Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Team Mopar® Driver Johnson Eyes Second Straight Win at Englishtown

Team Mopar® Driver Johnson Eyes Second Straight Win at Englishtown  

  • Allen Johnson goes for back-to-back victories in NHRA SuperNationals, third triumph of 2012
  • Jeg Coughlin Jr. shoots for fourth career Pro Stock win at Englishtown
  • Matt Hagan aims for first victory of 2012, first trophy at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park  
Auburn Hills, Mich. — Team Mopar® NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson is looking to keep two streaks alive as he heads to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., this weekend for the 43rd Annual NHRA SuperNationals, May 31–June 3. Johnson is looking for his second consecutive win of the season, also his second straight win at the Englishtown venue.
Johnson was victorious last season at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in an all-Mopar final over Vincent Nobile, who competes with Mopar HEMI® engines built by Johnson’s J&J Racing team. A second-generation driver, Johnson has advanced to at least the semifinals three times in his career at Englishtown, which is one of the original NHRA tracks, and garnered No. 1 Qualifier honors in the 2006 race at the venue.
“We’ve had some good success at Englishtown and have been fast there in our Mopar Dodge Avenger,” said Johnson. “We have some heat heading in there coming off our Topeka win, and have been building momentum throughout the early part of the season. The whole team is really pumped up right now. We just need to keep doing what we are doing.”
The native of Greeneville, Tenn., earned his second win of the season on May 20 at Heartland Park Topeka, while also recording his third No. 1 Qualifier award of the year. Since picking up his first win of the season on April 1 in Las Vegas, Johnson has advanced to at least the semifinals in five consecutive events.
“I think having won at Englishtown last year and in Topeka a couple weeks ago kind of takes the pressure off us,” said Johnson. “Our focus has been on consistency and learning how to win. It’s fun to accomplish both of those goals, and we look to continue to build on that.”
Johnson, who is currently third in points, just 39 markers out of the second spot as he chases his first Pro Stock title, has been among the six-fastest drivers in qualifying in each of the first eight events this season. The Team Mopar veteran was fastest at Gainesville, Houston and Topeka to bring his career tally to 21 No. 1 Qualifier awards.
“At Topeka we qualified in the top spot and got a really tough draw in the first round,” said Johnson. “You can’t take anybody for granted. It doesn’t matter if they are qualified 14th, 15th or 16th. People can step up and beat you anytime. You have to always be on your game.”
Jeg Coughlin Jr., has won five times overall in his career at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in two different classes. The driver of the Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger won in Pro Stock for the first time at Englishtown in 1998 and followed that up with victories in 2000 and 2009. Coughlin also triumphed in the special-event Holly Dominator Duel in 1999 in Pro Stock. The native of Delaware, Ohio, earned his first victory at the venue in 1997 in the Sportsman ranks in the Super Gas category. The second-generation driver was the No. 1 Qualifier in Pro Stock at the quarter-mile in 2000.
“The famed Old Bridge Township Raceway Park is one of our favorite stops on the NHRA tour,” said Coughlin. “We’ve been sneaking up on our combination with our Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger, both engine and chassis-wise. It’s no secret that we’ve had our struggles with this new combination, but we are extremely excited to let the clutch out and perform at Englishtown.”
Matt Hagan, the defending NHRA Funny Car champion, has advanced to the semifinals in each of his last two visits to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in his Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T for Don Schumacher Racing (DSR). Hagan enters the event at Englishtown just outside of the top-10 in the Funny Car standings. Jack Beckman and Ron Capps have won each of the last two Funny Car races for DSR in Mopar-powered Dodge Chargers.

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