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Roy Johnson has finally had a chance to play with the present his son, NHRA Pro Stock Mopar® Dodge Avenger driver Allen Johnson, bought for him for Christmas last year—a 2009 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak vehicle.
Roy Johnson, who builds the Mopar HEMI® engines for his son’s J&J Racing Pro Stock team, currently second in the Pro Stock standings, took his first runs in his Mopar Drag Pak on Tuesday, May 25, at the team’s home track of Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway. Roy Johnson’s best pass was a 10.65-second elapsed time at 125.95 mph, with a second best mark of 10.73/125.35. Not bad for a 68-year-old who hasn’t raced in almost 30 years.

"Everybody says it’s like riding a bike. Well, it is, but they’ve moved all the pedals, because the car is so different," said Roy Johnson, with a chuckle. "I’ve been watching everybody else for so many years, now I’m trying my hand again. I think it’s pretty cool."

"Dad was really, really happy with it," said Allen Johnson. "He did exceptionally well driving. The first couple of runs he was a little rusty, but by the third or fourth run he looked like he had never quit."

Roy Johnson will see how he stacks up to the competition following his long layoff at his first post-retirement race, the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, scheduled for June 18–20 in Bristol. Johnson will race in the Stock Eliminator class at the event in his 5.7L HEMI-powered Mopar Drag Pak.

"I definitely want to be respectable, and I hope that luck is with me to somehow lead me to a class win," said Roy Johnson. "That would be the icing on the cake, but after 30 years of not driving, I don’t expect to go up there and beat guys who do it every day. I’m hoping, after all the runs I’ve made in testing, I’ll at least do good enough so they’ll know I was there."
 

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Roy Johnson, engine builder for his son Allen Johnson’s NHRA Pro Stock Mopar Dodge Avenger team, made his first passes in his 2009 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak (above) at Bristol Dragway on May 25. Roy Johnson will make his return to racing in the Stock Eliminator class at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol on June 18–20.
 

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"As far as maintaining the Pro Stock car, I’ll be lucky, since we’ll be close to home, and we can take the boys from the shop. I’ll let them do the actual work and I’ll just supervise and make recommendations. That should help."


— Roy Johnson, J&J Racing engine builder (right), on doing double duty with his son Allen’s Pro Stock team and competing in his 2009 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals next month.
 

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