NHRA Kansas Nationals Sunday photo gallery
Sunday, May 25, 2014

News and views from the NHRA Kansas Nationals Last update: 7 p.m.
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For the 26th year, fans filed into Heartland Park Topeka to see their favorite nitro drivers, and they weren’t disappointed. After rain occasionally fell on Friday and Saturday, Sunday’s eliminations were filled with beautiful skies and a myriad of side-by-side thrillers.

National Dragster Backstage Pass winners pose for a quick photo on the starting line with writers Brad Littlefield, right, and John Hoven just before first round of Top Fuel fired up. The lucky winners got to get up close and personal with the 48 qualified drivers before race day started. NHRA members can enter to win a similar experience at future NHRA Mello Yello events by sending an email to backstagepass@nhra.com.

Terry McMillen, left, scored his first round-win of the season against Steve Torrence in the opening round. With Richard Hartman absent to attend daughter Alexis’ graduation and consulting by phone, the Amalie Motor Oil driver relied on assistant crew chief Ray Murphy (pictured) and veteran tuner Lance Larsen to call the shots.

Bob Tasca III ran 4.147 in the first round to upset No. 2 qualifier and fellow Ford driver John Force in the opening round.

No. 1 qualifier Vincent Nobile started out his day by running 6.664 seconds at 206.95 mph. Along with the victory over Mark Hogan, it ran Nobile’s season record in first rounds to 6-2.

First-time No. 1 qualifier Brittany Force kept rolling with a 3.828 in the second round that was good enough to defeat Pomona winner Khalid alBalooshi.

An expert pedaljob helped Tommy Johnson Jr. take the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger to the semifinal round for the second time this season.

Dave Connolly got off the line first in his second-round matchup with Jeg Coughlin Jr., .017 to .022, but that wasn’t enough. The JEGS Mail Order Dodge powered past Connolly’s Charter Communications Camaro and took the win light.

After setting low e.t. of the first two rounds, Shawn Langdon came from behind with a 3.820 to win his semifinal battle against J.R. Todd, who was leading until he broke an exhaust valve.

It was a big day for Cruz Pedregon. The Snap-on driver scored the 500th round-win of his decorated career in the first round and advanced to the final with his third 4.09-second run of the day against Ron Capps.

Points leader Erica Enders-Stevens was highly motivated during eliminations, badly wanting a chance to claim the special Wally NHRA had waiting for the woman who won the 100th Pro race in drag racing history. It wasn’t to be, though. Allen Johnson beat Enders-Stevens on a holeshot in the semi’s. Each car ran 6.657 at 206 mph, but his .024 starting-line advantage cost her a spot in the Pro Stock final.

Sportsman great David Rampy highlighted action in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series ranks. He scored his 84th career win with a victory in Super Stock and had a double-up win in play until the semifinal round in Comp.

Teammates Allen Johnson, far lane, and Jeg Coughlin Jr. drove their Dodge Darts to the line at Heartland Park Topeka with the 2014 NHRA Kansas Nationals title at stake. Moments later, AJ made his 23rd career trip to the Pro Stock winner’s circle with a 6.66-second run.

Courtney Force, far lane, scored the milestone 100th win by a female driver in a Professional category when she defeated Cruz Pedregon in a 4.148 to 4.225 decision in the Funny Car final.

Courtney Force's Wally for her fourth Professional win was accompanied by a commemorative Wally for the 100th win by a female driver in NHRA history.

Spencer Massey, far lane, logged his second Top Fuel victory in six days. The Battery Extender driver followed his Atlanta win with a 3.871 to 4.278 victory over Shawn Langdon in the final round.

NHRA Kansas Nationals
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NHRA Kansas Nationals
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