HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
RACE REPORT: 62ND ANNUAL CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE US NATIONALS
LUCAS OIL RACEWAY AT INDIANAPOLIS
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
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)
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)