NHRA Coverage From The Summit Racing Equipment Nationals

NHRA Coverage From The Summit Racing Equipment Nationals

Mike Salinas took over the Top Fuel points lead on Sunday with his win at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals — his first at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. The win was his fourth of the 2022 season.

Robert Hight (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won at the 10th of 22 races during the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.

Photo courtesy NHRA/National Dragster

In the Top Fuel final round, Salinas’ run of 3.706-seconds at 333.58 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Valley Services/Scrappers Racing dragster outdistanced Josh Hart, as he also set the track speed record in the championship round. It continued Salinas’ remarkable season, sending him past Brittany Force for the points lead with his seventh career victory.

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Salinas reached the final round by knocking off Tony Schumacher, Doug Kalitta and Leah Pruett, posting a stellar reaction time in the final round against Hart as he won for the third time in the past five races.

“It’s amazing,” Salinas said. “(Crew chief) Rob Flynn brought a calmness to this team, and everyone has a voice. I think that is unprecedented and that’s been pretty awesome. We’ve earned the right to be out here and race against these guys, and we belong here. It’s a good thing because we’ve got a great team and I’m learning how to drive. It’s been really cool for this entire team and a lot of fun, and I just really appreciate being here and being in this position.”

Hart reached his first final round of 2022 and third in his career by knocking off Spencer Massey, Austin Prock and Force, who now trails Salinas by just 12 points.

Salinas wasn’t the only nitro driver who took over the points lead on Sunday, as Hight did the same in Funny Car, rolling to his fourth win of the season as well with an impressive 3.944 at 327.51 in the finals in his 11,000-horsepower Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS against Bob Tasca III. It is Hight’s 57th career win and first at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, making a series of stellar runs during eliminations, including a 3.890 at 328.06 in the semifinals against J.R. Todd. Hight also took care of business against Jim Campbell and Alexis DeJoria to reach the final round, where he was able to hold off Tasca for a monumental victory.

“This is big for us,” Hight said. “I had never won here, so being able to cross this one off and get the points lead, it’s big. The conditions kind of came to us (on Sunday). When it gets a little cooler, you’re not going to beat (crew chief) Jimmy Prock. I’m so proud of this team, they’ve worked so hard. It shows we’re legit and we’re here to win. I’ve had so much fun this weekend and we’ve had a great time, and I’m not ready for it to end.”

Tasca reached the finals in Norwalk for the third straight time, picking up round wins against Mike McIntire Jr., Hagan and No. 1 qualifier and defending world champ Ron Capps. Hight leads Hagan by 21 points as the 2022 campaign nears the halfway mark.

Enders’ incredible domination in Pro Stock during the 2022 season continued, as she won in Norwalk for the second straight year, beating Aaron Stanfield in the final round with a strong 6.627 at 207.88 in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. In the third straight final round between the two teammates, Enders picked up her fourth win in the past five races, avenging last Sunday’s wild final against Stanfield in Bristol. This weekend, Enders was a step ahead of everyone throughout, qualifying No. 1 by a large margin and then making strong runs throughout eliminations, beating Fernando Cuadra Jr., Matt Hartford, and Deric Kramer to reach the championship round.

There, she was nearly perfect, posting a .018 reaction time before driving away from Stanfield in what has become a special year for the points leader and four-time world champ. Enders now has five wins in eight Pro Stock events in 2022, with Sunday’s victory her 38th overall.

“We started off on the right foot in Pomona, and after we exploded last weekend in Bristol, the guys rallied and put in a new bullet for this race,” Enders said. “It performed pretty flawlessly. It mowed down the scoreboard on Friday and we threw out some really great numbers on raceday. I’m really proud of my guys. To have a group believe in me like they do, it makes my job a whole heck of a lot easier. I have a group that believes in me and lifts me up, and I attribute all my success to that.”

Stanfield’s third straight final round kept him second in points and gave him five this season and 11 in his career. He got there on Sunday by taking down Troy Coughlin Jr., Mason McGaha, and Kyle Koretsky. Enders’ points lead is now 105 over Stanfield.

A week after going red in the final round, Sampey more than made up for it on Sunday in Norwalk in Pro Stock Motorcycle, knocking off Joey Gladstone in the championship round with a standout pass of 6.861 at 197.13 on her Vance & Hines/Mission Foods Suzuki. It gave Sampey, a three-time world champ, her first victory of the season and 46th in her career. She reached the finals with round wins against Ron Tornow, defending world champ Matt Smith and Jerry Savoie, who picked up the win against Sampey last Sunday. But this weekend belonged to Sampey, and she led wire-to-wire against Gladstone to come through with a much-needed victory, which is her first at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.

“You don’t know the internal battle that I was going through since last week,” Sampey said. “This was huge after the final in Bristol. I threw it away. I gave it to Jerry. It slipped through fingers and on Monday I prepared for this race. By Friday, I dug deep within myself. Twenty years ago, I wouldn’t have had to do what I did mentally, but I’ve found that the biggest competitor these days is myself.”

Looking for his first career win, Gladstone came up just short, but still managed a strong weekend, knocking off Jimmy Underdahl, Karen Stoffer and Hector Arana Jr. in his first final this season and third in his career. Steve Johnson maintained his points lead, but it closed to just 52 over Sampey.

Kris Thorne’s remarkable run in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon continued on Sunday, powering to his third win of the 2022 season on Sunday at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park as part of this weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.

The event, which was powered by Mike Janis Superchargers, was the fourth of 10 races during the 2022 FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon season.

Thorne has been the dominant driver at the majority of those, claiming his third career victory on Sunday. All of those have come this year in his ProCharger-powered Camaro, going 5.796-seconds at 247.93 mph in the final round in Norwalk on Sunday to knock off multi-time world champ Rickie Smith.

Thorne reached the final round with wins against Lyle Barnett, J.R. Gray and Stan Shelton and then delivered when it counted against Smith, posting a .016 reaction time and the quicker run in the championship round against the veteran Smith.

“This one is huge,” Thorne said. “I never thought in my life we would be taking home our third win of the season. We’ve come out strong, we’ve run really well and have a lot of good backing, and we’ve got a great team behind us. I’m just super blessed and thankful to be out here.”

Smith reached his second final this season and 27th in his career by knocking off Khalid AlBalooshi, Jason Scruggs, and No. 1 qualifier Stevie “Fast” Jackson. With the victory, Thorne’s points lead grew to 108 points over Smith, who has now raced to back-to-back runner-up finishes.

Sunday’s final results from the 15th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. The race is the 10th of 22 in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Mike Salinas, 3.706 seconds, 333.58 mph def. Josh Hart, 3.783 seconds, 325.37 mph.

Funny Car — Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.944, 327.51 def. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.962, 330.63.

Pro Stock — Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.627, 207.88 def. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.658, 207.15.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 6.861, 197.13 def. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.928, 194.60.

Top Alcohol Dragster — Matthew Cummings, 5.313, 275.84 def. Alan Bradshaw, 5.388, 268.06.

Top Alcohol Funny Car — Doug Gordon, Chevy Camaro, 5.592, 262.95 def. DJ Cox Jr., Camaro, 5.625, 262.33.

Competition Eliminator — Scott Chamness, Dragster, 7.082, 149.35 def. Frank Aragona, Alterd, Broke.

Super Stock — Tyler Bohannon, Chevy Camaro, 9.619, 137.33 def. Joe Santangelo, Camaro, 9.658, 136.65.

Stock Eliminator — Joe Santangelo, Chevy Camaro, 10.432, 121.69 def. Brett McFarland, Camaro, 10.202, 126.58.

Super Comp — Patrick Debottis, Dragster, 8.922, 182.30 def. Bob Prose, Dragster, 8.927, 180.94.

Super Gas — Duane LaFleur, Chevy Camaro, 9.910, 163.04 def. Dave Coapstick, Olds Cutlass, 9.907, 161.44.

Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers — Steve Jaeger, Chevy Monte Carlo, 6.747, 205.10 def. Glenn Butcher, Chevy Camaro, 6.411, 177.86.

Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers — Al Kenny, Dragster, No Time Recorded def. Karma Hopper, Dragster, Broke – No Show.

Pro Modified — Kris Thorne, Chevy Camaro, 5.796, 247.93 def. Rickie Smith, Ford Mustang, 5.828, 250.04.

Factory Stock Showdown — Bill Skillman, Ford Mustang, 7.810, 177.07 def. David Barton, Chevy Camaro, 7.869, 180.09.

Capps, Brittany Force Lead Raceday Fields

Those in attendance at the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals have been treated to some great racing. The Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park track surface has been on point through the hot weather this weekend. Ron Capps, Brittany Force, Erica Enders, and Eddie Krawiec all earned top qualifying spots for eliminations on Sunday.

Capps, the defending Funny Car world champ, impressed last weekend in Bristol and kept that momentum going in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra with his run of 3.901-seconds at 328.38 mph on Friday. It stood up on Saturday, handing Capps his fourth No. 1 this season, which is the most in the class, and 33rd in his career. After getting the first win for the new GR Supra body last week, the veteran also grabbed the first No. 1 qualifier for the innovative new Funny Car body. He’ll open eliminations against Dale Creasy Jr. with a third win this season on his mind.

“It was a great job by our team,” said Capps, who has one career win in Norwalk. “We’re going to have cloud cover tomorrow and it’s going to be fast, and you’re going to see a lot of great side-by-side racing. To get that No. 1, these are so hard to get. It’s going to be a dogfight tomorrow and a lot of fun, and we’re looking forward to it.”

John Force, who has one win in Norwalk, secured No. 2 with his 3.903 at 330.15 from Friday, while teammate Robert Hight’s 3.907 at 329.91 put him right behind. Points leader Matt Hagan took the fifth position.

Force’s track record run on Friday of 3.666 at 333.08 in her 11,000-horsepower Monster Energy dragster held up, giving the points leader her third No. 1 this season. It was the only run in the 3.60s during Top Fuel qualifying, and Force also made one solid run in the heat on Saturday, putting the points leader in prime position to pick up her fourth victory of the season. The incredible run from a day ago handed Force her 35th career No. 1 position, and she’ll open eliminations against Kyle Wurtzel. Force will also try to pick up her first career victory at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park on Sunday.

“We haven’t won at this track before so that’s our plan for tomorrow,” Force said. “We’ve made three solid runs here this weekend. I’m proud of this team. To have 35 No. 1 qualifiers, that’s huge for this team. We’re excited about it and hopefully, we can just keep adding to it. The Top Fuel class is tough. There’s been a lot of changes coming into the season and it’s a lot of great competition. We’re all there to do one thing and that’s win.”

Justin Ashley, who is aiming for back-to-back wins after his Bristol triumph, qualified second after his run of 3.707 at 330.96 on Friday, while Mike Salinas took third on the strength of his 3.744 at 327.51 on Friday.

Enders’ stellar run from Friday easily held up, as the Pro Stock points leader claimed the No. 1 position in Norwalk thanks to her impressive 6.537 at 210.11 in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. She backed it up with the quickest run on Saturday, giving the four-time world champ her second No. 1 spot this year as she looks to win at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park for the second straight season. After claiming her 25th career No. 1 qualifier, Enders will open eliminations against Fernando Cuadra Jr. searching for her fifth straight final round in 2022 and fifth victory in what’s already been an incredible year.

“I’ve got the best guys in the world standing behind me,” Enders said. “I could not be prouder of these guys. Today’s conditions are going to be pretty similar to tomorrow, so to go out and run that 6.58 (in the final session) felt good. We’re just going to go out there and do our best. Coming off a win here last year is pretty significant. The facility here is amazing and I’m very confident in my guys and my car. We’re looking forward to a really long day tomorrow.”

Kyle Koretsky stayed second after his 6.570 at 207.88 and Aaron Stanfield, who won last weekend in Bristol, qualified third after going 6.574 at 208.23.

Krawiec made an impressive statement on Saturday in Pro Stock Motorcycle, making the quickest runs in each of the two qualifying sessions, including the 6.798 at 199.05 on his Vance & Hines/Mission Foods Suzuki to take the No. 1 spot from his teammate Angelle Sampey. After struggling early in the season, Krawiec picked up his first No. 1 qualifier of the year and the 50th of his career, and he’ll open eliminations against Jianna Everisto. After the pair of runs he made on Saturday, including a 6.809 to close out qualifying, Krawiec feels confident about his chances of earning his first victory of the 2022 campaign on Sunday.

“It’s a great accomplishment to get my 50th and I think we’ve turned the corner with my Suzuki,” Krawiec said. “It’s running well in the heat, especially, and we’re just trying to learn. We struggled early in the season trying to find the tune-up, and it’s been about baby steps. We took a big swing before Q3 and I think it paid off, and then it repeated. I’ve got a really good motorcycle going into tomorrow, and a fast motorcycle, and I feel like I’ve got a really good chance on Sunday.”

In the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon, Stevie “Fast” Jackson qualified No. 1 with a 5.701 at 257.63 in his Camaro at the race powered by Mike Janis Superchargers. J.R. Gray qualified second with a 5.747 at 252.66 and Daniel Pharris took third after going 5.758 at 250.88. Jackson also picked up a win in the opening round of eliminations on Saturday.

Eliminations for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals begin at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. Live coverage on the FOX broadcast network begins at 3 p.m. ET.

Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the 15th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, the 10th of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.

Top Fuel — 1. Brittany Force, 3.666 seconds, 333.08 mph vs. 16. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.900, 295.01; 2. Justin Ashley, 3.707, 330.96 vs. 15. Leah Pruett, 3.862, 313.58; 3. Mike Salinas, 3.744, 327.51 vs. 14. Tony Schumacher, 3.847, 319.37; 4. Josh Hart, 3.744, 322.58 vs. 13. Spencer Massey, 3.812, 321.73; 5. Austin Prock, 3.745, 328.78 vs. 12. Clay Millican, 3.811, 324.12; 6. Doug Kalitta, 3.759, 328.46 vs. 11. Antron Brown, 3.808, 316.90; 7. Steve Torrence, 3.768, 323.04 vs. 10. Billy Torrence, 3.779, 323.04; 8. Tripp Tatum, 3.771, 320.13 vs. 9. Shawn Langdon, 3.774, 325.30.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Dan Mercier, 3.903, 311.34; 18. Joe Morrison, 3.936, 282.54; 19. Scott Farley, 4.054, 245.99; 20. Mike Bucher, 4.165, 258.12; 21. Krista Baldwin, 4.202, 205.66.

Funny Car — 1. Ron Capps, Toyota Supra, 3.901, 328.38 vs. 16. Dale Creasy Jr., Dodge Charger, 6.055, 119.24; 2. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.903, 330.15 vs. 15. Bobby Bode, Ford Mustang, 4.545, 184.19; 3. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.907, 327.59 vs. 14. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.087, 311.05; 4. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.908, 331.12 vs. 13. Mike McIntire, Toyota Camry, 4.067, 312.78; 5. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.917, 329.91 vs. 12. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.062, 304.12; 6. Alexis DeJoria, Supra, 3.932, 331.12 vs. 11. Paul Lee, Charger, 4.050, 320.20; 7. J.R. Todd, Supra, 3.933, 328.14 vs. 10. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 3.991, 321.27; 8. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.960, 281.30 vs. 9. Chad Green,
Mustang, 3.979, 313.37.

Pro Stock — 1. Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.537, 210.11 vs. 16. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Ford Mustang, 6.674, 207.15; 2. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.570, 207.88 vs. 15. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.662, 207.82; 3. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.574, 208.23 vs. 14. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.638, 208.55; 4. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.575, 207.37 vs. 13. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.630, 208.49; 5. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.580, 208.39 vs. 12. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.624, 207.69; 6. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.582, 207.82 vs. 11. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.623, 207.88; 7. Camrie Caruso, Camaro, 6.582, 205.69 vs. 10. Fernando Cuadra, Mustang, 6.618, 208.71; 8. Cristian Cuadra, Mustang, 6.606, 207.59 vs. 9. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.610, 207.98.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Chris Sweeny, 6.723, 201.94; 18. Shane Tucker, 6.743, 205.01; 19. Alan Prusiensky, 7.193, 159.63.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Eddie Krawiec, Suzuki, 6.798, 199.05 vs. 16. Jianna Evaristo, Suzuki, 7.099, 190.65; 2. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 6.801, 197.74 vs. 15. Ron Tornow, Victory, 7.034, 189.28; 3. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.811, 199.91 vs. 14. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.983, 194.97; 4. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.815, 198.70 vs. 13. Chip Ellis, EBR, 6.901, 197.05; 5. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.824, 198.35 vs. 12. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.896, 197.91; 6. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.824, 195.28 vs. 11. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.893, 194.52; 7. Matt Smith, Suzuki, 6.834, 198.67 vs. 10. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.882, 196.85; 8. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.872, 199.14 vs. 9. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.872, 196.73.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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