NHRA: Enders-Stevens becomes 1st female Pro Stock champ, Hagan holds off Force for Funny Car title

7 Comments

Erica Enders-Stevens made history in Sunday’s season-ending AutoClub NHRA Finals at AutoClub Raceway in Pomona, California, becoming the first female world champion in NHRA Pro Stock history.

Enders-Stevens, who rallied back after missing three races during the middle of the season, defeated her closest challenger, Jason Line, in the final round of Sunday’s eliminations. Enders-Stevens earned his sixth victory of the season when Line fouled at the starting line.

Stevens becomes only the third female to win an NHRA pro-level championship, joining Top Fuel champion Shirley Muldowney and Pro Stock Motorcycle champ Angelle Sampey.

“It’s awesome to be a part of this female movement in NHRA,” Enders-Stevens said in an NHRA media release. “I think it goes to show what we’re capable of and what a great platform NHRA gives all of us girls to climb the ladder and to get to where we want to go.

“To join two of my heroes, Shirley Muldowney and Angelle Sampey, who are both my friends now, as NHRA world champions, is simply unreal. The words of advice I’ve received from those two women means so much to me.”

Enders-Stevens has been racing for nearly 20 seasons, starting in the NHRA Junior Dragster program.

“I was a little kid with a big dream,” she said. “I started racing junior dragsters and then moved into sportsman racing and moved on up the ranks to the pro level and now 10 years later here I am in Pro Stock. It’s an awesome feeling and I feel so blessed.”

In Funny Car, Matt Hagan held off a hard challenge from John Force to earn his second career Funny Car championship (also won in 2011), spoiling Force’s bid for a record 17th title himself.

 

Hagan clinched the championship with a semi-final round win over Tommy Johnson Jr., and then capped things off by beating Force in the final round, earning Hagan his fourth win of the season and 14th of his career.

“The championship was really what we were after, and the race win was kind of icing on the cake,” Hagan said. “But it just solidifies that we had a great race car. To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best, and everybody says (Force is) the best, so we beat him, and that’s what’s cool about this deal.

“It was nice to finish it out here strong. We beat him here last year at this time, and we did it again this year. Hat’s off to him. They’ve got a great car, but we had a little better one today.

“There’s a lot of guys who have been out here their entire careers and haven’t won one of these so you never take any of it for granted. We gave these fans what they were waiting for and paid for, and hopefully, we can go out and win another one, but it’s just great to be in this experience and be a part of this.”

In Top Fuel, Tony Schumacher wrapped up his eighth championship in Saturday’s final qualifying rounds. But in Sunday’s final eliminations, it was Morgan Lucas, who raced only a part-time schedule in 2014, that roared to his second win of the season and 11th of his career, defeating Schumacher in the final round.

Lucas had two of the fastest times seen this season, with a 3.707 second run over Antron Brown in Sunday’s semifinals and a 3.704 second run in his final round win over Schumacher.

“I feel like I’m doing a better job behind the wheel on a part-time basis than I ever did racing full-time,” Lucas said. “The car was fast, and it was on a string.

“I almost didn’t have to steer it or do anything. It felt like I was strapped to a missile. I had a lot of fun today.”

Lastly, while Hector Arana Jr. ultimately took the race win in Pro Stock Motorcycle, Andrew Hines earned the fourth PSM championship of his career, defeating teammate Eddie Krawiec.

“I’ve been waiting a long time to be able to write ‘4x’ next to my name,” Hines said. “It was nice to finally get it done, but also to get it done with a win (clinched in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations).

“I didn’t really want to have to be the guy who waited for someone else to lose to clinch it. It’s great to get that big trophy and that big check, but the biggest trophies I have are my wife, Tanya, and my kids, Declan and Rion.”

As for Arana, it was his second win of the season and ninth of his career.

“I popped the clutch and never saw Eddie (Krawiec),” Arana Jr. said. “My bike went straight down the track and it was an amazing feeling.

“This is going to be a good off-season. I’m glad we got the win for the team. This is a good confidence booster. It’s good for our morale for the next four months.”

While it’s been a long season, the off-season will be relatively short: The 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season begins Feb. 5-8 at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona (Calif.).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

FINAL RACE FINISHING ORDER:

TOP FUEL: 1.  Morgan Lucas; 2.  Tony Schumacher; 3.  Antron Brown; 4.  J.R. Todd; 5.  Steve Torrence; 6.  Richie Crampton; 7.  Shawn Langdon; 8.  Dom Lagana; 9.  Larry Dixon; 10.  Billy Torrence; 11.  Troy Buff; 12.  Doug Kalitta; 13.  Khalid alBalooshi; 14.  Bob Vandergriff; 15.  Spencer Massey; 16.  Clay Millican.

FUNNY CAR: 1.  Matt Hagan; 2.  John Force; 3.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 4.  Alexis DeJoria; 5.  Del Worsham; 6.  Tim Wilkerson; 7.  Robert Hight; 8.  Ron Capps; 9.  Jack Beckman; 10.  Bob Tasca III; 11.  Tony Pedregon; 12.  Chad Head; 13.  Gary Densham; 14.  Courtney Force; 15.  Cruz Pedregon; 16.  Jeff Arend.

PRO STOCK: 1.  Erica Enders-Stevens; 2.  Jason Line; 3.  Jeg Coughlin; 4.  Jonathan Gray; 5.  Shane Gray; 6.  Rodger Brogdon; 7.  Dave Connolly; 8.  Matt Hartford; 9.  Vincent Nobile; 10.  V. Gaines; 11.  Chris McGaha; 12.  Larry Morgan; 13.  Greg Stanfield; 14.  Jeff Isbell; 15.  Greg Anderson; 16.  Allen Johnson.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1.  Hector Arana Jr; 2.  Eddie Krawiec; 3.  Andrew Hines; 4.  Chaz Kennedy; 5.  Adam Arana; 6.  Steve Johnson; 7.  Scotty Pollacheck; 8.  Hector Arana; 9.  Jerry Savoie; 10.  Matt Smith; 11.  Jim Underdahl; 12.  Shawn Gann; 13.  Freddie Camarena; 14.  Katie Sullivan; 15.  Angie Smith; 16.  Elvira Karlsson.


FINAL ROUND RESULTS:

Top Fuel: Morgan Lucas, 3.704 seconds, 325.14 mph  def. Tony Schumacher, 3.742 seconds, 324.98 mph.

Funny Car: Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.076, 310.77  def. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.086, 276.58.

Pro Stock: Erica Enders-Stevens, Chevy Camaro, 6.480, 213.43  def. Jason Line, Camaro, foul.

Pro Stock Motorcycle: Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.832, 195.08  def. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.977, 176.37.


FINAL ROUND-BY-ROUND RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE — Shawn Langdon, 3.758, 326.00 def. Spencer Massey, 5.184, 138.43; Morgan Lucas, 3.745, 326.40 def. Billy Torrence, 3.766, 326.00; Steve Torrence, 3.787, 325.53 def. Doug Kalitta, 3.833, 314.02; Richie Crampton, 3.720, 320.89 def. Troy Buff, 3.812, 318.84; Antron Brown, 3.746, 321.81 def. Clay Millican, 5.927, 97.74; J.R. Todd, 3.765, 325.77 def. Bob Vandergriff, 4.924, 141.16; Dom Lagana, 3.832, 312.93 def. Khalid alBalooshi, 4.719, 171.71; Tony Schumacher, 3.749, 327.11 def. Larry Dixon, 3.765, 324.67;

QUARTERFINALS — Todd, 3.765, 323.04 def. S. Torrence, 3.763, 327.35; Brown, 3.749, 323.43 def. Lagana, broke; Lucas, 3.903, 299.53 def. Langdon, 4.986, 166.19; Schumacher, 3.752, 327.35 def. Crampton, 3.763, 327.82;

SEMIFINALS — Schumacher, 3.770, 328.30 def. Todd, 3.824, 262.23; Lucas, 3.707, 325.45 def. Brown, 3.742, 320.74;

FINAL — Lucas, 3.704, 325.14 def. Schumacher, 3.742, 324.98.

 

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE — Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 4.035, 310.48 def. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.051, 317.27; Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.200, 295.85 def. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 10.017, 83.08; Ron Capps, Charger, 4.028, 316.38 def. Jeff Arend, Charger, 11.137, 72.48; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.060, 316.23 def. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.774, 176.07; Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.025, 314.61 def. Gary Densham, Chevy Impala, 5.381, 135.95; John Force, Mustang, 4.083, 319.29 def. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.337, 245.45; Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.015, 320.05 def. Chad Head, Camry, 5.083, 167.63; Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.049, 313.29 def. Courtney Force, Mustang, 6.611, 98.40;

QUARTERFINALS — J. Force, 4.031, 318.62 def. Wilkerson, 4.101, 313.00; Johnson Jr., 4.077, 311.27 def. Worsham, 4.027, 314.83; Hagan, 4.081, 314.83 def. R. Capps, 6.801, 100.94; DeJoria, 4.012, 313.80 def. Hight, 5.317, 149.93;

SEMIFINALS — Hagan, 4.065, 315.86 def. Johnson Jr., 6.184, 107.28; J. Force, 4.044, 320.58 def. DeJoria, 6.953, 94.32;

FINAL — Hagan, 4.076, 310.77 def. J. Force, 4.086, 276.58.

 

PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE — Dave Connolly, Chevy Camaro, 6.528, 212.33 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.913, 163.77; Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.545, 211.66 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.536, 211.59; Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.528, 212.19 def. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 8.475, 114.04; Matt Hartford, Pontiac GXP, 6.520, 211.39 def. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.507, 213.30; Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.522, 212.36 def. V. Gaines, Dodge Avenger, 6.524, 212.69; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.496, 213.06 def. Jeff Isbell, Camaro, foul; Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.516, 212.13 def. Greg Stanfield, Camaro, 6.578, 210.54; Erica Enders-Stevens, Camaro, 6.494, 213.47 def. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.551, 210.93;

QUARTERFINALS — Coughlin, 6.527, 212.73 def. Hartford, 6.548, 211.53; J. Gray, 6.529, 212.13 def. S. Gray, 6.502, 212.73; Line, 6.519, 212.46 def. Connolly, 6.518, 212.43; Enders-Stevens, 6.494, 213.67 def. Brogdon, 6.511, 212.46;

SEMIFINALS — Line, 6.511, 212.93 def. Coughlin, foul; Enders-Stevens, 6.494, 213.67 def. J. Gray, 6.524, 212.29;

FINAL — Enders-Stevens, 6.480, 213.43 def. Line, foul.

 

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: ROUND ONE — Adam Arana, Buell, 6.889, 195.51 def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.853, 194.80; Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.874, 193.32 def. Angie Smith, Buell, 7.059, 190.65; Hector Arana, Buell, 6.886, 195.90 def. Elvira Karlsson, Suzuki, foul; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.848, 194.24 def. Shawn Gann, Buell, 6.942, 192.80; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.839, 194.77 def. Katie Sullivan, Suzuki, 7.054, 193.38; Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.835, 198.17 def. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 6.971, 195.99; Chaz Kennedy, Buell, 6.904, 191.35 def. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.888, 194.66; Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.893, 192.11 def. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.880, 195.65;

QUARTERFINALS — Kennedy, 6.924, 189.31 def. Pollacheck, 6.941, 190.78; Krawiec, 6.835, 194.13 def. A. Arana, 6.881, 195.42; Hines, 6.864, 194.02 def. H. Arana, 6.959, 191.05; Arana Jr, 6.888, 195.22 def. Johnson, 6.937, 193.96;

SEMIFINALS — Arana Jr, 6.808, 197.16 def. Kennedy, 6.981, 187.55; Krawiec, 6.850, 194.83 def. Hines, 6.890, 194.80;

FINAL — Arana Jr, 6.832, 195.08 def. Krawiec, 6.977, 176.37.


FINAL SEASON POINTS STANDINGS:

Top Fuel: 1.  Tony Schumacher, 2,594; 2.  J.R. Todd, 2,463; 3.  Spencer Massey, 2,430; 4.  Shawn Langdon, 2,419; 5.  Doug Kalitta, 2,407; 6.  Steve Torrence, 2,406; 7.  Antron Brown, 2,405; 8.  Khalid alBalooshi, 2,326; 9.  Richie Crampton, 2,299; 10.  Brittany Force, 2,249.

Funny Car: 1.  Matt Hagan, 2,628; 2.  John Force, 2,585; 3.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 2,442; 4.  Courtney Force, 2,421; 5.  Robert Hight, 2,414; 6.  Del Worsham, 2,393; 7.  Alexis DeJoria, 2,382; 8.  Ron Capps, 2,375; 9.  Tim Wilkerson, 2,310; 10.  Cruz Pedregon, 2,244.

Pro Stock: 1.  Erica Enders-Stevens, 2,639; 2.  Jason Line, 2,600; 3.  Dave Connolly, 2,481; 4.  Shane Gray, 2,463; 5.  Jeg Coughlin, 2,445; 6.  Allen Johnson, 2,403; 7.  Jonathan Gray, 2,385; 8.  Vincent Nobile, 2,364; 9.  V. Gaines, 2,269; 10.  Chris McGaha, 2,168.

Pro Stock Motorcycle: 1.  Andrew Hines, 2,689; 2.  Eddie Krawiec, 2,620; 3.  Hector Arana Jr, 2,472; 4.  Matt Smith, 2,416; 5.  Steve Johnson, 2,369; 6.  Scotty Pollacheck, 2,350; 7.  Hector Arana, 2,319; 8.  John Hall, 2,253; 9.  Angie Smith, 2,223; 10.  Michael Ray, 2,144.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

World of Outlaws release 2023 Sprint Car Series schedule

2023 Outlaws Sprint schedule
World of Outlaws
0 Comments

The 2023 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series schedule features 87 races, almost identical to the last year’s number, to be contested at 36 venues across 19 states. With cancelations for mostly weather, they closed out this year’s calendar on November 5 with 69 events in the books. Carson Macedo won a series high 11 races.

In 2022, David Gravel chased Brad Sweet into the three-race finale on the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in one of the most hotly contested championships in Outlaws history. Sweet emerged victorious for the fourth straight year.

For the 19th consecutive season, the Outlaws Sprints will begin their season at Volusia Speedway Park for the DIRTcar Nationals from Feb. 9-11 and will return March 5-6 for another two-day show before hitting the road with a three-track swing into Pennsylvania to take on the Posse.

MORE: 2023 World of Outlaws Late Model Schedule

“Every year we continue to build the best schedule we can for drivers and fans across the country,” said World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter is a series release. “I’m excited for the journey we’ve put together, which includes the biggest races in Sprint Car racing, our new Spring Swing through Pennsylvania, the thrill of combining the World of Outlaws and ‘Bike Week’ and so much more.”

Some tracks returning from hiatus and one brand new course include 81 Speedway in Park City, Kans. in April and again in October, Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon City, Ill. in April, Ogilvie (Minn.) Raceway in June and BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Penn.

BAPS hosts its first race in more than 30 years when the track was known as Susquehanna Speedway. This midweek show will give the local Pennsylvania Posse 14 attempts to beat the traveling Outlaws.

Ogilvie Speedway is completely new to the series and makes it the 224th different venue they will have challenged.

MORE: Brad Sweet protects his place in history

Notably missing from the calendar are Vado (N.M.) Speedway Park, Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas, Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway and the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track.

In addition to the new spring Pennsylvania Swing, the second date at Volusia Speedway will coincide with Daytona Beach’s Bike Week and bring new eyes to the sport.

Knoxville Raceway adds another multi-night show to the calendar in April, giving this track eight sanctioned events in 2023.

And of course, there are plenty of mainstays and high dollar events, such as the Memorial Day Spectacular at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, the 35th running of the Brad Doty Classic in July and the Labor Day Spectacular at Gray’s Harbor in Elma, Wash.

Several big paydays are on the line in 2023 including the 40th annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio paying $175,000 to the winner, the Huset’s High Bank Nationals’ $250,000-to-win finale and the grandaddy of them all, the 62nd Knoxville Nationals with a total purse exceeding $1 million.

2023 Outlaws Sprint Schedule

Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 9-11 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)

Sunday-Monday, March 5-6 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)
Friday-Saturday, March 10-11 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, March 17 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday, March 18 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday, March 24 – Talladega Short Track (Eastaboga, AL)
Saturday, March 25 – Magnolia Motor Speedway (Columbus, MS)
Friday, March 31-Saturday, April 1 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX)

Friday, April 7 – US-36 Raceway (Osborn, MO)
Saturday, April 8 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, April 14-15 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Friday-Saturday, April 21-22 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday, April 28 – Tri-City Speedway (Granite City, IL)
Saturday, April 29 – Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN)

Friday-Saturday, May 5-6 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, May 10 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday-Saturday, May 12-13 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Friday, May 19 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Saturday, May 20 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, May 26-27 – Atomic Speedway (Chillicothe, OH)
Monday, May 29 – Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)

Friday, June 2 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, June 3 – Ogilvie Raceway (Ogilvie, MN)
Friday-Saturday, June 9-10 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday-Saturday, June 16-17 – Beaver Dam Raceway (Beaver Dam, WI)
Wednesday-Saturday, June 21-24 – Huset’s Speedway (Brandon, SD)
Friday, June 30-Saturday, July 1 – Cedar Lake Speedway (New Richmond, WI)

Friday, July 7 – 34 Raceway (West Burlington, IA)
Saturday, July 8 – Wilmot Raceway (Wilmot, WI)
Tuesday, July 11 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Friday-Saturday, July 14-15 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, July 19 – BAPS Motor Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Friday-Saturday, July 21-22 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday-Sunday, July 29-30 – Weedsport Speedway (Weedsport, NY)

Friday-Saturday, Aug. 4-5 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Wednesday-Saturday, Aug. 9-12 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 17-19 – Jackson Motorplex (Jackson, MN)
Friday, Aug. 25 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, Aug. 26 – Red River Valley Speedway (West Fargo, ND)
Thursday, Aug. 31-Saturday, September 2 – Skagit Speedway (Alger, WA)

Monday, Sept. 4 – Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, WA)
Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 7-9 – Silver Dollar Speedway (Chico, CA)
Friday, Sept. 15 – Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford, CA)
Saturday, Sept. 16 – Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA)
Friday, Sept. 22 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Saturday, Sept. 23 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 6-7 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, Oct. 13 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Saturday, Oct. 14 – Lakeside Speedway (Kansas City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 20-21 – TBA

Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 1-4 – The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Concord, NC)