CONCORD, N.C. – The ladders are set for eliminations at the 10th annual NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Mike Salinas, who recently won his first Top Fuel event in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, secured his No.1 qualifier position with his run from Friday night when he set the track E.T. record at zMAX Dragway. This will be only the third time in his career to start eliminations from the top spot on the ladder.
Drag Racing Press Releases
TODD AND M. SMITH SECURE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES; TORRENCE, TODD, GRAY AND M. SMITH WINNERS AT SEASON ENDING AUTO CLUB NHRA FINALS
Todd secured his first Funny Car career world championship during the opening round of eliminations; M. Smith locked-in his third Pro Stock Motorcycle world championship and fourth event victory of the season; Torrence made history by sweeping the Top Fuel wins during the playoffs; Gray clinched his eighth Pro Stock win of the season
WATKINS GLEN, NY - RIS - Denny Hamlin was fastest at the Watkins Glen road course with the fastest lap of the day on Saturday to win the provisional pole for Sunday’s GoBowling at the Glen, pending post-qualifying inspection Sunday morning.
CONCORD, N.C. (March 16, 2018) – Fans can expect more power than ever when drag racing’s most spectacular four-wide thrill show returns to zMAX Dragway April 27-29. NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.), Inc. on Friday announced their entitlement sponsorship of the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.
- The No. 1 seeds from Top Fuel (Steve Torrence), Funny Car (Ron Capps), Pro Stock (Bo Butner) and Pro Stock Motorcycle (LE Tonglet) kicked off this weekend’s NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway with a media luncheon on Thursday
- The Sept. 15-17 NHRA Carolina Nationals are the first of six Countdown races that will decide champions in all four nitro categories
-- For Immediate Release -- Street legal and race-tuned vehicles welcome for Friday night summer showdowns at the Bellagio of drag strips
Vehicle registration starts at $20 for Junior Dragsters and $30 for cars and motorcycles; Admission is $10 at the gate and FREE for kids 13 and under
GLENDORA, Calif. (Jan. 18, 2017) — Throughout the 2017 season NHRA national events will feature exhibition passes from the popular jet cars. Known for their exciting pre-run flame shows and after burner pops, jet cars are thrust driven vehicles propelled by jet engines and are a fan favorite attraction.
Englishtown, N.J. – Former Top Fuel racer Doug Herbert will be honored as the grand marshal at the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, June 9-12. The NHRA Summernationals is the 10th of 24 events on the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Wednesday, June 08, 2016 - The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule has been announced by NHRA officials. The 24-race circuit continues to reach more U.S. markets than any other major motorsports series and will once again thrill millions of fans with its unique brand of high-horsepower entertainment that features photo finishes by the world’s fastest race cars that dazzle with speeds in the 330-mph zone.
Fast Facts: NHRA 4-Wide Nationals Presented by Lowes Foods
WHAT: Sixth annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods, the fifth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle drivers earn points leading to 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships.
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
JOHN FORCE, JEFF GORDON TRIBUTE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS, MET WITH MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA AT ZMAX DRAGWAY TO DISCUSS THE REASON BEHIND THE JEFF GORDON TRIBUTE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS.:
TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW THE JEFF GORDON TRIBUTE CAR CAME ABOUT AND WHAT YOUR IDEAS WERE WITH IT: "Well I've known Jeff (Gordon) since he was a young kid. I met him when he was 16/17 years old and he still looks 16 or 17. Hell, I've had so many interviews this week, radio and TV shows and stuff I'm just saying the same thing over and over. I was actually out at a race. I'm not trying to say we are not close buddies, we don't hang out. I've never been to dinner with him unless it was a function. Did the AARWBA Banquet with him and a number of banquets when we were on the All-American team and that's where I kind of got to know him. We worked with the Action collectible group, which is now Lionel. It kind of evolved from that. Dale Earnhardt, Sr., (Dale Earnhardt) Junior, we did autograph sessions when those kids were starting. When I go to NASCAR races and that is about what I know. You can love somebody and you can respect somebody and you don't have to be their friend. I mean I guess we are friends. We are racers in that deal. He is on his schedule and does what he does and I do what I do. This was, to me, more of one legend to another to say, man, thank you. Thank you for what you've done to our sport. If you haven't seen him he has been coming the last two or three years, maybe longer, he always shows up here on Sunday, dressed in a little hat and a shirt, you wouldn't know it was Jeff Gordon. He's got his two kids with him and he's up and down… loves this place.
NHRA Unveils 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Schedule
Season highlighted by prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis and tradition-rich opening and closing races at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona
Glendora, Calif. (Sept. 5, 2015) – NHRA officials unveiled the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule today during the running of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The 23-race series remains motorsports’ most geographically dispersed U.S. touring circuit and will make its traditional stops across the country, thrilling millions of fans with its unique brand of high-horsepower entertainment.
VETERAN SPORTS JOURNALIST TERRY BLOUNT NAMED VICE PRESIDENT OF PUBLIC RELATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS AT NHRA
GLENDORA, Calif. (-RIS-) – NHRA announced today that Terry Blount, an award-winning sports journalist, author and broadcast commentator, who has covered every major motorsports event as well as Super Bowls, World Series and NCAA Final Fours, among others, has been named vice president of public relations and communications.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NHRA Officials Announce Changes To Pro Stock Designed To Address Technology And Stimulate Fan Interest
Glendora, Calif. (July 25, 2015) – NHRA announced today a series of changes for the Pro Stock category designed to increase spectator appeal, make the class more relevant from a technology standpoint, and to enhance the overall pit experience for fans of the 200-mph factory hot rod class.
40,000 Horsepower, Three Days, One Track:
NHRA 4-Wide Nationals By the Numbers
-- For Immediate Release -- by zMAX Dragway
CONCORD, N.C. (March 2, 2015) – With the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway less than one month away, fans are already getting revved up for the most intense motorsports spectacle around. The nitro-fueled thrill show, March 27-29, brings three days of excitement unlike anything else in sports, with the fastest-accelerating machines on the planet unleashing a 40,000 horsepower assault on the Bellagio of drag strips. For this exclusive event, we’ve gathered the numbers that racing fans will only experience at zMAX Dragway.
Solid start at NHRA Winternationals has Massey, Red Fuel team powered up for a season of NHRA Mello Yello series success
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 8, 2015) - Not bringing home the NHRA Wally trophy from the season opening Circle K NHRA Winternationals is only a slight disappointment for Spencer Massey and the Red Fuel Powered by Schumacher/Sandvik Coromant dragster team.
The Red Fuel/Sandvik team strung together six runs ranging from 3.74 seconds to 3.81 seconds throughout three days at the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season-opener at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.
"We can't be completely disappointed because we have an absolutely fantastic, fast race car and that makes us happy," Spencer said. "We really wanted to make it an all DSR final round in the nitro categories and give our team owner Don Schumacher the best medicine there is, so that's the only thing that we weren't able to do. But I know there is a Wally in our very near future because this car is just performing so well."
Schumacher is resting at home this weekend while undergoing treatments following a successful surgery to treat Stage 1 Squamous cell carcinoma in November.
The Red Fuel team led by crew chiefs Phil Shuler and Todd Okuhara qualified fourth and defeated Clay Millican and Steve Torrence before being ousted by No. 1 qualifier Shawn Langdon in a close semifinal round.
"It's great to come out here for the first race and put good, solid, consistent runs in the books," Spencer said. "We didn't smok the tires all weekend and that says a lot for this team. Our slowest run was a 3.81 and that's not slow. We're pleased. Could be happier, but we aren't going to hang our heads after this one."
But there is one more thing that Spencer isn't pleased about - the wait to crawl back into his 10,000-horsepower nitro machine at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park on Feb. 20-22.
"Another disappointing thing about this is I have sit through an off weekend before I can hop back in this Red Fuel dragster and I don't want to wait any longer. We're ready to continue our strong performance at Phoenix."
Event Winner: Shawn Langdon (Alan Johnson Racing)
No. 1 qualifier: Shawn Langdon (Alan Johnson Racing) 3.700, 328.30 mph
SPENCER MASSEY, Red Fuel Powered By Schumacher/Sandvik Coromant Top Fuel Dragster
Qualifying position: No. 4
First round: MASSEY (3.751, 323.74) def. Millican (6.941, 96.89)
Second round: MASSEY (3.808, 325.37) def. Torrence (3.821, 324.05)
Semifinal: Langdon (3.762, 326.48) def. MASSEY (3.778, 327.98)
FRIDAY: 3.818 sec., 326.87 mph, (Session 1); 3.761, 328.30, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.745, 332.18 mph, (Session 3); final session called due to weather
2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Standings
(unofficial after Pomona)
1. Shawn Langdon, 124
2. Antron Brown, 92
3. Spencer Massey, 78
4. Larry Dixon, 73
5. Doug Kalitta, 61
6. Richie Crampton, 59
7. Steve Torrence, 54
8. Leah Pritchett, 52
9. Tony Schumacher, 36
10. Brittany Force, 33
POMONA, CA ---- For only the third time in the last fifteen seasons John Force Racing did not advance a Funny Car to the final round of the Circle K NHRA Winternationals. Robert Hight drove his Automobile Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car to a semi-final finish today at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. JFR had won the previous five Winternationals and seven of last nine; Hight, 2006, 2008 and 2011; John Force, 2010, 2012 and 2014; and Courtney Force, 2013. Hight will leave the first stop of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series in third place in the Mello Yello Funny Car point standings.
Reigning champion Hagan experiences it all with Mopar/Rocky team en route to winning the Funny Car title in NHRA Mello Yello opener
POMONA, Calif. RIS-(Feb. 8, 2015) -From feeling like a roasted marshmallow on Friday to taking the cake on Sunday, Matt Hagan experienced it all during this weekend's NHRA Circle K Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.
During a qualifying session on Friday at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season-opener Matt's 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car suffered a fiery explosion that severely damaged the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Funny Car body and components, forcing the team to bring out their back-up 2015 Dodge Charger R/T body branded in the Rocky Boots colors.
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 6, 2015) -Don Schumacher Racing started the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series on Friday at Pomona, Calif., where it left off last November when Tony Schumacher and Matt Hagan won world championships.
After opening day of the NHRA Circle K Winternationals, Tommy Johnson Jr. is on the provisional pole in Funny Car while Schumacher is No. 2 in Top Fuel.
The final two qualifying sessions are scheduled for 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday leading to Sunday's championship eliminations.
Johnson and the Make-A-Wish team led by crew chief John Collins produced the first provisional pole in the first race for DSR's all new 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car body designed and developed by Mopar with assistance from DSR. The carbon-fiber bodies took nearly a year to develop and is the only all-new Funny Car body style competing in the Mello Yello series.
Johnson, who finished a career-best third in last year's standings, uncorked a time of 4.018 seconds at the day's top Funny Car speed of 314.46 mph in the opening day's second qualifying session at Auto Club Raceway.
"The new body is a welcome addition," Johnson said. "The vision is so much better. That actually paid off on that run. This is a hard place to see. When the sun is going down and with all the clutch dust in the car it can be a very difficult track to see. Having the extra vision really, really helped.
"The first run was on a really good one but it came loose out in the middle of the track," he said of the run in 4.227 (236.71).
"It was an easy adjustment for John and the guys to make. John just made some subtle changes in the middle of the race course to soften it up a little through there. It was just a nice, easy, clean 4.01, not even really getting after it. It leaves a lot of hope for two more runs tomorrow. There's a legitimate shot at going into the (3-second range)."
In Top Fuel, DSR's reigning world champion Tony Schumacher and the U.S. Army team is qualified No. 2 with a time of 3.757 (320.20) while teammate Spencer Massey and the Red Fuel Powered by Schumacher/Sandvik Coromant team is third with a time of 3.761 at the day's top speed of 328.30. Antron Brown and the Matco Tools/U.S. Army team is qualified 10th at 3.803.
When Schumacher competed in the season finale at Pomona he left with his eighth world championship.
"When you've got the Countdown (to the Championship) format, you've got to go out and you've got to win," he said. "But, really, it starts with the first run of the season. You want to show your strength and you want that No. 1 on the side of the car to portray to the rest of the guys and the fans that you are the champ for a reason. (Crew chief) Mike Green and (and assistant) Neal Strausbaugh and the rest of the guys really have this Army car thumping."
Johnson almost was upstaged by DSR teammate and reigning world champion Matt Hagan and the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Dodge who jumped to No. 8 in qualifying with a second-session run of 4.090 (310.70) but a few feet past the finish line an engine explosion led to a fireball.
JOHN FORCE PROVISIONAL No. 3 QUALIFIER ON FRIDAY
POMONA – After a tumultuous off-season John Force Racing started the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season with a strong first day of qualifying and high hopes for Saturday at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. The team’s efforts were led by 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion and defending Circle K Winternationals Funny Car champion John Force’s provisional No. 3 qualifying effort, 4.061 seconds at 313.66 mph.
POMONA, Calif. - - Shawn Langdon made the quickest pass in NHRA history in the Knuckle Sandwich/AJPE Top Fuel dragster during today’s third qualifying session for the first race of the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. Langdon, whose Alan Johnson Racing team is searching for a sponsor after unexpectedly losing its funding in the final days of 2014, is the No. 1 Top Fuel qualifier for tomorrow’s 55th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals, and the team won this event in 2014.
TEAM JFR QUALIFYING REPORT
2014 NHRA Friday Qualifying Summary
24th of 24 races in the NHRA Mello Yello Series
The 2014 NHRA Mello Yello season is ready to cross the finish line as the teams roll into Auto Club Raceway at Pomona for this weekend’s 50th Annual Auto Club NHRA Finals. For John Force, it’s all or nothing, as he will be going full steam ahead in pursuing his 17th NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car World Championship title. When Force gets strapped into this 8000 horsepower Castrol GTX High Mileage Mustang, he’ll be focused on rewriting the NHRA record books and claiming what could be his 142nd career victory, and another world title when the smoke and clutch dust clears after final eliminations this Sunday.
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Oct. 23, 2014) - Veteran crew chief Jimmy Prock has been hired by Don Schumacher Racing for a position yet to be determined, DSR owner Don Schumacher announced Thursday.
Unofficial Mello Yello Regular Season Point Standings
Unofficial Mello Yello Regular Season Point Standings
FUNNY CAR – 1. John Force, Castrol GTX Ford, 1420; 2. Robert Hight, Auto Club Ford, 1340; 3. Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge, 1188; 4. Alexis DeJoria, Patron XO Café Toyota, 1148; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Make A Wish Dodge, 1107; 6. Courtney Force, Traxxas Ford, 1093; 7. Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Dodge, 1074; 8. Cruz Pedregon, Snap-on Tools Toyota, 963; 9. Del Worsham, DHL Toyota, 961; 10. Tim Wilkerson, Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford, 883.
TOP FUEL – 1. Doug Kalitta, Mac Tools dragster, 1479; 2. Antron Brown, Matco Tools dragster, 1385; 3. Shawn Langdon, Al-Anabi dragster, 1261; 4. Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army dragster, 1160; 5. Steve Torrence, Capco Contractors dragster, 1075; 6. Spencer Massey, Schumacher Electric dragster, 985; 7. Khalid alBalooshi, Al-Anabi dragster, 959; 8. Richie Crampton, GEICO dragster, 958; 9. Brittany Force, Castrol EDGE dragster, 921; 10. J.R. Todd, Optima Batteries dragster, 836.
PRO STOCK – 1. Jason Line, Summit Racing Chevrolet, 1408; 2. Erica Enders-Stevens, Elite Chevrolet, 1324; 3. Allen Johnson, Mopar Dodge, 1318; 4. Jeg Coughlin Jr., JEGS.com Dodge, 1254; 5. Dave Connolly, Charter Communications Chevy, 1231; 6. Shane Gray, Gray Engineering Chevrolet, 1188; 7. Vincent Nobile, Mountain View Tire Chevrolet, 1093; 8. Vieri Gaines, Kendall Dodge, 805; 9. Chris McGaha, Harlow Sammons Chevrolet, 782; 10. Jonathan Gray, Gray Motorsports Chevrolet, 725.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE – 1. Andrew Hines, Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson, 906; 2. Eddie Krawiec, Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson, 889; 3. Hector Arana Jr., Lucas Oil Buell, 692; 4. Hector Arana, Lucas Oil Buell, 574; 5. John Hall, Viper Motorcycles Buell, 569; 6. Matt Smith, Stockseth Racing Buell, 563; 7. Michael Ray, GottSpeed/Star Racing Buell, 501; 8. Scotty Pollacheck, Quality Tire Buell, 493; 9. Angie Smith, Kandy Magazine Buell, 490; 10. Steve Johnson, SJR Suzuki, 462.
Countdown to the Championship Point Standings
FUNNY CAR – 1. John Force, 2110; 2. Robert Hight, 2080; 3. Ron Capps, 2070; 4. Alexis DeJoria, 2060; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., 2050; 6. Courtney Force, 2040; 7. Matt Hagan, 2030; 8. Cruz Pedregon, 2020; 9. Del Worsham, 2010; 10. Tim Wilkerson, 2000.
TOP FUEL – 1. Doug Kalitta, 2110; 2. Antron Brown, 2080; 3. Shawn Langdon, 2070; 4. Tony Schumacher, 2060; 5. Steve Torrence, 2050; 6. Spencer Massey, 2040; 7. Khalid alBalooshi, 2030; 8. Richie Crampton, 2020; 9. Brittany Force, 2010; 10. J.R. Todd, 2000.
PRO STOCK – 1. Jason Line, 2110; 2. Erica Enders-Stevens, 2080; 3. Allen Johnson, 2070; 4. Jeg Coughlin Jr., 2060; 5. Dave Connolly, 2050; 6. Shane Gray, 2040; 7. Vincent Nobile, 2030; 8. Vieri Gaines, 2020; 9. Chris McGaha, 2010; 10. Jonathan Gray, 2000.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE – 1. Andrew Hines, 2110; 2. Eddie Krawiec, 2080; 3. Hector Arana Jr., 2070; 4. Hector Arana, 2060; 5. John Hall, 2050; 6. Matt Smith, 2040; 7. Michael Ray, 2030; 8. Scotty Pollacheck, 2020; 9. Angie Smith, 2010; 10. Steve Johnson, 2000.
60th annual Chevrolet Performance NHRA U.S. Nationals Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN
Final round results from Monday’s 60th annual Chevrolet Performance NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway, eighteenth race in the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:
CONCORD, N.C. – Alexis DeJoria and Erica Enders-Stevens raced to No. 1 qualifying positions in their categories Saturday at the Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals, extending the most successful season for females in NHRA history into the playoffs.
Team Press Release: (CONCORD, NC – SEPT 13, 2014) Angelle Sampey-Drago is returning to NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racing again, teaming with George and Jackie Bryce of Star Racing. Sampey-Drago, the three-time NHRA world champion, will once again thrill NHRA crowds with her personality and impressive resume with her sights set on becoming the all-time winningest NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racer and becoming a four-time champion.
--For Immediate Release - CONCORD, N.C. – Former Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan opened NHRA's playoffs by racing to the qualifying lead Friday at the Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
J.R. Todd (Top Fuel), Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were qualifying leaders at the first of six playoff races in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.
Pep Boys to Sponsor Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals, Sept. 12-14 at zMAX Dragway
-- For Immediate Release
CONCORD, N.C. (Aug. 29, 2014) – zMAX Dragway officials announced The Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE: "PBY"), the nation's leading automotive aftermarket service and retail chain, will be the title sponsor when the NHRA’s best return to the Bellagio of drag strips to kick off the six-race playoffs, Sept. 12-14, at the Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals.
TOPEKA, KS (May 25, 2014) – Courtney Force and the Traxxas Ford Mustang made more history at the 26th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals racing to victory and claiming the 100th pro win by a female in the history of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Force outran Cruz Pedregon in the final after dispatching Dale Creasy Jr., Jeff Arend, and Tommy Johnson Jr. leading up to the final.
BAYTOWN, TX – Mello Yello Funny Car points leader Robert Hight and the Auto Club Ford Mustang team did not let two sub-par runs on Friday distract them on Saturday at the 27th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals. All three John Force Racing Funny Cars qualified for the race and Hight was the highest positioned driver in the No. 4 spot with a solid 4.073 second pass at 312.42 mph. Brittany Force and the Castrol EDGE Top Fuel dragster will go into race day as the No. 8 qualified Top Fuel dragster.
GAINESVILLE, FL ---- Robert Hight may not have had a strong two days of qualifying at the 45th annual Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals but when it counted his Auto Club Ford Mustang Funny Car was the class of the field winning for the first time in 2014. Hight reached the final two weeks ago in Phoenix but today he notched his thirtieth career win tying him with Funny Car legend Kenny Bernstein for sixth all-time in the Funny Car class. Hight outran John Force, 4.074 to 6.345 seconds.
Beckman pleased with quick, predictable Valvoline MaxLife Funny Car after No. 6 qualifying effort at Wild Horse Pass near Phoenix
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 22, 2014) - Experimenting with a 10,000-horsepower Funny Car sounds dangerous, but it is exactly what crew chief Rob Flynn did with Jack Beckman's Valvoline MaxLife Funny Car in the fourth and final qualifying session at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
The historic Los Angeles County Fairplex in Pomona, CA has been called the “Birthplace of Drag Racing” and twice a year, the National Hot Rod Association takes center stage there with two prestigious national events on their professional Mello Yello schedule.
POMONA, CA ---- For the seventh time in his career, John Force drove his Castrol GTX High Mileage Mustang Funny Car to victory at the 54th running of the Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona. This was John Force’s sixth final in a row going back to the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello season but today’s final can be described as an epic rematch between two of the strongest Funny Cars in recent memory. It was at this same spot at the conclusion of the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello season during the Auto Club Finals that John Force and Matt Hagan squared off against each other with John coming up on the losing end.
POMONA – John Force picked up right where he left off in 2013 when he raced to his unprecedented 16th Mello Yello Funny Car championship. On the first day of the 2014 NHRA season at the 54th annual NHRA Circle K Winternationals the winningest driver in NHRA history lowered the track elapsed time record he set in November at the Auto Club Finals twice en route to unofficially setting the national elapsed time record. NHRA national records become official at the conclusion of the race but his 3.966 second pass to close out the second qualifying session has a great chance of standing up for a long time.
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 10) – JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger driver Jeg Coughlin Jr. added another page to his already stellar racing resume by clinching the 2013 Pro Stock championship Sunday at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway.
Coughlin became just the eighth driver in NHRA history to win a fifth professional championship, as he earned previous Pro Stock titles in 2000, 2002, 2007 and 2008. As a sportsman driver, Coughlin also won the NHRA Super Gas championship in 1992.
POMONA, CA---- John Force ended his 2013 Mello Yello NHRA championship season on a high night but not the highest note. Force lost a close final round to Matt Hagan at the 49th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Force’s Castrol GTX Ford Mustang had been nearly invincible the past five races. In the final he covered the 1000 ft. race track in 4.0057 seconds but Hagan was slightly quicker with a 4.018 second pass. His win streak may have been stopped at three races but the competitive fire was fanned heading into the off-season.
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 10, 2013) - A close friend of Matt Hagan and member of the Mopar/Rocky Boots Funny Car team couldn't come to this weekend's NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season finale in Southern California.
Their friend and crew chief, Dickie Venables, had to stay back in Indianapolis after having successful intestinal surgery on Wednesday. He was released from the hospital on Sunday.
Hagan and his crew, led at the Auto Club Finals by first-year assistant crew chief Michael Knudsen, could have passed the hat to collect enough money to send Venables flowers, candy or a really nice card.
Instead, the Mopar/Rocky team delivered an unbelievable weekend to the recuperating Venables that culminated Sunday with Hagan beating 2013 Funny Car world champion John Force in the championship round Sunday.
"I'm on cloud nine that our assistant crew chief stepped up and was able to fill some big shoes," Hagan said. "Mike Knudsen has never tuned a race car by himself before. There hasn't been another crew chief in our lounge all weekend.