Because of Covid 19 restrictions, 2019 was the last time the NHRA Arizona Nationals were contested. With beautiful Arizona winter weather, the crowds returned in huge numbers to witness the explosive power and 330+ mile per hour speeds of the 11,000 horse powered nitro fueled Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Cars. The thrilling side by side action of the 200+ mile per hour Pro Stockers were also there. During the Friday and Saturday Professional class qualifying, the number one spot in each class changed hands several times. When the burnouts and smoke and allout quarter-mile runs were finished, three drivers got to wear the #1 qualifier hat. In pro Stock it was Kyle Koretsky with a blistering 6.520 elapsed time (ET) at over 210 miles per hour. In Nitro Funny CarMatt Hagan drove brand new NHRA team owner Tony Stewart’s Dodge to a 3.823 ET at 333 miles per hour for the #1 spot. In Top Fuel it was Doug Kalitta taking the #1 spot with a 3.657 at 329.6 miles per hour.
On Sunday, under blue skies and perfect mid 70 degree temperatures, the packed grandstands were treated to a great dragrace. Local Top Fuel racer Jim Maroney qualified #15 so he got to race on Sunday, but had to face #2 qualifier and eventual winner Mike Salinas in round one. Salinansblasted to a 3.67 ET at 331 miles per hour to Maroney’s game 3.97 effort.