Longtime Pro Stock racer and 2012 NHRA Pro Stock world champion Allen Johnson announced his retirement from Pro Stock competition at the end of this season during a press conference on Friday at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.
“It’s been an amazing run for my dad [Roy] and I, but it just felt like now was the right time to step away from the Pro Stock chapter of our careers,” said Johnson, whose wife, Pam, and mother, Revonda, are also familiar figures in the Pro Stock pits. “We’ve celebrated an NHRA world championship, captured wins at historic tracks like Gainesville, Pomona, and Bandimere, and basically lived our dream for 22 years. We couldn’t have done it without the help and hard work of our J&J Racing team members over the years.”
The retirement announcement by Johnson comes on the heels of a season-high No. 3 qualifying effort in his Dodge Dart at the recent NHRA Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd vent and a string of encouraging performances.
“We thought we were done at the end of 2015 and Marathon Petroleum Corporation stepped up to help us out,” Johnson added. “They’re a great partner of mine in business and they saw the value in the NHRA and our program and they stepped up and saved the day. The people at Marathon Petroleum have gone above and beyond for me in business and on track and I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for our team the last two years.”
“These past two years with the Johnson and Johnson Racing Team have been very special for the Marathon brand,” said Bill McCleave, brand marketing director. “While our partnership on the racing side will come to an end, we have the privilege and honor of continuing to work with Allen as Marathon Branded Jobber Greenville Oil and Petroleum. We’re also excited for Allen, Pam, Roy, and Revonda as they enter this next chapter.”
Johnson currently owns 27 NHRA national event wins, good for ninth overall in Pro Stock class history. His 37 No. 1 qualifier spots also rank sixth all-time in Pro Stock and are tied for 22nd overall in NHRA history. Johnson, with his father Roy by his side and building his engines, has raced to 59 final rounds in 497 career races during his 22-year career — all spent competing in a Mopar Hemi-powered Dodge Pro Stock machine.
“Allen Johnson has served Mopar as a beloved ambassador for more than 20 years and has earned a special place in the hearts of our fans and in the history of our brand,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar) FCA – Global. “We will never forget Allen succeeding in his long quest to capture a Pro Stock championship, or his amazing run of victories at our showcase event, the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.
“I speak not just for the Mopar brand, but also on a personal level, when I say we cherish the special bonds we have built with AJ and his father Roy over the years. It’s been a family affair for them, and we wish them both, as well as the entire J&J Racing team, nothing but the best as they move on to their next challenge.”
Johnson always saved his best for the Mopar brand’s biggest event, the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals held each July at Bandimere Speedway near Denver, earning the nickname “King of the Mountain.” Carrying the Mopar banner, he tasted victory at the event seven times, tied for most alongside Pro Stock legend Bob Glidden, and advanced to a record 11 final rounds. Between 2007–2016, Johnson built an amazing streak of 10 consecutive final-round appearances and a near-perfect 37-3 round-win record at the venue.
“Mopar has been there for all those 22 years, through the good times and the bad, either as our primary or associate sponsor, and it’s been just an amazing relationship. I’ve gotten close to so many folks from the brand, including Pietro, who has shown us great support and will often text or email me despite his busy schedule,” Johnson said. “We’ve also become friends with thousands of Mopar fans, who are some of the most passionate people you’ll run into. They’ve always had our back and cheered us on, I think because they know dad and I are just like them — our whole lives, all we’ve ever driven is Mopar.”
Johnson is currently ninth in the Pro Stock standings and seeking to lock up a top-10 spot this weekend at the U.S. Nationals to secure his berth in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs for an 11th consecutive season. He has never missed the postseason dating back to 2007, when NHRA first adopted the playoff format.