NHRA - National Hot Rod Association


NHRA Midwest Nationals Friday Preview

The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to the St. Louis area's World Wide Technology Raceway, for round three of the six-race NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship
30 Sep 2022
David Kennedy
NHRA Midwest Nationals Friday Preview

The 2022 NHRA Midwest Nationals is a critical Gateway to the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Finals. The current leaders Justin Ashley (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock), and Joey Gladstone (Pro Stock Motorcycle) will race this weekend on the banks of the Mississippi River with their sites set on the West where a World Championship awaits the quickest racers in 2022. 

Antron Brown and the Matco Tools Top Fuel team began a surge late in the season, and they come to St Louis as the crew with the most victories here in the Top Fuel class. Look for them to try and hold back  Justin Ashley , Brittany Force and Mike Salinas whose cars all run fast in conditions we expect this weekend.

The four-time and reigning champ Steve Torrence's Capco team is 105 points behind Brown, which makes St. Louis a nearly must-win event. At the very least, Torrence cannot afford to fall any further behind. A repeat of his 2021 win here would likely be a season-saver.

In Funny Car, the 2022 NHRA Midwest Nationals could be a battle between Robert Hight and Ron Capps. Hight has won seven times in 18 races this season while Capps arrives in St Louis off of a key win in Charlotte, as well as his recent Indy sweep. Don't count out Matt Hagan who has been to the semifinals at the last two events and is just 60 points out of first place. Bob Tasca III, J.R. Todd, and John Force are also capable of winning and each has something to prove about their capabilities at this point in the season. 

Statistically, Pro Stock's Erica Enders and her Elite/Melling Camaro are beatable this weekend—but it will be incredibly difficult for the competition to do so. Enders' lead has shrunk to 64 points over teammate Aaron Stanfield, but it’s still the biggest lead of any of the four NHRA Pro classes. A win here would do a lot to shut the door on the competition. Who is the competition? Enders' teammates Stanfield, Troy Coughlin Jr., and her rivals Greg Anderson, Dallas Glenn, and the Charlotte runner-up Matt Hartford.

Pro Stock Motorcycle continues to be 2022's most dynamic Camping World Series class because no one has been able to seize momentum for very long. Matt Smith has show domination in waves, Joey Gladstone has risen to the ranks of best in the class and only to stumble in Indy, Angie Smith hasn’t won a race in a while, but she’s been close, including a runner-up in Reading. She’s also just 49 points out of first place, which makes her very much a title contender. This race will tell us a lot about her chances going forward. Finally, there is just 104 points separating the top eight riders in the class, so the championship is still very much up for grabs. Eddie Krawiec, Angelle Sampey, Steve Johnson, Marc Ingwersen, and Jerry Savoie are all in it, and all of them could benefit from a win here.


Watch all of the racing action live on NHRA.tv

Track records: 
Top Fuel - 3.631 seconds by Clay Millican, Sept. 2017; 337.66 mph by Brittany Force, Sept. ‘21
Funny Car - 3.830 seconds by Robert Hight, Sept. 2017; 338.60 mph by Robert Hight, Sept. 2017
Pro Stock - 6.492 seconds by Greg Anderson, Sept. 2015; 213.47 mph by Jason Line, Sept. 2012
Pro Stock Motorcycle - 6.764 seconds by Chip Ellis, Sept. 2018; 200.50 mph by Matt Smith, Oct. 2020

2021 event winners: 
Steve Torrence, Matt Hagan, and Erica Enders

Most victories
Antron Brown 5, TF; Ron Capps, 4, FC;  Erica Enders, 5 PS; Matt Smith, 4 PS

Friday’s schedule: 
NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series qualifying and time trials start at 8:30 a.m.
FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon qualifying starts at 4:45 p.m.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying starts at 6 p.m.

Sunday, October 2: FS1 will televise qualifying coverage at 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, October 2: FS1 will televise finals coverage at 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. (ET).