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Home » Santa Clarita News » Santa Clarita Sports » Valencia Fire Captain Wins IHRA Drag Racing Event

Valencia Fire Captain Wins IHRA Drag Racing Event

Ahten_Dragster_smallNewhall’s Johnny Ahten won the IHRA Pro Fuel Dragster final at the Nitro Jam drag races at Southwestern International Raceway in Arizona over the weekend.

Ahten, the captain at Fire Station 76 in Valencia, won his second Ironman trophy in his fourth career IHRA Nitro Jam start. He beat Bill Evans in the final round.

“We were so excited to get the win for all the folks that support us,” said Ahten. “Running a Pro Fuel car is not cheap, and I really want to thank 801 Racing, Island Renovations, Fireman’s Brew, Fire Ice, Hedman Hedders, and NGK Sparkplugs. I also want to thank my dad and crew chief Al Ahten, as well as crew members Howard Katano, Bob Ahten, Kevin Colvell, and Kelly Fitzgerald.”

Ahten started the weekend with a win over Cherissa Smallwood in the first round of the Nitro Jam races and set the low elapsed time of the event, 5.41 seconds.

The final round race against Evans didn’t start out too promising. Ahten’s dragster, named Stump Puller, was leaking fuel from one of its cylinders. But Ahten had a nearly half-second advantage on the start, a .059 reaction time, and jumped out to a big lead over Evans. Ahten won the race in 5.740 seconds and 244.21 mph.

“It’s kind of lonely way down there on the top end,” Ahten said. “Bill came over and we shook hands and I waited for my crew to arrive. It was just me and the Stump Puller, and together we were the first to celebrate. The team finally got there and we headed to the winners circle. It was great to see all the fans waiting for us there. It was really special, even though we were rushed out of there a little quick for my liking.”

Ahten won an IHRA Nitro Jam event in Utah in 2010.

Follow Tim Haddock on Twitter @thaddock.

Valencia Fire Captain Wins IHRA Drag Racing Event

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About Connie Jones

Connie and her husband, John, moved to the Santa Clarita Valley almost 30 years ago. Living in Santa Clarita for that long is the direct opposite of Connie’s childhood. She was an Army ‘brat’ who moved every two to three years. Consequently, she has lived in many states and even spent three years in Europe. All three of her kids went to Santa Clarita schools. Connie says the best thing about her job at KHTS is that she is never bored. “If I’m not smiling, Carl is sure to ask why, just before giving me a mind-boggling project.” “KHTS AM-1220 is an integral part of our community and I’m glad to be a part of it. Besides, the DJs will take my request to play Shania Twain’s ‘Still the One’ for my wedding anniversary – gotta love that!”