NHRA Circle K NHRA Winternationals
when: February 6-8, 2015
where: Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, CA, USA

Langdon/Johnson Throttle Pomona

story and photos courtesy of NHRA and team reports

 

Shawn Langdon showed that Alan Johnson Racing still has what it takes to win big

Shawn Langdon scored the Top Fuel victory Sunday at the Circle K NHRA Winternationals at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in dramatic fashion by edging rival Antron Brown's Matco Tools dragster at the finishline. The 2013 champ, who entered this race without a full time sponsor but had support from Food Network star Guy Fieri during the weekend, powered his Knuckle Sandwich/AJPE dragster to a time of 3.799 at 309.91 to finish in front of Brown, whose machine stopped the clocks in 3.804 at 310.70.

It was Langdon’s second Winternationals win and the 10th victory of his career. The win gave the team much needed momentum after their sponsor Al-Anabi Racing from the country of Qatar pulled funding from the team just weeks before the season opener. “There are things that happen in life and then there are moments when things just fall into place,” said Langdon, the event’s No. 1 qualifier, who posted the quickest time in category history with a 3.700-second run on Saturday. He defeated Steve Chrisman, Leah Pritchett and Spencer Massey in early elimination rounds before racing past Brown in the final.

“We had a lot going on positively with Guy Fieri here this weekend,” Langdon continued. “We had to come out here and do well and make a statement. Now we’ll take what we did here and move on to Phoenix and continue what we are doing. We are still looking for sponsorship and trying to do the best we can.”

Matt Hagan

Reigning Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan opened the 2015 NHRA season by racing to victory. After overcoming a spectacular engine explosion during qualifying on Friday, Hagan and his team rallied to qualify 12th on Saturday. He then powered his Rocky Boots/Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T to four round wins on Sunday, including a winning final-round performance of 4.011 seconds at 320.89 mph to hold off his teammate Ron Capps at the finish line. Capps’ NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T finished in 4.078 at 314.90.

With crew chief Dickie Venables making the necessary adjustments, Hagan said his confidence in his 10,000-horsepower race car never wavered after the incident. “You try to put it out of your mind and not think about it,” Hagan said. “These [race cars] are animals out there and you never know what you are going to get when you crawl in there to drive one. It’s always an experience. You have to respect it, but you can’t fear it.”

It was Hagan’s second-straight Pomona win, fourth victory overall at this track and his first Winternationals win. He raced past Tony Pedregon, John Hale and Del Worsham in early rounds before beating Capps in the final. “Pomona is very special to me and it’s an historical track,” said Virginia cattle rancher Hagan of his 15th career victory. “The fans are awesome here. It’s been great. The history of this track and everything that’s happened here through the years, it puts it in perspective for me and makes [winning here] even more special.”



Jason Line

Jason Line claimed his fourth Winternationals Pro Stock victory by outrunning rookie Drew Skillman in the final round. Line powered his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro to a winning performance of 6.545 at 211.83, while Skillman’s Ray Skillman Camaro trailed with a 6.556 at 211.13. It was Line’s 36th career victory and the 91st Pro Stock win for a Chevy Camaro, a record in the category. "It's great to get off to a good start," Line said. "To be honest, I didn't expect to come here and do this well. I didn't think the off-season had gone well enough for us, but apparently it has. And it feels great to win.”

Line outran Joey Grose, Shane Gray and Rodger Brogdon to advance to the final and meet longtime NHRA sportsman racing standout Skillman, who advanced to his first final in his first pro start. "What a really exciting day,” Line said. “We have some new faces in the class, and congrats to Drew Skillman just for making the final at his first race, that's phenomenal."

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues Feb. 20-22 with the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix.



Final finish order (1-16) at the 55th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. The race is the first of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:
1. Shawn Langdon; 2. Antron Brown; 3. Larry Dixon; 4. Spencer Massey; 5. Leah Pritchett; 6. Steve Torrence; 7. Doug Kalitta; 8. Richie Crampton; 9. Tony Schumacher; 10. Brittany Force; 11. Troy Buff; 12. Dave Connolly; 13. Steven Chrisman; 14. Clay Millican; 15. J.R. Todd; 16. Terry McMillen.

FUNNY CAR:
1. Matt Hagan; 2. Ron Capps; 3. Del Worsham; 4. Robert Hight; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 6. Courtney Force; 7. John Hale; 8. Bob Bode; 9. Alexis DeJoria; 10. Tony Pedregon; 11. Tim Wilkerson; 12. Jeff Arend; 13. Cruz Pedregon; 14. Gary Densham; 15. John Force; 16. Chad Head.

PRO STOCK:
1. Jason Line; 2. Drew Skillman; 3. Rodger Brogdon; 4. Erica Enders-Stevens; 5. Chris McGaha; 6. Larry Morgan; 7. Shane Gray; 8. Allen Johnson; 9. Vincent Nobile; 10. Jonathan Gray; 11. V. Gaines; 12. Deric Kramer; 13. Greg Anderson; 14. Matt Hartford; 15. Joey Grose; 16. Jimmy Alund.

Sunday's final results from the 55th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. The race is the first of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel -- Shawn Langdon, 3.799 seconds, 309.91 mph def. Antron Brown, 3.804 seconds, 310.70 mph.

Funny Car -- Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.011, 320.89 def. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.078, 314.90.

Pro Stock -- Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.545, 211.83 def. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.556, 211.13.

Top Alcohol Dragster -- Chris Demke, 5.264, 273.88 def. Shawn Cowie, 5.367, 268.33.

Top Alcohol Funny Car -- Jonnie Lindberg, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.458, 267.27 def. Brian Hough, Chevy Camaro, 5.608, 260.41.

Competition Eliminator -- Alan Ellis, '23-T Ford, 6.543, 205.72 def. Dean Carter, Dragster, 7.054, 190.06.

Super Stock -- Cody Lane, Chevy Cavalier, 8.884, 144.29 def. Justin Lamb, Chevy Cobalt, 8.623, 156.64.

Stock Eliminator -- Jody Lang, Chevy Malibu, 12.202, 107.18 def. Jeff Jerome, Plymouth Savoy, foul.

Super Comp -- Dave Crawford, Dragster, 8.910, 179.97 def. Jimmy Lewis, Dragster, 8.957, 162.33.

Super Gas -- Steve Williams, Chevy Corvette, 9.923, 173.83 def. Hollis Colleasure, '27-T Ford, foul.

Top Fuel Harley -- Len Darnell, Harley, 6.822, 174.87 def. Joey Stenotti, Harley, 9.890, 91.09.

Final round-by-round results from the 55th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the first of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:



TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE -- Larry Dixon, 3.841, 312.13 def. Dave Connolly, 4.022, 236.84; Steve Torrence, 3.774, 324.05 def. Troy Buff, 3.828, 316.30; Richie Crampton, 4.369, 202.18 def. J.R. Todd, 9.379, 78.33; Doug Kalitta, 3.763, 330.88 def. Terry McMillen, 10.090, 86.42; Shawn Langdon, 3.741, 325.53 def. Steven Chrisman, 4.148, 255.39; Spencer Massey, 3.751, 323.74 def. Clay Millican, 6.941, 96.89; Antron Brown, 3.732, 326.87 def. Tony Schumacher, 3.787, 323.66; Leah Pritchett, 3.791, 323.04 def. Brittany Force, 3.811, 321.19;
QUARTERFINALS -- Dixon, 3.848, 310.20 def. Crampton, 9.623, 80.59; Massey, 3.808, 325.37 def. Torrence, 3.821, 324.05; Langdon, 3.748, 323.19 def. Pritchett, 3.801, 323.66; Brown, 3.758, 322.73 def. Kalitta, 7.817, 94.51;
SEMIFINALS -- Brown, 3.790, 322.27 def. Dixon, 3.774, 320.36; Langdon, 3.762, 326.48 def. Massey, 3.778, 327.98;
FINAL -- Langdon, 3.799, 309.91 def. Brown, 3.804, 310.70.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE -- Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.065, 318.84 def. Tony Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.381, 227.54; John Hale, Charger, 4.264, 266.42 def. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 5.028, 159.25; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.045, 315.19 def. Jeff Arend, Charger, 4.568, 193.52; Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.097, 312.42 def. Gary Densham, Chevy Impala, 5.422, 137.71; Bob Bode, Camry, 5.126, 202.82 def. John Force, Camaro, 5.599, 156.72; Ron Capps, Charger, 4.137, 305.22 def. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.110, 301.07; Robert Hight, Chevrolet Camaro, 4.066, 315.05 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.385, 208.97; Del Worsham, Camry, 4.048, 317.05 def. Chad Head, Camry, broke;
QUARTERFINALS -- Capps, 4.104, 313.88 def. Bode, broke; Hight, 4.085, 313.29 def. Johnson Jr., 4.080, 306.33; Worsham, 4.068, 316.60 def. C. Force, 7.289, 87.42; Hagan, 4.128, 303.50 def. Hale, foul;
SEMIFINALS -- Capps, 4.134, 312.57 def. Hight, 7.854, 84.40; Hagan, 4.068, 316.75 def. Worsham, 4.081, 314.90;
FINAL -- Hagan, 4.011, 320.89 def. Capps, 4.078, 314.90.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE -- Chris McGaha, Chevy Camaro, 6.547, 211.66 def. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, foul; Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.589, 211.26 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.637, 211.56; Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.546,
212.56 def. Jimmy Alund, Pontiac GXP, 14.251, 59.26; Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.574, 211.83 def. Vincent Nobile, 6.561, 211.76; Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.570, 211.53 def. V. Gaines, Dart, 6.586, 210.93; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.545, 212.09 def. Joey Grose, Camaro, foul; Erica Enders-Stevens, Camaro, 6.548, 211.43 def. Matt Hartford, GXP, 6.651, 208.78; Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.548, 212.43 def. Deric Kramer, Dodge Avenger, 6.609, 209.95;
QUARTERFINALS -- Skillman, 6.595, 210.90 def. Johnson, 6.595, 211.10; Enders-Stevens, 6.569, 211.36 def. McGaha, 6.565, 210.73; Brogdon, 6.565, 211.46 def. Morgan, 6.566, 212.36; Line, 6.564, 211.56 def. S. Gray, 6.574, 211.00;
SEMIFINALS -- Skillman, 6.590, 210.41 def. Enders-Stevens, 6.573, 211.53; Line, 6.560, 211.36 def. Brogdon, 6.560, 211.76;
FINAL -- Line, 6.545, 211.83 def. Skillman, 6.556, 211.13.




POMONA, Calif. -- Point standings (top 10) following the 55th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the first of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series -

Top Fuel

1. Shawn Langdon, 124; 2. Antron Brown, 92; 3. Spencer Massey, 78; 4. Larry Dixon, 73; 5. Richie Crampton, 59; 6. Doug Kalitta, 56; 7. Steve Torrence, 54; 8. Leah Pritchett, 52; 9. Tony Schumacher, 36; 10. Brittany Force, 33.

Funny Car

1. Matt Hagan, 107; 2. Ron Capps, 94; 3. Del Worsham, 74; 4. Robert Hight, 73; 5. Courtney Force, 61; 6. Tommy Johnson Jr., 60; 7. John Hale, 51; 8. Bob Bode, 46; 9. John Force, 40; 10. Cruz Pedregon, 38.

Pro Stock

1. Jason Line, 123; 2. Drew Skillman, 97; 3. Erica Enders-Stevens, 81; 4. Rodger Brogdon, 80; 5. Chris McGaha, 55; 6. Larry Morgan, 54; 7. (tie) Shane Gray, 52; Allen Johnson, 52; 9. (tie) Greg Anderson, 34; Vincent Nobile, 34.

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