Memorable images from the opening day of the Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park.
On Friday morning, the NHRA Youth and Educations Services program hosted several hundred school kids from the Houston area. Among the featured guests was current Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III, who spoke about the limitless opportunities for careers in the motorsports and automotive fields.
It hasn’t taken long for rookie Top Fuel driver Jordan Vandergriff to become a favorite with NHRA fans. The Vandergriff Motorsports driver worked the ropes in Houston on Friday morning and then qualified solidly with a 3.769
Jacob Pitt, a Houston winner in 2014, was one of the top qualifiers in Stock with his ’69 Barracuda. Pitt, a native Texan is also racing in the Super Stock class.
Kaylynn Simmons, the clutch specialist on Terry McMillen’s Amalie Motor Oil Top Fuel dragster, took some time out of her busy day to chat with a young fan and explain that there are equal opportunities for women in every level of NHRA drag racing.
The day's most impressive performance arguably came from Megan Meyer, who drove her NGK Spark Plugs A/Fuel dragster to a stunning 5.118, the fourth quickest run in the history of the Top Alcohol Dragster class. Meyer also topped 284 mph on the run, which is easily quick enough for the top spot in the field.
Local athletes, celebrities, and media personalities participated in the Pennzoil Charity Challenge which helped raise $30,000 for local charities. The participants drove quick Dodge Challenger and Charger Hellcats and included former NFL quarterback and Top Fuel national event winner Dan Pastorini
After a pair of qualifying runs, Doug Vancil sits No. 2 in the Mickey Thompson Top Fuel Harley class following a solid 6.297 effort on his Vance & Hines nitro burner.
NHRA fans got a proper introduction to Elija Morton and the rest of the Mountian Motor Pro Stock racers who came to Houston Raceway Park for a special exhibition race, the first of four such events on the schedule this season.
Fans in Houston got to enjoy Top Fuel cars under the lights including Doug Kalitta's special edition Toyota dragster. Kalitta, a three-time winner of the Houston race, finished the first day of qualifying in the No. 4 position with a 3.724.
Flame throwing Jet dragsters provided the final encore after a long and exciting day at the races.