Jett Lawrence Wins SMX World Championship Playoff 2 at Chicagoland Speedway
HAGAN, KALITTA, ENDERS AND HERRERA RACE TO PROVISIONAL NO. 1 SPOTS AT BETWAY NHRA CAROLINA NATIONALS
CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 22, 2023) – Matt Hagan made the quickest Funny Car run of the year on Friday at zMAX Dragway, taking the provisional No. 1 spot for Tony Stewart Racing at the 15th annual betway NHRA Carolina Nationals.
Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the 17th of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season, and the second of six races in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
Hagan powered to an impressive run of 3.825-seconds at 333.49 in his 11,000-horsepower Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, setting the track E.T. record and making the quickest pass in the Funny Car category since he went 3.823 in Phoenix at the second race of the 2022 season. If it holds, the three-time Funny Car world champ would earn his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and 50th in his career. It was also a nice bounce back for Hagan and his team after falling by a crushing .0001 in the second round last weekend against points leader Robert Hight.
“That was a great moment right there,” Hagan said. “It’s just a great day and what a lap to lay down there. When they’re on a run like that and they’re digging, they’re a handful and that’s why we love driving these things. I’m so proud of my guys.
"A run like that is a huge confidence-booster and it's just nice to be able to put that in the bank. I can't say enough about my guys and it was just a great day. These cars are probably the most humbling thing I've ever dealt with in my life. You've got to be peaking at the right time and if we want to be champion, we need to win two or three more races this year. That's our mindset and our mentality right now."
Ron Capps, the defending back-to-back world champ, went 3.885 at 329.02 to go to second and Chad Green went to third after a 3.887 at 327.27. Hight is 15th after suffering a huge explosion on the starting line during his run.
In Top Fuel, Doug Kalitta continued his hot streak, following up on last weekend’s 50th career win by going to the No. 1 spot in Charlotte with a standout performance of 3.665 at 331.61 in his 11,000-horsepower Mac Tools dragster. The veteran, who moved up to third in points with the win last week, is aiming for his second No. 1 spot this season and 53rd in his career. The run under the lights was also the fifth straight run in the 3.60s for Kalitta dating back to last weekend, which bodes well for the rest of the weekend as well as the remaining races in the Countdown to the Championship.
“This car is happy to be on the track,” Kalitta said. “I’m just really happy for all my guys and this whole team. Charlotte is one of the greatest places we run and we’re hungry to keep this momentum going. So far, so good and we’ll see what we’ve got after tomorrow.
"We've got plenty of confidence right now and the conditions are going to be good (this weekend). This team has been gelling really well and hopefully we can keep it going. They've been making me look good. We're going to keep our head down, keep trying to get round wins and see what we can do."
Defending world champion Brittany Force went 3.686 at 332.75, putting her second after the opening qualifying session, and Justin Ashley’s 3.698 at 333.74 gave him the third spot.
For the second straight race, defending Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders enjoyed a strong start, taking the provisional No. 1 in her Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage/Melling Performance Chevrolet Camaro with a run of 6.509 at 210.18. If that holds, Enders would earn her fourth top spot this year and 33rd in her career. It would also continue Enders’ strong start to the playoffs after she qualified No. 1 in Reading and advanced to the semifinals. Looking for a sixth world championship, Enders is after more at zMAX Dragway – namely a third win of the season.
"The whole season started off really crappy for us, as everybody knows, and we just kept our heads down and went to work," Enders said. "We said it’s not going to matter until the final six and here we are. We’re running really well again so we’re absolutely thankful for that. That’s what I mean but this is a marathon, not a sprint. You have to get to the end of the season and then perform as perfectly as possible in the Countdown."
Camrie Caruso’s 6.525 puts her second and defending event winner Aaron Stanfield swiped third with a 6.533 at 210.50. Points leader Matt Hartford, who won the last two races, is currently eighth with a 6.548 at 209.43.
Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Gaige Herrera shrugged off his surprising second-round loss from last weekend in strong fashion on Friday, distancing himself from the rest of the field with a run of 6.731 at 200.44 on his Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki. Herrera, who is now second and 17 points behind Matt Smith, is seeking his 10th No. 1 qualifier of the year and what he hopes is his seventh victory of the year and first career Countdown to the Championship victory. Herrera enjoyed a terrific start on Friday and will try to replicate that over the next two days in Charlotte.
“We're happy with that run and we're just trying to get redemption back from Reading," Herrera said. "It put us down a little bit, but it's another race and we're just looking forward to two more rounds of qualifying tomorrow and then raceday on Sunday. This is one of my favorite tracks and I'm just happy to be back here."
Chip Ellis, who advanced to the final round last week, is currently second with a 6.817 at 199.05 and Eddie Krawiec took third thanks to his 6.825 at 197.94. Smith is 17th after one session.
Qualifying continues at 1:00 p.m. ET on Saturday at the betway NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
CONCORD, N.C. -- Friday's results after the first one of three rounds of qualifying for the 15th annual betway NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMax Dragway, 17th of 21 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.
Top Fuel -- 1. Doug Kalitta, 3.665 seconds, 331.61 mph; 2. Brittany Force, 3.686, 332.75; 3. Justin Ashley, 3.698, 333.74; 4. Tony Schumacher, 3.700, 327.19; 5. Antron Brown, 3.703, 332.10; 6. Leah Pruett, 3.709, 332.59; 7. Josh Hart, 3.723, 327.59; 8. Mike Salinas, 3.727, 328.46; 9. Austin Prock, 3.742, 328.30; 10. Spencer Massey, 3.766, 319.52; 11. Shawn Langdon, 3.768, 329.34; 12. Steve Torrence, 6.640, 105.26; 13. Clay Millican, 7.583, 81.63.
Funny Car -- 1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.825, 333.49; 2. Ron Capps, Toyota GR Supra, 3.885, 329.02; 3. Chad Green, Ford Mustang, 3.887, 327.27; 4. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.900, 323.50; 5. Paul Lee, Charger, 3.901, 326.00; 6. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.915, 325.30; 7. J.R. Todd, GR Supra, 3.931, 325.69; 8. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.937, 327.59; 9. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.016, 309.98; 10. Dave Richards, Mustang, 4.135, 256.11; 11. Alex Laughlin, Charger, 7.558, 87.23; 12. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 7.578, 78.83; 13. Alexis DeJoria, GR Supra, 7.705, 91.78; 14. John Smith, Charger, 7.896, 91.19; 15. Robert Hight, Camaro, broke.
Pro Stock -- 1. Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.509, 210.18; 2. Camrie Caruso, Camaro, 6.525, 209.20; 3. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.533, 210.50; 4. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.535, 210.41; 5. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.535, 209.30; 6. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.540, 209.46; 7. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.541, 209.39; 8. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.548, 209.43; 9. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.552, 209.10; 10. Jerry Tucker, Camaro, 6.558, 209.30; 11. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.561, 209.75; 12. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.562, 209.36; 13. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Mustang, 6.564, 210.60; 14. Eric Latino, Camaro, 6.573, 209.01; 15. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.582, 210.41; 16. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.587, 208.36.
Not Qualified: 17. Larry Morgan, 6.621, 207.53; 18. Brandon Miller, 6.654, 206.23; 19. Alan Prusiensky, 8.804, 100.40; 20. Fernando Cuadra, 21.951, 77.18.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.731, 200.41; 2. Chip Ellis, EBR, 6.817, 199.05; 3. Eddie Krawiec, Suzuki, 6.825, 197.94; 4. Jianna Evaristo, Suzuki, 6.835, 196.19; 5. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.864, 197.39; 6. Chase Van Sant, Suzuki, 6.866, 192.36; 7. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.895, 196.22; 8. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.911, 195.05; 9. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.913, 192.11; 10. John Hall, EBR, 6.942, 195.14; 11. Chris Bostick, EBR, 6.964, 192.33; 12. Ron Tornow, Victory, 7.000, 191.95; 13. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.017, 169.34; 14. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 7.042, 186.30; 15. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 7.226, 192.85; 16. Lance Bonham, Buell, 7.407, 176.74.
Not Qualified: 17. Matt Smith, 8.354, 150.48; 18. Marcus Hylton, 14.151, 55.39.
MATT SMITH LOOKS FOR WIN AT PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE’S 500TH RACE AT BETWAY NHRA CAROLINA NATIONALS
NHRA – Top Fuel | Funny Car
Kalitta earns milestone 50th career win … The extended event at Maple Grove Raceway last weekend finished with Doug Kalitta earning his 50th career victory, defeating Steve Torrence in an all-Toyota Top Fuel final. The win catapulted Kalitta up the Top Fuel standings as the Michigan-native aims for the season championship with five races to go in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship.
Toyota’s Top Fuel win-streak continues… Kalitta’s Top Fuel victory secured the sixth consecutive in the category for Toyota drivers, which dates back to the event at Pacific Raceways in Seattle in July. Kalitta, along with Torrence, Antron Brown and Justin Ashley have all been victors over the stretch. Teams and drivers go for an astounding seventh consecutive Toyota win this weekend in Charlotte.
Brown and Capps aim for repeats in Charlotte … Returning to zMAX Dragway, Brown (Top Fuel) and Ron Capps (Funny Car) will go for back-to-back wins in the Carolina Nationals to continue their championship pushes. Both have had success at the North Carolina drag strip over the course of their careers, whether it be the Carolina Nationals or Four-Wide Nationals, with Capps also claiming victories in Charlotte in 2017 and 2018, and Brown winning in 2016.
KALITTA GETS 50TH WIN; HIGHT, HARTFORD AND M. SMITH ALSO OPEN PLAYOFFS WITH VICTORIES AT PEP BOYS NHRA NATIONALS
READING, Pa. (Sept. 18, 2023) – Top Fuel’s Doug Kalitta picked up his milestone 50th career win on Monday at Maple Grove Raceway, earning his first victory in nearly three years after driving past Steve Torrence in the final round of the 38th annual Pep Boys NHRA Nationals, the first race in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
Robert Hight (Funny Car), Matt Hartford (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won the 16th of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season, and the first of six events in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. The points lead changed hands in every class this weekend as well, with three of the four winners (Hight, Hartford and Smith) taking over the top spot.
In the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Hall of Fame driver Tony Stewart moved back into the points lead as well with his second national event win – and fourth victory overall this season in his Mobil 1 McPhillips Racing dragster. Stewart’s run of 5.213-seconds at 271.19 mph gave him the victory over Madison Payne in the final round, which comes on the heels of winning the divisional event at Maple Grove Raceway in early August.
“This is huge. This is McPhillips’ home track, so a lot of friends and family in the pit this weekend,” Stewart said. “To win for Rich and Richie (McPhillips) and all their friends and family here, a win is always special but to do it under these circumstances at a home race for them is that much more special.
“I’ve always liked the opportunity to hopefully get a point lead, at least be in the lead, even if it’s just by one point. The fact that you’re in the lead I feel like carries weight. To have weekend like we had, we battled through a lot to get here. This is huge. There’s not but a handful of races left this year. We’re trying to make the most out of every one of them. Getting maximum points (this weekend) is a huge deal for us.”
Kalitta powered past Torrence with a run of 3.662-seconds at 336.99 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Mac Tools dragster to open the Countdown to the Championship playoffs, picking up his first win since October of 2020 in St. Louis. Kalitta knocked off Josh Hart, Shawn Langdon and Leah Pruett on Sunday before inclement weather pushed the final round to Monday.
After a wild ride in the final round of qualifying, Kalitta was forced to go his backup car, but that didn’t stop the veteran, who made the fastest run of his career in the final round to get the memorable victory. He also jumped to third in points to kick off the Countdown to the Championship in style.
“This is huge. To get that monkey off my back and get that 50th win, now we can concentrate on the next five (playoff) races,” Kalitta said. “Getting this victory, that’s been big on my list. It was a great job for my team and I’m real proud of their effort. To run like that and go in the 60s in the final, it shows their talent and I couldn’t be happier. I love running here and my guys worked their tails off. It never hurts to have a thrash and I’m just really proud of this team.”
Torrence took over the points lead with his fifth trip to the finals this year and 86th overall. He beat Mike Salinas, Antron Brown and Tony Schumacher and now leads Justin Ashley by seven points.
In his 100th career Funny Car final round, Hight made it one to remember, picking up his 64th victory thanks to an incredible pass of 3.854 at 330.39 in his Cornwell Tools/AAA Chevrolet Camaro SS to defeat Chad Green in the championship round. It also sent Hight into the lead by three points over Ron Cappas, as the three-time world champion won at Maple Grove Raceway for the second straight year to kick off the Countdown to the Championship.
It was also Hight’s third win this season, as the veteran raced past Jim Campbell, Matt Hagan and Capps to get to the finals, posting a string of incredible runs during eliminations. His thrilling win against Hagan, where Hight went 3.852, came by a mere .001, and he went 3.861 against Capps before taking down Green to celebrate for the third time in 2023.
“This car is running good at the right time and we did exactly what we needed to do today,” Hight said. “But we have to stay focused on the task at hand. We learned a lot of things, but we have to keep working and keep our heads down because it’s not going to get any easier. You’re probably going to have to win three, maybe four times in the Countdown to win a championship, so we can’t get too carried away yet. It was a job well done by this team this weekend and we’re excited about that, but it takes major work to win a championship.
“That race against Hagan, when it’s that close, it can go in either direction. You’ve got to be mentally prepared and ready against all these guys. We’re thrilled to win and we can use it as a confidence-builder, but we have to continue to work hard.”
Green reached his second final round this season, also moving to fifth in points, thanks to round wins against Terry Haddock, Tim Wilkerson and No. 1 qualifier Bob Tasca III.
Pro Stock’s Matt Hartford overcame all sorts of adversity leading into the race and then during the weekend, but ended up with the points lead for the first time in his career after beating Kyle Koretsky in the final round with a run of 6.532 at 208.91 in his Total Seal/CIP1 Camaro. He won his second straight race in the process, but it didn’t come easy for the new points leader. Hartford had an appendectomy the Thursday after his U.S. Nationals victory, but was determined to be ready for the playoff opener in Reading. The team, though, struggled throughout qualifying, making a litany of changes throughout the weekend before coming alive during eliminations.
He knocked off Greg Anderson, Camrie Caruso and defending world champ Erica Enders to reach the final round, getting past his KB Titan Racing teammate to win for the third time this season and eighth time in his career. Hartford leads Enders by 30 points with five races remaining, feeling plenty of satisfaction with the win and the journey to get there.
“The last week and a half has not been fun until today,” Hartford said. “Our team had to work harder this weekend than they have in years and they really pulled together. Things went our way and we had a really good day today. We’ve got a good car and a car that can run well in all conditions.
"It was a grueling weekend for everybody and the emotions were high. Our team never gave up and now there’s 20 win lights left in the year. If I just keep doing my job and keep my head on straight, I think we walk out of here with a white (world championship) hat after five more races.”
Koretsky, racing at the track his family owns, reached the championship round for the second time this season and eighth time overall thanks to round wins against Jerry Tucker, Aaron Stanfield and Troy Coughlin Jr.
The weekend couldn’t have ended any better for defending Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Matt Smith, as he took down teammate Chip Ellis in the final round with a run of 6.807 at 198.50 on his Denso Auto Parts Suzuki. Coupled with Gaige Herrera’s surprising second-round defeat, it sent Smith into the points lead for the first time this season as he earned his second straight victory. Chasing what would be a PSM record seventh world championship, Smith followed his Indy victory with a strong opening statement in the Countdown to the Championship.
He knocked off Chris Bostick, Marc Ingwersen and teammate Jianna Evaristo to reach the final round and picked up his 38th career victory a round later. With five races remaining, Smith now holds a 17-point lead over Herrera.
“Today was exciting. We’ve won races on Monday before and we pulled it off today,” Smith said. “All in all, we had a great weekend. Personally, my bike still isn’t the bike I need out here to win a seventh championship. We just have to get my bike better. My bike isn’t 60-footing the way it needs to. We know we have really good power, even though we qualified fourth, we’re still way behind.
“(But) we’ve won six championships because we play our cards right and we’re smart and we do what we need to do. We brought a fourth bike (to this race) and that was our goal. When you don’t have the best stuff, you have to bring other stuff in to try to learn. All in all, that’s why we brought that bike to Reading and Chip knocked out some people that we needed him to knock out.”
Ellis, who qualified second and was hired by Matt Smith Racing to ride a team bike during the Countdown, took down Cory Reed, Eddie Krawiec and Hector Arana Jr. to reach the championship round.
Take a look at the Paul Rossi 1970 Dodge Charger with a man who knows.
Saturday Night Friday Night
HIGHT, TORRENCE, HARTFORD AND HERRERA GET PROVISIONAL NO. 1 SPOTS AT DODGE POWER BROKERS NHRA U.S. NATIONALS
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 2, 2023) – Robert Hight powered to the provisional No. 1 spot on Saturday at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, going to the top during the final qualifying session at the 69th annual Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals.
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Matt Hartford (Pro Stock) and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) all remained the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the 15th of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Hight went 3.853-seconds at 329.67 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Cornwell Tools/AAA Chevrolet Camaro SS, racing to the top under the lights at The Big Go. If that holds, Hight will earn his fourth No. 1 qualifier this season and 81st in his career. It also gives the multi-time champion plenty of momentum heading into Sunday’s Pep Boys NHRA Funny Car All-Star Callout.
Hight had the first selection the specialty event, selecting back-to-back world champ Ron Capps. With the next pick, Bob Tasca III picked John Force and Matt Hagan followed by choosing Tim Wilkerson, leaving Cruz Pedregon and Alexis DeJoria as the final pairing for Sunday’s race. Hight, though, likes his chances after Saturday’s standout run.
“That was big. We stayed and tested Monday after Brainerd and things went really well. So far, our first three runs here have been pretty impressive,” Hight said. “When the car responds to what Jimmy [Prock, crew chief] is doing and it runs what he says it's going to run, you can't be any more confident than that.
“The other Funny Cars weren't running great and none of the dragsters really stepped up from last night, but you have to trust what your people are telling you. They're fine-tuning this thing right now, it's not just 'make a bunch of changes and see what sticks.' They're fine-tuning parts of the run and that's how you become consistent and win.”
Tasca is currently second with a 3.864 at 324.90 and Alexis DeJoria sits third thanks to her 3.888 at 331.77 from Friday.
In Top Fuel, Torrence stayed on top thanks to the run of 3.708 at 329.42 in his 11,000-horsepower Capco Contractors dragster on Friday. Torrence is after his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and 36th in his career. He is aiming for his second win in three years at the world’s biggest drag race and third overall at The Big Go. Defending world champion Brittany Force stayed second with her 3.709 at 333.25 and Doug Kalitta remained in the third spot on Friday with a run of 3.717 at 328.54.
Hartford maintained his No. 1 spot in Pro Stock thanks to Friday’s run of 6.569 at 209.23 in his Total Seal Camaro, keeping him on track for his fourth top qualifier this season. He also made the quickest run of Saturday’s first session, continuing his quest for a first Indy triumph.
“We're siting potentially as the No. 1 qualifier at Indy. It's a lifelong dream come true,” Hartford said. “There are two things that would make this season better: No. 1 to win the championship, No. 2 is to win Indy. Our goal is to go four rounds here on Monday, and four rounds for every race in the Countdown and see where the points stack up. Our team has really gelled, we've had the same team now for a long time. We’ve made three incredible runs for the conditions.”
Troy Coughlin Jr. maintained his second spot with a run of 6.570 at 208.30 and Aaron Stanfield stayed in the third spot after going 6.586 at 208.39.
He didn’t top Friday’s spectacular, track-record run of 6.746 at 198.96 on his Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki, but Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader Gaige Herrera made a pair of strong runs to stay in command heading into Sunday. If Friday’s run holds up, Herrera would get his eighth No. 1 qualifier in nine races, a spectacular feat considering the talent level in the category.
“I was very pleased with that run, but I have to give all the credit to (crew chief) Andrew (Hines) and all the crew guys,” Herrera said. “Andrew has tons of data, and all that but he adjusts per the weather. It's always last minute before we roll up Andrew is just finishing the final touches before the pass because he wants max performance every pass.
“We're off to a very good start and I'm definitely looking forward to the next two days. Hopefully it keeps going into Monday.”
Herrera’s teammate, Eddie Krawiec, is stayed second with his 6.807 at 198.79 from Friday and Hector Arana Jr. remained third after going 6.873 at 198.76.
Qualifying continues on Sunday at 12:15 p.m. ET at the 69th annual Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. The Pep Boys NHRA Funny Car All-Star Callout begins at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, with the semifinals at 3:20 p.m. and the finals at 5:15 p.m., with television coverage taking place from 4-5:30 ET on FOX.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Saturday's results after the first three of five rounds of qualifying for the 69th annual Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, 15th of 21 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Sunday for Monday's final eliminations.
Top Fuel -- 1. Steve Torrence, 3.708 seconds, 329.42 mph; 2. Brittany Force, 3.709, 333.25; 3. Justin Ashley, 3.714, 334.73; 4. Doug Kalitta, 3.717, 328.54; 5. Mike Salinas, 3.721, 335.32; 6. Leah Pruett, 3.730, 331.69; 7. T.J. Zizzo, 3.736, 330.07; 8. Josh Hart, 3.744, 323.89; 9. Shawn Langdon, 3.750, 321.73; 10. Austin Prock, 3.781, 326.08; 11. Tony Schumacher, 3.784, 326.79; 12. Spencer Massey, 3.795, 323.04; 13. Doug Foley, 3.803, 316.75; 14. Will Smith, 3.822, 312.78; 15. Antron Brown, 3.856, 321.50; 16. Lex Joon, 3.858, 311.27. Not Qualified: 17. Buddy Hull, 3.863, 314.39; 18. Dan Mercier, 3.878, 310.41; 19. Clay Millican, 4.589, 171.62.
Funny Car -- 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.853, 329.67; 2. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.864, 324.90; 3. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota GR Supra, 3.888, 331.77; 4. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.912, 323.19; 5. Ron Capps, GR Supra, 3.917, 328.22; 6. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.931, 304.25; 7. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 3.934, 327.66; 8. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.945, 328.38; 9. J.R. Todd, GR Supra, 3.955, 328.78; 10. Chad Green, Mustang, 3.974, 292.08; 11. Dale Creasy Jr., Charger, 3.977, 321.88; 12. John Force, Camaro, 3.989, 328.78; 13. Alex Laughlin, Charger, 4.048, 308.28; 14. Bobby Bode, Mustang, 4.072, 274.11; 15. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.079, 310.41; 16. Paul Lee, Charger, 4.089, 277.15. Not Qualified: 17. Dave Richards, 4.121, 308.35; 18. Justin Schriefer, 4.802, 176.40.
Pro Stock -- 1. Matt Hartford, Chevy Camaro, 6.569, 209.23; 2. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.570, 208.30; 3. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.586, 208.39; 4. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.588, 208.68; 5. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.590, 209.01; 6. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.599, 208.33; 7. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Ford Mustang, 6.603, 208.42; 8. Cristian Cuadra, Mustang, 6.604, 207.56; 9. Camrie Caruso, Camaro, 6.605, 208.97; 10. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.622, 206.57; 11. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.627, 206.04; 12. Eric Latino, Camaro, 6.641, 206.29; 13. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.645, 208.01; 14. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.661, 206.89; 15. Jerry Tucker, Camaro, 6.701, 206.80; 16. Fernando Cuadra, Mustang, 6.794, 205.10. Not Qualified: 17. Mason McGaha, 6.979, 205.47.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.746, 198.96; 2. Eddie Krawiec, Suzuki, 6.800, 199.29; 3. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.828, 199.11; 4. Matt Smith, Suzuki, 6.877, 198.55; 5. Chase Van Sant, Suzuki, 6.878, 197.08; 6. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.881, 197.16; 7. Jianna Evaristo, Suzuki, 6.917, 195.70; 8. Ron Tornow, Victory, 6.934, 195.68; 9. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.935, 196.99; 10. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.940, 195.11; 11. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.967, 192.47; 12. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 7.003, 196.39; 13. John Hall, Buell, 7.027, 193.27; 14. Chris Bostick, EBR, 7.068, 189.55; 15. Bud Yoder II, Buell, 7.114, 191.40; 16. Cory Reed, Suzuki, 7.210, 181.25. Not Qualified: 17. Wesley Wells, 7.226, 185.10; 18. Odolph Daniels, 7.324, 181.59.
PRESTIGIOUS DODGE POWER BROKERS NHRA U.S. NATIONALS FEATURES FREE PARKING, THRILLING SPECIAL EVENTS AND BONUS RACES
The biggest weekend in drag racing features free parking, bonus events like Hemi Challenge and Rooftec Competition Eliminator Cash Clash and much more
INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 23, 2023) – The prestigious 69th annual Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals lives up to its name as the world’s biggest drag race, offering a full slate of special events, attractions, autograph sessions and more during the race weekend on Aug. 30-Sept. 4 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.
On top of it, free parking is also offered for all race fans at the Big Go, helping allow them to see a host of attractions and bonus events on drag racing’s grandest stage. Along with the Pep Boys NHRA All-Star Funny Car Callout and the final Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHR Challenge bonus race of the season for competitions in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals gives competitors in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series a multitude of opportunities for Indy glory.
The new Rooftec NHRA Competition Eliminator Cash Class takes place on Sept. 1, featuring a total purse of $50,000. The winner in the 16-car field will earn $30,000, while the special event will be featured on the NHRA on FOX broadcast during the weekend. The new Rooftec NHRA Competition Class Bonus Award will also debut at the Big Go, adding another $11,500 to the national event purse.
The fastest Super Stock cars will challenge for ultimate bragging rights and a bonus purse during the popular Dodge HEMI Challenge, with the finals set to take place under the lights at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park directly before the opening session of qualifying in Funny Car and Top Fuel on Friday.
Throughout the event, fans will get a number of chances to hear from, meet with and get autographs from their favorite drivers. Everyone is invited to the Nitro Alley Stage, which creates a festive atmosphere leading into Nitro Alley. The Nitro Alley Stage will be the main entertainment hub in the pits when the Camping World Drag Racing Series competitors are not on the track, hosting Nitro School, meet and greets and much more. For autograph seekers, autograph sessions take place on Friday and Saturday at the Dodge Display, on Saturday at the Mission Foods Display featuring drivers in that weekend’s Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, on Saturday at the Toyota Display and Sunday featuring the eight Funny Car standouts in the Pep Boys NHRA All-Star Funny Car Callout.
Fans can also enjoy cacklefests in the hot rod junction, as well as standout racing in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports, Flexjet NHRA Factory Stock Showdown and the new Factory X presented by Holley category.
As always, fans get a pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. They can also visit NHRA’s Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, merchandise, food, and fun.
The weekend wraps on Labor Day Monday, starting with the fan-favorite SealMaster Track Walk and finishing with the winner’s circle celebration on the starting line, where fans are invited to congratulate the winners of the prestigious Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals.
Away from the track, fans are invited to Cruz Pedregon’s annual open house at his racing headquarters in Brownsburg from 5:30-8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30, with the DSR Performance Block Party at DSM Precision Manufacturing Headquarters from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1.
For nearly seven decades, the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals have represented drag racing’s pinnacle and there’s nothing like winning a Wally on the sport’s grandest stage. Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) won in 2022 and this year’s race will be broadcast on both FOX and Fox Sports 1 (FS1), including eliminations coverage starting at 12 p.m. ET on Monday, Sept. 4 on FS1 and continuing at 2 p.m. on FOX.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals includes one round at 5:45 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 1, two rounds on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 2:15 and 5:45 p.m. and the final two rounds on Sunday, Sept. 3 at 12:15 and 3:45 p.m. Final eliminations start at 10 a.m. ET on Monday, Sept. 4. The Pep Boys NHRA Funny Car All-Star Callout begins at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3, with the semifinals at 3:20 p.m. and the finals at 5:15 p.m., with television coverage taking place from 4-5:30 ET on FOX.
Television coverage starts on FS1 from 11:30-1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3 and continues from 5:30-7:30 p.m. On Monday, eliminations coverage begins at 12 p.m. on FS1 and continues on FOX from 2-5 p.m.
Single-day tickets for the Top Eliminator Club are also on sale, putting fans even closer to the action. Offering the best seats in the house and a premium experience, the Top Eliminator Club includes number of exclusive benefits for the historic event.
CAPPS, BROWN AND GLENN ROLL TO WINS AT LUCAS OIL NHRA NATIONALS
BRAINERD, Minn. – Defending Funny Car world champion Ron Capps moved into the points lead and picked up his 75th career win on Sunday at Brainerd International Raceway, powering past Robert Hight in the final round of the 41st annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
Antron Brown (Top Fuel) and Dallas Glenn (Pro Stock) also won the 14th of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Capps delivered a run of 3.887-seconds at 332.75 mph in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra, holding off Hight’s 3.900 at 324.90, getting his second win of the 2023 season. The back-to-back world champion also got his seventh career win at Brainerd International Raceway, which is the second-most in NHRA history at the facility to John Force’s 11 victories.
To reach the final round for the sixth time this year, Capps, the No. 1 qualifier, knocked off Jim Campbell, Tim Wilkerson and Bob Tasca III. In a matchup that featured a pair of three-time world champions, Capps led wire-to-wire against Hight to pick up a special milestone victory. His points lead stands at 21 points heading to Indy.
“I've won with different crew chiefs here, there's just something about this place,” Capps said. “We make a point of going out and celebrating with everybody in the Zoo, and we did that again last night. We’re taking the Wally out to the Zoo tonight. Everybody there helped us win, and they should get a picture.
“We have all kinds of Funny Cars that have won multiple races this year and here we are with the points lead. We had one win coming in here. That tells you the consistency. It grows my confidence, we grow each other's confidence, and it's just fun right now. We had a goal to get to Indy and win the regular season points. To have the points lead going into Indy, it's just so cool.”
Hight reached his 99th career final round on Sunday by defeating Bobby Bode, Dave Richards and teammate John Force.
In Top Fuel, Antron Brown capped off a dominant weekend at Brainerd International Raceway, following up his Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge victory on Saturday with a Sunday triumph, going 3.715 at 326.08 in his 11,000-horsepower Matco Tools/Toyota dragster against Leah Pruett. It gives Brown an impressive double-up weekend at a key point in the season as the three-time world champion also moved to third in points.
He knocked off Shawn Langdon, Steve Torrence and Mike Salinas to reach the finals, posting another strong run in the championship round against Pruett. It’s also Brown’s 73rd career victory and his sixth at Brainerd (two in Top Fuel and four in Pro Stock Motorcycle). Brown was stellar on the starting line all weekend as he prepares for a run at a fourth world title.
“Every lap we made, we were very competitive. We got in eliminations and knew it was going to be a very different day,” Brown said. “The conditions were going to be better, but that's where Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald [co-crew chiefs] shine. The conditions change, they make an adjustment, and they know right where to put it. We started with a good lap, we were the quickest and fastest of the first session, and that set the tone for the day.
“Then you go in race mode where, you have to race smart. They stayed in that zone, and the consistency paid off. That's what it takes to wins races and championships. I’ve always loved racing at this track. This race is the turning point that can really get you ready for the championship.”
Pruett reached the finals for the third time in 2023 and 22nd time overall by defeating Tony Schumacher, defending world champ Brittany Force and points leader Justin Ashley. In the points standings, Ashley’s lead now stands at 101 points over Torrence.
A dominant season continued for Dallas Glenn in Pro Stock, as the points leader won for the fourth time in 2023 with a run of 6.566 at 207.56 in his RAD Torque Systems Camaro to defeat KB Titan Racing teammate Kyle Koretsky in the final round. Glenn drove to his eighth career win in the process, building a points lead that now stands at an impressive 284 points over Matt Hartford.
On Sunday, Glenn made a series of standout runs, knocking off Jerry Tucker, defending world champ Erica Enders and Aaron Stanfield to reach the final round for the seventh time this year. In a matchup that featured two drivers making their first-ever Pro Stock appearance at Brainerd, Glenn got the job done, winning in Pro Stock’s first race at the fan-favorite facility since 2019.
“I feel like the car did most of the work today. It's running so well,” Glenn said. “I was a little worried, it seems to be that the car works really good when it's hot and humid out. It showed on Saturday when I picked up four bonus points in qualifying. But we went out there with the first run today, and I didn't think it was that great of a run, but we were second of the session. We just went out there and made four really solid laps. It shook a little bit in the final. I think the track was just a little too good and we needed to get after it a little more, but it made it through it.
“I know Kyle really, really wanted to win that one especially here for Lucas Oil but that's one thing I love about KB Titan Racing, there are never any team orders. We put the absolute best tune-up in the car and we let the drivers figure it out. When I won the semis and it was an all-KBT final, that's when the real emotion of winning comes out because no matter what, the trophy is coming home with us.”
Koretsky reached the finals for first time in 2023 and seventh time in his career, getting past Camrie Caruso, No. 1 qualifier Greg Anderson and Deric Kramer.
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to action Aug. 30-Sept. 3 with the 69th annual Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.
World Of Outlaws from Jackson- Highlights
JETTIN’ IN JACKSON: James McFadden Rolls to Sweep of Jackson Nationals Prelims
by Alex Nieten
August 19, 2023
There’s one man with all of the momentum heading into Saturday’s $25,000-to-win AGCO Jackson Nationals finale. And that man is James McFadden.
After claiming Thursday’s opener, McFadden delivered an encore on Friday night at Jackson Motorplex. The pilot of the Roth Motorsports machine wheeled the #83 to statement victory – leading all 25 laps at the Minnesota oval on his way to a sweep of the prelims.
Not only did McFadden claim two consecutive World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car victories, but his performance over the two nights also slotted him atop the Jackson Nationals points. That puts him as the first seed in tomorrow’s King of the Hill that will decide the front four rows of Saturday’s main event.
Topping both prelims gave McFadden back-to-back Series victories for the first time in his career. Jackson also became the first track where he owns multiple triumphs with The Greatest Show on Dirt. The Australian is now up to 11 career World of Outlaws wins – two away from equaling Brooke Tatnell as the second winningest Aussie.
“I’ve been close a couple times, but to go back-to-back is cool,” McFadden said. “Big thanks to Dennis and Teresa Roth for the opportunity. Hope you guys are pumped at home. It’s been a pretty cool weekend so far. To be locked into tomorrow is great.”
McFadden began the main event from the outside of the front row after finishing second in the Toyota Racing Dash with Giovanni Scelzi to his inside. On the race’s initial start, McFadden got the jump on Scelzi as they roared into the opening corner. McFadden then nosed ahead as they went down the backstretch.
Early on McFadden rolled the bottom while Scelzi ripped the cushion and began to close in on the top spot. But it a near replica moment from Thursday when McFadden was fending off Donny Schatz, McFadden moved to the top right when it appeared Scelzi may be able to pull alongside. One he made that move, McFadden maintained a healthy advantage.
“It was tough to know where to run,” McFadden noted of the track’s challenges. “I felt like I was really abusing my tires and engine and car up there, but we were good enough to get the job done.”
As the race moved beyond halfway and the leaders entered traffic, an opportunity for Scelzi to challenge for the lead arose. McFadden struggled with slower cars and dirty air allowing Scelzi to close in. The KCP Racing pilot found the momentum to take a big swing with a slide job in Turns 1 and 2 but came up a little short of clearing him.
“The air is so dirty behind cars,” McFadden said. “In clean air or taking off on a restart I felt pretty good, and then you get to cars and it’s like you’re driving behind a semi-trailer on the highway. It sort of buffers around and carries on… It all happens so fast in the moment that it doesn’t feel like much of a moment, but then you watch it back and you’re like, ‘Oh, that was a little close for comfort. Gio does an awesome job. He’s one of the most respectful guys out there, and I know he’s going to give you enough room.”
After sweeping the two prelims, James McFadden is primely positioned for Saturday’s AGCO Jackson Nationals finale (Trent Gower Photo)Shortly after Scelzi’s challenge, the yellow flag flew with nine laps remaining – giving him clean air and effectively paving the path to Victory Lane. Scelzi closed in on the final circuit, but McFadden ultimately won with a comfortable advantage.
With two prelim wins in the bag, McFadden’s focus is now squarely on the $25,000 prize that awaits the winner of the Jackson Nationals finale.
“I’m super happy with the weekend,” McFadden said. “Happy with my guys. Happy with my car. Bring on tomorrow.”
Following McFadden to the line was Gio Scelzi in the KCP #18. The result marked his fourth podium of his rookie World of Outlaws campaign and fourth top five in the last six races. The Fresno, CA native tallied 861 points across the two prelims, good enough for third most and a spot in Saturday’s King of the Hill. Scelzi finished the night feeling satisfied with he and his team’s continued speed but wished the start of the race would’ve gone differently to give him a better shot at the win.
“I felt like it was all on the start there,” Scelzi said of what might’ve decided the race. “There wasn’t much on the bottom of (Turns) 1 and 2, and the race was really won right there. I got kind of to him in traffic and threw a Hail Mary slider and knew I wasn’t going to clear him once I got to the center and just kind of turned sideways… I’m having fun right now. We seem to be making gains on it every night and being in the hunt every night.”
Rounding out the top three was another driver who punched their ticket to Saturday’s King of the Hill – Carson Macedo. The finish for the Jason Johnson Racing driver had points implications elsewhere, too. Macedo jumped ahead of David Gravel for second in the championship standings and sits a manageable 50 markers behind Brad Sweet for the top spot. It was another solid night for Macedo as he earned his 15th podium of the season.
“I think my team has continued to get my car really good,” Macedo said. “This JJR #41 team – Philip Dietz, Clyde Knipp, and Nate Repetz – they work so hard. I feel like my car has been super consistent. We obviously haven’t won both nights like James, and we’re definitely not happy with third, but I feel like I kind of did all I could there. I got a good start and kind of paced my race a little bit. I had one shot there on a restart with Gio. I hit the bottom nice in (Turns) 1 and 2 and tried to slide him, but the top is just so fast. I actually thought I cleared him, and he just ripped right around me.”
Buddy Kofoid and Brad Sweet completed the top five.