FORCE STOPS CAPPS TO WIN FIRST #2FAST2TASTY CHALLENGE
The Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park came to a fitting conclusion as John Force, Justin Ashley, Aaron Stanfield, and Gaige Herrera emerged as the victors in their respective categories. The event was part of the 69th annual Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals.
Force, the Funny Car legend, secured his first victory in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, defeating two-time world champion Ron Capps in the final round. Force, driving the PEAK Chevrolet Camaro SS, clocked an impressive 3.989-seconds at 328.78 mph to claim the win. Force's triumph in the bonus race added another milestone to his illustrious career and legacy at the iconic Indy track.
"I want to win the Mission deal, but it was an opportunity that I got away with it," Force said. "You just do what you do and attack it. Some days, the good Lord lets me get away with it, and I did today. It was good to come in here to Indy and be able to do your job at my age."
In Top Fuel, Ashley continued his season's success, securing his unprecedented sixth victory in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge. Ashley's phenomenal run of 3.714 at 334.73 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Phillips Connect/Toyota Dragster earned him the win against Antron Brown in the final round.
Ashley's performance not only secured the bonus race victory but also earned him 21 playoff points when the Countdown to the Championship begins.
"These Mission #2Fast2Tasty points add up, especially because of when they come into play, which is after the points reset," Ashley explained. "It was critical for our team to take advantage of every opportunity we had during this challenge. I feel like we did a great job with that, and it's just a testament to the great team that we have."
Aaron Stanfield demonstrated his prowess in Pro Stock, winning the specialty race by defeating Kyle Koretsky in the final round. Stanfield drove his Janac Brothers Chevrolet Camaro to a time of 6.630 at 207.56 mph, securing his second victory in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge this year.
Additionally, Stanfield's outstanding performance earned him the overall Pro Stock season title in the challenge.
"It's pretty cool, and to be honest with you, I didn't even know I had a shot to win this," Stanfield admitted. "Sometimes that's the best way to go into something like that. My guys gave me a really good hot rod today, and I drove good enough to get it done. It's always good to do it at Indy."
Herrera showcased his dominance by clinching his fourth win in six races in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge.
Herrera, riding his Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki, defeated Eddie Krawiec in a thrilling finals clash with a time of 6.759 at 199.11 mph. Herrera's exceptional performances throughout the season translated into 13 additional playoff points in the Countdown to the Championship, highlighting his remarkable 2023 campaign.
"It's been very exciting. Mission is a very big sponsor for us, so to be able to represent for them is big," Herrera expressed. "Not only that, but to have both bikes in the final, it was awesome for the whole team and for Mission and our Vance & Hines Suzukis. I'm very ecstatic to get this overall win. I got four out of six of them, and this whole season has been incredible."
The Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge is a unique addition to the NHRA calendar, providing extra excitement for fans, teams, and drivers. The bonus race offers additional opportunities for drivers to accumulate points, making it a win-win situation for all involved.
Qualifying for the 69th annual Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park will resume on Sunday at 12:15 p.m. ET, promising more high-octane action for drag racing enthusiasts.