East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame Members Fare Well At Finals In Pomona

November 15, 2016

A slow early season start for 2016 ECDT Hall of Fame inductee Roy Johnson and his son, driver Allen Johnson, was sweetened by this win at the Mile-High Nationals, in Denver, Colorado. J&J Racing looks forward to a much improved 2017 season and a repeat of their 2012 NHRA Pro Stock World title.

Story by Jim Hill

East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame members Roy Johnson and Al Ackerman had strong finishes in 2016 NHRA World Championship competition, although neither HOF member managed to take an overall national Series Championship.

Newly inducted (2016) Roy Johnson, father of Pro Stock racer Allen Johnson, built the engines and prepared the tuning program that took Allen to an overall 8th place finish in the NHRA Mellow Yellow World Championship Series points standings.

The team’s season was impacted by loss of their 2015 major sponsor. A last-minute, early January, multi-year major sponsorship from Marathon Oil Company allowed them to compete on the entire NHRA 2016 circuit. The team got a very late start on testing necessary to regain the edge they carried during the prior 2015 season. Testing in the off-season was critical for the 2016 season because of new NHRA Pro Stock rules that made electronic fuel injection mandatory as well as new, low-profile hood scoops.

Back home in Greeneville, Tennessee, Roy Johnson and the shop crew worked long hours playing catch-up. The team did manage to rise to a Pro-Stock win at The Mile-High event in Denver. The extreme altitude of the Bandimere track makes it the most difficult to tune for with a non-supercharged engine, but J&J came through for a win.

Veteran racer and engine builder Roy Johnson, left, provides the engine wizardry for the J&J Racing Team. Roy is a 2016 ECDT Hall of Fame member.

At the 2016 NHRA World Finals Allen qualified 10th, but Johnson’s Marathon Dodge Dart fell in Round One to Drew Skillman’s Camaro, 6.59-210.14 to Allen’s game holeshot 6.65-208.36 effort.

The Johnson & Johnson team, Pro Stock World Champions from the 2012 season, looks to a solid off-season of research and development with the new rules, and a much improved result for the 2017 season.

2016 ECDT Hall of Fame inductee Roy Johnson took time off to travel to Henderson, NC, for the October 16 induction ceremonies. He and twelve other drag racing notable figures were honored during those proceedings.

Competition Eliminator standout Al Ackerman’s 2016 season found him finishing sixth overall in points accumulated during the year in the Lucas Oil National Series. He was also second in the ultra-competitive NHRA Division One Comp Elim standings for his home division.

During the 2016 season Ackerman, a 2009 ECDT Hall of Fame inductee ran events from May through October, traveling as far away as New Hampshire and Georgia chasing points. Ackerman’s F/Dragster is one of the more unusual in Comp Eliminator, a category known for its racer ingenuity in both engine and chassis design. Al’s F/D records seven second ET’s with a highly modified four-cylinder engine and a lightweight chassis!

Al Ackerman enjoys taking often bizarre engine and chassis combinations, applying racing ingenuity and mechanical science to them and creating winners. His four-cylinder powered F/Dragster is a seven-second runner in Competition Eliminator and finished second in the 2016 Division One points standings. Ackerman has been winning in a variety of different race cars since the 1960’s!

A Saddle Brook, New Jersey resident, Al Ackerman has been a major force in Comp racing for many seasons. Al’s numerous event wins have come in a variety of different types of race cars as well. He’s run full-bodied “doorslammers”, Altereds and Dragsters during His 2009 induction into the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame has so far been his most significant drag racing honor for a long, competitive and distinguished career that dates back to the 1960’s.

The 2017 East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame Weekend has been announced for October 20, 21, and 22, 2017, in Henderson, NC. Mark your calendars and plan on being on hand for the 16th Annual event!