The battle for spots in the rapidly-approaching Countdown to the Championship will heat up this weekend when the Camping World NHRA Drag Racing Series makes its annual stop at Brainerd Int’l Raceway for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
Teammates Brittany Force and Robert Hight come to Brainerd as the championship leaders in Top Fuel and Funny Car, respectively.
Force is having the best season of her career and she comes into Brainerd with a 32 point lead over second-ranked Mike Salinas. Force also won the Brainerd event in 2016 and she’s the track speed record holder at 334.90 mph.
Like Force, Salinas is also enjoying a great season with his Scrappers dragster and he’s well within striking distance of the top spot with just the Brainerd and Indy events remaining before the Countdwon.
Steve Torrence is the reigning Brainerd champ and while he remains winless this season, he’s come close on a number of occasions which helps explain why the Capco team is currently the No. 4 seed.
At the back of the field, Clay Millican and Austin Prock are currently not in the Top 10 although they will both race for the championship since they’ve met the current attendance requirements. Regardless, both drivers are in need of a solid showing as they prepare for the playoffs.
In Funny Car, Hight has all but locked up the top spot with a 237 point lead over Matt Hagan. Hight won in Brainerd in 2015, defeating Tommy Johnson Jr. in the final and he holds both ends of the track record at 3.793 and 338.00 mph.
Following Hight and Hagan in the standings are Ron Capps, John Force, J.R. Todd, Bob Tasca III, Cruz Pedregon, Alexis DeJoria, Tim Wilkerson, and Jim Campbell.
Tasca has been the hottest driver over the last month or so with wins in Sonoma and the most recent event in Topeka.
There is also a points battle being waged at the tail end of the Funny Car field where Chad Green must pass Campbell in order to make the Countdown. Green is currently No. 11, and needs to make up 18 points in order to be Countdown eligible.
In attrition to Top Fuel and Funny Car, the Brainerd event also includes the Mountain Motor Pro Stock class and the FuelTech Pro Mod Series presented by D Wagon, plus a full compliment of Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series sportsman racing.
You can catch the action all weekend on FOX Sports 1 and NHRA.tv.
You can follow NHRA on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to get a closer look at the action.
2021 EVENT WINNERS
Steve Torrence, Top Fuel; John Force, Funny Car; Steve Johnson, Pro Stock Motorcycle.
3.640 seconds by Leah Pruett, Aug. 2017; 334.90 mph by B. Force, Aug. 2021
3.793 seconds by Robert Hight, Aug. 2017; 338.00 mph by Hight, Aug. 2017
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 2:15 p.m. and 6 p.m. CT on Friday, Aug. 19, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, August 20 at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, August 21.
FRIDAY, August 19, FS1 will televise 90 minutes of qualifying at 9 p.m. (ET)
SUNDAY August 20, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 1:30 p.m. (ET)
SUNDAY, August 21, FOX network will televise 3 hours of finals coverage at 3:30 p.m. (ET)