Allen Johnson returns to NHRA competition at the Fitzgerald USA NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in his Mopar Dodge Challenge Drag Pak. Johnson raced in the SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown season opener at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals and the 2012 Pro Stock world champion will battle it out with Don Schumacher Racing competitors Leah Pritchett and Mark Pawuk in Bristol.
“We were able to make 16 runs in testing at Bristol, and that’s got us feeling really positive heading into this weekend,” said Johnson, who stepped away from Pro Stock competition at the end of the 2017 season. “We think we’re a lot closer to where we need to be than where we were after the first two Factory Stock races.”
Pritchett will also break out her Mopar Dodge Challenge Drag Pak in Thunder Valley. It’s Pritchett’s third time competing in Factory Stock in 2018. The Atlanta Top Fuel winner will compete in both classes as she tries to score multiple national event victories for the first time in her career.
“Bristol presents a unique and difficult atmosphere for tuners, making as much Mopar power and putting it to the track is what I’m looking forward to for this team,” said Pritchett. “Additionally, we’ve made some suspension changes to our Factory Stock program, and of course gearing changes to compensate for the altitude.”
The driver of the Top Fuel machine will, for the first time, be joined by a DSR teammate in the Factory Stock competition. Pawuk, who has experience in Pro Stock, will race alongside Pritchett in a Challenger Drag Pak and seeks to double the odds of bringing home the goods for DSR. He is making his debut in Factory Stock competition.
“I wasn’t quite ready to hang up my driving shoes for good just yet, and I felt like I had some unfinished business, so this was a great opportunity to give it another shot,” said Pawuk. “My goal is to go out and get another Wally.”
Pawuk’s Challenger will be tuned and maintained by longtime Sportsman racer Kevin Helms, who is a three-time world champion. The SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown begins qualifying at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on Friday.