Allen Johnson celebrates a milestone — his 20th year of NHRA competition. After spending more than 440 race weekends (and counting) on the road, the Team Mopar® veteran could moonlight as a travel guide. Johnson has certainly earned his travel wings as he has logged thousands of miles in the air, slept at every hotel chain you can name and has dispatched his race hauler on cross-country trips many times over. A.J. shares details of his busy itinerary on the 24-event NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Johnson flies to events, logging about 40,000 miles each year. He recently decided to spring for his own set of wings and acquired his certified pilot’s license. “Flying yourself makes travel much smoother,” says Johnson.
The team rig hauls the Magneti Marelli/Mopar® Dodge Dart to each race. “We’ll put close to 50,000 miles on the rig this year and burn through about 10,000 gallons of fuel, at a cost of $60,000,” says Johnson.
Johnson loves hotel loyalty programs. The 10-person J&J Racing team will typically reserve five to six rooms, three to four nights each, for a race weekend. For 24 events, that’s an estimated tab near $100,000 — incidentals not included.
ALONG FOR THE RIDE
Johnson’s support system is mobile. “I’m extremely fortunate that my family attends almost every event,” says Johnson. A.J.’s father Roy is the team engine builder and mom Revonda and wife Pam are usually in attendance to watch over the “boys.”
From greasy spoons to five-star restaurants, Johnson’s dined at ‘em all. A few stick out. “It’s maybe a tie for the top three,” says Johnson. “St. Elmo’s in Indy, Scoma’s in San Fran and the Black Bear Lodge in Brainerd, Minnesota.”