Coughlin Jr., Torrence and Hagan Victorious at NHRA Arizona Nationals
As the finals got underway for the second event of the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, it had been ten years since Jeg Coughlin Jr. won the Pro Stock division at the Arizona Nationals. Coughlin Jr. was looking to secure his 1000th round win and claim his 62nd Wally after eliminating Greg Anderson, Alex Laughlin and teammate Erica Enders. Standing in his way, an opportunistic hometown favorite Matt Hartford who had advanced to the semifinals with a scant .001 second margin of victory over Rodger Brogdon. Coughlin Jr. didn't have to wait long to claim his 81st NHRA overall win when Harford left too soon in his Sealed Power Camaro and triggered a red-light foul at the tree.
In Funny Car, Matt Hagan scored this third win in five years at the Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals by defeating the defending World Champion J.R. Todd. Hagan powered his Sandvik Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to victory with a final round run of 3.890 ET at 325.06 mph to claim his 30th career win. It was an emotional first victory of 2019 season for the team as Hagan handed team owner Connie Kalitta a Funny Car win for his 81st birthday. Hagan reached the final round by defeating Burkhart Jr., Langdon and Tasca III, while J.R. Todd took down Haddock, Johnson Jr. and number one qualifier Robert Hight.
After eliminating her teammate and three time World Champion Antron Brown in the semifinal round, Leah Pritchett was looking for her third win in four years at the Magic Dry Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals. But, after earning the number qualifying position on Saturday, Billy Torrence took home the Top Fuel victory at the 35th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park outside Phoenix. Torrence emerged victorious with a run of 3.965-seconds at 326.40 mph in his Capco Contractors/Torrence Racing dragster over Pritchett's Mopar SRT/Pennzoil dragster.
The 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues at the 50th annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at the newly paved Gainesville Raceway March 14-17 in Gainesville, Fla. In addition, the 2019 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series launches its 2019 season at the 50th Annual Gatornationals as well. See you there!
Photo Courtesy of Team Jegs