Enders Ends Up In Pro Stock Record Book

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, November 1 2022

Winners in the NHRA event in Las Vegas over the weekend were Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana, Jr. (Bikes). Enders sewed up her fifth world championship at the event.

With her fifth Pro Stock world championship, Erica Enders has moved into a league of her own among women competitors in NHRA’s extensive record book.

Enders clinched her fifth “Factory Hot Rod” crown during the semifinals of Sunday’s 22nd annual NHRA Nevada Nationals with a quarter-mile pass in 6.639-seconds at 206.67 mph against Kyle Koretsky. In the final, Enders notched a personal-best 10th single-season victory at the expense of Elite Motorsports teammate Troy Coughlin Jr. via a run in 6.640-seconds and 206.86 mph.

Enders’ 43rd career victory _ and ninth at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway _ moved her one win ahead of three-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Angelle Sampey on the all-time list of women competitors in drag racing and any motorsport.

“As a kid with big dreams, this makes me want to pinch myself,” said Enders, a 39-year-old native of Houston. “We have worked really hard to get here and we’ve sacrificed a lot. It’s nice to see all of those sacrifices paid off. It’s really unbelievable. I’m a blessed girl.”

Only four other Pro Stock drivers have earned five or more world championship titles in the 71-year history of the sport. Enders shares this distinction with Jeg Coughlin Jr., Greg Anderson, Warren “The Professor” Johnson and Bob Glidden. Anderson is the only other active driver in the class.

Led by Enders, only seven women have competed in NHRA Pro Stock. That list includes Grace Howell, Judy Lilly, Lucinda McFarlin, Shay Nicols, Shirley Shahan and current Rookie of the Year contender Camrie Caruso.

Enders took over the point lead early in the season after her third win, fittingly in the last national event contested at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas. She held onto P1 for the remainder of the season.

“What an incredible day,” said Enders, driver of the Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro fielded by team-owner Richard Freeman. “We came in and wanted to just semi-out so we could keep the points lead (over teammate Aaron Stanfield) and win the championship. And my crew chief, Mark Ingersoll, said, ‘We’re going for it.’ I just had to drive it. I did a marginal job and we were able to park the Melling Performance car in the Winner’s Circle.

“To qualify No. 1, win the race and win the championship, it’s been a bad-ass day. As a personal goal, we wanted to get that 10th win and I have the best guys that stand beside me. They all make it possible for me and I’m living my dream. This whole season has been a dream come true for our whole team. We spent the whole season with a No. 2 on the car and that didn’t sit well with any of us. It lit a fire under our team to become champs again.”

Enders previously won her titles in 2014, 2015, 2019 and 2020. “We won nine events in 2015 when we won the world championship and we were fortunate enough to lock it up here,” said Enders, lead driver of Elite’s Oklahoma-based operation. “As a personal goal, I wanted to win one more than that. We don’t plan on letting up going to Pomona.”

The season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif., from Nov. 10-13 will offer points-and-half to drivers still chasing world titles _ a list that includes Brittany Force and Matt Hagan. Force (Top Fuel), Hagan (Funny Car) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also scored victories in the penultimate event of the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and fifth of six races in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

Anderson, Enders’ longtime Chevrolet rival from Ken Black Racing, secured his fifth championship last season. Enders termed this championship “a huge blessing” during a season that saw Erica score victories at three tracks that previously had eluded her.

“We came out here ready for battle this year because of the fashion that we lost the championship last year, so hats off to my guys,” said Enders, who scored the 15th win for Elite Motorsports this season. “This is a testament _ not only this championship but all the others as well _ that you don’t ever give up. You dig deep, play with all the heart that you have when the cards are stacked against you. You go to battle and you have not fear, you have the faith. I could not be more proud to be their driver.

“We’ll keep on going. We did a hat trick _ we got the (yellow) No. 1 qualifier, we got the (green) winner’s hat and we got the white one, which means world champion. To be able to do it five times and join the list of people like Bob Glidden and Jeg Coughlin, it couldn’t mean anything more to me.

We’re happy to park this Melling Performance Chevy Camaro in the Winner’s Circle. At the beginning of this year, I though five wins would be sufficient; that’s how tough this class is. When we got to the middle of the season we thought why not 10? Well, now why not 11? You just keep going. I drive a really bad-ass Chevy Camaro that Rick Jones built and I’m thrilled. I don’t know if that fire will ever get put out. I’m going to enjoy the ride while it lasts.”

Coughlin, nephew of Jeg Jr., reached a final for the fifth time during his breakout 2022 season, driving to round-wins against Caruso, Deric Kramer and Cristian Cuadra.

In Top Fuel, Brittany Force regained the point lead with a dominant weekend capped by a 1,000-foot pass in 3.705-seconds at 332.34 mph to defeat Mike Salinas on a hole-shot in the final. After struggling at the first four races of the Countdown and not advancing past the second round at any of them, Force regained her momentum in Vegas _ sweeping both races at The Strip in the process. She also erased an 82-point deficit to Justin Ashley heading into the weekend.

Ashley lost to Clay Millican in the opening round, while Force forged huge victories against three-time world champion Antron Brown _ her first against him in eliminations this weekend _ and eight-time world champ Tony Schumacher. She then posted a stellar 0.034-second reaction time against Salinas to secure her fifth win this season, first since July and 16th in her career. The weekend’s outcome gave Brit, of John Force Racing, a seven-point lead over Ashley heading toward a must-see showdown in Pomona.

This shows you _ Pomona is going to be exciting, going to be a thrill for everyone,” said Force, driver of the dragster tuned by David Grubnic. “It’s huge to win on a hole-shot. It’s a giveback to my guys for all the times they’ve carried me, so it’s a thank you to them. They’re incredible.”

A 36-year-old resident of Yorba Linda, Calif., Force edged Steve Torrence for the world title in 2017. Torrence’s subsequent run of four consecutive championships likely will end at Pomona. Torrence exited Vegas fifth in points, 87 behind Force.

This Flav-R-Pac/Monster Energy team, we feel good,” Force said. “We’ve struggled in the entire Countdown. We started to make ground (in the FallNationals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis) and I screwed up, so coming in this weekend we really turned it around. It gives us a lot of confidence. This is our career-best season with five wins, and it’s been a little while since we’ve been in that Winner’s Circle, so (Sunday) was a big turnaround for our team.

We want (the championship) so bad and we’re going to chase this thing until the end.”

Salinas scored wins against Leah Pruett, Millican and Austin Prock to reach the final. The California privateer also moved into third in the standings, trailing Force by 66 points.

Matt Hagan remained a player in the Funny Car championship, posting a 1,000-foot final-round lap in 3.896-seconds at 330.23 mph to defeat point-leader Robert Hight and collect his fourth win this season.

Knowing he faced a must-win situation, Hagan rallied for his first victory since June to close to within 63 points of Hight heading to Pomona. Hagan needed two hole-shots to do it, including an opening-round win against Steven Densham and in the semifinals against Bob Tasca III. A 39-year-old resident of Christiansburg, Va., Hagan now has four wins in Vegas and 43 in his career _ as well as a chance to claim a fourth championship in two weeks.

“My guys are making some real power; it’s running strong, man,” said Hagan, referring to his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat fielded by Tony Stewart Racing. “They put a great hot rod underneath me and to come out here on Sunday and win on two hole-shots and get my team that little extra bump of what we needed to keep going, it’s great.

“I don’t know what it is about these later races, we just always do well here and in Pomona as well. I feel the momentum building back. I feel like these are our type of races, our type of conditions. And Pomona, I’ve done really, really well. It’s such a historical place _ they’ve crowned champions there _ and when you roll into Pomona, you know history is going to be made.”

Hight _ an eight-time winner this season _ advanced to his 12th final of 2022 and 96th in his career thanks to victories against Jeff Arend, Alexis DeJoria and 2018 world champion J.R. Todd.

In the final, Hight dealt with a rare stumble against Hagan. The rear tires on Hight’s Camaro SS shook loose early, allowing Hagan blast past to victory. Hight’s official run was 6.157-seconds at 111.12 mph.

“That wasn’t quite the way we scripted the weekend ending,” said Hight, of John Force Racing. “Still not a bad weekend for our Auto Club team. We were able to grow our points lead which was important, we went rounds and qualified well _ every point matters right now.

“We’re still in control of our own destiny. If we go out and win Pomona, we win the championship. This team knows how to get the job done, eight wins so far this season, one more and we know we have the title. The competition is so intense right now, it’s going to be a fight but this Auto Club team is ready for it.”

Hight will take a 61-point lead over fellow-Californian and title runnerup Ron Capps _ the two-time/reigning world champion _ into Pomona.

Hector Arana, Jr. now has won eight straight rounds en route to his second consecutive Pro Stock Motorcycle victory. Hector Jr. defeated point-leader Matt Smith on a hole-shot in the final aboard his his GETTRX Buell. Arana Jr. covered the quarter-mile in 6.866-seconds at 196.42 mph, using a brilliant 0.009-second reaction time to hold off Smith and his run of 6.862 at 198.47.

Arana Jr. earned his 17th career win and third in Las Vegas after qualifying No. 15 on the 16-bike ladder. He went on to defeat three-time world champion Angelle Sampey, five-time champion Eddie Krawiec and Angie Smith to reach the final, ending his day with three hole-shot victories and plenty of momentum to take into the offseason.

“It was a fight just to get here,” said Hector Jr., the 33-year-old son of 2009 world champ Hector Arana Sr. A resident of East Northport, N.Y., Hector Jr. shook-up the Pro Stock Bike landscape when he won the Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis on Oct. 16 in only his fifth race of the season. Arana Jr. tracked down 2016 world champ Jerry Savoie at International Drag Racing Hall of Famer Billy Meyer’s facility in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to deliver a morale and financial-boosting win to his family-owned team.

“Dallas was supposed to be our last race,” Hector Jr. said. “Honestly, we weren’t prepared. We had to go home and rebuild engines after Dallas. I struggled a little in qualifying, but we had a back-up plan for race day. I did win a couple of races on hole-shots, but you’ve got to have the pace to get there and we had that.

“I have a lot of confidence right now. I can’t wait to go to Pomona and keep going. We found our groove pretty quickly. Now, our mission is to get the funding we need to come back next year.”

Smith, the five-time/reigning world champion, reached a final for the 71st time in his career and the sixth time in 2022 after round-wins against Katie Justice, Chip Ellis and Savoie. Smith also built his lead to 104 points over Joey Gladstone heading into the finale at Pomona.

Tony Stewart’s competitive NHRA debut in Top Alcohol Dragster reached Sunday’s final, where he was defeated by Madison Payne by two-ten-thousandths-of-a-second. Payne, a college student from Claremont, Calif., and third-generation alcohol-class driver, covered the quarter-mile in 5.262-seconds and 275.90 mph while Stewart ran 5.258 at 271.57 in the TAD entry fielded by McPhillips Racing.

Stewart qualified and finished second in his NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series debut, adding to a resume featuring three NASCAR Cup Series championships, the 1997 Indy Racing League title and victories in various IMSA sports car and U.S. Auto Club Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown vehicles.

Stewart said over the weekend that a TAD car is the 25th different vehicle he has raced.

“This is one of those sports that the driver still has control of his own destiny to a certain extent,” Stewart said during a virtual news conference previewing his debut. “When it comes to the staging and doing what I need to do it doesn’t matter what they do in that other lane. When that light changes it’s my job to have a good reaction time, to keep it in the groove and do the procedure the way I’ve been taught and know how to do it. You can sit there and look at how tough everybody is, but at the same time it’s about going out there doing your job.

“That’s the thing about NHRA, it doesn’t matter what division and what class. If it’s not a pro class people think it’s not as competitive and that’s truly not the story in NHRA. Every division that runs has that set of people that have perfected their art in each of those classes, so there’s no layups in NHRA in any of the classes.”

A NASCAR Hall of Famer, Stewart is in the midst of completing his first season as owner of Tony Stewart Racing. The 51-year-old native of Columbus, Ind., is fielding the Top Fuel dragster driven by his wife, Leah Pruett Stewart, and three-time Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan.

According to a report in autoweek.com, Payne is the daughter of former Top Fuel driver Shelly Anderson-Payne and Top Alcohol Funny Car and Pro Modified veteran Jay Payne. Payne also is the granddaughter of acclaimed racer/engine-builder Brad Anderson.

Stewart defeated James Stevens and Taylor Vetter on Saturday and began Sunday’s eliminations with a semifinal victory over former class champion Chris Demke.

Stewart emphasized throughout the event that this weekend was about gaining experience. Prior to Friday, he never had run a competitive lap against a car-and-driver in the opposite lane.

“So far, we’re happy with that experience,” Stewart said Sunday. “I’m definitely having more fun than I’ve had in a long time, definitely not anywhere that has fenders on it. So I’m lovin’ this sport.”

Stewart remained non-committal about his drag racing future, with the priority being the care-and-feeding of his fledgling Top Fuel and Funny Car teams.

“I haven’t even thought that far, honestly,” Stewart said. “This weekend was about just going through the experience. And truly, after the weekend’s over, we’ll sit back and say, ‘Hey, is this something that we want to pursue and want to try to do more of?’^”


Final finishing order (1-16) at the 22nd annual NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race was the 21st of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series and fifth of sixth events in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs:

Top Fuel _ 1. Brittany Force; 2. Mike Salinas; 3. Austin Prock; 4. Tony Schumacher; 5. Steve Torrence; 6. Shawn Langdon; 7. Antron Brown; 8. Clay Millican; 9. Josh Hart; 10. Doug Kalitta; 11. Justin Ashley; 12. Krista Baldwin; 13. Cameron Ferre; 14. Rob Passey; 15. Leah Pruett.

Funny Car _ 1. Matt Hagan; 2. Robert Hight; 3. J.R. Todd; 4. Bob Tasca III; 5. Alexis DeJoria; 6. Ron Capps; 7. Chad Green; 8. John Force; 9. Tim Wilkerson; 10. Cruz Pedregon; 11. Jim Campbell; 12. Steven Densham; 13. Bobby Bode III; 14. Jeff Arend; 15. Blake Alexander; 16. Paul Lee.

Pro Stock _ 1. Erica Enders; 2. Troy Coughlin Jr.; 3. Kyle Koretsky; 4. Cristian Cuadra; 5. Aaron Stanfield; 6. Dallas Glenn; 7. Fernando Cuadra Jr.; 8. Deric Kramer; 9. Bo Butner; 10. Matt Hartford; 11. Mason McGaha; 12. Camrie Caruso; 13. Greg Anderson; 14. Fernando Cuadra; 15. Chris McGaha; 16. Kenny Delco.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1. Hector Arana Jr.; 2. Matt Smith; 3. Angie Smith; 4. Jerry Savoie; 5. Eddie Krawiec; 6. Joey Gladstone; 7. Chip Ellis; 8. Ryan Oehler; 9. Angelle Sampey; 10. Steve Johnson; 11. Gaige Herrera; 12. Karen Stoffer; 13. Jianna Evaristo; 14. Katie Justice; 15. Chris Bostick; 16. Marc Ingwersen.

Final Pro and Sportsman class results from the NHRA Nevada Nationals:

Top Fuel _ Brittany Force, 3.705-seconds, 332.34 mph def. Mike Salinas, 3.702-seconds, 324.90 mph.

Funny Car _ Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.896, 330.23 def. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 6.157, 111.12.

Pro Stock _ Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.640, 206.86 def. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.668, 206.48.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ Hector Arana Jr., Buell, 6.866, 196.42 def. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.862, 198.47.

Top Alcohol Dragster _ Madison Payne, 5.262, 275.90 def. Tony Stewart, 5.258, 271.57.

Top Alcohol Funny Car _ Doug Gordon, Chevy Camaro, 5.479, 265.38 def. Annie Whiteley, Camaro, 5.518, 265.27.

Super Stock _ Tyler Wudarczyk, Chevy Camaro, 10.688, 113.48 def. Greg Stanfield, Camaro, 10.053, 127.67.

Stock Eliminator _ Leo Glasbrenner, Chevy Camaro, 9.543, 136.62 def. Steve Wann, Plymouth Savoy, 10.130, 127.82.

Super Comp _ Ken Mostowich, Chevy Camaro, 9.079, 169.87 def. Gabriel Torres, Dragster, 9.048, 167.97.

Super Gas _ Chris Lewis, Chevy Camaro, 10.054, 159.57 def. Dave Holmes, Plymouth Savoy, 10.070, 142.55.

Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers _  Aaron Steinkey, Dragster, 6.850, 194.60 def. Jeff Korn, Dragster, 6.254, 225.63.

Nostalgia Funny Car _ Bobby Cottrell, Chevy Camaro, 4.742, 238.55 def. Billy Morris, Camaro, Foul/Red Light.

Summit Super Pro _ Carl Keil II, Dragster, 7.678, 172.30 def. Brendan George, Dragster, 7.776, 157.03.

Summit Pro ET _ Andy Anderson, Chevy S-10, 9.176, 146.18 def. Steve Lambert, Chevy El Camino, Foul/Red Light.

Summit Sportsman _ Jason Hildebrandt, Plymouth Valiant, 11.869, 110.01 def. Paul Northrop, Chevy Camaro, 11.875, 107.63.

Summit ET Motorcycle _ Garreth Sheppeard, Suzuki Hayabusa, 8.120, 166.23 def. Dalton Markham, Hayabusa, 9.147, 135.54.

Summit Street Legal EV _ Craig Merrilees, Tesla, 11.548, 115.09 def. Alex Fangmann, Tesla, 12.427, 114.15.

Final round-by-round results from the NHRA Nevada Nationals:


ROUND ONE _ Antron Brown, 3.709, 330.23 def. Doug Kalitta, 3.751, 328.38; Tony Schumacher, 3.707, 327.66 def. Rob Passey, 4.215, 289.51; Brittany Force, 3.671, 336.91 was unopposed; Austin Prock, 3.744, 324.28 def. Cameron Ferre, 4.040, 261.72; Clay Millican, 3.695, 330.72 def. Justin Ashley, 3.754, 332.67; Shawn Langdon, 3.770, 324.98 def. Krista Baldwin, 3.879, 293.03; Mike Salinas, 3.723, 329.58 def. Leah Pruett, 4.375, 173.18; Steve Torrence, 3.690, 331.85 def. Josh Hart, 3.719, 331.77;

QUARTERFINALS _ Schumacher, 3.764, 327.27 def. Langdon, 3.762, 324.44; Force, 3.732, 327.98 def. Brown, 4.156, 211.06; Salinas, 3.700, 326.16 def. Millican, 4.292, 199.94; Prock, 3.732, 327.19 def. Torrence, 3.733, 321.81;

SEMIFINALS _ Force, 3.712, 331.85 def. Schumacher, 4.075, 216.55; Salinas, 3.726, 328.62 def. Prock, 3.806, 313.88;

FINAL _ Force, 3.705, 332.34 def. Salinas, 3.702, 324.90.


ROUND ONE _ J.R. Todd, Toyota Supra, 3.944, 328.54 def. Cruz Pedregon, Dodge Charger, 3.992, 281.54; Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.884, 325.30 def. Bobby Bode III, Mustang, 4.152, 243.11; Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.881, 331.04 def. Jeff Arend, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.161, 285.35; Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.123, 254.62 def. Steven Densham, Mustang, 4.121, 275.00; John Force, Camaro, 3.915, 326.56 def. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 5.715, 123.79; Ron Capps, Supra, 3.891, 330.07 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.008, 315.78; Chad Green, Mustang, 3.944, 321.88 def. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.932, 328.54; Alexis DeJoria, Supra, 3.906, 328.86 def. Paul Lee, Charger, 9.415, 76.88;

QUARTERFINALS _ Hagan, 3.909, 331.77 def. Green, 3.940, 320.20; Hight, 3.894, 327.03 def. DeJoria, 3.907, 326.24; Tasca III, 3.914, 329.75 def. Capps, 3.938, 329.42; Todd, 3.889, 329.83 def. Force, 3.957, 328.06;

SEMIFINALS _ Hagan, 3.924, 330.07 def. Tasca III, 3.904, 328.86; Hight, 3.878, 330.15 def. Todd, 3.898, 324.05;

FINAL _ Hagan, 3.896, 330.23 def. Hight, 6.157, 111.12.


ROUND ONE _ Dallas Glenn, Chevy Camaro, 6.635, 205.41 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.667, 205.91; Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.654, 205.88 def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.644, 206.10; Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.627, 206.89 def. Camrie Caruso, Camaro, 6.665, 205.54; Fernando Cuadra Jr., Mustang, 6.655, 205.76 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.627, 206.61; Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.639, 205.16 def. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.652, 207.18; Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.636, 206.35 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.680, 204.35; Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.629, 206.48 def. Fernando Cuadra, Mustang, Foul/Red Light; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.604, 207.21 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.687, 206.54;

QUARTERFINALS _ Koretsky, 6.664, 204.91 def. Cuadra Jr., 6.680, 204.17; C. Cuadra, 6.669, 205.88 def. Stanfield, 6.647, 206.10; Coughlin Jr., 6.668, 206.07 def. Kramer, 6.689, 204.70; Enders, 6.645, 206.57 def. Glenn, 6.663, 205.32;

SEMIFINALS _ Coughlin Jr., 6.657, 206.29 def. C. Cuadra, 6.691, 205.07; Enders, 6.639, 206.67 def. Koretsky, 6.663, 205.91;

FINAL _ Enders, 6.640, 206.86 def. Coughlin Jr., 6.668, 206.48.


ROUND ONE _ Chip Ellis, EBR, 6.915, 195.28 def. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 7.793, 124.11; Eddie Krawiec, Suzuki, 6.892, 195.03 def. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 7.250, 158.82; Angie Smith, EBR, 6.907, 195.82 def. Jianna Evaristo, Suzuki, 6.990, 191.21; Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.918, 194.52 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.987, 192.91; Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.881, 195.59 def. Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.974, 189.87; Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.971, 192.74 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.928, 192.88; Hector Arana Jr., Buell, 6.905, 195.85 def. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, Foul/Red Light; Matt Smith, Buell, 6.872, 197.77 def. Katie Justice, Suzuki, 7.032, 190.92;

QUARTERFINALS _ A. Smith, 6.910, 195.19 def. Gladstone, 6.928, 194.02; Arana Jr., 6.884, 195.99 def. Krawiec, 6.904, 194.77; Savoie, 6.908, 194.69 def. Oehler, 7.060, 190.43; M. Smith, 6.870, 198.73 def. Ellis, 6.931, 194.69;

SEMIFINALS _ Arana Jr., 6.908, 196.22 def. A. Smith, 6.900, 195.17; M. Smith, 6.867, 198.15 def. Savoie, 6.912, 194.44;

FINAL _ Arana Jr., 6.866, 196.42 def. M. Smith, 6.862, 198.47.

Countdown to the Championship point standings (top-10) following the NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:

Top Fuel _1. Brittany Force, 2,468; 2. Justin Ashley, 2,461; 3. Mike Salinas, 2,402; 4. Antron Brown, 2,390; 5. Steve Torrence, 2,381; 6. Austin Prock, 2,342; 7. Josh Hart, 2,307; 8. Shawn Langdon, 2,290; 9. Doug Kalitta, 2,284; 10. Clay Millican, 2,269.

Funny Car _1. Robert Hight, 2,592; 2. Ron Capps, 2,531; 3. Matt Hagan, 2,529; 4. John Force, 2,406; 5. Bob Tasca III, 2,391; 6. J.R. Todd, 2,295; 7. Tim Wilkerson, 2,261; 8. Alexis DeJoria, 2,259; 9. Cruz Pedregon, 2,222; 10. Blake Alexander, 2,150.

Pro Stock _1. Erica Enders*, 2,684; 2. Aaron Stanfield, 2,460; 3. Troy Coughlin Jr., 2,440; 4. Kyle Koretsky, 2,406; 5. Greg Anderson, 2,396; 6. Dallas Glenn, 2,319; 7. Matt Hartford, 2,318; 8. Cristian Cuadra, 2,216; 9. Deric Kramer, 2,205; 10. Mason McGaha, 2,188.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _1. Matt Smith, 2,484; 2. Joey Gladstone, 2,380; 3. Jerry Savoie, 2,348; 4. Angie Smith, 2,336; 5. Steve Johnson, 2,297; 6. Eddie Krawiec, 2,291; 7. Angelle Sampey, 2,259; 8. Marc Ingwersen, 2,204; 9. Ryan Oehler, 2,180; 10. Karen Stoffer, 2,172.


Sept. 15-18 _ Pep Boys NHRA Nationals, Maple Grove Raceway, Reading, Pa: Austin Prock (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Joey Gladstone (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Sept. 23-25 _ Charlotte NHRA Nationals, zMAX Dragway, Concord, N.C.: Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock).

Sept. 30-Oct. 2 _ NHRA Midwest Nationals, World Wide Technology Raceway, Madison, Ill.: Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Oct. 13-16 _ Texas NHRA FallNationals, Texas Motorplex, Ennis: Justin Ashley (Top Fuel); Ron Capps (Funny Car); Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Oct. 27-30 _ NHRA Nevada Nationals, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: Brittany Force (Top Fuel); Matt Hagan (Funny Car); Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Nov. 10-13 _ Auto Club NHRA Finals, Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif.

Editor’s Note: John Sturbin is a Texas-based journalist specializing in motorsports. During a near 30-year career with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he won the Bloys Britt Award for top motorsports story of the year (1991) as judged by The Associated Press; received the National Hot Rod Association’s Media Award (1995) and several in-house Star-Telegram honors. He also was inaugural recipient of the Texas Motor Speedway Excellence in Journalism Award (2009). His list of freelance clients includes Texas Motor Speedway, the Dallas Morning News, New York Newsday, Rome (N.Y.) Daily Sentinel, Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller Times, NASCAR Wire Service, Ford Racing and Used Car Dealer magazine).


| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Tuesday, November 1 2022
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