by Bobby Bennett Jr.; Photos by Burghardt Photography Sat, 2023-10-28 23:12
The NHRA’s Funny Car championship battle promises to be one of the best the series has ever seen. Saturday evening, after watching Robert Hight thunder to the top spot, Bob Tasca III returned on the final day of qualifying to nail down the No. 1 qualifier at the NHRA Nevada Nationals in Las Vegas.
Mike Salinas (Top Fuel), Kyle Koretsky (Pro Stock), and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) closed the day as leaders of their respective categories in the 20th of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the fifth of six races in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
Tasca left little room for doubt as he blistered The Strip at Las Vegas Speedway's 1,000-foot course with a 3.842-second pass at 336.74 mph in his PPG Ford Mustang. The run was the fastest in the history of the track, and secured his eighth No. 1 qualifier of the year.
by Bobby Bennett Jr., Photos by Ron Lewis Sat, 2023-10-28 20:59
Let the record reflect: Clay Millican wasn't angry he was disqualified from the NHRA FallNationals for having unsecured ballast on his Top Fuel dragster. After all, in his world, rules are rules, and he was taught as a kid growing up in Drummonds, Tenn., to play by the rules.
Drag Racing fans might be hearing about Millican's disqualification for the first time because the disciplinary action wasn't publicized. Nor was it delivered in a timely fashion.
"Probably more than anything, I was taken aback a little by the fact that it took six days for us to know that that happened, which I found to be strange," Millican said.
by Bobby Bennett Sat, 2023-10-28 18:31
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, unless the NHRA's tech department disqualifies you.
The NHRA disqualified four Pro Stock cars from Friday's Q2 session at the NHRA Nevada Nationals for a safety violation.
All four disqualified runs were from Elite Performance cars, including No. 1 qualifier Erica Enders. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Aaron Stanfield, and Jerry Tucker also had their runs thrown out.
by Susan Wade; Photos by Burghardt Racing Sat, 2023-10-28 13:12
Justin Ashley started the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship in first place in the Top Fuel class. However, he has fallen to fourth place, watching first Doug Kalitta, then Steve Torrence and Leah Pruett, take turns seizing the spotlight. He remained optimistic as Friday qualifying opened, despite piling up a 108-point disadvantage with only two chances to make up ground.
The first opportunity is this weekend’s Nevada Nationals. After that, the Auto Club Finals at Pomona, Calif., will close the season.
“Last year, we were in and out of the points lead during the Countdown, and there were always several teams grouped together, trying to take the top spot. The field is more competitive than it has ever been, and it has shown throughout the first four races of the Countdown,” Ashley said. “If we can find success in Las Vegas, I believe we’ll have an opportunity for the championship in Pomona.
by Susan Wade; Photos by Burghardt Photography, NHRA Sat, 2023-10-28 12:45
Angie Smith said, “I'm not one to sit around and not do anything.” So it’s no surprise that not only is she back at the dragstrip following her vicious spill from here Pro Stock Motorcycle at the recent St. Louis race, but that she’s ready to race this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Cleared to race late this morning by NHRA Medical Director Dr. Phillip Surface, Smith spent Friday prepping to return to action during Saturday qualifying for the Nevada Nationals. Smith is wearing walking casts on both feet because she has eight broken toes, and she has undergone two surgeries to repair damage from a serious arm burn. She became separated from her bike past the finish line during qualifying two races ago, at World Wide Technology Raceway.
by Tracy Renck ; Photos by Burghart Photos Sat, 2023-10-28 10:07
Time isn’t on Robert Hight’s side.
If the veteran John Force Racing driver wants to win a fourth nitro Funny Car world championship, he knew there was no better time than the present – the Nevada Nationals this weekend – to make his move.
He came to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in third place in the points standings, 69 points behind leader Matt Hagan.
by Tracy Renck: Photos by Burghardt Photos Sat, 2023-10-28 10:07
Top Fuel owner/driver Mike Salinas arrived at the Nevada Nationals with an NHRA world championship dream still within reach.
However, the highly-successful San Jose, Calif., businessman had to start making up ground fast as he was sitting in sixth place in the season standings,131 points behind leader Leah Pruett.
Salinas took a small step in moving up the standings Friday. He took the provisional No. 1 qualifying spot with his 3.699-second elapsed time at 332.75 mph in Q2 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
by Bobby Bennett Jr. Sat, 2023-10-28 10:06
There have been tougher championship scenarios.
Third-generation drag racer Aaron Stanfield needed only to make his first qualifying to clinch his third Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown world championship at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Stanfield did his heavy lifting two weeks ago at the Texas Motorplex when he stopped his closest challenger, Stephen Bell, in the first round of the NHRA FallNationals and followed up the win by taking out contender and No. 1 qualifier Lenny Lottig in the second round. From that point on, Stanfield only needed one run at the NHRA Nevada Nationals to seal the deal.
by Bobby Bennett Jr.; Photos by Mike and Jeff Burghardt Fri, 2023-10-27 23:14
Robert Hight, who lost his Funny Car points lead to Matt Hagan, fired a salvo across the bow Friday night as he drove his Cornwell Tools-sponsored Funny Car during first day of qualifying at the NHRA Nevada Nationals in Las Vegas.
Joining Hight were Erica Enders (Pro Stock), Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle), and Mike Salinas (Top Fuel).
Hight stopped the clocks with a 3.851-second pass at 327.51 mph. If his performance holds up, Hight will clinch his sixth No. 1 qualifier this season and his 83rd overall. With only two races left in the Countdown to the Championship, Hight understands a strong showing is of the utmost importance this weekend.
by Tracy Renck Fri, 2023-10-27 16:29
There’s no question Steve Torrence has a passion for drag racing – his four NHRA Top Fuel world championships are evidence to that fact.
However, the Kilgore, Texas, driver does have a passion for a sport outside the dragstrip – rodeo.
“This is just awesome opportunity to go outside the motorsports industry and into something I have a real passion for and that’s the Western industry,” Torrence said on the latest Chute Bosses podcast, the podcast of the PRCA.