NHRA season finale

Mopar drivers take two championships

The 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season can be dubbed ‘Year of the HEMI’ as Pro Stock World Champion Allen Johnson wrapped up his winning season by taking the victory in an all-Mopar final round battle while Jack Beckman added another Championship trophy to Mopar’s mantle by earning the Funny Car crown for Don Schumacher Racing on Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona. The two championships highlight the brand’s 75th anniversary year in which Mopar-powered drivers also captured 10 wins in each of the Pro Stock and Funny Car classes.

“All of us are very proud of Allen Johnson and Jack Beckman on bringing home two NHRA World Championships for Mopar,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “Allen’s impressive win at Pomona solidified his mark on his Championship and all the hard work behind it. It was also amazing to watch Jack and Ron Capps battle each other in their Dodge Charger R/Ts for the crown.”

“Mopar-powered cars have either led or been near the front of the field all year in both Pro Stock and Funny Car, which shows the strength of our Mopar HEMI engines that compete in the NHRA,” added Gorlier. “It was tremendous to watch our Team Mopar drivers battle for wins all season long and be rewarded with two championships.”

After clinching the World Championship on Saturday, Johnson drove his Mopar Dodge Avenger to the win over teammate Vincent Nobile earning a career-best seven wins in one season and first at Pomona.

“Our team is so awesome and the Mopar Dodge Avenger has just performed flawlessly,” said Johnson after punctuating his first championship with the win.

When asked what kept him going for 17 years he added, “Determination and my father (who is his engine builder). He wanted to do this all his life and my whole focus was winning this with him. A lot of hard work and determination went into winning this. We had a dominating performance in this Countdown, won a championship and ended with a win. What more can we do? That has added just a little more emotion to it.”

Johnson, starting from the No. 2 spot, first dispatched of Greg Stanfield in the opening round with a run of 6.513-seconds at 212.76 mph to Stanfield’s 6.564/210.77. In the quarterfinals Johnson (6.520/212.63) took out veteran Ron Krisher (6.537/211.79), earning lane choice for his semifinals battle with Mike Edwards. Johnson was quickest of the round with a 6.526/211.16 to best Edwards, who slowed after launch, and advanced to his 11th final of the year, and his third against teammate Vincent Nobile, who competes with Mopar HEMI engines built by Johnson’s J&J Racing team.

Vincent Nobile  (Tim Marshall photo)