Topeka Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge

Drag racing sponsors are a special bunch, and unlike in some other sports, take a very active role in connecting with race fans. In early January of 2023, Mission Foods (the world’s leading brand for tortilla wraps) increased the company’s involvement in the world’s fastest sport by teaming up with the NHRA for the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge.

Starting with the NHRA Arizona Nationals in March at Phoenix’s Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, a redemption race challenge was launched that features the semifinalists from the previous NHRA nationals for head-to-head competition during the final round of qualifying on Saturday for the Nitro and Pro Stock classes. A must-see rematch for all pro classes.

Along with the chance to celebrate a heads up win the day before elimination rounds, nitro and pro stock drivers compete for additional purse money and valuable bonus points for the NHRA Countdown to the Championship. The unique challenge allows Saturday fans to watch heads-up competition. The Mission-sponsored races are scheduled for the initial 12 two-wide NHRA  events.

Semi-final rematch winners meet in Saturday’s final qualifying session with prize money, bonus points and bragging rights at stake. At each of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge events, class winners are awarded 3 bonus points, runners-up receive 2 bonus points and the fastest semi-finalist that did not advance is awarded 1 point.

 


Torrence Wins Top Fuel Mission Challenge

NHRA drag racing fans have something to look forward to in Saturday’s opening and final rounds of qualifying as Top Fuel drivers also compete for Number One qualifier. Up first in Top Fuel was points leader Justin Ashley with a 5-3 win ratio over his opponent Josh Hart. Hart grabbed the early lead with a .015 reaction time but the Phillips Connect Toyota was too quick with a 3.838 ET.

Antron Brown entered the semifinal round with a 36 to 23 all-time record in head-to-head competition against Steve Torrence who was making his sixth appearance in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge. Brown was off the tree first in his Matco Tools/Lucas Oil dragster but Torrence was fast on Friday night and ran a 3.879 ET to Brown’s 4.074 elapsed time to advance to the final round.

Ashley (4 Mission wins) and Torrence (2 Mission wins) have the best overall records of the season. Ashley was off first but his car didn’t want to go straight. Torrence handed Ashley his first defeat in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge with Saturday’s best qualifying time knocking Ashley off his throne with 3.76 elapsed time at 319 mph in his CAPCO Contractors Toyota dragster.

 


Hagan Wins Funny Car Mission Challenge

Funny Car semifinalists from Sonoma J.R. Todd and Matt Hagan were up first with Todd making his sixth appearance at the Mission Food’s redemption event. Hagan holds a 14-6 all-time wins advantage in head-to-head Funny Car competition. Although Todd was off the tree first, Hagan powered past the DHL Toyota when Todd lost traction and never let up advancing the TSR Dodge to the final.

Ron Capps had already won the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge three times this season but Chad Green keeps qualifying for the Challenge with consistent appearances in the semifinal round of eliminations on Sundays. It was the seventh appearance for both drivers in the Mission Challenge. Capps entered the redemption race with 3 to 1 advantage over Green. Green's Mustang was off first and never relinquished the lead outrunning the NAPA driver to the finish with a 4.135 ET at 302.75 mph.

Chad Green has made a habit of showing up big at NHRA Funny Car events all season and this weekend at Heartland Motorsports Park was no different. But, Matt Hagan was sporting new American Rebel graphics for his Tony Stewart Racing Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and looking for his second win in the Mission Foods challenge. In the bonus round, Hagan carded a 3.96 ET at 318 mph for the win.

 


Glenn Wins Pro Stock Mission Challenge

Camrie Caruso won Pro Stock at Phoenix earlier this season at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park becoming the first woman to win in Pro Stock since Erica Enders. Caruso had a semifinal match against Dallas Glenn, who has six final round appearances and three wins under his belt for the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Glenn held a 5-3 advantage and dusted Caruso with a 6.653-seconds elapsed time.

Troy Coughlin Jr is coming off a win at the Mile-High Nationals the last time Pro Stock raced. Five-time and defending NHRA Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders, who struggled early in the season, has rebounded to sixth place in points. A very hot 133-degree track surface was challenging with Coughlin holding a 1-0 advantage over Enders. Although the JEGs driver grabbed the holeshot, Enders had too much horsepower and posted a 6.660 ET to advance.

Defending NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Pro Stock World Champion Erica Enders had an uncharacteristic foul and turned the tree red after leaving early. Nonetheless, Glenn came to race and posted the quickest run in Pro Stock for the weekend. The driver of the RAD Torque Systems Chevrolet Camaro posted a 6.64-second elapsed time at 205 mph.

 


UP COMING:

Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals

Nitro and Pro Stock teams will head to Brainerd International Raceway & Resort on Aug 17-20 for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. Drag race fans flock to track and “The Zoo” campground provides for memorable experience for racegoers. During Saturday’s qualifying rounds, fans will fill the stands for the penultimate Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge.

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