Report courtesy Bobby Bennett, Competition Plus
Defending NHRA Funny Car champion Robert Hight picked up where he left off at in 2019, grabbing the quickest run during first-day testing at the traditional PRO preseason test session.
Hight made only two runs, yielding a 3.844-second 330.12 mph pass. His first run was a 3.89 at 303 miles per hour.
"It's nice to get back to the race track and out of the office," Hight said. "It seems like it's been a long winter, but just today shows it that Jimmy Prock, Chris Cunningham, and the whole team, which stayed together from 2019 really did their homework and worked hard over the winter and we've made some changes and so far we made two great, great runs. It looks like those changes are paying off, but like Austin Coil will tell you, come back in 25 runs and let's see if whatever your change makes a difference."
Tommy Johnson, Jr., behind the wheel of the MD Anderson-themed Dodge Charger, was second quickest with a 3.936 elapsed time at 309.91 miles per hour.
J.R. Todd was third with a planned shutoff pass of 3.95 at only 287 miles per hour, on his first lap of testing.
Many of the teams concentrated on launches and planned shutoff runs during the first day. However, with a track temperature that climbed as high as 86-degrees and only dropped to 76, there was performance to be had.
Past NHRA Top Fuel champion Antron Brown is one of those who took advantage of the optimum conditions and drove his Matco Tools/Global Top Fuel dragster to the top of the list in his debut of AB Motorsports.
Brown, who recently reunited with tuner Brian Corradi, thundered down the Las Vegas strip to a 3.746 elapsed time at 315.71.
"It feels good just to have the whole group back, and with Brian Corradi back, just go on to 330, run the half-track, and then we made a run till about 900 feet. Clicked it off early, and we're just getting our feet underneath of us," Brown explained. "Different combination that we're running here. A little bit of the old school that we used to run with some new stuff that they're putting in it, and we're just slowly picking at it, picking at it. So hopefully tomorrow is a better day.
"The track is great here in Vegas, couldn't ask for a better test session and man; it's good just to be back out here burning some nitro."
Brown swiped the top spot from Shawn Langdon, who made his return to Top Fuel dragster, posting a best 3.770, 277.20 in only his second lap.
Doug Kalitta rebounded from an engine explosion to start the day and laid down the third quickest run of the day with a 3.841, 251.58 performance.
Testing resumes on Friday at 9 a.m. PST.