NHRA: Todd, Hight, Johnson, Hines kings of mountain
DENVER — J.R. Todd earned his first Top Fuel win of the season, and first since 2008, by racing to victory Sunday at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.
Robert Hight (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock), and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were winners in their respective categories at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.
Todd, driver of the Optima Batteries dragster, trailed Brittany Force at the start of the run but was able to defeat the driver of the Castrol Edge dragster with a run of 3.878 seconds at 317.87 mph to the losing pass of Force, a 3.968 at 297.35.
This is the second win at Bandimere Speedway for Todd, who claimed his first career NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series win at the facility in 2006.
Todd defeated Terry McMillen, Steve Torrence, and Larry Dixon en route to the final round.
With the victory, Todd moves from 10th in points to eighth with only four races left until the Countdown to the Championship, which begins in Charlotte in September.
Hight's Auto Club Ford Mustang defeated team owner John Force for his fifth win of the season and 34th of his career.
In the championship round, Hight won with a 4.166 at 306.05 to the losing effort of 5.953 at 121.42. He raced to six consecutive final-round appearances early in the season but hadn't raced to the finals in the past six events.
Hight and his team also have reason to celebrate when they became the first Funny Car competitor to secure a position in the top 10 for the Countdown to the Championship.
Johnson continued his mastery on the mountain when he defeated teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr. for his fourth win of the season and sixth at Bandimere Speedway. Johnson won the event when Coughlin red-lighted at the start. Johnson went on to record a pass of 6.930 at 198.61 in his eighth consecutive final-round appearance at the facility.
His four wins ties Erica Enders-Stevens for the most wins in the category thus far this season.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Hines rode his Screamin' Eagle Vance &Hines Harley-Davidson to his fourth win of the season when he defeated Michael Ray in the finals. Hines recorded a pass of 7.426 at 184.35 to the trailing run of 9.033 at 103.64.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns to action at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway July 25-27.