NHRA Set To Close Out Houston Raceway Park In Style With 35th SpringNationals
Story By: NHRA – BAYTOWN, TX – The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series is set to make its final appearance at Houston Raceway Park, closing out a long and illustrious history at the legendary track on April 22-24 with the 35th annual NHRA SpringNationals.
The final NHRA national event in Houston is also the fifth race of the 2022 season and it promises to be one to remember. Already approaching sell-out status for the historic weekend, fans are eager to be part of the final race at a facility that has produced countless memories for more than three decades and has annually been one of the largest sporting events in Southeast Texas.
“It looks like our final NHRA race will be one for the record books,” Houston Raceway Park General Manager Seth Angel said. “We’ve already sold out of all the full event packages for both the Nitro Club and the Top Eliminator Club and single-day passes for both of those areas are becoming pretty scarce. Tickets in the remainder of the grandstands are selling quickly so we’re recommending any interested fans jump on HoustonRaceway.com as soon as possible to get their tickets. We don’t want anyone to miss out.”
Renowned for its sea-level location and storied reputation as one of the fastest tracks on the NHRA circuit, Houston Raceway Park hosted its first national event in 1988 and has been home to several memorable moments and record-breaking performances over the years, including the first four-second pass in NHRA history, John Force’s 100th win and many more.
All the top stars in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will look to close out the facility with a memorable win in 2022. Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Matt Hartford (Pro Stock) picked up wins last year in Houston and this year’s race will again be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 (FS1).
Texan Torrence picked up his first-ever win in Houston a year ago, ensuring he’s had success at every track on the NHRA tour. The four-time defending world champ is after his first win of 2022, but Torrence has been consistent thus far and holds the points lead heading into Houston. Right behind is a star-studded list of competitors, including Las Vegas winner and two-time Houston winner Brittany Force, Tony Schumacher and Doug Kalitta, who each have a trio of Houston victories, Justin Ashley, Mike Salinas, Leah Pruett, who won the race in 2017, Antron Brown and Clay Millican.
Nobody has ruled Houston Raceway Park quite like Funny Car’s John Force, who has a NHRA-best seven wins at the facility. The last came in 2002, which also gave Force his 100th career win, and he’ll try to add an eighth to close out his time in Houston. It would also be the first win of 2022 for Force, who will face off with a talent-filled class that also features Las Vegas winner and defending world champ Ron Capps, Matt Hagan, whose first career Funny Car win came in 2010 at the track, Hight, who has two wins this year, Cruz Pedregon, Alexis DeJoria, J.R. Todd, Bob Tasca III and Tim Wilkerson.
In Pro Stock, Erica Enders will try to close out Houston Raceway Park with a win at her hometown track. It’s been a special place for Enders, as the four-time world champ started her illustrious career at the facility, and she’ll look for her third Pro Stock win in Houston. She’s on a roll, coming off her win in Las Vegas and will look for one final memory in Houston against the likes of points leader Aaron Stanfield, who picked up his first career Pro Stock win in 2020 at the track, defending world champ Greg Anderson, a three-time Houston winner, Dallas Glenn, Kyle Koretsky and Mason McGaha.
Pro Stock Motorcycle returns to action in Houston, fresh off a record-breaking performance in Gainesville. Karen Stoffer won there to open the year, making the quickest run in class history and becoming the first rider in class history to reach the 6.60s. She’ll look to keep rolling in Houston, where she has a pair of wins, against a marquee lineup that also includes four-time winner Angelle Sampey, Eddie Krawiec, who won the race in 2020, defending world champ Matt Smith, Gainesville runner-up Angie Smith, Joey Gladstone, Jerry Savoie, and Steve Johnson.
The event also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, which features some of the sport’s top drivers, as well as the NHRA Summit Racing Series. On Saturday, Toyota-sponsored drivers will be signing autographs at 11:30 a.m. at the Toyota Midway Display, while fans can attend Nitro School throughout the weekend to learn more about how the cars operate and reach their thrilling speeds.
Houston Raceway Park will host the special pre-race ceremonies that introduce and celebrate each of the drivers racing for the prestigious Wally on Sunday and includes the final SealMaster Track Walk at the facility. 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 final event winners of the NHRA SpringNationals.
As always, fans also get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in Houston. 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. The new Pep Boys midway display will include tire change challenges, oil change challenges, a slot car track and much more, adding even more excitement to the midway.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 6 p.m. CT on Friday, April 22 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, April 23 at 1 and 4:15 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. CT on Sunday, April 24. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, and then eliminations action at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.