Good Afternoon Race Fans!
This weekend the NHRA made their way to Pomona, California for the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at the newly minted In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip. This weekend as a whole has been wild, there’s been so much going on and it really was not one to be missed.
One really cool thing that happened was the appearance of the Legends of Nitro Funny Car group. These guys run the Nostalgia Funny Cars and their mission is the bring the old school back to the big stage. I love nostalgia racing, so I think it’s really great that they’ve decided to do this. These guys also run in the NHRA Heritage series, so check out that schedule and the Legends of Nitro schedule to see where and when you can catch them on tour!
The second thing I want to mention is the Mission #2Fast2Tasty winners from Saturday. This weekend the honors went to Justin Ashley, Chad Green and Matt Hartford.
Moving to the race day action, we’re going to start with Top Fuel. There were only 14 cars in the field, so it was a little wonky. On the left side of the ladder, No. 1 qualified Justin Ashley started his day by takin on No. 14 Krista Baldwin. Justin left first and never looked back while Krista went up in smoke early and clicked it off, so with a 3.71 to a 5.63, Justin was moving on. Due to the ladder setup, Justin had a bye run and ran a 3.71. His semifinal matchup was against the always tough Antron Brown. This was such a good and close race, they were neck and neck the entire time. So with a 3.743 to a 3.749, Justin and the Phillips Connect team were into the finals. On the other side of the ladder, No. 12 qualified Austin Prock started his day by taking on No. 3 Leah Pruett. Austin left first, he’s one of the best leavers in the class, and never looked back while Leah hazed the tires early. So with a 3.73 to a 4.20, he was moving on. In the second round he faced Steve Torrence. Again, Austin left first, by a small margin, (.053) to (.060), and never looked back. Running a to b while Steve drove into tire smoke, so with a 3.82 to a 4.15, Austin was into the next round. His semifinal matchup was against a tough competitor, his John Force Racing teammate Brittany Force. They were essentially even off the starting line, Brittany (.067), Austin (.068), and kept it that way until just after the 60 foot mark when Brittany drove into tire smoke while Austin was on a solid run, so with a 3.73 to a 7.06, Austin and the Montana Brand team were into the finals. This was a great example of a solid Top Fuel final. Justin left first (.033) to (.054) but Austin was with him the whole time. In the end Justin had a little more performance, so with a 3.71 to a 3.76, he picked up the win and the Wally. Justin really is on a tear right now and it’s impressive.
Next we have Funny Car. On the left side of the ladder, No. 8 qualified Ron Capps started his day by taking on No. 9 Paul Lee. Ron had the advantage off the line, (.053) to (.095), and Paul was keeping up until he hazed the tires, so with a 3.94 to a 4.41, Ron was moving on. In the second round he faced Cruz Pedregon. Ron had a huge advantage off the line, (.044) to (.102), and was on a solid run (3.99 to 4.59). Cruz ended up losing traction and crossing the centerline, which of course is a violation, but it’s his first of the season, and it cost him five points. Ron’s semifinal matchup was against Bob Tasca III. Bob deep staged and left first, but by the 330 Ron had caught up and driven around, while Bob hazed the tires down track. So with a 3.98 to a 4.07, Ron and the NAPA Auto Parts team were into the finals. On the other side of the ladder, No. 10 qualified Matt Hagan started his day by taking on No. 7 Blake Alexander. Matt left first, (.069) to (.095) but Blake was right with him down the track and it was a really good race. In the end Matt’s 3.92 bested Blake’s 3.94 and he was moving on. In the second round he faced the tough Alexis DeJoria. Matt left first (.067) to (.081) and never looked back while Alexis slowed, so with a 3.95 to a 4.06, he was into the semifinals. His semifinal matchup was against Terry Haddock. Terry has been having a hell of a day, in fact this is the second time in his career he’s reached the semifinals, but Matt had more performance. Running a 3.95 to Terry’s 4.11, putting him and the Haas Automation team into the finals. The Ron Capps vs Matt Hagan final rounds are always legit. This one was no different. Matt left first, (.032) to (.064) but Ron caught up and they were neck and neck until Ron ran into some problems, allowing Matt to drive around, picking up the win and the Wally with a 3.96 to Ron’s 4.30.
And finally we have Pro Stock. On the left side of the ladder, No. 4 qualified Dallas Glenn started his day by taking on No. 13 Chris McGaha. It was a good race, but with a 6.53 to a 6.58, Dallas was moving on. In the second round he faced the tough Bo Butner. They left at the same time (.024) but Bo had some aggressive tire shake and pushed in the clutch, while Dallas ran a solid 6.54. His semifinal matchup was against Camrie Caruso who is on a run right now, winner from last week and No. 1 qualifier this week. Dallas was (.002) to Camrie’s (.029) and it helped because this was a close race. In the end it was Dallas’ 6.573 that bested Camrie’s 6.574, putting him and the RAD Torque Systems team into the finals. On the other side of the ladder, No. 2 qualified Matt Hartford started his day by taking on No. 15 Deric Kramer. They left essentially at the same time, but Matt had more performance, his 6.53 besting Deric’s 6.56. In the second round he faced the always tough Erica Enders. Matt left first (.031) to (.042) and never looked back, running a 6.54 to Erica’s 6.55. His semifinal matchup was against the tough Aaron Stanfield. Aaron left first (.026) to (.047) but by half track Matt had caught up and driven around, running a 6.55 to Aaron’s 6.58. Putting him and the Total Seal/GTTRX team into the finals. This was a really good final. Matt left first, (.016) to (.025) but by the time they were around the tree, Dallas was leading and never looked back. Running a 6.54 to Matt’s 6.55 and taking home the win and the Wally.
The next race will be the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, April 14th – 16th in Las Vegas, Nevada.