PHOENIX, AZ – March 22, 2023 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – After winning in Gainesville to open the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season, Pro Stock rising star Troy Coughlin Jr. knew he would be facing semifinal opponent Dallas Glen again soon – as in the next event as one of the marquee matchups in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge.
The new program kicks off this weekend at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park as part of the final NHRA Arizona Nationals, pitting semifinalists against each other during qualifying on Saturday. Along with Coughlin and Glenn meeting again, the other rematch features Gainesville runner-up Mason McGaha and Greg Anderson, with the winners meeting up on Saturday with a bonus purse and bonus playoff points on the line.
It adds competitive racing to the qualifying schedule on Saturday in Phoenix and Coughlin, who beat Glenn on a holeshot in Gainesville, knows his opponent will be out for redemption. But Coughlin is ready in his JEGS.com/White Castle/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro and eager be part of even more competitive racing this weekend.
“It’s always tough to face Dallas,” Coughlin said. “He’s such a good competitor and it’s going to be a fierce rematch. But I love competitions like the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge. It’s going to make qualifying on Saturday really exciting for everyone.”
Mike Salinas (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) all won last year in Phoenix. This year’s race will again be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 (FS1), with the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge adding an extra incentive for drivers. Along with wanting a win at NHRA’s final race at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, the Challenge presents new, unique opportunities.
For Glenn, he’s had this rematch circled since the moment he lost in Gainesville, and he promises to be focused in his RAD Torque Systems Camaro.
“I have a very good car right now,” Glenn said. “Losing to T.J. on my second holeshot loss ever was motivation, to say the least. I’m very eager to get redemption and I’m absolutely thinking about the bonus points that come with a win. Championships have been decided on less and we have a chance for quite a few championship points with the #2Fast2Tasty Challenge this season.”
Gainesville marked a big moment for the young McGaha, who defeated the legendary Anderson and advanced to his first two-wide final round. It puts him on a good path to open his 2023 season in his Harlow Sammons Camaro and the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge is something his team has looked forward to all off-season.
“We would have loved to have won in Gainesville (but) just getting to a two-wide final is getting over a hump and a big win for us,” McGaha said. “We’ve been talking about the #2Fast2Tasty Challenge all week in the shop and we’ve been pretty locked in on it since they announced it over the winter. It’s a pretty cool idea and it’s even cooler to be part of the first one. You might have to swing for the fence or do something you typically wouldn’t. It adds some interesting layers.”
Anderson has been a master when it comes to specialty races, boasting an impressive track record over the years. That could bode well for him in his HedrickCars.com Camaro this weekend, but the five-time world champ and 101-time event winner is also eyeing a victory in Phoenix. He knows the benefits of early-season success, which is why he views this weekend as a big one.
“I love these special races and, unfortunately, I can tell you first-hand that those bonus points can really make a difference at the end,” Anderson said. “We didn’t have the best race in Gainesville, but we went home, spent a lot of time working on our program and now we’ve been given a second chance in Phoenix, not just for the event title but for the vest first #2Fast2Tasty win. We want them both.”
In Top Fuel, Gainesville winner Mike Salinas will race Leah Pruett in a semifinal rematch, while the other semifinal includes runner-up Steve Torrence and veteran Doug Kalitta. The rest of the field in Phoenix includes Top Fuel world champ Brittany Force, Justin Ashley, Antron Brown, Josh Hart, Austin Prock and Tony Schumacher.
In Funny Car, Gainesville winner Matt Hagan knocked off Alexis DeJoria in the semifinals, setting up a marquee matchup. The other semifinal included J.R. Todd, who put together a strong showing in Gainesville and was the runner-up, and Chad Green. Others to watch in Phoenix include defending race winner Hight, Ron Capps, who has won back-to-back world titles, John Force and Cruz Pedregon.
The NHRA Arizona Nationals also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, featuring some of the top racers in the country. A big tire/small tire shootout will take place during the weekend, while fans can also look forward to exciting performances from the Little Red Fire Truck driven by Mike Mantell following nitro qualifying on Friday and the Hemi Under Glass wheelstander on Saturday. The Team “Muy Caliente” and “Wicked Sinsation” Jet Cars will also make exhibition runs, along with a fuel altered exhibition on Saturday. An autograph session will take place on Saturday at the Toyota Display with Toyota-sponsored drivers, as will a special autograph session featuring participants in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge.
Fans will also be invited all weekend long to the Nitro Alley Stage, which will help create a festive atmosphere leading into the nitro pits. The Nitro Alley Stage will be the main entertainment hub in the pits when the Camping World Drag Racing Series competitors are not on the track, hosting Nitro School, meet and greets, music and much more.
Race fans at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park 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 event winners of the last appearance in Phoenix.
As always, fans also get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in Phoenix. This 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.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 4:30 p.m. MT on Friday, March 24, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, March 25 at 12 and 3 p.m. The finals of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge take place at the end of final qualifying in each category on Saturday. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. MT on Sunday, March 25. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 9:30 p.m. ET. on Friday and 12 p.m. on Sunday, leading into eliminations at 7 p.m. ET.
To purchase tickets to the final NHRA Arizona Nationals, fans can visit www.NHRA.com/tickets. Children 12 and under are free in general admission areas with the purchase of an adult ticket. For more information on NHRA, please visit www.NHRA.com.
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 enable us to connect with our customers as stewards of the RV enthusiast community and the RV lifestyle. With RV sales and service locations in 42 states, Camping World has grown to become the 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 21 national events featuring the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series, Flexjet NHRA Factory Stock Showdown™ and Top Fuel Harley Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and NHRA Street Legal™. 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 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 In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip 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