A Definition of Domination
When Webster’s Dictionary does its next scheduled update – don’t be too surprised if it contains a new reference to: Johnson & Johnson Racing….
That Tennessee-based Pro Stock racing team was in truly excellent form during last weekend’s 33rd edition for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals held at fabulous Bandimere Speedway in Denver.
Simply put – Allen,Roy and their highly talented supporting cast, put on what may have been the single most dominating display anywhere in Pro Stock racing over the last five years or so.
And they picked the absolute perfect time to do it – rolling their Mopar-sponsored Dodge Avenger into victory lane at their sponsor’s very special 75th anniversary Mopar Mile-High Nationals event.
At just a few minutes before 6:00 PM on Sunday, right after they knocked out fellow Mopar brand racer V. Gaines in a very telling for the class all Dodge final round – the party was on!
Johnson’s domination of Pro Stock at Denver was complete. He earned every single point available for the event short of setting the national ET record (which would be virtually impossible at that high altitude).
The Mopar Dodge Avenger pilot posted the quickest run in all eight rounds of the event counting both qualifying and eliminations, and reset both ends of his own Bandimere track record (set last year).
The final offered a first at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, an all-Mopar Dodge Pro Stock battle, featuring Johnson and local favorite and Mopar HEMI-powered driver V. Gaines. In his sixth straight final round at his sponsor’s headline event, Johnson used a 6.951/197.31 to defeat Gaines (7.144/160.35) and claim his third win of the season, fourth at Denver and 12th of his career.
“My quote is going to be, ‘Practice makes perfect,’” said Johnson, a Greeneville, Tenn., native, who also clinched a spot in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs. “For years we’ve come up here and tested and developed a combination that’s just bad to the bone. We want to do well in front of our Mopar contingent. This year was extra special because it was the 75th anniversary of Mopar. We re ally wanted to win this race this year and hand that Wally for their 75th anniversary.”
With the win, Johnson moved up two spots and now sits atop the overall NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock championship points chase.
In Funny Car, Jack Beckman also delivered big time for the event sponsor Mopar and all its dignitaries that were present.
“Fast Jack” was nearly as dominant as Johnson, seizing the pole and event win on the way to his second career Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals victory. His Valvoline NextGen Dodge Charger out ran 2012 Rookie sensation Courtney Force in the final round winning a very tight 4.277 secs to 4.289 secs decision.
“That was a special day,” said Beckman. “The guys on our crew worked so hard this weekend, and it was very special that we could win the title at an event sponsored by Mopar, and help celebrate its 75th anniversary.”
Jack’s win, the 14th of his career, also included round wins over Todd Simpson, Jeff Arend and John Force in earlier competition.
Antron Brown and Eddie Krawiec also scored wins in their respective categories at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event nearDenver.
Brown, in Top Fuel defeated Brandon Bernstein who continues his winless drought. Brown had a winning pass of 3.957 seconds at 308.21 in his Matco Tools dragster to edge Bernstein’s MAV TV dragster, which trailed at the finish line with a 3.959 at 307.58. With the victory, Brown moves into second in the points standings, 11 behind teammate Spencer Massey. Brown is the most recent driver to sweep the Western Swing, in 2009, and hopes this is the first step in repeating that feat.
“When you come out here on ‘The Mountain,’ you have to tune it up on the racetrack and keep it living,” Brown said. “We lived all four rounds today, and that’s a good start for the Western Swing.”
It was Brown’s second win atDenverin three finals here. He was happy to hold off his good buddy Bernstein in the final.
HD Continues its Dominance
Krawiec rode his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to the win over his teammate Andrew Hines in the final when Hines fouled out, handing the win to Krawiec. This was the fourth win in four final round appearances for Krawiec. It also marked the seventh time a Harley-Davidson was featured in the final round and the team’s seventh consecutive win this season.
“Talk about a dream season, we never expected it to go like this,” Krawiec said. “You know, to be 100 percent honest with you, this race shouldn’t have been ours this weekend. Not that you should always count yourself out, but we were a little down on ourselves as a team, we were struggling on Friday and Saturday. It really sucks when you’re that far behind. For us, we just dug hard and went after it.”
Event Essentials: 33rd NHRA Mopar Mile-High Nationals (July 20-22nd, 2012) Denver CO
|TOP FUEL||Name||ET||MPH||Career Win|
|Low ET:||Spencer Massey||3.914|
|Top Speed:||Spencer Massey||318.02|
|FUNNY CAR||Name||ET||MPH||Career Win|
|Low ET:||Jack Beckman||4.131|
|Top Speed:||Robert Hight||304.53|
|PRO STOCK||Name||ET||MPH||Career Win|
|Low ET:||Allen Johnson||6.916|
|Top Speed:||Allen Johnson||198.70|
|PRO STOCK BIKE||Name||ET||MPH||Career Win|
|Low ET:||Hector Arana Jr.||7.237|
|Top Speed:||Eddie Krawiec||185.13|
|Super Stock||Dan Fletcher||11.35||107.79|
|Stock||Michael Brand II||11.87||111.24|
|Super Comp||AJ Percival||9.491||162.35|
|Super Gas||Ken Harkema||10.51||133.43|
|Super Street||Joey Horan||11.58||107.90|
Fletcher’s 77th Win Highlights Sportsman Racing
New York’s Dan Fletcher scored his 77th NHRA National event win to lead the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series winners for the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals. Fletcher, who has won national events in four different categories, took home the Super Stock trophy as he defeated Tim Nicholson in the final running 11.353 seconds at 107.79 mph.
In the Stock final it was Michael Brand picking up his first ever national event win when Stephen Hagberg left early with a red-light foul start giving the win to Brand and hisPontiac, Firebird.
Three more first time winners were crowned this weekend led by A.J. Percival in Super Comp who knocked out former Top Alcohol Dragster driver Cody Perkins in a double breakout. Perkins left first but ran too fast at 9.483 seconds on the 9.50 index.
Ken Harkema and Joey Horan rounded out the winners as Harkema won in Super Gas over Michael Phillips running 10.511 at 133 mph in his ’27 Ford while Horan used a starting line advantage to earn his first NHRA Wally trophy beating Bob Myers in Super Street.
Posted by: Bruce Biegler, Darren Jacobs & NHRA Communications
Photos by: Bruce Biegler
To view DragRaceCanada’s Mopar Mile-High Nationals event photo gallery click: HERE