Johnson aims for a successful trip
Chicago, pre-race: Team Mopar and J&J Racing driver Allen Johnson is still chasing his elusive first win of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Pro Stock season. The veteran driver is confident he’ll have a winner’s circle run at the Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals. The Route 66 NHRA Nationals is scheduled for June 5–8 at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill.
“Chicago has been good to us,” said Johnson, driver of the Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T. “It usually has a really good surface and is real firm. We qualified No. 2 there last year, so I feel good heading into this weekend. I think this track really plays into our set up.”
The Greeneville, Tenn. native remains rock-solid in qualifying. He started in the No. 8 spot at the previous event in Topeka and has qualified in the top half of the Pro Stock field through the first nine events. The difficulties have come on race Sunday. Johnson and his J&J Racing crew are pouring every ounce of energy into getting the Dodge Stratus R/T dialed in and down the track.
“We’re testing this week and we’re just trying to work out our issues. Dad [Roy Johnson, AJ’s father and engine builder] has been making great power with our Mopar Hemi engine. We’re going to figure out what we need to do to get down the racetrack and string together a few good runs here in the next few races coming up.”
Many Pro Stock drivers are choosing to utilize HEMI power provided by the J&J Racing team. Pro Stocker Justin Humphreys took up Johnson and Don Schumacher Racing on an offer to run a Dodge Stratus R/T with J&J Racing-supplied horsepower. Humphreys signed on for the Topeka and Joliet races, but may extend the partnership for more events. Mopar-powered Pro Stock driver Vinnie Deceglie also plans to rent a J&J Racing-prepped HEMI engine for the next few races.
Johnson feels teaming up with Humphreys is a win-win situation.
“I think it’s going to pay dividends,” remarked Johnson. “Justin’s crew chief, Frank Gugliotta, has been around for a long time and is very knowledgeable. I think he will work well with Mark [Ingersoll, Johnson’s crew chief] and dad. Having that second car out there seems to help out one way or the other, and that’s something we’ve missed all year. Maybe this will help us get over the hump.”
Return to Team Reports Archive
Return to the Home Page