The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series rolled into Las Vegas for the inaugural 4-wide Denso Spark plugs NHRA Nationals. This is the first time NHRA has brought the 4-wide concept to the western part of the United States. There is only one other facility that runs 4-wide and it’s located in Charlotte, NC. The concept is that four cars go down the racing surface and the first two to cross the finish line in each quad comes back to race the following round. In the final the first to reach the finish line is the winner and the second gets the runner up.
In Top Fuel the 2017 season runner up Steve Torrance marched his way through the field to score his 17th career victory. In the opening round Torrance and Clay Millican took down his father Billy Torrance and Troy Buff. Torrance and Millican would then take on seven-time champ Tony Schumacher in the US Army dragster and Steve Chrisman. Torrance would advance to the final along with Schumacher. In the final round Torrance would take on Schumacher, Doug Kalitta in his Mac Tools dragster and three-time champion Antron Brown in his Matco Tools dragster. Torrance would outrun the field with a solid 3.77 @ 326 mph to Schumacher’s 3.790 @325 mph, Doug Kalitta’s 3.914 @ 273 mph, and Antron Brown’s 4.097 @252 mph to score the win.
In Funny Car, J.R. Todd and his DHL Toyota team came out on top. In round one Todd squared off against John Force and his Peak Chevrolet, Bob Tasca in his Ford, and teammate Shawn Langdon in his Global Electronic Technologies Toyota. Todd and Force advanced to the next round. The two drivers would take on the Make-A-Wish Dodge of Tommy Johnson and Del Worsham. Todd and Johnson would advance to the final round. In the final round Todd and Johnson would meet up against Courtney Force in her Advance Auto Parts Chevy and Jack Beckman’s Infinite Hero Dodge. Johnson left the starting line too quick and drew the red light, disqualifying him. Meanwhile, Todd cut a .050 reaction time running a 4.041 @ 317 to defeat Beckman’s 4.052 @ 312 mph and Courtney Force’s quicker 4.007 @ 300 mph as Force was the last to leave the starting line with a .103 reaction time. This was Todd’s 12 career win.
The final round of Pro Stock was won by Vincent Nobile in his Mountain View Tire Camaro. Nobile defeated Deric Kramer in his American Ethanol Camaro, Bo Buntner, and Chris McGaha in his Harlow Simmons Camaro. McGaha, much like Tommy Johnson in Funny Car, drew the red light by leaving the starting line too soon thus disqualifying him. Nobile won on with a reaction time of .019 to .031 and .040 by Kramer and Buntner and only running a 6.690 @ 206 mph to quicker but losing runs of 6.678 @ 206 mph and 6.682 @ 206 mph. This was Nobile’s 10th career win.
The next stop for the NHRA Mello Yello Series is the NHRA Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway in Houston, Texas from April 20 through 22.