As the countdown to the 2012 K&N Horsepower Challenge reached single digits, with only eight races remaining before the high-dollar shootout in Norwalk, the competition in the Pro Stock category continued to be fierce.
Longtime Mopar runner Allen Johnson claimed the top spot at the 43rd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com in Gainesville, making him the third Pro Stock driver to have qualified No. 1 in as many races in the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season.
Johnson’s first No. 1 qualifying performance of the season and 19th of his career allowed him to solidify his fourth-place standing for this year’s K&N Horsepower Challenge and gain ground on current leader Line, second-place Mike Edwards (who qualified fourth in Gainesville), and third-place Greg Anderson (who started third). Johnson’s performance also allowed him to claim the $3,000 award given to the No. 1 qualifier at each race, a feature exclusive to the Horsepower Challenge and one well-appreciated by the drivers.
“The Mopar people are throwing us some great parts,” said Johnson. “This Avenger is an awesome race car, and I can’t thank Mopar enough. I’m just looking forward to starting from the No. 1 spot in this class field.
“We also really appreciate the folks at K&N putting up that bonus money, and the program they do with the K&N Horsepower Challenge is just awesome. We’re happy that they are a part of the Pro Stock category and are proud to represent them in any way we can.”