Nitro Classes Explode at NHRA U.S. Nationals

Most often referred to as The Big Go by drag racing fans, the historic event dates back to 1955, when the National Hot Rod Association sponsored the NHRA Nationals at Great Bend, KS at the Great Bend Municipal Airport. The annual event would be hosted at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds outside Oklahoma City. Detroit Dragway was the last site used before the event moved to its permanent home at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

The US Nationals are the last NHRA points paying event before the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Race teams look forward to annual event, as drivers compete for the “points and a half” that the NHRA awards. Indy also hosts the Pep Boys Allstar Callout, a specialty event with an $80,000 winner’s payout to the best in Top Fuel and Funny Car. The Callout began at the Gatornationals in March with Top Fuel completing first rounds before the event was rain delayed.

Ron Capps Keeps Winning at The Big Go

The weeklong event has the distinction of being the oldest running motorsports event in the United States that is annually contested over the Labor Day Weekend. It has been said that there is nothing quite like getting on roll at the U.S. Nationals. The defending NHRA World Champion in the nitro Funny Car division has been on a streak of firsts in 2022, among them was his first win as a team owner of the NAPA Auto Parts GR Toyota Supra Racing Team. Capps had already won the $80,000 purse at the Pep Boys Allstar Callout and had clinched Number One qualifier in Funny Car for The Big Go.

Capps reached the Final round at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park by defeating Dale Creasy Jr., JR Todd, and the legendary John Force with three consecutive elapsed times in the 3.8s. Robert Hight, the number two qualifier, earned his ninth final round appearance in the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing series by eliminating John Smith, Matt Hagan, and Bob Tasca III. Capps was off the tree first and never relinquished his lead for his first U.S. Nationals win and avenged his loss in last year’s final round to Tim Wilkerson. Hight heads to the opening round of the Countdown with a 20-point advantage over Capps.

Antron Brown Back on Top in Top Fuel at IRP

To say that Brittany Force and her Monster Energy team has been fast in 2022 is an understatement. She broke the track record at both ends with 3.640 ET at 337.75 mph to earn her seventh Number One qualifier. Then, Force reached her second straight final round at Indy, beating Dan Mercier, Josh Hart, and Doug Kalitta to reach the finals for the sixth time this season. Driving his 11,000 horsepower Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster, Brown defeated Tripp Tatum, Steve Torrence, and Justin Ashley to faceoff with Force in U.S. Nationals Final round.

Brown posted a 3.706 elapsed time at 321.66 mph for his second Top Fuel win in the past three NHRA national events and first win at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park since 2011. The three-time world champion in NHRA Top Fuel also became a team owner (Antron Brown Motorsports) in the off-season and seems to be peaking at the right time. Force opens the Countdown to the Championship next weekend at Maple Grove as the points leader with a sixty point advantage over Brown for the 2022 NHRA Camping World championship.

Up Coming:

Pep Boys NHRA Nationals

Pep Boys NHRA Nationals on September 15-18 at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, PA. The Maple Grove race is the first event in the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs.


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