The fifth edition of the unique NHRA Four-Wide Nationals featured great racing and thrilling conclusions in all four NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series categories. Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) flexed their respective muscles while Swedish driver Jimmy Alund shocked the world to become the 58th different winner in Pro Stock history.
The fierce competition of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series often leads teams to make tough decisions regarding their respective futures in a brisk manner that might be compared to ripping a Band-Aid off the skin in one motion. The most recent bombshell is Kalitta Motorsports replacing driver David Grubnic with J.R. Todd while the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals was in progress last week at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Tony Schumacher and Alexis DeJoria reaped rewards of commitment to their respective long-term visions with wins at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway while Erica Enders-Stevens earned $100,000 in prize money for doubling up at the event and the K&N Horsepower Challenge.
Patience is considered a virtue. Patience also seems contrary to our high-speed, adrenaline-packed sport in which you're only considered to be as good as your last race and the ultimate goal is to get from Point A to Point B quicker than your competitors. Several teams began the season with long-term plans that they felt would bear fruit in the Countdown to the Championship, and many of them abandoned such plans by the conclusion of the third event of the season, last weekend's Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.
Beautiful weather set the stage for a memorable Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville. There were big stories among all the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series winners with Doug Kalitta winning Top Fuel on a landmark anniversary, Robert Hight and Mike Neff perhaps giving a preview of what's in store this summer in Funny Car, Allen Johnson christening the new Dodge Dart with a Pro Stock victory, and popular Pro Stock Motorcycle veteran Steve Johnson putting a Suzuki back in the winner's circle.
A burning question from mid-January was answered when the crew chief position on the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger Funny Car was appointed to John Collins heading into the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals. Collins will receive his first crack at the lead tuner role, completing a goal of his since he sold his automotive business in Iowa to pursue a career on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Many top teams in the Top Fuel and Funny Car ranks have either transitioned or are in the process of transitioning to six-disc clutch combinations in lieu of the five-disc, four-floater units that had been the norm in recent years. We spoke to a few teams about when and why they made the move.
At a CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals where the results were seemingly determined in alphabetical order with Antron Brown, Alexis DeJoria, and Allen Johnson claiming victories, a big crowd of Arizona race fans watched the drivers throw down on the newly repaved Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park racing surface. The exciting race reached its zenith with DeJoria collecting the first victory of her Professional career.
Entering the season without a crew chief would leave many teams heading up the proverbial creek without a paddle. Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger haven't endured that fate due to the safety net provided by the other tuners at Don Schumacher Racing.
The 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series kicked off with teams running in midseason form. Cool conditions on the fabled Auto Club Raceway at Pomona surface paved the way for record times and career bests ahoy at the Circle K NHRA Winternationals. Khalid alBalooshi, John Force, and Jason Line each found the winner's circle. Force, in particular, made his way there knowing that the quickest way from point A to point B is a straight line, and he proceeded to obliterate everything in his path.