Allen Johnson Enters 460th Race in Momentous Career
Las Vegas, N.V. (April 2, 2016) – Allen Johnson and the Marathon Petroleum Co./J&J Racing Dodge Dart GT hit qualifying at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with momentum from their semifinal appearance at the last event in Gainesville, Florida. Using that driving force at the 17th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals, Johnson continued the theme of his 2016 season so far, gaining knowledge and making progress.
Friday’s first session, Johnson clocked in with a 6.801-second pass at 204.05 mph. In Friday’s evening session, Johnson improved his standing when he crossed the finish line with a 6.754, 204.14.
Saturday’s first qualifying also doubled as the first round of the K&N Horsepower Challenge. Johnson faced reigning K&N Horsepower Challenge winner Erica Enders in the first round. Johnson ran a 6.789, 204.73 but wasn’t able to advance past Enders who ran a 6.755, 204.60. Although Johnson did not advance to the second round of the bonus race, his time did go towards his qualifying effort. In the final round of qualifying, Johnson drove right down the boulevard with his fastest pass of the weekend, 6.736, 204.60.
With this race marking his 460th career start, Johnson will have a first round matchup against Alex Laughlin tomorrow morning.
“We tried to set up the car for raceday on that last qualifying session,” said Johnson. “We’re gonna be put in the right lane most likely tomorrow and the right lane bit us in the K&N Horsepower Challenge today and we wanted to have a forgiving setup for a hot and slick racetrack.”
On the eve of his 460th raceday, Johnson is thankful to have shared this prominent career with his family since he made his debut in 1996 at the age of 35.
“That’s pretty crazy,” admitted Johnson. “I used to be considered one of the youngest drivers when I first started and now I’m considered one of the oldest. Just to be able to do it for that period of time with your family is very special. Every race we compete in is just another special race to do as a family.”