VIEWS: 30 PAGES: 5 CATEGORY: Engineering & Energy POSTED ON: 8/5/2010
Along with putting in many hours at the shop in preparation for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series each season, Johnson works alongside crew chief Mark Ingersoll in the pits and supports his son on the starting line, lining him up in preparation to stage, giving the goodto- go signal, and then showing his signature thumbs-up to the ESPN camera. Johnson was overwhelmed by the generous gesture and most appreciative, but, as always, his energies were focused on Allen's program, and the sweet Challenger mostly sat idle until May, when it came time to test at Bristol Dragway.\n69 dial to stop Monty Bogan Jr. for a chance to run against Rampy, who was .004 at the Tree in their thirdround heads-up match to Johnson's .107 launch but slowed to an 11.75, allowing Johnson to snatch up another round-win and close out the day's racing with a quick 10.67 for a bye run into the quarterfinals.
Pro Stock papa and Mopar Hemi engine guru Roy Johnson got comfortable behind the wheel of a new F/SA Challenger of his own at Bristol Dragway, but he sure isn’t a rookie by Kelly Wade Comp and won two national events back to ne could say that Roy Johnson has a back, the Cajun O fondness for racing, but it would be a whole lot more accurate to say that the feisty and fun-loving Southerner somehow got the pesky speed bug under his skin early in life, and it burrowed deep, lodging itself so definitely into his being that he would never again be whole without it. Nationals in Baton Rouge, La., and the NHRA SPORTSnationals in Indianapolis. The following two seasons produced a pair of It had been a long time, but the eternal yearn Division 2 to race the 1,320 was recently satisfied when he championship titles. In debuted his F/SA Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag all, his two national Pak entry — a gift from son and Pro Stock ace event victories were the Allen — at his home race, the NHRA Thunder highlight of six final- Valley Nationals in Bristol. round appearances. In Johnson will tell you that he doesn’t even 1986, though, Johnson recall a time when he didn’t want to be a part of decided that he’d had his fill, and it was time to Stocker fitted with a Steve Schmidt powerplant. racing, at least in some way. The Greeneville, hang up the gloves. They were off and running in the Pro Tenn., resident started competing in go-karts in “When I quit, I thought I’d never do this again,” doorslammer class and never looked back. the early 1960s, played on the dirt track for a few said Johnson. “The wife and I did flea market stuff, Though Schmidt contributed early in their Pro years, and then began feeding his speed craving and I thought I had gotten away from it, except that I Stock racing days, Johnson soon took over and with drag racing. had a shop and did cars and motors, always has been the team’s engine builder ever since. He “It’s something that’s been in me all my life,” something to do with hot rodding. I guess it never has also provided 500 cubic inches of Hemi he said. “I can’t put my finger on anything that really did leave me. In 1995, Allen persuaded me to power for other competitors, including 2009 might have triggered it. I’ve just always had a go racing again. At first I said, ‘No, no, no.’ I had a customer Johnny Gray, who recorded career-best love for fast cars and speed.” nice little business building motors and working on numbers that season and his first top 10 finish in As is often the case, racing became a family cars — doing specialty work, you might say — and the category, and former Comp racer Vinnie affair, and son Allen got the bug, too. The pair I was making good money, but I wasn’t really too Deceglie, who scored the first round-win of his competed successfully in IHRA Super Stock as a hard to persuade.” career at the recent event in Bristol over three- team from 1977 to 1983, and the elder Johnson time world champion Greg Anderson. collected numerous victories and a pair of season llen purchased a Super Comp car, and the Johnson aims to provide the best to his customers championships behind the wheel of a ’62 Plymouth. For the next couple of years, he raced in NHRA competition, and the 1983 season A two went racing, but soon enough, they realized that Super Comp wasn’t quite their cup of tea. By the Phoenix event in 1996, Allen while keeping steady focus on Allen’s program. He seems to have mastered the balance of his craft with enjoying the atmosphere and can often be seen at the played out to be a career year for the lifelong had logged time at Roy Hill’s Drag Racing ropes laughing with friends and fans or signing engine builder and auto-repair specialist. He School, and their team, known as J&J Racing, autographs, but when he is in close proximity to the drove Jim Danuel and Tim Neal’s Opel GT in was in possession of a Jerry Haas-built Pro Dodge Avenger, it’s all business. Along with putting The ’09 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak is painted in the likeness of the one Roy
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