PHOENIX, Ariz. (February 25, 2018) – Chris McGaha is starting his 2018 Pro Stock season with a bang. McGaha drove his Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro straight to the winner circle at the 34th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals after defeating Tanner Gray, Erica Enders, Alex Laughlin, and Jason Line.
In the first round, McGaha qualified the affectionately known Silver Bullet in the No. 7 spot and that granted him lane choice over Tanner Gray in the opening round of eliminations. McGaha was almost telepathic with his clutch foot when he had a .009-second reaction time over Gray and the Texas-native clocked in with a quick 6.553-second pass at 211.73 and turned on the win light over Gray’s troubled 6.642, 209.82. McGaha’s 211.71 mph was the fastest of the first session, showing the rest of the competition how serious Harlow Sammons horsepower can be.
Second round, McGaha chose his lane over Erica Enders. At the launch, McGaha held .026-seconds over Enders and he crossed the finish line with a 6.561, 211.93. His performance on the starting line was enough to ink a holeshot win over Enders’ 6.549, 210.14.
Reaching his first semifinals since the 2017 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, the Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro driver once again had lane choice over his competition. In the other lane was Alex Laughlin and McGaha once more proved why he was the driver to beat at Wild Horse Motorsports Park. His .016-second reaction time gave McGaha the starting line advantage and he turned on the win light with a 6.562, 211.83 and out powered Laughlin’s 6.574, 210.21.
The final round had McGaha experiencing a little déjà vu when he pulled up in the lanes against friend and competitor Jason Line. In a rematch of the 2016 NHRA Arizona Nationals, McGaha was ready to make the tally even and repay Line for defeating him two years ago. Akin to his performance the rest of the afternoon, McGaha was .007 on the tree and he saved his best performance of the weekend for last to nab Line’s ticket to the winner circle. McGaha clocked in with a 6.529, 211.59 to defeat Line’s 6.538, 210.14.
“When you race people like Jason [Line], you have to bring your ‘A-Game’ because he’s good at what he does,” McGaha said. “When my crew chief and my team give me a good car, it’s kind of like a field goal kicker. He sits there on the bench the whole time and then he has to come out and win the game, so it’s kind of like what you feel like as a driver – don’t mess it up because you’re the last guy.”
“This win is absolutely satisfying,” he laughed. “We’re the one little car from Odessa, Texas and we had some issues and we addressed them before the finals and I think that’s why we picked up. We can credit my crew chief Adam Hornberger for that; I just try not to mess it up.”
McGaha leaves the 34th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals in the No. 3 spot in the Pro Stock point standings.
“We picked up some power this winter that we’ve been lacking and looking for,” he added. “When we unloaded it and went No. 1 in the first session this weekend, we thought we might have something that could compete. It’s been a great weekend in my Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro and I can’t wait for Gainesville. I think we have a winning combination.”
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS CHEVROLET CAMARO
First Round: McGaha (6.553, 211.73) defeated Tanner Gray (6.642, 209.82)
Second Round: McGaha (6.561, 211.93) defeated Erica Enders (6.49, 210.14)
Semifinals: McGaha (6.562, 211.83) defeated Alex Laughlin (6.574, 210.21)
Finals: McGaha (6.529, 211.59) defeated Jason Line (6.538, 210.14)
PRO STOCK POINTS STANDINGS (2 of 24 events)
Jason Line, 195
Deric Kramer, 154
Chris McGaha, 152
Bo Butner, 149
Alex Laughlin, 136
Erica Enders, 134
Greg Anderson, 119
Drew Skillman, 117
Vincent Nobile, 95
Jeg Coughlin Jr., 84