NHRA’s Alan Johnson Racing trying to avoid shuttering team

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Alan Johnson is in the final stretch of a race he can’t afford to lose.

A 15-time NHRA champion as an owner and crew chief, Johnson is treating this weekend’s Gatornationals as possibly his last run — maybe for the foreseeable future.

Johnson is considering shutting down one of the more successful teams in drag racing for the rest of the year if he can’t find a sponsor for Top Fuel driver Shawn Langdon and Alan Johnson Racing.

Johnson says “it would be silly to continue paying my way. There’s nothing to prove. This could be our last event.”

Johnson had little time to prepare for this. His sponsor, Al-Anabi Racing, pulled its financial backing Dec. 30. The announcement left Johnson in a huge bind a little more than a month before season opener.