Allen Johnson knows he could become a part of National Hot Rod Association history Sunday afternoon.
As the so-called Western Swing winds downs with O'Reilly Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways near Seattle, the Denver and Sonoma winner could become the second Pro Stock driver, following Greg Anderson, to hit the trifecta.
Johnson isn't getting his broom out just yet, but he has it handy after securing his sixth consecutive No. 1 qualifying position and ninth of the year in his menacing Team Mopar / J&J Dodge Avenger. He did it on the strength of Friday's 6.554-second, 211.66-mph performance.
Mastering this 5,700-mile swing of three races in as many weeks is not Johnson's primary focus for Sunday, but the Greeneville, Tenn., racer said it would be a pretty cool feather in his cap.
"Any time you put your name in the record books of any kind in this sport, it's awesome," Johnson said. "The Western Swing has a certain aura about it. It'd be great to be the eighth person to do that.
"We'll just take it round by round and try to make good runs. And I'll try to drive good, and if we can do that, we can put it in the record books," he said.
His main concern, he indicated, is consistency and settling on a hot-track tune-up. That's why, he said, "We didn't really get after it" -- meaning he and his crew weren't pushing the car to get a specific elapsed time.
He said he thought his Dodge would run a 6.58-second pass -- quicker than some of the competition's better E.T.s in the Saturday heat. "So," Johnson said, "we didn't run as good as we thought we could. The track was not giving up very good 60-foots, and we missed it a little down low."
The toastier temperature "changes the set-up of the car big-time," he said. "When it gets this hot, you have to compensate a lot. You have to take a lot of aggressiveness out of it."
Besides, his team had to replace another motor Saturday, which makes the third Hemi they've gone through.
Johnson will be trying to preserve his points lead and pad it as much as possible Sunday, knowing two more races remain before the Countdown fields are set and the six-race playoff kicks off in mid-September at Charlotte.
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 The content on this website is intended for the private use of the reader and may not be published or reposted in any form without the prior written consent of CompetitionPlus.com.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 >|