After a win to conclude a weekend he will never forget, Allen Johnson smiled and simply collapsed to the ground.
It might have taken everything out of Johnson to put on such an unbelievable performance, but you can be sure it was all worth for the new Pro Stock points leader. On every pass from Friday to Sunday nobody could top Johnson and his 2012 Mopar Dodge Avenger, and the end result was a 6.951 at 197.31 mph in the finals against V. Gaines to finish off a masterpiece at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.
In between, Johnson posted the best time of every round, broke the track record with a stunning 6.916 he called the best run of his career, qualified No. 1, took over the points lead and ended with a win in an absolutely dominant performance. It’s the fourth win at Bandimere Speedway for Johnson and the third victory in 2012, but not many of his 12 career wins can likely match this jewel.
“Practice makes perfect. For years we’ve come up here and tested, and we’ve developed a combination that’s bad to the bone,” Johnson said. “We want to come up here and do well in front of the Mopar contingent.This year was extra because it was the 75th anniversary for Mopar. We just really, really wanted to win this race and hand them that Wally for their 75th anniversary.”
With Johnson and Gaines pairing up in the final, it was the first time two Mopars met in the final of the Mopar NHRA Nationals.
But as impressive as Gaines was in knocking off the red-hot Vincent Nobile in reaching the final, he couldn’t keep up with a white-hot Johnson, who started the Western Swing a step – and then some – ahead of everyone.
“V. Gaines came up to me before the finals came up to me and hugged me and said, ‘Thank you for giving me my dream come true, an all-Mopar final at my hometown race,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s dream weekend continued a banner year for him as well. For the first time in 17 years Johnson has three wins in one year and he’s the points leader in a rugged Pro Stock class for only the second time in his career. His remarkable Sunday also started in unbelievable fashion. Though overshadowed momentarily by Paul Pittman’s massive crash, Johnson went a jaw-dropping 6.916 at 198.70 mph, a run he called flawless and a run he said corrected to an improbable 6.426 at sea level.
“That was the best run we’ve ever made in the history of Pro Stock,” Johnson said. “That was an absolutely perfect run.”
Perfection was always close by at Bandimere, as it has been for much of Johnson’s career. But he clearly took it to a new level this weekend, also running 6.945 and 6.936, respectively, in beating the Summit Racing team of Greg Anderson and Jason Line, leaping past them in the points standings in the process.
“This is a tough dang sport. It’s tough to win, I don’t care how good your car is,” Johnson said. “We’ve got a bad to the bone engine combination and car. The pressure is on me because I know we’ve got the best car in the pits, and I’m the only one who can screw it up. You’ve got those Summit cars coming after you with daggers, and I love to beat those Summit cars. I beat two of them today and took the points lead from both of them. They’re going to be teed off, so we better be ready the rest of the Western Swing. We’ve got the car. If I can do my job, we can bring that broom out at the end.”
All articles and photography published in CompetitionPlus.com are protected by United States of America and International copyright laws unless mentioned otherwise. The content on this website is intended for the private use of the reader and may not be published or reposted in any form without the prior written consent of CompetitionPlus.com.
|< Prev||Next >|