The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway has hosted an NHRA national event since 2000 and has supplied a number of highlights across all categories, but especially in Funny Car.
As part of NHRA’s 50 Years of Funny Car celebration, NHRA’s Lewis Bloom chose his five favorite moments.
In 2000, at the inaugural race at The Strip, Jim Epler, driving a car sponsored by the World Wrestling Federation, defeated Tony Pedregon to claim the event win.
The 2007 event will long be remembered by the sport’s winningest driver, John Force, who saw his record streak of 395 race-day starts snapped with a surprising failure to qualify. Force’s 395 remains the longest streak in the sport’s history.
Also at the 2007 event, former Pro Mod racer Mike Ashley stunned the field by recording the fastest speed ever by a Funny Car, 334.32, over the quarter-mile course.
The event didn’t have a repeat Funny Car winner until its 12th edition, when Robert Hight won the 2011 race to back up his previous score at the 2007 race. To show it was no fluke, Hight also won the race in 2012.
And finally, Funny Car racer Johnny Gray blew the top of his Pitch Funny Car with a massive blower explosion at the 2013 event, which he repeated at the fall event at The Strip.