Chevrolet Wins NHRA Manufacturer Cup for 22nd Time
For a record-extending 22nd time, Chevrolet is drag racing’s leading manufacturer.
Chevrolet was awarded the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Manufacturers Cup during the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Awards Ceremony Nov. 13 in Hollywood, California. Chevy first earned the award in 1966, and no other manufacturer has won it more times.
The Manufacturers Cup is awarded to the automobile manufacturer whose current-year models earn the most points for qualifying and category victories at NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series national and Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series regional and divisional events. Points are awarded to entries in Funny Car, Pro Stock, Super Stock and Stock Eliminator classes.
Points accumulated by Chevrolet Camaro SS and Chevrolet COPO Camaro drivers in the professional and Sportsman classes were more than double the closest manufacturer’s total.
“It’s a tremendous honor for Chevrolet to win the NHRA Manufacturers Cup for the 22nd time,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorports. “This achievement is the result of the collective dedicated effort of the Chevrolet engineering staff with our Chevrolet Camaro SS teams in the Pro Stock and Funny Car classes, as well as our COPO Camaro teams and drivers in the Sportsman classes. It takes a focused effort to earn this championship, and we thank the drivers, crews and all who made this possible.”
Chevrolet drivers amassed 33 victories in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock during the 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season that concluded Nov. 12 at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.
Robert Hight secured his second Funny Car championship and delivered Chevrolet’s first Funny Car title in a decade. Hight, driver of the Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS, won four races and recorded a class-high eight No. 1 qualifier honors. He also reset the Funny Car national records for elapsed time (3.793 seconds) and speed (339.87 mph).
Hight and John Force, driving the PEAK Coolant & Motor Oil Chevrolet Camaro SS, combined to contribute five victories to the Chevrolet total as the team surpassed 250 Funny Car wins. Force, the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion, won the first of his record 148 races on June 28, 1987.
Pro Stock competitors driving the Chevrolet Camaro SS won all 24 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events in the 2017. Over the past two Pro Stock seasons, the Chevrolet Camaro SS has won 46 of the 48 national events.
Bo Butner of KB Racing was crowned the Pro Stock champion by winning the season finale. It is Butner’s first professional NHRA title with five wins to his credit including the finale Sunday at Pomona.
Overall, nine Chevrolet drivers – Butner (five), Tanner Gray (five), Greg Anderson (four), Drew Skillman (three), Jason Line (two), Erica Enders (one), Shane Gray (one), Chris McGaha (one), and Alex Laughlin (one) – visited the winner’s circle.
Gray, 18, from Mooresville, North Carolina, was named the 2017 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award winner. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather (Johnny Gray) and father (Shane Gray), Gray is keeping the winning family tradition on track.
Chevrolet COPO Camaro drivers Jeff Strickland, Jeff Lopez, and Justin Lamb posted national Stock Eliminator victories. Lamb, of Hendersonville, Nevada, secured the Stock championship in his 2017 Chevrolet COPO Camaro.
Though not contributing to Manufacturers Cup points, Brittany Force claimed her first Top Fuel championship and the second by a female in Top Fuel competition. She registered four victories in her Monster Energy Chevrolet dragster.
Additionally, David Barton of Robesonia, Pennsylvania, and Peter Gasko Jr. of Monroe Township, New Jersey, each won two races in the School of Automotive Technology (SAM Tech) Factory Stock Showdown in their Chevrolet COPO Camaros. Barton earned the title in the five-race series.
Chevrolet will seek to successfully defend its Manufacturers Cup title in the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series that begins Feb. 9-11 with the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.