POMONA, CA – The 52nd NHRA Auto Club Finals at Pomona is in the books. The champions have been crowned, the parts bins depleted and the racecars and crew members are recovering. Johnny Ahten spent the Monday following the race running errands, fulfilling chores around the house and anxiously planning for the February 9, 2017 start of the NHRA Winternationals.
“The racing season may be over, but honestly I can’t wait to get back in the car,” said Ahten. “This year has been a challenge and we are looking to move forward and faster. We qualified strong, and lost a close one in eliminations. Instead of thinking about what we could have done differently or better at the Finals, I am going to focus on the positive gains.”
Johnny’s Pomona Finals started with a strong Thursday qualifying run of 5.395/270.97 which put him in the number eight slot for the day. In Friday’s second qualifying session, Johnny’s run was hampered and he lifted early to a 5.767/208.97. Later in the pits it was determined that the #6 intake valve was damaged. Repairs were made and the team headed to the last qualifying session with high hopes. The DJ Safety dragster ran the quickest elapsed time of the event with a 5.349/262.49 and would face Derik Milanesio in the first round later that afternoon.
Johnny Ahten and crew chief Al Ahten along with racing partner Howard Katano made the final adjustments and headed to the line with Bob Ahten, Kevin "Shark" Colvell, Chuck Costabile, Todd “Rocky” Rockwell, and John Mark. When the tree dropped and the cars rocketed off the line, Ahten had a slight advantage. Tire shake made its presence felt and Milanesio got the 5.307/272.94 win over Ahten's 5.476/249.26 shakefest.
“I am disappointed but motivated,” added Ahten. “I would have liked to have run better and go rounds at my home track, but I am excited about what we have planned for the coming season. DJ Safety, along with Island Renovations and Combust Filters have been very good to us this year along with all our valued secondary sponsors. Racing at this level takes money and commitment. Please visit our social media pages at facebook.com/JohnnyAhtenRacing, and on Twitter and Instagram at: @Ahtenracing and on Pinterest at pinterest.com/ahten and check out our sponsors. From everyone at Ahten Racing, thank you once again for your support and encouragement.”
DJ Safety was founded in 1996 by Navy Lieutenant Commander Joseph Hansen Retired and his wife Darlene (Deist) Hansen. Their goal was and continues to be a niche for high-level design engineering applications in specific Industries.
In 2000, the company expanded its operations to include the manufacturing arena to complement Joe Hansen’s engineering services. Safety is a major public, commercial and government concern affecting product design, manufacturing and usage.
Release courtesy of John Rogers