Good Afternoon race fans!
This weekend the NHRA made it’s way to a hot Seattle, for the first time in three years, for the Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals, the last race on the Western Swing, and it was one hell of a race.
Starting in the nitro ranks, we have Top Fuel. On the left side of the ladder No. 1 qualified Brittany Force started her day by taking on No. 16 Jim Maroney. It was a good race until about half track, that’s when Jim’s engine gave up and with a 3.74 to a 4.14 Brittany was moving on. In the second round she faced Josh Hart. These two are 4-4 against each other and I think it’s safe to say they’re not the biggest fans of one another. Josh did have the starting line advantage, (.048) to (.083), but Brittany having the performance and his car giving up at the 1/8th mile led to her 3.79 besting his 3.92. Her semifinal matchup was against the always tough Leah Pruett. Brittany had the starting line advantage, and pretty much never looked back while Leah ran into some problems, so with a 3.82 to a 6.29, Brittany and the Flav-R-Pac team were into the finals. On the other side of the ladder No. 3 qualified Tony Schumacher started his day by taking on No. 14 qualified Scott Palmer. Scott had the starting line advantage, (.089) to (.114), but quickly started dropping cylinders so he clicked it off. Tony was on a great a to b run, so with a 3.85 to a 5.85, he was moving on. In the second round Tony faced the always tough Shawn Langdon. Shawn is one of the best leavers in Top Fuel, always has been, but this was a really long light, so Tony ended up with a huge advantage (.045) to (.121), and it ended up helping him because with a 3.82 to a 3.79, Tony got the hole shot and was moving on. His semifinal matchup was against the tough Justin Ashley. Neither of them had spectacular runs, they both ran into problems, but Tony had less, and his 4.48 bested Justin’s 5.13, putting him and the Okuma team into the finals. On paper this looked like it had the potential to be a fantastic race. We have Brittany who has been on a roll and has incredible performance and we also have Tony Schumacher who has found performance recently and has been giving us peeks of the Tony of old. Tony had the advantage, (.077) to (.082), and it looked good, then Brittany smoked the tires, and Tony kept on going. Giving him his first win since 2020 and his first win under the Maynard Family Racing ownership! I’m so pleased for him and the team.
Next we have Funny Car. There were actually only 12 cars on the property this weekend, so the ladder was a little wonky. On the left side, No. 7 qualified JR Todd started his day by taking on No. 6 Blake Alexander. It was a decent race, JR had the starting line advantage and never looked back, so with a 3.95 to a 3.99, he was moving on. In the second round he faced Bob Tasca III who has been on an absolute roll recently. Bob drove up into tire smoke pretty much immediately, pedaled it, but was back in smoke again before shutting it off while JR went a to b with a 3.98 to Bob’s 7.75. Because of the way the ladder was set up today JR had a bye and he ran a 3.98, putting him and the DHL team into the finals. On the other side of the ladder, No. 5 qualified Robert Hight started his day by taking on No. 8 Ron Capps. These two have had some pretty good races in the past and the last time they raced each other in round one was all the way back to 2016. Ron did have the advantage, (.048) to (.080), but he pretty quickly lost traction, while Robert had a solid run, so with a 3.91 to a 4.67, Robert was moving on. In the second round he faced Alexis DeJoria. Robert was first off the line and never looked back, his 3.96 bested her 5.14, and he was into the next round. His semifinal matchup was a tough one against his boss, the 16x champ, John Force. These two have been seeing quite a bit of each other lately on race day and they always have fantastic battles. This was another good one. They were relatively close off the line and John fell off a bit at the end, so with a 3.97 to a 4.04, Robert and the AAA team were into the finals. Now this was one hell of a race, a final that all race fans want to see. Robert had the advantage, (.050) to (.068) but they were dead even the entire time. In the end it was Robert and his 3.975 that bested JR’s 3.978, giving Robert the win and the Wally.
And finally we have Pro Stock cars. On the left side of the ladder, No. 4 qualified Troy Coughlin Jr started his day by taking on No. 13 Fernando Cuadra. It was a decent race, but with a 6.59 to a 6.65, Troy was moving on. In the second round he faced Camrie Caruso. This is the first time these two have faced each other on race day. Camrie did have the advantage off the line, (.032) to (.040) but by 300 feet Troy had caught up and driven around her, so with a 6.61 to 6.63, he was moving on. Troy’s semifinal matchup was against the always tough Greg Anderson. They were pretty evenly matched the whole race, but Greg had some problems while Troy went a to b, so with a 6.65 to a 8.79, Troy and the JEGS team were in the finals. On the other side of the ladder, No. 2 qualified Erica Enders started her day by taking on No. 15 Chris McGaha. This was one of those where it was all Erica from the beginning, and she never looked back, so with a 6.59 to a 6.67, she was moving on. In the second round she faced the tough Dallas Glenn, who announced this weekend that he will be extending his sponsorship with RAD Torque Systems for at least two years. It was a good race, the starting line advantage went to Dallas, (.030) to (.051), but by half track Erica had chased him down and with a 6.59 to a 6.63, she was moving on. Her semifinal matchup was against someone she’s been seeing quite a bit lately, Aaron Stanfield. This was very, very close. Erica was (.028) off the line to Aaron’s (.038) and they were evenly matched incrementally, but with a 6.64 to a 6.65, Erica and the Melling team were into the finals. This was a great battle of the teammates. Erica had the advantage (.026) to (.032), but by the 330 feet mark they were even and Troy got around her. So with a 6.63 to a 6.64, Troy grabbed the win, his first career Pro Stock win (!), and took home the Wally.
The next race will be the Menards NHRA Nationals Presented by PetArmor, August 12th – 14th in Topeka, Kansas.