Defending Top Fuel world champion Steve Torrence is among the racers who will make their 2020 Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing Series debut at the NHRA Arizona Nationals in Phoenix on Feb. 21. Scott Palmer, Blake Alexander and Jeff Diehl will also fire up their nitro-burning machines when the NHRA returns to Phoenix for its annual trip to the desert.
Billy Torrence, who won the Phoenix event in 2019, will make his first pass of the 2020 season and attempt to extend the Capco Contractors team’s Arizona winning streak to three seasons. Steve Torrence won the 2018 event and enters Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park as the back-to-back Top Fuel world champion.
Alexander begins his 2020 season as part of a new team. He is now paired with longtime Funny Car tuner Jim Head and will drive the Pronto Auto Service Centers / Head Inc. Ford Mustang after returning to the category in 2019.
The event also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, where future stars of the sport hone their skills. After nitro qualifying, fans can watch a trio of spectacular jet cars, including a pair from the Lucas Oil Muy Caliente team, as well as Scott Arriaga’s “Wicked Sensation” jet car. Known for exciting pre-run flame shows and after burner pops, jet cars are thrust driven vehicles propelled by jet engines.
New for the 2020 event will be the Arizona Big Tire Shootout. The shootout will feature an eight-car field that consists of one time trial, plus three rounds of eliminations. A chip draw will take place to determine ladder placement. The winner will receive a special acrylic version of the coveted Wally.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. will chase another Wally at his final stop at the NHRA Arizona Nationals as a full-time Pro Stock driver. The JEGS.com Chevy Camaro racer picked up the season-opening win in the 50th season of Pro Stock after announcing his retirement. He’ll have to fight off Jason Line, who also announced 2020 season is his final behind the wheel of his Summit Racing Camaro.