MORRISON, CO — Brittany Force and the Carquest Brakes Top Fuel team are making their way to the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil, looking to regain their early season success with second win of the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
Heading to the 14th event on the NHRA Mello Yello tour, Force and the Carquest Brakes team have tallied a win at the SpringNationals in Houston, two runner-up finishes, a semi-final appearance and four No. 1 qualifiers that included two history-making green hat starts. At the 50th anniversary Gatornationals, Force became the first woman since Shirley Muldowney in 1979 to qualify No. 1 at the historic event. Then, at the SpringNationals, Force and her father, John Force took the top spot in their categories to make them the first professional parent-child duo to be No. 1. A first round-exit at the New England Nationals in Epping, N.H. put Force fourth in the NHRA Mello Yello points standings, just four points out from the No. 3 spot.
“Epping was a tough weekend for this Advance Auto Parts team but we’re halfway through the season and I know we’re headed in the right direction. We had last weekend off and we’re all ready to get after the Western Swing,” said Force. “These next three races are important. The three in-a-row gives us the chance to move up in points, build good momentum, and keep our head in the game. I like jumping right back into the seat.”
Morrisson, CO – Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals
Leah Pritchett returns as the defending Top Fuel event champion
In 2018, Pritchett reset the Bandimere Speedway speed record (327.59 mph) en route to capturing her second consecutive Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil pole
Pritchett has been to the final round at Denver the past two years, winning in 2018 and recording a runner-up finish in 2017
Ron Capps raced to a runner-up finish at the 2018 event, the first of three consecutive final-round appearances on the Western Swing
Matt Hagan enters the race weekend as the most recent Funny Car winner on the NHRA tour after capturing the Epping Wally trophy
Antron Brown ‘swept The Swing’ (winning the Denver, Sonoma, and Seattle trio of races) in 2009
Pritchett got her very first Wally at the Denver track while competing in the NHRA Junior Dragster series
Tommy Johnson Jr. has been to the final round in four different categories at Bandimere (Funny Car, Top Fuel, Top Alcohol Funny Car, and Super Gas)
Johnson notched his career-first final round at the 1991 Denver event while competing in Top Fuel
AUSTIN PROCK AND MONTANA BRAND / ROCKY MOUNTAIN TWIST LOOKING FOR PROGRESS AT MILE-HIGH NHRA NATIONALS
MORRISON, CO — Rookie of the Year candidate, Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist dragster team are going to the first event in NHRA’s Western Swing, the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil, looking for a breakthrough after consistent performance.
For Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team, taking it one step at a time and continuing to build has been the focus of the season and with a resume that extends to a semi-final finish, four second-round appearances and a career best elapsed time of 3.69 and speed of 334.15, the newest team on the John Force Racing roster has been proving their potential.
At the recent New England Nationals in Epping, Prock added to his portfolio of passes in the .70s and .80s with a 3.899-second pass at 310.05 mph that earned him the No. 6 qualifying spot. He continued the consistency on race day to run 3.843-seconds at 323.19 for his best pass of the weekend and third quickest of the round, but would fall short of advancing to the quarterfinals to reigning Top Fuel world champion and eventual event winner, Steve Torrence.
Back-to-back wins puts Mike Coughlin in Top Dragster spotlight heading into D7 double-header weekend
SONOMA, CA – Consecutive victories in Indianapolis and Chicago has put Mike Coughlin in the spotlight of the Top Dragster class as the two-time Division 3 champion heads west for this weekend’s NHRA Division 7 Doubleheader presented by Korbel at Sonoma Raceway.
After struggling with their racecar for the better part of a year, Coughlin and his Columbus, Ohio-based crew changed to a locally-built Fowler F12 roots-style supercharger that turned their unreliable tune-up into the most consistent one they’ve ever used.
“Between qualifying and eliminations, we made eight perfect runs in Indy and eight more perfect runs in Chicago,” Coughlin said. “It’s really been quite remarkable. We’re not putting any stress on the engine and the EFI system we use is working perfectly with this blower. It’s been a dream to drive this thing.
“We’re going to ride this wave as long as we can. There’s no reason to think we can’t have another great weekend in Sonoma. I’ve only raced there once but I know it’s a beautiful facility and we expect perfect conditions. If we continue to do our thing, we’ll have a good chance.”
TULSA, OK – In front of a packed house, the Lone Star State’s own Jeff Jones earned his first Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS) victory July 13, at Xtreme Raceway Park (XRP) in Ferris, TX, near Dallas.
“This was a long time coming,” Jones said after his final-round victory over Todd Martin. “We’ve come close a couple of times before, so it feels pretty good to get it done.”
Also visiting XRP’s winner’s circle were Keith Haney in the unique MWPMS Slammers class for Pro Mod non-qualifiers and first-round runners-up, Shawn Ayers driving for team owner and Philadelphia Eagles star Fletcher Cox in X275, Rudy Vedros with his first major event win in Top Sportsman, and Ron Scott in Top Dragster.
Jones, who races a supercharged C7 Corvette alongside teammate and son Justin Jones in a similar machine, also shares the tuning prowess of crew chief Brandon Pesz with Martin and his Tulsa-based ’68 Mustang. Martin narrowly defeated Justin Jones in the semi-finals to reach his dad, who started seventh in the 16-car Pro Mod field before racing through Jeffrey Cummins Jr., points leader Aaron Wells, and Jim Sackuvich in the semis.
DENVER – The gaps in the NHRA schedule where Pro Stock cars do not compete are over with the start of the vaunted “Western Swing” of consecutive races in Denver, Sonoma, Calif., and Seattle and five-time class champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. is pumped up about racing his JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro again.
“I’m excited to resume the title chase with my Elite teammates,” Coughlin said. “What better place to get back into the swing of things than Bandimere Speedway. It’s one of my favorite tracks on the NHRA tour and definitely one of the most picturesque of them all. Plus, we have a long relationship with the Bandimere family and just love coming here.”
Coughlin won back-to-back Pro Stock titles at Bandimere Speedway in 1998 and 1999, and was also a runner-up at the facility 2003, 2011, and 2014. Overall, he has 62 national event wins in Pro Stock and 19 more in a variety of sportsman categories.
San Antonio, TX – VP Racing Fuels, Inc., having powered countless race wins and championships for years in the NHRA’s Pro Stock Class, will sponsor Pro Mod turning Pro Stock racer Steve Matusek and feature their Madditive® and Small Engine Fuel products on the famed Western Swing.
“Steve Matusek’s highly regarded for his work in the racing industry with Aeromotive Fuel Systems and Waterman Racing Components, and we are glad to support his first endeavor in NHRA Pro Stock. VP will also provide support with VP Racing Fuels for his NHRA Pro Mod team for the balance on the 2019 season,” said Chris Wall, Senior Director, VP Racing Fuels. “We think Matusek and Madditives will be the talk of the tour out west and we look forward to showcasing our performance fuels and chemicals.”
Matusek’s NHRA Pro Stock car, a 2019 Ford Mustang fielded by Elite Motorsports, will carry VP Madditives chemical and additive line and VP Small Engine Fuels logos along with the Mad Scientist®, VP’s mascot and symbol of the company’s relentless passion for developing products that outperform the competition.