The threat of rain for Sunday forced NHRA officials to push the start time for Thunder Valley Nationals final eliminations up an hour. In the end, not one drop of rain fell on Bristol Dragway. What did fall was an abbreviated day chock full of excitement. 

Moments before precipitation began to fall in Bristol, NHRA crowned Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Austin Prock (Funny Car), Jeggie Coughlin and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

The event ended with a Top Fuel rematch of last weekend's NHRA New England Nationals with a resurgent Tony Schumacher, this time getting the best of defending Top Fuel champion Doug Kalitta. 

Schumacher left the line well before Kalitta, who appeared to double clutch on the starting line. He never looked back en route to a 4.236, coasting to 259 miles per hour to collect his 87th career Top Fuel victory. The win also marked Schumacher's seventh victory at Thunder Valley. 

Neither Schumacher nor Kalitta were odds-on favorites to win, considering Schumacher outqualified Kalitta by two spots and started from the No. 12 position. The last time an NHRA Top Fuel driver won from the No. 12 spot was nine years ago. 

Schumacher's road to the finals included wins over Jasmine Salinas, Shawn Langdon, and No. 1 qualifier Clay Millican. On the other side of the ladder, Kalitta had to walk the gauntlet by beating Antron Brown, Steve Torrence, and Brittany Force, all past NHRA champions. 

Schumacher believes his victory is a testament to the parity of Top Fuel.

"This is the best I've ever seen in my career," Schumacher said. "If I post something like that, a whole slew of fans [on social media] remind me there [was a time] when 200 cars would show up for a race. Yeah, and basically, there was Big Daddy [Don Garlits] and Shirley [Muldowney], and a bunch of cars would show up. 

"You don't know who is going to win. There's 12 cars that can win. Today, it was the 12th and 14th cars in the finals. Each round here, the fans are winning."

With his runner-up finish, Kalitta took over the point lead from Justin Ashley, who lost in the first round to Brittany Force. Schumacher is now fifth. 

Rookie Funny Car driver Prock ran the table on the weekend, qualifying No. 1, winning the Mission Foods 2Fast2Tasty Challenge on Saturday, and posting his second win of the season, making a clean sweep of the weekend. He's also been the No. 1 qualifier at six of the first eight races thus far since stepping in for Robert Hight this season. 

Prock was in a zone all day Sunday as the conditions could prove tricky. He started with a low 3.90 before settling into the high 3.90s to score wins over John Smith, Cruz Pedregon, and defending series champion Matt Hagan.

On the other side of the ladder, No. 11 qualifier J.R. Todd lived in the high 3.90s for the first two rounds with wins over Terry Haddock and Ron Capps before laying down a 4.012 to eliminate Epping winner John Force. 

Todd was quicker on the tree in the final round by .006, but it provided little help as Prock took the win light with a 3.989, 312.42. Todd kept it close with a 4.022, with a faster 313.66.

"I've been working towards this my whole life," Prock said. "I'm so blessed to have this opportunity. John Force took a risk on me. All of these great partners [on this team] believed in me. I'm getting my shot to live this dream. This is so surreal. Winning these Wallys is the best feeling in the world. I hope we get many more. It's been a great year."

Prock continues to lead the Funny Car division, followed by Force. Todd is in third place in the regular season championship standings. 

The hype surrounding the 108th meeting between Coughlin and Greg Anderson lived up to its billing as the cars burned out and left the starting line. Not long after the launch, however, did it fizzle. 

Anderson, the winningest Pro Stock driver in NHRA history, put a .001 reaction and a .022 holeshot on Coughlin but soon pushed in the clutch when his car encountered tire shake, forcing him to lift. Coughlin drove virtually unchallenged to his 67th career NHRA victory and his second of 2024.

Coughlin earned his way to the final by running roughshod over teammates Jerry Tucker, nephew Troy Coughlin Jr., and defending series champion Erica Enders. 

"I've got an incredible team behind me," Coughlin said. "This feels good, and we've been trying to find our consistency and strength on Sundays. We've won a few races as a team and have felt that we left a few out there [we could have won]. Feels great to be on top of the mountain here at Thunder Valley again."

Dallas Glenn, a semi-finalist, leaves Bristol with the Pro Stock point lead, followed by Anderson, Enders, and Coughlin. 

Herrera rode his way into drag racing history even though he wasn't at his best in qualifying. After qualifying fourth in the field, Hererra extended his 2024 round winning streak to 15 consecutive, heading into the final round with victories over Steve Johnson, John Hall, and No. 1 qualifier Matt Smith. 

The rider who had his number more than anyone, Jianna Evaristo, was waiting for him in the final round. Headed into the final round, she held a 2-1 advantage in their head-to-head matches. 

The victory marked nine straight, eclipsing Dave Schultz's record of eight. He remains undefeated in 2024 with four race wins. Ironically, he lost a race in Bristol last season to Steve Johnson.

"To get nine wins and pass Dave Schultz... I never would have dreamed that," Herrera said. "Last year the track wasn't nice to me, and it wasn't nice to win to me [in qualifying]. At the end of the day, I had a very consistently fast motorcycle. This weekend has been tough, even racing Matt [Smith] in the semis, that was the highlight of my weekend."

The NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series returns to action with the Virginia NHRA Nationals on June 22-23 at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va.