The most recent stop on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series was in Las Vegas for the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA 4-wide Nationals. The 4-wide race is unique as it is one of two of these style as the second 4-wide is held in Charlotte, NC. The racers don’t have to be first to the finish line each round; they can finish second on their respective quads and still advance to the next round until they reach the final round. In the final, it’s a winner-take-all for the money and points, then the runner up and the last two drivers get equal points and money.
In Top Fuel, Mike Salinas scored his first career victory. Salinas recently acquired the championship winning crew and crew chiefs from Brittany Force and John Force racing prior to the start of the 2019 season. Salinas qualified on the pole and did not disappoint. In the opening round he ran the quickest elapse time of elimination day with a 3.74 @ 328 mph to advance himself to the next round. In round two he would again run the quickest time of the round with a stellar 3.76 @ 325 mph. In the final round he would take on the Advance Auto Parts team of Brittany Force, Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team, and Clay Millican in the Denso Spark Plugs Top Fueler. Salinas got off the starting line first and never looked back running low of the round again with a 3.80 @ 330 mph. Force would take the runner up spot with a 3.81 @ 321 mph.
Reigning Funny Car series champion JR Todd reminded the field why he and his DHL team are the champs. Todd qualified in the fourth spot. In the opening round he was in a three-way pedal fest with Gary Densham and Jim Campbell. Todd was able to recover his car first and advance to the second round. In round two Todd would advance with his driving skills. Todd was the first car off the starting line and ran a 4.03 @ 314 and was just able to hold off the hard charging two-time champ Matt Hagan with his 4.01 @ 303 mph. In the final round, Todd would again leave the starting line first but this time he was the quickest car on the track with a 3.970 @ 319 mph to Tommy Johnson’s 3.975 @ 313mph, Jack Beckman’s 4.370 @ 213 mph, and Tim Wilkerson’s 4.40 @ 205 mph. Todd picked up his 17th career win and his third win in a row at the Las Vegas Motor speedway.
In Pro Stock, Bo Butner was the number one qualifier and took on his two KB racing teammates Jason Line and Greg Anderson plus Matt Hartford. In the final round he pulled off a rare moment. Butner left the starting line with a .030 reaction time, Hartford .052, Line .054 and Anderson .076. Butner ran the slowest elapse time of the quad with a 6.677 @ 206 mph; meanwhile Hartford ran 6.667 @ 206 mph, Line 6.674 @ 206 mph and Anderson 6.655 @ 207 mph. Butner held them all off for the rare triple holeshot and claimed his ninth career win.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle Hector Arana Jr. scored the victory over reigning champ Matt Smith and Eddie Krawiec. The fourth competitor in the final was Andrew Hines but a mechanical issue with his Harley Street Rod forced him to pull out of the competition. Arana used his skills to mow down a .014 reaction time and cruise to victory with a solid 6.907 @ 195 mph and capturing his 15th career win.