ELIMINATIONS POSTPONED AT NHRA NEW ENGLAND NATIONALS, TO BE COMPLETED AT NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS IN BRISTOL
EPPING, NH – Due to inclement weather, the balance of the 10th annual NHRA New England Nationals has moved and will now take place as part of this weekend’s NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, which takes place Friday-Sunday at Bristol Dragway.
“We appreciate all of the tremendous fans that came out to the track and packed New England Dragway this weekend despite all of the various weather conditions,” NHRA President Glen Cromwell said. “This certainly wasn’t the end result we were hoping for, but we are thankful for the support from the passionate fanbase in the New England area and we look forward to returning to Epping next year.”
The first round of eliminations from Epping in Top Fuel and Funny Car will now take place during the second qualifying round in Bristol at 8 p.m. ET on Friday.
NHRA NEW ENGLAND ELIMINATIONS POSTPONED, WILL RACE MONDAY
EPPING, NH – With continuing precipitation in the forecast, Sunday’s activities at the 10th annual NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway have been postponed until Monday.
Gates will open at 8:00 a.m. ET with competition beginning at 11:00 a.m. with Top Fuel eliminations.
Today’s tickets will be honored on Monday. Walk up adult tickets will be $25 and kids 12 and under under will get in free.
For Sunday ticket holders who cannot attend tomorrow, the NHRA credit policy will be in effect.
Antron Brown Earns Milestone 50th No. 1 Qualifier, First Since 2017, During NHRA New England Nationals
EPPING, NH – Antron Brown picked up his first No. 1 qualifier award in nearly six years on Saturday at the NHRA New England Nationals to score the 50th pole of his career. Aboard the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster, Brown powered his 11,000-horsepower machine to a 3.729 second at 329.99 mph pass during the weekend’s second qualifying session to earn his 39th Top Fuel pole (11 from Pro Stock Motorcycle).
Brown and the Brian Corradi/Mark Oswald-led team had to battle extreme weather conditions throughout the event’s abbreviated qualifying show to earn their first No. 1 qualifier award for Brown’s AB Motorsports organization, which made its on-track debut in 2022.
Friday’s lone qualifying session was contested in the heat of the day, with temperatures reaching 90 degrees, causing almost the entirety of the nitro field to struggle to make a clean pass. Brown was one of the few standouts, clocking a 3.899 at 310.98 mph run to earn two bonus points and the provisional No. 2 spot.
QUALIFYING WRAPS FOR JOHN FORCE RACING AS RAIN SHORTENS DAY TWO AT NEW ENGLAND DRAGWAY
EPPING, NH – Weather impeded competition on day two of the NHRA New England Nationals. Top Fuel dragster and Funny Cars only had one attempt at New England Dragway on Saturday with drastically cooler conditions than they saw Friday.
Robert Hight and the AAA Northern New England / Cornwell Tools Chevrolet Camaro SS team will start from No. 5 with teammate John Force and the BlueDEF PLATINUM starting from No. 9. In Top Fuel, Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist dragster team are No. 7 while Brittany Force and the Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac dragster team are No. 11.
Hight and the AAA Chevy ran into trouble early in their Saturday afternoon run. The AAA Camaro lost traction with at the hit to coast to 12.960-seconds and 64.61 mph. They’ll start from No. 5 based on their Friday afternoon 4.624 to race against Alexis DeJoria.
“Really tough conditions, weather was not on our side, or anyone’s really,” Hight said. “Hopefully we get something in tomorrow, would really like to get this AAA Chevy into the winners circle here at Epping. I’ve never won here before and I’d like to check it off the list. We’ll see what happens with the weather and how the cards play out.”
ANTRON BROWN AND CHAD GREEN CLAIM NO. 1 SPOTS AT NHRA NEW ENGLAND NATIONALS
EPPING, NH – Antron Brown powered to his first Top Fuel No. 1 qualifier in nearly six years on Saturday, claiming the top spot at the NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway.
Funny Car’s Chad Green also qualified No. 1 at the seventh of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season. Saturday’s second qualifying session, as well as the finals of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, were canceled due to weather. No points were awarded in the challenge and the bonus prize money was divided among the participating competitors.
Sunday’s eliminations were also bumped up to a 10 a.m. ET start from New England Dragway.
With a near 40-degree temperature drop from Friday, Brown, a three-time world champion, made one of only two three-second runs during Saturday’s lone qualifying session with an impressive pass of 3.729-secomds at 329.99 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Matco Tools/Toyota dragster. It is Brown’s 50th career No. 1 qualifier, but first since 2017 in Seattle, where he also won the race.
DAY ONE OF NHRA NEW ENGLAND NATIONALS IN THE BOOKS FOR JOHN FORCE RACING
EPPING, NH – On a hot and tricky New England Dragway, Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist Chevrolet dragster team had the cleanest pass for the John Force Racing quad of hot rods on day one of the NHRA New England Nationals. Prock would end up sitting sixth with dragster teammate Brittany Force in the Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac dragster currently No. 10. In Funny Car, Robert Hight has the AAA New England / Cornwell Tools Chevrolet Camaro SS in fourth while John Force and the BlueDEF PLATINUM Chevy are No. 8.
Austin Prock managed a 4.075-second pass at 239.27 mph in the Montana Brand / RMT dragster despite dropping cylinders late in the run and having to shut off before the finish line. With cooler conditions set to come in for Saturday, Prock will look to improve from him No. 6 qualifying spot in the final two qualifying sessions.
“Pretty tricky track conditions, but this Montana Brand Rocky Mountain Twist dragster got through the toughest part of the race track. We spun at about 660 feet and dropped two cylinders. I tried legging it to the stripe to get up in the field as far as possible, but the safety device shut it off because of the two cylinders out,” Prock said. “Not exactly what we wanted, but valuable information for these next summer events. The rest of the weekend is polar opposite conditions which suits us well. Should be an exciting weekend.”
PRUETT AND GREEN JUMP OUT TO EARLY LEADS AT NHRA NEW ENGLAND NATIONALS
EPPING, NH – Leah Pruett put together an impressive run in the heat on Friday at New England Dragway, rolling to the provisional No. 1 position in Top Fuel at the NHRA New England Nationals.
Funny Car’s Chad Green is also a provisional No. 1 qualifier at the seventh of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Pruett went 3.856-seconds at 319.37 mph in her 11,000-horsepower Rush Truck Centers dragster for Tony Stewart Racing, making one of only a trio of three-second runs in the class on Friday. Pruett is after her first No. 1 qualifier this season and 14th of her career, as well as her first victory of 2023 and at New England Dragway.
The standout performance on Friday also puts Pruett in a good position for Saturday’s Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, where she will take on Josh Hart. It’s the third appearance in the bonus race for Pruett, who will try to pick up her first victory. The other matchup on Saturday features defending world champ Brittany Force and Chicago winner Clay Millican, with the two victors meeting up to close out Saturday qualifying in what is expected to be dramatically different conditions.
“THE SARGE” TONY SCHUMACHER TO BE INDUCTED INTO BRISTOL DRAGWAY’S LEGENDS OF THUNDER VALLEY
BRISTOL, TN – Tony Schumacher, NHRA’s winningest Top Fuel driver in history, will be inducted into Bristol Dragway’s Legends of Thunder Valley, the historic track’s official hall of fame, during next weekend’s NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, June 9-11.
Six of the “The Sarge’s” record 86 career Top Fuel victories came at Bristol Dragway during his distinguished career. The eight-time NHRA world champion, who will be competing in JCM Racing’s SCAG Power Equipment Top Fuel dragster next weekend, says he’s looking to add more wins to his stats at one of his favorite tracks on the circuit.
Schumacher, 53, is the 20th inductee in the prestigious Legends of Thunder Valley and joins his father, 2014 honoree Don Schumacher, in the exclusive club. Schumacher is also only the second member to be inducted while he is still an active racer, joining 2016 inductee John Force, who continues to compete in the NHRA Funny Car category.
Schumacher, a Chicago native who currently resides in Austin, Texas, dominated NHRA’s Top Fuel category in the 2000s. He won six consecutive world championship titles from 2004-2009. His incredible 2008 season, where he was named Driver of the Year for all of motorsports, was perhaps his best ever, where he won 15 races in 18 final rounds and posted 9 No. 1 qualifying awards and never lost a first-round pairing that season.
DRIVERS IN FUELTECH NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES EAGER FOR EPPING DEBUT
EPPING, NH – It’s another first-time opportunity for drivers in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports, as the category powers into New England Dragway as part of this weekend’s NHRA New England Nationals.
The fan-favorite facility has drawn massive crowds since the NHRA debuted at the track in 2013 and now NHRA Pro Mod will be part of the show for the first time.
It’s the fourth of 10 races during the 2023 season for the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports, and this weekend’s event is powered by PGT Trucking for the second straight race. The class will be featured during Sunday’s broadcast on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) with plenty of excitement surrounding the event sponsor and first-time opportunity in Epping.
“It’s always cool when a new sponsor comes on board and when PGT Trucking made the commitment to sponsor two races in Chicago and Epping, the class really came together to make sure their experience is the best we can deliver,” Mike Thielen said.
AFTER WIN, FUNNY CAR’S TIM WILKERSON AIMING FOR CONTINUED SUCCESS AT NHRA NEW ENGLAND NATIONALS
EPPING, NH – The first five Funny Car events of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series belonged to only two drivers in 2023, as Matt Hagan and Robert Hight combined to win all five races to open the year. Tim Wilkerson changed that in Chicago and he’ll look to keep rolling this weekend at New England Dragway for the 10th annual NHRA New England Nationals.
Wilkerson will be looking for his first victory at the fan-favorite facility, but he’s entering with as much momentum as he’s had this season in his 11,000-horsepower SCAG Power Equipment/Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang.
He picked up the first Funny Car win for the JCM team in Chicago and earned his first victory in 33 races, vaulting up to fifth in points in the process. It was a strong move for Wilkerson, who hopes it’s a sign of things to come this weekend in Epping.