FUNNY CAR FAN-FAVORITE TIM WILKERSON LOOKS TO SHINE IN FRONT OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS AT NHRA MIDWEST NATIONALS
ST. LOUIS – Tim Wilkerson remains right in the thick of things in the Countdown to the Championship, already advancing to one final round in the NHRA Camping World Series’ six-race playoffs. Now the veteran has a chance to put on a show at his home track in front of plenty of family and friends at this weekend’s NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway.
A proverbial thorn in the side of the bigger teams in the loaded Funny Car ranks, Wilkerson continues to perform at a high level in his 11,000-horsepower Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Shelby Mustang. He’s currently eighth in points and is just 58 points out of fifth heading towards what will be a busy weekend for the fan-favorite driver.
The guest list among family, friends and sponsors is well past several hundred and growing by the day, as Wilkerson will aim for a big weekend at the halfway point in the Countdown to the Championship.
CONCORD, NC – Three-time world champion Antron Brown picked up his first playoff win in six years on Sunday at zMAX Dragway, driving to the Top Fuel victory at the 14th annual Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals.
Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) also picked up wins at the second of six races in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.
Brown put together a run of 3.672-seconds at 335.73 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Matco Tools dragster, slipping past points leader Justin Ashley on a holeshot in a thrilling final round to win his first race in the Countdown to the Championship since 2016. It is Brown’s third victory in the past five races and the 71st in his career, as the first-year team owner also moved to second in the points standings with four races left in 2022. To reach the finals, Brown beat three standout competitors, including Reading winner Austin Prock, Brittany Force and Clay Millican. He followed with a .035 reaction time in the final round, which was enough to allow him to beat Ashley’s quicker 3.671 at 333.99.
CONCORD, NC – Looking to sweep both races at zMAX Dragway this season, legendary Funny Car driver John Force rolled to the provisional No. 1 position on Friday in Charlotte at the 14th annual Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals.
Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the second of six races in the Countdown to the Championship during the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Force, who has won the four-wide race at the track the past two years, just missed the track record at the second race in the playoffs, going 3.854-seconds at 330.47 mph in his 11,000-horsepower PEAK Chevrolet Camaro SS. If it holds it would be the 16-time world champion’s second No. 1 qualifier this year and 165th in his career. Force has forged an impressive rhythm at the state-of-the-art facility in recent years and is trying to make a move in the points standings as well. He’s currently fourth in points and is looking to make a big push this weekend.
“It’s a great track to run numbers like this, but there’s a stack of them right behind me that can do the same, and we’re going to have conditions like this tomorrow,” Force said. “We’ve got a good team and it’s coming around, (but) we’ve got a lot of work to do. They were all there tomorrow, but at least we got to shine for one night. Our team had a great weekend last weekend with Robert (Hight) and Austin (Prock) both winning, and we’re back in the fight in the Countdown.”
PRO STOCK STANDOUTS BO BUTNER AND CAMRIE CARUSO LOOKING TO MAKE BIG MOVES AT BETWAY NHRA CAROLINA NATIONALS
CONCORD, NC – With five races left in the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season, Bo Butner knows he has ground to make up starting at this weekend’s Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway. But coming off his first No. 1 qualifier in three seasons, the former Pro Stock world champ feels like he’s in a strong position to make a big move this weekend in Charlotte.
He moved up to ninth in the points standings after a positive result at the Countdown to the Championship opener at Maple Grove Raceway, but he’s after an even bigger weekend in Charlotte in his Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Chevrolet Camaro. The potential is there and Butner, who is also after his first victory at zMAX Dragway in the Pro Stock ranks, believe his team is on the verge of breaking through.
“I’m really looking forward to this weekend. I like going to one race right after the other, especially right now, when the JHG Chevy Camaro is picking up,” Butner said. “It’s a great time of year for it; this is the second race of the Countdown, and after getting that No. 1 qualifier last weekend, we know we have a car that can win. We’ve waited all year to have this feeling, and it’s great to have it going into Charlotte.”
DEFENDING TOP FUEL EVENT WINNER JOSH HART LOOKS TO JUMP IN TITLE HUNT AT BETWAY NHRA CAROLINA NATIONALS
CONCORD, NC – A year ago, Josh Hart played the spoiler role perfectly in his fall visit to zMAX Dragway during his rookie season, beating a trio of Top Fuel title contenders en route to second career NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series victory. Now in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs for the first time, Hart hopes a second straight victory at the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals can put him in the thick of the championship conversation.
Hart’s playoff debut in his 11,000-horsepower R+L Carriers dragster didn’t go as planned last weekend at Maple Grove Raceway, with the rising star falling in the opening round. That dropped Hart to seventh in points, but this weekend represents a perfect bounce-back weekend, especially considering his zMAX Dragway resumé.
Last year, Hart beat the likes of Mike Salinas and points leader Justin Ashley en route to the final round, and then got past former world champ Brittany Force, who had been the points leader in the class for the bulk of the 2022 season, to collect a second win in his storybook rookie season. Hart just missed out on qualifying for the Countdown to the Championship last year, but he’s been determined to make the most of his first postseason appearance this season.
PROCK, HIGHT, ENDERS AND GLADSTONE OPEN PLAYOFFS WITH WINS IN FRONT OF CAPACITY CROWD AT PEP BOYS NHRA NATIONALS
READING, PA – It was a dominant start for John Force Racing to open the Countdown to the Championship playoffs, as Top Fuel’s Austin Prock and Funny Car points leader Robert Hight powered to wins on Sunday in front of a capacity crowd at Maple Grove Raceway at the 37th annual Pep Boys NHRA Nationals.
Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Joey Gladstone (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also picked up wins at the first of six races in the Countdown to the Championship during the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Opening the postseason from the 12th position, Prock drove to his second career win and first of the season with his run of 3.755-seconds at 329.67 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Montana Brands/Rocky Mountain Twist dragster in the final round against points leader Justin Ashley. Prock also jumped six spots in the standings with five races remaining in 2022. His day started with round wins against Doug Foley, Steve Torrence, and Indy winner Antron Brown, outdueling Brown on a spectacular pedalfest in the semifinals. From there, he won a thrilling side-by-side race with Ashley to finish off a monumental weekend.
IN FRONT OF SELLOUT CROWD AT MAPLE GROVE, B. FORCE, HIGHT, BUTNER AND M. SMITH QUALIFY NO. 1 AT PEP BOYS NHRA NATIONALS
READING, PA – Top Fuel points leader Brittany Force capped off qualifying with a thrilling run on Saturday at Maple Grove Raceway, grabbing the No. 1 qualifier in front of a sellout crowd at the 37th annual Pep Boys NHRA Nationals and the opening race of the Countdown to the Championship.
Robert Hight (Funny Car), Bo Butner (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified No. 1 at the first of six races in the Countdown to the Championship during the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season. NHRA and officials at Maple Grove Raceway announced a sellout for Saturday’s racing as well, as the passionate fanbase in the area packed the historic track.
The Koretsky family purchased the fan-favorite facility in April and the tremendous crowd enjoyed an impressive day of qualifying.
HIGHT, ASHLEY, BUTNER AND A. SMITH TAKE PROVISIONAL NO. 1 SPOTS TO OPEN PLAYOFFS AT PEP BOYS NHRA NATIONALS
READING, PA – Funny Car points leader Robert Hight opened the Countdown to the Championship playoffs in impressive fashion, powering to the provisional No. 1 qualifier on Friday at the 37th annual Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
Justin Ashley (Top Fuel), Bo Butner (Pro Stock) and Angie Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the first of six races in the Countdown to the Championship during the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Hight continued his incredible 2022 to open the playoffs, racing to the No. 1 position with his pass of 3.867-seconds at 331.20 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS. Hight is seeking his fourth No. 1 qualifier this season and 75th in his career, but the points leader is also looking to add to the six wins he’s already put together. He’s been remarkably consistent throughout the season and the team’s mindset won’t change during the Countdown to the Championship as the three-time world champ looks to continue his success this year.
INDIANAPOLIS – The stage is set for the standouts in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. After a thrilling and record-setting regular season in 2022, dreams of a coveted NHRA world championship come down to the final six races, as the Countdown to the Championship playoffs begin at this weekend’s 37th annual Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
Championship dreams will be made over the next six races, as the Countdown to the Championship starts at this weekend’s 37th annual Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, kicking off a memorable stretch of three straight race weekends.
That includes stops at zMAX Dragway for the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals in Charlotte and World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis for the NHRA Midwest Nationals. The next two stops include a visit to the famed Texas Motorplex in Dallas for the Texas NHRA FallNationals on Oct. 13-16 to finish off the track’s Stampede for Speed, and then The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the NHRA Nevada Nationals on Oct. 27-30. The road to the finals concludes with the must-see 57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals on Nov. 10-13 at Auto Club Raceway, where the stars in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will put it all on the line for a chance at championship glory.
DEFENDING PRO STOCK WORLD CHAMP GREG ANDERSON READY TO DEFEND CROWN HEADING TO PEP BOYS NHRA NATIONALS
READING, PA – Two months ago, Greg Anderson likely wouldn’t have considered himself much of a threat to defend his world championship in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. But the longtime star has made a swift turnaround in recent weeks, vaulting back into title contention as the Countdown to the Championship playoffs open this weekend at the 37th annual Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
Anderson, a five-time world champ in Pro Stock, picked up his 100th victory at the most recent race at Indy, continuing a recent hot streak that has included three straight No. 1 qualifiers in his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro as well as final round appearances in three of the past four races.
Points leader Erica Enders remains the favorite in the class thanks to a dominant season that’s included six victories and eight final rounds, but Anderson is coming on strong and he can’t wait for the six-race playoffs to begin this weekend in Reading.