Story By: NHRA – EPPING, NH – With a scenic setting and some of the most passionate fans in drag racing, the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series is set to return to New England Dragway for the NHRA New England Nationals on June 3-5.
It is the eighth of 22 races during the 2022 season and the annual trip to the New England area has been filled with unbelievable action, a picturesque backdrop, and huge crowds since the inaugural event in 2013. Almost a decade later, the passionate fanbase is eager to again take in all the thrills of 11,000-horsepower, 330-mph nitro action, the side-by-side racing in Pro Stock, a full slate of qualifying, jet cars and can’t-miss eliminations on Sunday in front of another packed house at the historic facility.
The top stars in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock will all look to grab victories as the 2022 NHRA season heads into the summer months. Billy Torrence (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car) and Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) all won the 2021 event, and this year’s race will again be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 (FS1).
The Torrence family has dominated Top Fuel at New England Dragway in recent seasons, with Billy winning last year and his son, Steve, getting victories the two previous seasons. Steve also has the past four Top Fuel world titles, but the talented Texan is still after his first win in the loaded category in 2022. He’ll try to get it in Epping against a star-studded list of drivers that includes points leader Brittany Force, who has two wins in 2022, two-time race winner Tony Schumacher, veteran Doug Kalitta, track record holder Leah Pruett, Mike Salinas, who has two wins this season, Pomona winner Justin Ashley, previous event winner Antron Brown, Clay Millican and Josh Hart.
Funny Car legend Force has an impressive history in Epping, winning in 2015 and claiming the victory last season. The 16-time world champ also picked up his 155th win at the most recent event in Charlotte and will try to keep piling up victories in 2022. But defending world champ Ron Capps and three-time world champ Matt Hagan have also impressed at New England Dragway, with the two veterans claiming a combined five victories at the track. Hagan is the points leader and has a pair of wins this year driving for Tony Stewart Racing, while Capps, who become a team owner this season, also has a win. Others to watch include Robert Hight, who has two wins in 2022, J.R. Todd, area native Bob Tasca III, Tim Wilkerson, Cruz Pedregon and Alexis DeJoria.
In Pro Stock, drivers will be eager to return to action after a six-week break between races on their 2022 schedule. Stanfield earned his first victory at New England Dragway a season ago and he’s off to a strong start in 2022, collecting a pair of wins. But he’s chasing teammate and points leader Erica Enders, who has three wins and has put together a dominant run of performances. She won the race in 2017, though it won’t be easy to get another one in a talented class that features reigning world champ Greg Anderson, who is after his 100th career win, Gainesville winner Dallas Glenn, Matt Hartford, 2018 event winner Chris McGaha, Troy Coughlin Jr., Mason McGaha, Kyle Koretsky, top rookie Camrie Caruso and Bo Butner.
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 exciting exhibition racing in the snowmobile category throughout the weekend. After nitro qualifying, fans can enjoy the big thrills of jet cars, as the jet car team Douthit Motorsports will make runs. The Zona Motorsports’ nostalgia cars will also be doing exhibition runs and cacklefests throughout the weekend. On Saturday, fans can also attend Nitro School on Saturday to learn more about how the cars operate and reach their thrilling speeds.
Fans at New England Dragway can enjoy the special pre-race ceremonies that introduce and celebrate each of the drivers racing for the prestigious Wally on Sunday and includes the fan-favorite SealMaster Track Walk. 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 NHRA New England Nationals event winners.
As always, fans also get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in Epping. 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. ET on Friday, June 3 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, June 4 at 1 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, June 5. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, 7 p.m. on Saturday, and then eliminations action at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday.