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Team Mopar® drivers triumph in Kansas

Posted Tuesday, Jun 2, 2009, 2:21 pm in Mopar, Employee News

Mopar®/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T driver Allen Johnson’s hard work paid off with a well-deserved victory on Sunday in the O’Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan.

The victory was the Team Mopar driver’s first since the 2007 Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals and his sixth career NHRA full throttle pro stock win, and highlighted a weekend in which Mopar power also prevailed in the NHRA funny car class.

Johnson had sounded a determined note entering the ninth of 24 NHRA events, declaring he and his J&J Racing team were “working overtime” in test sessions in order to dial in his Mopar HEMI®-powered pro stocker. The J&J squad’s resilience paid dividends immediately in qualifying, as Johnson captured the No. 2 spot and was the quickest car in the final qualifying session. It was the eighth time Johnson had qualified in the top half of the pro stock field this season.

The finals saw a superb drag race between Johnson and Mike Edwards. Johnson recorded the slower pass for the first time of the day, with a 6.726/204.94 run to Edwards’ 6.718/205.88 pass. However, Johnson’s quicker reaction time off of the starting line, .035 to Edwards’ .045 mark (.000 is perfect), put him over the top for his first win of 2009 and his first at the Topeka quarter-mile.

“We worked our hind ends off to get this victory,” said Johnson, who scored a runner-up finish earlier this year at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. “I feel like we accomplished our goals this weekend. Maybe now we can take this momentum and accomplish the rest of the goals that we have set for this year.”

Johnson remains fifth in the NHRA pro stock point standings, with fellow Mopar-powered pro stocker Rickie Jones, who advanced to the quarterfinals at Topeka, in ninth place. Next up is the NHRA Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., June 5-7.

Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge Charger R/T NHRA funny car driver Ron Capps claimed his fourth win of the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series on Sunday in the O’Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park. The win added to Capps’ sizeable lead in the NHRA Full Throttle funny car point standings.

En route to his 29th career victory in 59 final rounds (28 in funny car, one in top fuel), Capps defeated 14-time funny car champion John Force and his two Don Schumacher Racing teammates (Matt Hagan and Jack Beckman) to face popular Ashley Force Hood in the final round. Capps triumphed with a winning pass of 4.265/286.07 to Force Hood’s 4.495/238.26.

“It really came around probably from second round on after we beat John Force in the right lane,” said Capps, who extended his points lead to 119 over Del Worsham. “Everybody was saying there was no way you’re going to get down that track. And (crew chief) Ed McCulloch just kept plugging away.”

Along with Capps in first, Mopar-powered and Don Schumacher Racing drivers Beckman and Hagan are fifth and seventh, respectively, in the funny car standings. Next up is the NHRA Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., June 5-7.
 
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