Final Round Frustrations

MOPAR Teams Run Close to Victory

Larry Jewett - April 28, 2014 09:32 AM


Allen Johnson recorded the top qualifying spot (on 4/26 HEMI Day) in search of better performance for the Dart.

Mopar Racing

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     Mopar drivers Allen Johnson and Jack Beckman took their HEMI-powered Dodge machines to their respective Pro Stock and Funny Car final elimination rounds at Royal Purple Raceway to come away with runner-up finishes at 27th annual NHRA SpringNationals near Baytown, Texas.
     Pro Stock No.1 qualifier, Johnson took his “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” Dodge Dart through the eliminations ladder to advance to his third final round appearance of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
     “We can’t be too disappointed with our weekend,” said Johnson who remains second in the Pro Stock points standings. “I think we’ve got a better handle on the Dart. We have something really good to work with on both cars and we actually made some good progress today with Jeg (Coughlin Jr.) car. Jeg really made improvements today and had a chance to be in the finals with me. Between the tune up and the motors and this humidity and these new cars we made a lot of positive progress this weekend.
     Coughlin’s day started on a positive note. "I felt fantastic behind the wheel," Coughlin said. "I was .005 first round and .012 second round, and I was set up somewhere between .002 and .010 for that run and must've got it all again. Little bit unnecessary, quite frankly, to set up so tight but we'll make some adjustments. We've got two weeks off, so we'll be ready to go for Atlanta."
     Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car pilot Jack Beckman had his strongest weekend of the 2014 season thus far. Beckman drove the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T to his best qualifying effort of the year securing the No.2 seed on the eliminations ladder. He moved to a semifinal round match up against his Mopar teammate Ron Capps. Beckman took the round win with a 4.485-second pass while his teammate hazed the tires. The win, however, came with some drama as the race car failed to make the turn at the top end of the race track and slid into barriers causing front end damage to the vehicle but the DSR crew was able to have Beckman’s Dodge Charger R/T ready to run in their first final round appearance since St. Louis last autumn.
    The 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series resumes May 16-18 at the 34th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia.