In a stunning turn of events at this past weekend’s NHRA Midwest Nationals, Allen Johnson, the 2012 NHRA Pro Stock World Champion, proved that time may pass, but the fire within a true racer never truly extinguishes. Behind the wheel of Geoff Turk’s resurgent BLACKBIRD X Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, Johnson clinched victory in a hard-fought battle down the quarter-mile.
The event spotlighted the enduring power of Dodge’s Challenger Drag Pak in the new Factory X class, particularly in the hands of seasoned drivers. Johnson’s triumph was a stark reminder that, when the circumstances align, seasoned champions can still outshine the competition.
Johnson’s return to the racetrack was a tale of fate and resilience. Following Turk’s brush with danger at Beech Bend Motorsports Park, the decision was made to call upon Johnson’s wealth of experience. The connection between Turk and Johnson, forged in the Factory Stock Showdown class fires, proved pivotal.
“Geoff’s accident marked a turning point. He reached out, and it felt like slipping back into a familiar rhythm,” Johnson reflected. “The NHRA Factory X class rekindled our interest, and after rigorous testing, I was back in the cockpit, reacquainting myself with the intoxicating rush of the quarter mile.”
Despite initial setbacks in Charlotte, Johnson and the BLACKBIRD X team rallied. A runner-up finish in Indy provided vital insights, leading to critical adjustments in St. Louis.
In a nerve-racking final run, Johnson navigated the BLACKBIRD X Challenger to a heart-pounding 7.105-second pass at over 202 mph, clinching the coveted class win. The satisfaction in Johnson’s voice was undeniable as he remarked, “Victory in a Sportsman class has eluded me for decades, but this win stands tall with all my NHRA Pro Stock Wally Trophies.”
Johnson also collected $10,000 for being the first to go over 200 mph in a qualifying run, making him the first member of the JESEL FX 200 MPH Club.