NHRA Summernationals to Resume Next Month
Track officials hurried teams along throughout Sunday’s running of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series at the Lucas Oil Speedway outside Indianapolis. The threat of inclement weather could be seen building to the west of the track during elimination rounds at the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals. When the thunderstorms finally arrived at the historic racing facility, all semifinal elimination rounds were in the book and teams were feverishly preparing for a shot a Wally. After a lengthy delay and difficulty in getting the eighth-mile racing surface completely dry for the high-horsepower competitors, race officials announced the fourth round of the pandemic-altered NHRA schedule would be completed prior to the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals on Sept. 3-6 at the Indianapolis track.
Nonetheless, the pending threat of rain did not damper the enthusiasm for the limited number of race fans who were lucky enough to acquire a ticket for this year’s Summernationals. When action resumes next month in Indy, a first-time winner will be crowned in both Top Fuel dragster and E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod drag racing series. In Top Fuel, rookie Justin Ashley and part time racer T.J. Zizzo will meet in the final round to determine the 109th different winner in NHRA history for the class. Ashley advanced to his first ever final round with victories in his Strutmasters/Menards Top Fuel dragster over Shawn Langdon, Dough Kalitta and Leah Pruett. Zizzo muscled his 11,000 horsepower Rust-Oleum dragster to victories over Terry Totten, Todd Patton and Terry McMillen. In E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod division, Jason Scruggs and Chad Green both advanced to the final round of the season opening event.
Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammates are slated for a showdown in nitro Funny Car on Sept. 3-6 at the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Raceway. Dating back to the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Series, the event will mark the seventh straight Wally for star-studded DSR team. Coming off his victory last weekend at the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at the Indy track, Matt Hagan advanced his Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to his 62nd final round with wins over Ron Capps and J.R. Todd. Fast Jack Beckman raced his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to victories over Chad Green (who will compete in Pro Mod when racing continues), Tim Wilkerson and teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. to reach his 66th Funny Car final event. NHRA officials had added the new Indy Nationals for Aug. 6-9 after cancelling the Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway and NHRA Nationals at Brainerd due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.