Mopar Ready for Rescheduled NHRA SouthernNationals May 10-11 in Atlanta
· Rescheduled due to rain, Mopar ready to get back on track Friday and Saturday at 33rd annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta
· Allen Johnson accepted awards from the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and Junior Achievement for his on and off-track accomplishments
· Mopar is second in NHRA points standings in both Pro Stock and Funny Car categories
· Capps is defending Funny Car title holder at Atlanta Dragway
Auburn Hills, Mich. (Friday, May 10) – After inclement weather forced the postponement of last weekend’s 33rd annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, the Mopar contingent is back on track at Atlanta Dragway on May 10–11 for a shortened version featuring two qualifying sessions set for Friday and eliminations scheduled for Saturday.
Mopar drivers and teams are looking to not just only get back on a dry track but also back on a winning track. After earning six titles in the first five events of the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing, the win streak came to an end at the SpringNationals in Houston, marking the only time this year that a Mopar did not make the final elimination round in either Funny Car or Pro Stock. The win streak actually dated back to the September 2012 at Charlotte and spanned 13 win in 11 events.
Since the postponement of national event, Mopar’s Allen Johnson has been kept busy accepting numerous awards and recognition for his accomplishments on and off the drag strip. His Greeneville, Tenn., based team was presented with “Team of the Year” honors by the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame at their annual banquet on May 4 for representing their state with excellence in winning a career best seven national titles and the 2012 NHRA pro Stock World Championship. Part of the ceremony celebrated the induction of a great class that included basketball coach Rick Byrd, basketball player Penny Hardaway, and country music’s Vince Gill.
On Thursday, May 9, Johnson also accepted an award at the Junior Achievement gala, not just for his on-track accomplishments, but also for his contributions to society and specifically young members of his community through his race team and business, Greeneville Oil & Petroleum. Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating young people about work force readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs that in turn help students put these lessons into action and learn the value of contributing to their communities.
Johnson has two wins this year in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Avenger and remains second in the NHRA Mello Yello series points standing after six events. Mopar teammate Coughlin is right behind him in a third place with two runner-up finishes and a No.1 qualifier honors but hoping to cap off a good season start by putting the Jegs.com Mopar in the winner’s circle as soon as possible.
Matt Hagan, who is second in the Funny Car championship points standings after his own strong start and a win under his belt in the “Magneti Marelli offered by Mopar” Dodge Charger R/T, is ready to hit the track after a first round loss to his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps at the previous event in Houston. Capps, for his part, is the defending Funny Car title winner at Atlanta, where he won the first of five event titles last year, and is currently fourth in the standings.
ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will provide coverage of the rescheduled 33rd annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals with one hour of qualifying highlights on Saturday, May 11, at 10 a.m. (ET) and then a three hour telecast of elimination rounds later that evening starting at 8 p.m. (ET) from Atlanta Dragway.