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Camrie Caruso Makes Early Season Strides at Inaugural PRO Superstar Shootout

BRADENTON, FL – After nearly a week of testing Pro Stock championship contender Camrie Caruso wrapped the three-day inaugural SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout today at Bradenton Motorsports Park. The third-year pro driving the Aqua Prop Chevrolet Camaro powered by Big Jeff Audio and True Brand made four quality runs of the two days of qualifying leading up to race day. Sixteen Pro Stock cars made the field and on Friday night a random chip draw matched first round opponents. For a first-time event the stands were packed and the competition was fierce.

“We knew it would be tough to make the field with all the top tier Pro Stock cars on the property,” said Caruso, a multi-time NHRA Pro Stock winner. “Our goal was to get into the show and then see how the chips fell. We got in and that gave us a chance for the big money. We drew Aaron Stanfield and he is a tough racer. I felt good going into the first round today.”

Stanfield along with Caruso is a rising star in the Pro Stock ranks and one of the stars that drew record setting crowds this weekend to Bradenton Motorsports Park. Both cars had a chance to turn on four win lights today and walk away with the $125,000 top prize. Stanfield got a jump off the starting line and never trailed in the race as Caruso made her slowest run of the week.

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Prock, Kalitta and Enders Score Historic Victories at Inaugural PRO Superstar Shootout

BRADENTON, FL – Austin Prock in his Funny Car debut raced to victory at the inaugural SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout presented by Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage, at Bradenton Motorsports Park, on Saturday, Feb. 10.

Reigning Top Fuel world champion Doug Kalitta and six-time Pro Stock world champion and winningest woman in history Erica Enders also picked up wins worth $250,000 and $125,000, respectively.

The sportsman classes at the PRO Superstar Shootout also raced for big payouts, with Darian Boesch (FTI Performance Top Sportsman), Matt Dadas (Super Stock), and Monty Bogan Jr. (Stock Eliminator) collecting checks for $50,000 (Top Sportsman) and $30,000 (Super Stock and Stock Eliminator).

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ERICA ENDERS WINS IT ALL AT SCAG PRO SUPERSTAR SHOOTOUT

BRADENTON, FL – Erica Enders and Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage/Melling Performance/SCAG Power Equipment rallied to victory Saturday at the SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout at Brandenton Motorsports Park. Their win at the inaugural event not only earns them bragging rights but a $125,000 pay day.

In the final round, Enders would race to the quarter-mile in a stout 6.531-seconds at 210.05 mph to take down rival Dave Connolly’s 6.577 at 208.11.

“We are so lucky to have partners like JHG and SCAG. They really dove into this event headfirst and supported this race, not just the race cars but the entire PRO Superstar Shootout. There’s such a sense of pride I feel having partners that believe in what we believe in. You can’t compare it to anything. So, it means a lot to be in that final round, to get that win. I would be lying if I told you my heart rate wasn’t a little higher than normal,” said Enders, who entered the day as the No. 1 qualifier and earned the $10,000 bonus from Lucas Oil.

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SCAG RACING WRAPS PRO SUPERSTAR SHOOTOUT AND PRE SEASON TESTING

BRADENTON, FL – Justin Ashley and the SCAG Power Equipment Toyota Top Fuel dragster team led SCAG Racing at the SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout at Bradenton Motorsports Park with their No. 7 qualifying position giving them the chance at the $250,000 pay day.

In four qualifying attempts, Ashley would have his best run in the final session on Friday night with a 3.713-second pass at 326.87 mph to put him seventh in the eight car Top Fuel field. After a chip draw, Ashley was matched against reigning world champion Doug Kalitta in the first round on Saturday. It would be a pedalfest for the 2020 Rookie of the Year and current champ. Ashley would ultimately cross the finish line at 5.264 seconds and 141.90 mph coming up short to Kalitta’s 4.163 at 240.

“I think this was a great week for the sport as a whole. This event was something special. It exceeded expectations, it wasn’t a home run, it was a grand slam. Fans were great and to see everyone pulling the rope in the same direction was really amazing. I hope that we continue to do more events like this. I can’t say enough about Drag Illustrated, PRO and SCAG Power Equipment and the job they did to make this come to fruition. To be invited and to qualify, it was an honor. Continue reading

Ron Capps Relishes Chance to Race for Don Schumacher Nitro Superstar Award at SCAG PRO Superstar Shootout

BRADENTON, FL — After four rounds of qualifying at the PRO Superstar Shootout at Bradenton Motorsports Park, three-time NHRA Funny Car champion Ron Capps had the unique opportunity to participate in the Top Fuel vs. Funny Car Shootout on Saturday.

On the line was the Don Schumacher Nitro Superstar Award, which honors the late NHRA team owner and Funny Car pioneer whom Capps spent 17 years driving for during his standout career. It was a meaningful moment for Capps, who took on Top Fuel driver Billy Torrence in the opening round of the shootout.

Capps posted a .071 reaction time in his NAPA AutoCare Toyota GR Supra to gain the early advantage, but the car lost traction and finished with a run of 4.706-seconds at 182.60 mph. It spelled the end for Capps’ chance to win the special award, but he enjoyed every minute of the Funny Car vs. Top Fuel matchup and an opportunity to honor the iconic team owner.

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Tony Schumacher Races to Semifinal Finish at PRO Superstar Shootout

BRADENTON, FL — After a strong finish to his 2023 campaign, eight-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher kept that momentum rolling into 2024, advancing to the semifinals of the PRO Superstar Shootout on Saturday at Bradenton Motorsports Park.

Following two-plus days of impressive test runs in his JCM Racing Leatherwood Distillery Top Fuel dragster, Schumacher opened qualifying with a strong run of 3.696-seconds at 330.96 MPH on Thursday. He added a pair of consistent runs in the low 3.70s to close out qualifying on Friday, giving the team, led by crew chiefs Mike Neff and Jon Schaffer plenty of confidence heading into race day.

That turned into an opening-round win against Antron Brown, with Schumacher going 4.116 at 275.73 MPH. Both cars lost traction early, but Schumacher was able to recover to advance to the semifinals in the competitive eight-car field. There, Schumacher lost traction while Clay Millican made a clean pass in the next lane, putting an end to his day. Schumacher, though, left Bradenton with plenty of positives, especially considering the major overhaul that was done to the car in the off-season.

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Alexis DeJoria Amped for 2024 NHRA Season After Solid Showing at SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout

BRADENTON, FL – Alexis DeJoria and Del Worsham’s DC Motorsports team took to the track this week for the first time in 2024 to participate in the invitation-only SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout Presented by Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage in Bradenton, Florida.

Prior to the inaugural shootout-style event which saw nitro-powered NHRA teams compete for a $250,000 purse on Saturday afternoon, teams had an opportunity to make test runs before qualifying began on Thursday evening.

With several test passes under their belts, the Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota GR Supra Funny Car team had established a good baseline heading into the first round of qualifying. Under the lights at Bradenton Motorsports Park, DeJoria powered to a stout 3.893-second at 330.80 MPH pass to provisionally place fifth out of the 13 Funny Cars vying for a spot in the eight-car elimination field.

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Antron Brown Makes ‘Quick Eight’ Field at Inaugural Invitation-Only SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout

BRADENTON, FL – Three-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown and his AB Motorsports team headed south from Brownsburg, Indiana to Bradenton, Florida this week for the inaugural SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout presented by Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage. After a three-day test session, the week-long event culminated with a winner-take-all shootout-style race to compete for a $250,000 prize.

The Matco Tools Top Fuel team opened the week by laying down several quick and fast test passes after taking to the track for the first time since the 2023 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season concluded with the NHRA Finals in November.

After teams had a chance to knock the rust off, qualifying for the invitation-only PRO Superstar Shootout elimination rounds began on Thursday evening. In the opening session, Brown was on track to clock a solid elapsed time before slowing to a 3.740 E.T. right before the finish line beams, placing him on the bump spot in eighth to head into day two of qualifying. Brown found himself on the outside looking in after Friday’s first session where he recorded a 3.754 E.T., and dropped to the provisional No. 11 spot with two rounds to go before the eight-car field was set.

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AUSTIN PROCK EARNS NO. 1 QUALIFIER IN FUNNY CAR DEBUT

Bradenton, FL – Austin Prock earned No. 1 qualifier in his Funny Car debut at the PRO Superstar Shootout at Bradenton Motorsports Park. The Cornwell Tools Chevrolet Camaro SS tuned by his father Jimmy, brother Thomas, and Nate Hildahl recorded a 3.851-second elapsed time during Thursday night’s qualifying session, which put Prock third in the 13-car field. Prock and team maintained his spot in the top three after second and third qualifying sessions as many cars did not improve during the heat of the day. The Cornwell Tools team saved their best for last and threw down a 3.825-second pass at 337.41 mph in the final qualifying session to earn the top spot and $10,000 bonus. Prock drew Alexis Dejoria, who qualified seventh with a 3.893-second elapsed time, in the chip draw to determine Saturday’s 8-car race day ladder.

“My dad told me before we even rolled up there, we’re going for it because it’s the only way we’re going to absolutely get lane choice,” said Prock. “We were going for it and that put a little pressure on me because this was only my second night run. On my first I lifted early because I was losing track of the blocks down there, so I had to be perfect, and that was the best run I made all weekend. It was a hell of a package and just so proud of this Cornwell team, my dad brother Nate dog, and everyone that’s part of it.”

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Tasca Records First 340-Plus-MPH Pass; Millican, Prock, Enders Qualify No. 1 at PRO Superstar Shootout

BRADENTON, FL – Fans witnessed historic numbers Friday night at the inaugural SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout presented by Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage when Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III recorded the first 340-plus-MPH pass by a wheel-driven vehicle in drag racing history. Tasca’s 3.84-second pass at 341.68 MPH at Bradenton Motorsports Park put him No. 2 on the final eight-car Funny Car qualifying order.

Austin Prock, who previously competed in Top Fuel, earned the No. 1 qualifier award in his Funny Car debut. Clay Millican, Thursday’s provisional No. 1 qualifier in Top Fuel, reclaimed his top spot in the final qualifying session. Erica Enders, the reigning and six-time Pro Stock world champion, claimed the No. 1 spot in Pro Stock. All three drivers earned $10,000 No. 1 qualifier bonuses courtesy of Lucas Oil.

Unlike traditional drag racing events, the qualifying order does not determine the eliminations pairings at the PRO Superstar Shootout. The eight drivers who qualified in Top Fuel and Funny Car and the 16 qualified drivers in Pro Stock did a random chip draw to set the first-round pairings for Saturday eliminations.

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