The NHRA’s Pro Stock specialty race, the K&N Horsepower Challenge, was held this past weekend as part of the SummitRacing.com Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This weekend’s running was the 29th edition of the Challenge, which dates back to 1985, where Bruce Allen took out Butch Leal in the final round. The field was set based on Pro Stock qualifying performances of the last year, with the top seven points-earning competitors automatically included in the field, with the eighth driver, Jeg Coughlin, Jr. earning his spot through a fan vote conducted on the NHRA’s website.
Allen Johnson was installed as the number-one qualifier based on his performances in the 15 races counted in the Challenge. Erica Enders-Stevens, Vincent Nobile, Greg Anderson, Jason Line, Mike Edwards, and V. Gaines were the other drivers in this year’s Challenge event. Each driver was paired with a lucky fan who would have the opportunity to win a brand-new Toyota Tundra if their driver could succeed in taking home the win.
In the first round of competition, Anderson took the holeshot win over Edwards, 6.697 to Edwards’ quicker 6.694, while Enders-Stevens used a killer .010 reaction time and 6.688 to put Vincent Nobile’s 6.701 on the trailer. Jason Line scored the second holeshot win of the round in eliminating Gaines, while Allen Johnson used the quickest elapsed time of the day, 6.652 to end Coughlin’s appearance.
Enders-Stevens overcame a holeshot by Line in the second round with a 6.71 at 206.54 mph to move on to the final, while AJ’s 6.68 at 207.08 mph easily eliminated Anderson’s 6.77 hit.
The final round was a struggle for both Enders-Stevens and Johnson as tire shake bit both racers out of the hole; Johnson’s 2013 Dodge Avenger was able to recover more quickly and earn him his second Horsepower Challenge win, taking home the $50,000 prize and landing Illinois resident Vincent Jardine a brand new Tundra. In addition, Johnson went on to take home the overall event win, “doubling up” and earning himself an additional $25,000 for the feat.
Horsepower Challenge Fun Facts
- Twelve different drivers have won the K&N Horsepower Challenge
- Allen Johnson is the only driver in the event’s history to win on a holeshot, scoring a perfect. 000 in 2008 against Greg Anderson
- Greg Anderson and Kurt Johnson are tied for the most wins in Horsepower Challenge history with four apiece
- Last year Vincent Nobile became the fifth driver to win the event in his first appearance
- This year’s field included the past five NHRA Pro Stock champions (Line, Anderson, Edwards, Coughlin, Johnson)
- 13 different body styles have won the Challenge, representing Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac