Justin Ashley, Matt Hagan and Dallas Glenn all took wins in the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at the In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip over the weekend.
In Top Fuel, Ashley swept the tables, as he qualified number one, won the Mission Foods 2Fast2Tasty Top Fuel Challenge and took the class event title. Ashely, in his Phillips Connect dragster, defeated Austin Prock in his Montana Brand dragster by a 3.713 at 330.63 mph to 3.762 at 327.43 mph margin. This was the second consecutive win for the current point leader, having also claimed a victory at the NHRA Phoenix Nationals a week earlier. The battle between Ashley and Prock was a rematch of last year’s event, giving him his second consecutive Winternationals Top Fuel event title.
In Funny Car, Hagan retook the points lead by taking his second win out of the three events held so far this season. Hagan, driving for Tony Stewart Racing in the Stewart/Haas Dodge RT Charger, ran a 3.967 at 328.06 mph to defeat the reigning class champion, Ron Capps and his NAPA Auto Parts/Toyota Supra Funny Car. Capps lost with a 4.30 at 211.13 mph, as his car drifted towards the centerline, requiring him to let off the throttle.
In Pro Stock, Dallas Glenn collected his fourth career event win and first of the season, defeating Matt Hartford in a battle of the KB Titans Chevrolet Camaros. Glenn took the win with a strong 6.546 at 209.92 mph to Hartford’s 6.558 at 210.44 mph, as Hartford got away first with a 0.016 to 0.025 reaction time, but could not hold onto the lead. The win puts Glenn at the top of the season Pro Stock points battle.
All the semi-finalists in each of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series categories qualified to compete in the Mission Foods 2Fast2Tasty Challenge at the next event in the season series (excludes the four-wide events; held in Las Vegas and Charlotte) The next 2-wide event is the Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Elwood, Illinois, near Chicago. In Top Fuel it will be Brittany Force, Austin Prock, Antron Brown and Justin Ashley. In Funny Car it will be Bob Tasca III, Cruz Pedregon, Matt Hagan and Terry Haddock. Pro Stock will feature Camrie Caruso, Matt Hartford, Dallas Glenn and Aaron Stanfield.
During qualifying., John Force had a major crash. As he neared the finish line, against J.R. Todd during a qualifying run, his car suddenly lost traction and started moving around. As Force attempted to maintain control, the car suddenly darted to the left, crossing the center line behind Todd’s car. As the cars continued down the track, Force’s car started to go around Todd’s car on the left side. The cars then made contact and became entangled in the parachutes. Force’s car then hit the right-side wall, while Todd continued down track, with his vision highly restricted by the parachute. When the cars stopped, both drivers got out of their respective cars with no injuries. Both drivers then went to back up cars for the remainder of the event.
For Todd, his surprises were not over. In the opening round of eliminations on Sunday, Todd’s DHL Toyota suffered an engine explosion at about half track. The explosion destroyed the body, blocking his driving view. Once again, he used all his skills and brought his car to a safe stop. Other than disappointed, as he lost the elimination round and had a second car destroyed, he suffered no injuries.
The next event on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series is the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas, April 14 through 16.