Stanfield Clinches FSS: Usual Suspects Win at NHRA Midwest Nationals
Leah Pruett (pictured) driving the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak and Pro Stock star Aaron Stanfield were doing double duty at the NHRA Camping World Midwest Nationals over the weekend just outside St. Louis at World Wide Technology Raceway. Aaron Stanfield has been the dominant driver in the NHRA Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown Series and clinched the 2021 FSS championship over the weekend at the Madison, IL track. Stanfield leads the Factory Stock Showdown championship points with 651 to David Barton’s 430 and third-place John Cerbone’s 409. Pruett is in sixth place with 366 points.
Steve Torrence Claims Ninth Top Fuel Win
At the NHRA Camping World Midwest Nationals, Mike Salinas was Number One qualifier over the usual suspect, Brittany Force. As the second fastest in qualifying, Force rebounded in opening round of eliminations with a 3.641 ET at 337.66 mph to put TJ Zizzo on the trailer and heading home. However, Force was late off the light (.092 RT) in quarterfinals at World Wide Technology Raceway and lost to Josh Hart’s .061 reaction time and slower 3.793 elapsed time.
Leah Pruett led the Don Schumacher Racing Top Fuel tandem on Sunday by advancing to the semifinals against Mike Salinas. Pruett was looking to win her first Midwest Nationals in Top Fuel and immediately stood on the throttle leaving the tree. Amidst a cloud of tire smoke, the DSR driver pedaled her machine, but the engine went up in a fireball. In the final round, Steve Torrence claimed his ninth victory over the 16 races in 2021. It came at the expense of top qualifier Mike Salinas on the 1,000-foot course in his wounded Scrappers Racing dragster.
Number One Qualifier Matt Hagan Wins in St. Louis
After the reigning NHRA Funny Car world champion was sidelined with COVID-19 for two 2021 Championship events, Matt Hagan drove his New Holland Dodge Charger//SRT Hellcat Redeye from the Number One qualifying position to victory lane at World Wide Technology Raceway. Thanks to his substitute driver Tommy Johnson Jr winning the Reading event (points earned counted for Hagan), the win at St. Louis moved Hagan 59 points ahead of second place Ron Capps.
In the opening round, Capps powered his NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to a stout 3.854-second ET at 333-mph, which held up to be low E.T. of the event. Hagan would reclaim top speed at 333.49 mph. Capps was eliminated in the quarterfinal round when John Force deep staged and won with his starting line advantage. Capps closes out the NHRA Midwest Nationals ranked second in the Countdown to the Championship point standings.
Enders Takes Top Honors in Pro Stock at Midwest Nationals
Pro Stock legend Greg Anderson will have to wait for his next shot at becoming the all-time winningest driver in NHRA Pro Stock. The driver of the HendricksCars.com Chevrolet Camaro has been positioned to break the tie he holds with the legendary Warren Johnson at 97 Pro Stock victories. Anderson was the Number One Qualifier at the NHRA Midwest Nationals but got left at the tree in his quarterfinal loss to Mason McGaha.
Enders was working her way up the ladder and eliminated Aaron Stanfield in the quarterfinals with a .043 RT for 6.578 ET at 208.88 mph to Stanfield’s .045 RT for 6.590 ET at 208.07 mph in one of the event’s closest races. In defeating rookie phenom finalist Dallas Glenn, Erica Enders registered her third straight triumph at Wide World Technology Raceway, her fourth of the year, and 33rd of her career in the Melling/Elite Pro Stock Camaro.
Texas NHRA FallNationals
Contenders to the Countdown head south to Texas Motorplex for the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series FallNationals on Oct. 7-10 in Ennis, Texas.