Mopar Earns No.2 Qualifier at NHRA Arizona Nationals with DSR Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson Jr.
Mopar entries complete final qualifying runs at renovated Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park for the NHRA Arizona Nationals
Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson Jr. jumped into the second spot on the elimination ladder as the quickest DSR Dodge Charger R/T
Allen Johnson is quickest HEMI-powered Pro Stock with his sixth place spot in qualifying
Chandler, Ariz. (Saturday, Feb. 22) – The Mopar entries have staked out their spots on the elimination ladders for Sunday’s NHRA Arizona National at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park with Don Schumacher Racing’s Tommy Johnson Jr. taking No.2 qualifier honours in final Funny Car qualifying while Allen Johnson paced the HEMI-powered Pro Stocks with the top speed in qualifying to earn the sixth place on the scoresheets.
Following a clean sweep of bonus points in the third qualifying session by the Mopar’s of Jack Beckman, Johnson and Ron Capps, DSR’s newest addition to the team drove his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T from seventh to second place on his final qualifying run by posting a 4.029 seconds elapsed time at 316.08 mph.
“I can’t remember the last time I qualified as high as No. 2,” said Johnson who will face Tony Pedregon as his first opponent in Sunday eliminations. “It’s been awhile, but it’s really nice to be back up there. We wanted to put on a good show because we have a lot of Make-A-Wish families here, and we did that. We made a really nice run, and the guys on this team are sure doing a great job.”
Beckman (4.055 sec /314.09 mph), who posted the quickest run in the third qualifying session, ended up sixth on the scoring sheets and will face the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T of teammate Matt Hagan in the first round. Hagan qualified 11th on the basis of his 4.091-second pass (309 mph) in Friday’s first qualifying session after struggling for traction in the remaining three sessions.
Defending title winner Capps qualified ninth on the strength of his first Saturday pass, a 4.079-sec e.t., and will see Bob Tasca in the opening round. Jeff Arend qualified his HEMI-powered Dodge entry 13th to match-up against Alexis DeJoria.
Mopar driver Allen Johnson was third quickest Pro Stock in the first qualifying session of the day with a 6.557-second elapsed time and set the top speed of the event so far at 212.06 mph on that pass.
“It’s been a good weekend so far for the Mopar Express Lane Dodge and we were in the top-three for two of our runs so I think we have something for tomorrow,” said Johnson who remained sixth overall to claim lane choice over his first round opponent Jimmy Alund. “The left lane has some issues but the right lane is good so it’ll be important to keep lane choice through eliminations.”
V. Gaines, who drove his Mopar to a runner-up finisher at the 2014 season opening event in Pomona, improved to eighth with the second quickest run (6.571 sec /210.70 mph) of the final session and will see Rodger Brogden as his first round opponent.
Defending NHRA Pro Stock champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. ran identical 6.578 second elapsed time runs in both Saturday sessions to post the fourth and third quickest runs in each, but remained tenth on the scoreboard to face-off against Dave Connelly.
“The whole team went through a pretty good effort last night and this morning to try to get the car a little bit happier,” Coughlin said. “We know we’ve got power, we know we’ve got people, and we’ve got the greatest sponsors. It’s all a matter of continuing to uncover it and making it shine on game day.”
Phoenix native Matt Hartford qualified his HEMI-powered Dodge in 13th place and will line up next to Erica Enders-Stevens. Chris McGaha retained the top spot to earn No.1 Qualifier.