Henderson, Nev., drag racer Justin Lamb - a two-time NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series world champion - kicked off his 2017 season in style by winning the Super Stock division at the Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., on Sunday.
Lamb, the 2015 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Super Stock world champ, defeated Timothy Fletcher in the finals to earn the "Wally." Lamb drove his 2010 Chevy Cobalt to an ET of 8.638 seconds at 153.23 miles per hour, while Fletcher crossed the line in his Chevy Camaro in 10.375 seconds at 120.43.
Lamb made his way through a talented bracket to the title, and he feels good about his 2017 campaign.
"Hopefully, this will set the tone for the whole season," said Lamb, who estimates he now has approximately 17 LODRS Wallys in his trophy case. "It's good to start off that way, and the Winternationals is a cool race. I felt my driving was average, and the car saved me a couple times, but I stepped up my driving in the finals and it worked out."
Lamb said he did some work to the car in the offseason and was happy with the results in Pomona.
"We went with a different tire/transmission combination and made some changes, just little things here and there that I thought needed to be improved," he said. "I feel like (the competition) is only getting tougher. They're limiting the number of cars that can go to these national events, and it's the best 60, so more people are good and have better equipment."
The 2013 NHRA LODRS stock eliminator world champ plans to compete in 20-25 events this year, including the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at LVMS, March 31-April 2. Lamb also will run his 1970 Chevy Camaro in the Stock Eliminator class, as well as a dragster, in 2017.
Here's a look at Lamb's path to the title in Pomona:
Finals—Def. Timothy Fletcher 8.638 ET/153.23 mph to 10.375/120.43
Semifinals—Def. Alan Freese 8.655 ET/152.52 mph to 9.154/146.37
Quarterfinals—Def. Abe Loewen 8.589 ET/151.49 mph to 9.180/146.19
Third round—Def. George Stassi 8.583 ET/153.30 mph to 10.021/129.22
Second round—Def. Charlene Gullett 8.571 ET/157.83 mph to 10.390/125.68
First round—Def. Norm Lapointe 8.617 ET/147.88 mph to 9.692/135.10