NHRA: Kalitta, Beckman, Coughlin Jr winners at the Winternationals

The 2020 NHRA Mellow Yellow Drag Series kicked off at Pomona Raceway at the 60th Winternatioals, and all three winners from the NHRA finals last November were victorious at the Winternationals on Sunday. 

Doug Kalitta picked up his third straight win at the Winternationals as he defeated Austin Prock to pick up his 48th career NHRA Win and his third consecutive win at the Winternationals the first to ever do it. 

 “It was an interesting day,” said Kalitta in the Shav Glick Media Center. “There was a lot of close racing today. You’ve got people up there trying to tear the tree down on you, so it makes you a little bit nervous. It worked out really well for us. I’m just so proud of my Mac Tools Toyota guys. They busted their tails today. We tore up a few parts, but it was all good. To win the 60th Winternationals is pretty special. Connie (Kalitta) was here at the first one, and he’s here with us, and I couldn’t be happier for him. He’s created an amazing legacy out here, and I’m just glad this is one of our better tracks,” Kalitta continued.

In Funny Car, it was Jack Beckman who defeated John Force to pick up his first-ever win at the Winternationals and said it was one for the biggest wins of his career. 

“It’s beyond magical,” said Beckman of his first Winternationals Funny Car trophy. “I’ve said it before; you don’t know if your last win is your last win. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this ain’t our last win. The Infinite Hero team is just on it. Our car has been amazing,” Beckman said.

In Pro Stock, it was Jeg Coughlin Jr, who announced that he was going to retire from full-time NHRA competition who won at the Winternationals defeating Jason Line, who announced that he was also going to retire after the 2020 season. Coughlin won with a pass of 6.522 seconds at 210 mph. “It was quite a day. It started on Friday honestly, we’ll call it quite a weekend,” said Coughlin. “Ricky Jones and Richard Freeman, the whole Elite team did a fantastic job over the winter. Today’s race was outstanding. I can’t recall a time in my 20 plus year career in Pro Stock that I was low for each and every one of the sessions and won the race. That’s quite a testament to the team. Hopefully, it’s something we can hold on to for a little bit. It looks like we have a bit of a performance advantage here at Pomona, and we were able to capitalize on it,” Coughlin Jr said. 

The NHRA is back on Feb 21st-Feb 23rd at the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wildhorse Park.