DINWIDDIE, VA – The Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) will return to all six tracks it visited this season in 2022, as the all-eighth-mile series announced its 2022 schedule today during the drivers meeting at the Brian Olson Memorial World Finals presented by ProCharger. The 2022 PDRA schedule is made up of eight national events and the second annual Summit Racing Equipment PDRA ProStars specialty race. All events will be held on the same weekends they were held this season.
“This season, we hit on a schedule that works well for our racers, fans, sponsors and track partners,” said Tyler Crossnoe, race director, PDRA. “We’re building on the success we had this year by returning to the same markets on the same weekends in 2022. This consistency will help racers and fans alike lock these events into their racing schedules as the series continues to grow.”
The PDRA will begin its ninth season with its traditional season opener, the East Coast Nationals, April 7-9 at GALOT Motorsports Park. The tour will continue with sophomore stops at Beech Bend Raceway Park for the second annual Doorslammer Derby, April 28-30, and Summit Motorsports Park for the second annual American Doorslammer Challenge, May 26-28.
AUSTIN, TX – It has been four years since the roars of Alexis DeJoria’s NHRA Nitro Funny Car have reverberated off the mountains surrounding Bristol Dragway. For DeJoria who is now behind the wheel of the Bandero Premium Tequila ROKiT Toyota Camry Funny Car that is four years too long. This weekend at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals DeJoria, a five-time Funny Car national event winner, will return to a track where in her rookie season she raced to her first professional final round.
In 2012 DeJoria bumped into the field as the No. 15 qualifier and then took out No. 2 qualifier Mike Neff in the first round before defeating Jeff Arend and Jack Beckman. In a final round showdown with Ron Capps, she was neck and neck with him before her race car overpowered the track handing the win to Capps.
Since that first race, the veteran driver has raced to several quarterfinals and in 2016 raced to the semifinals from the No. 10 spot, upsetting Chad Head and current crew chief then driver Del Worsham in the first two rounds.
DEFENDING PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE CHAMP MATT SMITH HOPES TO FOLLOW IN FATHER’S FOOTSTEPS IN BRISTOL AT NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS
BRISTOL, TN – Matt Smith has never raced at Bristol Dragway, but he doesn’t have to look far to see the impact his family has had at the fan-favorite facility. Smith’s father, Rickie, was named one of the Legends of Thunder Valley in 2007 after his longtime success at the track in Pro Stock and Pro Mod, with his name alongside other Bristol legends atop the grandstands.
M. Smith will have a chance to grab his first NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series victory in Bristol at this weekend’s NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals and the defending Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ is heading into the race with plenty of momentum. He won last weekend in Dallas — also picking up his first career win at that track — to move back into the points lead on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/Matt Smith Racing EBR, and now has a chance to keep rolling as Pro Stock Motorcycle makes its official points debut at Bristol. The class raced at Thunder Valley as part of two exhibition races in 1999 and 2000, but this will mark the first time championship points will be on the line in the class at Bristol Dragway.
Team Will Feature Leah Pruett in Top Fuel and Matt Hagan in Funny Car
The championship-winning racecar driver who has successfully transitioned to being a championship-winning team owner is joining the NHRA in 2022. His eponymous team, Tony Stewart Racing (TSR), will field two fulltime entries – one in Top Fuel for nine-time event winner Leah Pruett and one in Funny Car for 39-time event winner Matt Hagan.
The manufacturer and the team’s technical alliance associate, along with corporate partners, will be announced at a later date.
“When I retired from fulltime driving I said it wasn’t the end, but the beginning of a new chapter. This is proof of that,” said Stewart, who also co-owns Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series with machine tool magnate Gene Haas.
“I appreciate all forms of racing and I’ve always been intrigued about drag racing and NHRA, in particular. Back in 2009 when Tony Schumacher and I were both representing the U.S. Army, I got to hang out with him and Don Schumacher at the U.S. Nationals. Tony ended up winning and after taking it all in, I was hooked. But it wasn’t until I met Leah and started going to races regularly, where I saw the strategy and the preparation firsthand, that I truly understood it.”
FORT WORTH, TX – Nominations are now being accepted for Drag Illustrated’s 2021 30 Under 30 list, the magazine announced today. The list, which highlights drag racing’s most accomplished and promising young ambassadors, is returning for its sixth year after a hiatus in 2020. The 30 Under 30 honorees will appear in Drag Illustrated’s annual Tomorrow Issue. The 30 Under 30 nomination period will run through Friday, Oct. 29.
The honorees will also be recognized at a special press conference during the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show at the Indiana Convention Center, Dec. 9-11 in Indianapolis.
“We’re so excited to bring the 30 Under 30 list back this fall,” said Nate Van Wagnen, editor-in-chief, Drag Illustrated. “It was hard to not do the list last year, but we didn’t think it was right to select an entire class of honorees and not be able to provide the full 30 Under 30 experience, which includes the issue unveiling at the PRI Show. We can’t wait to get to work on this issue and shine a light on all the incredibly talented young people in the sport.”
FUNNY CAR STANDOUT RON CAPPS LOOKS TO FIND MORE BRISTOL DRAGWAY MAGIC AT NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS
BRISTOL, TN – Bristol Dragway might be close to home for defending Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan, but there’s nobody who feels more at home in Thunder Valley than his Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Ron Capps. The veteran standout in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series has won a Funny Car-best five times at the fan-favorite facility and coming off a victory last weekend in Dallas, Capps heads into Bristol with plenty of momentum for this weekend’s 20th NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
The race will take place during the Countdown to the Championship playoffs for the first time in event history and that may be music to Capps’ ears considering his success at the track. He posted back-to-back wins at Bristol Dragway in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye in 2017 and 2018, and grabbing a sixth victory this weekend would tie him with Tony Schumacher for the most in NHRA history at the track. More than anything, a victory would also further heat up the championship duel between Hagan and Capps, as Hagan currently leads his teammate by just 33 points.
JOHN FORCE AND PEAK CHEVROLET KEEPING 17TH CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES ALIVE HEADING INTO NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS
BRISTOL, TN – With only three races left in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship, John Force and the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SS team will be taking advantage of every opportunity to close their 115 points gap with the Funny Car leader at this weekend’s NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
The PEAK Chevy team have kept their chances for a 17th championship alive with five final round appearances that included three wins first at the Charlotte Four-Wide, then New England Nationals and sharing the winners circle with daughter Brittany in Topeka at Heartland Motorsports Park and three No. 1 qualifying positions (Charlotte Four-Wide, U.S. Nationals and Carolina Nationals). A win at Bristol Dragway will not only keep them in the championship conversation but could extend to 14 the number of seasons Force has won at least four races.
“A bit of bad luck in Dallas. But we still went some rounds and the way things shook out on race day were okay for us,” said Force referring to Ron Capps beating points leader Matt Hagan in the finals. “We’ve had a good race car all season long, I’ve changed some things just to end up changing them back, I know I’ve probably driven Danny Hood and Tim Fabrisi and Joe Barlam a little mad but we’re in it. We’re in the fight because they’ve give me a good hot rod and because I’ve held on and tried to do my job. Just have to keep on doing it.”