LAS VEGAS – Defending NHRA Mello Yello Series Pro Stock world champion Allen Johnson is riding high from a recent victory at the NHRA Gatornationals.
It was the first time the Tennessee native won the tradition-rich Florida event and he’s hoping that his team’s success there will provide some early-season momentum as he prepares to defend his SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals title in two weeks at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The heart-pounding action of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns to Sin City April 5-7 for the first of two scheduled stops at the famed multi-purpose motorsports facility in 2013.
After getting off to a bit of a sluggish start in the new season’s first two races, Johnson seems to have eased back into the winning groove that saw him dominate the 200-mph factory hot rod category during the second half of last season. After welcoming a new teammate in four-time champ Jeg Coughlin, Johnson seems comfortable in his role as one of the elite drivers in the category.
“Our goal for each race is to qualify No. 1 and win the race,” Johnson said. “I think we’re one of the premier teams in Pro Stock now, and I think anyone would tell you that. We’ve got a crew that makes great decisions based on scientific methods and data, and we keep improving those decision-making tools. We’ll be right there again (for the championship).”
Johnson won the Gainesville race from the second spot behind Mike Edwards, who has qualified No. 1 at all three races this season. Last year at Las Vegas, Johnson won the race from the No. 3 spot. He is confident that no matter where he qualifies, come race day he will be a contender for the victory.