After a very disappointing DNQ during the NHRA National event held at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pennsylvania one year ago, Team Mopar Pro Stock driver, Allen Johnson was very much looking forward to putting that all behind him or avenging it, if you will.
Team Mopar Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson
Allen Johnson's 2010 Dodge Avenger
Just coming off a number one qualifier during the previous NHRA event at Dallas, Allen Johnson has been steadying making his way back near the top in the all important 2011 K&N Horsepower Challenge point standings with hopes of gaining even more during the 26th annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading.
Things didn't start off so well in qualifying for Johnson when his transmission gave way during the first session on Friday as he went to shift his 2010 Avenger into second gear.
One may not have ever guessed that Johnson had had any troubles earlier in the day when he came back for session two Friday evening and laid down a track record setting 6.551 elapsed time at 210.70.
"We made a really-really good run on Friday night in that good air," noted Johnson. "In those conditions, we hit it almost perfect."
Johnson would be very thankful for that pass come Saturday, as he was not able to repeat that effort in the changing weather conditions.
"We were not able to make a good run on Saturday and were just not able to back it up," he added.
During session number three on Saturday, Johnson was on able to muster a 6.570 and while that was two hundredths off his previous run, it was still right there with the rest of the field for the session.
"Saturday morning we were really expecting it [weather conditions] to get better and while it did just a little, we just didn't make the good run at all," he said. "I think we could have picked up just a little more."
Still hanging on to the pole position heading into the final session, Johnson and Mike Edwards, who was paired with Johnson, added a little extra excitement to wrap up qualifying. Both drivers posted identical E.T.'s and Johnson put a very strong 211.16 MPH up on the board, just a hair shy of the track MPH record.
Johnson was able to remain at the top of the Pro Stock heap after qualifying was completed which earned him not only the maximum 175 points for the 2011 K&N Horsepower Challenge, but the nice $3,000 bonus provided by K&N for the number one qualified team.
He has now moved even closer to the top spot in the K&N Challenge being only eighty-five points behind current leader Mike Edwards and a mere five behind Jason Line who sits at number two.
"If we hadn't had the one little Charlotte blip, we would be about one hundred points in the lead," confessed Johnson. "And maybe we can still get that back."
While there are only two events left on the 2010 NHRA schedule, there are many for the 2011 K&N Horsepower Challenge. Each team will continue to throw everything they can at qualifying for a shot to finish in the elite eight and a chance to vie for the biggest payday in all of Pro Stock, when K&N puts $50,000 dollars on the line to be handed to the last driver standing.
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