The look of disappointment was more evident than his elation of qualifying No. 1.
Allen Johnson retained his No. 1 qualifying position in Pro Stock Saturday afternoon during the Summit Racing NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. His Friday night run secured his sixth top qualifying effort of the season.
Johnson had every reason to be happy, if only he hadn’t allowed the big one to get away.
The big one for Johnson was the prestigious $50K-to-win K&N Horsepower Showdown, a race-within-a-race, and he lost in the first round.
“We stunk the place up here today,” Johnson admitted. “We’ve got a really good car. We just have to make better decisions on Sunday. We’ll regroup and come out tomorrow.”
Johnson was beaten on both ends of the track by his teammate and engine customer Vincent Nobile. He wouldn’t go as far as to say he hired his own assassin.
“No, we shot ourselves in the foot,” said Johnson. “While backing up, we almost ran over the starter and the Christmas tree because our crew chief got confused. He was telling me to go right when he meant left. We got the right tire over in the rubble and got stuff all over it, which messed us up.”
Johnson believes there’s a first time for everything. Unfortunately, the mistake came at an inopportune time.
“We’ve been working together for twelve years and never had that one happen before,” Johnson said. “Every now and then you have to find a new way to lose.”
Johnson believes Sunday will dawn a new day and he’ll approach race day with this mentality.
“You have to … you have to treat it like water running off of your shoulder,” Johnson said. “You have to put it away.”
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