Racing in Pomona: Season Opener 2019

Hi everyone,

We’re back! This weekend the 2019 NHRA season kicked off  and there was no shortage of great moments. One being that it rained all day Sunday and the race was finished today. But before we get into it, there were a number of changes that took place in the off season, but I’m going to mentioned some of the key changes. Currently Tony Schumacher doesn’t have a sponsor, so he wasn’t entered into this race but hopefully we’ll see him behind the wheel soon. Courtney Force announced her retirement from driving and Brittany Force took over her Advanced Auto Parts sponsorship on her Top Fuel dragster. Another major announcement from John Force Racing was Austin Prock would officially make his debut and he did so in the Montana Brand/Rocky Mountain Twist Top Fuel dragster. He did well and he’s definitely going to be one to watch this season. Very recently, from the Funny Car category, came the return of Frank Pedregon. Frank is Cruz and Tony’s brother and hasn’t raced in a number of years. And lastly, if you watch the NHRA on Fox coverage, then you’ll have seen that there was a change in broadcasters. Brian Lohnes joined the team as the lead announcer. Brian has called many races and events over the years, I think he did a great job with this race and I’m sure he will continue to do so as the season goes on.

But now, let’s get to the racing. Starting with Top Fuel, and with 14 cars, the ladder looked like this; #1 Steve Torrence (3.65) vs #14 Steve Faria (5.57), #2 Billy Torrence (3.66) vs #13 Cameron Ferre (4.24), #3 Antron Brown (3.69) vs #12 Leah Pritchett (3.96), #4 Brittany Force (3.69) vs #11 Austin Prock (3.76), #5 Mike Salinas (#.71) vs #10 Clay Millican (3.75), #6 Richie Crampton (3.71) vs #9 Terry McMillen (3.74) and #7 Doug Kalitta (3.71) vs #8 Scott Palmer (3.72). The winners and who they would face in the second round were Steve Torrence (3.68), Austin Prock (4.02) and Mike Salinas (3.68), Billy Torrence (4.10) and Doug Kalitta (3.70) and Leah Pritchett (3.70) and Terry McMillen (3.71). The semifinals were Steve Torrence (3.67) vs Mike Salinas (3.68) and Doug Kalitta (3.71) vs Terry McMillen (3.69). The finals featured Steve Torrence (3.68) and the Capco team and Doug Kalitta (3.70) and the MAC Tools team. With the winner being Doug Kalitta (4.01).

Next we have Funny Car, where the ladder looked like this; #1 Robert Hight (3.87) vs #16 Terry Haddock (6.92), #2 Jack Beckman (3.90) vs #15 Phil Burkhart Jr (5.20), #3 Tommy Johnson Jr (3.90) vs #14 Tim Wilkerson (4.12), #4 Matt Hagan (3.90) vs #13 John Force (4.10), #5 Ron Capps (3.91) vs #12 Gary Densham (4.07), #6 Shawn Langdon (3.92) vs #11 Jim Campbell (4.02), #7 Cruz Pedregon (3.93) vs #10 Frank Pedregon (4.01) and #8 Bob Tasca (3.93) vs #9 JR Todd (3.94). The winners and who they would face in the second round were Robert Hight (4.07) and Bob Tasca (3.95), John Force (3.89) and Ron Capps (3.93), Jack Beckman (4.10) and Cruz Pedregon (4.29) and Tommy Johnson Jr (4.19) and Shawn Langdon (3.93). The semifinals were Robert Hight (3.85) vs John Force (3.90) and Jack Beckman (3.87) vs Tommy Johnson Jr (3.87). The finals featured Robert Hight (3.88) and the AAA team and Jack Beckman (3.89) and the Infinite Hero tea. With the winner being Robert Hight (3.88).

And finally we have Pro Stock, where the ladder looked like this; #1 Rodger Brogdon (6.52) vs #16 Val Smeland (6.66), #2 Erica Enders (6.52) vs #15 Jeffrey Isbell (6.66), #3 Bo Butner (6.53) vs #14 Alan Prusiensky (6.64), #4 Deric Kramer (6.54) vs #13 Steve Graham (6.62), #5 Jason Line (6.54) vs #12 Fernando Cuadra (6.58), #6 Greg Anderson (6.54) vs #11 Chris McGaha (6.56), #7 Kenny Delco (6.55) vs #10 Matt Hartford (6.56) and #8 Jeg Coughlin (6.55) vs #9 Alex Laughlin (6.55). The winners and who they would face in the second round were Val Smeland (6.59) and Alex Laughlin (6.54), Steve Graham (6.60) and Jason Line (6.53), Erica Enders (6.51) and Matt Hartford (6.54) and Bo Butner (6.50 and Chris McGaha (7.94). The semifinals were Alex Laughlin (6.71) vs Jason Line (6.53) and Erica Enders (6.51) vs Bo Butner (6.52). The finals featured Jason Line (6.52) and the Summit Racing Equipment team and Bo Butner (6.51) and the Jim Butner Auto team. With the winner being Bo Butner (6.52).

The next race will be the Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals, February 22-24 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Until next time, congrats to all the winners and I can’t wait for the next race :).

-K

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