Friday, May 24, 2024

NHRA Arizona Nationals Sportsman Preview

PHOENIX – The NHRA travel road show rolls into to Phoenix this weekend for the Magic Dry Arizona Nationals. Event #2 of the 24-race 2019 schedule is hosted at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.

Over 270 sportsman racers entered the 3-day national event in hopes of capturing a Wally. There are seven sportsman classes on tap this weekend. Classes include Competition Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock Eliminator, Super Comp, Super Gas, Top Sportsman, and Top Dragster.

Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series

Rain, rain, and more rain

With a condensed 3-day schedule, the NHRA will have their hands full this weekend as the weather forecast doesn’t look good. After battling rain throughout the weekend at the season opening Winternationals, more rain is on tap this weekend in Phoenix.

Sportsman racers are scheduled for two hits on Friday but will be lucky to see the track at all due to cold, wet weather in the forecast. The weekend forecast looks better but that will leave little to no time for a full slate of sportsman racing along with the Professional classes.

It will be interesting to see how the NHRA officials work everything in.

2018 NHRA Arizona Nationals Winners

Super Stock – Justin Lamb

Stock Eliminator – Jody Lang

Super Comp – Trevor Harkema

Super Gas – Todd Barton

Super Street – David Kiesel

Top Sportsman – Bryan Warr

Top Dragster – Paul Nero


2019 Magic Dry NHRA Arizona Nationals Predictions

With each NHRA national event DragChamp’s sportsman preview includes an overview of each class. In addition, we select the Team DragChamp Picks to win the race. Here are this week’s picks.

Competition Eliminator – 14 Car Field

With only 14 Comp cars on hand, there will be a short field for the second straight event. Although small, the field is stacked with racers from all over the country. Winternationals #1 qualifier Ed Ferderkeil Jr. is making his second straight West Coast appearance along with Louisiana racer Jarrod Granier. Doug Lambeck will be looking for his third straight final round appearance after runner-ups at the World Finals and Winternationals.

Team DragChamp pick to win:

Tony Mandella – Tough racer who consistently finds the final round at Phoenix.

Super Stock – 46 Car Field

The 46 car Super Stock field is stout this week. Big names like Justin Lamb, Jimmy DeFrank, Jody Lang, and more will be in competition. “Big Nasty” Kyle Seipel will make his national event debut in his beautiful COPO Camaro.

Kyle Seipel COPO
Christopher Lamb photo: Kyle Seipel’s new whip

Winternationals runner-up Rick McKinney will be looking to improve on his season-opening final round appearance.

Team DragChamp picks to win:

Jody Lang – This guy practically owns Phoenix. Look for another great finish this week.

Mike Cotten – Former Divsion 4 racer who finished in the top 10 nationally last season.

Kyle Rizzoli – Great driver with great equipment, sounds like a winning combination to me.

Stock Eliminator – 52 Car Field

Jody Lang will be looking for a repeat after last years victory. He will faced a stacked field of racers from all across the country.

Team DragChamp picks to win:

Phil Mandella Jr. – Mandella consistently makes finals on the West Coast in his ’69 Chevelle.

Randi Lyn Shipp – Randi Lyn made a number of final rounds last year, she would love to kickoff 2019 with another win.

Tibor Kadar – Super tough competitor that can drive the wheels off of anything. About time he ends up in the winners circle again.

Super Comp – 52 Car Field

The 52 car 8.90 field includes world champ Steve Williams, Winternationals winner Kevin Wright, D4 hitter Craig “Big Head” Anderson, Trevor Larson, and more.

Team DragChamp picks to win:

Robert Nabor – Two-time 2018 national event winner, enough said.

Aaron Kinard – Came up just short of the championship last season, would love to start hot this year.

Ken Mostowich – The Camaro roadster driver consistently beats up on the dragsters, especially in Phoenix.

Super Gas – 46 Car Field

Another loaded field is on hand in the 9.90 index category. Some of the same names mentioned above are entered in Super Gas as well. Other notables include Winternationals winner Pete Zak and runner-up Evan Kowalski.

Team DragChamp picks to win:

Greg Ventura – A late round finish in Pomona could lead to a win in Phoenix.

Trevor Larson – Talented Minn. racer is a master at driving the stripe.

Ryan Giacone – Has won a ton in Phoenix in Super Street, could do the same this week in Super Gas.

Top Sportsman – 31 Car Field

While the bump won’t be an issue this week, there will be some fast cars on hand including Bryan La Flam’s super quick ’67 Mustang. Team DragChamp pick Mike Ferderer came up one round short at the Winternationals to Bart Smith. Both will be looking for a second straight final round appearance this week.

Team DragChamp picks to win:

Ted Kellner – Consistent final round player on the West Coast.

Ray Martin – Talented Canadian with a fast hot rod.

Top Dragster – 32 Car Field

Like Top Sportsman, the bump will not be an issue this week but the 6.10 minimum could still be tickled by a number of fast diggers. Winternationals winner John Taylor Jr. and runner-up Zach Sackman will look for a repeat performance this week. Other notables in action include world champ Paul Nero, Phil Unruh, and Thomas Bayer.

Team DragChamp picks to win:

Moe Trujillo – Consistent racer who’s due for a big win.

Paul Nero – A win could kick off another championship run.

That’s a wrap on the Magic Dry NHRA Arizona Nationals Sportsman Preview. Visit DragChamp for daily updates from the Arizona Nationals. DragChamp is your source for NHRA sportsman drag race results.

For more NHRA sportsman racing results, click here.

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