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 took home the Funny Car victory with a 3.823-second pass at 335.90 mph to defeat defending world champion Robert Hight in the final round. Hagan defends his Winternationals crown after winning the season-opening event last season en route to a four-win campaign, as he now increases his career win total to 27.
“Keeping our team upbeat and confident and starting the year up on a positive note is good for our team to set goals, no matter how hard they may be to obtain,” Hagan said. “Everything was clicking this weekend, and even more than the parts and pieces it’s about having the right guys to use what we have and so far we’ve done it well.”
Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) and Bo Butner (Pro Stock) were also victorious in their respective categories at the first of 24 events during the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.
Kalitta powered his dragster to victory with a run of 3.779 seconds at 324.28 mph to take down Tony Schumacher in the final round. After finishing as the runner-up at the 2017 Winternationals, Kalitta emerged victorious at the season-opening event for the second time in his career.
In Pro Stock, Butner took home the victory after driving to a 6.549 at 209.62 run to take down teammate Jason Line in the final round. He locked in his sixth career victory as he attempts to defend his Pro Stock world championship this season.
The 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues with the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park Feb. 23-25.