The drag racing season kicks off every year at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The 58th Annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals were held at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California. on February 8 thru 11. The premier NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series began its 24 event season with this Winternationals. Competitors came from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada to make this an international event. Racers came from the 7 NHRA divisions in the United States to participate.
Clay Millican set a new national ET record of 3.628 seconds
The weekend weather had temperatures in the mid to high 70’s. The track was ready for some good times. Friday qualifying saw Clay Millican set a new national ET record of 3.628 seconds. Also during Friday qualifying, the Peak Chevy Camaro driven by John Force exploded in a ball of fire after going thru the lights at 265+mph. He was able to return for the first round of eliminations. During Sunday eliminations, Brittany Force escaped serious injury after her Monster Energy dragster went out of control during a pass, made contact with the guard wall and came to rest past the finish line. Shawn Langdon moved to the NHRA Funny Car class with Kalitta Motorsports. Langdon replaces Alexis DeJoria in her Toyota Camry ride.
Brittany Force escaped serious injury after her Monster Energy dragster went out of control during a pass, made contact with the guard wall and came to rest past the finish line
The Pro Stock final saw Bo Butner beat his Summit Racing teammate Jason Line. In Funny Cars, Matt Hagan’s Dodge Charger R/T edged out Robert Hight and his Chevy Camaro. In Top Fuel, Doug Kalitta and his Mac Tools dragster was victorious over Tony Schumacher.
The wheel standing Stock Eliminators and Super Stocks were, as usual, very entertaining. Top Fuel Harleys were an interesting addition. In the pits, a classic car show, celebrity autographs, Nitro Alley, and food vendors were packed with families enjoying the show.
There are 23 more races to go in the 2018 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series!!
Thanks for the Show!!
The track was ready for some good times
In the pits, a classic car show, celebrity autographs, Nitro Alley, and food vendors were packed with families enjoying the show
TOP FUEL – Doug Kalitta runs 3.779sec at 324.28mph to beat Tony Schumacher’s 4.715sec at 145.93mph.
FUNNY CAR – Matt Hagan runs 3.823sec at 335.90mph to beat Robert Hight’s, 3.866sec at 336.99mph.
PRO STOCK – Bo Butner in his, Camaro runs 6.549sec, 209.62mph def. Jason Line in his Camaro at 6.568sec, 209.59mph.
TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER – Shawn Cowie runs 5.333sec, 277.03mph to beat Garrett Bateman’s 15.835sec, 55.97mph.
TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR – Shane Westerfield in his Camaro runs, 5.425sec, 269.67mph to beat Ulf Leanders in his Camaro at 5.508sec, 268.33mph.
COMPETITION ELIMINATOR – Dan Fletcher in his Chevy Cobalt runs 8.344sec, 132.86mph to beat Clint Neff’s Bantam roadster, (Fouled)
SUPER STOCK – Kyle Rizzoli in his Chevy Camaro runs 9.579sec, 133.55mph to beat Adam Emmer’s Olds Cutlass’s 10.120sec, 125.89mph.
STOCK ELIMINATOR – Larry Gilley in his Dodge Dart, 10.627sec, 121.27mph def. Ryan Mangus in his Chevy Camaro, 10.664sec, 122.73mph.
SUPER COMP – Gabriel Torres, Dragster, 8.922sec, 165.46mph def. Val Torres Jr, Dragster, 8.941sec, 176.26mph.
SUPER GAS – Kevin McCleland’s ’27-Ford T ran 9.924sec, 149.22mph to beat Phil Unruh’s Chevy Cobalt Corvette, 9.899sec, 159.29mph.
TOP FUEL HARLEY – Doug Vancil on his Harley, 6.333sec, 220.01mph, beat Rickey House, Harley, 10.322sec, 89.15mph.
Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the January 2018 print issue of the Drive Magazine.