NHRA - National Hot Rod Association


Menards NHRA Nationals Presented By PetArmor Saturday preview

Prepare for the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series to bring the heat to Topeka today for day two of qualifying at Heartland Motorsports Park.
13 Aug 2022
David Kennedy
Race coverage
Menards NHRA Nationals Presented By PetArmor Saturday preview

It’s Saturday, the second day of qualifying from the 2022 Menards NHRA Nationals Presented By PetArmor race. Prepare for the heat of the day to bring with it qualifying action twice as intense. Teams will work hard to reshuffle Friday evening’s qualifying order—and expect them to succeed. Watch the slower teams gain the most speed, and the top teams look to prove their hot weather tuneup combinations that will separate them from the competition at the U.S. Nationals. Drag racers don’t fear heat, they make it, and with consistent weather conditions expected all weekend, fans should anticipate stand-out performances today in all four classes.

In Top Fuel, Mike Salinas’s Scrappers Racing team expects its 3.75 qualifying time to hold, but anticipates lots of movement in the ladder below them. It seems the pressure of performance becomes the biggest obstacle to low e.t.’s at this point in the season. Salinas's self-described approach of "one round at a time" can’t be disputed this season. He said, “by the time we are at Indy, lookout, it’s probably going to be the best racing in Top Fuel we have ever seen. “

After Friday night's session, he said, "Brittany and I got lucky with the oil downs and the sunset on that last run. We looked at our computer, and we had just enough horsepower to run that number [3.754 at 323.19 mph]. Salinas went on to predict, “I think you’re going to see some of the slower guys pick up the speed tomorrow. But I think our position will hold, and I never predict that."

Salinas goes into the Saturday session looking forward to the heat and said, “We have found a spot that’s working for us, the car is asking for more, we’re not hurting parts, and we’re having fun. “

In Funny Car, Bob Tasca III has laid claim to his team’s ability to finally dial in their hot weather power, clutch, and traction management strategy. Let’s see if Matt Hagan’s or Robert Height’s programs can match that today. We know Jimmy Prock and Dickie Venables won’t help hold back as the world watches to see what they’re capable of in extreme situations.

Pro Stock’s Greg Anderson‘s number-one qualifying time came without the car’s suspension functioning properly, so not only is there more in his KB Racing Hendricks Pro Stock Camaro, but there’s clearly room for better performance across the board. Weather conditions won’t favor the naturally aspirated engines today, but driving and use of every engine revolution down the track will mean a shake-up in the top eight positions.

After a day of qualifying where nearly every run smashed the 25-year-old Topeka track records in Pro Stock Motorcycle, Joey Gladstone sits comfortably in front of other Vance &  Hines-powered machines. Steve Johnson looks lean and mean, but we haven’t seen the last of Matt Smith Racing’s efforts across the board.


Track records: 
Top Fuel - 3.660 seconds by Tony Schumacher, May 2017; 334.90 mph by Clay Millican, May 2018
Funny Car – 3.802 seconds by Matt Hagan, May 2017; 338.85 mph by Matt Hagan, May 2017
Pro Stock - 6.515 seconds by Erica Enders, May 2015; 211.43 mph by Erica Enders, May 2015
Pro Stock Motorcycle-7.381 seconds by Matt Hines, Sept. 1997; 182.88 mph by Matt Hines, Sept. 1996

2021 event winners: 
Brittany Force, John Force, Dallas Glenn

Most victories
Scott Kalitta, 6, TF; John Force, 10, FC; Warren Johnson, 5; John Meyers, 4

Friday’s schedule: 
NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series qualifying and time trials starts at 9:00 a.m.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying starts at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 13: FS1 will televise qualifying coverage at 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, August 14: FS1 will televise qualifying coverage at 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, August 14: FS1 will televise finals coverage at 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. (ET).