Playoff Stakes Are Raised As Texas NHRA FallNationals Close Stampede Of Speed At Texas Motorplex

Story By: NHRA – ENNIS, TX – The second annual Stampede of Speed concludes at Texas Motorplex with the main event, the 37th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals on Oct. 13-16, promising fans an incredible weekend of thrills and action, right in the heart of the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

It is the 20th event of the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series and the fourth stop in the six-race NHRA playoffs and the event looks to be bigger and better than ever. Starting with qualifying under the lights during “Friday Night Live,” which offers more than $40,000 in bonus money, a spectacular performance from Grace Good, a world-renowned fire dancer and aerial performance, the weekend opens with a bang.

The quickest pass under the lights on Friday night at the famed Texas Motorplex will net Top Fuel and Funny Car stars $15,000 each in bonus money, with $7,500 going to the quickest run Friday night in Pro Stock and $5,000 in Pro Stock Motorcycle. That leads into final qualifying on Saturday and championship Sunday, where champions will be crowned at the legendary facility to close out a memorable weekend of adrenaline-filled action.

Justin Ashley (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) won last year’s playoff race and this season’s event will also be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) as the playoffs head to crunch time in Dallas.

Rising Top Fuel star Justin Ashley denied Texan and four-time defending world champ Steve Torrence his second straight Dallas victory, winning a thrilling final round duel. Ashley is now the points leader in the star-studded Top Fuel ranks, but Torrence trails by just 14 points in what’s setting up to be an epic duel. Brittany Force, who has four wins in 2022, is just 30 points back, while Mike Salinas and Indy winner Antron Brown trail by only 35 and 43 points, respectively. That raises the stakes in Dallas, while other top contenders include Josh Hart, who is 64 back of Ashley, Doug Kalitta, Clay Millican, Shawn Langdon, Leah Pruett, Austin Prock and Tony Schumacher.

Ron Capps went 23 years between Dallas wins in Funny Car, but he came through last year, slipping past Matt Hagan to win for the second time at Texas Motorplex. He used that momentum to claim his second world title and he’s within range of another if he can track down Robert Hight, who has eight wins this year and is the current points leader. But there is a bevy of stars to contend with, including seven-time race winner John Force, J.R. Todd, Alexis DeJoria, Tim Wilkerson, Cruz Pedregon, who has four Dallas victories, and Bob Tasca III.

In Pro Stock, points leader Erica Enders has enjoyed a dominant season, rolling to eight victories this season and a commanding points lead. The Texan has already won once in her home state this year and will look for a Texas two-step in Dallas with her sights set on a fifth world title. In her way is a loaded field that includes defending event winner Greg Anderson, who picked up his 100th career win last month, Dallas Glenn, Aaron Stanfield, rookie Camrie Caruso, Kyle Koretsky and Troy Coughlin Jr.

Defending Pro Stock Motorcycle event winner Matt Smith will look to move closer to his sixth world championship, claiming his first win at Texas Motorplex a year ago. But competition in the fast two-wheeled category is tight, with the points lead changing hands each of the last six races, and Smith will have to deal with the likes of Joey Gladstone, three-time race winner Jerry Savoie, Angie Smith, who is third in points, Eddie Krawiec, who has three Dallas wins, Steve Johnson, and Angelle Sampey.

The Texas NHRA FallNationals also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, which includes some of the sport’s top drivers, as well as the final race of the season in Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown and the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon. David Barton is the Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown points leader, while Kris Thorne leads the way in Pro Mod as both look to capture a world title in Dallas. The weekend will also include action in Top Fuel Harley, as well as the Jr. Dragster Shootout. Fans can also attend Nitro School the on Saturday in Scott Palmer’s pits to learn more about how the cars operate and reach their thrilling speeds.

Race fans at Texas Motorplex 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 Texas NHRA FallNationals event winners.

Leading into the event, fans can take part in several events as part of the Stampede for Speed, including Funny Car Chaos Series finale (October 7-8, all-day), Stars Over Texas Festival (October 9, noon-10pm), Scott Palmer Nitro Side Show (October 10, 7-9 pm), Pro Mod Shootout (October 11, 7-10 pm), NHRA Fall Nationals professional testing (October 12, 10am-6pm), Champions’ Dinner (October 12, 6pm) and the NHRA FanFest in downtown Waxahachie (October 13, 6 pm), where fans can meet and get autographs from all the top stars in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.

As always, fans also get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in Dallas. 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 includes 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 2:30 and 7:05 p.m. CT on Friday, Oct. 14, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 12:00 and 4:00 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 12:00 p.m. CT on Sunday, Oct. 16. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 10:00 a.m. ET and as well as action from eliminations on Sunday.

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