LAS VEGAS – Funny Car points leader Robert Hight held on to the top spot at the 22nd annual NHRA Nevada Nationals on Saturday, claiming the No. 1 qualifier to ensure a nitro sweep from John Force Racing at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified No. 1 at the 21st event in the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the fifth of six races in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
Hight’s stellar run of 3.857-seconds at 331.77 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS from Friday handed the championship hopeful his sixth No. 1 qualifier of 2022 and the 77th in his career. He’ll open eliminations against Terry Haddock, taking a 21-point lead over defending world champ Ron Capps into raceday. Hight gained 11 points on Capps during qualifying, a nod to his success over the first two days of the race weekend in Las Vegas. That included a strong 3.3865 to close out the day, giving the team plenty of momentum heading into Sunday.
B. FORCE, HIGHT, STANFIELD AND M. SMITH RACE TO PROVISIONAL NO. 1 POSITIONS AT NHRA NEVADA NATIONALS
LAS VEGAS – Brittany Force made the quickest run in each qualifying session on Friday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, powering to the provisional No. 1 position in Top Fuel at the 22nd annual NHRA Nevada Nationals.
Robert Hight (Funny Car), Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the 21st event in the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the fifth of six races in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
Looking to sweep both races in Las Vegas this year and stay in the championship hunt, Force went 3.665-seconds at 337.24 mph in her 11,000-horsepower Flav-R-Pac dragster. That gave her the best runs in each of the two sessions on Friday as she looks to pick up her ninth No. 1 qualifier in 2022 and 41st in her career. She closed to within 77 points of leader Justin Ashley heading into final qualifying tomorrow, knowing she’ll need another big performance in Las Vegas to keep her title aspirations alive.
NHRA SUMMIT RACING SERIES, WHICH INCLUDES NEW STREET LEGAL EV CLASS, TO CROWN NATIONAL CHAMPIONS IN LAS VEGAS
LAS VEGAS – It’s a huge weekend for the NHRA Summit Racing Series, the world’s largest motorsports program when it comes to racer participation, as 40 standout competitors will race for a national championship as part of the NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
With the inclusion of the new Street Legal EV class, a record number of drivers will be competing in the NHRA Summit Racing Series National Championship with more than $145,000 set to be given away this weekend.
The entry list includes eight drivers in the Street Legal EV across each of the seven NHRA divisions, marking a highly-successful first year for the new class.
“We’ve enjoyed a really great year in the NHRA Summit Series, and it’s been exciting to see the growth and participation in the new Street Legal EV class from the member track level as we head to Las Vegas for the NHRA Summit Racing Series National Championship to crown our inaugural EV champion,” NHRA Sportsman Racing Manager Sara Walker said.
LAS VEGAS – A dominant, magical season has the chance to become a championship year for Erica Enders at this weekend’s 22nd NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which also shows just how incredible the Pro Stock star has been during the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
With another strong showing – which has become the norm for her over the years in Las Vegas – Enders would clinch her fifth world title a race before the finale, a clear indicator she has been nearly unstoppable in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro.
Enders has picked up nine wins this year, tying her career-best for a single season, with two races remaining and she currently holds a 165-point lead over teammate Aaron Stanfield. She also won the spring race in Las Vegas and has a chance to pick up her 10th career victory at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which would extend her mark as the winningest professional driver in track history.
It all adds up to a remarkable weekend of opportunity for Enders, and she’s eager to try to take advantage and close the deal in impressive fashion.
NHRA BREAKFAST AT 2022 SEMA SHOW WILL FEATURE LEGENDS TO DISCUSS “BENT RULES, BALLED FISTS AND DRAG STRIP BATTLES”
LAS VEGAS – With four legends set to take the stage, as well as a must-see topic for any racing fan, the NHRA Breakfast is set to return to the SEMA Show on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at the Westgate Las Vegas Casino Paradise Events Center.
The popular NHRA Breakfast, which has been a staple of the SEMA Show for more than 20 years, takes place from 7:30-9 a.m. on Nov. 2 and will feature NHRA legends Don Prudhomme, Richard Tharp, Lee Beard, and Frank Hawley coming together to discuss a thrilling topic: “Bent Rules, Bailed Fists and Drag Strip Battles.”
For the fourth time, NHRA on FOX announcer Brian Lohnes will serve as the panel moderator for what should be a memorable show, asking probing questions about some of the most amazing battles in NHRA history and what it took for each legend to succeed. Those in attendance are sure to hear incredible, never-been-told stories from the four legendary competitors in a fun and festive setting at the NHRA Breakfast.
THREE-TIME FUNNY CAR WORLD CHAMP MATT HAGAN IN WIN-NOW MODE HEADING TO NHRA NEVADA NATIONALS AT LAS VEGAS
LAS VEGAS – After a runner-up finish at the most recent race in Dallas, three-time NHRA Funny Car world champ Matt Hagan remained right in the thick of the championship hunt. But the standout driver for Tony Stewart Racing knows he may need to be even better at the final two races of the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season if another world title is in his future.
Trailing points leader Robert Hight by 76 points heading into this weekend’s 22nd NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Hagan may be in must-win territory at the penultimate race of the Countdown to the Championship playoffs, with defending world champ Ron Capps also within 10 points of Hight.
But Hagan knows his team and his 11,000-horsepower Dodge Power Brokers Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is capable of rising to the occasion. He went a blistering 3.825-seconds in Dallas en route to the runner-up and Hagan is focused on collecting his first victory since June, knowing it would also come at a perfect time this weekend.
POMONA, CA – A thrilling, record-breaking 2022 season in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series is set for one unbelievable final race, as world champions will be crowned at the 57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at legendary Auto Club Raceway at Pomona on Nov. 10-13.
It is the final of 22 races during the 2022 season and the sixth race in what has been a memorable Countdown to the Championship playoffs. But championship dreams only become a reality for one driver in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, setting the stage for one of the biggest weekends of the year.
The Auto Club NHRA Finals is also a points-and-a-half race, meaning just about anything can happen and drivers will undoubtedly leave it all on the line for a chance at championship glory. With four rounds of qualifying taking place over Friday and Saturday, and eliminations on Sunday at the famed Auto Club Raceway, fans will be treated to all the thrills and emotion of 11,000-horsepower, 330-mph action during a historic, championship-themed weekend.
ENNIS, TX – After clinching the world championship in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon on Saturday, Kris Thorne closed out his impressive season with a victory on Sunday as part of the 37th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals.
The event, which was powered by JBS Equipment, was the last of 10 races during the 2022 season in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon. Thorne rolled to another outstanding performance at the finale, defeating Stan Shelton in the championship round with a run of 5.720-seconds at 250.24 mph in his ProCharger-powered Camaro.
It was the quickest round of the weekend in the class as Thorne finished off a dream season with his fourth victory of the year. He knocked off Rickey Fischer and J.R. Gray on Saturday, clinching his first world championship in the class in the process, and advancing to his fifth final round of the year.
Ron Capps (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won at the 20th event in the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the fourth of six races in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
After struggling in qualifying, Ashley more than made up for it on Sunday, going 3.688-seconds at 329.24 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Phillips Connect Toyota dragster to defeat Austin Prock in the championship round. It gives the points leader his third victory this season – as well as his second straight in Dallas – and fifth overall, extending his lead to 82 points over Brittany Force in the process. He knocked off Doug Kalitta, Kebin Kinsley, and Shawn Langdon to reach the final round, running a weekend-best 3.677 at 331.76 in the semifinals. Ashley, who qualified 10th, was impressive on the starting line in the finals, picking up a critical victory in the Countdown to the Championship.
“This really was a great win and if you can win in Dallas, that puts you in position to go for a championship,” Ashley said. “To run that fast and consistent, it’s really amazing. Everyone on this team, we all make each other better. We’ve won from the bottom half before, so I wasn’t worried. These guys on this team, they’ve won so many races and championships, so I’ve always got confidence in them. Everyone has done a great job, but we’ve got two more races left and we can’t let up. We know it’s going to come down to the wire in Pomona.”
Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified No. 1 at the 20th event in the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the fourth of six races in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
Prock’s strong run of 3.682-seconds at 334.57 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Montana Brand/Rocky Mountain Twist dragster from Friday held up through final qualifying on Saturday, giving the young standout and the 2019 NHRA Rookie of the Year his first No. 1 qualifier in his professional career. It’s another exciting moment for Prock in the Countdown to the Championship following his win in Reading to open the playoffs. He’ll open eliminations against Alex Laughlin looking to collect his second victory of the 2022 season.
“We were really glad to keep our number one spot and hopefully this will translate into a good day on Sunday,” Prock said. “We went down the track every run in qualifying and I think the last time we did that was Reading and we ended with a Wally (trophy). So, hopefully, that will be the same case tomorrow.