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Thu, 28 Mar 2013, 17:38 PM

Lucrative K&N Horsepower Challenge Offers Bonus Cash for Pro Stock Drivers
Courtesy of NHRA Communications


Allen Johnson will lead the K&N Horsepower Challenge field as the No. 1 seed for the first time in his career as the lucrative special event takes center stage April 6 during the 14th annual NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

A purse of $76,000 is available for the eight drivers competing in the K&N Horsepower Challenge. The winner of the 29th annual K&N Horsepower Challenge will earn $50,000. The runner-up will earn $10,000, the two semifinalists $3,000 each, and the four first-round finishers $2,500 apiece.

Johnson, from Greeneville, Tenn., qualified No. 1 at five of the 15 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events where drivers could earn K&N Horsepower Challenge points. It will be Johnson's 10th appearance in the bonus event. The driver of the Team Mopar Dodge Avenger is the defending NHRA Mello Yello Series Pro Stock world champion.

The $121,000 K&N Horsepower Challenge showcases eight Pro Stock teams in a race-within-a-race bonus event. Seven of the teams qualified during a 15-race span from the 2012 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, through the 2013 Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida. The eighth-place team was selected via a special fan vote on the K&N website. Besides the $76,000 available in the K&N Horsepower Challenge, bonuses of $45,000 were paid to the top Pro Stock qualifiers throughout the 15-race K&N Horsepower Challenge series, including $3,000 to the No. 1 qualifier at each race.

This year's K&N Horsepower Challenge field features four past winners and four drivers who are looking for their first victory in the special event. The past winners are top seed Johnson, defending champ Vincent Nobile, fifth seed Greg Anderson, a four-time winner, and the Fan Vote winner, Jeg Coughlin, who is a three-time K&N Horsepower Challenge winner. Among the four drivers who have never won, two are multi-time runners-up in the race: Mike Edwards (four) and Jason Line (three). Erica Enders-Stevens is making her fourth start in the special event and veteran driver V. Gaines is making his third career start in the K&N Horsepower Challenge.

In the opening round, top-seeded Johnson, the 2008 winner of the event, will face K&N fan-vote winner Coughlin, who is making his 11th appearance in the event. Second-seeded Line will meet Gaines; third-seeded Enders-Stevens will face defending winner Nobile; and four-time winner Anderson will meet Edwards, who is racing in the Challenge for the 10th time.

Other past winners of the K&N Horsepower Challenge include Darrell Alderman, Bruce Allen, Dave Connolly, Bob Glidden, Kurt Johnson, Warren Johnson, Larry Morgan, and Jim Yates.

K&N Horsepower Challenge rounds are scheduled for 12:30 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3:25 p.m. on April 6.

1. Allen Johnson, Greeneville, Tenn., Team Mopar Dodge Avenger        2,380
2. Jason Line, Mooresville, N.C., Summit Racing Chevy Camaro          2,320
3. Erica Enders-Stevens, New Orleans, GK Motorsports Chevy Cobalt     2,225
4. Mike Edwards, Coweta, Okla., I Am Second Chevy Camaro              2,225
5. Greg Anderson, Mooresville, N.C., Summit Racing Chevy Camaro       2,130
6. Vincent Nobile, Dix Hills, N.Y., Mountain View Tire Dodge Avenger  2,075
7. V. Gaines, Lakewood, Colo., Kendall Oil Dodge Avenger              2,045
8. Jeg Coughlin, Delaware, Ohio, Dodge Avenger         Fan Vote


FIRST ROUND (12:30 p.m.):
Johnson vs. Coughlin
Line vs. Gaines
Enders-Stevens vs. Nobile
Edwards vs. Anderson

SEMIFINALS (2:15 p.m.):
Johnson vs. Coughlin winner vs. Edwards vs. Anderson winner
Line vs. Gaines winner vs. Enders-Stevens vs. Nobile winner

FINAL (3:25 p.m.)

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