to Enders’ .023 mark and 6.542/211.86 pass.

With sunset upon Auto Club Raceway, Johnson and Nobile lined up for the final race of the 2012 Pro Stock season. The veteran was quicker off the tree (.024 to Nobile’s .026) and also had the better run, a 6.528/212.76 to his opponent’s 6.533/211.66. The victory was the tenth of the season out of 23 events for a Mopar-powered NHRA Pro Stock racer.

The result gave Nobile the third spot in the final NHRA Pro Stock points standings behind Johnson. Fellow Mopar-powered Dodge driver V. Gaines (No.7 in the final standings) exited in the quarterfinals against Erica Enders on a red-light foul after he left the starting line too early. Chris McGaha bowed out in the opening round in his Dodge.

Whereas Johnson locked up the 2012 NHRA Pro Stock championship during qualifying on Saturday, the NHRA Funny Car crown came down to a final-day slugfest between a pair of Mopar HEMI-powered heavyweights, lasting until the second-to-last round of the season. The Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) duo of Jack Beckman and Ron Capps treated the NHRA Finals audience to an entertaining back-and-forth battle that saw the lead change hands five times.

Beckman entered the day with a miniscule two-point lead over Capps, who was first out of the pair in the opening round. Capps seized the points lead, defeating Tony Pedregon with a 4.092/311.13 effort, but Beckman quickly regained it by powering to a win over Alexis Dejoria with a 4.038/317.19 pass.

With the onus back on Capps in the quarterfinals, the veteran racer came through with a defeat of Robert Hight, laying down a number of 4.071/315.19. Beckman held serve with a hearty exclamation point, trailering Jeff Arend with a 4.027/317.79 mark, the quickest of the round, and again retaking the lead by two points.

Those two points made all the difference. Capps, needing to win to stay alive, came up just short against Courtney Force in the semifinals, his 4.091/313.95 not enough to best Force’s 4.069/318.25.

Already declared champ, Beckman also fell in the semis, losing to Cruz Pedregon. The crown was the first for Beckman and second straight for a Mopar-powered DSR driver in Funny Car and third for a Mopar in the last eight years (Gary Scelzi claimed the 2005 championship in a DSR Mopar Dodge).

“You think about this and dream about this but I couldn’t root against my teammate Ron Capps,” said Beckman who watched from the seat of his Dodge Charger R/T in the staging lane as his Don Schumacher Racing teammate lost the semi-final round to give him the Championship win. “The team let me know that we just won it but I couldn’t celebrate as I was trying to win the round but we even though we didn’t, I’m not too upset about it.”

A pair of Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T drivers fell in the first round. Johnny Gray exited in a first-round loss to Hight and finished the season sixth in the points. Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Matt Hagan, the 2011 Funny Car champion, was defeated by Force and wrapped up his season 11th in the standings.

The 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will kickoff at the same venue where the 2012 season ended, Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif., with the 53rd Annual NHRA Winter Nationals, scheduled for Feb. 14–17, 2013. For more information on the NHRA, visit NHRA.com.
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