The father to the defending NHRA Mello Yello Series World Champion steps to the plate in Arizona!….

The second event of the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series concluded with Billy Torrence (father to Steve Torrence) taking home the Top Fuel victory at the 35th annual Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.

Matt Hagan (Funny Car) and Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) were also winners in their respective categories at the second of 24 events on the 2019 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

B. Torrence emerged victorious with a run of 3.965-seconds at 326.40 mph in his Capco Contractors/Torrence Racing dragster to take down Leah Pritchett in the final round. After earning the No. 1 qualifier on Saturday, B. Torrence secured his second career victory.

Billy Torrence won his second career NHRA Top Fuel event.

“It’s just a blessing to be out here,” B. Torrence stated. “I’m trying not to choke up. The car ran great and they all worked so hard to keep a good car under me. Even Steve’s (Torrence) team came over to help them out and it was just outstanding.”

B. Torrence took down Terry Totten, Mike Salinas and rookie debut Jordan Vandergriff as he raced to his first win in 2019. Pritchett overcame Cameron Ferre, Terry McMillen and teammate Antron Brown en route to her first final round of 2019.

Racing what is now the flagship Top Fuel car to Mopar/DSR — Leah Pritchett placed runner-up.

Hagan powered his Sandvik Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to the Funny Car victory with a run of 3.890 at 325.06 to take down defending world champion J.R. Todd in the final round. This is his first victory of the season and third at the facility.

“For us, this win is huge with the new Hellcat body,” Hagan said. “Hats off to Dickie Venerables (crew chief). He won the race. He had a race car underneath me that was just going down the track every lap. We were able to put on a great show for our fans.”

Matt Hagan won for the 3rd time in his career at Phoenix — this time racing the awesome new DSR/Sandvik Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Hagan qualified second on the weekend and defeated Phil Burkhart Jr., Shawn Langdon and Bob Tasca III, on his path to victory. Todd secured the No. 5 qualifying spot and took down Terry Haddock, Tommy Johnson Jr. and No. 1 qualifier Robert Hight as he reached his first final round of the season.

In Pro Stock, Coughlin drove to the winner’s circle with a 6.557 at 210.67 run in his Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro to defeat Matt Hartford in the final round. He secured his 62nd victory and completed his 1000th elimination round of his career.

“I felt really good behind the wheel,” Coughlin stated. “We came out on top today and it feels great today to get our 1000th Pro Stock round (run). Huge win today and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Racing a Chevy Camaro that is soon to be replaced (!) — Jeg Coughlin won in Pro Stock

Coughlin was the No. 7 qualifier as he was victorious against Greg Anderson, Alex Laughlin and teammate Erica Enders as he earned his first victory of the season. Hartford qualified No. 4 on the weekend and beat Val Smeland, Rodger Brogdon and Deric Kramer as he notched his second career final round.

Beau Layne (for Dollars!)

The event also featured action for the 2nd time this season in the M/T Tires & Wheels Top Fuel Harley Division.

That eliminator showcased a first time winner when Beau Layne (from Redding CA) roared to victory.

Layne upset the highly financed Vance and Hines team in the final round with a winning 6.381 secs at 220.08 mph after that team’s rider Doug Vancil had issues and slowed.

Layne had qualified #5 (6.433 secs) and defeated Rickey House and Canada’s Kevin Boyer (Team Ace Racing) in the first two rounds.
Jay Turner had low ET for the breed at 6.200 secs while qualifying #1 and Tii Tharpe set top speed of the event at 229.71 mph.

The M/T Top Fuel Harley division produced a first time circuit winner – Beau Layne.

The 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues at the 50th annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway March 14-17 in Gainesville, Fla.

The Lucas Oil Lowdown

The Arizona Nationals very well attended Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series eliminations featured a number of first time national event title winners.  Bill Kent, Ron MacKenzie and James Warden all scored during the 35th annual Magic Dry Organic Absorbent presented event.

Bill Kent’s first Wally came in his third National event final. He defeated Ralph Van Paepeghem in the Competition Eliminator final.

Bill Kent won in Competition eliminator with his Pennzoil sponsored car.

Ron MacKenzie (who is from New Westminster BC) won his first Wally in his third National event final when he defeated fellow countryman Ken Mostowich (Calgary AB) in the all Canada Super Gas final round.

Racing his show stopping ’57 Vette, Canadian Ron MacKenzie received his very much deserved 1st NHRA national event title!

James Warden (from Santa Ana CA) drove his dragster into Victory Circle in his first final round to take the event’s super tough 32-car field, Racing RV’ TD title.  Warden clocked a final round time of 7.261, 183.42 to defeat Ed Olpin.

James Warden was the winner in the Racing RV’ T/D class

Bart Smith remained undefeated for the 2019 season when he followed up his recent 59th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by victory with another one. Diving his Chevy Monte Carlo, Smith won his third National event Wally in his third final round — defeating Joe Roubicek’s Camaro in the Top Sportsman final.

Winternationals titleist Bart Smith repeated his winning ways in Top Sportsman.

Chevrolet cars scored in both Stock and Super Stock with Cody Lane racing his early Chevy Corvette past Jimmy DeFrank in a marquee final round match up. For Lane that was his 5th NHRA national event score. He had a winning 11.358, 113.20 to defeat DeFrank’s Chevy Camaro which went 9.905, 132.10.

Cody Lane (top) and Justin Lamb raced their Chevy cars to wins in Stock and Super Stock respectively.

Defending NHRA World Champion Justin Lamb won his second consecutive NHRA Arizona Nationals crown when he wheeled his 2010 Chevy Cobalt past Rick McKinney’s Olds in the Super Stock title match. Justin Lamb, went 8.589, 152.19 to run down Rick McKinney’s 10.672, 123.28. For McKinney, a talented and seasoned Canadian racer from Richmond BC – it was his second consecutive runner up finish having two weeks prior having the same finish at Pomona’s Winternationals.

Craig Anderson rounded out the event’s winners list by winning his ninth National event Wally and fourth in Super Comp. He defeated Kevin Wright in a real close Super Comp final round the margin of victory being only 0.0022 seconds.

Craig Anderson won in the hard fought Super Comp 8.90 class.

Posted with files by NHRA Communications and Bruce Biegler
All Photos by Bruce Biegler

To view our extensive event photo gallery from the Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals click: HERE