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PRO STOCK’S CAMRIE CARUSO NAMED 2022 NHRA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

POMONA, CA – After a standout debut season in the Pro Stock ranks, Camrie Caruso has been named the 2022 NHRA Rookie of the Year in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.

Caruso, Top Fuel’s Scott Farley and Funny Car’s Jason Rupert were the eligible candidates for the award, which honors the sport’s top rookie. Caruso enjoyed a standout rookie season in the highly-competitive Pro Stock ranks, qualifying at all 19 races and advancing to the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

She earned her first No. 1 qualifier in Houston and also advanced to the final round at the event where she joined points leader Erica Enders as part of the first all-female final round in Pro Stock history. In all, Caruso has enjoyed nine round wins in her Powerbuilt Tools Chevrolet Camaro, and celebrated the NHRA Rookie of the Year award at this weekend’s 57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona.

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LUCAS OIL REINFORCES LONG-TERM COMMITMENT TO NHRA DRAG RACING WITH MULTI-YEAR EXTENSION

INDIANAPOLIS – NHRA officials announced today that Lucas Oil Products, the world leader and distributor of high-performance automotive additives and lubricates, will continue as the sponsor of the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and “Official Oil of NHRA” as part of a long-term extension.

It furthers a premier and lasting partnership that continues to grow after more than two decades, as Lucas Oil remains a cornerstone sponsor and all-encompassing partner of NHRA.

“All of us at Lucas Oil are excited to extend this Partnership with NHRA for another 3 years,” said Brandon Bernstein, Lucas Oil Director of Partnership Marketing. “We know how important the sportsman racers are to Lucas Oil and we want to keep that alive for many years to come. We see NHRA as an amazing property that has potential for massive growth and Lucas Oil is thrilled to be partnered in this journey.”

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CAPPS, B. FORCE, COUGHLIN AND SAMPEY ALL QUALIFY NO. 1 AT AUTO CLUB NHRA FINALS

POMONA, CA – Defending Funny Car world champion Ron Capps stayed in the title conversation with a clutch run on Saturday at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, tying the quickest run in his career to qualify No. 1 at the 57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Troy Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified No. 1 at the 22nd and final event in the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the sixth race in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

Capps went 3.837-seconds at a track-record speed of 337.33 mph in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra, handing the veteran his sixth No. 1 qualifier of the season and 35th in his career. He enters raceday 57 points – or less than two rounds – behind leader Robert Hight, looking to become the first Funny Car driver to win back-to-back championships in 20 years. Capps will take on Jeff Arend in the opening round, with a possible must-see matchup looming in the semifinals against Hight, who qualified fourth with a 3.849 at 334.48.

“This is what I talk about when you get into a race car like this and you wish you could make those big runs at the big moments,” Capps said. “I know we can go out and throw down with the best. It’s a great feeling, so what a way to end qualifying. I got on the radio, and I was screaming and yelling. It was like going down the road to Disneyland and getting on Space Mountain for the first time as a kid.

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B. FORCE, PEDREGON, ANDERSON AND SAMPEY PICK UP PROVISIONAL NO. 1 POSITIONS AT AUTO CLUB NHRA FINALS

POMONA, CA – Points leader Brittany Force made the fastest run in Top Fuel history on Friday, powering to the provisional No. 1 qualifier in record-breaking fashion at the final race of the season, the 57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the 22nd and final event in the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the sixth race in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

Force went 3.641-seconds at 338.94 mph in her 11,000-horsepower Monster Energy dragster, eclipsing her own record for the fastest run in class history and giving her a perfect start to kick off a huge weekend. If it holds, it would give Force her 10th No. 1 spot this season and 42nd in her career. More importantly, it gives Force, who entered the weekend with a slim seven-point advantage over Justin Ashley, momentum as she looks to claim her second career world title.

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SIXTH WORLD TITLE WITHIN REACH FOR PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE’S MATT SMITH AT AUTO CLUB NHRA FINALS

POMONA, CA – The finishing touches are all that’s left of what Matt Smith hopes is his sixth Pro Stock Motorcycle world championship, a number that would tie him with Andrew Hines and Dave Schultz for the most in NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series history.

But it’s not official yet, which means Smith knows the job isn’t quite done heading into this weekend at the 57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at legendary Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Smith currently leads Joey Gladstone by 104 points heading into the finale in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs, meaning he has a sizable lead but not enough to officially clinch the title.

That could come as early as a first-round victory if qualifying goes well for Smith on his Denso Auto Parts Buell, but the standout remains as focused as ever as he closes in on a historic achievement.

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NHRA AND FOX SPORTS RELEASE TV SCHEDULE FOR 2023 NHRA CAMPING WORLD DRAG RACING SERIES SEASON

INDIANAPOLIS – Starting with a must-see FOX broadcast to open the 2023 season in Gainesville, NHRA and FOX Sports today announced the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series schedule for the upcoming season.

All 21 races, plus the two Pep Boys NHRA All-Star Callout events, will be broadcast on either FOX or FS1, including eight broadcasts on the FOX broadcast network. That starts with the highly-anticipated 2023 season-opener, the 54th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville, where eliminations will be showcased on FOX starting at 12 p.m. on Sunday, March 12.

For the third straight year, a race in the Countdown to the Championship will also air on FOX adjacent to a FOX NFL broadcast in September, putting NHRA on a huge platform during its playoffs. That exciting opportunity led to the biggest audience in NHRA history in 2022, as the playoff broadcast from Maple Grove Raceway averaged more than 1.6 million viewers with a peak of 2.8 million.

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ROBERT HIGHT LOOKS TO WARD OFF RON CAPPS, MATT HAGAN TO CLAIM FUNNY CAR TITLE AT AUTO CLUB NHRA FINALS

POMONA, CA – An impressive season has put Funny Car’s Robert Hight on the verge of a fourth world championship in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. But with two heavyweight contenders looming, Hight knows he needs to take care of business one more time at this weekend at the 57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at legendary Auto Club Raceway at Pomona to secure the title.

In what has been the best season of his career to this point, Hight has racked up eight wins, 12 finals appearances and six No. 1 qualifiers in a loaded Funny Car class, a nod to what the veteran and his team have done in their 11,000-horsepower Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS.

Despite the incredible success, defending world champ Ron Capps and Matt Hagan, who has three world titles, are still lurking. Capps is 61 points back and Hagan, who won the most recent race in Las Vegas, is just 63 points behind, meaning Hight’s quest for another title likely needs another great weekend in Pomona.

“I can’t wait to get it going,” Hight said. “The truth is, we’re focused and we’re going to try to get our ninth win. I’m battling with two great drivers, and we’ve battled all season long. I knew it was going to be this way and it’s been great racing all season long. But we’ve got to focus and make eight great runs. If we do that and get our ninth win, we’re the champs and we’ll get to celebrate, and that’s how I want it to play out.”

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TOP FUEL TITLE CONTENDERS SET FOR THRILLING DUEL TO CROWN CHAMPION AT AUTO CLUB NHRA FINALS IN POMONA

POMONA, CA – A truly spectacular season in the Top Fuel ranks has come down to one last epic duel at this weekend’s 57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at legendary Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, where a championship will be crowned to close out the 2022 campaign in NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.

Brittany Force’s incredible comeback at the most recent race in Las Vegas, where she won and made up nearly 90 points, puts her a mere seven points ahead of Justin Ashley heading into the finale, with Mike Salinas, Antron Brown and four-time defending world champion Steve Torrence still lurking as well.

But Force and her team put themselves in contention to clinch a second world championship with their Vegas mastery, adding to what has already been a brilliant year in her 11,000-horsepower Monster Energy/Flav-R-Pac dragster. Force has claimed five wins, nine No. 1 qualifiers, the fastest run in Top Fuel history and numerous track records, but she knows there’s still work to be done in Pomona.

“I’m really proud of our entire team and we’ve had a great season,” Force said. “We’ve just got to keep doing what we’ve been doing. This team has been winning races and setting track records and now it comes down to the final race, as we knew it would. We’ve got to keep repeating what we’ve been doing and it’s going to be an exciting weekend. It’s a lot of pressure, but I’m trying to find a way to enjoy it a little bit and I am looking forward to Pomona and seeing where this ends up.”

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Top Fuel Championship Within Grasp of Justin Ashley

PLAINVIEW, NY – When the season started Justin Ashley, driver of the Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel dragster powered by Vita C Energy, said his number one goal was to have a legitimate chance to win the NHRA Top Fuel world championship at the end of the season. After 21 races the third-year driver and team owner is in a virtual tie for the points lead, separated by just seven points, heading into the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. The second-generation driver started the season with a win at the famed Southern California track and a bookending victory would guarantee him the championship.

“Our approach to the weekend is the same as it’s been all year,” said Ashley, who has two final round appearances at Auto Club Raceway in his last three appearances. “We’re going to focus on racing to the best of our ability each pass and let the rest take care of itself. There’ll be a lot going on around us, but it’s in the best interest of our Phillips Connect, Vita C Energy Toyota team to focus on ourselves.”

Ashley finished the regular season as the No. 3 seed and following a runner-up finish at the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals moved into the points lead in Top Fuel. Another runner-up finish the following week at the Betway Nationals in Charlotte solidified Ashley as the driver to beat for the championship. The Phillips Connect team was able to weather an early exit at the St. Louis Midwest Nationals and carry the points lead to the Stampede of Speed and Texas NHRA Fall Nationals. Ashley defended his 2021 win, racing to his third final round in four playoff races securing the victory and stretching out his points lead. Two weeks ago, at the Nevada Nationals Ashley was upset by Clay Millican and from the sidelines watched as his points lead disappeared moving him to second place with a seven-point deficit. Expanded qualifying bonus points and then 30 points per round on race day have the 2020 Rookie of the Year in a dead heat coming down the stretch run.

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NHRA LUCAS OIL DRAG RACING SERIES RELEASES ACTION-PACKED EVENT SCHEDULE FOR 2023 SEASON

INDIANAPOLIS – The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, starring the best and most decorated sportsman drivers in drag racing, announced the schedule for the upcoming 2023 season, featuring stops at standout racing facilities across the country.

Starting on Feb. 3-4 at Orlando Speed World Dragway, the 2023 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series season will include 46 total divisional events and 24 regional events, finishing Nov. 3-5 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The season will also feature nine doubleheader events, which have been a popular draw for race teams in recent seasons.

The thrilling doubleheader races will take place at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix (Feb. 23-26), The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas (April 19-22), Texas Motorplex in Dallas (May 18-21), Woodburn Dragstrip in Woodburn, Ore. (July 13-16), Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka (July 27-30), Pacific Raceways in Seattle (Aug. 10-13), Yellowstone Drag Strip in Acton, Mont. (Aug. 24-26), Tulsa Raceway Park in Tulsa (Sept. 21-24) and World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis (Oct. 4-7).

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