Chris McGaha Nabs Sixth Career Pro Stock Victory at NHRA Arizona Nationals

Comment

Chris McGaha Nabs Sixth Career Pro Stock Victory at NHRA Arizona Nationals

 
PHOENIX, Ariz. (February 25, 2018) – Chris McGaha is starting his 2018 Pro Stock season with a bang. McGaha drove his Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro straight to the winner circle at the 34th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals after defeating Tanner Gray, Erica Enders, Alex Laughlin, and Jason Line.

 
In the first round, McGaha qualified the affectionately known Silver Bullet in the No. 7 spot and that granted him lane choice over Tanner Gray in the opening round of eliminations. McGaha was almost telepathic with his clutch foot when he had a .009-second reaction time over Gray and the Texas-native clocked in with a quick 6.553-second pass at 211.73 and turned on the win light over Gray’s troubled 6.642, 209.82. McGaha’s 211.71 mph was the fastest of the first session, showing the rest of the competition how serious Harlow Sammons horsepower can be.
 
Second round, McGaha chose his lane over Erica Enders. At the launch, McGaha held .026-seconds over Enders and he crossed the finish line with a 6.561, 211.93. His performance on the starting line was enough to ink a holeshot win over Enders’ 6.549, 210.14.
 
Reaching his first semifinals since the 2017 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, the Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro driver once again had lane choice over his competition. In the other lane was Alex Laughlin and McGaha once more proved why he was the driver to beat at Wild Horse Motorsports Park. His .016-second reaction time gave McGaha the starting line advantage and he turned on the win light with a 6.562, 211.83 and out powered Laughlin’s 6.574, 210.21.
 
The final round had McGaha experiencing a little déjà vu when he pulled up in the lanes against friend and competitor Jason Line. In a rematch of the 2016 NHRA Arizona Nationals, McGaha was ready to make the tally even and repay Line for defeating him two years ago. Akin to his performance the rest of the afternoon, McGaha was .007 on the tree and he saved his best performance of the weekend for last to nab Line’s ticket to the winner circle. McGaha clocked in with a 6.529, 211.59 to defeat Line’s 6.538, 210.14.

“When you race people like Jason [Line], you have to bring your ‘A-Game’ because he’s good at what he does,” McGaha said. “When my crew chief and my team give me a good car, it’s kind of like a field goal kicker. He sits there on the bench the whole time and then he has to come out and win the game, so it’s kind of like what you feel like as a driver – don’t mess it up because you’re the last guy.”
 
“This win is absolutely satisfying,” he laughed. “We’re the one little car from Odessa, Texas and we had some issues and we addressed them before the finals and I think that’s why we picked up. We can credit my crew chief Adam Hornberger for that; I just try not to mess it up.”
McGaha leaves the 34th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals in the No. 3 spot in the Pro Stock point standings.
 
“We picked up some power this winter that we’ve been lacking and looking for,” he added. “When we unloaded it and went No. 1 in the first session this weekend, we thought we might have something that could compete. It’s been a great weekend in my Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro and I can’t wait for Gainesville. I think we have a winning combination.”
 
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
ELIMINATIONS
First Round: McGaha (6.553, 211.73) defeated Tanner Gray (6.642, 209.82)
Second Round: McGaha (6.561, 211.93) defeated Erica Enders (6.49, 210.14)
Semifinals: McGaha (6.562, 211.83) defeated Alex Laughlin (6.574, 210.21)
Finals: McGaha (6.529, 211.59) defeated Jason Line (6.538, 210.14)
 
PRO STOCK POINTS STANDINGS (2 of 24 events)

  1. Jason Line, 195
  2. Deric Kramer, 154
  3. Chris McGaha, 152
  4. Bo Butner, 149
  5. Alex Laughlin, 136
  6. Erica Enders, 134
  7. Greg Anderson, 119
  8. Drew Skillman, 117
  9. Vincent Nobile, 95
  10. Jeg Coughlin Jr., 84

Comment

HARLOW SAMMONS’ CHRIS MCGAHA WINS FIRST U.S. NATIONALS OF PRO STOCK CAREER

Comment

HARLOW SAMMONS’ CHRIS MCGAHA WINS FIRST U.S. NATIONALS OF PRO STOCK CAREER

CHRIS MCGAHA
HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
RACE REPORT: 62ND ANNUAL CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE US NATIONALS
LUCAS OIL RACEWAY AT INDIANAPOLIS
SEPTEMBER 2-5
 

HARLOW SAMMONS’ CHRIS MCGAHA WINS FIRST U.S. NATIONALS OF PRO STOCK CAREER

 
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 5, 2016) – What an incredible weekend for Pro Stock driver Chris McGaha. He raced his way straight to the winner circle at the 62nd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in his Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro after defeating Matt Hartford, Curt Steinbach, Vincent Nobile and Allen Johnson on raceday.
 
Qualifying in the No. 9 spot, McGaha didn’t have lane choice but he knew he was going up to the line with a solid car and needed to do his job behind the wheel in order to advance into the next round. Blazing off the line, McGaha had a .021-second reaction time compared to his opponent Matt Hartford’s .048. That .027-second advantage plus his Harlow Sammons power was enough to drive all the way to the finish line and turn on the win light. McGaha clocked in with a 6.659-second pass at 207.75 mph.   
 
His first round elapsed time earned him lane choice over Curt Steinbach in the second round. McGaha took his 500 cubic-inch Chevrolet Camaro across the finish line with a 6.695, 206.61 and took the win over Steinbach’s 6.753, 203.65.
 
In his third semifinal round of his 2016 season, he knew he didn’t want his day at Indy to end there. That round, Vincent Nobile clocked in with his slowest pass of the weekend at 6.807, 206.99 and McGaha took advantage of his minor slip up and punched his ticket to the finals with a 6.705, 206.48.
 
Chris had made his way to the finals at Indy – the most prestigious race on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour and the only person standing between him and the Wally was Allen Johnson.  
 
Johnson and McGaha did their burnouts and tension started to heighten as they began to stage their cars. In just a matter of six and a half seconds, the winner of the U.S. Nationals would be crowned. As the tree came down, McGaha let off the clutch with a .020-second reaction time – giving him .024-seconds advantage over Johnson who came into this round with lane choice. McGaha hit every shift as he traveled down Lucas Oil Raceway and as they reached the finish line, McGaha could see the front end of his Chevrolet Camaro was ahead of Johnson. McGaha clocked in with a 6.688, 207.15 and edged out Johnson’s 6.715, 207.08 to take the win.
 
McGaha came into this weekend with no round wins at Indy and on his fifth anniversary of his Pro Stock debut here in 2011, he did what every racer in the NHRA dreams of doing: winning the Big Go.
 
““We have to keep up what we did today in the Countdown,” McGaha said. “If we do, we definitely have a shot at winning the Championship. We botched a lot of runs along the way this season and we shouldn’t be entering the Countdown in seventh but this win is a huge confidence booster. We just have to keep winning and we might just have a chance at the Championship.”
 
 
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
Qualified: No. 9
ELIMINATIONS
First Round: MCGAHA (6.659-seconds, 207.75 mph) def. Matt Hartford (6.664, 206.64)
Second Round: MCGAHA (6.695, 206.61) def. Curt Steinbach (6.753, 203.65)
Semifinals: MCGAHA (6.705, 206.48) def. Vincent Nobile (6.807, 206.99)
Finals: MCGAHA (6.688, 207.15) def. Allen Johnson (6.715, 207.08)
QUALIFYING                                                 
FRIDAY: 6.668-second, 208.01 mph (Session 1);
SATURDAY: 6.647, 207.98 (Session 2); 6.637, 208.59 (Session 3)
SUNDAY: 6.624, 208.88 (Session 4); (Session 5)

Comment

Chris McGaha Turning Corner as Western Swing Approaches

Comment

Chris McGaha Turning Corner as Western Swing Approaches

CHRIS MCGAHA
HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
RACE PREVIEW: 37TH ANNUAL MOPAR MILE-HIGH NHRA NATIONALS
BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY
JULY 22-24
 

Chris McGaha Turning Corner as Western Swing Approaches

 
ODESSA, Tex. (July 19, 2016) – The Western Swing is one of the most anticipated sections of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season. In the 14th of 24 events in 2016, Chris McGaha has been working hard to get through some of the initial growing pains of becoming his own crew chief and it seems progress is finally being made as they head to the 37th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals this weekend at Bandimere Speedway.
 
McGaha took over the reigns of his Pro Stock operation last month and has been working towards getting his first win of the 2016 season. With a few first round losses in June, McGaha has picked up confidence after they went to the second round at the last event in Chicago.
 
“I finally did it on my own,” McGaha said. “That was the first time I have ever won a round as a driver and crew chief. I told my team over the radio at the top end, ‘we did it’. I feel like Chicago was a bridge and we’re taking steps in the right direction. We qualified on our own, we lost a few rounds on our own and now we’re starting to win rounds on our own. It’s just a matter of time before we win a race on our own.”
 
In 2015, McGaha came one race short of running the table and coining himself as the second driver in Pro Stock history to “Sweep the Swing”.
 
“I’m excited to race the Western Swing this year,” he revealed. “What we’re hoping for is that we can repeat what we did last year; that’s what we’re gunning for. I want to use our momentum from last year and do it again. Hopefully this time we can do better in Denver and sweep it this time.”
 
Qualifying at the 37th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals begins on Friday, July 22nd with two qualifying sessions at 5:00 and 7:30 p.m. Qualifying continues on Saturday, July 23rd with two qualifying sessions at 4:00 and 6:30 p.m. Eliminations begin at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 24th.
 
 
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
Last race, Chicago: Qualified No. 7, lost second round to Bo Butner.
Last year, Denver: Qualified No. 6, lost first round to Greg Anderson.
 
Fast Facts: Chris McGaha

  • Chris has been in six finals in his career, most recently in Phoenix 2016.
  • His three career Pro Stock wins came in 2015 (Sonoma, Seattle, Reading)
  • He almost “Swept the Western Swing” when he won Sonoma and Seattle back-to-back last year. A perfect “sweep” would be Denver, Sonoma, and Seattle. Only one driver in the history of Pro Stock has been able to conquer that feat.
  • Chris and his father Lester make all tuning calls on their Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro

Race Schedule for the 37th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals:
Friday, July 22, two qualifying sessions at 5 and 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 23, two qualifying sessions at 4 and 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 24, eliminations begin at 11 a.m. with Top Fuel.
 
Television Schedule for the 37th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals:
Saturday, July 23, FS1 will televise two hours of qualifying coverage at 11 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, July 24, FOX will televise three hours of live finals coverage at 3 p.m. (ET).
 
NHRA PRO STOCK POINT STANDINGS

  1. Jason Line           1472
  2. Greg Anderson    1392
  3. Bo Butner              898
  4. Allen Johnson       773
  5. Drew Skillman     717
  6. Vincent Nobile       666
  7. Shane Gray           619
  8. CHRIS MCGAHA 610
  9. Jeg Coughlin         580
  10. Alex Laughlin        530

 
  MEDIA CONTACT

Sadie Floyd
SR DRIVEN MEDIA
srdrivenmedia@gmail.com
www.srdrivenmedia.com

Comment

Harlow Sammons Racing’s Steve Hinojos Swept Up in Thrill of Pro Stock

Comment

Harlow Sammons Racing’s Steve Hinojos Swept Up in Thrill of Pro Stock

Harlow Sammons Racing’s Steve Hinojos Swept Up in Thrill of Pro Stock

April 28, 2016

It started out so simple. Harlow Sammons Racing longtime crew member Steve Hinojos had been on course to attend Universal Technical Institute (UTI) to gain an education of a mechanical nature, but first his dad said he needed to get a job as he finished out the last two years of high school. The request was one that any father would make, but no one could have known quite how dramatically it would change the original plan.

The application process to UTI was already underway, and Hinojos was heading to the local grocery store to apply for a job as a bagger when his dad suggested another option.

McGaha and Hinojos in the Harlow Sammons Racing pit

“He said, ‘Before you do that, run by this shop,’ ” Hinojos said, recalling that fateful day back in 2000. “My dad told me he knew a guy named Lester who was looking for help, and he said, ‘I might be messing up by sending you there, but I think you’ll like it better than the grocery store.’ So I ran by there and talked to Lester, and then he offered to show me around and introduce me to Chris and everybody. Of course, as soon as we walk into the engine shop I see hot rods everywhere. It was a dream.”

Hinojos started right away as a shop hand, cleaning up and pitching in with whatever task needed to be addressed. He finished out his junior and senior years of high school working at Harlow Sammons in Odessa, Texas, as many hours as he could, and he established a great bond with Chris McGaha, Lester’s son. When the younger McGaha decided to make a move and race in NHRA’s ultra-competitive and complex Competition Eliminator category, he presented a new deal to his friend.

“Chris said, ‘It’s totally up to you, and I’m not forcing you into any kind of decision. But you can go off to school and do your thing, or I can show you everything I know to this point. It could be me and you, or you could go do that deal and maybe get some hands-on time with the 25 other guys there to learn. I’ll leave it up to you.’ So I thought about it long and hard, and my dad said that I should do whatever I wanted to do and he would support me, so I stayed,” said Hinojos. “Chris showed me a few things, we built a lot of motors over the years, and when they started Comp racing, I tagged along.”

When the business side of things ramped up for Harlow Sammons, Hinojos put his efforts where needed, but in 2012 McGaha came to him again. After getting a taste of Pro Stock with Richard Freeman’s Ride and Drive program in 2011, McGaha knew where he was headed – and he wanted to take Hinojos with him.

Hinojos on the starting line with Lester McGaha at the U.S. Nationals

“He said, ‘I have another life-changing decision for you to make,’ ” said Hinojos. “He told me he needed a full-time clutch guy for Pro Stock, but that I could share it with Lonnie, back at the shop, if I didn’t want to be with him all the time. I told him that if I was in, I would do it full-time because I wasn’t going to do it half-assed. He made the deal with David Nickens, we got the Dodge stuff all together, and we went to Houston for our first test. The rest is history.”

The climb was slow but steady as McGaha raced in 18 events in 2012 and 13 the following season before committing to a full-time program in 2014. That season, the team made the move from Dodge to Chevrolet with a purchase of equipment from former world champion and profoundly fast Mike Edwards. Those assets, combined with their growing experience in the factory hot rod category, gave them a fresh page on which to write their story. The team was like a sponge in 2014, in a constant state of education as their passion began to translate to success with a pair of low qualifier awards and their first top 10 finish.

It got even better in 2015, as McGaha and the Harlow Sammons Racing team, based out of their Southwest Performance & Machine engine shop in Odessa, collected two more No. 1 Qualifier awards before reaching their first final round in impressive fashion at the SpringNationals in Houston – at the very racetrack in their home state of Texas where they had their first test session as an independent team just a handful of years earlier.

Erica Enders won that day in Texas, and she beat McGaha again in his second career final – in Bristol that same season – but success would come fast and furious that summer. Hinojos was standing on the starting line in Sonoma when McGaha, the No. 1 qualifier, finally got the win light in a final-round battle with Jonathan Gray.

Hinojos and McGaha, sharing that hard-fought first win in Sonoma 2015

“I’ve always played at sports – but I’ve never really been any good at it or been part of a winning team. I was pretty used to last place, and it never really bothered me, but I’ve always had the desire to win. Who doesn’t want to win,” said Hinojos. “So when we got that first trophy there in Sonoma, it was intense. I’ve never been part of a winning team in any way, I’d never won anything before that day, and to finally see it happen…. Wow. That’s all I can say. Wow.”

The very next weekend, the team was No. 1 again and proved the win was no fluke as McGaha defeated Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the Seattle final. They finished the season with a victory in the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading to land a career best No. 4 in the Pro Stock championship points.

So far this year, McGaha and the team have established themselves as contenders. Twice this season, Hinojos has watched his friend and driver fly to the final round – at both Phoenix and the Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte. McGaha and fellow Chevy Camaro campaigner Drew Skillman are the only drivers other than the Summit Racing-backed KB Racing team to have been able to accomplish the feat in the new era of Pro Stock with electronic fuel injection (EFI) and the 10,500 rev limiters in place.

An exciting future stands ahead for the Pro Stock category and for the Harlow Sammons Racing team, but the events of the past will likely always be a motivating factor.

“I’m happy with what we’ve already accomplished, but yeah, it would be great to win more,” said Hinojos. “No matter what, I will never forget that first win. To be part of that was awesome. It was really special.”

Comment

Chris McGaha Welcomes Neuralog at NHRA SpringNationals

Comment

Chris McGaha Welcomes Neuralog at NHRA SpringNationals

CHRIS MCGAHA
HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
RACE PREVIEW: 29TH ANNUAL NHRA SPRINGNATIONALS
ROYAL PURPLE RACEWAY
APRIL 29-MAY 1
 

Chris McGaha Welcomes Neuralog at NHRA SpringNationals

 
ODESSA, T.X. (April 26, 2016)Harlow Sammons Pro Stock driver Chris McGaha is taking his momentum from his final quad appearance at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals and hopes to continue that path all the way to the winner circle at 29th annual NHRA SpringNationals this weekend. Also, McGaha welcomes Neuralog, a well log digitizing software, to his team this weekend.
 
Neuralog is a company that provides services that capture, organize, and analyze oil and gas data. Neuralog provides industry-standard automated log and map digitizing software.
 
“In the oil industry, during the drilling process, they have to send down a probe that takes a picture of the formation underground and Neuralog has software that has a faster way of doing that,” said McGaha. “My cousin works there so that’s how this all came about.”
 
The Odessa, Texas-resident hopes his home-state advantage will work in his favor at Royal Purple Raceway.
 
“We’ve been racing at Houston since the early 1990’s,” said McGaha. “Last year was pretty good. Houston was the first time I DNQ’d and it was also the first place I went to the finals in Pro Stock. I’ve got a lot of memories there.”
 
Qualifying at the 29th annual NHRA SpringNationals will begin Friday, April 29 at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.
 
To find out more about Neuralog, visit http://www.neuralog.com/.
 
 
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
Last event, Charlotte 1: Qualified No. 8, lost in final quad to Jason Line
Last year, Houston: Qualified No. 7, lost in final round to Erica Enders
 
NHRA SPRINGNATIONALS EVENT SCHEDULE:
Friday, April 29, Qualifying at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 30, Qualifying at 1:00 and 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 1, Eliminations at 11:00 a.m.
 
TELEVISION:      
Friday, April 29, FOX Sports 1 (FS1) will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 8 p.m. (ET).
Saturday, April 30, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at Midnight (ET).
Sunday, May 1, FS1 will televise three hours of finals coverage at 5 p.m. (ET).
 
 
  MEDIA CONTACT

Sadie Floyd
SR DRIVEN MEDIA
srdrivenmedia@gmail.com
www.srdrivenmedia.com

Comment

Chris McGaha Relaxed for Second Go-Round at K&N Horsepower Challenge

Comment

Chris McGaha Relaxed for Second Go-Round at K&N Horsepower Challenge

CHRIS MCGAHA
HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
EVENT PREVIEW: 17TH ANNAUL DENSO SPARK PLUGS NHRA NATIONALS
THE STRIP AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
APRIL 1-3

Chris McGaha Relaxed for Second Go-Round at K&N Horsepower Challenge

 
ODESSA, T.X. (March 29, 2016) – The fourth of 24 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series brings Chris McGaha and his Harlow Sammons team to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In his second year in the K&N Horsepower Challenge, McGaha feels more relaxed and ready to perform now that he knows what’s to be expected.
 
McGaha propelled himself into the K&N Horsepower Challenge for the first time last season. In 2015, he was in the No. 6 slot for the shoot-out race and this year has jumped up to the No. 4 spot which will grant him lane choice over Drew Skillman in the first round of the bonus race.
 
“I’m excited because we qualified better than we did last year,” confessed McGaha. “It does help that this is my second year doing this race. You only get one shot a year to do this and getting a second opportunity to do it, I definitely think my mind will be at ease since I know what to expect.”
 
Eliminations for the K&N Horsepower Challenge will be on Saturday with first round at 1:00 p.m., the semifinals at 4:00 p.m. and the final round at 5:00 p.m.
 
After the K&N Horsepower Challenge is all said and done, the focus redirects back to the main event, the 17th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals. McGaha, who builds his own motors out of his shop in Odessa, Texas, has been the only driver to break up the KB-powered trio when he reached the final round in Phoenix last month.
 
“We know we have the power and even when you look at our incrementals past the 60 foot, we know we can hang with the top guys,” smiled McGaha. “We’re the only ones that have been able to hang with them. Our Harlow Sammons team didn’t have the best outing in Gainesville but this is a new race and we’ll approach it in a different manner and get back to where we were in Phoenix.”
 
 
NHRA MELLO YELLO PRO STOCK STANDINGS
DRIVER                                  POINTS   BEHIND
1. Jason Line                          337
2. Greg Anderson                   331            -6
3. Bo Butner                            233           -104
4. Drew Skillman                     205           -132
5. CHRIS MCGAHA               161            -176
6t. Jeg Coughlin                     160            -177
6t. Allen Johnson                    160            -177
8. Vincent Nobile                    138          -199
9. Alex Laughlin                      121            -216
10. Erica Enders                       97            -240          
 
 
17th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals
Event Schedule
 
Friday, April 1:             Qualifying sessions at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 2:        Qualifying sessions at 1:10 p.m. and 4:05 p.m., K&N Challenge at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Sunday, April 3:           Driver introductions at 11:15 a.m.; Final Eliminations begin at 12:00 p.m.
 
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING ON FOX SPORTS
TELEVISION SCHEDULE: 
FRIDAY, April 1, FOX Sports 1 (FS1) will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 11 p.m.  (ET)
SATURDAY, April 2, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 9 p.m.  (ET)
SUNDAY, April 3, FS1 will televise three hours of LIVE finals coverage at 5 p.m. (ET) 

MEDIA CONTACT

Sadie Floyd
SR DRIVEN MEDIA
srdrivenmedia@gmail.com
www.srdrivenmedia.com

Comment

Texas Pro Stock racer and championship contender McGaha dialed in to go after second consecutive win

Comment

Texas Pro Stock racer and championship contender McGaha dialed in to go after second consecutive win

Texas Pro Stock racer and championship contender McGaha
dialed in to go after second consecutive win

 
ODESSA, Texas (October 12, 2015) – The most recent Pro Stock winner on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour is headed home to Texas with an agenda. Chris McGaha, driver of the Harlow Sammons Racing Chevrolet Camaro, went back-to-back with wins earlier this summer in Sonoma and Seattle, and at this weekend's 30th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex, he'll be aiming to do it again – but with a lot more on the line.
 
The "Silver Bullet" and its driver were together set on kill two weeks ago at Maple Grove Raceway in a successful combination that ultimately won the race and stunned the competition. McGaha earned the third Pro Stock Wally of his career in an impressive display despite the departure of his former crew chief the very week of the event and a new tuner at the helm, Pro Stock veteran Tommy Utt.
 
"We did have some drama before Maple Grove, but we were able to go out there and win the race – and that was exactly what we wanted to do," said McGaha, who is No. 3 in the Pro Stock points and approximately five rounds (104 marks) out of the lead.
 
"I've always said we have a strong team, and even though we lost someone with a lot of talent, we were able to bring in someone with experience," McGaha continued. "It says a lot that Tommy was able to walk in, open a book two days before he ever made a run with us at a national event, and adapt to our program. We were able to bring someone on board who could help us continue to be a strong team and carry on."
 
Utt, who also crew chiefs for part time racer Joey Grose, will have a busy schedule between the two drivers at the event – but McGaha, who is a capable crew chief in his own right, stands behind the statement that Utt will continue to be a great complement to a team that includes McGaha's father, Lester McGaha; Mike Stryker; and Steve Hinojos.
 
"I feel like we're in a pretty good position," said McGaha, who was No. 2 qualifier at Maple Grove Raceway and proved he had the driving ability to go with the powerful racecar by winning the final two rounds of eliminations by virtue of a pair of holeshots. "We got detoured for a couple of races there, but everything came together in Reading.
 
"It would be real nice to do what we did in the summer and double-up with back-to-back wins. I would love to win Dallas; that would be about as big for me as it would be to win the U.S. Nationals. It would be the ultimate. My dad and I were there the day Texas Motorplex opened in 1986, so I feel like we've been there from the beginning. That would be a very special trophy to have in our collection."
 
McGaha has many large Texas racing memories, but in the Pro Stock ranks, he can proudly say that his first round-win came at Texas Motorplex in 2011 in just the second race of his professional career, when he beat multi-time champion Greg Anderson. Earlier this year, in Houston, McGaha came just one win light shy of his first Lone Star State win.
 
"Maybe I was saving it for this race," said McGaha. "It would mean a lot to me, and we'll have a lot of friends and family there this weekend to support us. My wife, Holly, will be there with our kids Mason and Berkley, and of course my mom and dad. And we've had friends who have been telling us for months that they're planning on coming to watch us race and cheer us on. This is a big deal for the Harlow Sammons Racing team. There's no place like home."
 

Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Points
following NHRA Keystone Nationals
Countdown to the Championship race 3 of 6
1.  Erica Enders, 2,385
2.  Greg Anderson, 2,313
3.  Chris McGaha, 2,281
4.  Larry Morgan, 2,240
5.  Allen Johnson, 2,227
6.  Drew Skillman, 2,212
7.  Vincent Nobile, 2,187
8.  Jason Line, 2,179
9.  Shane Gray, 2,149
10.  Jonathan Gray, 2,119
 
 
NHRA's 2015 Countdown to the Championship Results
Race 1 of 6: Sept. 18-20 – NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway, Charlotte
No. 1 qualifier: Greg Anderson
Race winner: Erica Enders def. Vincent Nobile
Harlow Sammons summary:
Chris McGaha, No. 3 in points, qualified No. 6; lost in second round to Erica Enders
 
Race 2 of 6: Sept. 25-27 – NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park, St. Louis
No. 1 qualifier: Greg Anderson
Race winner: Drew Skillman def. Erica Enders
Harlow Sammons summary:
Chris McGaha, No. 6 in points, qualified No. 6; lost in the first round to Vincent Nobile
 
Race 3 of 6: Oct. 1-4 – NHRA Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, Reading
No. 1 qualifier: Drew Skillman
Race winner: Chris McGaha def. Greg Anderson
Harlow Sammons summary:
Chris McGaha, now No. 3 in points, qualified No. 2; defeated Greg Anderson in the final round
 
What's Next
Oct. 15-18 – NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex, Dallas
Oct. 29-Nov. 1 – NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Nov. 12-15 – NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona
 
 
AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals
Event Schedule (All Times Central):

Friday, October 16:             Two qualifying sessions 2:45 & 5:45 p.m.
Saturday, October 17:         Two qualifying sessions at 12:45 a.m. & 3:45 p.m.
Sunday, October 18:           Final eliminations starting with Top Fuel at 11 a.m.
 
Television Coverage on ESPN2 (all times Eastern):
Sunday, October 18:           Qualifying 4 – 5 p.m.
                                            Eliminations 8 – 11 p.m.
 

--30--


Media Contact:
Kelly Topolinski
WinLight Communications
winlightnews@gmail.com
626-675-1679

 Chris McGaha on FacebookChris McGaha on Twitter  | forward this email to a friend

Copyright © 2015 WinLight Communications, All rights reserved.

 unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences 

Comment

McGAHA CLAIMS VICTORY IN COUNTDOWN WITH MAPLE GROVE WIN

Comment

McGAHA CLAIMS VICTORY IN COUNTDOWN WITH MAPLE GROVE WIN

RACE REPORT – 31st annual NHRA KEYSTONE NATIONALS
MAPLE GROVE RACEWAY, READING, PA.
OCTOBER 2-4, 2015
 

McGAHA CLAIMS VICTORY IN COUNTDOWN
WITH MAPLE GROVE WIN

 

READING, Pa. (October 4, 2015) – The third race of six in NHRA's 2015 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship was one that Chris McGaha will never, ever forget. Powering the Harlow Sammons Racing Chevrolet Camaro, nicknamed the striking 'Silver Bullet,' McGaha wheeled his way to the fifth final round of his career and scored his third victory of the season. The win vaulted the countdown contender to third in the standings, all the way up from sixth.
 
But that's only part of the story. Just days before the event, his former crew chief parted ways with the team. McGaha acted quickly, though thoughtfully, and asked veteran Pro Stock tuner Tommy Utt to bring his expertise to the team in Reading. Thankfully, Utt accepted, and the collaboration quickly proved effective.
 
"This week has really been something," admitted McGaha. "The 'crew chief shuffle' was a pretty big feat to overcome. We left the house hoping we could win – knowing that we could win – but doing it was a whole different deal. The weather came in, and we only got one qualifying run this weekend before eliminations. We had never gone to the starting line together before that qualifying session. We had lost a pretty significant person – the guy who used to line me up, the guy who was on the radio with me, the guy who adjusted the wheelie bars. Now we had another guy in that position, and I had to put a lot of trust in Tommy Utt. But I knew that he was very capable of filling that role, and he fit in our group really quickly."
 
After qualifying in the No. 2 position on the single allotted pass, McGaha made a very strong run in his opening round defeat of Val Smeland; a 6.498-second pass at 213.84 mph easily defeated his opponent's 6.868, 182.23.
 
McGaha knew he had to be on his game in the second round with notoriously quick leaver Jonathan Gray in the other lane. The Silver Bullet was right on time with a brilliant .005-second reaction time from its driver as Gray left .020-second too soon and illuminated the red light. Down-track, the occurrences at the starting line became even more critical as McGaha's Harlow Sammons Camaro got out of shape, and he had to push in the clutch. He slowed to a winning 6.951-second pass.
 
Without lane choice in the semifinals, another driver might have found himself in trouble – but not McGaha. He was .024-second at the hit of the throttle, leaving ahead of opponent Bo Butner's .051, and his keen skills on the starting line translated to a 6.503, 213.70 win over his challenger's quicker yet losing 6.484, 213.74. The margin of victory was a slim yet meaningful .0087-second.
 
The final round set up a meeting with one of the most successful Pro Stock drivers in the history of the sport, Greg Anderson. McGaha was unperturbed, however. He kept his cool, left the starting line with a big advantage, and brought home the win on a 6.492, 213.64 to 6.484, 214.59 holeshot.
 
Just 104 points separate McGaha from the top spot with three races remaining before the championship is decided. He is just 32 points behind 2nd place Anderson.
 
"Going up there for the final I was thinking, we're just going to make a run," said McGaha. "I wasn't putting a lot of pressure on myself because I had nothing to lose. I just wanted to go up there, make a run, and see what would happen. It worked out in our favor, and I'm real happy – not just for me, but for my team. I did a good job on the starting line today, but I didn't do a good job on the track. I couldn't hit a shift to save my life, but I had a good car, and we got the win. Today was a good day."
 
 
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
Qualified: No. 2
ELIMINATIONS
First Round: MCGAHA (6.498, 213.84) def. V.Smeland (6.868, 182.23)
Second Round: MCGAHA (6.951, 160.38) def. J. Gray (8.774, 98.87)
Semifinals: MCGAHA (6.533, 213.70) def. B.Butner (4.484, 213.74)
Final: MCGAHA (6.492, 213.64) def. Anderson (6.484, 214.59)
 
QUALIFYING RESULTS
SATURDAY: 6.514 seconds, 213.03 mph (Session 1)

Comment

McGaha Wins Again, Makes it Two in a Row with Seattle Victory

Comment

McGaha Wins Again, Makes it Two in a Row with Seattle Victory

McGaha Wins Again, Makes it Two in a Row with Seattle Victory 

SEATTLE, Wash. (Aug. 9, 2015) – Chris McGaha did something on Sunday in Seattle that he had never even dreamed of before this year. The driver of the Harlow Sammons Racing Chevrolet Camaro, known as the Silver Bullet, wheeled his way to the winner's circle at the 28th annual NHRA Northwest Nationals. It was the second consecutive victory for the Odessa, Texas, native after scoring the first win of his career in Sonoma just last week.
 
"We moved up in the points, and we're real excited about that," said McGaha, now No. 3 in the Pro Stock standings with two races left before the Countdown to the Championship field is set. "We knew we were close to Jason Line, but going around him, wow, that's a big deal. At this point it makes me think of Lou Brown – you know what you call that? A winning streak! And now you're probably saying, who's Lou Brown? He was the manager for the Cleveland Indians in the movie Major League."
 
Heading into the event, McGaha knew he had a strong car and a solid team between crew chief Brian "Lump" Self and a small but dedicated and determined crew – including his own father, Lester McGaha. During qualifying, they recovered from a slow start and threw a big number on the scoreboard to fly to the No. 1 position for the second straight weekend.
 
But they weren't even close to finished. In the first round of eliminations, McGaha obliterated the track records for elapsed time and speed with a mind-blowing 6.488-second pass at 213.40 mph as his opponent, Joey Grose, fouled out. Not a soul on the property had wheeled a Pro Stock car to 213 mph before, and no one has done it since the second-generation drag racer's spectacular opening pass on Sunday. No one had ever before – or has since – made a run in the 6.40-second zone.
 
In the second round, it was young Vincent Nobile on the block, and McGaha was first to leave the starting line and first to the finish in the Silver Bullet, sending his challenger home on a 6.524, 212.76 to 6.538, 212.43. With lane choice over Shane Gray in the semifinals, McGaha again had the advantage and left the line .003-second ahead. At the stripe his 6.533, 212.23 did the job as Gray slowed to a tire spinning 15.389.
 
Without lane choice in the final and with wildly successful Pro Stock racer Jeg Coughlin in the other lane, many would have felt a sense of dread – but not McGaha. He was .029 at the tree and clocked a completely shocking 6.507, 212.59 in a decisive win over Coughlin's 6.532, 212.63.
 
"If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best," said McGaha of his final round victory over Coughlin. "The fact that we've gotten on a roll here, it gives us a legitimate chance [at the championship]. I've seen guys in the past who maybe peak too early. I don't know if we have or not, but I don't really care at this point. We have two wins, and I'm ready to go right now. Anyone that wants to go right now, I'm ready."
 
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
Qualified: No. 1
ELIMINATIONS
First Round: MCGAHA (6.488-second, 213.40 mph) def. Joey Grose (6.680, 207.30)
Second Round: MCGAHA (6.524, 212.76) def. Vincent Nobile (6.538, 212.43)
Semifinals: MCGAHA (6.533, 212.23) def. Shane Gray (15.389, 67.19)
Finals: MCGAHA (6.507 212.59) def. Jeg Coughlin (6.532 212.63)
QUALIFYING
FRIDAY: 7.226, 147.60 (Session 1); 6.529, 212.49 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 6.514, 212.69 (Session 3); 6.501, 212.86 (Session 4)
 
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Points
(following Seattle, race 16 of 24)
1.  Greg Anderson, 1,322
2.  Erica Enders, 1,271
3.  Chris McGaha, 1,175
4.  Jason Line, 1,102
5.  Allen Johnson, 951
6.  Larry Morgan, 906
7.  Shane Gray, 834
8.  Jonathan Gray, 823
9.  Vincent Nobile, 787
10. Drew Skillman, 779

 

Comment

McGAHA EARNS FIRST PRO STOCK WIN IN SONOMA

Comment

McGAHA EARNS FIRST PRO STOCK WIN IN SONOMA

RACE REPORT – 28th annual NHRA SONOMA NATIONALS
SONOMA RACEWAY
JULY 31-AUGUST 2, 2015
 

McGAHA EARNS FIRST PRO STOCK WIN IN SONOMA

 
SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 2, 2015) – Chris McGaha and the Harlow Sammons Racing Pro Stock team couldn't have had a better weekend at the 28th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals. McGaha, driver of the swift silver Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro, earned the sixth low qualifier award of his career and topped off the weekend with his very first Pro Stock win. It was a dream that McGaha and his team had long wished for.
 
"This was 30 years in the making, and let me tell you, it's been something," said McGaha, a former Comp Eliminator driver in NHRA's sportsman ranks who made his Pro Stock debut at the 2011 U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis and ran a limited schedule until he upped the game to full-time Pro Stock racing in 2014. "All the years we ran Comp Eliminator, watching my dad race and then doing it myself, you always leave the house thinking that maybe this is the weekend. We kept coming out here and trying and trying all these years, and we had a few heartbreakers along the way. To finally get it done is really special."
 
Winning was no easy task for the Odessa, Texas, native. In the first round, he put up a 6.530-second pass at 212.19 mph to knock out veteran Pro Stock competitor V. Gaines and his 6.561, 211.33.
 
In the second round, the Harlow Sammons Chevy campaigner had a very tough draw. In the opposite lane was Erica Enders, a driver that NHRA statisticians have on record as beating McGaha all but once on Sunday in 11 prior meetings. In the most recent two years, the two have met six times, including in the Houston final earlier this year. Each time, Enders waltzed off with the win light – but not this time. McGaha was fired up and cut a .029-second light to her .022 and powered ahead in his Silver Bullet for a killer 6.514, 212.13 victory that was low elapsed time and top speed of the round.
 
It didn't get easier in the semifinals, where McGaha came up against Pro Stock returner Jeg Coughlin, a multi-time champion and one of the notoriously quick leavers in the category. Coughlin had nothing for McGaha on Sunday in Sonoma, however, and Team Harlow Sammons watched in awe as their driver launched with a determined .004-second reaction to his opponent's .010. McGaha finished the job at the top end with a 6.531 at a strong 212.29 mph that just barely missed top speed of raceday.
 
The final pitted McGaha against second-year driver Jonathan Gray, a familiar foe as the two grew up running around the same sportsman racing circles as their father's competed against one another. Again, McGaha was on his game with an efficient .024-second reaction time to Gray's .016, and the charging Silver Bullet quickly made up the difference. The win light flashed in McGaha's lane as he tripped the final timer with a 6.531, 212.13 to a 6.560, 211.03.
 
"I knew I was going to win as soon as I put it in high gear," said McGaha, currently No. 4 in the Pro Stock points. "That's the same point I knew I'd won the second round and third round, too. You can just see it out the window. That's why I'm so hoarse; I started yelling on that last one. I knew that unless something happened to the motor, it was mine. I could just see it, and I'll never forget that picture in my mind, that feeling of knowing I had it. I finally had it.
 
"This is like getting the monkey off my back, and I hope it turns into the same thing that happened with the No. 1 qualifiers. I wanted one, then I got it, and it just got easier each time. Hopefully, the same thing happens but I'd take just one. If I never get another win, I'll be more than content in this lifetime."
 
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
Qualified: No. 1
ELIMINATIONS
First Round: McGAHA (6.530-second at 212.19 mph) def. V. Gaines (6.561, 211.33)
Second Round: McGAHA (6.514, 212.13) def. Erica Enders (6.529, 211.93)
Semi-Final: McGAHA (6.531, 212.29) def. Jeg Coughlin (6.551, 211.20)
Final Round: McGAHA (6.531, 212.13) def. Jonathan Gray (6.560, 211.03)
QUALIFYING RESULTS
FRIDAY: 6.530 seconds, 211.93 mph (Session 1); 6.499 seconds, 212.36 mph (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 6.518 seconds, 212.19 mph (Session 3); 6.527 seconds, 212.06 mph (Session 4)
 
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Points
(following Sonoma, race 15 of 24)
1.  Greg Anderson, 1,263
2.  Erica Enders, 1,216
3.  Jason Line, 1,069
4.  Chris McGaha, 1.053
5.  Allen Johnson, 877
6.  Larry Morgan, 874
7.  Drew Skillman, 779
8.  Jonathan Gray, 761
9.  Shane Gray, 757
10. Vincent Nobile, 735

Media Contact:
Kelly Topolinski
WinLight Communications
winlightnews@gmail.com
626-675-1679

Comment

Pro Stock Powermaker McGaha Low Qualifieron Friday in Sonoma

Comment

Pro Stock Powermaker McGaha Low Qualifieron Friday in Sonoma

FRIDAY QUALIFYING – 28th annual NHRA SONOMA NATIONALS
SONOMA RACEWAY
JULY 31-AUGUST 2, 2015
 

Pro Stock Powermaker McGaha Low Qualifier
on Friday in Sonoma

 
SONOMA, Calif. (July 31, 2015) – The first day of qualifying at the 28th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals sent Chris McGaha and the Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro down the quarter-mile dragstrip at an incredible pace. The sea level conditions in Sonoma were a refreshing change of pace from last week's mile-high thin air in Denver, and team Harlow Sammons made good use of the circumstances to nab the provisional pole on the first day at Sonoma Raceway.
 
McGaha was No. 3 at the conclusion of the first session on the basis of a swift and serious 6.530-second pass at 211.93 mph in his Harlow Sammons machine. However, those strong numbers were just a prelude to what the McGaha tribe and crew chief Brian "Lump" Self had up their sleeves.
 
As the sun dipped down, the track temperature and air conditions cooled considerably, and the racing surface was ripe for something spectacular. Sure enough, it was McGaha who blistered the track with a new track record 6.499-second pass at 212.36 mph. With a good grasp on the pole on Friday night, McGaha will be aiming to earn his fourth No. 1 qualifier award of the season and sixth of his career. He just needs to defend his numbers on Saturday through two more qualifying sessions.
 
"We went up there on the first run a little conservative, just to get down the track," said McGaha. "It seems like if we don't make a good run on the first pass of the weekend, we struggle. So we try to get from A to B on the first run, and we were able to do that pretty well today. Then, of course, the conditions in the second session allowed us to step on it a little harder and put up a number that was a little better than we anticipated."
 
Although both runs on Saturday are scheduled for the warmer part of the day, McGaha acknowledged that the Friday night session might not necessarily turn out to be the best.
 
"You never know," he said. "Mother Nature could bring in a cold front, and if that happens someone could go quicker. It's hard to say. But today was a good day. This is only my third time racing in Sonoma, and last year this was where we really started to struggle. I had never been fast here before today, but I think we can see now that the potential is there. I'm starting to have a different outlook on this racetrack now."
 
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
QUALIFYING
FRIDAY: 6.530-second, 211.93 mph (Session 1); 6.499, 212.36 (Session 2)
 
Q1: No. 3 + 1 bonus point
Q2: No. 1 + 3 bonus points

Comment

Comment

NHRA announces changes to Pro Stock

NHRA announces changes to Pro Stock designed to address technology and stimulate fan interest

Saturday, July 25, 2015 

NHRA has announced a series of changes for the Pro Stock category designed to increase spectator appeal, make the class more relevant from a technology standpoint, and to enhance the overall pit experience for fans of the 200-mph factory hot rod class.

The changes will be mandated in two waves. Three changes will take effect at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals, July 31, 2015, while several others will not take effect until the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

The three changes that are effective at Sonoma are designed to increase spectator appeal and enhance the overall pit experience for fans.

NHRA will require teams to back their racecars into the pits and leave engines uncovered so that spectators have better accessibility to see the racecars and interact with the drivers and crew members. A new rule also will discontinue the practice of crew members standing beside the cars to hold them in place as they begin their burnouts. Finally, NHRA will make it mandatory for teams to create automobile manufacturer identification headers visible on the racecars’ windshields up to a maximum of 4.5-inches high, but not smaller than 4.25-inches.

Starting on Jan. 1, 2016, NHRA will require all Pro Stock teams to equip their cars with electronically-controlled throttle body fuel injection systems, making engines more relevant from a technology standpoint. In order to reduce and control costs for the race teams, an NHRA-controlled 10,500 Rev Limiter will be added to the fuel injection systems.

NHRA also will require Pro Stock teams to remove all hood scoops and reduce the length of the wheelie bars to a length specified by the NHRA Tech Department. Those changes are designed to make the racecar designs more relevant and to boost spectator appeal by increasing the unpredictability of the class through more “wheels up” launches from the starting line.

In addition, NHRA will work with new television partner FOX Sports to improve coverage and maximize exposure of the Pro Stock category through increased driver and team profiles and technical features, in addition to expanded on-track racing coverage.

“Pro Stock racing has a tremendous history with NHRA and proves each weekend by the close side-by-side finishes that it is one of the most competitive forms of racing in all of motorsports,” said Peter Clifford, NHRA president. “Through these changes we hope to provide a platform so the Pro Stock class can evolve from a technological standpoint, yet reconnect with its roots by generating more interest and appeal among spectators.”

Comment

NHRA BRISTOL: CHRIS McGAHA POWERS HARLOW SAMMONS RACING CAMARO TO ANOTHER FINAL

Comment

NHRA BRISTOL: CHRIS McGAHA POWERS HARLOW SAMMONS RACING CAMARO TO ANOTHER FINAL

CHRIS McGAHA
HARLOW SAMMONS RACING CHEVROLET CAMARO
RACE REPORT – NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS
BRISTOL DRAGWAY – BRISTOL, TENNESSEE
JUNE 19-21, 2015
 

NHRA BRISTOL: CHRIS McGAHA POWERS HARLOW SAMMONS RACING CAMARO TO ANOTHER FINAL

           
BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 21, 2015) – What a weekend for Chris McGaha and the Harlow Sammons Racing NHRA Pro Stock team. On Father's Day at the 15th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, McGaha piloted his swift 'Silver Bullet' to a final round finish that was his second of the season – and of his career. McGaha, of Odessa, Texas, remains No. 4 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock points, but with every race he is inching closer to his competitors who are occupying those top spots.
 
During qualifying, McGaha again had a car to be reckoned with. His Harlow Sammons Racing Chevrolet Camaro was at the top of the pack on Friday, but holding the provisional pole wasn't quite what the surging team had intended.
 
McGaha had started from the No. 1 spot three times earlier in the year – including last weekend in Epping – and they weren't sure that was the path that would lead them to the final round and a coveted win. Admitting that they would be happier to start from a somewhat lower position on the ladder, the team got their wish and started No. 3 on Sunday in Bristol.
 
"At the beginning of the day I felt like we had a chance to get to the final," said McGaha, whose first final was in Houston just five races ago. "But to be honest, I didn't drive very well in the first round, or the second or third round, for that matter. I didn't drive well all day, I'll admit it, but the car covered me. That gives me confidence going to the next race."
 
Crew chief Brian "Lump" Self, McGaha, dad Lester McGaha, and crewmen Steven Hinojos and Mike Stryker hustled to make the quick turnaround times after congratulatory high-fives were exchanged. According to McGaha, "Just like Houston, everyone kept doing their part and picking away."
 
In the first round of eliminations, the Harlow Sammons Chevy Camaro put a brilliant 6.678-second pass at 207.24 mph on the scoreboard, and it held as low elapsed time of eliminations. Kenny Delco was sent home on a 6.750, 204.51. For round two, McGaha was again the quickest of the round in his defeat of Vincent Nobile. McGaha's 6.697, 206.73 snuffed out Nobile's 6.731, 206.29.
 
The semifinal round pitted McGaha against Jonathan Gray, who is notorious for leaving his opponents on the starting line. This time, however, the young gun left .020-second too quick and turned on the red light. His foul start sent McGaha ahead to the final round on a 6.731, 205.82. Without lane choice over Erica Enders, McGaha had his work cut out for him – but he and Team Harlow Sammons zeroed in and picked up the pace with a 6.689 at 207.46. Unfortunately, their opponent was just a bit quicker and won the round on a 6.685, 206.95.
 
The final with Enders was actually a rematch of the Houston final in which the outcome was the same.
 
"I'm going to beat her," said McGaha. "One of these days, I'm gonna get it done. But we aren't disappointed at all, absolutely not. We're more motivated than ever, and it feels so good to know that I got back to a final round. I got one chance in Houston, and I got a second chance here – so we know how to get there now, and we're going to keep trying to get there each time. Eventually, one of these will come our way."

McGaha will next compete at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, July 2-5, 2015. 
 
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
Qualified: No. 1
ELIMINATIONS RESULTS
FIRST ROUND: CHRIS McGAHA (6.678-second at 207.24 mph) def. Kenny Delco (6.750, 204.51)
SECOND ROUND: McGAHA (6.697, 206.73) def. Vincent Nobile (6.731, 206.29)
SEMIFINALS: McGAHA (6.731, 205.82) def. Jonathan Gray (6.718, 205.60)
FINAL: Erica Enders (6.685, 206.95) def. 6.689, 207.46
QUALIFYING RESULTS
FRIDAY: 6.669 seconds, 206.54 mph (Session 1); 6.647 seconds, 206.67 mph (Session 2)
 
2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
Pro Stock Championship Points
(following Bristol, race 11 of 24)
1.  Erica Enders, 964
2.  Greg Anderson, 950
3.  Jason Line, 828
4.  Chris McGaha, 750
5.  Allen Johnson, 588
6.  Shane Gray, 583
7.  Drew Skillman, 573
8.  Larry Morgan, 570
9.  Vincent Nobile, 561
10. Rodger Brogdon, 526
11.  Jonathan Gray, 513
--30--

Comment

ANOTHER PROVISIONAL POLE FOR CHRIS McGAHA ON FRIDAY IN BRISTOL

Comment

ANOTHER PROVISIONAL POLE FOR CHRIS McGAHA ON FRIDAY IN BRISTOL

CHRIS McGAHA
HARLOW SAMMONS RACING CHEVROLET CAMARO
FRIDAY QUALIFYING – NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS
BRISTOL DRAGWAY – BRISTOL, TENNESSEE
JUNE 19-21, 2015
 

ANOTHER PROVISIONAL POLE FOR CHRIS McGAHA ON FRIDAY IN BRISTOL

           
BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 19, 2015) – Chris McGaha and the Harlow Sammons Racing Pro Stock team have started from the top of the pack three times so far this season, with McGaha earning the No. 1 qualifier position in Gainesville, Charlotte, and last weekend in Epping. So far at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, they are on chart to do it again and earn their fourth No. 1 of the year. They ended the first day of the event in possession of the provisional pole.
 
Last weekend in Epping at the New England Nationals, McGaha ran the table in qualifying, but their Camaro ran into trouble on raceday when they set out to chase that trophy that they so desire. The truth of the matter is that McGaha and his Harlow Sammons Racing team weren't actually planning to grab that top spot again this weekend in Bristol and were going to try a different approach with the hope of increasing their chances for success on Sunday.
 
"We were expecting everyone to turn up the wick, but they didn't – and here we are," said McGaha, who was third quickest in the first session with a 6.669-second pass at 206.54 mph and earned a bonus point. In the later session, he clocked a 6.647, 206.67 to grab three bonus points and the top spot. "The conditions did get a little bit better because the track started to cool off. We went up there conservative on the first run because we were trying not to jinx ourselves and be No. 1, but here we are. We stepped on it a little bit figuring everyone else would, too, but it is what it is."
 
Although racing under the lights is a lot of fun and a great show for the fans, McGaha says that the truly useful data for Sunday will likely be acquired on Saturday, when conditions are closer to what raceday will bring. The driver of the "Silver Bullet" Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro is uncertain as to whether or not his current lofty spot in the qualifying order will hold, but he isn't altogether concerned.
 
"I wanted to get No. 1 at least once in my life and career; I had that ambition," said McGaha. "I was able to do that in Phoenix, and we were happy about that. But now it's becoming almost a common occurrence for us, and it seems like we need to change our pace a little more for Sunday. We might stay No. 1 tomorrow if we're running in the heat of the day, but you never really know. If we don't, you aren't going to see me shed a tear. But if it does hold, I'll take my No. 1 qualifier plaque from K&N, smile, and enjoy it."
 
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
Qualified: No. 1
QUALIFYING RESULTS
FRIDAY: 6.669 seconds, 206.54 mph (Session 1); 6.647 seconds, 206.67 mph (Session 2)
 
Event Schedule (all times Eastern)
Saturday, June 20:                  Two qualifying rounds, 12:30 PM & 3 PM
Sunday, June 21:                    Final eliminations starting with Top Fuel at 12 PM
 
Television Coverage (all coverage on ESPN2, all times Eastern)
Saturday, June 20:                  Qualifying, 8:00 PM. – 10:00 PM
Sunday, June 21:                    LIVE! Eliminations from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM 
 

Comment

McGAHA REACHES FIRST FINAL ROUND WITH EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE AT HOUSTON NHRA SPRINGNATIONALS

Comment

McGAHA REACHES FIRST FINAL ROUND WITH EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE AT HOUSTON NHRA SPRINGNATIONALS

HOUSTON, Texas (April 26, 2015) – Chris McGaha and the Harlow Sammons Racing team sure love Texas. Frustratingly, however, the lifelong Odessa natives had never had a ton of Pro Stock success there before – but the 28th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway changed all that. On Sunday in Houston, McGaha raced to the first Pro Stock final round of his career with a well-tuned machine and some of the best reaction times he's clocked all season long.
 
The Harlow Samons team qualified in the No. 7 position – not their highest position this year but still a respectable start, and one that came with lane choice in the first round of eliminations. In the other lane for that first-round match was another former Competition Eliminator competitor, Richard Freeman. McGaha was first off the starting line and first to the finish, illuminating the win light with a 6.564, 210.90 to his opponent's 6.630, 208.68.
 
Next in his line of fire was Shane Gray, the No. 2 qualifier. McGaha was on his game in their head-to-head meeting, launching off the starting line with a crisp .019-second reaction time and flying to a 6.575 at 210.28 that shut out his challenger's quicker 6.567, 209.75 on a holeshot that catapulted the Harlow Sammons Racing Silver Bullet Chevrolet Camaro to its third semifinal round of the season.
 
There stood none other than Greg Anderson, a quick leaver by nature and a four-time Pro Stock world champ with 75 national event wins. As expected, Anderson clocked in with a fast .010 reaction time, but McGaha was already gone with a blistering .002 that allowed him to stay ahead the entire way down the track, finally sealing the deal with a 6.575, 210.28 to shut down a 6.567, 209.75. Although he most certainly had victory on his mind heading into that round, McGaha in no way imagined it happening in that manner.
 
"I must have been psyching myself up without realizing it, but I always know that when I get in the later rounds, I seem to do better – it just started earlier today," said McGaha, who earned the first round-win of his Pro Stock career over Anderson in Dallas in 2011. "It worked, especially against Greg. I had no idea of what I'd done. I knew I was beating him, but I didn't have a clue it was because I left on him."
 
McGaha and his team were thrilled to have made it past the semifinals, finally. They had been to five career semis – two so far in 2015 – yet were unable to advance to the final until Houston. When the outcome was revealed, crew chief Brian "Lump" Self alerted McGaha over the radio.
 
"He was yelling and screaming, 'You're going to the final! You did it! I got on the radio and said, 'It's about time,' " said a relieved and enthusiastic McGaha. In the last round of the day, he continued to exhibit skill behind the wheel and launched right next to Erica Enders-Stevens. He clocked another great reaction time (.018), but it was his fellow Texan who got the nod in the money round with a 6.571, 211.73 to McGaha's 6.598 paired with the second-best speed of eliminations, 211.66.
 
"It was great making it to the finals," said McGaha. "Even though we lost, we still made it down to two cars. It was almost unbelievable to get down there in the semifinals and see that string of win lights. We knew we could get there, but I guess in the end I was really surprised. I'm just so happy that we finally got over that hump. Hopefully, we'll be able to get over the next hump a whole bunch sooner and win. I'm ready to go again right now."
 
Crew chief Brian "Lump" Self said, "We've come a long way. We learned how to race on raceday today, and maybe we don't know how to win yet, but we will. We're going to do it. We got just enough today to make us real excited. Let's go some more."

 

Comment

Texas Native Chris McGaha Hoping for Glory in Home State

Comment

Texas Native Chris McGaha Hoping for Glory in Home State

CHRIS McGAHA
HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
EVENT PREVIEW – O'REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA SPRINGNATIONALS
ROYAL PURPLE RACEWAY, HOUSTON
APRIL 24-26, 2015
 

Texas Native Chris McGaha Hoping for Glory in Home State

 
ODESSA, Texas (April 22, 2015) – NHRA Pro Stock driver Chris McGaha is coming home to Texas this weekend for the 28th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals at Houston's Royal Purple Raceway. McGaha, a native of Odessa, Texas, relishes the opportunity to bring his ever-improving program back to the Lone Star State for what he hopes will be his best performance to date.
 
And why not? The fourth-year competitor will arrive in Houston with one of the hottest cars on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour, and when he unloads the silver Harlow Sammons Racing Chevrolet Camaro, the former sportsman competitor will do so with the knowledge that he has every capability of finally scoring his first NHRA Pro Stock win.
 
So far this season, McGaha has been the No. 1 qualifier twice – at back-to-back races in Gainesville and Charlotte. Currently No. 5 in the Pro Stock standings, he has been one to watch in his bid for power and speed. The amiable Texan and owner of Southwest Performance & Machine paid his dues as a sportsman racer, competing in NHRA's Competition Eliminator category en route to making his Pro Stock debut in 2011 and catapulting to the semifinals on Sunday five times. With a heart the size of Texas, McGaha is eager to make his best impression yet in his home state.
 
"The first time we ever raced in Houston was in the early 1990s," recalled the second-generation drag racer, whose father, Lester McGaha, was also a Comp racer and now works with him side-by-side on the family's Pro Stock program. "We're very familiar with that racetrack and have a lot of memories there, and for my crew chief, this is really a lot like home, too."
 
McGaha is tuned by Brian "Lump" Self, a noted Comp racer in his own right who is originally from Oklahoma but spent many years racing in Texas. McGaha and Self raced against one another for years before McGaha asked him to join him in the Pro Stock ranks as a crew chief.
 
"The very last round of Comp I ever raced was the final round at a division race in Houston in 2011," recalled McGaha. He didn't win the round, but it sticks in his mind.
 
"We should have won it. That goes through my mind a lot. We had the car to win – just like we did in Gainesville earlier this year – but we just couldn't get it done. I feel like that is almost the same situation we've been in lately, we have the car to win, we just haven't been able to get it done yet. To get it done in Texas, our home state, would really mean a lot to us.
 
"We need to win. We've gotten close, but it's like Lump keeps saying – we've got to learn how to win. We've gotten to that point. We've shown everyone we know how to go fast, now it's time to show them we know how to win."
 
Event Schedule (all times Central):
Friday, April 24:           Two qualifying rounds, 4 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 25:      Two qualifying rounds, 12:30 p.m. & 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 26:        Final eliminations starting with Top Fuel at 11 a.m.
 
Television Coverage (as posted on NHRA.com 4/22/2015):
4/25/2015 Qualifying           5:00 PM - 7:00 PM ET/2:00 PM - 4:00 PM PT (ESPN2)
4/26/2015 Eliminations         2:00 PM - 5:00 PM ET/11:00 AM - 2:00 PM PT (ESPN2)  LIVE

Comment

SURGING McGAHA TOPS PRO STOCK ORDER FOR SECOND STRAIGHT TIME

Comment

SURGING McGAHA TOPS PRO STOCK ORDER FOR SECOND STRAIGHT TIME

Chris McGaha wasn't intimidated by lining up Saturday against two-time series champion and early qualifying leader Jason Line – or strong-running veteran Larry Morgan – or rapid rookie Drew Skillman at zMAX Dragway's NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.

The Harlow Sammons of Odessa Camaro driver knocked Line from the top spot and will lead the Pro Stock field for the second straight race, thanks to his career-quickest pass, an elapsed time of 6.474 seconds at 213.70 mph in the quarter-mile. It's also his second consecutive No. 1 start at this event.

Line, who made his quickest and fastest run of the season (6.481/214.18) and set the track speed record, is second in the line-up.

"We really stumbled onto what we were looking for at Phoenix in the semifinals when we almost crashed," McGaha said.

What he and his team discovered almost a continent away is paying off now, he said: "It's led to all this performance gain."

He said he takes some satisfaction in showing that while he vaulted into serious contention last year by purchasing the proven equipment of perennial contender Mike Edwards, he can make his own modifications to the program and still be the strong runner he was in 2014.

McGaha reminded that Edwards, who has stepped back from team ownership and driving, is helping Line and Greg Anderson and the KB / Summit Racing team. "He's having to race his own stuff. I wonder if he'd take the same deal at this point," the West Texan said.

But McGaha isn’t smug at all.

Asked if he expected such a performance surge this early in the season, he said unhesitatingly, "Absolutely not."

He said, "You’re always working for it, but you never expect it to be there. Then when it's there, you're like, 'OK – When's lightning going to strike and go the other direction' because it will eventually. It always does."

McGaha, Line, and Skillman were the only Pro Stock racers to post 6.4-second passes Saturday, although No. 4 Anderson is close behind at 6.502. The dearth of 6.4s surprised McGaha, he said.

"We had it figured people could go mid-(6.)40s. We really did. The numbers were there. But our problem was the track was green to us all," McGaha said. "None of us had ever been down it, except a few guys in Lane 2, but I think we all were very conservative and holding back."

In his mind, too, was the dangerous condition of the track during the Carolinas Nationals there last September. The event finished at Texas Motorplex, near Dallas, a huge blow to zMAX Dragway owner Bruton Smith's pride and pocketbook. The track quickly atoned for the situation with a repaving job to this facility Smith dubbed "The Bellagio of Dragways." And the surface has been redone with special care. But McGaha said most of the racers didn’t know what to expect.

"I was pretty nervous," he said of his approach to the track, especially after persistent rain washed out everyone's chances to qualify at either of the two scheduled runs Friday. "I had to go in the lane I went down the last time I was here. I think it was going through all of us' minds, because even Jason Line made a comment to me about it. It was definitely on all of us' mind."      

 McGaha will meet surprising No. 16 qualifier Erica Enders-Stevens, the reigning class champion, in Sunday's first round of eliminations, along with No. 8 Shane Gray and No. 9 Buddy Perkinson. The quickest two will advance to the semifinal round in the non-traditional format of this event.

Enders-Stevens, who experienced tire shake and aborted her first-session qualifying attempt, had problems with her Elite Motorsports Camaro entry immediately in her final chance. She brought the car to a stop about 100 feet off the starting line and was pushed off the track.

"You cannot take that lightly," he said of the Elite team and Enders-Stevens and their car. "Any minute it can change," he said of her fortunes so far this weekend, adding "especially with the potential those guys have."

Said Enders-Stevens after qualifying, "We started the year with a brand-new RJ Racecars Camaro, and it's going to be the next big thing, no doubt about it. But we just haven't figured out how to match the car and our Elite horsepower to the new tire and fuel the NHRA is making all of us use. We did OK in the first few races but decided to switch back to the car we won the championship with last year, because we just know it so much better. She does what we ask her to do every time. The thought is that our learning curve will be shorter."
 
Enders-Stevens knows she happened to be lucky because this field had only 16 entrants, but she said, "You definitely don't want to put yourself in this position. But if any team can get it together overnight and make a difference tomorrow, it's this group of guys right here. We've been through it all, and this is just another chapter."
 
But if Enders-Stevens, Gray, or Perkinson ever try to anticipate what an opponent might do on race day, they might be a little confused or concerned this weekend. McGaha has sent mixed signals because of the mixed bag of conditions they all have to navigate this weekend.
 
He said his car "has potential to go faster. The computer says, 'Yes, you can go more.' " In the next breath, he said, "We're also going to play it safe." Seconds later he conceded that on race day, "you got to go up there and win."
 
The drama begins Sunday with a 1 p.m. (ET) start to eliminations. The Pro Stock class should begin running sometime around 1:45 p.m.
 

Comment

MCGAHA STANDS UP FOR THE PRO STOCK CLASS

Comment

MCGAHA STANDS UP FOR THE PRO STOCK CLASS

Want to get Chris McGaha fired up? Talk about the health of NHRA Pro Stock.

McGaha, the No. 1 qualifier two weeks ago in Gainesville, Fla., wsas the recipient of a first round bye because there were only 15 entries. A member of the media posed the question, “Are you more excited to get a first round bye or disappointed only 15 teams showed up to race?”

This was the question McGaha was waiting to answer.

“I see a lot of talk about health of this class on the Internet,” started McGaha. “I hear a lot from the Competition eliminator ranks, and how this class and that class is going to replace it. I can remember about five or ten years ago when Top Alcohol Funny Car got that way, but it’s still here and people are still building cars and show up.

“I think eventually people will weigh their odds and start to build Pro Stock cars. To me, now is the time to do it … especially when [NHRA] evened out the playing field like they did by changing the tires and the fuel. To me, that wiped the slate clean for so many and helped people like me come back in. I feel like it is even again.”

What about the extreme cost of campaigning a Pro Stocker? McGaha believes the cost is relevant with the increasing price of doing business.

“Back in 1995 you could get a Steve Schmidt motor for $10,000,” said McGaha. “That was the going rate. A gallon of gas was $1 - $1.25. Now gas is about $4. You could rent top tier stuff for about $40K. The ratio is about the same. I know people, who in 2003, had a one-million dollar budget. I know you can still do it. A lot of people talk about the cost, and yes, it is expensive. There’s no doubt about it. It’s always been expensive.

“My family wanted to do it in the mid-90s but couldn’t do it. We ran Comp. It’s an economy deal … not real sure.

McGaha had an option when he couldn’t afford to race Pro Stock, but believes too many options for drag racing isn’t necessarily a good thing.

“I think the whole overall deal with drag racing is there’s too many options,” McGaha explained. “To many guys have made too many [classes]. Here’s a 10.5 car over here that a guy can race within 150 miles of home. Let’s make this series over here, and it’s really hurting the sport. I’ve told our local guys, and I am a supporter of our local Mean Street racing, that they need to get behind NHRA even though they aren’t associated with them.

“We all need to get behind every class and everybody needs to work together. We don't need to be separated; that's the biggest problem and always has been. We all need to band together. That's what this has always been about – nobody needs to replace anybody, nobody needs to go anywhere. We all need to stick together.”

If anyone knows the pain of replacement, it’s McGaha. McGaha made his move into Pro Stock after racing Pro Stock Truck, a class which was shelved in 2001. The decision to drop the class resulted in a lawsuit between a group of former disgruntled drivers and the sanctioning body. McGaha regretfully was one of the plaintiffs.  

Talk of NHRA dropping Pro Stock reopens old wounds for McGaha.

“I was a Pro Stock Truck racer. I built a Pro Stock Truck – they don’t want to go there,” McGaha warned. “If you was to take Pro Stock from me this time … it wouldn’t be pretty. You would definitely see me make a big stink about it.”

While McGaha was pretty amped with his response, he further clarified.

“We just want a place to race. Naturally aspirated racing needs to have a place to race. That's the main objective there. I guess I'd stand out in front of the race with a picket sign or something if Pro Stock went away, but you would have to do something to get your point across. Legal action isn't going to work, there is nothing to be gained that way.

“I understand the car count is low. There’s no doubt about it. There’s a lot of people with potential to come in here. It is funding holding them back. Besides, how many Funny Cars were there [here in Gainesville]?

The act of cutting and pasting articles from this publication to a message board is a clear copyright violation as is pulling photos to post on social media sites. All articles and photography published in CompetitionPlus.com are protected by United States of America and International copyright laws unless mentioned otherwise. The content on this website is intended for the private use of the reader and may not be published or reposted in any form without the prior written consent of CompetitionPlus.com.

Comment

McGaha Earns Third Career Pole at NHRA Gatornationals

Comment

McGaha Earns Third Career Pole at NHRA Gatornationals

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14, 2015) – NHRA Pro Stock driver Chris McGaha is coming into his own at the 46th annual Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville. McGaha, driver of the streaking silver Harlow Sammons Racing Chevrolet Camaro, scored the third No. 1 qualifier award of his career with four brilliant passes, one right after another, and in doing so was awarded maximum points in each round. McGaha exited qualifying with 12 bonus points as the quickest driver in each of the four sessions.
 
On the first day in Gainesville, McGaha clocked a 6.507 at 212.73 mph in the early session and returned with a 6.509, 212.76 that was two-hundredths quicker than the field.
 
Day two was just more of the same, with McGaha piloting his "Silver Bullet" Camaro to a 6.518, 212.56 and finally a 6.513, 212.39. As there are just 15 cars in the field, McGaha will get a bye run for first round.
 
"It's one of those deals – we didn't really expect to sweep qualifying like that," admitted McGaha. "Even if it wasn't me that did it, it would still be pretty impressive. I know I wasn't the first guy to do it, but it isn't something that happens all the time. It feels pretty good, and we didn't really expect to come here and have that much on everybody. It's getting exciting.
 
"Those little points [bonus qualifying points] do get addicting. You can make up a round here or there. But the championship? That still isn't a word in my vocabulary. We need to win a race. We can't lose focus here; we have to win a race. You do that one round at a time. I just have to keep from folding like a lawn chair because it's all left up to me."
 
McGaha shares his excitement with his team, including crew chief Brian 'Lump' Self, who was previously associated with the team for a short while but returned full time mid-season in 2014.
 
"Lump and I raced each other in Comp, and he's my crew chief now. It's a pretty neat deal," said McGaha of his many days as an NHRA sportsman racer going after trophies in the tough Competition Eliminator category. "I've had a couple other No. 1 qualifier awards, but I wanted to get one for him. He's never had one, and I wanted to do it for Lump. Today was a good day."
 
McGaha is still in the running for the fan vote in the K&N Horsepower Challenge, a bonus event that pits the best of the best against one another for bragging rights and a $50,000 payout. Although he is the No. 1 qualifier in Gainesville, he isn't in the top seven drivers who are awarded a position in the bonus shootout event based on qualifying over the past year. The eighth position is decided by the fan vote.
 
Log your vote for Chris McGaha in the K&N Horsepower Challenge at nhra.com/knhpchallenge.aspx.
 
The K&N Horsepower Challenge is a special race-within-a-race bonus program for the top Pro Stock drivers in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The 2015 K&N Horsepower Challenge will be conducted at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motors Speedway in the spring. The race features a special elimination pairing with eight Pro Stock drivers in the field, including seven who accumulate the most points in qualifying during the 24-race Challenge series and one driver who is selected to the starting lineup for the event via a special fan vote. The winner of the K&N Horsepower Challenge will earn $50,000, and the runner-up will earn $10,000. The two semifinalists will earn $3,000 each, while the four first-round finishers will receive $2,500 each. 
 

Comment

McGaha charges into 2015, shows great strength at Winternationals

Comment

McGaha charges into 2015, shows great strength at Winternationals

POMONA, Calif. (February 9, 2015) – The first race of the 2015 season of NHRA's Mello Yello Drag Racing Series brought a surge of optimism to the Harlow Sammons Racing team. The Odessa, Texas-based family-run operation debuted a brand new Jerry Haas Pro Stock Chevrolet Camaro at the 55th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals, and their performance at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona included a top half qualifying effort and an important round win that situated them nicely in the top 10 in the standings for a strong start to the year.
 
McGaha blasted to a qualifying best time of 6.538-second at 211.56 mph and was No. 2 on the charts at the conclusion of the first day of qualifying. Though they dropped to No. 8 in the line-up before the field was set, McGaha and his Southwest Performance & Machine-powered Chevrolet Camaro again showed speed and power on Sunday.
 
A lengthy oil down as they waited for the first round of eliminations created a situation that worked in McGaha's favor as the conditions changed.
 
"Lane choice became a big issue," said McGaha. "We were originally in the right lane, and we had time to talk about it and we decided to move over. It looked like it paid off, and then I got lane choice again."
 
In the first round, McGaha made the third quickest run of the round, a 6.547 at 211.66 that gave him lane choice over the incoming points leader, Erica Enders-Stevens. In their second-round meeting, McGaha wheeled the sleek silver Harlow Sammons Racing Chevrolet Camaro to a 6.565 at 210.73, again one of the three quickest of the session, but he missed the win light by just .007-second after his opponent took a slight advantage at the starting line.
 
"It was awesome to go into the round with lane choice, and I feel great about this weekend," said McGaha, who leaves the event No. 5 in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock points. "We brought out a brand new car with a bunch of stuff we built in it, and if we can just keep everything together, we're going to have some fun out there. We blew up a motor on Friday, and we're going to take that one back to the shop and get it ready for Gainesville. But yes, we are very happy. To unload and go No. 2 on the first day of the first race of the year gave us a lot of hope for the rest of the season."
 

Comment