NHRA 2022 Winners Crowned at Lucas Oil Winternationals

No major surprises at the first of the twenty-two race schedule for the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series in qualifying for the Lucas Oil Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest. Brittany Force, driver of the Monster Energy top fuel dragster, picked up where she left off last season by posting a 3.661 ET as the Number One qualifier for the 33rd time by .015-seconds over Justin Ashley. Ron Capps returned to Auto Club Raceway at Pomona as the new team owner of the NAPA Auto Parts Camaro and claimed top honors in Funny Car qualifying when he posted a 3.857 ET in a side-by-side shootout with Robert Hight who improved his time with a 3.861 ET. Looking for her first victory in Pro Stock at the NHRA Winternationals, four-time world champion Erica Enders laid down consistent runs all day to claim her 24th career Number One qualifier.


Ashley Gives Phillips Connect a Top Fuel Win at Pomona

As one of Top Fuel’s rising stars, Justin Ashley proved his 2021 season was no fluke with an impressive win on Sunday at 62nd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway. Ashley had eliminated Antron Brown and Steve Torrence on his way to the Final against Austin Prock. Prock had a holeshot win over Force in the semifinal run to advance but lost to the quicker Ashley with 3.694 ET despite posting the faster speed at 333 mph.

 

A win at Pomona in the opening round was long-awaited payback for Ashley. It was August of last year that the 25-year old was pulled from the cockpit of his Strutmasters/Smart Sanitizer dragster at the Christmas Tree suffering from heat exhaustion. Nauseous and dizzy the winner of the Gatornationals was treated at the medical center as Leah Pruett took home the Wally with an uncontested pass-thru victory.


Robert Hight Back on Top at Auto Club Raceway

John Force Racing had a strong opening weekend and proved the team will be a force to be reckoned with in both Nitro classes for 2022. After Ron Capps had barely nipped Robert Hight to claim the top spot in qualifying, it was thrill for race fans to see both drivers advance to Sunday’s final. Eventual winner Hight eliminated Tony Stewart Racing’s Matt Hagan in the semifinal round.

Capps had no problems getting past Hight’s boss and father-in-law John Force in the opening round and eliminated JR Todd, who coasted across the line, in the quarterfinals. In the semis, Capps nailed a holeshot over a very fast Cruz Pedregon and never let off for a 3.881 ET at 331.28 mph. The driver of the NAPA Chevrolet Funny Car posted the top speed for the event at 333.82 mph but lost to the quicker Hight’s 3.861 ET who earned the 54th Wally of his career.

 


Enders Victorious at 900th NHRA Pro Stock Event

With four-time World Champion behind the wheel, the Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro is no stranger to victory lane. After leading the way in qualifying, Enders eliminated the reigning NHRA Rookie of the Year Dallas Glenn as well as longtime rival and defending champion Greg Anderson with .016 and .012 reaction times, respectively. Defending event winner Aaron Stanfield earned a spot in the Finals with elimination wins against teammate Troy Coughlin Jr, Rodger Brogdon, and Fernando Cuadra Jr.  

 

It was the 900th race in Pro Stock history and Enders earned the victory with a 6.559 ET at 210.31 mph in the final round. After gaining an early advantage with a .027 reaction time to Ender’s .050 RT, Stanfield ran had problems with his Janac Brothers Racing Camaro and coasted to finish well behind his teammate. In addition to her 34th career Wally, Enders received a commemorative shift trophy in honor of the NHRA 900th Pro Stock class win.  


NEXT UP:

NHRA Arizona Nationals at Phoenix

The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to action Feb. 25-27 with the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix, AZ.

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