LAS VEGAS, NV — October 4, 2022 — (Motor Sports NewsWire) — With championship dreams at stake, the stars of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series will be making it big October 27-30 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, da the 22nd annual NHRA Nevada Nationals will mark the penultimate race in the countdown to the championship playoffs.
It’s the 21st event of the 2022 season and the fifth stop in the six-race NHRA Playoffs as a packed weekend in Las Vegas will have a big impact on the championship. The championship intensity is evident when the Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle teams risk it all in one of the final races of the season.
With exhilarating 11,000 horsepower, 330 mph action filling the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, fans are treated to an incredible weekend of action, beginning with the essential qualifying action on Friday and Saturday and a day to remember Eliminations Sunday as drivers look for playoff magic in Las Vegas.
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Dallas Glenn (Pro Stock) and Steve Johnson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) won last year’s playoff race, which also marked the 1,000. event of the NHRA as a whole. This season’s event will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) including the eliminations on Sunday 30th October at 5pm as the standouts in all four professional categories will battle it out for a crucial playoff triumph.
Torrence won both races in Las Vegas a year ago and picked up his 50th career top fuel win at last fall’s NHRA Nevada Nationals. The four-time defending champion is back in the title mix thanks to his win in St. Louis, drawing within 14 points of leader Justin Ashley. The Texan will be determined to get his sixth win at the facility – which would put him just behind Tony Schumacher’s eight for most in Top Fuel history – but it won’t be easy in the loaded class. In addition to Ashley Brittany Force, who has four wins in 2022, other top contenders include five-time Vegas winner Antron Brown, Mike Salinas, veteran Doug Kalitta, Leah Pruett, Josh Hart and Clay Millican.
In Funny Car, Pedregon would love nothing more than to take the win late in the season and take his first win of the season. But Pedregon will have his job cut out for him when he takes on a star-studded field that includes points leader Robert Hight, who has a career-best eight wins in 2022. He will look to earn his sixth win in Vegas to tie teammates John Force and Ron Capps for the best at the facility and move closer to a fourth World Championship while taking on defending spring race-winning champion Capps Matt Hagan, who has won the event three times, Bob Tasca III, Alexis DeJoria, JR Todd and Tim Wilkerson.
Points leader Erica Enders has dominated pro stock in Las Vegas for the past few seasons. With a 120-point lead, Enders would like to get closer to a fifth world title in Vegas, where her nine wins are the most for a pro driver in NHRA history. That includes her spring win at the track, and Enders has won at least one race in Vegas in the last four years. She will look to win in 2022 against a high-profile field that includes defending champion Greg Anderson, who has eight Vegas wins, Aaron Stanfield, who has won at Charlotte, Dallas Glenn, Troy Coughlin Jr. and Kyle Koretsky.
Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Steve Johnson made his first win in Las Vegas last year, at the 1,000. race of the NHRA, and the veteran would be happy for another late-season win after two wins earlier this year. But he hasn’t won since May and the points lead has changed hands in each of the last six races in the category. Defending champion Matt Smith is the current front-runner as he seeks a sixth world title, but a number of contenders in the two-wheeler category include Joey Gladstone, who has three wins this season, Angie Smith, Eddie Krawiec, Jerry Savoie and Angelle Sampey.
The NHRA Nevada Nationals also features exciting competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, which features some of the sport’s best drivers, and the Summit Racing Series ET Finals, which crowns national champions, including the inaugural EV National Championship in NHRA history. The weekend also includes action in the exciting Nostalgia Funny Car class, while fans can watch a spectacular jet dragster display by team Muy Caliente and The Iceman after Nitro qualifying on Friday and Saturday.
Pro Stock School with veteran Matt Hartford takes place on Friday, while fans can visit Nitro School the next day to learn more about how the cars work and achieve their blistering speeds. Also on Friday will be autograph sessions at the Toyota Racing Experience with Toyota-sponsored riders and at the NHRA Member Hospitality, which will feature Pro Stock Motorcycle riders.
Racing fans on the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway can enjoy special pre-race ceremonies that will introduce and celebrate each of the drivers driving for Sunday’s prestigious Wally and include the fan-favorite SealMaster Track Walk. The final experience not to be missed at any NHRA event is the Circle Celebration on Sunday after the conclusion of the race, where fans are invited to congratulate the winners of the NHRA Nevada Nationals event.
As always, fans will also receive an exclusive pit pass to the world’s most powerful and sensual motorsport attraction in Las Vegas. This unique opportunity gives fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see teams in action, service their hot rods between rounds, get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers and more. Fans can also visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race providers create an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the whole family. The new Pep Boys Midway display includes tire change challenges, oil change challenges, a slot car track and more, adding even more excitement to the Midway.
Qualifying for the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series includes two rounds at 12:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. PT on Friday, October 28 and the final two qualifying rounds on Saturday, October 29 at 12:00 p.m. and 12:00 p.m 3:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for Sunday, October 30 at 11:00 a.m. PT. Televised coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 9:30am ET and 12:30pm on Sunday and then eliminations on FS1 at 5:00pm ET on Sunday.
Call to purchase NHRA Nevada Nationals tickets on the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway 800-644-4444 or visit www.lvms.com. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free in the general admission areas with a paying adult. For more information about NHRA, visit www.nhra.com.
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Headquartered in San Dimas, California, the NHRA is the primary sanctioning agency for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 22 national events including the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon, Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown and the Top Fuel Harley Series. NHRA offers drivers of all skill levels competitive opportunities in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and NHRA Street Legal. NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5-17. With over 120 member tracks, NHRA enables racers to compete in a variety of locations nationally and internationally. The NHRA’s Youth and Education Services (YES) program reaches over 30,000 students annually to spark their interest in automotive and racing careers. NHRA’s streaming service, NHRA.tv, allows fans to watch all national NHRA events as well as exclusive features from the sport. In addition, NHRA owns and operates three racing facilities: Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park; and Auto Club Raceway in Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to www.NHRA.com or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Source: National Hot Rod Association