Sunday's O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals photo gallery
Sunday, April 27, 2014

News and views from the O'Reilly Auto Parts
NHRA SpringNationals
presented by Super Start Batteries
Last update: 7 p.m.
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Houston race fans once again came out in force today, packing the Royal Purple Raceway grandstands and pit area on the final day of the 27th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals presented by Super Start Batteries.

After some NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series action to kick off the day, fans were invited to take part in the SealMaster NHRA Track Walk, joining several of the Pros from the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

NHRA Member Roy Hodge got the chance to go backstage during the pre-race ceremony as a winner of the National Dragster Backstage Pass program. Hodge got the chance to meet drivers and get autographs, including from eventual Pro Stock champion Erica Enders-Stevens. NHRA Members can get the chance to win a similar experience at future NHRA Mello Yello events by sending an email to

Leah Pritchett upset J.R. Todd in the first round of Top Fuel when her Gumout dragster ran a 3.81, 313 to pair with her punctual .036 reaction time.

Cruz Pedregon’s storied rivalry with John Force continued in the first round of Funny Car with Force gifting the Snap-on driver with a red-light for the first time in their career head-to-head matchups.

Racing in just his third Pro Stock race, Jonathan Gray picked up his first round-win and did so in style, defeating V. Gaines on a holeshot, 6.645 to 6.642.

Steve Torrence reached the Top Fuel semifinal round at each of the first four races of the season, and the Capco Contractors driver did so again by defeating Brittany Force in a second-round pedalfest.

No. 1 qualifier Del Worsham put his 25 years of driving experience to good use with a pedaljob that he used to defeat close friend Chad Head in the second round of Funny Car.

Vincent Nobile won the wild opening pair of the second round of Pro Stock eliminations, in which both Nobile and Shane Gray shook early. Gray pushed the clutch pedal in, but Nobile was able to shift the car quickly and get it to recover, winning with a 6.72 to advance to the semi’s.

Jason Line’s bid for a repeat win in Houston came to an end in the second round against eventual Pro Stock champ Erica Enders-Stevens, who ran a 6.57 to Line’s 6.64.

Khalid alBalooshi advanced to the Top Fuel final round for the first time since his season-opening victory by running a 3.84, 315 in the Al-Anabi dragster opposite tire-smoking local favorite Steve Torrence in the semifinals.

Jack Beckman reached the Funny Car final round for the first time this season and paid dearly for it at the top end of his semifinal victory. The Infinite Hero Foundation/Valvoline Dodge Charger got into its own oil at the turnoff and hit the barrels that border the turn, damaging the body.

As expected, the final two drivers in Pro Stock were Erica Enders-Stevens and Allen Johnson, the duo who paced the class all weekend, and they put on a heck of a show. Enders-Stevens, near lane, left the starting line first, .018 to .044, and turned the advantage into a 6.59 to 6.58 holeshot win.

Robert Hight, near lane, put an exclamation point on his dominating performance by making his best run of the event in the Funny Car final round against Jack Beckman with a 4.055 at 314.90 mph (top speed of the event). Hight has won three of the last four races.

Top Fuel points leader Antron Brown, near lane, scored his second consecutive win and third of the season with a 3.79 to 4.43 decision over Khalid alBalooshi in the final round.

The O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals presented by Super Start Batteries champs, from left, Erica Enders-Stevens, Robert Hight, and Antron Brown celebrated together in the winner’s circle.

Friday's O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA
SpringNationals photo gallery