2019 Magic Dry NHRA Arizona Nationals
My favorite weekend of the year is when the NHRA comes to town for the annual Arizona Nationals. Its a fun time to see friends I only get to see once or twice a year. This year's race had some bad weather on Friday that resulted in a washout except for one fuel session that saw only one car get past 200'.
Jerry Cramer from Utah in his 2017 Copo Camaro
Canadian Grant Singer with wheelstand of the day in his 1990 Chevy Camaro super stocker
After a 90 minute delay for the track to warm Sportsman classes hit the track for their only qualifying. Here is Doug Gibson's 69' Camaro
Duane Dickens in his 66' Chevy II
Tom Nolan getting a little sideways on his wheels up launch
Chuck Rayburn in his 1964 Belvedere
Tim Hall in his 74' Dodge Dart
Any Oldsmobile is cool in my book and one that lifts the front wheels and runs 10's is even cooler. This is Charlene Gullett's 85' Cutlass
Multi time sportsman champion Mike Federer standing next to his car waiting to make a qualifying pass
A crowd of fans are gathered to listen to nitro school hosted by Scott Palmer and announcer Alan Reinhart. Nitro School is an informative session to help give fans a technical lesson on the workings of a Top Fuel car
A massive cloud of nitro methane covers the pits as Clay Millican's team warm up their dragster.
Kevin Boyer's Top Fuel Harley with one of its two cylinders pumping raw fuel out
Joey Grose's new look Pro Stocker
Ken Black Racing teammates Jason Line & Bo Butner
Cameron Ferre driving Terry Haddock's dragster
Blake Alexander running in funny car for the first time since 2016
Shawn Langdon & Cruz Pedregon making a nice side by side pass
Matt Hagan vs John Force
The snow covered four peak mountains make for a nice background to some fans in the stands.
Bob Malloy carrying the front wheel at the 1/8 mile mark on his Top Fuel Harley
Local guy Jim Maroney driving the dragster owned by boat racers Kim & Michelle Davidson.
Phil Burkhart Jr. driving the Schwab family funny car.
Matt Hagan making the 2nd quickest pass in qualifying
The team for Terry Totten gets their dragster ready for round one on Sunday. This team is a throwback to the 70's & 80's with four guys who are all volunteers working out of small trailer. My buddy Ryan Casillas who is sort of a throwback himself was helping the team this weekend
The all volunteer crew is headed up by the gentleman on the right Don Sosenka who ran the Mr. Magoo funny cars for many years
The team for Brittany Force fires up the dragster in the pits prior to final eliminations
A Couple fans breathing in the sweet nitro fumes from a warmup. The nitro exhaust burns your eyes and throat but we all keep coming back for more
There is always a massive crowd behind Scott Palmer's pit because he is the last guy to whack the throttle during warmup
Terry Haddock talking to a crew member as they tow up to the staging lanes for the first round.
In a wild first pair of Top Fuel eliminations Mike Salinas would have a big engine explosion while in the background Scott Palmer would get very sideways and cross the centerline behind him
The very next pair would have Brittany Force suffer a big supercharger explosion right at the finish line.
#1 qualifier Billy Torrence making another strong 330 mph pass in his opening round race
Top Fuel rookie Austin Prock making his 2nd career start
Longtime rivals Ron Capps & John Force racing against each other for the 100th time in eliminations
Robert Hight running low et of the weekend in his round one victory
In the wildest race of the day and one of the wildest I have ever seen Tommy Johnson Jr would break a rear end and lose a rear tire causing the engine to explode and split the body. He would still win the round as Jim Campbell would cross the centerline taking out the finish line blocks for an automatic disqualification
The tire finishes breaking off the broken rear end
Luckily Tommy Johnson Jr. who was celebrating 30 years of fuel racing has a lot of experience in driving because he kept the car straight without causing anymore damage
The tire and car came to a safe stop in the shutdown area
Here is my full sequence from the wild ride that Tommy Johnson would take
There was a massive crowd back in the pits watching them repair the car for their 2nd round match up and to check out the broken body on display.
Mike Salinas with a couple cylinders out on the top end
Antron Brown winning his 2nd round matchup
Bob Tasca at the finish line of his 2nd round race
Unbelievably in Tommy Johnson's 2nd round race he would suffer yet another explosion and fire
Luckily the all four tires would stay on the vehicle this time however the initial fire seemed to be bigger and longer lasting
These were an expensive couple of rounds for TJ & Don Schumacher racing with a couple junked bodies not to mention the engine damage from the explosions and it easily a six figure hit for the team
Here is the full sequence of Tommy Johnson's second explosion on the day
Matt Hagan defeating Shawn Langdon in the 2nd round of eliminations
Local racer Matt Hartford defeating Deric Kramer in the semifinals
Teammates Jeg Coughlin & Erica Enders racing each other in the semi-finals
There was an exhibition run of an electric COPO Camaro that ran 9.70's at 133mph
JR Todd warming getting in the car to warm it up for the final round
Jeg Coughlin would collect the Pro Stock trophy
Matt Hartford heading to the lanes for a final round at his hometown track.
Matt Hagan winning the final round against JR Todd who broke right off the starting line
Billy Torrence picking up his 2nd career win over a tire smoking Leah Pritchett
The Capco team heading up the return road with his son and champion Steve hanging out the window saluting the crowd
Matt Hagan & crew chief Dickie Venables celebrating the win after having the most dominate car all weekend long
Billy Torrence with the wally in victory lane
The hauler for Blake Alexander's team leaving the track to head back to the shop to get ready for the 50th Gatornationals in Gainesville Flordia in three weeks
The Cordero family from El Paso hanging out in the Palmer pits after the race. They make the trip to Phoenix every year and bring a giant party with them
Scott with son Tyler wearing shirts made by the Cordero family featuring Palmer in a Sombrero. They made a giant cutout of it for the race last year
So that wraps up another great Arizona Nationals weekend while this weekend would be cut short by a day and was often filled with cold weather it was still another memorable race and I am already looking forward to next year's Arizona Nationals