NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Breaking down the silliest NHRA silly season we've seen in a while

A month after the 2021 NHRA Camping World season ended in Pomona, we've already seen a wide range of team, driver, manufacturer, and sponsor announcements, making this one of the craziest "silly seasons" we've seen in a while. Here is a breakdown of what is both confirmed and rumored so far.
06 Dec 2021
NHRA National Dragster staff
Silly Season




Leah Pruett and Matt Hagan have joined the newly formed Tony Stewart Racing team. Pruett’s crew chiefs will be Neil Strasbaugh, and Hagan will continue with Dickie Venables. Further announcements forthcoming regarding sponsors and vehicle make.Confirmed in Oct. 14, 2021 press conference.
Tony Schumacher will return to Top Fuel for a full season in the Maynard Family dragster with Todd Okuhara as crew chief. Confirmed in Oct. 13, 2021 press release; a second co-major sponsorship announcment is scheduled for Dec. 21.
Top Fuel crew chief Ron Douglas has been made a partner in Josh Hart Racing. Hart is also expected to compete in full season in pursuit of Camping World Top Fuel title. Also noted that Hart has acquired a second Top Fuel operation with a possible eye towards future expansion.Confirmed in Oct. 28, 2021 press release.
Antron Brown has formed his own team, AB Motorsports. His crew chiefs will continue to be Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald. The team is based in the DSR shop in Brownsburg, Ind., and shares a technical and marketing alliance with Justin Ashley and Davis Racing.Announced in 2020, delayed due to pandemic, rescheduled for 2022 as confirmed in June 2021 NHRA on FOX interview.
Alan Johnson and Brian Husen have joined Kalitta Motorsports, will be the tuners for Doug Kalitta.Heavily rumored and never denied, although no official announcement has been made yet.
New 2022 Toyota Supra Body to debut. J.R. Todd and Alexis DeJoria will be first to have them with others to follow.Confirmed in Nov. 14 announcement in Pomona.
Camrie Caruso will race full season in Pro Stock with engines from Titan. Purchased Alex Laughlin’s Camaro. Testing and licensing scheduled for mid-December. There is also the possibility of a second entry with a yet-to-be-named new driver.Confirmed in Oct. 28, 2021 press conference at Texas Motorplex; Jim Yates named as crew chief on Dec. 10.
Jianna Salinas and Jimmy Underdahl will ride Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycles for Matt Smith Racing. Smith will switch to a Suzuki. Angie Smith will continue to race a Buell V-Twin.Confirmed by Matt Smith in National Dragster championship story.
Multiple nitro teams look to expand schedule. Krista Baldwin, Bobby Bode, Tripp Tatum, Alex Laughlin, Cameron Ferre, Doug Foley, and Chad Green are all rumored to be adding events to 2021 schedule.Not confirmed, but very likely for most of the teams mentioned.
Rob Flynn will be the new crew chief for Mike Salinas and the Scrappers team.Flynn has been seen with Salinas at numerous times; no official confirmation.
Ron Capps has left DSR to form his own team. Dean Antonelli and John Medlen will continue as crew chiefs.Confirmed in Dec. 10 press release with additional announcement expected in the coming weeks.
Austin Prock will return in a second Top Fuel dragster at John Force Racing.John Force reiterated at the PRI Show that they are working hard to get Prock back in the saddle in 2022; seems like just a few sponsors short as of now but probably will happen.
Veteran crew chief Tommy DeLago to assist Mike Green as tuner of Justin Ashley's Davis Motorsports Top Fuel dragster.Reported by other sources and believed to be accurate.
Former world champion Bo Butner to return for full season of Pro Stock as member of Elite Motorsports team. Backing from Johnson's Horsepowered Garage.Confirmed long ago in Sept. 3 announcement in Indianapolis.
Travis Shumake will compete in Funny Car.Shumake is expected to make his nitro Funny Car debut in the fall but is also rumored to begin the season in Top Alcohol Dragster to gain seat time.
KB Racing will expand its Pro Stock team. Possible that Rodger Brodgon and possibly one additional driver will join current KB team/engine lease customers Greg Anderson, Kyle Koretsky, Dallas Glenn, Deric Kramer, and Matt Hartford.On Dec. 11, Brogdon confirmed full season participation on his personal Facebook page.
New NHRA team owner Tony Stewart will drive in Top Fuel.Your guess is as good as ours, but Stewart has made enough runs in a Top Fuel dragster to qualify for an NHRA license. It's difficult to believe he wouldn't want to race at some point.
Cuadra family Pro Stock team to form partnership with Elite Motorsports.Cristian Cuadra raced with the Elite team at the final events of the 2021 season. His father, Fernando Sr. and brother, Fernando Jr., are expected to follow suit.