A.J. eighth in qualifying, sets up monster matchup with Coughlin
Las Vegas, Saturday: Allen Johnson secured the No. 8 spot in qualifying with a pass of 6.750 seconds at 204.14 mph today at the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, and in the process set up a huge first-round battle tomorrow with his fellow NHRA Countdown to One competitor, Jeg Coughlin, the No. 9 qualifier.
Johnson recorded passes of 6.800/203.43 and 6.766/203.37 on Friday before reeling off his best qualifying effort of the weekend in the first Saturday session. A run of 6.759/203.61 in the final qualifying session couldn't move A.J. up the ladder, setting up the crucial first round match-up.
"We know exactly what we have to do now; no ifs, ands or buts about it," said Johnson, currently fourth in the Countdown to One standings, with Coughlin third. "If we win, we've probably got Dave Connolly [first in the Countdown] in the second round.
"We control our own destiny. We've got a good shot and we feel confident. I just have to have a good night and try not to get killed in a dirt track car over here [Johnson was set to race later tonight in a USAC event at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway]."
About the significance of his first-round race with Coughlin, Johnson said, "I don't think it matters. I really don't pay attention to who I race. I just try to go out there and do my job."
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