NHRA’s first 4-Wide Nationals event offering of 2024 produces some dramatic & ferocious results….

Bob Tasca III recorded just the third “triple holeshot” win in NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series history at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, picking up his second career four-wide victory at the 24th annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals.

Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) and Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) also won at the fourth of 20 races during the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season.

Funny Car’s Tasca went 3.915-seconds at 329.75 mph in his Ford Mustang in a final quad that featured Austin Prock, reigning world champ Matt Hagan and Ron Capps. Tasca’s time was the slowest of the foursome, but his .034 reaction time made the difference, as he slipped past all three by a razon-thin margin to claim his first win of 2024 and the 16th in his career.

It was the first triple holeshot win in Funny Car history and Tasca needed every bit of his starting-line advantage to pick up a memorable victory in an incredible final round that is certainly one of the most thrilling in four-wide history.

“When I’m sitting here in lane one and looking at those grandstands full of people, it gives you butterflies because that’s why we do it,” Tasca said. “I knew I hit it good. I didn’t know how good but it was a great light, great car, great setup, and it’s exactly what we needed to do this weekend.

Bob Tasca III (near lane) prevailed in the remarkable FC final “quad” by using a holeshot to defeat all three of his quicker running opponents!

“When you put together a final round where there’s one Ford, one Dodge, one Toyota, one Chevy, that why we do it. It’s the only reason we come out here to win for all our Ford fans all around the world. That’s going to go down as one of the best final rounds in Funny Car history. We’ve got a team that can compete for the championship and I promise you we will.”

No. 1 qualifier Prock, who is also now the points leader, finished as the runner-up in his third trip to the finals this season, while Capps was third. Hagan, who posted the quickest run of the weekend in the category with a 3.895 at 328.54, was fourth.

In Top Fuel, Doug Kalitta was dominant on Sunday en route to his career four-wide win, going 3.715 at 333.58 in his 11,000-horsepower Mac Tools dragster to roll past Tony Stewart, Justin Ashley and Steve Torrence. Kalitta put together the quickest run in each of the three rounds, following up his No. 1 qualifier with a trio of spectacular runs on Sunday. It gives Kalitta 53 career victories and plenty of early-season momentum following his first championship. He picked up wins in each of the first two quads to advance to the loaded final round and, staying in the first lane all day, put together another great run to pick up another milestone first in his impressive career.

“That was a hell of a run and I was really happy to see that win light come on,” Kalitta said. “Obviously, those other three teams are all hungry and all running pretty strong. It was a super close race for all our cars and the fans got their money’s worth, and we came out with a win.

Defending NHRA World Champion Doug Kalitta earned his first career 4-Wide event victory.

“Getting the first four-wide was really special for me, because I’ve been really hungry to try to pull one of these off. My guys really had my car running strong. We qualified low and I think we have low [ET] of each of the sessions and it would have been a great shame to miss this opportunity.”

Ashley finished as the runner-up with his run of 3.745 at 333.82, Torrence took third and Stewart was fourth in his first career final round. Ashley also moved into the points lead in the category.

It was a thrilling weekend sweep for Jeg Coughlin Jr. in Pro Stock, as the five-time world champion followed up Saturday’s Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge victory with his first win nearly four years, going 6.616 at 207.18 in his Scag Power Equipment car in the final quad. The standout veteran had a stellar .013 reaction time against a foursome that included Erica Enders, Jerry Tucker and Brandon Foster, and never trailed to earn his 66th career victory, with his most recent coming in 2020. It was also his first four-wide victory in his terrific career, winning the first quad and finishing second to Enders to advance to the final round.

Coughlin, who qualified No. 1 in Phoenix, was stellar on the tree all weekend, going .014 in the opening round and .007 in the second quad as things came together in a special way for the entire Elite Motorsports team on Sunday.

5X NHRA World Champion Jeg Coughlin Jr – who is returning to full time NHRA Pro Stock this season – emerged the winner at Las Vegas.

“This was epic, the whole weekend,” Coughlin said. “Our car was great from Q1 where we had low E.T. and we almost maintained that pace throughout the rest of the event. Fast forward to today and we had three good quads to traverse our way through. In all seven runs I was in a groove as far as driving and getting the clutch out. After three years away it was fantastic to see that blinking [win] light in the final.

“I’ve been to some finals in the four-wide, but I’ve never been able to close the deal, so this feels really good to get it done.”

Tucker, who picked up his first career No. 1 qualifier this weekend, was second to the finish line in the final quad, going 6.617 at 206.35, picking up his first Pro Stock runner-up in the process. Enders leaves the event as the points leader.

Pro Stock class sophomore racer Jerry Tucker was the #1 qualifier @ 6.612 secs.

Saturday’s event schedule at Las Vegas did include the latest rendition Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge – a bonus specialty race – also run off in a quad format.

Defending event winner Antron Brown picked up a victory in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge for Top Fuel holding off Tony Stewart, Shawn Langdon and Doug Kalitta to win.

Antron Brown scored a victory in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Top Fuel Challenge race (featured on Saturday)

Austin Prock (Funny Car) and Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) also won for their categories.

Prock enjoyed another impressive first in his new class, winning his first Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge on Saturday, going 3.915 at 326.95 in the JFR Cornwell Tools Chevrolet Camaro SS which defeating Paul Lee, Blake Alexander and Daniel Wilkerson.

Returning to full-time racing in the Pro Stock ranks for 2024, Jeg Coughlin Jr. enjoyed a strong showing winning for the first time in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge. His final round run of 6.628 at 207.62 in his SCAG Power Equipment Camaro topped Troy Coughlin Jr., Aaron Stanfield and Dallas Glenn.

The NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series returns to action with the (2nd and final of the season) NHRA Four-Wide Nationals on April 26-28 at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte.

Lucas Oil Lowdown
(Sportsman Racing Final Round Summary)

Top Alcohol Dragster — Shawn Cowie, 5.200, 279.67 def. Prescott Dean, 5.291, 274.61 and Jackie Fricke, 5.425, 257.58 and Mike Coughlin, 5.314, 271.84;

Canadian racer Shawn Cowie (far lane) was dazzling while winning the event’s TAD title – his 24th career NHRA Nationals event score.

Top Alcohol Funny Car — Sean Bellemeur, Chevy Camaro, 5.486, 266.69 def. Madison Gordon, Camaro, 5.477, 267.96 and Brian Hough, Camaro, 5.525, 263.87 and Hunter Jones, Camaro, 5.553, 262.59;

Sean Bellemeur took home top honours for TAFC.

Competition Eliminator — Cody Lane, Chevy Cavalier, 8.436, 154.90 def. Ryan Priddy, Chevy Camaro, 6.579, 210.83.

Super Stock — Grant Singer, Chevy Camaro, 9.063, 148.25 def. Don Keen, Ford Mustang, 10.513, 125.65.

Canada’s Grant Singer earned his first career NHRA national event win driving his SS/BS classed Chevy Camaro from Saskatchewan.

Kyle Rizzoli – the defending NHRA Lucas Oil World Champ – won in Stock with his ’69 Camaro.

Stock Eliminator — Kyle Rizzoli, Chevy Camaro, 10.375, 120.74 def. Joe Sorensen, Camaro, 11.256, 114.18.

Super Comp — Phil Unruh, Dragster, 9.089, 176.81 def. Bill Dennis, Dragster, 9.078, 185.82.

Super Comp winner — Phil Unruh

Super Gas — Michael Boner, Ford Thunderbird, 10.055, 167.47 def. Steve Parsons, Chevy Camaro, 10.036, 164.45.

Top Sportsman — Aaron Steinkey, Chevy Camaro, 6.659, 195.34 def. Richard Okerman, Chevy Beretta, 7.188, 191.95.

Alberta’s Aaron Steinkey (far lane) won his 3rd NHRA nationals title when ran down Richard Okerman in the TS final.

Top Dragster — Cody Webber, Dragster, 6.524, 211.63 def. Stan Essery, Dragster, 6.094, 229.82.

Factory X — Greg Stanfield, Chevy Camaro, 7.121, 192.77 def. Alex Laughlin, Dodge Challenger, 7.370, 191.16.

Greg Stanfield won the event title for racing within NHRA’s newest class category “Factory X”

FlexJet Firsts!

For the first time within its class history competition within NHRA’s FlexJet Factory Stock Showdown was hosted — on a 4-Wide basis.

After three rounds, it was Ricky Hord, a third-generation racer, winning for the first time in his Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown career outrunning David Janac, Scott Libersher and Marc Pawuk in the final round “quad”.  Hord become the third different driver to win in the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Series so far in 2024.

3rd-Generation driver Ricky Hord won for the first time in the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown.

At Las Vegas – Stephen Bell won the rain delayed NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals Factory Stock Showdown final round.

The Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Series will return to action at the Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Chicago, May 17-19.

Posted with files by NHRA Communications – Bruce Biegler – Elon Werner
Photos by David Ostaszewski & Gary Nastase (Auto Imagery)

Link to our LMLCMedia event photo gallery from Las Vegas: HERE