LAS VEGAS, NV – October 28, 2021 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – It’s been a tremendous rookie season for Dallas Glenn, but the rising star has the chance to make it an even bigger finish heading to Las Vegas for this weekend’s Dodge//SRT NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Glenn has picked up two Pro Stock wins in his debut season in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and with two chances remaining, he has the opportunity to cash in on his first career Countdown to the Championship victory as well.
That would be a meaningful finish for Glenn, who is in the heat of the NHRA Rookie of the Year battle and is also still alive in the championship hunt with two playoff races remaining. After a terrific season in his RAD Torque Systems Chevrolet Camaro, Glenn is eager to end his year on a bright note. He advanced to a final round in St. Louis a month ago and currently sits third in Pro Stock points, but a late-season victory is what he is really after in Las Vegas.
“To get a win in the Countdown would be something special and be a major confidence booster going into the off-season,” Glenn said. “It would be a major boost to come through and succeed at the toughest moments of the season. The added pressure of the playoffs adds another level of enjoyment to all this, so we just want to keep pushing forward. I’ve learned how difficult it is to win the Countdown and you have to take advantage of every opportunity you get.”
Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Angie Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are defending winners of the fall race in Las Vegas. This year’s event will be televised on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), including live final eliminations coverage starting at 5:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Oct. 31. It is the fifth of six races in the Countdown to the Championship in Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, and Glenn is currently 183 points behind KB Racing teammate and points leader Greg Anderson.
Catching him will be difficult, as Anderson, who picked up his 98th career win in Dallas to become the all-time wins leader in Pro Stock history, is also trying to hold off defending world champ Enders. She won her fourth world title in Vegas last year, but Anderson has the advantage at the moment as he seeks to claim his fifth championship. He leads Enders by 81 points heading into Vegas, with Glenn and Kyle Koretsky sitting in third and fourth place, respectively. It’s been the first experience in the Countdown to the Championship as a driver for Glenn and as the intensity has ratcheted up in crunch time, he has done his best to raise his game with the hopes it pays off with some late-season success.
“I feel like I’m in a good spot to perform well at these next two races,” said Glenn, who has four finals appearances in 2021. “I feel like the car is the best it’s ever been. I just need to do my job and everything will work out. Overall, I feel pretty good about my first season. I had really high expectations because I know what I’m capable of, but it’s extremely difficult to win races in this class and especially in the Countdown. You have to be perfect in every aspect and everything has to fall into place on that particular weekend.”
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Angelle Sampey made a big move at the most recent event in Bristol, winning her second race in the Countdown to the Championship to pull within 25 points of leader Matt Smith with two races remaining. Sampey has found her rhythm on her Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki at the perfect time, moving back into championship contention as she seeks a fourth career world title.
She’s impressed throughout the playoffs, qualifying No. 1 in Reading, winning in Charlotte and then grabbing the victory in Thunder Valley as well. She’s won twice in Las Vegas over the years, but it’s been since 2002 when she enjoyed her last triumph at the facility. Changing that this weekend would make things even more interesting in the two-wheeled category, where Smith is after his second straight title and fifth overall. It’s more than a two-bike race, too, with Steve Johnson still in contention at 56 points back of Smith and Eddie Krawiec 111 points out of first. Sampey, though, has been on an impressive late-season run.
“Things are coming around and I’m trying really hard,” Sampey said. “This team has worked so hard and deserves all this success. These guys bring out the best in me, and they’re all wonderful coaches and teammates. It took me a while to trust the motorcycle. It wasn’t the motorcycle, it was all me. I’m just finally coming around on it and things have been going well. I don’t know what’s going to happen at the end of the year, but it sure would be nice to get that No. 1 back on the motorcycle.”
Top Fuel’s Steve Torrence takes a 73-point lead over Brittany Force into Las Vegas as he looks to win a fourth straight world title. Force won the fall race two years ago, setting the track record, and she’ll look to track down the Texan while also facing off with the likes of Bristol winner Mike Salinas, last year’s winner Antron Brown, Josh Hart, Justin Ashley, who is 147 points back of Torrence, Leah Pruett and Clay Millican.
In Funny Car, the race to the world title is a tight one, as Ron Capps currently holds just a one-point lead over teammate and defending world champ Matt Hagan. A year ago, Hagan won the race and clinched the title in Las Vegas and will look to keep rolling at the facility. Others to watch include J.R. Todd, who is 83 points out of first, as well as championship contenders John Force and Cruz Pedregon.
The event also includes the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, where the future stars of the sport earn their racing stripes, as well as the popular Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown category. The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service will also finish its 2021 season in Las Vegas. Stevie Jackson is the defending race winner, while Jose Gonzalez has already clinched the world title.
After nitro qualifying, fans will be entertained by a pair of jet-powered dragsters that will light up The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Sporty Bandimere will drive the Lucas Oil Terminal Velocity dragster, while Jaren Mott will pilot the MavTV Plus Missile powered by Lucas Oil. Fans can also enjoy the special cacklefest that is slated to take place on Friday, as well as runs from the world’s first 200-mph electric dragster and CJ 1400 electric Cobra Jet.
As always, fans are granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This unique opportunity gives fans a chance to see teams in action and service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers. Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 3:00 p.m. PT on Friday, Oct. 29 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 12:00 and 3:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11:00 a.m. PT on Sunday, Oct. 31.
Television coverage on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) includes qualifying action from 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET on Friday and 4:00-5:00 p.m. on Sunday, with live action during eliminations to follow from 5:00-8:00 p.m. ET.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents national events featuring the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown and Top Fuel Harley Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style. NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. With over 120 Member Tracks, NHRA allows racers to compete at a variety of locations nationally and internationally. NHRA’s Youth and Education Services (YES) Program reaches over 30,000 students annually to ignite their interest in automotive and racing related careers. NHRA’s streaming service, NHRA.tv, allows fans to view all NHRA national events as well as exclusive features of the sport. In addition, NHRA owns and operates four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to www.NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Source: National Hot Rod Association