2022 NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS - EVENT RESULTS
SUNDAY - CAPPS, ASHLEY, STANFIELD AND SAVOIE ALL WIN ON FATHER’S DAY AT NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS
Ron Capps tied Tony Schumacher for the most NHRA wins in Bristol Dragway history, picking up his sixth Funny Car win at the track on Sunday with his Father’s Day triumph at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
Justin Ashley (Top Fuel), Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won at the ninth of 22 races during the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Capps powered to the quickest run during every round of eliminations on Sunday in Bristol, including a pass of 3.984-seconds at 324.36 seconds in the final round in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra to defeat Tim Wilkerson. It also marks the first win in Funny Car for the new GR Supra. Capps advanced to the final round with impressive victories against Paul Lee, No. 1 qualifier Robert Hight and defending event winner Alexis DeJoria. In the final, he made the only three-second run in eliminations on Sunday to earn his second this season and a remarkable 70th in the defending world champ’s outstanding career.
“It’s an amazing thing and I’m living the dream,” Capps said. “Today felt different because we worked really hard at this one, and we knew that win for Toyota was out there. Everyone wanted to get that first one in the Supra and I’m blessed we got to do it. To run 3.98 in the final was unbelievable. This is a very demanding track every time we come here, and you can’t take your mind off it for a second. These wins, where you have to earn it, it really means quite a bit more, it seems like it.”
Tim Wilkerson reached the final for the first time this season by getting past Jack Wyatt, Chad Green, and John Force. Matt Hagan maintained the points lead in the class.
In Top Fuel, Ashley rolled to his second straight final round and finished the job on Sunday in Thunder Valley, going 3.813 at 325.30 in his 11,000-horsepower Phillips Connect powered by Vita C Shot dragster to defeat Shawn Langdon. It gives Ashley his second win this season and the fourth in his career, and his first victory at Bristol was a meaningful one with his father in attendance. Ashley, who qualified 14th but responded on raceday, got past Josh Hart, Doug Foley, and four-time defending world champ Steve Torrence to reach the finals before picking up the victory on Father’s Day.
“Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, who make dreams like this possible,” Ashley said. “I really have to take a second thank everyone who allow us to come out here and be successful. (Crew chiefs) Tommy DeLago and Mike Green did such a good job with this Phillips Connect Top Fuel dragster all day. We’re very blessed, very privileged to be here and we’re enjoying it. This Bristol track has so much history,” Ashley said. “When you look up and see all the famous names [in the Legends of Thunder Valley]. It’s impressive and we’re very fortunate to get the win.”
Shawn Langdon reached his first final in 2022 after knocking off Spencer Massey, No. 1 qualifier Mike Salinas and Antron Brown. Brittany Force maintained the points lead, as Ashley climbed to third.
In one of the wildest Pro Stock final rounds in recent memory, Stanfield outlasted Elite Motorsports teammate Erica Enders in the championship round, going 8.801 at 103.98 in his Janac Brothers Chevrolet Camaro. Stanfield got loose early in the run, but then Enders ran into trouble, suffering an engine explosion, and the young standout was able to chase her down to pick up the win on Father’s Day. It was Stanfield’s first win from the No. 1 position and also the first time winning in the final round against Enders, who was seeking her fourth straight win.
Stanfield got to the finals with victories against Wally Stroupe, Fernando Cuadra Jr. and Kyle Koretsky and then drove to his sixth career victory – and first at Bristol – to cap off an impressive weekend.
“I cut it loose, and it shook at the top of low gear, so I stopped. Then, I could see smoke out of her car and Big Al [Lindsey, crewman] was on the radio telling me to go, go go,” Stanfield said. “I stuck it back in gear and tried to get there. It for sure did not go according to plan. Sometimes it goes like that. As a team we did a good job today. This the best gift I can give my dad [Greg] on Father’s Day. My dad and I love being here in Bristol.”
Enders, who maintained the points lead by advancing to her fourth straight final, fifth this year and 66th in her career, knocked off Cristian Cuadra, Matt Hartford, and Dallas Glenn to set up the final round against her teammate.
After a mad dash to the starting line after an engine swap before the Pro Stock Motorcycle final round, Savoie won for the first time in 2022 on his White Alligator Racing Suzuki when Angelle Sampey went red. Savoie also left too soon by .010, but Sampey’s .052 red light handed the victory to Savoie. He reached the finals by taking out Eddie Krawiec, Joey Gladstone, and Angie Smith, and capped off an emotional day with his 14th career win and first at Thunder Valley.
“We blew up the engine in the third round and thanks to NHRA and Vance & Hines for waiting on us,” said Savoie, who picked up his first win since 2020. “I usually don’t let things get to me and I put my faith in my crew, who did a motor swap in 32 minutes. I’m 63 (years old) and to be out here running with all these youngsters is amazing. I just wanted to win one race and now I’ve got 14 and a championship. I’ve been blessed. This was an awesome weekend, and I don’t think I could ask for anything more.
Sampey, who qualified No. 1, reached her first final round this year and 79th in her standout career with round wins against LE Tonglet, Ryan Oehler and Marc Ingwersen.
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to action June 23-26 with the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
SATURDAY - SALINAS, HIGHT, STANFIELD AND SAMPEY TAKE NO. 1 SPOTS AT NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS
Mike Salinas rolled to the No. 1 qualifier in Top Fuel on Saturday at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, moving a step closer to his third straight win in front of a huge crowd at Bristol Dragway.
Robert Hight (Funny Car), Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified No. 1 at the ninth of 22 races during the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Salinas powered to the top spot in his 11,000-horsepower Valley Services/Scrappers Racing dragster during the final qualifying session, going 3.767-seconds at 327.59 mph to earn his second No. 1 position this year and 10th in his career. Looking for his fourth win this year, Salinas has won the last two races at Bristol and also advanced to the last three final rounds at the track. He has felt right at home in Thunder Valley in recent years and will open eliminations on Sunday against Cameron Ferre.
“I’ve won on Father’s Day here before (in 2019) and it would be very special to do it again,” Salinas said. “This place has a special place in my heart. I don’t know why it likes me so much, but it’s just beautiful here. (But) I think tomorrow you’ll be surprised with how fast these cars go. I think they’re going to be in the low 3.70s. The good thing is, we’ve shown we can win from any spot. There’s no egos on this team and that has been really cool to see this year.”
Steve Torrence, who was the provisional No. 1 qualifier on Friday, finished second after his 3.791 at 317.79 and Josh Hart is third with a 3.791 at 316.60. Points leader Brittany Force qualified in the fifth spot.
Hight stayed on top in Funny Car thanks to his 3.971 at 310.98 from Friday in his 11,000-horsepower Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS, handing him his 73rd career No. 1 spot. It’s also his second No. 1 qualifier in 2022, as he continues to battle with Matt Hagan for the points lead. Both drivers have three victories and Hight will try for a fourth this year on Sunday. He admitted the team still has work to do on raceday to get the car running well in Bristol, but performing in front of a packed house on Saturday left him plenty motivated heading into eliminations.
“I definitely did not think that run (from Friday) was going to be the top,” Hight said. “We went up there the last run trying to run better, but it put a cylinder out early. Being in the position we’re in is really good because going into raceday, I still don’t think we have a great handle on this thing based on our last run. I have a good feeling if we’re able to make four three-second runs tomorrow, we’re going to be holding the trophy at the end of the day, and that’s the goal. This was an awesome crowd today. Seeing a packed house, it’s just awesome.”
Tim Wilkerson moved to the No. 2 spot during the final session, going 3.996 at 317.05, while Hight’s teammate, John Force, made the only other three-second run with his pass of 3.997 at 321.96. Hagan is a spot behind in fourth.
Coming off a runner-up in Epping and racing at Bristol Dragway for the first time in his Pro Stock career, Stanfield jumped to the No. 1 spot on Saturday in his Janac Brothers Chevrolet Camaro with an impressive pass of 6.638 at 206.57. It gives the young standout his third No. 1 qualifier this season and fourth in his career. He’s been No. 1 three times in the past five races, but Stanfield, who opens eliminations against Wally Stroupe, is after his first win since February. Stanfield, who is second points, will look to become just the third active driver in the class to win at Thunder Valley along with defending world champ Greg Anderson and Erica Enders.
“The crew chiefs have been doing their job and they’ve been doing a great job,” Stanfield said. “All the guys on the car have been giving me the best car they can give me and it’s up to me to do my job tomorrow. It’s definitely very cool to qualify No. 1 here at such a great track. We haven’t had the best luck from the No. 1 spot yet in my career so we’re going to see if we can turn that around tomorrow.”
Rookie Camrie Caruso qualified second thanks to her run of 6.644 at 204.23, also making the quickest run in the final session, while points leader Enders, who is going for her fourth straight win, is third with a 6.658 at 205.63.
Looking for her second straight win at Bristol – and her first victory this season – Sampey has been nearly untouchable this weekend in Thunder Valley, qualifying No. 1 on her Vance & Hines/Mission Foods Suzuki with a pass of 6.874 at 196.04. Sampey improved on her time from Friday that initially had her in the top spot, also giving the three-time world her 55th No. 1 qualifier, and she’ll open raceday against LE Tonglet. Bristol has been very good to Sampey thus far and getting a first victory of 2022 on Sunday would ensure that would continue.
“I’ve been changing up my routine a little bit and I want to keep practicing that,” Sampey said. “(Crew chief) Andrew (Hines) and I have been working on that, Eddie (Krawiec) helps out as well. Andrew has been doing a great job. This Vance & Hines Suzuki is on a roll. The bike’s a beauty. I’m a little disappointed in my reaction time that round, I don’t know what I did wrong, but we’ve got tomorrow. I never thought I’d be No. 1 qualifier. I never thought I’d win the race last year so who knows what the heck will happen. I’m just hoping I’ll end up on the good side of things.”
Joey Gladstone made an impressive move in the final qualifying session, going to second with a pass of 6.889 at 194.44. Points leader Steve Johnson, who is after his third win in 2022, qualified third with a 6.894 at 195.39.
Eliminations for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway begin at 12 p.m. on Sunday.
Sunday's first-round pairings for eliminations for the 21st annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, the ninth of 22 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, 3.767 seconds, 327.59 mph vs. 16. Cameron Ferre, 4.438, 189.34; 2. Steve Torrence, 3.791, 317.79 vs. 15. Lex Joon, 4.253, 212.19; 3. Josh Hart, 3.791, 316.60 vs. 14. Justin Ashley, 3.975, 252.95; 4. Antron Brown, 3.802, 323.35 vs. 13. Tony Schumacher, 3.913, 306.33; 5. Brittany Force, 3.807, 325.69 vs. 12. Doug Kalitta, 3.877, 321.12; 6. Clay Millican, 3.808, 321.73 vs. 11. Doug Foley, 3.870, 316.75; 7. Austin Prock, 3.835, 325.30 vs. 10. Leah Pruett, 3.867, 318.32; 8. Spencer Massey, 3.861, 319.60 vs. 9. Shawn Langdon, 3.861, 319.07.
Funny Car -- 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.971, 310.98 vs. Bye; 2. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.996, 317.05 vs. 15. Jack Wyatt, Dodge Charger, 6.519, 106.21; 3. John Force, Camaro, 3.997, 321.96 vs. 14. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 5.498, 132.54; 4. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.014, 318.09 vs. 13. Phil Burkart, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.857, 173.67; 5. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.035, 316.90 vs. 12. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Supra, 4.461, 214.08; 6. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 4.068, 312.71 vs. 11. J.R. Todd, Supra, 4.390, 222.51; 7. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.080, 306.19 vs. 10. Chad Green, Mustang, 4.212, 259.16; 8. Paul Lee, Charger, 4.084, 310.77 vs. 9. Ron Capps, Supra, 4.087, 311.70.
Pro Stock -- 1. Aaron Stanfield, Chevy Camaro, 6.638, 206.57 vs. 16. Wally Stroupe, Camaro, 6.735, 203.52; 2. Camrie Caruso, Camaro, 6.644, 204.23 vs. 15. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.717, 204.29; 3. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.658, 205.63 vs. 14. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.703, 205.10; 4. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.662, 204.60 vs. 13. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.692, 204.70; 5. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.663, 204.88 vs. 12. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.691, 204.91; 6. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.664, 205.54 vs. 11. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.688, 205.60; 7. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.675, 204.76 vs. 10. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.685, 206.54; 8. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.682, 205.85 vs. 9. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Mustang, 6.683, 204.98.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Alan Prusiensky, 6.739, 203.16; 18. Fernando Cuadra, 6.788, 203.03; 19. Shane Tucker, 6.901, 203.77; 20. Larry Morgan, 7.826, 151.09.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 6.874, 196.04 vs. 16. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 7.228, 185.36; 2. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.889, 194.44 vs. 15. Jianna Evaristo, Suzuki, 7.222, 182.65; 3. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.894, 195.39 vs. 14. Ron Tornow, Victory, 7.097, 189.23; 4. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.921, 194.35 vs. 13. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.067, 191.40; 5. Matt Smith, Suzuki, 6.927, 195.62 vs. 12. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 7.016, 190.89; 6. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.932, 196.82 vs. 11. Malcolm Phillips Jr., Suzuki, 6.980, 192.66; 7. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.943, 194.18 vs. 10. Eddie Krawiec, Suzuki, 6.965, 195.00; 8. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.947, 194.35 vs. 9. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.956, 195.19.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Wesley Wells, 7.426, 180.84.
FRIDAY - S. TORRENCE, HIGHT AND SAMPEY ROLL TO PROVISIONAL NO. 1 SPOTS AT NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS
Looking for his first win of the season, four-time defending Top Fuel world champ Steve Torrence started his weekend at Bristol Dragway on the right note, taking the provisional No. 1 qualifier on Friday at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
Robert Hight (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the ninth of 22 races during the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Torrence put together a run of 3.791-seconds at 317.79 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Capco Contractors dragster, which has him on track for his second straight No. 1 spot this year and 34th in his career. But the Texan is more focused on victories, especially after a stunning upset in the first round at the most recent race in Epping, where he also qualified No. 1.
"To come here and make a good run right off the trailer, that was a good run to get the ball rolling and give us some momentum heading into raceday,” Torrence said. “Tomorrow will be a totally different day, so we’ll see where we go from there, but that was a good, stout pass to go to the No. 1 spot.”
Josh Hart matched Torrence on time and was just slightly behind on speed, going 316.60 to put him second after Friday. Antron Brown, looking for his first victory of the season, is third with a run of 3.802 at 323.35.
Hight was the lone driver to make a three-second run in Funny Car on Friday, powering to the top with a run of 3.971 at 310.98 in his 11,000-horsepower Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS. It continues an impressive stretch for Hight, who has three victories this season and is seeking his second No. 1 qualifier of the season. It would also be the 73rd top spot for Hight, who continues to battle it out with points leader Matt Hagan. Each driver has three wins this season and Hight starred out of the gates on Friday.
“(Crew chief) Jimmy (Prock) made a lot of adjustments right before we ran. We thought it was going to run a little better than that and I had to drive it a lot,” Hight said. “The 3.97 is not going to hold, no matter what tomorrow. By the time we run tomorrow, I think we could run low 3.90s. That’s what it’s going to take to be No. 1. It’s mission accomplished today and we’ll take No. 1 today.”
Jim Campbell is currently in the second spot with a run of 4.080 at 306.19, while Hagan went 4.172 at 235.23 during Friday’s lone qualifying session.
Looking for his 100th career win, Pro Stock’s Anderson started out on the right note, going 6.686 at 202.21 in his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro to take the provisional No. 1 spot. If it holds, it would be the first top position this year for the defending world champ. More importantly, it puts him on track for a great weekend, which Anderson hopes ends with a monumental 100th victory at a track where he picked up his first career win. It’s also Pro Stock’s first appearance in Bristol since 2018.
“You have to get that data and you can’t lose runs out here,” Anderson said. “That was a quality run and it’s encouraging. We’ve been working very hard. Yes, we’ve gotten off to a slow start, but we’re coming, and I think we’re very close to finding our way to the winner’s circle again. I feel like we’re getting closer, and we’ve got a legitimate shot at getting the win. We’ve got that first piece of the puzzle and it’s a great start, and I love racing at Bristol.”
Aaron Stanfield is currently second with a 6.701 at 204.08, and Kyle Koretsky is third after going 6.701 at 201.70. Points leader Erica Enders, who has won three straight races, is currently 10th.
Sampey picked up where she left a year ago in Bristol in Pro Stock Motorcycle, going straight to No. 1 with her run of 6.966 at 185.38 on her Vance & Hines/Mission Foods Suzuki. Sampey won the event in Thunder Valley a year ago and again looked strong on Friday as she looks to stay perfect in Bristol. Last year’s Pro Stock Motorcycle race was the first for the category at the picturesque facility.
“I’m very excited to come back to this track,” Sampey said. “Last year, winning here taught me a lesson to not really worry about things. I realize that I have to stop and enjoy the ride. I so excited to get to this track because I won last year, and I want to win it again. I know we’ve a bike that can win and it’s fun to get the No. 1 spot. We’ll see what we’ve got tomorrow, but I’m very confident and comfortable on the bike.”
Teammate Eddie Krawiec took the second spot thanks to his pass of 6.968 at 191.97 and Angie Smith took third on Friday with her run of 193.49.
Qualifying continues at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
Friday's results after the first one of three rounds of qualifying for the 21st annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, ninth of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.
Top Fuel -- 1. Steve Torrence, 3.791 seconds, 317.79 mph; 2. Josh Hart, 3.791, 316.60; 3. Antron Brown, 3.802, 323.35; 4. Clay Millican, 3.808, 321.73; 5. Spencer Massey, 3.861, 319.60; 6. Brittany Force, 3.900, 254.57; 7. Lex Joon, 4.253, 212.19; 8. Doug Kalitta, 4.579, 178.90; 9. Doug Foley, 4.899, 149.27; 10. Tony Schumacher, 5.876, 110.42; 11. Mike Salinas, 6.659, 87.92; 12. Justin Ashley, 6.818, 85.03; 13. Shawn Langdon, 7.014, 97.38; 14. Austin Prock, 7.341, 85.42; 15. Leah Pruett, 12.415, 65.23.
Funny Car -- 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.971, 310.98; 2. Jim Campbell, Dodge Charger, 4.080, 306.19; 3. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.172, 235.23; 4. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.198, 244.38; 5. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.546, 188.44; 6. John Force, Camaro, 4.723, 256.36; 7. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 5.468, 132.02; 8. J.R. Todd, Toyota Supra, 5.501, 130.35; 9. Alexis DeJoria, Supra, 5.645, 117.97; 10. Ron Capps, Supra, 6.005, 119.91; 11. Jack Wyatt, Charger, 6.519, 106.21; 12. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 6.923, 105.59; 13. Chad Green, Mustang, 7.699, 64.76.
Pro Stock -- 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.686, 202.21; 2. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.701, 204.08; 3. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.701, 201.70; 4. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.706, 204.17; 5. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.712, 205.04; 6. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.713, 203.80; 7. Camrie Caruso, Camaro, 6.713, 202.48; 8. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.716, 202.33; 9. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.731, 204.35; 10. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.733, 203.77; 11. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.738, 203.71; 12. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.741, 203.86; 13. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.749, 191.13; 14. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.783, 200.47; 15. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Mustang, 6.924, 158.99; 16. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 7.139, 183.32.
Not Qualified: 17. Fernando Cuadra, 7.394, 143.40; 18. Wally Stroupe, 7.534, 137.00; 19. Larry Morgan, 7.826, 151.09; 20. Shane Tucker, 7.911, 120.24.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 6.966, 185.38; 2. Eddie Krawiec, Suzuki, 6.968, 191.97; 3. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.980, 193.49; 4. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.991, 189.23; 5. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 7.008, 190.73; 6. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.015, 191.95; 7. Malcolm Phillips Jr., 7.023, 188.33; 8. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 7.028, 189.84; 9. Matt Smith, Suzuki, 7.039, 192.36; 10. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 7.097, 188.15; 11. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 7.126, 188.23; 12. Ron Tornow, Victory, 7.190, 186.20; 13. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 7.228, 185.36; 14. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.262, 185.82; 15. Jianna Evaristo, Suzuki, 7.823, 133.83; 16. Wesley Wells, Suzuki, 10.539, 131.43.
Not Qualified: 17. Chris Bostick, 27.552, 182.13.