Torrence and Tasca III Victorious at Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals

The world’s fastest drag racers returned to Brainerd International Raceway over the weekend for the 40th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. In additional to its ¼ mile dragstrip, Brainerd International Raceway has overlapping 2.5-mile and 3.1-mile road courses. With teams from all over the country making the trek to Minnesota, the Lucas Oil Nationals was expecting thousands of loyal drag racing fans to make the journey as well. On Friday, qualifying began with Nitro drivers making early runs approaching 335 mph.

Funny Car qualifying continued Saturday in the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals with John Force Racing’s Robert Hight leading the way. Paired with points leader and provisional Number One qualifier in the final qualifying session, Matt Hagan delivered his quickest pass of the weekend with a 3.843 ET at 331.36 mph. It was Hagan’s fifth Number One qualifier for the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing season in Tony Stewart Racing’s 11,000-horsepower Mopar 85th Anniversary Dodge Charger Hellcat SRT.

Fastest on Friday in qualifying, Brittany Force turned in another outstanding day in Top Fuel, securing her sixth Number One qualifier this season and the 38th of her career with a run of 3.661 ET at 334.65 mph in her 11,000-horsepower Monster Energy dragster. The quickest run came during the first session on Saturday as the Top Fuel points leader nearly breaking her track speed record as she looks for her fifth victory of the season and second at Brainerd. Josh Hart vaulted to second place with a 3.668 ET at 332.34mph. Topeka winner Antron Brown rounded out the top five with a run of 3.701 ET at 329.83mph.

Steve Torrence Rebounds with Victory at Brainerd

Although by his own standards, Steve Torrence says he's had a tough year in Top Fuel. But it is like they say, nothing cures what ails you like winning. That is exactly what the four-time world champion did over the weekend at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. Once again John Force Racing had the fastest dragster in qualifying as Brittany Force earned her sixth Number One qualifier position but lost traction in the semifinal round and was eliminated by Steve after she had eliminated his father Billy Torrence.

Recent Top Fuel winner Tony Schumacher was quietly working his way up the ladder in the bottom bracket with wins over Doug Kalitta, Josh Hart, and Justin Ashley to reach his second final round in three weeks. Schumacher was first off the tree but had to make more corrections than Torrence did, which handed the Capco Contractor’s driver his first Wally of 2022. The win moved Torrence to third in the points ahead of Ashley. Top Fuel points leader Brittany Force, Mike Salinas, Steve Torrence, and Justin Ashley have each clinched a Countdown berth.

Tasca III Claims Third Win in Last Four Nationals

As Nitro Funny Car finished the weekend at Brainerd International Raceway, Matt Hagan was the Number One qualifier, John Force had the best reaction time, Robert Hight was Low ET, and Ron Capps was runner up. Oh yeah, Bob Tasca III was fastest at 330.63 mph and claimed his third Wally in the past four events. Capps came to Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals looking to win for a seventh time at the Brainerd track. Tasca beat Dale Creasy Jr, Chad Green and Robert Hight enroute to the Final Round.

After Capps eliminated John Force, Bobby Bode, and Alexis DeJoria, the stage for the Brainerd Final was set. Capps would grab the holeshot and almost pulled off the win, but Tasca held a 0.0221-second advantage at the finish line. With only two races to go before the NHRA adjusts the points for the Countdown to the Championship, five Funny Car drivers can breathe a sigh of relief. Funny Car points leader Robert Hight, Matt Hagan, Ron Capps, Bob Tasca III, and John Force have all clinched Countdown berths.


Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals

Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals on August 31 thru September 5 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. The U.S. Nationals will pay points and a half, as drivers jockey for positions heading toward the Countdown.


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