NHRA fans have helped select the top 20 moments of the 2020 season through voting in the second week of December. We'll be unveiling them here, in reverse order, beginning Dec. 12.
1. Erica Enders wins her fourth championship
Erica Enders raced to her second-straight Camping World Pro Stock championship and her fourth overall in 2020. The championship gave her the most for any female in NHRA history, surpassing Shirley Muldowney and Angelle Sampey.
2. Leah Pruett walks away from wild crash at St. Louis
Leah Pruett walked away virtually unscathed from one of the wildest accidents of the season after an apparent chassis failure sent her Mopar dragster flying through the air in round two of the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Midwest Nationals presented by Pennzoil. The car flew several hundred feet before crashing back to earth.
3. NHRA returns to racing
After a four-month break in the racing season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NHRA national event racing resumed July 11 with the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, where Matt Hagan won in Funny Car, Billy Torrence took Top Fuel, Jason Line scored in Pro Stock, and Ryan Oehler notched his first career win in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
4. Megan Meyer makes a record 5.09-second run at the U.S. Nationals
Megan Meyer shocked the troops with back-to-back 5.09-second passes, the quickest runs in class history, to set the national record on her way to her second straight NHRA U.S. Nationals victory. Her runs broke the 13-year-old class record of 5.103 set by Bill Reichert at the Houston event in 2007.
5. Erica Enders gets redemption at the U.S. Nationals
After a tough loss at the U.S. Nationals in 2019, Erica Enders got her redemption in 2020. With a nearly perfect .009 reaction time, she ran a 6.606 to take home her second win at the Big Go.
6. Tony Schumacher returns to the winner’s circle at Houston
After sitting out the entire 2019 season due to lack of sponsorship, Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel’s winningest driver, not only returned to racing in 2020 but added his 85th career victory when he defeated his championship heir apparent, Steve Torrence, in the final round of the Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals in Houston.
7. Steve Torrence wins in “Big Daddy” Don Garlits tribute car at Gainesville
Steve Torrence not only ran a replica “Big Daddy” Don Garlits Swamp Rat 14 at the Gatornationals, they took it all the way to the winner’s circle. And to top it off Garlits himself was on the starting line cheering them on.
8. Angie Smith joins the DENSO 200-mph club at Dallas
Angie Smith blasted into the DENSO 200mph Club in Dallas running a 200.89 during qualifying at the FallNationals. She became the fifth member of the club, joining Hector Arana Jr., Eddie Krawiec, Matt Smith, and Scotty Pollacheck.
9. Aaron Stanfield doubles-up and wins the Factory Stock Championship in one day
Aaron Stanfield became just the second driver to pull off the elusive Pro-Sportsman double when he won the Pro Stock and Factory Stock Showdown titles in Houston. Stanfield, who became the 42nd driver to double-up at a national event, joined Pat Austin, who twice won in Top Fuel and Top Alcohol Funny Car.
10. Steve Torrence wins his third consecutive championship
Steve Torrence and the CAPCO boys became just the third driver in NHRA history to win three straight championships.
11. Megan Meyer wins back-to-back Top Alcohol Dragster championships
Reigning Top Alcohol Dragster champion Megan Meyer wrapped up her second consecutive title in 2020. Meyer, who announced that she would be retiring at the end of the year, raced to three wins in 2020 on her way to back-to-back titles.
12. Doug Kalitta wins Pomona for the third time in a row
Doug Kalitta made Winternationals Top Fuel history with his third straight win at the season opener. Kalitta is also the first driver in class history to win three straight events at Pomona Raceway and now owns a 12-round win streak at the track. Counting his runner-ups at the Winternationals in 2016 and 2017, Kalitta has been in the final round of the season opener five straight years.
13. Antron Brown returns to the winner’s circle at Vegas
Three-time world champ Antron Brown had been winless since the Seattle event in the summer of 2018 before winning the season-ending Dodge NHRA Finals presented by Pennzoil by upsetting his good friend, freshly recrowned three-time world champ Steve Torrence, in the final round on a 3.75 to 3.74 holeshot.
14. Bryan and Byron Worner become the first siblings to finish 1-2 in the standings in Super Stock
Bryan Worner joined his twin brother, Byron, as an NHRA champion in Super Stock simply by winning the first round of competition at the JEGS SPORTSnationals event in Las Vegas. Byron Worner, the 2012 world champ, finished second to his twin brother, making the Worners the first pair of brothers to finish 1-2 in the standings.
15. Shawn Langdon and Justin Ashley have an epic pedalfest at the U.S. Nationals
Shawn Langdon came out on the winning end of a wild pedalfest with Justin Ashley at the U.S. Nationals. At the green, both cars lost traction immediately and both drivers furiously pedaled their throttles trying to regain control. Langdon, with years and hundreds of runs beneath his safety belts, put that experience to work and outdueled the first-year racer to light the win light and advance to the final round.
16. Matt Hagan wins his third championship
Matt Hagan completed a dominant season of Funny Car competition for Don Schumacher Racing by clinching his third NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series championship at the season-ending NHRA Finals.
17. Steve Jackson wins back-to-back Pro Mod championships
In a dramatic, winner-take-all second-round race at the Dodge NHRA Finals, defending world champion Steve Jackson clinched the 2020 championship in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Modified Series presented by J&A Service
18. Don Schumacher Racing runs the table in Funny Car
The Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car squadron of Matt Hagan, Tommy Johnson Jr., Jack Beckman, and Ron Capps combined to win all 11 events in 2020 and finished 1-2-3-4 in the standings. Hagan, Johnson, and Beckman each won three times and Capps twice.
19. Justin Ashley gets first career Top Fuel win
Top Fuel rookie Justin Ashley scored his first career professional victory when he defeated T.J. Zizzo in a battle of first-time finalists in the rain-delayed final round of the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals.
20. Bob Malloy makes a record 6.09-second Top Fuel Harley run at the U.S. Nationals
In the first round of Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley racing at the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals, Bob Malloy made the quickest pass in class history, a 6.096, to defeat Rickey House. The previous best pass was 6.101 by Japan’s Takeshi Shigematsu at the 2019 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.