On the eve of Pro Stock’s richest competition, Allen Johnson wanted to fire a warning shot across the bow of his professed rivals – the off brand cars driven by Greg Anderson and Jason Line.
And, for Johnson, his move had the big impact he desired right in front of their sponsors and at a track named for the brand they carry.
Johnson drove to the provisional No. 1 qualifying position in the Summit Racing NHRA Nationals with a 6.663-second run at 207.18. His run was a little over .03 quicker than second quickest Jason Line.
“We’re pitted across from them and there has been a lot of finger-pointing and trying to stir stuff up,” said Johnson. “Jason came over and looked at my time slip at the end of the track following the final run and was trying to figure out how much we outran him on the back-half. He said it was about 1.5 and I reminded him that was about normal.”
Then Johnson laughed.
Anytime he can get the goat of the Summit-sponsored cars is as much of a moral victory as taking the No. 1 spot.
“Those kinds of small victories are crucial, especially when you’re headed into a deal like the K&N Filters Showdown,” admitted Johnson. “But when you look at it, there are a lot of good teams out here. Greg is like a clock … ticking. He’s right there every time.”
Saturday afternoon, Johnson and eight select Pro Stock drivers will compete for a $50,000 prize as a part of the K&N Filters Showdown.
Two years ago, Johnson picked Anderson’s pocket for the prize with a perfect reaction time and a win-light.
“Yep, and it netted me this ring,” Johnson said, showing off the large piece of jewelry. “I think a lot of us could say if it wasn’t for Greg, we could have won a lot more.”
The air temperature was blistering for much of the day on Friday in Norwalk and the track temperatures rose into the 140-degree range. Only after the track cooled for the evening session did Johnson’s crew chief Mark Ingersoll get aggressive on the tune-up.
“You hate to be cocky but we were shooting for a 6.65,” Johnson said. “It cooled down and all of the teams went for it. This Mopar Dodge team is hitting on all eight cylinders. Right now the car is on a rope. The Hemi engines are on a rope. Everything is just clicking.”
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