The NHRA has returned to the In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip for the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, and fans are excited to witness some thrilling runs. This event marks the 63rd time that the NHRA has visited the track, which also hosts the season finale in November. On Friday, Cruz Pedregon, lead the class with the provisional No. 1 spot in his 11,000+ horsepower Snap-On Tools Dodge Charger SRT HELLCAT Funny Car, with a run of 3.865 @ 302.28 mph.
Pedregon has a track record of success at the In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip, having won the last time he competed there. He aims to continue his winning streak and secure his second straight win at the legendary facility with his recent performance.
Despite facing a few setbacks on Saturday, Pedregon held on to the No. 1 qualifying position in Funny Car, with his Friday night run leading the way. He had a parachute issue on his first qualifying run on Saturday and had to abort his final pass as John Force had an incident, causing a 30-minute delay. Pedregon realized that the little parachute button on his steering wheel didn’t get the locking mechanism attached, leading to the parachute issue.
Pedregon didn’t think his 0.86 would hold up, particularly after shutting down the engine due to a cylinder issue. However, he was proven wrong as the weather warmed up just enough to keep other drivers from beating his time.
The Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota driven by Alexis DeJoria qualified in the No. 2 spot with a time of 3.883. Robert Hight, the Arizona Nationals champion, and low qualifier Bob Tasca followed closely behind in third and fourth place, respectively, with times of 3.892 and 3.899.
J.R. Todd also faced some challenges, as John Force’s parachutes wrapped around his car after Force lost control of his Camaro and darted into Todd’s lane, damaging both cars. The DHL team had to use a spare car to continue qualifying, but they failed to make it down the track in Q3 and ended up in fifth place with their Friday time of 3.935.
In total, thirteen teams qualified in the three-second zone, with Force sitting on the bump with a time of 4.162 and set to race Pedregon in the first round.