Action Set To Heat Up With NHRA Drag Racing Series Duel In The Desert At Wild Horse Pass

Story By: NHRA – PHOENIX, AZ – Making its first trip to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park since 2020, the stars of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series are set to put on a show at the upcoming NHRA Arizona Nationals, which takes place Feb. 25-27.

It marks the second race of the 2022 season and fans will again be able to enjoy the thrills and incredible action of 11,000-horsepower, 330-mph nitro cars in Top Fuel and Funny Car at a track that has been a NHRA staple for more than three decades. With spectacular on-track action, unparalleled access to professional drivers in the pits, and number of exciting fan incentives and exhibition racing, the Duel in the Desert will again play host to a number of special moments over the course of the weekend.

All the top drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock will also look for an early-season win at a race that will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 (FS1), including eliminations action at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 27. Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car) and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) all won the 2020 race.

Top Fuel’s Torrence won for the second time at Phoenix in 2020 and has been the sport’s dominant driver in recent seasons. He’s won four straight world championships and rolled to 11 wins a year ago. The Texan is after a fifth straight title, but it won’t come easy against a loaded field that includes Tony Schumacher, who is returning to full-time action in 2022 and has five Phoenix wins. Antron Brown, who became a team owner in the off-season, has three wins at the track, while others to watch include Leah Pruett, who will driver the Top Fuel dragster for Tony Stewart Racing, 2019 NHRA Rookie of the Year Austin Prock, former world champ Brittany Force, Doug Kalitta, Clay Millican, Josh Hart, 2020 Rookie of the Year Justin Ashley, Mike Salinas and Shawn Langdon.

Additionally, the race is the last chance for Top Fuel competitors to earn in their spot in the highly-anticipated eight-car Pep Boys NHRA Top Fuel All-Star Callout, a specialty shootout event that takes place at the next event in Gainesville.

Reigning Funny Car world champ Ron Capps branched out into team ownership in the off-season, and he’s eager for a quick start in the loaded class. He’s won three times in Phoenix, as has 2020 world champ Matt Hagan, who is now part of the new Tony Stewart Racing team. Both will have to get past 16-time world champ John Force, who has a NHRA-best eight wins at the track, as well as Robert Hight, Cruz Pedregon, Bob Tasca III, former world champ J.R. Todd, 2014 event winner Alexis DeJoria, Paul Lee, Jim Campbell and veteran Tim Wilkerson.

After celebrating Pro Stock’s 900th race at the 2022 season-opener, a number of stars in the category will be looking for a victory in Phoenix. Reigning world champ Greg Anderson and Erica Enders lead the list of current drivers with a pair of victories apiece, and each standout will be looking for a key early-season win. The longtime rivals will be pushed by a strong group of competitors, though, including 2021 NHRA Rookie of the Year Dallas Glenn, who will make his first career start at Phoenix, Kyle Koretsky, Aaron Stanfield, who had three wins last season, 2018 event winner Chris McGaha, Troy Coughlin Jr., Mason McGaha, Rodger Brogdon, who won in 2015, and Matt Hartford.

The event also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, where future stars of the sport hone their skills, as well as a special Big Tire/Small Tire shootout. After nitro qualifying on both days, fans can also enjoy a thrilling wheelstander exhibition from the “Little Red Fire Truck” driven by Mike Mantel, as well as a can’t-miss jet car exhibition from the Team “Muy Caliente” jet car.

Throughout the weekend, NHRA fans can take part in the special walking tour to see the cars and teams hard at work in the pits and can attend Nitro School to learn more about how the cars operate and reach their thrilling speeds. Wild Horse Pass Motorsport Park will also host the special pre-race ceremonies that introduce and celebrate each of the drivers racing for the prestigious Wally on Sunday. The final can’t-miss experience of any NHRA event is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes, where fans are invited to congratulate the event winners celebrating their NHRA Arizona Nationals victories.
As always, fans also get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. This unique opportunity gives fans a unique chance to see teams in action and 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 vendors create an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.

NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 4:30 p.m. PT on Friday, Feb. 25 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 1 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 27. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday on FS1, and then eliminations action at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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