CHEVROLET AT PHOENIX
What: NHRA Arizona Nationals
When: Friday, Feb. 21-Sunday, Feb. 23
Where: Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona
TV: FS1 will telecast eliminations and finals at 9 p.m. EST Feb. 23
Chevrolet takes momentum to Wild Horse Pass
Success builds as teams and drivers enter second race of season
DETROIT (Feb. 19, 2020) – With eight National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Pro Stock world championships combined, Chevrolet drivers Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Jason Line were the marque final-round matchup at the season opener in Pomona, California.
Coughlin, the No. 1 qualifier in the JEGS.com/Elite Motorsports Camaro SS, prevailed to recorded Chevrolet’s 320th victory since Pro Stock was established as a professional category in 1970.
Coughlin’s 64th career Pro Stock win also touched a sentimental chord as both he and Line, driver of the Summit Racing Equipment Camaro SS, had announced that 2020 would be their final season behind the wheel. Line, a three-time Pro Stock titleholder, has 50 career victories.
“It’s extremely exciting to kick off the 50th year of Pro Stock with a win at the 60th annual Winternationals in a race car that salutes the 60th anniversary of JEGS,” said Coughlin, who will seek to tie Warren Johnson for second to Bob Glidden (10) with six Pro Stock championships. “We seem to be checking off all the boxes. We’ve taken rides on the momentum train in the past, both on the good side and the bad side, and although our confidence is sky-high at the moment, we know you have to stay after it with everything you’ve got to keep it going.”
Coughlin won at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park from the No. 7 qualifying spot last February. Chevrolet Top Fuel and Funny Car drivers will also carry momentum into the race weekend in Chandler, Arizona.
Second-year Top Fuel standout Austin Prock was runner-up in the opener at Auto Club Raceway, driving the Montana Brand/Rocky Mountain Twist Chevrolet dragster. Teammate Brittany Force was the No. 1 qualifier and advanced to the semifinals to kick off her season. New sponsor Flav-R-Pac will be on the sides of her Chevrolet dragster this weekend.
Sixteen-time Funny Car champion John Force fell just short of claiming his NHRA record-extending 152nd victory, settling for runner-up in the BlueDEF Camaro SS. Robert Hight, the 2019 Funny Car champion, was the No. 3 qualifier in the Auto Club of Southern California Camaro SS.
Jeff Lane of North Bend, Washington, and Al Corda of Elk Mound, Wisconsin, both of whom advanced to the Stock Eliminator semifinals at Pomona, return to action in their Chevrolet COPO Camaros.
Entered in Super Stock competition in their COPO Camaros are Roy Cracraft of Mesa, Arizona; Kirsten Ball of Anchorage, Alaska; Byron Setters of Red Deer, Alberta; Tom Ferruggia of Menifee, California; and Tim Seymour of San Dimas, California.
FS1 will telecast eliminations and finals at 9 p.m. EST Feb. 23.
CHEVROLET FROM THE COCKPIT
BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, FLAV-R-PAC CHEVROLET DRAGSTER (2017 class champion; eight-time No. 1 qualifier and two-time winner in 2019; No. 1 qualifier and semifinalist in opener): “I’m excited to get to Phoenix, get back to the team, get back in the flow of things. I’m ready to get out there, go some rounds and hopefully bring home a first win for Flav-R-Pac. The Arizona Nationals have always been a tough one for our team in the past. We’ve been runner-up there three times and just for some reason can’t seem to get the job done. We’re hoping to turn things around this year, go all the way and get this Flav-R-Pac team in the winner’s circle.”
AUSTIN PROCK, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONTANA BRAND/ROCKY MOUNTAIN TWIST CHEVROLET DRAGSTER (No. 2 qualifier and runner-up in opener): “We had a great start to the season in Pomona. We made a career-best qualifying position and made a final-round appearance. I think we’re well on our way to having a really great season. I’m ready to get to Phoenix. I think this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team has the drive that it will take to win in the desert, so I’m excited to see what we can get done there. We want to keep up our performance and be consistent this weekend too especially after what we accomplished at the Winternats.”
JOHN FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, BLUEDEF CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 5 qualifier and runner-up in opener; eight-time winner and eight-time No. 1 qualifier at track): “Danny Hood, Ronnie Thompson and Tim Fabrisi gave me a great hot rod in Pomona. To go to the finals, that was really good for the BlueDEF team. I’m excited to see what we can do this season. I’m looking forward to Phoenix this weekend. We’ve had some good times there and some bad, but I always enjoy getting to Wild Horse Pass. The last time I won here was in 2005 so it would be nice to get in the show and get another win this year. I have a great team with ‘Ole Blue’.”
ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, AUTO CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (2019 champion; No. 3 qualifier in opener): “Pomona wasn’t a bad weekend for the Auto Club team; we just had a bad race day. It happens and we’ll bounce back. Jimmy Prock, Chris Cunningham and all the Auto Club guys worked really hard to get us a championship last season and they’ve continued that into 2020 it just wasn’t our day. I’m ready to get to Phoenix and get back in the driver’s seat. We’ve had success there in the past, but it’s been a while so I’m ready to get in the winner’s circle. We came close last year so it’s a good confidence boost. This Auto Club team is hungry to get back on top and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do this weekend.”
JEG COUGHLIN JR., ELITE MOTORSPORTS, JEGS.COM/ELITE MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 1 qualifier and winner in opener; won at track in 2019; competing in final season behind wheel): “We’re feeling great about Pomona. We’re excited about the last several races we’ve had, going back to the start of last year’s playoffs, and of course coming to a track where we’ve had so much success in the past doesn’t hurt either. Last year was memorable because it was early in the season and really gave us a boost. I also clearly remember the winner’s circle party we had in 2009 as I had a bunch of old college buddies here that weekend as well as my friends from the rock band O.A.R. It’s always special when you win, but it’s extra special with friends and family on hand.”
BO BUTNER, JIM BUTNER AUTO GROUP, STRUTMASTERS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (four-time winner in 2019; finished third in points): “Jason (Line) and I were actually at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park when we went to the Barrett-Jackson auction a few weeks ago. We went out to the track for the day, and it’s beautiful. They redid the whole surface, and it’s supposedly very smooth and very nice, so I’m excited. We like that. Pomona did not go as planned, but I guess I’m not a rookie any longer, and I know that you’re not going to win the championship the first race. I won four out of the first five races last year and didn’t win the championship. I feel like we got a little bit of bad luck out of the way now, and I’m looking forward to Phoenix. We like that place, so hopefully we’ll be back on track.”
JASON LINE, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 7 qualifier and runner-up in opener; competing in final season behind the wheel): “I’ve had a couple of wins in Phoenix, but I think one of the memories that stands out for me most was racing V. Gaines in the final in 2012. I’d like to say I won, because it’s always fun beating a guy like V., but I broke a lifter in the burnout. V. is a good guy, and I miss having him out there. We came up short in the Pomona final two weeks ago, and this weekend, we’ll be working to put a Team Summit Chevy in the winner’s circle. Those are the memories we like most of all.”
GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (three-time winner in 2019; finished seventh in points): “None of the Pro Stock cars really tested in Phoenix this time around, so we go there with an even playing field for everybody. The outcome in Pomona was not what we’d hoped for, but we’re not scared about our Summit Racing Chevy Camaros. They’ll be fine, and the racetrack at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park should be better than it’s ever been. They ground it since the last time we were there, and we’re hearing it should be very smooth. I’m not one bit apprehensive about this race. We’ll be in better shape when we get to Phoenix.”
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS RACING, HARLOW SAMMONS OF ODESSA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (won at Norwalk in 2019; finished ninth in points): “We were able to win the nationals in 2018 and I don’t see why we can’t do it again. The Silver Bullet is running pretty good. We were able to get some solid passes in Pomona and collect a round win. Looking to add a couple more this weekend. We worked hard in the off-season on our program. Every little bit of horsepower that we can squeeze out of this Harlow Sammons Chevy Camaro we are going to find.”