NHRA: 6-time Top Fuel champion owner Alan Johnson, John Force unite

(Photo courtesy NHRA)
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Alan Johnson knows a few things about winning NHRA Top Fuel championships.

He’s done so six different times in his tenure as a team owner – 1997, 1998, 2000, 2010, 2011 and 2013 – with five different drivers: Gary Scelzi, Tony Schumacher, Larry Dixon, Del Worsham and most recently Shawn Langdon.

John Force also knows a few things about winning NHRA championships. He’s won a record 16 Funny Car titles.

The duo has teamed for the 2016 season where Johnson will serve as both a consultant and tuner for the Monster Energy-sponsored Top Fuel dragster driven by Force’s daughter, Brittany.

“(John Force Racing Funny Car crew chief Mike Neff) asked me if I might be interested in helping them this year,” Johnson told NHRA.com (see video). “Then, John and Robert (JFR president Robert Hight) called and kind of pressed the issue further. We talked for a while, went out to dinner and came to some sort of an agreement that should work. I think we’re all excited to get Brittany that first win.”

It’s Johnson’s return to the sport after a very difficult season in 2015, when primary sponsor Al-Anabi Racing pulled its funding just weeks before the season began.

While Johnson tried to piecemeal funding to keep his team running, he finally had to cease operations just as the six-race Countdown to the Championship began.

Langdon, meanwhile, has moved on to drive for Don Schumacher Racing.

With Johnson free of team ownership responsibilities now, he’s decided to help Brittany upgrade her own dragster.

“She’s really responsive to everything,” Johnson said of Brittany Force to NHRA.com. “She’s really excited and I think it’s going to end up working really well.”

In addition, long known as a technical innovator in the sport, Johnson will provide the majority of parts that will make up Brittany’s dragster.

“Probably the biggest thing is they will allow us to come in with our own parts,” Johnson told NHRA.com. “All the things we’ve built here at AJPE (Alan Johnson Performance Engineering) and have been so successful with, to bring those into their team and replace the stuff.

“… Had we gone in and tried to just work with what they had, it would have been a much more difficult task. But when we got the agreement to bring our stuff in, change everything out and we want to win, that was the ticket there.”

Johnson will work hand-in-hand with crew chief Brian Husen, according to a JFR spokesman. It will be a reunion for the two men, as Husen and Johnson spent several years together on the Al-Anabi team. Johnson is considered by many as the best tuner in Top Fuel racing.

Johnson will also serve as a consultant to Steve Torrence Racing during the season, as well.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Houston

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Eli Tomac led all 23 laps of the Monster Energy Supercross race at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas and the results show he now has three wins in the season and is one shy of tying Ricky Carmichael’s 48 for third on the all-time list. With this win, he takes a seven point lead in the standings with 12 rounds remaining.

For Tomac at Houston, it was literally a tale of two races. Both his heat and the main started the same with Tomac grabbing the holeshot, but he was passed quickly by Chase Sexton in the heat. Tomac faded quickly after getting passed and was trailing by almost eight seconds at the checkered flag, which caused him to retreat to the hauler and reassess his lines. Without making any adjustments to the bike, Tomac entered the Main with a new attitude, and simply rode better.

Supercross Results Houston
Chase Sexton played it safe in the sand, but he was aggressive in every other turn. – Feld Motor Sports

Sexton had so great a lead in his heat that one could not even use the cliche that he left Tomac in his dust. By the time the rider with the No. 1 plate crossed the same real estate as the No. 23, the dust was well settled. Sexton had a modest start on the initial gate drop and ended Lap 1 in fourth. He worked his way past Aaron Plessinger on Lap 3 and got around Jason Anderson three laps later. Sexton was able to catch Tomac and pressure him, but he picked a safe, i.e. slow line through the sand section and could never get alongside his rival.

RESULTS: Click here for 450 Results; Click here for full 250 East Main Results

After starting the season with back-to-back seventh-place finishes, Anderson now has a pair of podiums. He won his heat and was easily one of the top three riders in the field, ultimately finishing behind the riders who finished 1-2 in the other preliminary. Anderson was subdued on the podium – happy he was there, but disappointed he has not yet found a way around the riders he is chasing in the points.

In the early stages of the race, Plessinger appeared to have a bike capable of winning. He pressured Tomac on the first two laps and was setting up the pass just as a red flag waved for an injury to Dylan Ferrandis that brought out a red flag. He lost second to Anderson on the restart and eventually slipped to fourth to score his first top-five of the season.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

Cooper Webb rounded out the top five. Along with Sexton, he is now one of just two riders with a sweep of that mark in 2023, but with Tomac’s three wins, he is beginning to slip in the points. Webb sits third in the standings, 12 points behind the leader.

Ken Roczen entered the race as the third rider with a sweep of the top five and progressively better results in the first three races of 2023. Had the pattern held, he would have finished at least second, but he struggled for most of the night, finishing fifth in his heat and eighth in the Main. There may have been extenuating circumstances, however. Ferrandis’ injury was suffered when he landed on the back of Roczen’s bike and potentially damaged the No. 94 Suzuki.

Click here for 450 Main results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points | Lap Chart


The 250 East division made their 2023 debut in Houston, but the name atop the board was familiar. Hunter Lawrence joined his brother Jett Lawrence as the early points’ leader in their respective divisions, but it didn’t come without a little anxiety.

Riding behind Supercross newbie Tom Vialle on the second lap, Lawrence was forced to take evasive action when the leader pitched his bike sideways to scrub speed over a jump. Lawrence veered left and landed off course, but he cleared the Tuff Blox and kept his bike straight. Lawrence made the pass for the lead on Lap 18 and never relinquished it.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

In his first attempt on a 250, Max Anstie ascended to the podium. – Feld Motor Sports

England’s Max Anstie made the move from 450s to 250s this year after scoring a best result of 11th on the big bike at Anaheim 2 last year. It didn’t take anytime at all to find the front for Anstie, who finished second in both his heat and main.

It has been a while since Jordon Smith stood on the podium: February 23, 2019 to be exact when he finished that well in Detroit. A series of injuries kept him off the bike for much of 2020 and 2021, but he’s proving to be a factor when he’s healthy.

Click here for 250 Main results | 250 East Rider Points | Combined Rider Points | Lap Chart

There was a lot of hype surrounding the debut of Haiden Deegan in the 250 class and he proved it was merited. He finished fourth in his heat and main. He was as far down as ninth at one point in the feature before slowly picking off riders on his way to the front.

Jeremy Martin finished fifth and now has a streak of three consecutive top-fives to his credit stretching back to last year. Unfortunately, his pair of strong runs in 2022 were interrupted by injury.

Making impressive debuts in the 250 division, Vialle recovered from a fall to finish seventh, Chance Hymas finished eighth, and Talon Hawkins just missed the top 10 with an 11th.

2023 Results

Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Chase Sexton falls
Week 1: Eli Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s