FROM STAFF REPORTS
MORRISON, Colo. - Pro Stock racer Allen Johnson continued his mastery of Bandimere Speedway Sunday as he raced to his fourth Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals win.
The win is Johnson's third of the season, a career first, and also moves him into the Pro Stock points lead.
Johnson flat-out dominated the field at Denver, earning every point possible aside from setting a national record. Johnson claimed his third consecutive No. 1 qualifier at the track, breaking his own track record with a pass of 6.951 at 198.29 mph.
"Practice makes perfect," said Johnson, who also clinched a spot in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship. "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 really wanted to win this race this year and hand that Wally (trophy) for their 75th anniversary."
Johnson posted the quickest run in all eight rounds of the event counting both qualifying and eliminations, and resetting both ends of the Bandimere track record with a pass of 6.916-seconds at 198.70 mph in a first round win over Paul Pittman.
Johnson then sent home title rivals Greg Anderson in the second round with a 6.945/198.15 and Jason Line, in the semis with a 6.936/198.17 mark.
The final offered a first at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, an all-Dodge Pro Stock battle, featuring Johnson and local favorite 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.
With the win, Johnson moved up two spots to claim the Pro Stock points lead as he chases his first career Pro Stock championship.
"There's a lot of firsts happening for us this year," said Johnson. "It's the first time I've won three races in a year. This is a tough dang sport. I don't care how good your car is running, it's tough. I love to beat those Summit cars, and I beat two of them today.
"They're going to be teed off big time, so we better get ready for the rest of the Western Swing. We've got the car, if I do my job, to bring that broom out at the end (of the Western Swing). The driver is working really hard, and we're hoping to bring many more wins home for the Mopar contingent."
Johnson's first round victory involved one of the more scary moments of the season when the car in the other lane was involved in a fiery crash.
Fortunately for Johnson, it all took place behind him.
Pittman started drifting out of the groove and then around 1,000 feet he got real close to the centerline. The car got loose and darted toward the right side wall. He pulled back to keep it off the right wall, but then car barrel rolled one time and the rear end of the car hit the left wall.
The car then went back across the track and hit right wall hard, bounced of it trailing flames and went back across the track and hit the left wall almost head on.
Pittman's car was destroyed, but the driver escaped serious injury.
Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also scored wins in their respective categories this weekend.