2021 NHRA MIDWEST NATIONALS - EVENT RESULTS
SUNDAY - S. TORRENCE, HAGAN, AND ENDERS POWER TO WINS AT NHRA MIDWEST NATIONALS
It was a day for defending world champions in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series on Sunday at World Wide Technology Raceway, as Steve Torrence, Matt Hagan and Erica Enders all raced to playoff victories at the NHRA Midwest Nationals.
It was the 16th of 20 races during the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the third of seven events in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
Torrence, the three-time Top Fuel defending champ, powered back into the points lead in the class, going 3.736-seconds at 328.78 mph in the final round in his 11,000-horsepower Capco Contractors dragster to defeat Mike Salinas. After a dominant regular season, Torrence went winless in the first two playoff races as Brittany Force jumped into the points lead. But that changed on Sunday, as Torrence beat Shawn Langdon, Antron Brown and Josh Hart, who won last weekend, to advance to the final round. With Salinas slowing in the final round, Torrence drove to his ninth win in 2021 and 49th in his career.
“You’ve got to be consistent on raceday and go out and do your job,” Torrence said. “Some days you’re better to be lucky than good and that’s where we were at today. We’re pretty confident in our car and our ability to do our jobs. You’ve got to win races on raceday. The continuity of this team, the way we work together, it just makes you better.”
Salinas, who was also the No. 1 qualifier, reached the final round for the second time this season and seventh in his career by defeating Kyle Wurtzel, Tripp Tatum and Leah Pruett. Torrence’s victory gave him a 36-point lead over Force with four races remaining in the 2021 season.
Hagan, the defending Funny Car world champ, capped off an incredible weekend by going 3.933 at 333.49 in the final round in his 11,000-horsepower New Holland Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye to knock off Bob Tasca III, who went 3.967 at 329.99. It sent Hagan into the points lead, making the eighth straight race where the Funny Car points lead changed hands. It may be tough to take the lead from Hagan based on how he ran this weekend, as he qualified No. 1 and then drove past J.R. Todd and Cruz Pedregon to reach the final round. He led start-to-finish against Tasca to pick up his third win this season and 39th in his career. It was also a meaningful win for Hagan, who missed two races with COVID-19 before returning last weekend.
“(Crew chief) Dickie Venables just threw down all weekend,” Hagan said. “You give him a little time and he just dials it in. I’m so blessed and lucky to have him in my corner and I’m just trying to do my job. When we have a combination and a package like that, it’s really hard to beat. We take it in stride because these things are the most humbling things I’ve been around. For me, it’s about keeping it in perspective and trying to focus on what I can control. I know our car can be a serious contender and I think we’ve a chance to win it, but it’s just a slugfest out there.”
Tasca picked up his fourth final round appearance this season and 20th in his career after defeating Alexis DeJoria, Bobby Bode and John Force. Hagan now leads Ron Capps by 59 points and Force by 72.
Enders, the reigning and back-to-back Pro Stock world champ, rose to the occasion once again in St. Louis, slipping past rookie Dallas Glenn in a thriller of a final round with a run of 6.572 at 207.24 in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. Enders also had a stellar .010 reaction time, which proved to be just enough to defeat Glenn, who was a near-perfect .001 on the starting line and ran 6.583 at 208.85. It gave Enders the victory by just .002, closing the gap to just 17 points between her and points leader Greg Anderson, with both drivers seeking their fifth world title.
Enders knocked off Bo Butner, Aaron Stanfield and Mason McGaha to reach the final, where she pulled off her fourth win this season, 33rd in her career and also her third straight at World Wide Technology Raceway.
“It was an awesome day and St. Louis has just been really good to us,” said Enders, who has five career St. Louis wins. “It’s always been great to me and we’ve won here quite a bit. I’m grateful to come here and we’ve put ourselves back in striking distance of Greg, and we’ve just got to go to work. We rose to the occasion today as a group and I’m proud of it. It’s going to take a lot of work to compete for this fifth championship, but I think I’ve got the best guys in the world to do that.”
Glenn advanced to his fourth final round in his impressive rookie season, driving past Cristian Cuadra, Rodger Brogdon and Chris McGaha. Kyle Koretsky remained third in points and is 97 points back of Anderson.
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to action Texas NHRA FallNationals on Oct. 7-10 at Texas Motorplex in Dallas.
SATURDAY - HAGAN, SALINAS AND ANDERSON PICK UP NO. 1 QUALIFIERS AT NHRA MIDWEST NATIONALS
On the final pass of the day, defending Funny Car world champ Matt Hagan and points leader Ron Capps had another thrilling side-by-side run, with Hagan taking the No. 1 position from Capps to secure the top spot on Saturday at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway.
Mike Salinas (Top Fuel) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) also qualified No. 1 at the 16th of 20 races during the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the third race in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
Capps had the better run on Friday, but Hagan had the final say to finish off qualifying in another great side-by-side duel, going 3.868-seconds at 333.25 mph to Capps’ 3.876, qualifying No. 1 in his 11,000-horsepower New Holland Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye. It gives Hagan his third No. 1 qualifier this season and 43rd in his career as he aims for his second straight world title. Hagan is in his second race back after missing two events with COVID-19 and the team has impressed at every opportunity this weekend, heading into eliminations just one point back of Capps.
“Capps and those boys are throwing down, and our guys are throwing down as well,” said Hagan, who has two wins this season. “I just can’t say enough about (crew chief) Dickie Venables. They’ve got this car on a string and we scooped up a lot of qualifying points. I’m sitting in a race car that is just incredible and it takes everybody to do it. All in all, our confidence as a team is really coming around. It builds my confidence and, without a doubt, we’ve got a car that can win this championship. This thing is really coming together and it’s exciting for our team.”
Capps finished in the second spot, while Bobby Bode’s career-best run of 3.891 at 322.04 from Friday kept him third. Blake Alexander jumped to fourth with a 3.892 and Cruz Pedregon rounded out the top five after going 3.896.
In Top Fuel, Salinas’ incredible run of 3.652 at 327.74 in his 11,000-horsepower Scrappers Racing dragster from Friday held up, though points leader Brittany Force gave it quite a challenge to finish off qualifying. Force went a blistering 3.663 at 330.39 in the final session, but it came up just short of Salinas’ run, snapping her streak of eight straight No. 1 qualifiers, which is a Top Fuel record for a single season. It also gave Salinas his first No. 1 qualifier of the year and seventh in his career, leading the way for a standout qualifying field that saw 15 dragsters run in the 3.60s or 3.70s with a bump of 3.809. That made it one of the quickest fields in Top Fuel history and Salinas will meet Kyle Wurtzel to open eliminations on Sunday.
“We’ve been working on some stuff and I think we’ve got some great things coming our way,” Salinas said. “It was very fast, to say the least, and we know we’re right in the hunt. There’s nobody in the class you can take lightly. It’s pretty impressive how the whole class is racing. They’re not messing around and you better have your ‘A’ game when you’re racing anyone in this class.”
Force finished second in qualifying, while three-time defending champ Steve Torrence is third with a 3.697 at 329.75. Leah Pruett moved to fourth on Saturday with a 3.714 and Billy Torrence rounds out the top five with a 3.717.
In Pro Stock, Anderson improved on his top run from Friday, going 6.519 at 209.10 in his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro. The points leader continued to enjoy a tremendous amount of qualifying success in 2021, earning his ninth No. 1 qualifier this season and 115th in his career. He’ll meet Fernando Cuadra in the first round of eliminations, looking for his fourth victory of the season. It would also give him 98 career wins and the all-time record in Pro Stock, and put him a step closer to a fifth world title.
“We hit it pretty good and didn’t leave a whole lot on the table on that run,” Anderson said. “It was pretty darn close to a perfect run and I’ll take that. It was a great day at the office. Both (qualifying) days were a success and we’ll see if we can make day three a success tomorrow. You’ve got a find a way to race your own lane and that’s what the gameplan is. Every race I’ve gone to this year, I’ve had a chance to win. The car has been on point and that’s not a given, so when you get that, you’ve got to be happy. You’ve got to execute and you’ve got to be perfect every time.”
Kyle Koretsky, who beat Anderson in the final round last weekend in Charlotte for his first career Pro Stock win, qualified second with a run of 6.537 at 209.30, while rookie Dallas Glenn went 6.37 at 208.91 to finish third, giving KB Racing the top three spots. Aaron Stanfield’s 6.538 has him fourth and defending world champ Erica Enders rounded out the top five with a pass of 6.545 at 209.49.
Eliminations for the NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway begin at 10:30 a.m. CT on Sunday.
Sunday's first-round pairings for eliminations for the 10th annual NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway, the 16th of 20 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.
Top Fuel -- 1. Mike Salinas, 3.652 seconds, 327.74 mph vs. 16. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.809, 316.82; 2. Brittany Force, 3.663, 330.39 vs. 15. T.J. Zizzo, 3.798, 325.53; 3. Steve Torrence, 3.697, 329.75 vs. 14. Shawn Langdon, 3.787, 322.42; 4. Leah Pruett, 3.714, 326.00 vs. 13. Clay Millican, 3.780, 319.52; 5. Billy Torrence, 3.717, 330.96 vs. 12. Scott Palmer, 3.772, 317.57; 6. Spencer Massey, 3.721, 327.74 vs. 11. Antron Brown, 3.765, 323.97; 7. Justin Ashley, 3.730, 328.70 vs. 10. Josh Hart, 3.761, 323.19; 8. Tripp Tatum, 3.731, 319.22 vs. 9. Doug Kalitta, 3.743, 325.92.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Keith Murt, 3.921, 320.51; 18. Lex Joon, 3.953, 240.12; 19. Joey Haas, 3.966, 298.27; 20. Buddy Hull, 3.984, 308.00.
Funny Car -- 1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.868, 333.25 vs. Bye; 2. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.876, 333.82 vs. 15. Chris King, Toyota Camry, 7.334, 98.49; 3. Bobby Bode, Ford Mustang, 3.891, 322.04 vs. 14. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.242, 290.51; 4. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 3.892, 324.36 vs. 13. Dale Creasy Jr., Charger, 4.094, 305.77; 5. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.896, 328.62 vs. 12. Jim Campbell, Charger, 3.995, 317.27; 6. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.898, 331.69 vs. 11. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.983, 323.43; 7. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.898, 327.11 vs. 10. John Force, Camaro, 3.915, 304.94; 8. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.905, 326.71 vs. 9. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.915, 330.72.
Pro Stock -- 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.519, 209.10 vs. 16. Fernando Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.619, 209.65; 2. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.537, 209.30 vs. 15. Marty Robertson, Mustang, 6.594, 208.78; 3. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.537, 208.91 vs. 14. Cristian Cuadra, Mustang, 6.577, 210.60; 4. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.538, 209.72 vs. 13. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.574, 209.52; 5. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.545, 209.49 vs. 12. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.569, 209.04; 6. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.545, 209.33 vs. 11. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.566, 210.18; 7. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.547, 210.60 vs. 10. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.561, 209.39; 8. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.549, 209.20 vs. 9. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.552, 209.59.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Alan Prusiensky, 6.627, 208.97; 18. Fernando Cuadra Jr., 6.747, 206.48; 19. Robert River, 7.184, 148.27.
FRIDAY - CAPPS, SALINAS AND ANDERSON DRIVE TO PROVISIONAL NO. 1 SPOTS AT NHRA MIDWEST NATIONALS
Funny Car points leader Ron Capps powered to an impressive run on Friday, racing to the provisional No. 1 spot at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway.
Mike Salinas (Top Fuel) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) are also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the 16th of 20 races during the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the third race in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
Looking for his second world championship, Capps put together a pass of 3.888-seconds at 332.59-mph in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, running side-by-side with Don Schumacher Racing teammate and defending world champ Matt Hagan during Friday’s lone qualifying session. It was a thrilling side-by-side run, as Hagan, who is second in points, went 3.889 at 332.75. If it holds, it would give Capps the top spot for the fifth time this year and 30th time in his career.
“That felt great,” said Capps, who has four wins at St. Louis. “You’re always going to have to go through Hagan and that run was a sign of things to come. I saw his flames beside me and my car was just hauling the mail. Man, 332 mph is great. We haven’t done that in a while. We’ll take it. It’s going to be a lot of fun these next few races.”
After Hagan, young driver Bobby Bode is third after a career-best pass of 3.891 at 322.04. Robert Hight and Tim Wilkerson round out the top five with runs of 3.902 and 3.905, respectively.
In Top Fuel, Salinas made a tremendous run, far outdistancing the rest of the field after going 3.652 at 327.74 in his 11,000-horsepower Scrappers Racing dragster. Should it hold, it would give Salinas his first No. 1 qualifier of the year and seventh in his career as he also seeks his first victory of the season. Currently eighth in points, Salinas has advanced to one final round in 2021. He was the only driver to run in the 3.60s, with three-time defending world champ Steve Torrence currently in second after an impressive run of 3.702 at 328.30. After winning eight times in the regular season, Torrence is after his first victory in the playoffs.
His father, Billy, is third following his run of 3.717 at 330.96. Points leader Brittany Force is in the 16th spot after the first session, going 5.620 at 116.81.
Looking to make Pro Stock history this weekend in St. Louis, Anderson got off to a great start on Friday, jumping to the top position with a run of 6.536 at 209.65 in his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro. If it holds, it would give the Pro Stock points leader his ninth No. 1 qualifier this season and 115th in his career. Of course, Anderson is also after his fourth win in 2021, which would give him 98 career wins and the all-time record in Pro Stock.
While he jumped to No. 1, there were plenty of standouts right behind, as Kyle Koretsky, who won last weekend in Charlotte by beating Anderson in the final round, went 6.538 at 210.28 to follow up his first career Pro Stock win. Defending world champ Erica Enders is currently third after her run of 6.545 at 209.49.
Qualifying continues at 1:15 p.m. CT on Saturday at the NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway.
Friday's results after the first one of three rounds of qualifying for the 10th annual NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway, 16th of 20 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.
Top Fuel -- 1. Mike Salinas, 3.652 seconds, 327.74 mph; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.702, 328.30; 3. Billy Torrence, 3.717, 330.96; 4. Tripp Tatum, 3.745, 323.81; 5. Doug Kalitta, 3.747, 325.14; 6. Josh Hart, 3.761, 323.19; 7. Antron Brown, 3.765, 323.97; 8. Justin Ashley, 3.770, 327.03; 9. Scott Palmer, 3.772, 317.57; 10. Spencer Massey, 3.793, 322.65; 11. T.J. Zizzo, 3.798, 325.53; 12. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.809, 316.82; 13. Lex Joon, 3.953, 240.12; 14. Joey Haas, 3.966, 298.27; 15. Buddy Hull, 5.086, 147.86; 16. Brittany Force, 5.620, 116.81.
Not Qualified: 17. Leah Pruett, 6.680, 104.23; 18. Clay Millican, 6.747, 92.81; 19. Keith Murt, 6.857, 139.75; 20. Shawn Langdon, 11.560, 73.67.
Funny Car -- 1. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.888, 332.59; 2. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.889, 332.75; 3. Bobby Bode, Ford Mustang, 3.891, 322.04; 4. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.902, 326.87; 5. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.905, 322.11; 6. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.907, 329.91; 7. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.915, 330.72; 8. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 3.926, 324.36; 9. Dale Creasy Jr., Charger, 4.094, 305.77; 10. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 4.129, 234.33; 11. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.177, 259.51; 12. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.242, 290.51; 13. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.291, 212.26; 14. John Force, Camaro, 5.816, 125.75; 15. Chris King, Camry, 7.334, 98.49.
Pro Stock -- 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.536, 209.65; 2. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.538, 210.28; 3. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.545, 209.49; 4. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.546, 208.39; 5. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.549, 209.20; 6. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.552, 209.43; 7. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.564, 210.08; 8. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.564, 208.81; 9. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.569, 207.82; 10. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.574, 209.52; 11. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.595, 208.59; 12. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.603, 208.10; 13. Fernando Cuadra, Mustang, 6.620, 208.91; 14. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.629, 209.10; 15. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.635, 208.52; 16. Marty Robertson, Mustang, 6.637, 208.46.
Not Qualified: 17. Robert River, 7.184, 148.27; 18. Fernando Cuadra Jr., 7.444, 143.35; 19. Mason McGaha, 27.444, 26.48.