News and Notes from final eliminations at the TascaParts.com NHRA New England Nationals presented by Bandero Premium Tequila at New England Dragway. Updated throughout the remainder of the event.
Antron Brown won over Brittany Force. Brown ran quicker than he qualified and Brian Corradi said, "We lost a lot of lost sleep last night. We’d love to win this race again."
Doug Kalitta vs. Shawn Langdon was not the way Kalitta Motorsports would have scripted round 1. Neither car got the runs they wanted in qualifying, so they ended up side by side. Doug Kalitta took the win and moved ahead of Langdon after a little tire smoke and peddling the car even though he left first.
Justin Ashley vs. Leah Pruett: In 2021 Pruett has done well in qualifying and struggled on race day. Today, the team reversed that trend after a last-second clutch adjustment and defeated Ashley with a clean run.
Mike Salinas vs. Buddy Hull: Hull's Terry Haddock-owned car sounded like it was idling on the low side. Hull hazed the tires at about 60 feet.
Billy Torrence vs. Joe Morrison: The Gary Leverich team made attempts at all three qualifying sessions. Morrison had a chance at winning when Torrence's dragster overpowered the tires multiple times, but Morrison lost a cylinder that prevented him from capitalizing on the Torrence falter.
Steve Torrence vs. Clay Millican: After Billy Torrence's car ran, a few last-minute adjustments helped Steve put the power to the ground. Many of the fans in attendance have seen Millican run here during his IHRA days. Millican hung in there, but would not be enough against Torrence.
If there’s anyone that didn’t need a bye run in New Hampshire it was Matt . But lane choice was an opportunity for Dickie Venables to swing for. This is like coming home for the Hagan team.
Bob Tasca III runs a 3.960 at 324.90 to beat Jim Campbell. Campbel gives it a good ride but doesn’t have enough car. Tasca moved the entire crowd one round closer to a deal at Tasca Ford. \
John Force vs Cory Lee: The new Englander vs the greatest Funny Car racer of all time. “When a racer comes to the starting line, they only have one of everything just like the guy in the lane next lane," said announcer Alan Reinhart. Force's car quit well before the finish line, but Cory Lee had to pedal the car twice and couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity John Force Racing allowed them.
Ron Capps vs. Terry Haddock: Wow! Terry Haddock blows everyone away when Ron Capps hazes the tires Haddock advances to the semifinals on bye. The last time Terry Haddock advanced from round win (not counting the Charlotte four-wide) was in 2018 at Pomona. Capps' team made a mistake and allowed Haddock to advance, providing you don't always have to be fast—just faster than the car next to you.
Alexis DeJoria vs. Robert Hight: Hight dashed DeJoria’s dreams of a hometown crowd win by making a cleaner run.
Cruz Pedregon vs. JR Todd: Todd sneaks around Pedergon to move on to round 2 by a margin of three ten-thousands of a second.
Blake Alexander vs. Tim Wilkerson: Alexander’s car goes up in smoke and hands Wilkerson the round.
Kenny Delco vs. Troy Coughlin Jr.: Coughlin takes down Delco by running exactly what he qualified at. Delco pushed in the clutch early.
Kyle Koretsky vs. Dallas Glenn: Glenn’s reaction time pays off, and the math shows Glenn won the round by one-thousandth of a second.
Richie Stevens vs. Deric Kramer: Stevens was NHRA Pro Stock’s original youth movement and now as the veteran made a clean run when Kramer squared the tires at the launch.
Val Smeland vs. Matt Hartford: Hartford left first, bad news for Smeland.
Alan Prusiensky vs. Aaron Stanfield: Problems for Prusiensky early while Stanfield runs low e.t. of race day.
John Gaydosh vs Greg Anderson: The point leader and No. 1 qualifier, Anderson, also the winningest active Pro Stock Driver and the second-winningest Pro Stock driver overall. A problem with the right-side wheelie bar on Gaydosh's car, but they took a swing at it— but it didn’t pay off. Anderson resets the low e.t. of the day.
Chris McGaha -- Mason McGaha Son Mason takes out dad Chris a week before Father’s day. Mason ran well in qualifying, Chris did not Grear race, Five-thousandths of a second. Chris had the advantage off the line with reaction time. Mason advances.
Bob Benza vs. Erica Enders: Benza is the fourth driver to be in this car this year. Enders was not who he wanted to draw first round, as both have the same power. Enders left him no room and eclipses Anderson with low e.t. of the day which is quite an accomplishment in 2021 vs Anderson.
Round Two Top Fuel
Mike Salinas vs Doug Kalitta: Both cars solid to 300 feet, but Salinas' car was just a bit better.
Antron Brown vs Billy Torrence: Mama K will say that Brown is one of her boys, but in a race like this, she’s standing in Billy’s lane. Last pass Torrence hazed the tires and Brown didn’t. With one-thousandth apart on the reaction timer, the advantage went to Torrence, and that advantage carried through to the finish line. which sent Billy right into the finals.
Steve Torrence vs. Leah Pruett: Great clean side-by-side run but Torrence’s 3.823 beats Pruett's quicker but later 3.811, thanks to Torrence’s .060 to Pruett’s .103 reaction time.
Round Two Funny Car
Haddock took the Tree on a solo run to advance to the semifinals for the first time in his career.
Bob Tasca III vs Robert Hight: Tasca smokes the tires and ends his run at winning the event.
Matt Hagan vs Tim Wilkerson: Hagan's reign of terror in New Hampshire has come to an end at the hands of Wilkerson. For the first time ever, the Epping winner’s circle will not have a Don Schumacher Racing car in it.
John Force vs JR Todd: Force is having a strong comeback in 2021, while Todd knocks him out on the reaction time .067 to .085, Force wins it with a 3.957 at 329 mph to Todd’s 4.006 at 319.98 mph. The two have been slugging it out in 2021, and Force takes it this round.
Round Two Pro Stock
Mason McGaha vs. Dallas Green: Two young gunslingers and the win light goes to McGaha with his reaction time advantage.
Richie Stevens vs. Aaron Stanfield: It’s not easy to beat Stanfield on the line, and even a great reaction time isn’t enough to keep Stanfield from mowing down Stevens.
Troy Coughlin Jr . vs. Greg Anderson: Fans are very accustomed to Anderson vs. Coughlin and now with an all-new generation on the Jegs side. Anderson’s .029 reaction time beats Coughlin’s .057.
Matt Hartford vs. Erica Enders: Red-light for Enders! .016 early. Hartford goes on to the semis
In Epping, Pro Stock cars seem to prefer the right lane, while Nitro cars seem to prefer the left lane—but even the pros are flip-flopping back and forth.
Semifinal Top Fuel
Billy Torrence makes a solo run. Pass is clean and straight in preparation for him to race Mike Salinas or his son in the finals.
Steve Torrence vs. Mike Salinas: Torrence smokes the tires and it’ll be Salinas vs elder Torrence in the final.
John Force vs Terry Haddock: Was there a problem with Force’s car at the line? The crew seemed to be engaged in preparation behaviors that are not typical for their team. Haddock made a valiant run, but Force does what he does and clicks off a quicker run with a slower elapsed time. A quick track clean-up caused a slight delay before next pair.
Tim Wilkerson vs Robert Hight: Redlight by Wilkerson! He hands Hight the round win.
John Force on what the Funny Car Final round “ Let me tell you something, Robert's my family. Bottom line, we can’t lose. I’m gonna go after him, he’s gonna go after me."
Semifinal Pro Stock
Mason McGaha vs Aaron Stanfield: The better reaction time and the better race car gets the round win and Aaron Stanfield defeats McGaha.
Matt Hartford vs. Greg Anderson: Same power, different tuners, and different drivers. Hartford's car did a sashay in second gear and Anderson looks like the master he is as drives past Hartford and into the final round against Stanfield.
TOP FUEL FINAL:
FUNNY CAR FINAL:
PRO STOCK FINAL: