CONCORD, N.C. – After a year in which KB Racing stood supreme in the new-look Pro Stock class, parity has reigned during the early portion of the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
Chris McGaha became the sixth-different winner in as many races to open the year, driving his Harlow Sammons of Odessa Chevrolet Camaro to a powerful 6.591 second pass at 210.44 mph that blew away the competition.
Former titlist L.E. Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also took down a factory class win, breaking a nine-month winless drought in the process.
In making the best pass of the final Pro Stock quad, McGaha beat Greg Anderson, Shane Gray and Drew Skillman for his fifth-career win and first of the season.
“I always felt like this one (the Four-Wide Nationals) should have been my first (win) in 2014,” McGaha said. “We had a dominant car; won our quads nearly every time we went up in ’14. Eventually we shook and blew the motor up.”
The driver added that the motor he utilized on Sunday is the very same motor that he blew up in 2014.
“That motor never really recovered until this week,” McGaha said. “This week, that motor recovered and it’s the same motor that did it then (in 2014). It’s the same motor now.”
Two-time Four-Wide winner and four-time class champion Greg Anderson finished as the runner-up in his Summit Racing Equipment ‘Red’ Chevrolet Camaro, running a 6.614 at 209.56.
Shane Gray went down the track in 6.648 at 209.33 to finish third, while Drew Skillman red-lit the start and fouled out to finish fourth.
L.E. Tonglet completed a clean sweep of the Four-Wide Nationals for White Alligator Racing in Pro Stock Motorcycle, racing to a 6.864 second pass at 195.00 mph to score his first win of the season.
Though his teammate – fast qualifier and defending class champion Jerry Savoie – was late on the clutch and eliminated in the first round, Tonglet found redemption for the Louisiana-based team, outrunning the Harleys of Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines on a holeshot for his first win since Sonoma last year.
A .071 reaction time on Sunday gave the 2010 class champion his 11th career win, aided by confusion after Pollacheck red-lit on the start.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” said Tonglet of the final round. “I heard them say (that) someone left before the tree, and then I remembered that one of the bulbs went out like it was deep staged … then the tree came down. It must have messed the other two guys up pretty bad.”
“With the Four-Wide you’ve got to be prepared for anything. Luckily, today, things worked in our favor.”
Krawiec ran a quicker, but losing, 6.821 second pass at 195.31 mph on his Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle V-Rod.
Andrew Hines (6.902 at 194.16) and Pollacheck finished third and fourth, respectively.
Steve Torrence and Ron Capps were best among the nitro class competitors on Sunday at the eighth-annual Four-Wide Nationals, notching victories in Top Fuel and Funny Car, respectively.
For more on those races, click here.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues May 5-7 at Atlanta Dragway, with the running of the Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 22-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
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