February 11, 2019The season opening event of the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series concluded Monday at the 59th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Robert Hight claimed his fourth win at Auto Club Raceway to kick off the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series the right way. He defeated Jack Beckman with a 3.881 second, 329.75 mph holeshot run to leave the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals with the points lead.Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) and Bo Butner (Pro Stock) also leave Pomona with victories and the lead in their categories. Kalitta became just the second Top Fuel driver to win back to back Winternationals (Larry Dixon being the other) as he ended Steve Torrence's 27 round win streak. Butner also won back to back Winternationals as he beat teammate Jason Line.
This place has always been very special for me, Kalitta stated. To have success here is more than you could imagine for me. We were fortunate to get by the Capco guys but we re going to keep at it. We are really hungry, and we ve got Rob Flynn, crew chief and Troy Fasching, crew chief doing an awesome job. I m just really proud of them.
The culmination of more than a year of development, Ford today unveiled the all new 2019 Mustang fuel Funny Car body that Motorcraft Quick Lane backed racer Bob Tasca III and Tim Wilkerson will campaign on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.Ford announced at the SEMA Show in 2017 its intention to return to NHRA Funny Car racing in 2018, with further plans to design and produce a new body for the 2019 campaign. Fourteen months later that promise has come to fruition, as Tasca and his team will debut the new body at the upcoming pre season test session in Phoenix, Arizona before its public coming out at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona next month.
January 29, 2019Fourteen months after announcing plans for a new Mustang for the NHRA, Ford Performance released the first image of its much anticipated 2019 NHRA Mustang Funny Car body on Tuesday. Ford originally announced plans for the new NHRA machine at the SEMA show in 2017. The new Mustang body will be the centerpiece of Bob Tasca III 's Motorcraft Quick Lane NHRA Funny Car team as NHRA hosts its official preseason test this week in Phoenix. Privateer Tim Wilkerson, who finished a strong fifth in the 2018 standings, will also run the new Ford Mustang this season. The 2019 Funny Car body is the first new body for a Nitro powered car for Ford in a decade and is the first Ford race car to skip the full size prototype phase of development. It 's the result of a process that, according to Ford officials, has significant cost reduction implications for both road and race vehicle design.
Needless to say, after dominating the 2017 funny car season, the Don Schumacher teams are looking to take back the championship in 2018 from their Chevy driving rivals and at the first event of 2018 Matt Hagan knocked off Robert Hight to start the season with a win.A Fast Start to 2018 The 2018 NHRA funny car schedule got off to a great start at the Winternationals in Pomona, California, with several of the drivers expected to challenge for the title running fast times right out of the gate.
February 9, 2018Shawn Langdon lay in his bed Thursday night, picturing over and over and over how his first competitive pass in an NHRA Funny Car would go.The experienced former Top Fuel driver was anxious, but he shouldn 't have been. He was near his Mira Loma, California, home, and he would be racing in the Lucas Oil Winternationals in front of friends at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, where he has been successful at every level.After clocking a 3.949 second elapsed time at 328.06 mph in Friday qualifying that gave him first the tentative No. 4 spot, then No. 9, Langdon was relieved. ”Feels good to get that first one out of the way. Man, I was nervous. There was just so much going through my head before the first run, ” the Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry driver said. ”Last night, I was laying in bed and probably envisioned about 200 runs in my head. You only get one first run, and you don #39;t want to screw it up. ”Fortunately, it was a good run, ” he said. ”We were in the top five and we really weren #39;t trying to press on it. ” He said crew chiefs Tommy DeLago and Nicky Boninfante ”were just trying to give me a tune up that would go down the track. I think now that we have the first run out of the way, we get a lot of the nervousness out. Now we can go racing. ”However, Langdon said edginess has its merits. ”It helps your cause a bit when you #39;re nervous, ” he said. However, he said being at Pomona gives him ”that I #39;m at home feel. quot; ”There #39;s no better place to make my first Funny Car run than Pomona. This is where I grew up. I have my most race wins here. It #39;s where I got my start. Pomona is where all my friends and family are, ” Langdon said. ”There #39;s a great fan base around here. A lot of fans came around and offered really cool words of encouragement and gave me good luck charms and all that kind of cool stuff this morning. ”The 2013 Top Fuel champion also has back to back Super Comp class titles and a national Jr. Dragster crown.His career has mirrored Del Worsham 's. Both moved to Alan Johnson Racing and won Top Fuel championships. Worsham joined Kalitta Motorsports and earned a Funny Car crown, too. Now Langdon has landed at Kalitta Motorsports and this year is making the transition to Funny Car. He 'd like to continue Worsham 's path, but he knows he first needs to master the subtleties of the Funny Car. ”Every run is a learning process. You just take it one run at a time because you #39;re not going to learn to drive these cars overnight. We just had a crash course on it. We had licensing last year and then testing at the beginning of the year, so I #39;m just in the learning process while racing, ” Langdon said. ”I just have to learn from my mistakes, and hopefully I don #39;t make too many mistakes. If I can keep my mistakes to a minimum, I feel like we #39;ve got a great shot to win races. ”
November 12, 2017A tearful Robert Hight clinched his second NHRA Funny Car championship and first since 2009 in Sunday 's first round of the series finale at Pomona, Calif.Hight, having already advanced to the second round, watched as nemesis Ron Capps lost in stunning fashion to lower qualified Del Worsham minutes later. I knew this Auto Club team was just an adjustment away, ” Hight said, alluding to the fact he failed to qualify in his first three of four attempts and took the lowly No. 15 spot in the 16 car field at the last minute Saturday. This is just huge for John Force Racing, ” said Hight, who doubles as the organization 's president. He explained his emotion, saying, It 's been a long time and you want it so bad. ” Capps was gracious as he passed the title to Hight. I guess it wasn 't meant to be, ” Capps said of his quest for back to back series Funny Car crowns. We had a great season. It hurts a lot to win eight races and lose the championship. ”In the Top Fuel and Pro Stock classes, the title hunt stretched into the quarterfinals. Steve Torrence and Brittany Force each won their first dragster match ups. And the 1 2 3 ranked KB Summit Racing Chevy Camaro team of Greg Anderson, Bo Butner and Jason Line remained alive into the Pro Stock quarterfinals.No. 1 starter Eddie Krawiec earned his fourth Pro Stock Motorcycle championship Saturday simply by qualifying.
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