NHRA Top Fuel driver Morgan Lucas on Sunday defeated Shawn Langdon in a matchup of former high-school classmates in the final round at the season-opening Kragen O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.
The other winners of the first of 22 races in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series were Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock).
Lucas ran 3.835 seconds at 316.38 mph in his Geico Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster and was too much for Langdon, whose Lucas Oil/Speedco dragster lost traction for a moment and slowed to a 4.047 seconds at 313.73 mph. The two Lucas Oil Racing teammates graduated in 2001 from Jurupa Valley High School in nearby Mira Loma, Calif.
Lucas qualified ninth and defeated Brandon Bernstein, Terry McMillen and Del Worsham to advance to Sunday's final round. Lucas said winning one of NHRA's "majors" is a big deal for him.
In Funny Car, Hight used a quicker reaction time to defeat 2010 Full Throttle Series runner-up Matt Hagan in a close final round. Hight powered his Auto Club Ford Mustang to a 4.056-second run at 312.71 mph to edge Hagan's DieHard Dodge Charger at the finish line, which posted a quicker, but losing performance of 4.023 seconds at 310.20 mph. The win is Hight's 19th career and third at the Winternationals.
To get the victory, Hight's Auto Club Mustang got progressively quicker in each round, starting with a 4.121 seconds to outrun Bob Tasca in the first round and then finishing with the 4.056 seconds to hold off Hagan in the final.
In Pro Stock, Line defeated Greg Stanfield to win for the 22nd time in his career and second time in the Pomona opener. Line claimed his second win at this event with a run of 6.529 seconds at 211.89 mph in his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP, while Stanfield trailed with a 6.595-second pass at 210.70 mph in his Safety Sentry Pontiac GXP.
Line, who qualified 11th, advanced to the final by beating V. Gaines, Vincent Nobile and teammate Greg Anderson in the first three rounds.