FUNNY CAR’S ROBERT HIGHT AFTER MORE LUCAS OIL NHRA WINTERNATIONALS MAGIC IN POMONA
POMONA, CA – In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip seems to always bring out the best in Robert Hight and the three-time Funny Car world champ heads to this weekend’s 63rd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals with plenty of excitement following his win in Phoenix on Sunday.
It erased an early exit in Gainesville and gives Hight the chance to win in both Pomona and Phoenix for the second straight year – only this time in reverse order. He won the storied Winternationals to open the 2022 season in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series before winning in Phoenix. With the first stop at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip now taking place in late March, Hight impressed in the desert last weekend and will try to do the same in Pomona in his 11,000-horsepower Flav-R-Pac/Cornwell Tools/Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS.
Last weekend wasn’t conventional – Hight struggled in qualifying before dominating in eliminations – but the veteran and 62-time event winner was thrilled with how his team put things together during crunch time, knowing they’ll be ready to try and put together another winning effort in Pomona.
GERBER COLLISION & GLASS ENTERS STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH NHRA YOUTH AND EDUCATION SERVICES (YES) PROGRAM IN 2023
INDIANAPOLIS – NHRA officials are pleased to announce that Gerber Collision & Glass has joined the team of partners for the NHRA Youth and Education Services (YES) Program for the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
The NHRA YES Program is the only full-time education program in motorsports providing relevant educational content and activities for schools and youth organizations nationwide. The YES Program invites students to NHRA national events to see first-hand the career opportunities within the motorsports field, bringing thousands of students to the track each year. In 2023, the YES Program will take place at 15 races, along with six virtual events, during the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
“This strategic partnership with NHRA’s YES program will allow Gerber Collision & Glass to feature the collision repair industry and the endless opportunities it offers to thousands of students, their parents and school instructors,” said Brian Kaner, Executive Vice President & COO of Gerber Collision & Glass. “We are excited about this sponsorship because it allows us to reach this important demographic and target audience that only the NHRA can deliver.”
TOP FUEL’S JUSTIN ASHLEY LOOKING FOR MORE EARLY-SEASON SUCCESS AT LUCAS OIL NHRA WINTERNATIONALS
POMONA, CA – A quick start paid dividends last year for Justin Ashley, who won the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals to open the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Series season and used that momentum to contend for his first Top Fuel world championship.
With an early-season win already under his belt in his 11,000-horsepower Phillips Connect Toyota dragster powered by National Debt Relief, Ashley is after a second straight win at storied In-N-Out Pomona Dragstrip at this weekend’s 63rd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals.
Ashley won on Sunday in Phoenix, bouncing back from a first-round loss in Gainesville to open the season. With sky-high expectations, it was another important step forward for Ashley, who saw first-hand the benefits of early-season success last season. A second straight victory at the historic Winternationals would add to what he’s already built this year and Ashley is thrilled to compete for another win just days after winning in Phoenix.
MIKE EAMES JOINS NHRA DIVISION DIRECTORS TEAM AS NORTHWEST DIRECTOR
INDIANAPOLIS – NHRA officials announced the addition of Mike Eames as the Division Director of the Northwest Division (Division 6), where he will oversee NHRA member tracks in Alaska, Alberta (Can.), British Columbia (Can.), Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
Prior to being named NHRA Division Director, Eames served as the General Manager at Rocky Mountain Raceways, where he worked closely with racers, sponsors and staff. Rocky Mountain Raceways was awarded NHRA Division 7 Track of the Year in 2018, due in large part to Eames’ management and leadership.
“I’ve fortunately been in drag racing since birth and my first job was handing out ET Slips at the old Bonneville Raceways when I was 13,” Eames explained. “NHRA drag racing is filled with some of the most amazing people I know. I am looking forward to working with all the racers, member tracks and sponsors in the Land of the Leaders in Division 6!”
ASHLEY, HIGHT AND CARUSO EARN WINS IN FRONT OF SELLOUT CROWD AT FINAL NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS
CHANDLER, AZ – Top Fuel’s Justin Ashley closed out the final NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Motorsports Park with a victory in a front of a sellout crowd, powering to a win over Shawn Langdon in the championship round on Sunday.
Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Camrie Caruso (Pro Stock) also won the second of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Ashley put together a run of 3.705-seconds at 329.34 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Phillips Connect Toyota dragster powered by National Debt Relief, driving past Langdon’s 3.732 at 329.58. It gives Ashley his sixth career victory and first at Phoenix as the championship contender also defeated Tony Schumacher, Mike Salinas and Steve Torrence to reach the final round. Ashley was stellar on the starting line during eliminations, leaving first in the final round and holding on for the victory in front of another massive crowd in Phoenix.
DEJORIA, KALITTA, AND COUGHLIN JR. WIN MISSION #2FAST2TASTY NHRA CHALLENGE AT SOLD OUT NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS
Kalitta, Tasca and C. Cuadra also claim No. 1 spots in front of huge crowd at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park
CHANDLER, AZ – Alexis DeJoria claimed the victory in the first Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge as part of the NHRA Arizona Nationals, defeating J.R. Todd in the Funny Car final round of the bonus event on Saturday in front of a sold-out crowd at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
In the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) and Troy Coughlin (Jr.) also picked up wins in the bonus event in Phoenix. Kalitta (Top Fuel), Bob Tasca III (Funny Car) and Cristian Cuadra (Pro Stock) all qualified No. 1 at the second of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
DeJoria went 3.914-seconds at 324.51 mph in her 11,000-horsepower Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota GR Supra to knock off Todd, claiming the bonus purse and bonus points for the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. The win also took place at the site of her first Funny Car victory, which came in 2014 at Phoenix. She knocked off Matt Hagan to reach the final round of the Challenge and then easily drove past Todd when he went up in smoke to start the celebration.
KALITTA, ALEXANDER AND C. CUADRA TAKE PROVISIONAL NO. 1 SPOTS AT NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS
CHANDLER, AZ – Top Fuel veteran Doug Kalitta is in line for his second straight No. 1 qualifier position in Phoenix, powering to the provisional top spot on Friday at the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
Blake Alexander (Funny Car) and Cristian Cuadra (Pro Stock) are also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the second of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Kalitta, who has 49 career Top Fuel victories, went 3.679-seconds at 330.23 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Mac Tools dragster to go to No. 1. Should it hold, Kalitta would pick up his first No. 1 qualifier since last year in Phoenix and the 52nd in his career. It marks another strong moment in the early part of the season for the veteran. He struggled a year ago, including a first-round upset in Phoenix last year, but is motivated for a big turnaround in 2023.
“The car was strong and to go out and run a 3.67 was pretty cool,” Kalitta said. “My guys have been working their tails off on this thing and we’re super hungry to make it happen. There’s no better place to do it than here because we love coming to Phoenix.
STANDOUT PRO STOCK FOURSOME READY FOR MISSION #2FAST2TASTY NHRA CHALLENGE AS PART OF FINAL NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS
PHOENIX – After winning in Gainesville to open the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season, Pro Stock rising star Troy Coughlin Jr. knew he would be facing semifinal opponent Dallas Glen again soon – as in the next event as one of the marquee matchups in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge.
The new program kicks off this weekend at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park as part of the final NHRA Arizona Nationals, pitting semifinalists against each other during qualifying on Saturday. Along with Coughlin and Glenn meeting again, the other rematch features Gainesville runner-up Mason McGaha and Greg Anderson, with the winners meeting up on Saturday with a bonus purse and bonus playoff points on the line.
It adds competitive racing to the qualifying schedule on Saturday in Phoenix and Coughlin, who beat Glenn on a holeshot in Gainesville, knows his opponent will be out for redemption. But Coughlin is ready in his JEGS.com/White Castle/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro and eager be part of even more competitive racing this weekend.
“It’s always tough to face Dallas,” Coughlin said. “He’s such a good competitor and it’s going to be a fierce rematch. But I love competitions like the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge. It’s going to make qualifying on Saturday really exciting for everyone.”
MISSION #2FAST2TASTY NHRA CHALLENGE IN FUNNY CAR PROMISES MUST-SEE ACTION AS PART OF FINAL NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS
PHOENIX – A great start to the 2023 season in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series has a chance to get even better for Funny Car standout Matt Hagan. The three-time world champ opened the year with a victory in Gainesville and now has a chance for two wins this weekend at the final NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
Along with Sunday’s eliminations, where Hagan will race for his fourth win in the desert, he will take part in the new Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, which brings competitive racing to the qualifying schedule on Saturday. It features a semifinal rematch from Gainesville – meaning Hagan will race Alexis DeJoria and runner-up J.R. Todd will take on Chad Green – with the two winners then matching up in the final qualifying session.
Throw in a bonus purse and bonus playoff points and Hagan is excited to throw down in his 11,000-horsepower Dodge Direct Connect Charger SRT Hellcat for the last time at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
“As good as we did, there’s always humility with these Funny Cars. As much as I want to do a great job, there’s still a lot to learn on this new car,” Hagan said. “This whole Mission #2Fast2Tasty deal changes the dynamic of the game in qualifying. It’s tough because you’re going against great drivers. You just have to keep working hard and make sure you’re doing your job as a driver. It’s such a competitive group, but it’s a great thing NHRA is doing. I’m really glad our crew gets to run for some bonus money.”
EXCITING TOP FUEL REMATCHES SET AS MISSION #2FAST2TASTY NHRA CHALLENGE KICKS OFF AT FINAL NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS
PHOENIX – The final NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series race at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park will also include matchups in the first-ever Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, with an intriguing foursome in Top Fuel set to rematch as part of this weekend’s last NHRA Arizona Nationals.
The Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge brings competitive racing to the qualifying schedule on Saturday at 12 regular-season events during the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series campaign, pitting semifinalists from the previous race against each other in a pair of rematches, with the two winners then matching up in the final qualifying session.
That starts in Phoenix, with Gainesville Top Fuel winner Mike Salinas taking on Leah Pruett and Steve Torrence facing off with Doug Kalitta. With a bonus purse and bonus playoff points on the line, Salinas is hopeful for a big weekend in his 11,000-horsepower Scrappers Racing dragster at a track where he won in 2022.