ENNIS, TX – October 12, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Five years ago, Chris McGaha recorded his first Pro Stock round win at the Texas Motorplex, the site of this weekend’s 31st annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex.
As big as that was for the Texas native, McGaha has since made much bigger strides, getting his first Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals win a month ago. Yet, getting that first victory in his Harlow Sammons of Odessa Chevrolet Camaro at a track that means so much to McGaha remains a high priority for the Odessa, Texas standout.
“Dallas is one of the races we’ve always wanted to win,” said McGaha, who is currently sixth in the Pro Stock points standings. “I was at Dallas the day it opened and I’ve raced there many times. To win Dallas, that’d be a huge bucket list item. Texas Motorplex is our Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro team home race. The fact that I’ve been going there so many years and I got my first round win in Pro Stock there five years ago, it’s hard to believe it’s been five years. Time flies.”
Richie Crampton (Top Fuel), Del Worsham (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were winners of last year’s event that will air on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) for the first time. On Sunday, FS1 will televise three hours of live finals coverage starting at 2 p.m. (ET). It is the 21st of 24 events in 2016 and the fourth of six races in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
McGaha, who has four career Pro Stock wins, has not quite been able to turn the corner during the NHRA’s six-race playoffs through the first three events. He has posted round wins at each race but hasn’t been out of the quarterfinals, something he wants to change in Dallas. Tracking down points leader Jason Line, who has eight wins in 2016 and is 200 points ahead of McGaha, and Greg Anderson, a seven-time winner this year, may be out of the question, but McGaha still has big hopes for the season.
With the adjustment to a new era of Pro Stock, which includes electronic fuel injection, a 10,500 rev-limited, flattened hoods and shortened wheelie-bars, things haven’t always been easy, but McGaha is pleased with the strides his team has made.
“This season has already been great because we won Indy,” McGaha said. “Truthfully, our team had ups and downs this year. Like I always say, it could always be worse. I felt like after we runnered-up in Phoenix, I felt like we really had something and then we went backwards and stayed backwards for a long time. About mid-summer around Sonoma we turned the corner and are coming back to where we were in Phoenix.
“It’s progressively gotten better and we were in the right place at the right time at the U.S. Nationals. (We) probably haven’t won as many rounds as we should’ve in the Countdown but it’s okay. We’ll end this season well with consistency.”
His Countdown to the Championship start hasn’t been a disaster by any stretch, but McGaha is hoping to notch his second career playoff victory this season. Should that happen in Dallas, it would give McGaha an even bigger reason to celebrate in 2016.
“We didn’t get quite the momentum we wanted after Indy but it really wasn’t bad,” McGaha said. “Although we didn’t get quite the momentum we wanted, I’m not disappointed about how the last three races have gone. Maybe we’re just saving our momentum for Dallas since it’s our home race.”
Defending Top Fuel event winner Crampton is seeking his first win of 2016. Everyone is chasing points leader and defending world champ Antron Brown, who has two wins during the Countdown and holds a 77-point lead over Doug Kalitta.
Worsham’s win a year ago helped propel him to his first Funny Car world title, but Ron Capps remains the points leader. Tommy Johnson Jr. closed to just 24 points back of Capps after his victory at Maple Grove Raceway.
Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader Andrew Hines is after his third straight world title and has five wins in 2016, but teammate Eddie Krawiec has closed the gap to 38 points.
The AAA Texas NHRA Nationals will also feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 4:15 and 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 12:45 and 3:45 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call 800-668-6775. Tickets also are available online at www.texasmotorplex.com. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. For more info, visit www.NHRA.com.
AAA TEXAS NHRA FALLNATIONALS
WHAT: 31st annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, the 22nd of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and the fourth of six races in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Drivers in four categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – earn points leading to 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships.
WHERE: Texas Motorplex, Ennis, Texas. The track is located at 7500 W. Highway 287.
COURSE: Championship drag strip; Track elevation is 500 feet above sea level; Track direction is southwest to northeast.
WHEN: Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 13-16
THURSDAY, Oct. 13 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying
FRIDAY, Oct. 14 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 4:15 and 7:15 p.m.
SATURDAY, Oct. 15 – LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 12:45 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.
SUNDAY, Oct. 16 – Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
Friday Oct. 14, FS1 will televise one hour of live qualifying coverage at 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Sunday Oct. 16, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying coverage at 1 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, Oct. 16, FS1 will televise three hours of live finals coverage starting at 2 p.m. (ET).
2015 EVENT WINNERS:
Richie Crampton, Top Fuel; Del Worsham, Funny Car; Erica Enders, Pro Stock; Jerry Savoie, Pro Stock Motorcycle.
John Force, FC, 7; Tony Schumacher, TF, 6; Warren Johnson, PS, 5; Cruz Pedregon, FC, 4; Greg Anderson, PS, 4.
Top Fuel – 3.705 sec. by Richie Crampton, Oct. ’15; 329.18 mph by Dave Connolly, Oct. ’15
Funny Car – 3.909 sec. and 326.32 mph by Jack Beckman, Oct. ’15
Pro Stock – 6.457 sec. and 214.59 mph by Greg Anderson, Oct. ’15
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.744 sec. and 198.99 mph by Jerry Savoie, Oct. ’15
Top Fuel – 3.671 sec. by Steve Torrence, July ’16, Sonoma, Calif.; 332.75 mph by Spencer Massey, Aug. ’15, Brainerd, Minn.
Funny Car – 3.822 by Matt Hagan, Aug. ’16, Brainerd, Minn.; 335.57 mph by Hagan, May ’16, Topeka, Kan.
Pro Stock – 6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.; 215.55 mph by Erica Enders, May ‘14, Englishtown N.J.
PS Motorcycle – 6.728 sec. by Andrew Hines, Oct. ’12, Reading, Pa.; 199.88 mph by Hector Arana Jr., March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.
TICKETS: For tickets call (800) 668-6775. Tickets are also available at www.texasmotorplex.com.
GLENDORA, CA — Points standings (top 10) following the 32nd annual Dodge NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, the 21st of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series –
1. Antron Brown, 2,377; 2. Doug Kalitta, 2,300; 3. Brittany Force, 2,259; 4. Shawn Langdon, 2,258; 5. Tony Schumacher, 2,236; 6. Steve Torrence, 2,214; 7. Leah Pritchett, 2,188; 8. J.R. Todd, 2,183; 9. Richie Crampton, 2,159; 10. Clay Millican, 2,136.
1. Ron Capps, 2,368; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr., 2,344; 3. Jack Beckman, 2,275; 4. Matt Hagan, 2,258; 5. Del Worsham, 2,246; 6. John Force, 2,230; 7. Tim Wilkerson, 2,196; 8. Robert Hight, 2,193; 9. Courtney Force, 2,182; 10. Alexis DeJoria, 2,099.
1. Jason Line, 2,389; 2. Greg Anderson, 2,344; 3. Vincent Nobile, 2,306; 4. Bo Butner, 2,256; 5. Shane Gray, 2,242; 6. Chris McGaha, 2,189; 7. Allen Johnson, 2,160; 8. Drew Skillman, 2,157; 9. Jeg Coughlin, 2,115; 10. Erica Enders, 2,104.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
1. Andrew Hines, 2,341; 2. Eddie Krawiec, 2,303; 3. Angelle Sampey, 2,289; 4. Chip Ellis, 2,274; 5. Jerry Savoie, 2,271; 6. LE Tonglet, 2,215; 7. Cory Reed, 2,196; 8. Hector Arana, 2,159; 9. Matt Smith, 2,150; 10. Hector Arana Jr, 2,149.
About National Hot Rod Association
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 23 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Source: National Hot Rod Association