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Team Mopar® Driver Allen Johnson Sets Track Speed Record, Takes No. 4 in Saturday Qualifying at Mac Tools U.S. Nationals

Clermont, Ind. , Sep 4, 2010 -

Team Mopar® NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson bettered his own track speed record and claimed the No. 4 spot after two qualifying sessions today at the 56th Annual Mac Tools Nationals.

Johnson recorded a 6.587-second pass at 209.75 mph in his Mopar Dodge Avenger in the first qualifying session today, bettering his record-setting 6.601/209.46 mark in Friday’s qualifying round and briefly claiming the top spot. Johnson’s car shutdown shortly after launching off the starting line during his second qualifying run, and he ended the day in the No. 4 spot.

“Setting the track speed record just shows how much power we have in these Mopar HEMI® engines,” said Johnson. “The car is really aero. That’s good. If we can just get it to stick the front half we’ll really light up the board.”

The Greeneville, Tenn. native, currently second in the Pro Stock standings, will look to move up during tomorrow’s two final qualifying sessions and capture his second No. 1 Qualifier Award at O’Reilly Raceway Park and his fifth of the season.

“We made a decent run this morning, not perfect,” said Johnson, in his 15th year driving a Mopar-powered Pro Stock car. “We were a little aggressive tonight, and the track seemed to be going away toward the back of the pack. Tomorrow morning might offer the best chance for a good run. It would be awesome to go out tomorrow, make a perfect run, take that top spot back and get the J&J Racing team ready for Monday.”

Mopar-powered Dodge Avenger Pro Stock driver V.Gaines is currently qualified No. 8, with a best run of 6.606/209.10. Vinnie Deceglie is No. 23 and will attempt to crack the top 16 tomorrow.

Mopar-First Features

Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:
• Camper trailers: first to introduce off-road camper trailers
• 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
• FLO TV: first to offer live, mobile television
• WiFi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
• 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.

Mopar distributes approximately 280,000 parts and accessories in more than 90 countries and is the source for all original-equipment parts for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep® and Ram Truck vehicles. Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered with the same teams that create factory-authorized vehicle specifications for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram Truck 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 - Authentic Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram Accessories, Service & Parts.

More than 70 Years of Mopar

When Chrysler bought Dodge in 1928, the need for a dedicated parts manufacturer, supplier and distribution system to support the growing enterprise led to the formation of the Chrysler Motor Parts Corporation (CMPC) in 1929.

Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked for a line of antifreeze products in 1937. It also was widely used as a moniker for the CMPC. 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.

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Team Mopar®’s Allen Johnson Earns No. 2 Spot in U.S. Nationals Qualifying, Betters Track Speed Record

Clermont, Ind. , Sep 5, 2010 -

Allen Johnson moved his Mopar® Dodge Avenger Pro Stock car up to the No. 2 spot in the final day of qualifying today at the 56th Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. The Team Mopar driver also set the track speed record at storied O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis for the third consecutive day.

Johnson powered to a pass of 6.580-seconds at 210.28 mph under excellent conditions (99 degree track temps) in the morning session today, jumping from No. 4 to the top spot and besting the track speed marks he established on Friday (209.46 mph) and Saturday (209.75 mph). The Greeneville, Tenn. native was bumped to No. 2 by just a thousandth of a second by eventual top qualifier Mike Edwards. Johnson’s car shook the tires and shutdown shortly after leaving the starting line on his final qualifying run.

“The Mopar/J&J Racing team had a decent day,” said the modest Johnson, who has been a top three qualifier in 10 of the last 11 events and will seek his second NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series victory of the season tomorrow. “We didn’t want to do that (shut down) in the last session. That right lane gets everybody. Hopefully, we’ll stay in the left lane tomorrow.

“I’m happy at how the Mopar Dodge Avenger is running. We’ll go into tomorrow with a little bit of advantage at the No. 2 spot. If I drive good we’ve got a shot to start off the Countdown playoffs right.”

Johnson, currently second in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship standings, will meet Steve Spiess in the first round of eliminations tomorrow. V. Gaines, the No. 5 qualifier in his Mopar-powered Dodge Avenger Pro Stock car, will go heads-up with Kurt Johnson in the opening stanza.

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Allen Johnson Drives Mopar® Dodge Avenger to Semis at U.S. Nationals

Clermont, Ind. , Sep 6, 2010 -

Team Mopar® driver Allen Johnson posted a solid start in the first race of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship, advancing to the semifinals today in his Mopar Dodge Avenger Pro Stock car at the 56th Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.

Johnson took the No. 2 spot and set the track speed record (210.28 mph) during qualifying at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. The J&J Racing driver and team owner began eliminations at the first event in the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs by dispatching Steve Spiess with a 6.605-second pass at 209.56 mph.

Johnson was relegated to the subpar right lane in his second-round match against Ron Krisher. The Team Mopar veteran’s 6.631/208.55 pass was slower than Krisher’s, but luck was on Johnson’s side as Krisher fouled out on a red light. A.J.’s luck would run out in the semis against Greg Stanfield. His car shook the tires and slowed shortly after takeoff as Stanfield pulled away for the round win.

“We qualified well, but that right lane was tough,” said Johnson, who made his 11th semifinal round appearance of the season. “We lost lane choice early and it just killed us. It was hard to do anything with that right lane.

“All in all, it was a solid start to the Countdown playoffs. We’ll take it. Hopefully, we’ll get the car back right. Just when we think we’ve got the darn thing perfect, it goes away a bit. We’ll go work over at Charlotte and test on Wednesday, and see if we can hit on a setup for that track. We’ll try to get that edge back.

“The points deal worked in our favor, aside from Mike (Edwards). He’s the one we’re chasing, so we need to match up with him each week.”

V. Gaines defeated Kurt Johnson in the first round and played spoiler in the quarterfinals by knocking off Jeg Coughlin, third in the Countdown playoffs standings entering Indy, with a 6.620/208.91 run. Gaines, who ran low elapsed time in the first two rounds, had defending Pro Stock champion Mike Edwards covered in the semis with a 6.622/209.14 run to Edwards’ 6.656/207.94 mark, but the Denver native left too early and his red light foul gave Edwards the win.

Johnson remains second in the Pro Stock Countdown to the Championship standings. Next up is the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, scheduled for Sept. 16-19 at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C.
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