McGaha recorded a pass of 6.620 seconds at 210.11 mph to outdistance Alex Laughlin (Havoline Chevrolet Camaro SS) in the final round of the seventh of 18 Pro Stock races this season.
“That’s probably the first time I’ve won crew chiefing it myself, so it’s kind of special. We overcame a lot this weekend – broke two motors – but I guess our luck changed today,” said McGaha, the No. 3 qualifier in the Harlow Sammons of Odessa Chevrolet Camaro SS. “I took the same car up there all four rounds and it just kept repeating and repeating. If the crew chief is doing his job, the driver needs to do his and here we are.”
McGaha, who picked up his eighth career Pro Stock win, last won in July 2018 at Epping, New Hampshire. Prior to breaking through at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, the resident of Odessa, Texas, had not advanced past the second round.
An interview with Pro Stock winner CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS RACING, HARLOW SAMMONS OF ODESSA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 3 qualifier; eighth career victory, first this season):
HOW DOES THAT WIN FEEL?
“That’s probably the first time I’ve won crew chiefing it myself, so it’s kind of special. We overcame a lot – broke two motors – but I guess our luck changed today.”
YOU GOT BETTER WHEN IT MATTERED. HOW DID YOU DO IT?
“I think it’s luck. Lights have been really bad for me the last year. I’ve been working on it really hard. I had the crew chief personnel change and have been doing it all myself and have been struggling. But we overcame it today. I took the same car up there all four rounds and it just kept repeating and repeating. If the crew chief is doing his job, the driver needs to do his and here we are.”
WALK US THROUGH YOUR RACE DAY.
“Started with a bad light in the first round and probably should have gotten trailored by Wally Stroupe after that bad light, but somehow we got back around him. The second round I was a little better on the tree. I had no idea he shook (tires) because I just didn’t see him. For the semis, we just kept taking the same car up there much like a bracket racer would do. I botched the burnout really bad and I’m sure everybody thought we were done. I thought I had done enough damage to the clutch that I had better just stage the thing at this point. I staged it and thought it’s either going to go or it’s not. It was a dice roll. Low and behold I took it to the line and let it rip. Next thing I knew we won that round and were going to the finals. I kept doing the same thing, the basic service, and kept dragging the same car up there.”
THE NEXT TIME WE SEE YOU IS THE BEGINNING OF THE SWING.
“Yes. Denver, and you have to change so much up at Denver that it’s definitely luck (to win). A totally unique tune-up, especially the gearing. You have to almost learn how to drive again.”
THE 18-RACE SCHEDULE, ARE YOU FINDING IT TO BE A POSITIVE?
“I was not going to run but 16 or 18 myself anyway; I have other obligations. It’s been kind of nice because I started some new project this year in the oil fields. Also, not going to Bristol between Chicago and here, I really sat down and wore out a notebook and a calculator really looking at my set-up and I think it paid off.”
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO QUALIFYING RESULTS:
Q1: 6.596 at 209.88mph
Q2: 6.560 at 211mph***
Q3: 6.588 at 209.62mph
Q4: 9.280at 101.69mph
Qualified No. 3
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
First Round: McGaha (6.587, 210.28) W.Stroupe (6.680, 206.95)
Second Round: McGaha (6.603,209.88) G.Anderson (9.750,97.45)
Semi Finals: McGaha (6.610,210.05) B.Butner (6.650,218.55)
Finals: McGaha (6.620,210.11) A.Laughlin (6.668, 208.75)
POINT STANDINGS FOLLOWING 2019 NORWALK NATIONALS (EVENT 7 of 18)
1. Bo Butner 671
2. Alex Laughlin 523
3. Jason Line 448
4. Greg Anderson 445
5. Matt Hartford 441
6. Erica Enders 427
7. Deric Kramer 422
8. Jeg Coughlin 405
9. Chris McGaha 390
10. Rodger Brogdon 320
11. Kenny Delco 234
12. Fernando Cuadra 228
13. Val Smeland 206
14. Shane Tucker 186
15. Alan Prusiensky 175