Blake Alexander Looks to Repeat Funny Car Success at this weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals

Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals logo [678]

NORWALK, OH – June 27, 2024 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Last year at Summit Motorsports Park, Blake Alexander joined an elite list of NHRA drivers to win in both NHRA nitro categories, picking up his first career Funny Car victory. He’ll look to repeat that win this weekend at the 18th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.

Alexander, driver of the 11,000-horsepower Pronto Auto Parts Ford Mustang, won last year’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals when he beat reigning world champion Matt Hagan in the final round, making him just the 18th driver in NHRA history to claim wins in both Funny Car and Top Fuel.

The win was even more meaningful for Alexander as “America’s Racetrack” was also where he won his first Top Fuel race at Norwalk in 2018. It’s a track that has always served him well and Alexander is hopeful for more success this weekend.

“I thought it was a really special day. I guess I really didn’t recognize it at the time, that I had done something exclusively and only a few people had done before,” Alexander said. “Then as time went on, I kind of noticed the fraternity of the drivers who had done it before and that makes it a lot more significant when you speak to those drivers. A lot of people come out here and try to do this, and not many people ultimately get it done.”

In 2023, Leah Pruett (Top Fuel), Alexander (Funny Car), Matt Hartford (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) all took home wins at an event that will again be broadcast on FOX and FS1, including eliminations on FOX starting at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday. It is the 10th of 20 races during the 2024 season and it’s a loaded weekend that includes a spectacular fireworks show after Friday qualifying, the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge on Saturday and eliminations on Sunday.

Alexander has three semifinal finishes on the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season, including last weekend in Richmond. It’s been a solid season for Alexander and his team, led by veteran tuner Jim Head, and he’s currently 10th in points.

This semifinal appearance also locks him into this weekend’s Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge on Saturday where he’ll meet up with Richmond runner-up Bob Tasca III. The other side of the ladder will see Richmond winner Austin Prock again meeting up with Hagan. Prock became the 19th driver to win in both categories earlier this year and the current points leader, while other standouts include Gainesville winner J.R. Todd, Cruz Pedregon, Daniel Wilkerson and Alexis DeJoria.

“With the Challenge on Saturdays, you have to bring even more energy,” Alexander said. “As a driver, there’s extra autograph sessions, pre-race stuff and it’s kind of like a race day when you’re involved in the Saturday event. You know you have to bring it and soon as Saturday ends, you’re back in the race-mode for Sunday. It’s a good thing and we’ll get a redemption shot against Tasca this weekend.”

Reigning champion Doug Kalitta currently leads the Top Fuel points, thanks to his three wins on the season, including last week in Richmond. Close behind is his teammate Shawn Langdon, who picked up wins in Gainesville and Phoenix and finished runner-up to Kalitta in Richmond. Also in the mix is Justin Ashley, Steve Torrence, Antron Brown, Tony Schumacher and Top Fuel newcomer Tony Stewart.

Hartford picked up his first Norwalk win last season when he defeated current points leader Dallas Glenn. To repeat that, he’ll have to get past Greg Anderson, reigning champion Erica Enders, Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Richmond winner Aaron Stanfield.

Arana was one of only four drivers to win in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class last season. Gaige Herrera, the 2023 champion, dominated for the bulk of the season, and is undefeated in 2024, winning an NHRA-record 10 straight races dating back to last year. Matt Smith, Angie Smith and Richard Gadson will try to unseat Herrera this weekend.

The event also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, as well as Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown and the new Holley EFI Factory X category. The Summit Racing Equipment Junior Drag Racing League Shootout will take place in Norwalk as well. After nitro qualifying on Friday, fans will be treated to an impressive fireworks display that has been a highlight of the event for several years.

Summit Motorsports Park also has some of the finest camping facilities and grounds on the tour, offering fans a great way to spend their weekend at the track, enjoy a memorable atmosphere and not miss a second of the action.

Fans will be invited all weekend long to the Nitro Alley Stage, which is the main entertainment hub in the pits, hosting Nitro School, meet and greets, music and much more. Race fans at Summit 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.

As always, fans get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in Norwalk. Fans get a unique chance to see teams in action and service their hot rods between rounds, get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers, and more. They can also visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.

NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 5 and 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, June 28 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, June 29 at 1:30 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, June 30. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, with eliminations coverage starting at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday on FS1, moving to FOX at 5 p.m..

To purchase tickets to the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, fans can visit www.summitmotorsportspark.com or call 419-668-5555. For more information about NHRA, visit www.nhra.com.

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About Mission Foods

MISSION®, owned by GRUMA, S.A.B. de C.V., is the world’s leading brand for tortillas and wraps. MISSION® is also globally renowned for flatbreads, dips, salsas and Mexican food products. With presence in over 112 countries, MISSION® products are suited to the lifestyles and the local tastes of each country. With innovation and customer needs in mind, MISSION® focuses on the highest quality, authentic flavors, and providing healthy options that families and friends can enjoy together. For more information, please visit https://www.missionfoods.com/

About NHRA

NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 20 national events featuring the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series and NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, as well as the Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+, NHRA Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown™, NHRA Holley EFI Factory X and Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage NHRA Mountain Motor Pro Stock at select national events. 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 110 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

NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series

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