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Erica Enders (NHRA photo)

10 Most Popular NHRA Stories Of ’22

While many things remained the same, there was no shortage of surprises that came along during the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season this year. 

Erica Enders successfully finished her “Drive For Five,” clinching her fifth Pro Stock world title. Ron Capps became a back-to-back champion in Funny Car during his first year as a team owner. After dominating during the regular season, Brittany Force got hot at the right time in the Countdown to the Championship and earned her second Top Fuel title. 

But still, the unexpected reigned. Tony Stewart got behind the wheel of a Top Alcohol dragster, the four-year reign of Steve Torrence in Top Fuel came to an end despite his best efforts and Justin Ashley proved that he was a force to be reckoned with.

So, to celebrate the season’s end, here is a look back at the 10 most popular NHRA stories of 2022.

1. Koretsky Family Purchases Maple Grove

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Maple Grove Raceway.(Dennis Bicksler photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Veteran NHRA racer Kenny Koretsky and his family, which includes his sons Kenny Jr. and current Pro Stock driver Kyle, have purchased Maple Grove Raceway. The fan-favorite track has been home to a NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series event for nearly four decades and will host the opener to the NHRA Countdown to the Championship, the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals on Sept. 15-18.

“It’s still kind of a surreal feeling,” Kyle Koretsky said. “Our family bought a facility we’ve been going to our entire lives and doing what we love to do. We see this as a huge business opportunity, and we’re looking to grow the business and give the racers a great experience. We’ve got a lot of great ideas and we’re looking forward to this.”

Click here to read the full story.

2. After Monumental Win, Brown Looks To Keep Rolling

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Antron Brown hoists the Wally after winning. (NHRA Photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antron Brown’s first year as a team owner has been anything but easy but following the Top Fuel star’s first win of the season — and as a team owner on Sunday in Topeka — things are starting to click for the three-time world champ.

Racing just days later at this weekend’s 40th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, Brown is also ready to keep this momentum going in the right direction.

He performed at a high level in hot conditions in Topeka and there will be stark contrast in temperatures heading into Brainerd this weekend. That has Brown thinking big in his 11,000-horsepower Matco Tools dragster, where he hopes to continue to round into championship form with the Countdown to the Championship just around the corner.

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3. Brittany Force: ‘A Tough Position To Be In’

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Brittany Force has four wins so far this season. (NHRA photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been a record year for the Monster Energy/Flav-R-Pac dragster and its driver Brittany Force. 

Beyond leading the NHRA Top Fuel standings, Force has also captured four wins so far this season and has already secured a spot in the Countdown to the Championship.

“I think our team is in a great place. This is the best we’ve done, especially looking at last season,” Force said. 

Click here to read the full story.

4. NHRA: Bringing Indy Back To What It Should Be

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Matt Hagan on track in his Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat. (NHRA photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of most interviews, three-time NHRA Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan gives a shoutout to the crowd, hoping that his performance in his Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat was a good show for the fans.

Currently second in the standings, Hagan has shown he isn’t afraid to ramp up the heat on the drag strip and fight for the win — he has three victories so far this season.  

However, even Hagan will be challenged during the Pep Boys Funny Car All-Star Callout on Sunday, Sept. 4. The novelty race that features eight of the sport’s best Funny Car racers takes place as part of the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, applying even more pressure to the weekend for the racers involved.

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5. Greg Anderson Has High Hopes After Reaching 100th Win

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Greg Anderson clinches his 100th career win at the NHRA U.S. Nationals. (NHRA photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the morning of the U.S. Nationals, Greg Anderson rolled out of bed with a new outlook.

He told himself one thing: “You are going to win today.”

After struggling through much of the regular NHRA season, the defending Pro Stock champion was in need of a change if he wanted to be back on top. Up until the series arrived at Indianapolis Raceway Park, his mindset was: if it happens, it happens. But this race had to be different.

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6. Hight, Enders Protect Points Lead As The Countdown Begins

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Robert Hight took the win in Seattle earlier this year. (NHRA photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a certain mentality that an NHRA driver needs to have to become a champion. And it becomes absolutely critical during the Countdown to the Championship, when the points reset and it becomes an all-out, six-race battle to the Nov. 10-13 finale at California’s Auto Club Raceway.

Funny Car point leader Robert Hight looks to John Force as an example of the winning mentality. At 73 years old, the 16-time champion can say that he has never settled. As Hight said, Force is even getting tired of signing “16x” besides his name — he wants to make it 17.

“You have to have that kind of drive,” Hight said.

Click here to read the full story.

7. New Found ‘Love’ Of Drag Racing Fuels Stewart

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Tony Stewart will embark on a new chapter of racing this weekend. (Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The list of disciplines Tony Stewart has raced in is an ever-growing book. 

Stock cars, Indy cars, sprint cars, midgets, TQ midgets, sports cars and late models are among the first that comes to mind. 

After Monday’s announcement that the three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion will make his NHRA debut during this weekend’s at the NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Stewart can add a Top Alcohol dragster to that list. 

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8. Enders Clinches Title

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Erica Enders hoists the Pro Stock championship trophy. (NHRA Photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erica Enders clinched her fifth Pro Stock world championship on Sunday, racing to her 10th victory of the season at the 22nd annual NHRA Nevada Nationals to cap off a dream weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“This whole season has been a dream come true for our whole team. This season, like every season, we set out to win races and win a championship and we did just that. We spent the whole season with a No. 2 on the car and that didn’t sit well with any of us. It lit a fire under our team to become champs again,” Enders said.

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9. Funny Car Title Battle Comes Down To Pomona

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Robert Hight after winning in St. Louis. (NHRA Photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the sun sets on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season, the Funny Car battle rages on. 

With only one race remaining, John Force Racing’s Robert Hight holds a 61-point lead over Ron Capps, with Tony Stewart Racing’s Matt Hagan third, two points behind Capps. 

A twist with the season finale at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., is the number of points available as points-and-a-half will be awarded during qualifying and eliminations, allowing more opportunities for Capps and Hagan to close the gap. 

Click  here to read the full story.

10. B. Force Owns 11 Fastest Runs In Top Fuel History

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Brittany Force dominated the 2022 season in her Monster Energy/Flav-R-Pac dragster. (NHRA photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brittany Force and her crew chief David Grubnic have rightfully earned their place among the all-time greats of the Top Fuel class this season.

Not only was the John Force Racing driver able to clinch her second Top Fuel title at the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series finale last weekend at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona (Calif.), but Grubnic has brought the dragster to an unsurpassed level of speed this season.

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