Allen Johnson

Interview conducted and photos by Chris Haverly

Allen Johnson at work in his office with Sadie Mae.Allen Johnson has flown the Mopar colors since 1996 as an independent and with factory support. He has spent his entire life around the sport of drag racing, growing up with his father, Roy, driving, then himself going into the deep end jumping into Pro Stock.


I got to spend a little time with Allen on Super Bowl weekend and I have to say, he seems to be at peace with his semi-retirement. I'm sure the fire still burns but he has a full slate to keep him busy. When I talked with Allen at his office in Greenville, TN, we didn't get into rules, the NHRA or what can be done to save the class, just about him, his state of mind and his future.


  Allen, for the first time since 1996, you aren't getting ready for the Winternationals. How are you adapting to the new lifestyle?


AJ: You know, very well actually. We went to Florida, enjoyed watching the grandkids playing ball, we have raised horses, sorta like a little weight lifted off your shoulders to be honest. Sorta worry about my Dad a little bit but he is staying busy. We have decided to race this Factory Stock Showdown class, we are entered at Gainesville, he has a motor to put together for that, we are getting the car ready so he still has something to do. So we’re going to go have a little bit of fun this year instead of having a lot of pressure on us.


Allen with his dad, Roy.  Racing Pro Stock isn’t about the money, so are you going to miss the seat time, the friends or the fans more than anything? what will be your biggest adjustment?


AJ: The fans, friends and the people part of it will be what I will miss the most. I will get my trills from the Factory Stock car, shooting some wheelies -- those things are a handful to drive. We will definitely miss the friends, family and all the people.


How big a spectator are you going to be? Will you be watching on line, the FS1 broadcast or just read about it the next day?


AJ: You know I am sure I will watch it on TV if I'm not playing golf or something, keep up with it on my phone. You know I have already had two different people call and ask if I would have any problem driving a Chevy if they needed a driver to test or something. I don’t care if I ever drive one again to be honest. My time is done but you may see me out there if someone needs the seat time to fill in or something.


  I know Bristol is your home track, a place you never won. You won a championship and dominated on the mountain. Any chance we may see you pull that Dodge out for Bristol to get that win?


AJ: Well, we have sold everything, we have a few motors left. The only way you would see me in a Pro Stock is as a hired gun.


  You have your pilots license and you and Pam have had a chance to live a normal life away from the track. You have a grandson who won a State Championship in football this year and the younger one just won one in basketball. You might find life away from the track is pretty nice.


AJ: I think we already have, spending time with the kids, time at our home in Florida. So, yes, it has been nice. There is a whole different life out there.


  I know all Mopar fans are going to miss you at the track. I want to thank you, Pam, your Mom and Dad for always being so good to me. I look forward to seeing that Factory Stock Challenger at the track … can't wait to see it in the Winners Circle.


AJ: Thank you, and we will definitely be working hard to do that!  


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