J&J Dodge Continues NHRA Pro Stock Domination

After topping every qualifying session and earning the No.1 Qualifier honor, Allen Johnson made it a clean sweep by driving his Mopar Dodge Avenger to a title win at the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex…..

 “The Mopar Dodge Avenger was consistent and it was low in all four qualifying rounds, low in two of four rounds today, and got the job done,” said Johnson who collected his tenth pole position and fifth title win of the season along the way. “We’ve got a great crew that makes great decisions. We’ve got great power from Dad (Roy Johnson) and the guys at the engine shop with great support from Mopar. The driver, fortunately, did his job.”

“Congratulations from everyone at Mopar to Allen Johnson on his win at the Fall Nationals inTexas,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “We are extremely proud of Allen and the team for earning and maintaining their place atop the NHRA playoffs standings amid such strong competition, including three other HEMI-powered Dodge Avenger entries.”

This weekend’s performance was a big boost for Johnson who entered the event just three playoff points ahead of defending Pro Stock champ Jason Line in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship, and after collecting maximum qualifying bonuses and the title win, now extends his lead to 93 points.

Allen & Roy Johnson delivered another back breaking Pro Stock performance while winning at the Texas Motoplex.

“I looked at the elimination ladder last night and thought, ‘Oh, my, I’m going to have to work for this one’,” added Johnson. “We just took it one round at a time without getting ahead of ourselves. Somebody who’s won several championships called me before this thing ever started and told me, ‘Just enjoy it, and have fun.’ That advice was very important. I’m up for this challenge, and I’m enjoying it.”

Johnson followed up his runner-up finish last week in Charlotte with his first win in the playoffs against Erica Enders in the final round of elimination with an elapsed time of 6.598 seconds at 210.93 mph to Enders’ 6.835 / 209.39 after slowing at the start.

Another HEMI-powered entry earning good points in playoffs with his strong performance this weekend was Vincent Nobile who maintained his third spot in the standings, 122 behind Johnson.

Pro Racing at the Texas Motorplex (the 2nd of six NHRA Playoff events) also included an affirming win for Antron Brown in Top Fuel and a relieving victory for Bob Tasca III in fuel Funny Car.

Brown claimed his fifth victory of the season and moved into a tie for the points lead with the driver he beat in the final round, teammate Spencer Massey. Brown powered his Matco Tools dragster to a 3.898 second run at 311.49 mph to hold off Massey’s FRAM dragster, which finished with a 3.945 at 300.60.

Antron Brown has moved into a 1st place tie in NHRA Full Throttle TF points following his win at the Texas Motorplex

 “This is definitely the way to rebound,” said Brown, the playoff top seed who dropped to fourth in the standings after a first round loss at the playoff-opener last weekend in Charlotte, N.C. “I have to give credit to my team for sticking together. We were winning in the first round inCharlottewhen we broke an input shaft. It’s so easy to get down after something like that. We came here, and the car was throwing us fits by being overaggressive. Brian [Corradi] and Mark [Oswald, co-crew chiefs] kept backing it off until they got a good handle on it in the semis.”Brown and Massey lead seven-time world champ Tony Schumacher by 24 points and the suddenly surging Shawn Langdon is 41 back as the playoff race in the 8,000-horsepower category gets intense. 

“In that final, we had to give it everything we had against the FRAM car,” said Brown, who beat three Countdown contenders — David Grubnic, Langdon and Morgan Lucas – in the first three rounds. “We edged them, and it felt really good to win and to tie them in the points lead. We have four races left, and it’s going to be a slugfest to the end. Everybody’s throwing haymakers. It’s an all-out battle royal right now.”

Funny Car featured a final round battle between two drivers who aren’t in the Countdown playoffs, as Tasca prevailed in a tire-smoking final round duel with defending world champ Matt Hagan. Both cars lost traction near mid-track, but Tasca was able to guide his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Ford Mustang to the finish line in front of Hagan’s Aaron’s/Mopar Dodge Charger.

Bob Tasca III ended a winless drought in fuel FC taking his Ford Mustang to career win #4

“This weekend just kind of epitomized our whole season, just keep fighting,” Tasca said. “We went through three motors. The guys haven’t worked this hard all year, but to put Motorcraft and Ford in the winner’s circle where they belong, I tell you, is long overdue for our team. We just kept fighting. Marc [Denner] and Chris [Cunningham, crew chiefs] just pulled together and got this car back on track. It wasn’t pretty. Trust me, there was some driving that had to be done out there, but we got it done. We got a win, and hopefully this is the momentum we need to finish the year strong.”

Tasca outran Alexis DeJoria, top qualifier Courtney Force and defending event winner Cruz Pedregon to advance to the final round. Tasca was very proud of his team’s effort in taking out two top Countdown contenders and claiming the team’s first victory of the season and fourth of his career.

“We have as much fight now, and I think we’re more determined now than ever before,” Tasca said. “Not making the top 10 was a lot of heartache for the guys on this team. I said to my team, ‘This will be a defining six races because I want to see what we’re all made of, me included. Are we going to roll over and play dead these next six races, or are we going to come out with some fire in us and take this thing to Pomona and let everyone know that we may not be in this year but watch out next year.’ I think this weekend was a defining weekend for our team because we fought through some tough rounds, three motor changes in four rounds in this heat, and we put ourselves in a position to win. I did my job, and we’re leaving with the trophy.”

Series leader Ron Capps, who lost to Hagan in the semifinals, increased his Countdown playoff lead to 96 over second place Mike Neff, who lost in the second round to Pedregon. Saturday’s Traxxas Nitro Shootout winner, John Force, lost in the first round to Hagan.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle,Texas native Ray claimed his first career victory, powering his Viper Motorcycle Company/GottSpeed Racing Buell to a performance of 6.920 at 192.77 to hold off Karen Stoffer’s GEICO Suzuki, which trailed with a 7.028 at 190.48.

PSB racing produced a first time winner – homestate racer Michael Ray

“It’s really surreal, and I don’t think it’s really sank in yet that I’m getting to go home with the biggest thing that I’ve worked my whole life for,” Ray said.  “When we got here this weekend, we knew we had a great bike that could go out there and be competitive, coming off our performance inCharlotte. I just knew that as long as I just kept my cool and rode the bike consistently there’s not a better tuner out here when it’s hot than Matt Smith, and I think we showcased that today.”

Ray, who beat Scotty Pollacheck, Hector Arana Jr., and Andrew Hines to advance to his second career final round, moved from seventh to fourth in the standings with the victory. Points leader Eddie Krawiec increased his championship lead to 11 over second place Hines.

The NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship playoffs continues with the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, next weekend atGatewayMotorsportsParknearSt. Louis.

Event Essentials:  AAA Texas Fall Nationals (Sep. 20-23rd, 2012)  Dallas TX 

TOP FUEL Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Antron Brown 3.898 311.49 36th
R/UP: Spencer Massey 3.945 300.60  
Low ET: Spencer Massey 3.814    
Top Speed: Shawn Langdon   323.50  
Bump Spot:   4.297    
FUNNY CAR       Career Win
Winner: Bob Tasca III 4.826 197.59 4th
R/UP: Matt Hagan 5.025 188.15  
Low ET: Courtney Force 4.081    
Top Speed: Mike Neff   309.20  
Bump Spot:   4.385    
PRO STOCK       Career Win
Winner: Allen Johnson 6.598 210.93 14th
R/UP: Erica Enders 6.835 209.39  
Low ET: Allen Johnson 6.550    
Top Speed: Allen Johnson   211.99  
Bump Spot:   6.617    
PRO STOCK BIKE       Career Win
Winner: Michael Ray 6.920 192.77 1st
R/UP: Karen Stoffer 7.028 190.48  
Low ET: Hector Arana Jr 6.852    
Top Speed: Hector Arana   196.24  
Bump Spot:   7.063    
LUCAS OIL        
Sportsman Winners:        
Top Alcohol Dragster Jim Whiteley 5.275 271.68  
Top Alcohol FC Clint Thompson 5.591 259.46  
Competition David Rampy 7.230 182.75  
Top Sportsman Jimmy Lewis 6.960 201.61  
Super Stock Eric Pearson 10.78 108.58  
Stock Terry Emmons 10.53 117.36  
Super Comp Tommy Phillips 8.907 160.46  
Super Gas Tommy Phillips 9.911 149.08  
Super Street Steven Wilson 10.87 131.22  


Force Collects $100 Large!

Modern day drag racing legend  John Force is another $100,000 richer following his victory in the inaugural Traxxas Nitro Shootout held during the Saturday at the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex – south of  Dallas.

John Force won the inaugural Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Funny Cars on Saturday

Force edged Shootout top seed Ron Capps in the final round of the lucrative specialty race that featured eight Funny Car winners from the 17-race regular season. Force powered his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang to a performance of 4.218 seconds at 296.57 mph to hold off Capps’ NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger, who trailed with a 4.223 at 296.50.Force beat Jack Beckman and Jeff Arend in early rounds to advance to the final.

“It’s a great day and we won,” Force said. “The 100 grand goes to my employees. I don’t take any money. It’s not about that for me. It’s about winning for them and the fans and the sponsors. Traxxas putting up that 100 grand, it’s good for our sport. It’s good to have money out here that can subsidize teams, that can help teams, and anybody can win it, and I won it.”

The 2012 Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Funny Cars was held at the Texas Motoplex after weather problems deferred it from it’s original location at Indy.   Spencer Massey was the Traxxas Nitro Shootout winner for the Top Fuel portion, which was completed during the U.S. Nationals

Posted with files from :  NHRA Communications,  Pat Caporali & Bruce Biegler 

NHRA & DragRaceCanada File Photos