TOPEKA, KS – The Heartland Motorsports Park racetrack reached temperatures over 140 degrees Saturday at the Menards NRHA Nationals. The heat did little to deter the performance of No. 2 qualifier Robert Hight’s Automobile Club of Southern California Chevy Camaro SS and No. 3 qualifier John Force’s PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevy Camaro. In Top Fuel, Brittany Force’s Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac dragster, sitting No. 6, didn’t miss a beat and No. 14 qualifier Austin Prock’s Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist dragster found improvement as well.
Robert Hight and the Auto Club team have no issues during their second qualifying run going 4.023 at 314.83 mph, the quickest of the Funny Car pack in the heat of the day. The Auto Club Camaro continued on-trend going 3.964 at 320.89 and ended the session as the second quickest. Hight picked up a total of five bonus points for his performance on Saturday and enter race day from No. 2 to face Jim Campbell in the first round.
“Really good day for the Auto Club team. This combination has really been good for us. Jimmy Prock and Chris Cunningham, they’ve figured it out in the heat. We’ve been consistent,” Hight said. “It’s hard not to be confident heading into tomorrow. The competition in Funny Car is so close though, we can’t let up. We have to strive for perfection and these Auto Club Chevy guys, they’re up for it.”
TOPEKA, KS – Bob Tasca III powered to the No. 1 qualifying spot for the second straight race on Saturday at Heartland Motorsports Park, securing the top position in Funny Car at the 33rd annual Menards NHRA Nationals presented by PetArmor.
Mike Salinas (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Joey Gladstone (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified No. 1 at the 14th of 22 races during the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Tasca’s run of 3.930-seconds at 323.81 mph in his 11,000-horsepower BG Products Ford Mustang held up from Friday, giving the veteran his ninth career No. 1 qualifier in the process. He’ll look for his second win in three races on Sunday, as well as his first career victory in Topeka, entering eliminations with plenty of momentum. In addition to Friday’s run, Tasca made the best run of Saturday’s two sessions to close out qualifying, going a stout 3.940 at 322.96 to end the day on another huge positive.
MOHNTON, PA – Young gun Preston Tanner picked up his first-ever No. 1 qualifier award in WS Construction Pro Boost presented by P2 Contracting and Ty-Drive at the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) Summit Racing Equipment Northern Nationals presented by Penske Racing Shocks at Maple Grove Raceway. Tanner drove his screw-blown “Sweetheart” ’15 Corvette to a 3.663-second pass at 204.23 MPH to top the field on Friday night.
After two qualifying sessions, the other pro No. 1 qualifiers are Jim Halsey in Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous, JR Carr in Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock presented by AED Competition, Walt Lannigan Jr. in $hameless Racing Pro 632, and Nick Agostino in Menscer Motorsports Pro Street presented by AFCO. Ron Rhodes raced to the No. 1 spot in AFCO Super Street presented by Menscer Motorsports for the second consecutive race. The planned third qualifying session for the pro classes was canceled due to time constraints.
TOPEKA, KS – Robert Hight and the Automobile Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS team lead John Force Racing sitting No. 2 after the first day of qualifying at the Menards NHRA Nationals at Heartland Motorsports Park. John Force has the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevy right behind Hight in No. 3. Brittany Force in the Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac dragster went to No. 6 while Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist dragster went to No. 16.
Points leader Robert Hight and the Auto Club Chevy look on par for another impressive weekend with their 3.931-second pass at 323.81 mph that has them No. 2. Looking to collect the regular season championship, Hight collected two bonus points for Friday’s run.
“Pretty good run for this Auto Club Chevy,” said Hight, who is coming off his sixth win of the season at the Northwest Nationals outside of Seattle. “It was important to get a clean pass down tonight. Going to be really warm conditions tomorrow but after how we did in Seattle, I’m feeling good about this combination in the heat.”
Defending event winner, John Force handled the PEAK Chevrolet Funny Car to a solid 3.932-second pass at 312.71 mph to be third quickest of the first qualifying session.
TOPEKA, KS – Top Fuel standout Mike Salinas closed out Friday at Heartland Motorsports Park with the top run of the night, racing to the provisional No. 1 spot at the 33rd annual Menards NHRA Nationals presented by PetArmor.
Bob Tasca III (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Joey Gladstone (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the 14th of 22 races during the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Racing next to points leader Brittany Force on the final run of the evening, it was Salinas who had the top performance of the opening round of qualifying, delivering a strong pass of 3.754-seconds at 323.19 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Pep Boys dragster. If it holds, it would give Salinas, who has four wins this season, his third No. 1 qualifier in 2022 and 11th in his career. Salinas led the points for a two-race stretch earlier this summer before Force jumped back in the lead, and the veteran is trying to close the gap again this weekend in Topeka.
“The way we’re doing this, we’re taking it one round at a time and not getting too far ahead of ourselves,” Salinas said. “There’s a lot of racing ahead of us and a lot of great teams. You can just see the cars getting closer and closer. Tomorrow is going to be awesome. Our cars love the heat and we’re getting ready for Sunday. It’s going to be a dogfight and it’s anybody’s race out there. All the Top Fuel cars are so close here.”
TULSA, OK — After nearly two months off, the Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings season is set to continue this weekend at Tulsa Raceway Park in Tulsa, Okla., and Lizzy Musi and the Musi Racing team are ready to pick up where they left off in Houston back in June.
Musi advanced to the final round at both races in Houston in late June in her Edelbrock and Lucas Oil-powered “Bonnie” Camaro, moving up to third in points in the process. A seven-week break put that momentum on hold, but things get back to a frenetic pace in a hurry and the Musi Racing team is eager to get going.
“We’re ready and we’re excited to get back to this kind of racing,” Pat Musi said. “This is what we like to do. We did some testing and got some things sorted out that were bugging us in the car. Hopefully we can continue to pick up a little bit, but we went to two finals in Houston. We know we’ve got a good car and a good driver, so we’re ready to go.”
Power certainly isn’t a problem in the Pat Musi Racing Engines Camaro, it’s simply a matter of refining it in all the right places on the track while going against a loaded NPK field. Musi liked the results from testing and the team isn’t backing down from chasing a championship, either.
FUELTECH NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES’ LYLE BARNETT AFTER WIN AT RACE POWERED BY M&M TRANSMISSION IN TOPEKA
TOPEKA, KS – A lengthy break in the schedule in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon might have been just what Lyle Barnett needed. The standout driver suffered back-to-back first-round losses, dropping him from second to fourth in the points standings heading into the extended layoff.
But teams have had seven weeks off since the last race, giving Barnett and his team plenty of time to get things back in order on his turbocharged Elite HP Camaro as the class returns during this weekend’s Menards NHRA Nationals presented by PetArmor at Heartland Motorsports Park.
After winning two of the final three races to end the 2021 season in NHRA Pro Mod, Barnett had big hopes this year and he hopes some of that success starts to come his way at Topeka’s House of Speed this weekend.
Topeka, KS – The Menards NHRA Nationals will serve as Hagan’s 307th career Funny Car start and his 13th at Topeka. Matt won the Menards NHRA Nationals in 2016. His 5.724 ET at 179.04 mph run defeated Jack Beckman (6.560 ET at 146.75 mph). Hagan also has two No. 1 qualifiers at the event, which came in 2016 (3.862 ET at 335.57 mph) and 2017 (3.802 ET at 338.85 mph).
Hagan is the track record holder at Topeka for both time (3.802 seconds) and speed (338.85 mph), each of which were set on May 20, 2017. It is Hagan’s fastest recorded speed and the fourth-fastest in Funny Car history.
The Menards NHRA Nationals presented by PetArmor at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kansas, marks the 14th event on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series’ 22-race calendar. Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) brings its two fulltime entries – one in Top Fuel for 10-time event winner Leah Pruett and one in Funny Car for three-time Funny Car champion Matt Hagan – to the third-to-last race of the regular season before the Countdown to the Championship begins Sept. 15-18 with the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pennsylvania.
TOPEKA, KS – Pro Stock Motorcycle will make its first appearance at Heartland Motorsports Park since 1997 for this weekend’s Menards NHRA Nationals, meaning Joey Gladstone will race in Topeka for the first time in the class.
But Gladstone has enjoyed at least one other significant first lately, picking up his first career NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series victory last month in Sonoma. After two weeks off, Pro Stock Motorcycle is back in action at Topeka’s House of Speed and Gladstone is ready to keep the momentum going on his J&A Service Suzuki Hayabusa.
The victory brought him within two points of leader Angelle Sampey and after a series of near-misses this year, including back-to-back runner-up showings before Sonoma, the win might have opened the floodgates for more Gladstone success in 2022.
“Going to all these finals and losing, you wonder if it’s ever meant to be, but then you win and it makes all that sacrifice worth it,” Gladstone said. “It means more than you could ever imagine. (Sonoma) was just the start for us. We’re hungrier and we’re going to stand on it a little bit and try to get this championship. Now that the monkey (of getting a first win) is off my back, we’re going after the big one and trying to win a championship.”