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Torrence and Hight Top NHRA Nitro Pre-Season Testing in Phoenix


Text and Photos Courtesy of NHRA/National Dragster

NHRA drivers took the opportunity to shake off the rust at the preseason test session at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park Jan. 30 – Feb. 2. Defending Top Fuel world champion Steve Torrence shows no sign of slowing down by setting the quickest pass of the session.

Torrence piloted his Capco Contractors/Torrence Racing dragster to a 3.689 sec. pass at 328.78 mph during Thursday’s testing. The Texas native made history last season as he went undefeated during the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.

“We didn’t change anything going into this test session,” Torrence stated. “We just needed to brush the rust off of myself and the guys to get prepared for Pomona. There’s some really good cars out there that we’re going to have to contend with this season. We will take this with a grain of salt, build confidence and see what we can do.”

2017 Top Fuel world champion Brittany Force powered her Advance Auto Parts dragster to a run of 3.700 at 321.27 on Saturday and Billy Torrence rounds out the top three with a run of 3.731 at 325.14 on Friday.

Two-time Funny Car world champion Robert Hight led the category with his pass of 3.863 at 326.87 in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro on Friday. Hight finished the 2018 season second overall and is seeking his third championship during the 2019 season.

Defending world champion J.R. Todd made the second quickest pass of the session with a 3.868 at 324.36 in his DHL Toyota Camry and 16-time world champion John Force was third with his 3.894 at 331.61 on Saturday.

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series 2019 season starts at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona for the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by Feb. 7-10. 

To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call 800-884-NHRA (6472). Tickets also are available online at Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. All students can save 50 percent on general admission at the gate with a student ID. To honor the Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on general admission tickets at the gate. For more info about the NHRA visit  



Steve Torrence – 3.689, 328.78

Brittany Force – 3.7, 321.27

Billy Torrence – 3.731, 325.14

Jordan Vandergriff – 3.738, 325.85

Mike Salinas – 3.747, 296.24

Antron Brown – 3.769, 293.73

Doug Kalitta – 3.78, 289.07

Richie Crampton – 3.78, 275

Clay Millican – 3.81, 296.44

Scott Palmer – 3.921, 242.50

Greg Carrillo – 5.057, 142.94

Jim Maroney – 10.972, 46.22


Robert Hight – 3.863, 326.87

J.R. Todd – 3.868, 324.36

John Force – 3.894, 331.61

Shawn Langdon – 3.905, 327.35

Matt Hagan – 3.959, 319.22

Bob Tasca III – 3.972, 310.20

Jonnie Lindberg – 3.99, 309.56

Chad Green – 4.090, 252.80

Cruz Pedregon – 4.377, 200.11

Tim Wilkerson – 4.469, 184.02

Mike Galimi
Mike Galimi is the Director of Content & Marketing at ProMedia Publishing and Events with nearly 20 years of experience in motorsport writing and photography.