Johnson Provisional No.1 Pro Stock Qualifier for Mopar in Seattle;
Hagan Second in 50th Anniversary HEMI Tribute Funny Car
· Allen Johnson earns provisional No.1 qualifier position at 27th annual National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Northwest Nationals
· Defending Funny Car title holder Hagan leads his Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammates with No. 2 provisional spot in the HEMI 50th Anniversary tribute Mopar
Kent, Washington (Aug 1, 2014) – The third and final stop on the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) western swing got under way at the scenic tree-lined Pacific Raceways near Seattle, Washington, with Allen Johnson driving his “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” Dodge Dart straight to the top of the Pro Stock category timing sheets to earn the provisional pole position in Friday qualifying.
Johnson posted the quickest pass in the first two rounds of qualifying with an elapsed time pass of 6.535-second at 211.86 mile per hour, but the “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” Dodge Dart was also the quickest of the factory hot rods in the second session by posting a 6.537 sec./211.83 mph pass to earn a total of six bonus points for his efforts on Friday, along with the provisional No.1 qualifier moniker. Following a sixth Mopar Mile High Nationals title at the first race of the western swing, Johnson is hoping to “bookend” the three race stint with his 25th career win this Sunday after the Mopar team worked on making some adjustments to the Dodge Dart set up after a challenging race day in Sonoma.
“We made two really good runs today, collected some important little points and we’re happy with the set up after making some wholesale changes from Sunday at Sonoma to here to try to make the car a little more race-able,” said Johnson who is looking for his first win at Seattle since 2006. “It seemed to really help so we’ll get after it again tomorrow and see what we can do. The goal is to collect as many qualifying points that we can and win this to try to close the gap on (points leader) Erica Enders-Stevens before the Countdown (to the Championship) begins.”
Reigning NHRA Pro Stock World Champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. drove his JEGS.com Mopar Dodge Dart to a runner-up finish at Pacific Raceways last season and is looking to earn a third season win this Sunday. In preparation, he drove his Mopar to a 6.553 sec / 210.97 pass to put him fourth in provisional qualifying, then was fourth quickest again for his second run by posting a 6.555 /211.13 pass.
Mopar teammates Johnson and Coughlin are second and fourth in the very competitive Pro Stock standings behind points leader Erica Enders-Stevens who is not competing this weekend.
Fellow HEMI-powered Dodge Dart driver V. Gaines, who made his third final round appearance of the season last weekend at Sonoma Raceway, was sixth quickest with a 6.561 /211 pass. Two Dodge Avengers are also in the mix at the Northwest Nationals as Matt Hartford sits in 10th place with his best run of 6.597/ 210.67 while Deric Kramer currently holds the 12th spot on the score sheets with a 6.615 second pass and best speed of 209.39 mph.
Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver Matt Hagan is the defending Funny Car winner Pacific Raceways and hoping to repeat that performance to post a second win this season. Hagan looks to be on the right track as he followed up last weekend’s semifinal appearance at the Sonoma Nationals by leading the charge in the first session with his HEMI 50th Anniversary tribute Dodge Charger R/T and a 4.121 second / 295.79 mph run, then improved with a 4.100/302.41 to take the No. 2 spot in the provisional qualifying and five of six bonus points. The provisional No.1 position was taken by competitor and defending NHRA Funny Car world champ John Force on his second run with a 4.085/308.07 lap.
Tommy Johnson Jr. and his Make-A-Wish Mopar improved from a 10th place spot to fourth on his second attempt with a 4.123-second elapsed time pass at 297.94 mph while Ron Capps, who leads the DSR clan in the points battle with a third place position, was sixth quick with his Dodge Charger R/T after running a 4.131/300.53 on his second pass.
Jack Beckman took his DSR Mopar out for a 4.256 /282.48 run in the first session to post the seventh quickest pass but had some mechanical issues on the second run and ended up 15th.