Ron Capps, Steve Torrence and Greg Anderson all found their way to Victory Lane in the season-opening Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Pomona to kick off the 2016 season on the right foot.
Funny Car Recap
Capps defeated defending Funny Car Champion Del Worsham in the final round to take home his 46th career victory. He started off in round one defeating Jeff Diehl, followed by Chad Head in the second round then Robert Hight in the semi-finals.
In the finals, Capps defeated Worsham on a holeshot win, taking advantage of a quicker reaction time off of the tree. He powered his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger to a 3.981 time at 324.28 mph and held off Worsham’s hard charging DHL Toyota Camry who ran a quicker 3.962 time at 324.36 mph but got to the line later.
“This is the most fabled track we go to and it’s the birthplace of drag racing; it is unbelievable to win here,” Capps said. “I can’t wait to get this season going. You wonder if you are ever going to see one of these [trophies] again. I am racing Del Worsham in the final, who is one of the best. We threw down. What a race. Just to know we can get in the circle and get another Wally feels good.”
Top Fuel Recap
On the Top Fuel side, it was another photo finish as Torrence just snuck past Doug Kalitta in the finals to get his first ever Winternationals victory and sixth overall. Torrence, similar to Capps, ran a slower time at 3.735 seconds at 326.48 mph while Kalitta ran a 3.753 second run at 324.36 mph.
To get to the finals Torrence took down Steve Faria in round one, Morgan Lucas in round two and Richie Crampton in the semi-finals to get to the finals.
“[Tuning consultant] Alan [Johnson] and [crew chief] Richard [Hogan] have worked really well together,” said Torrence. “Alan is that thorn who keeps poking Richard to tune it just a little bit farther. My crew guys have done a great job. I am just the guy that sits in there and gets to drive it. It feels good. I wish the season was over already. We are going to do what we can to keep the momentum going and go on to Phoenix and try to write a story just like this one.”
Pro Stock Recap
Anderson became the first ever winner in the new EFI Pro Stock Era when he defeated his teammate Jason Line in the finals. Anderson held off Line in a photo finish in a third holeshot win on the weekend when he ran his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro to a 6.617 second run at 207.85 mph compared to the quicker but losing 6.609 second run at 209.82 mph.
The four-time world champion defeated Matt Hartford in round one, five-time World Champion Jeg Coughlin Jr in the second round and Drew Skillman in the semi-finals. Line was going for his third consecutive Winternationals win.
“I feel honored to be the first winner of the fuel injection era and get the first trophy. I got a great light in the final and got it done,” Anderson said. “It was my day. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this Summit Racing team. It is getting better every run. That’s going to pay off down the road. Everybody out there is in a steep learning curve right now. The other competitors in our class are going home and work hard and they will do better at Phoenix. We are going to have to buckle down and find something better again. Hopefully we will be better again come Phoenix.”
Next up for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in near Phoenix.
2016 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES STANDINGS
Funny Car -
|Ron Capps, Carlsbad, Calif., NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger (1)||119|
|2||Del Worsham, DHL Toyota Camry||97|
|3||Robert Hight, Auto Club Chevy Camaro||80|
|4||John Force, Peak Antifreeze and Coolant Chevy Camaro||69|
|5||Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger||65|
|6||Courtney Force, Traxxas Chevy Camaro||59|
|7||Alexis DeJoria, Tequila Patron Toyota Camry||55|
|8||Chad Head, WSM Auctioneers Toyota Camry||54|
|9||Tim Wilkerson, Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang||33|
|10t||Gary Densham, Densham Motorsports Dodge Charger||32|
|10t||Matt Hagan, Mopar Express/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger||32|
|10t||Cruz Pedregon, Snap-on/Wix Filters Toyota Camry||32|
Top Fuel -
|1||Steve Torrence, Capco Contractors dragster (1)||126|
|2||Doug Kalitta, Mac Tools dragster||94|
|3||Richie Crampton, Lucas Oil dragster||77|
|4||J.R. Todd, SealMaster dragster||72|
|5||Clay Millican, Parts Plus/Great Clips dragster||57|
|6||Morgan Lucas, Lucas Oil Racing TV dragster||52|
|7||Antron Brown, Matco Tools dragster||48|
|8||Terry McMillen, Amalie Motor Oil dragster||46|
|9||Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army dragster||42|
|10||Brittany Force, Monster Energy dragster||37|
Pro Stock -
|1||Greg Anderson, Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro (1)||125|
|2||Jason Line, Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro||105|
|3||Bo Butner, Jim Butner Auto Chevy Camaro||84|
|4||Drew Skillman, Ray Skillman Chevy Chevy Camaro||75|
|5||Vincent Nobile, Mountain View Tire Chevy Camaro||54|
|6||Jeg Coughlin Jr., Magneti Marelli/JEGS Dodge Dart||53|
|7t||Shane Gray, Gray Manufacturing Tech Chevy Camaro||52|
|7t||Allen Johnson, Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart||52|
|9||Chris McGaha, Harlow Sammons of Odessa Chevy Camaro||35|
|10||Alex Laughlin, Gas Monkey Garage/360 Wraps Chevy Camaro||33|