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How NHRA Fields Are Shaping Up at Regular Season’s Halfway Point

This past weekend’s New England Nationals marked the halfway point in the 14-race so-called regular season before the Countdown to the Championship begins in September.

And while some of the frontrunners stumbled in eliminations Sunday and none of the points leaders made it to the winners circle at Epping, N.H.’s New England Dragway, they remain major forces leading up to the Labor Day U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, where fields are set for the championship-eligible.

Top Fuel

Justin Ashley and Shawn Langdon have been the early juggernauts in the dragster class, but they each found their limits Sunday at New England Dragway. Nevertheless, the two best drivers in reaction time at the starting line will be duking it out down the stretch.

NHRA/National Dragster

Doug Kalitta is in a good position to defend his Top Fuel crown.

Doug Kalitta, who joined the two-time winners at Epping, N.H., this past weekend, will have a say in the results as he hopes to repeat his long-awaited championship. With Alan Johnson as his tuner and Johnson just now finding his stride at Kalitta Motorsports, Kalitta easily could become the one to give Johnson his 14th Top Fuel championship among seven drivers (including Gary Scelzi, Tony Schumacher, Larry Dixon, Del Worsham, Brittany Force, and himself).

Funny Car

At first, it appeared that Austin Prock, drag racing’s latest “natural,” just might run away with the Funny Car crown as he switched from a Top Fuel dragster to substitute for Robert Hight.

But the heir-apparent to NHRA’s GOAT, John Force, has had to share the limelight with Matt Hagan and, especially after Sunday, 157-time winner boss John Force.

a man wearing a race car helmet

NHRA/National Dragster

Don’t look now, but 75-year-old John Force is back in a championship chase.

Prock—with an impressive victory at Phoenix, three more runner-up finishes, and five No. 1 starts in the first seven races—leads the standings into the second half of the regular season. And the former circle-track phenom isn’t one to let his foot off the gas. That trifecta of Prock, Force, and Hagan has forced preseason favorites Bob Tasca III, J.R. Todd, and Ron Capps to play catch-up.

Pro Stock

Although Sunday wasn’t her day to earn that 50th victory she has been seeking, Erica Enders still looks like the racer to beat this year in the factory hot-rod category.

erica enders nhra

NHRA/National Dragster

Erica Enders is making a strong run at a seventh championship in Pro Stock.

The most successful woman in all of motorsports, who also has 37 No. 1 qualifying positions and 485 round-wins, looks on target for her seventh Pro Stock championship. She already is getting a strong challenge from the KB Titan Racing duo of Dallas Glenn, the points leader, and Greg Anderson, a five-time champion himself.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

The bike class didn’t compete this weekend at New England Dragway. But it will be hard for anyone to derail Vance & Hines’ current series champion Gaige Herrera. In each of Pro Stock Motorcycle’s two appearances on the schedule so far, Herrera has run the table – won the race, qualified No. 1, and set low elapsed time and top speed of the meet.

NHRA New England Nationals

Results at Epping, N.H.


Sunday’s final results from the 11th annual NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway. The race is the seventh of 20 in the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel—Doug Kalitta, 3.802 seconds, 332.92 mph def. Tony Schumacher, 4.307, 201.43.

Funny Car—John Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.081, 319.29 def. Austin Prock, Camaro, 4.096, 316.38.

Pro Stock — Troy Coughlin Jr., 6.584, 210.05 def. Erica Enders, 6.563, 210.54.

Round By Round

Final round-by-round results from the 11th annual NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway. The race is the seventh of 20 in the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel

ROUND ONE — Doug Kalitta, 4.254, 198.85 def. Scott Farley, NT; Tony Stewart, 3.973, 286.25 def. Antron Brown, 4.436, 200.38; Shawn Langdon, 3.780, 332.02 def. Shawn Reed, 4.605, 170.99; Billy Torrence, 3.793, 331.04 def. Jasmine Salinas, 3.790, 330.47; Steve Torrence, 3.882, 325.30 def. Smax Smith, 3.796, 169.74; Clay Millican, 3.848, 326.79 def. Dan Mercier, 4.027, 266.48; Tony Schumacher, 4.170, 254.95 def. Brittany Force, 4.314, 242.10; Josh Hart, 3.848, 325.53 def. Justin Ashley, 5.202, 139.90.

QUARTERFINALS — Kalitta, 3.841, 329.67 def. Stewart, 3.848, 323.58; Langdon, 3.953, 289.45 def. B. Torrence, 3.942, 285.29; Millican, 3.841, 328.94 def. S. Torrence, 3.835, 329.18; Schumacher, 3.880, 323.19 def. Hart, 8.623, 65.65

SEMIFINALS — Schumacher, 3.869, 324.12 def. Millican, 5.664, 119.38; Kalitta, 3.848, 330.72 def. Langdon, 3.884, 318.32.

FINAL — Kalitta, 3.802, 332.92 def. Schumacher, 4.307, 201.43.

Funny Car

ROUND ONE — Austin Prock, Chevy Camaro, 3.970, 326.16 def. Mike Smith, Ford Mustang, 10.870, 82.17; Chad Green, Mustang, 3.976, 327.03 def. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota GR Supra, 4.060, 319.14; Daniel Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.089, 313.80 def. Cory Lee, Mustang, 5.481, 141.25; Ron Capps, Supra, 4.045, 323.89 def. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.185, 248.07; John Force, Camaro, def. Buddy Hull, Charger, 4.495, 210.11; Blake Alexander, Mustang, 4.002, 318.54 def. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.916, 169.36; J.R. Todd, Supra, 4.224, 238.43 def. Dave Richards, Toyota Camry, 9.933, 83.33; Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 4.005, 327.43 def. Cruz Pedregon, 5.947, 117.00

QUARTERFINALS — Prock, 3.983, 325.15 def. Green, 4.020, 321.27; Wilkerson, 4.022, 320.28 def. Capps, 7.690, 99.06; Force, 4.059, 322.65 def. Alexander, 4.231, 258.67; Todd, 4.079, 317.57 def. Tasca, 4.325, 237.55.

SEMIFINALS — Force, 3.994, 321.88 def. Todd, 4.050, 319.45; Prock, 3.993, 317.12 def. Wilkerson, 4.013, 322.27.

FINAL — Force, 4.081, 319.29 def. Prock, 4.096, 316.38.

Pro Stock

ROUND ONE — Deric Kramer, Chevy Camaro, 6.593, 209.75 def. Eric Latino, Camaro, 6.615, 209.20; Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.563, 209.98 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.594, 210.2; Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.558, 210.50 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 7.625, 133.84; Jerry Tucker, Camaro, 6.604, 210.34 def. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 21.383, 35.62; Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.600, 209.23 def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 7.155, 192.60; Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.569, 209.92 def. Brandon Foster, Camaro, 6.603, 209.10; Troy Coughlin, Camaro, 6.555, 210.90 def. Brandon Miller, Camaro, 6.628, 208.01; Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.554, 210.73 def. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Camaro, 6.697, 209.69.

QUARTERFINALS – Tucker, 6.611, 210. 01 def. C. McGaha 8.148, 163.45; Glenn, 6.628, 208.78 def. J. Coughlin, 6.604, 210.80; T. Coughlin, 6.590, 210.24 def. Stanfield 6.584, 209.52; Enders, 6.578, 210.77 def. Kramer, 6.593, 210.11.

SEMIFINALS – Enders, 6.574, 209.79 def. Tucker, 6.624, 2097.79; T. Coughlin 6.610, 209.49 def. Glenn 6.633, 208.04

FINALS – T. Coughlin 6.584, 210.05 def. Enders 6.563, 210.54

Updated Points Standings

Points standings (top 10) following the 11th annual NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway. The race is the seventh of 20 in the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel

1. Justin Ashley 566; 2. Doug Kalitta 540; 3. Shawn Langdon 534; 4. Steve Torrence 467; 5. Antron Brown 428; 6. Clay Millican 391; 7. Billy Torrence 390; 8. Tony Schumacher 359; 9. Tony Stewart 345; 10. Brittany Force 302

Funny Car

1. Austin Prock 580; 2. John Force 558; 3. Matt Hagan 512; 4. J.R. Todd 502; 5. Bob Tasca III 455 6. Dan Wilkerson 389; 7. Ron Capps 360; 8. Alexis DeJoria 339; 9. Chad Green 317; 10. Blake Alexander 295

Pro Stock

1. Dallas Glenn 619; 2. Erica Enders 575; 3. Greg Anderson 569; 4. Jeg Coughlin Jr. 449; 5. Aaron Stanfield 430; 6. Jerry Tucker 401; 7. Troy Coughlin Jr. 387; 8. Cristian Cuadra 334; 9. Brandon Foster 265; 10. David Cuadra 254

Headshot of Susan Wade

Susan Wade has lived in the Seattle area for 40 years, but motorsports is in the Indianapolis native’s DNA. She has emerged as one of the leading drag-racing writers with nearly 30 seasons at the racetrack, focusing on the human-interest angle.  She was the first non-NASCAR recipient of the prestigious Russ Catlin Award and has covered the sport for the Chicago Tribune, Newark Star-Ledger, and Seattle Times. She has contributed to Autoweek as a freelance writer since 2016.

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