CONCORD, NC – August 29, 2022 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – The stakes will be raised for the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series’ second race of the season at zMAX Dragway, as a critical Countdown to the Championship victory will be on the line at the upcoming Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals on Sept. 23-25.
It is the second event in the six-race NHRA playoffs, and the playoff action will add an extra layer of intensity to the thrilling nitro-powered action that the 11,000-horsepower Top Fuel and Funny Car machines will bring to the Bellagio of dragstrips.
The pivotal playoff showdown will open with one round of qualifying on Friday in conditions that could lead to track records, a pair of action-packed qualifying sessions on Saturday and eliminations on Sunday as the championship contenders in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock will look to strike it big at zMAX Dragway.
Josh Hart (Top Fuel), Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car) and Kyle Koretsky (Pro Stock) won last year’s playoff race. This season’s event will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) as the standouts in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series look to an early win in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs at zMAX Dragway.
Hart’s stellar rookie season in Top Fuel got better in Charlotte, where he upset No. 1 qualifier Brittany Force in the final round, earning his second victory in a wonderful debut campaign. Hart has continued to be solid during his sophomore season and he’ll look for another Charlotte win as he races for a world championship for the first time. Force, meanwhile, is after a second world title and already has four victories to her credit in 2022. She’s the points leader, but there’s plenty of worthy title contenders, including four-time defending world champ Steve Torrence, Mike Salinas, who also has four wins this year, Justin Ashley, Leah Pruett, eight-time world champ Tony Schumacher, Doug Kalitta, Antron Brown, and Clay Millican.
Funny Car veteran Wilkerson was the thorn in everyone’s side a year ago, picking up the victory in Charlotte by knocking off the likes of Bob Tasca III, John Force, Ron Capps, and Cruz Pedregon. It was a memorable day for Wilkerson, and he’ll look to recreate that moment against a loaded Funny Car field. Everyone is chasing points leader Robert Hight, who has returned to form in 2022 after struggling last season. He has six wins this season to pace the class, which also includes Matt Hagan, who has three victories for Tony Stewart Racing this year, defending world champ Capps, Tasca, who has three wins in the past four races, J.R. Todd, Force, who won the spring race in Charlotte, and Alexis DeJoria.
Koretsky enjoyed a dream weekend last year at Charlotte, picking up his first career victory in Pro Stock. He knocked off eventual world champ Greg Anderson to do so, denying Anderson a chance to set the all-time wins mark in the class at the race. Anderson got that later in the year and now he’s trying to pick up his 100th career win. Both Koretsky and Anderson are also after their first win in a season that’s been dominated by points leader Erica Enders. She has six wins thus far in 2022, while teammates Aaron Stanfield and Troy Coughlin Jr. both have two, with Coughlin winning the last two races in the class. Others to watch include Denver winner Matt Hartford, Dallas Glenn, rookie Camrie Caruso, Bo Butner, and Mason McGaha.
The Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, which includes some of the sport’s top drivers, as well as the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon. Jose Gonzalez won in Charlotte a year ago en route to his first world title in the class. Fans in Charlotte can also enjoy the exciting Mountain Motor Pro Stock category as they bring their powerful 800-plus cubic-inch engines to zMAX Dragway. On Saturday, fans can attend Nitro School to learn more about how the cars operate and reach their thrilling speeds.
Race fans at zMAX Dragway can enjoy the special pre-race ceremonies that introduce and celebrate each of the drivers racing for the prestigious Wally on Sunday and includes the fan favorite SealMaster Track Walk. The final can’t-miss experience of any NHRA event is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes, where fans are invited to congratulate the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals event winners.
As always, fans also get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in Charlotte. This unique opportunity gives fans a unique chance to see teams in action and service their hot rods between rounds, get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers, and more. Fans can also visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food, and fun for the entire family. The new Pep Boys midway display includes tire change challenges, oil change challenges, a slot car track, and much more, adding even more excitement to the midway.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 23, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 1:30 and 5:15 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 12:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 25. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 7:00 p.m. ET on Friday, 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, and then eliminations on FS1 at 3:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.
About Camping World Holdings, Inc.
Camping World Holdings, Inc., headquartered in Lincolnshire, IL, (together with its subsidiaries) is America’s largest retailer of RVs and related products and services. Our vision is to build a long-term legacy business that makes RVing fun and easy, and our Camping World and Good Sam brands have been serving RV consumers since 1966. We strive to build long-term value for our customers, employees, and shareholders by combining a unique and comprehensive assortment of RV products and services with a national network of RV dealerships, service centers and customer support centers along with the industry’s most extensive online presence and a highly trained and knowledgeable team of associates serving our customers, the RV lifestyle, and the communities in which we operate. We also believe that our Good Sam organization and family of programs and services uniquely enables us to connect with our customers as stewards of the RV enthusiast community and the RV lifestyle. With over 185 locations in 40 states, Camping World, and sister company Gander RV, have grown to become prime destinations for everything RV. For more information, visit www.CampingWorld.com.
Headquartered in San Dimas, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 22 national events featuring the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series, 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 three racing facilities: Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park; 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, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Source: National Hot Rod Association