Compiled by SEMA Editors
Steve Torrence in his CAPCO Contractors dragster clinched his second straight NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel world title.
Hight, S. Torrence, Enders, Hines Win NHRA World Titles; Kalitta, Beckman, Coughlin, J. Salinas Close 2019 With Auto Club NHRA Finals Victories
Funny Car’s Robert Hight raced to his third career NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world title and second in three years last Sunday by advancing to the final round of the 55th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, California. Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also claimed world championships in their respective categories at the final race of the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. The race winners of the final event of the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season were Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) and Jianna Salinas (Pro Stock Motorcycle). Hight knocked off championship hopeful and No. 1 qualifier Matt Hagan with a strong run of 3.977 seconds at 324.59 mph in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS to reach the final. Beckman took advantage in the final round, going 3.920 at 323.27 in his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge SRT Hellcat to finish the year second in points with the win, just eight behind Hight.
Torrence clinched his second straight NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel world title by advancing to the semifinals and making it down the track during that round on Sunday. In a massive second-round matchup with 2017 world champ Brittany Force, Torrence pulled away at the top end, going 3.749 at 326.48 in his CAPCO Contractors dragster. It followed a heated first-round matchup with Cameron Ferre, where Torrence, the No. 1 qualifier, won with a 3.734 at 327.82.
Kalitta came up only three points short of Torrence, just missing out on his first Top Fuel world title, but the veteran did close out 2019 with a victory in his Mac Tools dragster. He went 3.716 at 332.67 to beat Kalitta Motorsports teammate Richie Crampton in the final round. In Pro Stock, Enders won her third world title in Pro Stock, knocking off Chris McGaha with a 6.597 at 209.69, giving her a third title after back-to-back championships in 2014 and 2015. Coughlin picked up the Pro Stock win over Fernando Cuadra with a 6.558 at 210.54 in his JEGS.com Chevrolet Camaro.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Hines ended up with his sixth world championship in the class, earning the title after Jerry Savoie lost in the final round to Salinas. Salinas’ day ended with her first career Pro Stock Motorcycle victory on her Scrappers Racing Suzuki, going 7.464 at 180.81 in the final round after Savoie broke.
The 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season will kick off with the 60th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtecttheHarvest.com, February 6–9, at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Champion Oil Announces 2020 Racing Contingency Program
Champion Oil has announced the 2020 Racing Contingency Program, which is designed to link Champion Racing Motor Oils directly with regional and national racers in most sanctioned racing events in North America. From dirt tracks to asphalt, from hill climbs to super speedways, from drifting to drag racing, the program includes series such as the All-Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC), American Sprint Car Series (ASCS), World of Outlaws (WoO), United States Auto Club (USAC) and the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA). In return for their efforts and commitment, Champion provides contingency cash payouts for first-place wins, and will help to boost awareness with racer results through media channels and by creating testimonials with Champion products. Racers can apply for the Champion Racing Oil Contingency Program now through June 30, 2020.
For more racing news, visit Performance Racing Industry’s (PRI) website.