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BUTNER CONTINUES CHAMPIONSHIP FORM WITH WINTERNATIONALS WIN

What a difference a year can make.

Coming into the Winternationals in 2017, Bo Butner had still never won a race and wondered just what it would take to finally get over that hump.

KALITTA, CREW CHIEF HAVE TUNNEL VISION

 

When Jim Oberhofer started working for Kalitta Motorsports, Doug Kalitta was the bottom-end specialist for uncle / boss Connie Kalitta’s Top Fuel dragster. Oberhofer is in his 10th season as crew chief for Doug Kalitta’s Mac Tools Dragster. They won their first event together in 2009, and now Oberhofer has stepped down from his position as Kalitta Motorsports Vice-President to concentrate on his crew-chief duties and giving his driver, a 43-time winner, his first title. The team’s goals, Oberhofer said, are “to win a championship, plain and simple.”

He said to do so “would be very special. Doug’s more than just a driver to me. He’s like a brother. We’ve had a lot of great times and some struggles here, as well. I’ve been with the Kalitta organization for 30 years. We’ve always had great drivers here at Kalitta Motorsports, because that’s what Connie has wanted. We’ve been fortunate over the years to have some great drivers, and this group that we have right now is special. They’ve won a lot of races between them. The talent here is unbelievable. We all work together. We’re one team with four cars.” 

SPORTSMAN RESULTS FROM 2018 NHRA WINTERNATIONALS

Sunday's final Sportsman results from the 58th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. The race is the first of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

POINT STANDINGS FOLLOWING 2018 WINTERNATIONALS

Point standings (top 10) following the 58th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the first of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series -

 

ROUND BY ROUND RESULTS FROM 2018 NHRA WINTERNATIONALS

Final round-by-round results from the 58th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the first of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

 

 

HAGAN, KALITTA AND BUTNER EMERGE VICTORIOUS AT LUCAS OIL NHRA WINTERNATIONALS

The season-opening event of the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series concluded Sunday at the 58th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) and Bo Butner (Pro Stock) were victorious in their respective categories at the first of 24 events during the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

HAGAN STARTS SEASON OFF WITH NO. 1 SPOT AT WINTERNATIONALS

What a battle.

In a qualifying showdown to remember, Matt Hagan capped an extremely competitive four sessions with a chart-topping 3.822-second pass at a new track-record 336.32 mph to earn the first top qualifier award of the season Saturday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway.

MILLICAN SETS NATIONAL RECORD, QUALIFIES NO. 1 AT POMONA

It can’t be stated enough the true size and scope of Clay Millican’s Top Fuel team.

In this day and age of super teams with multiple cars, dozens of tuners and hundreds of crew members, Millican and the Stringer Performance team plod along with a single car and a few brilliant minds making magic happen.

COUNTDOWN'S WHEN IT COUNTS THE MOST FOR COURTNEY FORCE

 

Advance Auto Parts Camaro driver Courtney Force was top qualifier seven times in 2017 but didn’t win a race. However, she had five runner-up finishes, including three in the Countdown, and improved in the playoffs from sixth to third. Even if she had won one event or more in the so-called “regular season,” it’s possible that might have done her much good. Had she converted a couple of those Countdown final-round appearances to victories, she might have given John Force Racing teammate and champion Robert Hight a fiercer challenge.

FORCE BACK AT TRACK AFTER BLOW-UP, HOSPITAL TRIP

 

 John Force underwent a CT scan of his head, neck, chest, and abdomen and was completely cleared and released from the hospital in less than two hours following his car-destroying engine explosion during Friday qualifying.

He returned to the racetrack late Friday and consulted with his crew, who already was at work, preparing the back-up car for the final two qualifying sessions Saturday. Force anchors the provisional 16-car lineup with a 4.139-second, 265.38-mph performance.  

“I’ve got a young team with Jon Schaffer and Jason McCulloch. I’ve had some hiccups. We struggled at testing, but everyone is working to get it right,” Force said. “That run just showed you the proof that these race cars, my PEAK Chevrolet Camaro, are built to protect the driver. Anytime I can walk away from an explosion, I know these cars at John Force Racing and all our Simpson safety gear are doing their job.

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