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TSR Heads to Charlotte Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals

Concord, NC – The Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals near Charlotte, North Carolina, is the 18th race on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series’ 22-race schedule and it serves as the second round in the six-race Countdown to the Championship. Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) drivers Leah Pruett and Matt Hagan are eyeing a title run in their respective Top Fuel and Funny Car divisions. This year’s Countdown marks Pruett’s sixth appearance in the NHRA postseason and Hagan’s 11th.

Pruett is tied with Doug Kalitta for eighth in the Top Fuel standings heading into the second round of Countdown, 107 points behind leader Justin Ashley. Hagan is second in the Funny Car standings, 81 points behind leader Robert Hight.

Pruett comes into Charlotte representing Code 3 Associates on her blue Top Fuel dragster. Hagan, meanwhile, sports the red, white and blue colors of Shelor Motor Mile on his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car.

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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.

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Dejoria Looking for Her First Win at Charlotte

Concord, NC – Having never won at zMAX Dragway, Alexis thinks that would be a great way to spend her birthday weekend!  DeJoria will be celebrating a birthday on Saturday, Sept. 24

“We’re headed to zMAX this weekend for stop No. 2 of the Countdown, a track where I’ve had success in the past. I’ve been the No. 1 qualifier there before, and have had quite a few long Sundays of going rounds, but have yet to bring home the hardware in Charlotte. I’m celebrating a birthday on Saturday and would love nothing more than to deliver the gift of a Wally trophy for my team on Sunday.

“We stumbled a bit in Reading; didn’t qualify how we had hoped and went out in the first round on Sunday. That’s certainly not how we wanted to start our Countdown but the good news is, there is still plenty of racing left. We stayed behind in Maple Grove and tested on Monday and feel well-prepared heading into this weekend. The weather is supposed to cool off quite a bit on Friday, and we know a successful outing in Charlotte starts with making sure we throwdown in that Friday night field-setting run. After that, we’ll focus on being consistent and taking it one round at a time, and hopefully, we can begin to narrow the points gap and climb back up on the leaderboard.” explained Dejoria

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Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster Team Hitting it’s Stride Heading into Charlotte

Concord, NC –  Brown is seeking a record-tying sixth Top Fuel win at zMAX Dragway this weekend as he pursues a fourth world championship. In addition to Brown’s three Carolina Nationals triumphs, he also won the Four-Wide event at zMAX Dragway in 2014 and 2015.

Brown and the Matco Tools team have enjoyed a recent hot streak that has seen them race to victory at two of the last four events (Topeka, Kan.; Indianapolis), and a semifinal finish in Reading, Pa. last weekend.  Brown jumped up to fourth place in Reading, and is less than three round wins behind the current point leader

Brown talks Charlotte, “I’m looking forward to getting to Charlotte, especially with all of the momentum we have after our big win at the U.S. Nationals and racing to a semifinal finish in Reading last weekend. We’re looking to go out there and qualify well. We want to qualify better; our goal is to qualify in the top five, and then we’re going to take it one round at a time. This is a crucial, pivotal points-race with the fact that there’s only 20 rounds of eliminations left this season. The points are really close and we’re going in with our heads down. We know there’s going to be some monster match-ups this weekend; there are a lot of really great cars out there. We know there is going to be another very tight Top Fuel field, and our Matco Tools team is looking forward to the challenge. Charlotte is always one of our favorite race tracks to go to; we’ve fared well there, so we’re looking forward to another opportunity to move our way up in the rankings this weekend. We’re fully focused; these qualifying points are going to be very crucial, and we’re looking to attack every round. This will be one of those races that can make or break your championship hopes.”

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Capps Looking For a Third Winners Circle Appearance in Charlotte

Concord, NC – Capps is 84 points out of first, and will be looking to narrow the deficit as he pursues his second consecutive Funny Car title, third overall, and first for Ron Capps Motorsports. The second-winningest Funny Car driver of all time has victories from Las Vegas, Bristol, and Indianapolis in 2022.

Ron reflects on Charlotte and the countdown, “I think everybody can take a deep breath now that we’ve got one race under our belts with the Countdown. Obviously, a lot of emotions go into racing all season long and having the points reset, and then it all comes down to battling it out for six races.

“We had an unbelievable NAPA AutoCare car in Maple Grove, qualified No. 2 and then ran low E.T. of the weekend in the first round. Of course, second round was disappointing but there’s good news along with the bad news. The good news is, we know why it smoked the tires, and the great news is, we’re going to a fantastic race track like zMAX. We love going there for the Four-Wides, we love racing there in the Countdown, and it just takes a lot of the guesswork out for these crew chiefs when you go up there and know it’s going to be a great race track surface. Same for the drivers; we can focus on trying to do the best we can with keeping the car in the groove. I’m excited, I’m glad we get to go right back at it with these three races in a row, and to be sandwiched here in between Reading and St. Louis, I couldn’t think of a better place to go, and we’ll see if we can’t climb ourselves back into the top spot in the points.”

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Maynard Family Scag Power Equipment Top Fuel Dragster Heads to Charlotte

Concord, NC – Schumacher will make his first Carolina Nationals appearance since 2018. So far in 2022, Schumacher has one win (Seattle), and one runner-up finish (Brainerd, Minn.) The winningest Top Fuel driver in NHRA history is vying for his ninth series title

“I’m looking forward to getting back to Charlotte for the second time this year and racing it ‘normal’ two-wide. We’re in the Countdown, and the fact that Reading didn’t work out well for us really puts the pressure on. We’ve got five races to cowboy-up and get this thing moving. I think we’re heading in the right direction. We made drastic changes in Reading, and I think it’s going to show starting this weekend. The conditions are going to be great, and we’re going to go out and try and win this thing. We’re going to test after Dallas, we’re going to test after Vegas, and we are going to get our car back into winning form.” explained Tony

Countdown to the Championship Ranking: 12th

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Blaine Mayer Wins Advanced Product Design $15,000 Wednesday at the Fall Fling

Bristol, TN — The final Fling of the year had racers pouring through the gates at Bristol Dragway for the RAD Torque Systems Fall Fling presented by Optima Batteries. The Advanced Product Design $15,000 Warm-Up race saw 496 entries stage up for the first round serving as a record-high Wednesday car count for any Fling event at Thunder Valley in years past.

All racers on property were given one time run session which ran into the early afternoon with the unprecedented amount of entries. With an efficient format in which drivers are assigned a Fling competition number and run in four designated groups — and a great crowd of cooperative racers — eliminations moved smoothly into the evening as the track lights illuminated the dragstrip.

The eight drivers returning for the ladder round included Bart Nelson, Mitchell McKinney, JR Lockhart, Blaine Mayer, Nick Hastings, Bo Sanders, Dustin Smiley, and Cameron Manuel.

Smiley used a substantial advantage on the hit to take the win over McKinney, while Lockhart advanced past the .008 breakout of Sanders with just a three thousandths separation on the tree. While Hastings was .004 to the .026 of Mayer, he bowed out of competition by way of a .010 breakout. Manuel let go .001 to the .007 of Nelson and ran it down to be dead-on seven for the win.

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Kuhnle Motorsports Park, IHRA Renew Sanctioning Agreements

HOUSE SPRINGS, MO — Kuhnle Motorsports Park is coming back with the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) in 2023.
The Kuhnle Brothers purchased the former Thompson Raceway Park and did a massive rebuilding project. However, one thing they kept the same in 2022 was IHRA sanctioning. Seeing how good it worked with Sportsman-friendly programs like the IHRA Summit SuperSeries, they have renewed for next season.

It goes along with the 243-acre facility being one of the most racer-friendly venues in the country.

Nicknamed “Ohio’s Thunder Capital,” the Kuhnle Brothers put new walls up and repaved in the shutdown area. They’ve made much more pit area with paved roads throughout. The lighting has dramatically improved over 100 LED lights, along with huge new electronic scoreboards.

Besides other items to help the racers like new fencing, they have 17, yes that’s correct, 17 staging lanes. Continue reading

Kentucky Dragway Signs New Sanctioning Agreement with IHRA

HOUSE SPRINGS, MO — Kentucky Dragway returned to the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) in 2022. The Clay City, Kentucky track will remain a part of the IHRA family in 2023.

After a successful year back in the IHRA fold, Aaron and Carrie Sipple decided to renew their sanctioning agreement for the 42-acre facility which first opened in 1963. There are plenty of greats races on the Kentucky Dragway schedule including the recently completed 27th Mopar  Southern Classic, this weekend’s Kentucky Car Wars and the upcoming KEN-MOR Bluegrass Nationals, a historic bracket race in its 52nd year.

There’s plenty of great family history with Aaron, son of the late John “Doc” Sipple, a well-respected chiropractor and racer. Doc won the 1999 Top Dragster title at the IHRA Northern Nationals. He finished second in the 1996 point standings and also recorded a pair of top-10 point finishes in Top Fuel in the early 2000’s.

In addition, Doc was the 1997 IHRA Track Operator of the Year when the Clay City, Kentucky facility was known as Mountain Park Dragway. With a combination on-track success and his compassion care off it, Doc won the Sportsman of the Year, the IHRA’s Most Prestigious Award in 2002.

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IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals Are Just Weeks Away

HOUSE SPRINGS, MO — The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Summit SuperSeries World Finals are just weeks away October 12-15, 2022 at Holly Springs Motorsports.

It’s the largest championship in bracket drag racing with thousands of IHRA member racers starting the season with the goal of becoming a world champion in either Top (Box), Mod (No Box), Sportsman or the Junior Dragster class.

A racer can qualify by either winning an IHRA Summit SuperSeries track championship at a participating IHRA member track or by winning an IHRA Summit Team Finals main event class and meeting the eligibility requirements. Click here for more detailed information.

All IHRA World Champions receive an Ironman Trophy, championship ring and gold card. The Top (Box) and Mod (No Box) champions win $20,000 and the runner-up in those classes receive a $7,000 prize. The Junior Dragster champion earns $10,000 and the Sportsman champion receives $7,000.

All competitors receive $300 in tow money and pay NO ENTRY FEE. Prize money is available throughout the rounds.

George Simpson (Top), Tim Pace (Mod), David Bigham (Sportsman) and Keaton Hudson (Junior) were 2021 IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Champions. Click here for a printable flyer.

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