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Concert, fireworks will add to drama-filled Midwest Nationals Countdown event

With a special fireworks show and a concert by country music star Tim Dugger, the upcoming NHRA Midwest Nationals, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, at World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis will be loaded with special events, adding to the memorable three days of racing action in the middle of the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
27 Sep 2022
Posted by NHRA.com staff
Midwest Nationals

With a special fireworks show and a concert by country music star Tim Dugger helping kick off the weekend, the upcoming 11th annual NHRA Midwest Nationals on Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis will be loaded with special events, adding to the memorable three days of racing action in the middle of the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series event marks the halfway point of the six-race postseason as title contenders across all four Professional categories will look to strengthen their championship résumé in St. Louis.
Dugger’s performance is slated to take place directly after the thrilling, must-see racing action under the lights at World Wide Technology Raceway on Friday. The 11,000-horsepower, 330-mph Top Fuel and Funny Cars will run a special 7 p.m. CT night qualifying session that will kick off the racing weekend, leading into a special fireworks show and the concert. That leads into final qualifying on Saturday and eliminations on Sunday, where the stakes will be high as the stars look to leave their mark in the Gateway City.
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) won last year’s race, while this year’s playoff event will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), with live action from eliminations set to air on Sunday, Oct. 2.
Torrence won for the third time in St. Louis last year, with all of those victories coming since 2017. Two of those wins have led to world titles, and the Texan is seeking his fifth straight world title in the loaded Top Fuel ranks. To get there, Torrence may have his toughest road yet, going against a top-tier lineup that includes points leader Justin Ashley, Brittany Force and Mike Salinas — both four-time winners this season — Tony Schumacher, Charlotte champ Antron Brown, who won four straight times in St. Louis from 2012-2015, Leah Pruett, Josh Hart, and veteran Doug Kalitta.
Funny Car’s Matt Hagan edged out Bob Tasca III in last year’s final round, and both drivers are in the thick of championship contention this year. Hagan won three races early in the season, while Tasca was red-hot leading into the playoffs. He won three races this summer, while Robert Hight remains the points leader on the strength of seven wins in 2022. Others to watch in the class include defending world champ and Charlotte winner Ron Capps, who also has a class-best four wins in St. Louis, legendary driver John Force, J.R. Todd, Cruz Pedregon, Charlotte runner-up Alexis DeJoria, J.R. Todd, and Tim Wilkerson.
In Pro Stock, Enders picked up her fifth win in St. Louis last season, which ties her with Antron Brown for the most in NHRA history. She’s after her fifth world championship this season and entered the playoffs as the points leader thanks to six wins this season, then won at the Countdown opener in Reading. But the competition is getting tighter as teammate Aaron Stanfield won in Charlotte, and defending world champ Greg Anderson picked up his 100th career win in Indy. Enders will also have to deal with Kyle Koretsky, Dallas Glenn, who was last year’s runner-up, Troy Coughlin Jr., rookie Camrie Caruso, Charlotte runner-up Matt Hartford, and Mason McGaha.
After a year away, the standouts in the two-wheeled category return to St. Louis. Defending Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ Matt Smith has enjoyed plenty of success at the track, winning four times, including in 2020. He won in Indy, but to get a fifth St. Louis win, Smith will have to take out points leader and Reading winner Joey Gladstone, Angelle Sampey, who has three St. Louis wins, Eddie Krawiec, Jerry Savoie, Angie Smith, Steve Johnson, and Karen Stoffer.
The NHRA Midwest Nationals also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, as well as the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon. The E.T. Racing Showcase, high school challenge, and Jr. Dragster challenge will all take place during the weekend as well, and fans can also attend Nitro School on Saturday to learn more about how the cars operate and reach their thrilling speeds. The Gear Jammer’s Car Club will be on display at the event, while fans can also be entertained by the PT Cruiser Wheelstander that will make exhibition runs following nitro qualifying.
Race fans at World Wide Technology Raceway can also enjoy the special pre-race ceremony that introduces and celebrates each of the drivers racing for the prestigious Wally on Sunday and includes the fan-favorite SealMaster NHRA Track Walk. Another can’t-miss experience of any NHRA event is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes, where fans are invited to congratulate the winners of the NHRA Midwest Nationals
As always, fans also get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in St. Louis. This unique opportunity gives fans a unique chance to see teams in action and service their hot rods between rounds, get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers, and more. Fans can also visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food, and fun for the entire family.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 6 p.m. CT on Friday, Sept. 30, and the final two rounds on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. CT on Sunday, Oct. 2. Television coverage includes qualifying action at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 2 and eliminations starting at 2 p.m. on ET. Both will air on FS1 as part of 4.5 hours of Sunday coverage.
Tickets may be purchased at the WWTR ticket office, by phone at (618) 215-8888, or online at www.wwtraceway.com. All children 12 and under will be admitted free in the general-admission area with a paid adult.