Round Four: Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge

The Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge brings competitive racing to the NHRA’s Saturday round of qualifying. To get the fans fired up ahead of Sunday’s elimination rounds, this popular form of redemption racing is scheduled at all twelve side-by-side regular-season events during the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series campaign

By pitting semifinalists from the previous NHRA race, the Mission Foods event provides an on-track way of settling any disputes over the outcomes that any driver in the semifinal rounds may have had. That way everybody has another shot at each other in a series of rematches, with the two winners then matching up in the final Round 2 qualifying session.

Although year-end winners will walk away with a pocket full of money, the is also about bragging rights and valuable Countdown to Championship bonus points. Just take the world’s fastest nitro teams, who may or may like each other, and give them another chance to settle any results they may be unhappy about from the previous race.

The eight drivers picked to compete at the fourth round of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge at the famed New England Dragway in Epping, NH, included: Clay Millican, Brittany Force, Josh Hart, and Leah Pruett in Top Fuel and Tim Wilkerson, John Force, Ron Capps, and Chad Green. Drastically different temperatures and track conditions are expected for Saturday’s event.

Millican and Pruett Split Top Fuel Purse

Clay Millican who won Top Fuel at Chicago enter the round one matchup against Brittany Force with a 12-12 score for head-to-head matchups. With a temperature drop of 40 plus degrees overnight, teams struggled with tires sticking to the Epping track surface. Both drivers were in and out of the throttle but Millican’s .064 RT and 5.094 ET at 143.70 mph beat Force’s faster speed at 261.31 mph at the driver of the Monster Energy dragster was completely out of the throttle multiple times.

Prettiest drive of the day in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge went to Leah Pruett. Although Josh Hart got the R&L Carriers dragster off the line just ahead of Pruett, he stuck to the track and only managed a 6.838 elapsed time. Driver of the Rush Truck Centers dragster feathered the throttle out of the gate and down the track for 5.213 ET at 182.60 mph to take the win over Hart, who had the holeshot but immediately stuck to the track as he left the tree.

With the much cooler temperatures on Saturday, the weather forecast was for rain, which unfortunately ended the day’s action in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Top Fuel Challenge. As the quickest round one winner with a 5.094 ET, Clay Millican took home $5,000 to Pruett’s $1,500 payout for her tippy-toe 5.213 elapsed time. Due to the rainout bonus points were not awarded.

Capps and Wilkerson Split Funny Car Purse

Winner the most recent Funny Car division at Route 66 Nationals, Tim Wilkerson, was paired against the legend John Force, winner 165 NHRA Funny Car national events, in the opening round of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Top Fuel Challenge. The SCAG Power Equipment dragster of Wilkerson stuck to the track off the tree but coast to a win when Force suddenly veered left, crossed the centerline, and damaged the front end of the PEAK Blue Def Funny Car.

Three-time NHRA Funny Car world champion Ron Capps was paired against the Pomona Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Top Fuel Challenge winner. Capps, who won the most recent Challenge at Chicago, was late off the line but lifted four times to post a 5.918 ET at 179.09 mph for the victory. Green nailed a .040 reaction time but shut the engine off amid the tire smoke 50 feet off the tree.

With a 40-degree drop in temperature on Saturday, the weather forecast was for rain, which unfortunately ended the day’s action in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Funny Car Challenge. As the quickest round one winner with a 5.918 ET, Ron Capps took home $5,000 to Green’s $1,500 payout for his coast to line 10.011 elapsed time. Due to the rainout bonus points were not awarded.

Artwork courtesy of NHRA


NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

Nitro semifinalists in both Top Fuel and Funny Car at the New England Nationals in Epping will meet for the Round Five of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge at Bristol Dragway in one week on June 10th.


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