Story By: NHRA – NORWALK, OH – The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to one of drag racing’s premier facilities, bringing its must-see 11,000-horsepower, 330-mph action to Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park on June 23-26 for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.
It is the 10th of 22 races during the 2022 season and a return to the place known as “America’s Racetrack” will feature incredible action from start to finish. That means four rounds of qualifying, including nitro under the lights and fireworks on Friday, a full slate of racing on Saturday and can’t-miss eliminations on Sunday that will also be featured on the FOX broadcast network.
Boasting some of the fan amenities on the NHRA tour, Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park will come alive with all the sights and sounds of NHRA drag racing as the top stars in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will look to grab victories as the 2022 season approaches the halfway mark. The event also features a full slate of sportsman and exhibition classes, all at one of the finest surfaces in drag racing.
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) won the 2021 event, and this year’s race be broadcast on both FOX and Fox Sports 1 (FS1).
Torrence became Norwalk’s all-time Top Fuel wins leader a year ago, claiming his third victory at the facility when he beat rival Brittany Force in a stellar final round. Torrence has won three of the past four races in Norwalk, but the star Texan is still seeking his first victory of 2022 as he chases a fifth straight Top Fuel world title. Force has been the dominant driver in the class thus far, winning three times, but Mike Salinas also has three victories and is one of many top competitors in the class. Other Top Fuel drivers to watch in Norwalk include 2015 winner Doug Kalitta, Leah Pruett, 2014 event winner Antron Brown, Tony Schumacher, who won the inaugural race in 2007, Pomona winner Justin Ashley, Austin Prock, Josh Hart, and fan-favorite Clay Millican.
Pedregon’s Funny Car win a year ago was significant for the standout veteran, as Pedregon claimed his first victory in more than three years when he got past Bob Tasca III in the final round. Pedregon used that momentum to claim a top-five finish in Funny Car last year and is currently fifth in points. Everyone is chasing Matt Hagan, who has impressed at nearly every stop on the NHRA tour in 2022. He’s been to six finals in eight races, winning three times and holding the points lead over star drivers like Robert Hight, who also has three wins in 2022, defending world champ Ron Capps, 16-time world champ John Force, J.R. Todd, and Tim Wilkerson.
In Pro Stock, Enders earned her second career win in Norwalk a year ago, getting past Greg Anderson in an outstanding final round. Anderson had the final laugh a year ago, claiming his fifth world title and is now a victory away from 100 career wins. Enders, though, is currently enjoying one of the greatest stretches in her career, winning three straight races and taking a commanding point lead in the process. She’s won four of the six Pro Stock races in 2022 and will try to get another against the likes of Aaron Stanfield, Dallas Glenn, Kyle Koretsky, rookie Camrie Caruso and Mason McGaha.
Smith won a thrilling duel with Steve Johnson in the Pro Stock Motorcycle final round a year ago in Norwalk, adding another memorable chapter to their rivalry. They battled for the title last year, with Smith ultimately claiming his fifth world title, while they’ve traded wins at the last two races in 2022. Johnson is the current points leader and has two wins this season, but Smith is charging hard after his Virginia victory. Others to watch in the two-wheeled category include Gainesville winner and record-holder Karen Stoffer, Eddie Krawiec, Angie Smith, Joey Gladstone, and Angelle Sampey.
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 FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon and Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown. After nitro qualifying on Friday, fans can enjoy a spectacular fireworks display that has been the perfect capper to night qualifying over the years. The Midwest Nostalgia Pro Stock Association will be making exhibition runs throughout the weekend as well. The race also features the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League shootout, with eight young drivers competing for the win. The final round will take place on Sunday and will be featured during the FOX broadcast.
For autograph-seeking fans, they can attend one featuring riders in Pro Stock Motorcycle at the Suzuki Display at 3 p.m. on Friday, while an autograph session featuring Toyota drivers will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Toyota Display. On Saturday, fans can also attend Nitro School to learn more about how the cars operate and reach their thrilling speeds.
Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park also offers some of the finest camping facilities and grounds on the tour, offering fans a great way to spend their weekend at the track, enjoy a memorable atmosphere and not miss a second of the action.
Race fans at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park 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 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA 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 Norwalk. 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 two rounds at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, June 24 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, June 25 at 12:30 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, June 26. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 10:30 p.m. ET on Friday, 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, and then eliminations on FOX at 3 p.m. ET Sunday.