Justin Lamb, Devin Isenhower, Brian McClanahan, Paul Nero and Ronnie Proctor all clinched NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series World Championships this weekend at the NHRA Pacific Division Lucas Oil Series event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Justin Lamb successfully defended his NHRA Lucas Oil World Championship from a year ago as he raced to the Super Stock 2018 Championship with a runner-up finish in Las Vegas. Lamb, Henderson, Nev., came into the weekend leading the points but with a number of racers still in the hunt for the championship.
Lamb worked his way through eliminations while the other contenders dropped out one by one securing Lamb’s fifth NHRA Lucas Oil World Championship. Lamb won his first back in 2013 in Stock, Super Stock in 2015 and both Stock and Super Stock in 2017. Lamb collected six wins in seven final rounds in Super Stock this year and was also contending for the Stock championship as well until this weekend.
Isenhower held a 10-point lead over Aaron Kinard in Super Gas coming into the weekend but was out of events to claim towards his points championship so elected not to compete in the event. Kinard lost early, leaving only Michael Miller with a shot at catching Isenhower. Miller lost in round three and Isenhower began the celebration from Lebanon, Ind.
Isenhower had a pair of wins this year at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis including the Chevrolet Performance NHRA U.S. Nationals, and a final round finish at the Lucas Oil divisional in Norwalk, Ohio.
McClanahan, Alta Loma, Calif., entered the weekend with a one-point lead in Stock Eliminator over 2017 Champion Lamb as both drivers looked to add to their points totals. With a round one victory, and a loss by Lamb, McClanahan clinched the 2018 NHRA Lucas Oil Stock Eliminator World Championship.
McClanahan now joins his dad Jerry and his son Ryan for three generations of NHRA Lucas Oil World Champions. Jerry won the NHRA Stock Championship in ’73, ’74 and ’78 and Ryan took the honors in 2010 in Super Stock.
Racing to five final rounds this season, McClanahan grabbed an early win at the Pacific division event at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park to go along with a final round finish the week before at the NHRA Arizona Nationals. He then grabbed another runner up finish in Fontana, Calif., and a win in Sonoma, Calif., in the middle of the season, followed by a win at the AAA NHRA Texas Fall Nationals outside Dallas.
Eugene, Ore., racer Nero, came into the weekend leading the points in Top Dragster presented by Racing RVs over Mark Jones who needed to win the event to overtake Nero. Jones lost in round two and the celebration began for Nero and his team.
Nero started the season strong with national and divisional event wins in Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass. He then added a win at the NHRA Northwest divisional at Mission Raceway Park in Mission, B.C., in June and a final round finish at Woodburn Dragstrip in July on his way to the Top Dragster Championship.
In Top Sportsman presented by Racing RVs, Proctor was being chased by JR Lobner and Douglas Crumlich as the three were separated by just 18 points. Proctor won both his round one and two match ups, with Lobner falling in round one and Crumlich in round two for Proctor to claim the 2018 Top Sportsman presented by Racing RVs World Championship.
Proctor raced to three wins in four final rounds on the season starting off with a national event win at Gainesville Raceway. He then won the Virginia Motorsports Park NHRA Northeast divisional in April and advanced to the final at Cecil County Dragway in August before taking the win at the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX in Charlotte, N.C.
Frank Aragona leads the Comp Eliminator chase by 19 points over Clink Neff going into the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway, Nov. 8-11, and in Super Comp Steve Williams made a big jump to the top of the points with Don Nichols and Mark Grame still in contention.
Photos by Bob Johnson