Arguably one of drag racing’s most famous events and facilities accelerates NHRA’s 2023 season further….

In a rematch of last year’s Top Fuel final round at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, Justin Ashley picked up his second straight win at the storied event, powering past Austin Prock at the newly renamed In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip.

Matt Hagan (Funny Car) and Dallas Glenn (Pro Stock) also won the third of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.

Ashley went 3.713-seconds at 330.63 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Phillips Connect Toyota dragster powered by National Debt Relief, leading from start-to-finish against Prock’s 3.762 at 327.43. It gives the Top Fuel points leader his second straight victory and ninth career win, as well as a clean sweep of the weekend in Pomona after winning the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge on Saturday.

Ashley beat Krista Baldwin and Antron Brown to reach the final round, posting a series of incredible reaction times along the way. He was an impressive .033 on the starting line in the final round against Prock as well, giving Ashley his 10th straight round win to put a tremendous stamp on the start of his 2023 campaign.

“I’m not sure it gets any better,” Ashley said. “It was just an incredible day. To get two wins in a row, plus the deal on Saturday, it’s just amazing. It really takes an entire team effort from start to finish. This car has been on absolute rails. I’m just really proud of our guys and we are really going to enjoy this one.

Mike Ashley’s Phillips Connection Racing team won for the 2nd straight weekend in NHRA Top Fuel racing.

“I think last year we took a big step in the right direction and this year, our focus was to take it to the next level and I think you’ve seen that, especially in these last two races. So I feel like we’re on an upward trajectory, but we’re going to stay focused on the present moment. This was probably the best weekend of racing we’ve had as a team.”

Prock reached his first final round of the year after he got past Leah Pruett, Steve Torrence and John Force Racing teammate and defending world champion, Brittany Force. Those two will match up in the next Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge in Chicago, while the other pairing will feature Ashley and Brown.

Hagan jumped back in the points lead with his second win in three races for Tony Stewart Racing, going 3.967 at 328.06 in his 11,000-horsepower Haas Automation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to defeat defending world champ Ron Capps. After qualifying just 10th, Hagan and his team were consistent throughout eliminations, driving past Blake Alexander, Alexis DeJoria and Terry Haddock.

Hagan posted a brilliant .032 reaction time in the final round, while Capps ran into trouble early in the run. The 45th career win for Hagan was also the seventh at In-N-Out Pomona Dragstrip for the multi-time world champ, which is second behind only John Force in Funny Car at the legendary track.

Matt Hagan (top photo with team owner Tony Stewart) scored career win #45 when he defeated rival Ron Capps in a marquee fuel FC final round.

“It’s a great day when you can go from 10th in qualifying and win the race,” Hagan said. “I woke up and knew we had a little bit of a hill to climb as a team, and it’s just one of those deals where as things progressed and the car goes down the track, you get more confident. Just to watch (crew chief) Dickie (Venables) and what he does on the racetrack, there’s very few weekends where that guy doesn’t impress me.

“I’m glad to have him in our corner and I’m just super proud of my guys. It’s pretty amazing to be able to put a car in the winner’s circle with a new sponsor like that. Funny Car is tough and it’s going to be a dogfight, and there’s just no room for error because it’s so tough.”

Capps advanced to his second straight final and 142nd in his career, as the defending world champ got past Paul Lee, No. 1 qualifier Cruz Pedregon and Bob Tasca III on Sunday. In the next Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, Capps will race Tasca in Chicago, while Hagan will take on Haddock.

In a final round matchup of two KB Titan Racing cars, Dallas Glenn drove to his fourth career win and first this season in his RAD Torque Systems Chevrolet Camaro, beating Matt Hartford in the final round with a 6.546 at 209.92. Glenn and his team dialed up an impressive run in the final round, slipping past Hartford by a narrow margin after defeating Chris McGaha, Bo Butner and No. 1 qualifier Camrie Caruso earlier in the day, using a .002 reaction time to get past Caruso.

It bumps Glenn to first in points for the first time in his young career and also marks the third different Pro Stock winner in as many races. Glenn’s win also ensures the young standout will have at least one victory in his first three years in Pro Stock.

Dallas Glenn won big in Pro Stock driving the potent RAD Torque Systems Chevy Camaro – to move to #1 in championship points.

“It was a great day and anytime I’m tired at the end of it, I know it’s been a good day,” Glenn said. “I’ve got an absolutely great car and it’s been running really well. I’m comfortable in it and I was just able to make a lot of clean runs. It’s really cool to be the points leader right now. I’ve never been able to get it done in Pomona before, and it’s been so frustrating. But I knew the car was going to be really good today and I was just happy it all came together for us.”

Harford, who won the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge on Saturday, knocked off Deric Kramer, defending world champion Erica Enders and Aaron Stanfield to reach the final round for the
first time this season and 13th time in his career.

NHRA’s exciting new event product for 2023 – the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge was part of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Saturday schedule.

Justin Ashley also picked up that win in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge for Top Fuel cars while Chad Green (Funny Car) and Matt Hartford (Pro Stock) also picked up wins in the bonus event in Pomona.

Ashley went 3.707-seconds at 330.15 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Phillips Connect Toyota dragster powered by National Debt Relief to beat Leah Pruett in the final round, earning the bonus purse and bonus points for the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. The run also gave Ashley, who won last weekend in Phoenix, his third career No. 1 qualifier and plenty of momentum heading into Sunday.

It was a memorable moment for Chad Green, who picked up the win in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge over Alexis DeJoria with a run of 3.974 at 316.08 in his 11,000-horsepower Bond-Coat Ford Mustang. Green knocked off Robert Hight, who finished third in qualifying, earlier and then got past DeJoria, who qualified second, with a strong run in the final round of the bonus event, enjoying the biggest moment in his young Funny Car career in the process.

Chad Green won his first significant title within NHRA Fuel FC racing.

Hartford enjoyed some redemption in the Pro Stock ranks, picking up a win in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge. He defeated Camrie Caruso, who beat him in the semifinals in Phoenix, and then Kyle Koretsky in the final round in his GETTRX Chevrolet Camaro, going 6.546 at 210.80 in the final round to earn the bonus points and bonus purse in the special race. Hartford also finished second in qualifying.

Matt Hartford was a popular winner in the #2Fast2Tasty Pro Stock class challenge.

The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to action on April 14-16 with the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The Lucas Oil Lowdown
(Sportsman Final Round Summaries)

Top Alcohol Dragster — Joey Severance, 5.255, 272.23 def. Shawn Cowie, 14.374, 61.30.

Joey Severence accepted his 2022 NHRA Lucas Oil World Championship ring and then went on to win the NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals event title.

Top Alcohol Funny Car — Doug Gordon, Chevy Camaro, 5.442, 268.22 def. Shane Westerfield, Camaro, 5.453, 265.64.

Defending NHRA Lucas Oil World Champion Doug Gordon – also won at Pomona in TAFC

Competition Eliminator — Andrew Moeck, Pontiac GTO, 6.357, 220.76 def. Scott McClay, Dragster, 7.186, 183.12.

Super Stock — Anthony Bertozzi, Pontiac Grand Am, 8.983, 140.93 def. Len Schneider, Ford Thunderbird, 10.058, 131.32.

Anthony Bertozzi won 2X at Pomona – in T/D and also in Super Stock with his Pontiac Grand Am.

Stock Eliminator — Kyle Rizzoli, Chevy Camaro, 10.265, 120.51 def. Brian McClanahan, Camaro, 9.951, 133.18.

The all Camaro Stock final went to Kyle Rizzoli over Brian McClanahan

Super Gas — Marko Perivolaris, Chevy Camaro, 9.914, 168.35 def. Val Torres, Chevy Corvette, 9.921, 157.59.

Super Comp — Jessica Bogacki, Dragster, 8.928, 172.45 def. Logan Warr, Dragster, 8.928, 172.01.

Top Sportsman — Chris Newman, Chevy Camaro, 6.653, 208.62 def. Lance Abbott, Chevy S-10, 6.927, 196.04.

Chris Newman (near lane) defeated Lance Abbott for the event’s TS title.

Top Dragster — Anthony Bertozzi, Dragster, 6.664, 181.96 def. Andy Spiegel, Dragster, 6.427, 201.52.

Legends Nostalgia Funny Car presented by Modern Warriors — Cory McClenathan, Pontiac Firebird, 4.868, 232.87 def. Tim Boychuk, Chevy Camaro, 4.895, 202.97.


Posted with files by NHRA Communications & Bruce Biegler
All Photos by Randy Anderson

Link to the LMLC Media Lucas Oil Winternationals event photo gallery: HERE