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Allen Johnson retiring after 22 years

by Bill Cawthon on

Allen Johnson has announced he’s retiring from drag racing. After 22 years of driving Dodges in NHRA Pro Stock competitions, one of the last Mopar drivers in the class is hanging up his suit.

Allen Johnson celebrates one of his 27 NHRA Pro Stock victories.

Johnson made the announcement today at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, the final event of the regular 2017 season. He will compete in this event, and is likely to be included in the Countdown to the Championship that kicks off with the Carolina Nationals on September 15.

“It’s been an amazing run for my dad and I, but it just felt like now was the right time to step away from the Pro Stock chapter of our careers,” said Johnson.

Johnson has accumulated 27 Nationals wins and a world championship in 2012, putting him ninth in Pro Stock class history. He is sixth in the number of top qualifier spots with a total of 37. He has made it to the final round of eliminations 59 times in his 497 career races. Johnson also won seven times at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals in Bandimere, Colorado, tying him with Bob Glidden for the most wins there.

Johnson has accomplished all of this in a series of Hemi-powered Dodges.

He raced for Mopar for 20 years up until the end of the 2015 season, when Mopar shifted its sponsorship to Elite and banked on Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Erica Enders. Following a disastrous 2016 season, Mopar pulled out as a primary sponsor in Pro Stock.

Johnson made a smooth transition to racing under the Marathon Oil banner, but has fought a losing battle with the Chevrolet Camaros that now dominate Pro Stock. Mopar remained as a secondary sponsor.

The one race he was never able to win was the Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee, his hometown track.

“Mopar has been there for all those 22 years, through the good times and the bad, either as our primary or associate sponsor, and it’s been just an amazing relationship,” Johnson noted. “We’ve also become friends with thousands of Mopar fans, who are some of the most passionate people you’ll run into. They’ve always had our back and cheered us on, I think because they know dad and I are just like them – our whole lives, all we’ve ever driven is Mopar.”

With Johnson’s retirement, Alan Prusiensky is the last Dodge driver regularly running in Pro Stock — and he hasn’t announced plans for the 2018 season.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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