Commentary

NHRA Power Rankings: Phoenix

Originally Published: February 5, 2014
By Mike Dunn | ESPN

Before every event of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, ESPN analyst Mike Dunn will rank the top three drivers -- and riders on weekends the Pro Stock Motorcycle crew competes -- in each category. Up this week? The Carquest Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix.

Top Fuel

1. Doug Kalitta
2. Khalid alBalooshi
3. Shawn Langdon

Kalitta had an amazing car until the finals at Pomona and should have won. I know the performance will continue, but will he be able to put it in the winner's circle? Even though alBalooshi got a break in the final, he did not back into the win. He had a very good car on race day. Another driver to watch is Richie Crampton. He made some good runs in eliminations at Pomona.

Funny Car

1. John Force
2. Matt Hagan
3. Del Worsham

John Force looks like the John Force of the 1990s. He has been so strong since September that teams are trying to step up when they run him and getting out of their comfort zone with the tuneup. I believe that could be what we saw in the semis and the finals in Pomona. I know it is early in the season, but man that car is strong! One to watch is Tommy Johnson Jr. He looked very good in his debut in the Make A Wish car.

Pro Stock

1. Vincent Nobile
2. Jason Line
3. V. Gaines

Nobile had the best car at Pomona but got beat on a hole shot. As good as he is, I think he is the type of driver to use that as motivation and come out stronger in Phoenix (all the great drivers do, and Vincent Nobile is a great driver). One to watch: everybody else in this class. The first half-dozen races will be interesting to watch to see who, if anybody, can set the pace early in the season.

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