With the first real hot and steamy event on tap for the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Series, NHRA Pro Stock competitor Allen Johnson had a little extra in his back pocket heading into the Atlanta Dragway event.
NHRA Pro Stock 2010 Dodge Avenger
Allen Johnson wins NHRA Pro Stock in Atlanta
The Tennessee based Johnson not only tested early in the season at the site of the NHRA Southern Nationals, in Commerce, Georgia, a facility he and his team consider their second home track, but also even more recently in the weeks just prior to the national event.
"We tested down there last month and really thought we had a good handle on it," noted Johnson. "We found some more horsepower here lately and we really felt good about going down there and grabbing the poll and even winning the race."
NHRA Pro Stock competitor Allen Johnson
After posting the best numbers of anyone in both Pro Stock qualifying sessions on Friday in his 2010 Dodge Avenger, including his 6.634 ET in the second session, by time Johnson got to the fourth and final session on Saturday, he and his team were confident of their position and went into test mode.
"The weather did get worse and the last session we really didn't make a good run at all," he explained. "We didn't think anybody could get the poll from us during that fourth session, so we sort of tested a bit in session. Mike (Edwards) did make a good run at it, but the weather was quite a bit worse."
Johnson's second session pass (6.634) did hold as the number one run of the event, marking his first poll of the 2010 season and the eighth of his career.
With only four NHRA National events remaining for Pro Stock drivers to gain points during qualifying for the coveted 2010 K&N Horsepower Challenge, the 2008 crown holder sits comfortably in the number four position, thanks to his latest number one qualifier and a string of consistent race day position starts since the beginning of the current season.
"I think we would be number two, if it hadn't been for the DNQ's at the end of the 2009 season," said Johnson. "And those really cost us a bunch of positions in the Challenge."
As the biggest single payday in all of NHRA Pro Stock, "The 2010 K&N Horsepower Challenge" means quite a lot to the entire class, Johnson included.
"I hold the K&N Challenge in highest regard to everything, with the exception of the Pro Stock Championship itself," continued Johnson. "What K&N has done for the sport and our class is fantastic."
Not only will the top seven qualified Pro Stock drivers, with the eighth selected by fan vote, compete for the 2010 challenge scheduled to take place during the NHRA event in Norwalk, Ohio next month, but eight lucky fans will get to take part as well in their own way and even be teamed with a driver to root for.
When Johnson won the Challenge along with the $50,000 check in 2008, Edward Merry, Jr. of Virginia Beach, Virginia, the Sweepstakes fan that was paired with him won really big, too.
"It was really cool," said Johnson. "Ed has actually stayed in touch somewhat for the last couple of years and it was real fun watching him win when we won, too."
There are still just a few days left to enter for your chance to win in "The 2010 K&N Horsepower Challenge" Sweepstakes. Deadline for entry is Monday, May 24, 2010.
Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.