“Everybody asks me why I hired my two assassins, two of the best drivers in the class,” Johnson said. “I said that they make me better. Last year, at the last six races, I ran Vincent every race, and beat him in all six. I beat him because he challenges me and makes me better. That makes me better as a driver overall. Same thing with Jeggie; I knew that I would have to do my ultimate best to beat him. I hope we can all go head-to-head a bunch.”
In Top Fuel, 2012 world champion Antron Brown leads the series standings after winning at the Gatornationals in his Matco Tools dragster, but fellow teammate and U.S. Army dragster pilot Tony Schumacher, who has six victories at LVMS, is close behind. Defending event winner Massey, Winternationals winner Shawn Langdon, Brandon Bernstein, Doug Kalitta and Auto Club Road to the Future rookie candidate Brittany Force are all among the pre-race favorites in the 8,000-horsepower category.
The competition is just as tough in the Funny Car category. Auto Club Ford Mustang driver Hight hopes to defend his event title, but teammate Courtney Force and her Traxxas Ford Mustang team are on the hunt for win No. 2 in 2013. High-profile drivers Ron Capps, 2012 Funny Car world champion “Fast Jack” Beckman, Gatornationals winner Johnny Gray, Matt Hagan and Alexis DeJoria are also hungry for a win at The Strip.