ENNIS, Texas - 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."
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.
"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.
Following an incredibly close 0.004 second quarter-final win against Greg Anderson, Nobile found himself in a good old fashioned Texas-style Mopar versus Mopar showdown against Johnson for the second race in a row.
Their semi-final bout was unbelievably tight from start to finish, beginning with Johnson's reaction time of 0.010 of a second to Nobile's 0.011, and a finish that saw win lights in Johnson's favor after an ET of 6.559 / 210.90 to Nobile's 6.613 /210.21 mph.
The third round of the six-race "Countdown to the Championship" continues September 28-30 with the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park, in the shadow of the famed St. Louis Arch in Missouri.