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NHRA returns to New England Dragway; Pro Stock and Pro Mod also are back

Back at New England Dragway for the NHRA New England Nationals on May 31-June 2, all the teams in the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series are eager to return to the beloved track for a full event in front of another huge crowd at the fan-favorite facility.
28 May 2024
Posted by NHRA.com staff
New England Dragway

Back at New England Dragway for the NHRA New England Nationals on May 31-June 2, all the teams in the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series are eager to return to the beloved track for a full event in front of another huge crowd at the fan-favorite facility.

New England Dragway, settled in Epping, is set to host its 11th annual event in 2024, and the race is always a highlight on the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series schedule. After inclement weather at last year’s event, drivers will be more than ready to put on a show and battle it out for a chance at an NHRA Wally on a weekend loaded with action.

After a year away, Pro Stock is back at the storied facility, as is the Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+, adding to the nonstop excitement coming to New England Dragway. Along with four rounds of can’t-miss qualifying, the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge takes place on Saturday, leading right into eliminations in front of what’s expected to be another huge crowd in Epping.

New England native and Funny Car veteran Bob Tasca III collected his first New England Nationals title last season when he defeated NHRA legend John Force in the final round, which took place in Bristol due to weather. With a rich history in Epping, Tasca was thrilled to earn his first Funny Car win at his home event. Tasca earned three wins last season and picked up a recent win at this year’s NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas. To go back-to-back in Epping — and to win for the first time at his home track — he’ll need to get past reigning world champ and points leader Matt Hagan Funny Car newcomer Austin Prock, who won in Phoenix, Gainesville winner J.R. Todd, and former champion Ron Capps. 

Top Fuel standout Justin Ashley earned an impressive six NHRA wins last season, including his big Epping win. Not only was Ashley able to pick up the New England Nationals win, but he also won the Bristol race that same weekend, making him only the second Pro driver to even win two national events in one weekend. The first driver to do it was eight-time champ Tony Schumacher, who finished runner-up to Ashley last season. Ashley currently leads the Top Fuel points this season with competitors Shawn Langdon, with two wins on the season, former champ Steve Torrence, reigning champ Doug Kalitta, and Chicago champ Antron Brown hot on his heels. Top Fuel rookie and racing legend Tony Stewart will also be making his Pro debut at the facility.

Returning to the New England Nationals this year is the Pro Stock class. The loyal fans of the New England area will be treated to the performance of the 500 cubic-inch factory hot rods. Stars like reigning champion Erica Enders, multitime champion and points leader Greg Anderson, Jeg Coughlin Jr., and standouts Aaron Stanfield and Chicago winner Dallas Glenn will be on track and ready to return to New England Dragway.

The Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+ class is back in Epping as well. Fans can watch all the thrilling action from the series stars, including Jose Gonzalez, defending world champ Mike Castellana, Justin Bond, Kris Thorne, Ken Quartuccio, Kevin Rivenbark, and Mason Wright. 

Also on the schedule for the New England Nationals is the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge on Saturday. The new program delivers an added element of racing competition to Saturday qualifying. Semifinalists from Chicago will have a rematch for bonus points and bonus money, with the winners facing off to close out qualifying.

The event also will feature standout competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, which features some of the sport’s top drivers, as well as the popular snowmobile categories. Fans will also be invited all weekend long to the Nitro Alley Stage, which will help create a festive atmosphere leading into the nitro pits. The Nitro Alley Stage will be the main entertainment hub in the pits, hosting Nitro School, meet and greets, music, and much more. Race fans at New England Dragway can 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. The final experience of any NHRA event is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes, where fans are invited to congratulate the event winners.
As always, fans also get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in Epping. This 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, an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, merchandise, food, and fun for the entire family.

NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series qualifying features two rounds at 5 and 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, May 31 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, June 1 at Noon and 2:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, June 2. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, 7 p.m. on Saturday, and then eliminations action from 1-2 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. ET on Sunday.

To purchase tickets to the NHRA New England Nationals, fans can visit www.NHRA.com/tickets. Children 12 and under are free in general admission with the purchase of an adult ticket