Allen Johnson is the No. 1 seed for the K&N Horsepower Challenge, as the special event takes place Saturday, March 29th during the 15th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. A purse of $76,000 is available for the eight drivers competing in the Challenge, with the winner earning $50,000; the runner-up will earn $10,000, the two semifinalists $3,000 each, and the four first-round finishers $2,500 apiece.
The Challenge showcases eight top Pro Stock teams in a race-within-a-race bonus event, seven of which qualified during a 24-race span from the 2013 SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas, through the 2014 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA GatorNationals at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida. The eighth driver, David Connolly, was selected via a special fan vote on the K&N website.
Johnson, a two-time winner of the event, will make his 11th appearance in the event. Other former winners in the event include Vincent Nobile, Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Connolly. Erica Enders-Stevens, making her fifth start in the event, was the highest eligible points-earning driver outside the top seven and was inserted into the field in place of Mike Edwards, who is not competing in this season’s event.
K&N Horsepower Challenge rounds are scheduled for 1 p.m., 3:45 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. PT on March 29th.
First-round pairings (1 p.m. PT):
· Allen Johnson vs. Dave Connolly
· Jeg Coughlin Jr. vs. Vincent Nobile
· Erica Enders-Stevens vs. V. Gaines
· Shane Gray vs. Jason Line
Semifinals (3:45 p.m. PT):
· Johnson vs. Connolly winner vs. Gray vs. Line winner
· Coughlin Jr. vs. Nobile winner vs. Enders-Stevens vs. Gaines winner
Final (4:45 p.m. PT)
“I didn’t have the chance to earn points and get in the K&N Horsepower Challenge the way the rest of the drivers did, but I think here lately the Gray Motorsports team has shown that we do have a top eight car and can run right along with the best of them,” said Connolly. “It’s an honor to have the fan vote, and hopefully either myself or my Gray Motorsports teammate Shane Gray can go to Las Vegas and win that $50,000 and that cool trophy.”
Enders-Stevens earned the most fan votes; however, as the highest eligible points-earning driver not already qualified, she was inserted into the field in the No. 3 position in place of Mike Edwards, who will not compete in the event. Connolly finished second in the fan voting to earn the position.
Keep up with the action at www.nhra.com.
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