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."