Johnson Returns Home As Defending Winner

Allen Johnson (Joe Secka/JMS Pro Photo)
Allen Johnson (Joe Secka/JMS Pro Photo)

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Bristol Dragway holds a lifetime of memories for defending Pro Stock world champion Allen Johnson.

For the first time in his standout career, Johnson hopes to add a Pro Stock victory at Thunder Valley to that list in 2013.

After losing the 2012 finals to Mike Edwards in the closest side-by-side final round in NHRA history, Johnson will get another chance to break through to the winner’s circle at this year’s Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, June 14-16 at Bristol Dragway. Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Edwards (Pro Stock) are the defending winners of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event, which will be televised nationally on ESPN2HD.

Johnson and his Team Mopar Dodge Avenger remains the local fan favorite and this could be the year he nabs a prestigious first win at Bristol in front of family and friends after coming oh so close one year ago.

Having an opportunity to share a potential win with his father during Father’s Day weekend at his home track adds even more incentive to the event.

“Father’s Day has always been special day for our family. It usually brings some great food and much needed visit time with all the family,” Johnson said. “To be able to have my father at Bristol and try to win that race is a special incentive. It would mean getting an annoying monkey off our back. We almost got it done for the family, friends, employees last year and there is no doubt it would be special for everyone including the hometown fans.”

The razor-thin loss to Edwards at Bristol a year ago with a margin of victory technically recorded at a nearly-impossible .0000 of a second, spurred Johnson on to a remarkable series finish, one that included five of his seven wins en route to his 2012 world championship in Pro Stock.

“I was not horribly disappointed losing last year in the closest side-by-side final round in NHRA history,” Johnson said. “It was certainly a little disappointing, but it was an exciting finish for the fans and teams alike and you can’t be disappointed about that. We were just on the wrong side of the bullet there. It was a great race and we knew it would be.”