Five NHRA World Championships for Greg Anderson and Matt Smith
Since 1987, the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series has been comprised of four main professional classes for Top Fuel dragster, Nitro Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle. Both Top Fuel and Funny Car feature 11,000 horsepower powerplants and regularly reach top speeds in excess of 300 mph. At the National Hot Rod Association’s World Championship at the Auto Club NHRA National Finals at Pomona Raceway over weekend, two competitors added their names to the list of nine drivers who had previously won five or more world championship titles. In Pro Stock, sixty-year old Greg Anderson overcame a holeshot by four-time defending champion Erica Enders to run a quicker 6.578 ET in the semifinal round and claim his fifth title. In Pro Stock Motorcycle, defending world champion Matt Smith claimed his fifth overall title when he defeated three-time world champion Angelle Sampey in the second round of eliminations.
Anderson Wins His Ninety-Ninth NHRA National at Pomona
Greg Anderson entered the weekend at the 56th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway with hopes of winning his 99th Wally in Pro Stock and his fifth world championship title. Unfortunately, standing his way was archrival Erica Enders who was chasing a fifth title as well. Anderson got the ball rolling as the Number One qualifier after Saturday’s final round.
Driving his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro, Greg Anderson put an end to Enders season and championship hopes eliminating the defending world champion in the semi-finals. After Anderson left late, Enders had problems finding traction and his 6.578 ET was good enough for the championship. Now, all that stood in his way of his ninety-ninth victory was teammate Kyle Koretsky. Anderson ended the day with a wire-to-wire win.
Battle in Pro Stock Motorcycle Ends with Center Line Violation
Steve Johnson entered the final weekend of the Countdown to the Championship trailing defending world champion Matt Smith by 20 points for the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle World Championship. Angelle Sampey trailed Johnson by ten points in third place. Unfortunately for Johnson, he committed a centerline violation onboard his Suzuki in final qualifying session on Saturday and received a fifteen point penalty.
That moved three-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Sampey into second place in the standings and the only rider with a good shot at dethroning Smith. However, Smith would wrap up his second straight world championship (fifth overall) by eliminating Sampey in the second round onboard his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/Matt Smith Racing EBR. In the final round, Smith beat Karen Stofer on a holeshot for his sixth victory in 2021.
Photo courtesy Matt Smith Racing Timeline Photos
2022 NHRA Drag Racing Series
Sunday's finals from the 56th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona was the crowning event of the 2021 NHRA World Championship. The race was the final of 20 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.