ENNIS, TX – October 11, 2023 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – With three races left during the 2023 season in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, Steve Torrence is still very much alive in the Top Fuel championship chase. The four-time world champion trails Doug Kalitta by just 51 points heading into the final stretch of the Countdown to the Championship.
That final three-race span starts at this weekend’s 38th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex, which is the main event of the legendary track’s Stampede of Speed. It’s also a key race for Torrence for a multitude of reasons. It’s the home race for the Texas native and it’s been a race filled with family and friends for the last several years.
Torrence has won in Dallas twice in his 11,000-horsepower Capco Contractors dragster and knowing the magnitude of the event as it fits into the NHRA playoff picture, the veteran knows how big a win would be. Doing it in front of a massive amount of family and friends has always made it that much sweeter for Torrence, but it would also go a long way in helping him try to secure a fifth world championship.
“There’s always are pros and cons to racing at home,” Torrence said. “The good thing is we’ll have a lot of friends, a lot of fans and a lot of members of our CAPCO family out there supporting us. The downside is the distractions that come with all that. You can’t let all the extra attention keep you from doing what needs to be done. You have to prioritize, manage your time and keep things in perspective and that’s not always easy to do. That’s where these CAPCO boys give us the advantage. We’ve been down this road together a lot of times and we know what it takes to win. We just have to focus and do what we do.”
Justin Ashley (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) took home victories last season to close out the Stampe of Speed. This year’s race will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) and marks the third of six events in the Countdown to the Championship, and the 19th of 21 races in 2023.
The action kicks off in a major way with “Friday Night Live,” as the quickest pass under the lights on Friday at the famed Texas Motorplex will net Top Fuel and Funny Car stars $15,000 each in bonus money, with $7,500 going to the top Friday qualifier in Pro Stock and $5,000 in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Torrence would love to pick that up and then end the weekend with his second victory this season.
To do so won’t be easy as faces off with the likes of Kalitta, Leah Pruett, who is 47 points out of first, Ashley, a six-time winner in 2023, Antron Brown, Mike Salinas and defending world champion Brittany Force. Torrence, though, knows all about rising to the occasion in these moments as he looks to pick up a third win at the Texas NHRA FallNationals.
“Like I’ve said so many times, it’s going to go right down to the wire,” Torrence said. “We’re halfway through (the playoffs) and there are five drivers who still have a legit shot. My guys did a great job of getting us back in the hunt on race day (in St. Louis). I like where I’m sitting with these CAPCO boys behind me and the Countdown coming home to Texas.”
Reigning Funny Car world champion Capps defeated Matt Hagan in the 2022 Dallas final, giving Capps his second consecutive Dallas win and third from the facility. In a tight four-car race, Capps trails points leader Bob Tasca III by 33 points. Robert Hight is just six points back, while Matt Hagan is third and is a mere 13 points behind.
Enders, a Texas native, wowed fans all throughout 2022 by collecting 10 NHRA titles en route to her fifth Pro Stock world championship. One of those 10 victories was her 2022 Texas NHRA FallNationals win, helping her clinch a championship a race later. She’s the current points leader, but has plenty of competition, including Greg Anderson, who is 25 points behind, and Matt Hartford, who trails Enders by 38 points.
Pro Stock Motorcycle veteran Arana Jr. picked up his first win from Dallas last year, but everyone is chasing points leader Gaige Herrera, who has an incredible eight wins in 2023. He holds a 99-point lead over reigning world champ Matt Smith, with Arana Jr. in third and Eddie Krawiec in fourth, 129 points back of his teammate.
The Texas NHRA FallNationals 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 penultimate race of the season in Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown. The weekend will also include the Jr. Dragster Shootout, as well as a jet dragster and wheelstander exhibition after nitro qualifying on Friday.
Fans will also be treated to the JEG’s Allstar event, which pits sportsman racers from across the country against each other for the ultimate drag racing battle. The popular competition will take place at the famed Texas Motorplex for the first time and the unique specialty race is one of most highly-anticipated events of the year.
Race fans at Texas Motorplex 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 Texas NHRA FallNationals event winners.
Leading into the race, fans can take part in several events as part of the Stampede for Speed, including NHRA Fall Nationals professional testing (October 11), Champions’ Dinner (October 11, 6pm) and the NHRA FanFest in downtown Waxahachie (October 12), where fans can meet and get autographs from all the top stars in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.
Fans are invited to the Nitro Alley Stage all weekend, which will help create a festive atmosphere leading into Nitro Alley. 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 and much more. As always, fans get a pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. Fans can see their favorite teams in action and servicing their hot rods between rounds, get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers, and more. They can also visit NHRA’s Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, merchandise, food, and fun.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. CT on Friday, Oct. 13, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 12:00 p.m. CT on Sunday, Oct. 16. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday and as well as action from eliminations at 3 p.m.
To purchase tickets to the Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex, call 800-668-6775 or visit tickets.texasmotorplex.com. Children 12 and under are admitted free in general admissions areas with a paid adult. For more information about NHRA, visit www.nhra.com.
About Camping World Holdings, Inc.
Camping World Holdings, Inc., headquartered in Lincolnshire, IL, (together with its subsidiaries) is the World’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. 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 employees 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 43 states, Camping World has grown to become the prime destination 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, FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports, 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