Veteran racer Cruz Pedregon collects his first Funny Car victory in more then three years….

Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won in their respective categories at Summit Racing Equipment Nationals, the seventh race of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season. 

Pedregon, who last won in 2018, held off Tasca in the final round in his 11,000-horsepower Snap-on Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, earning the holeshot win on a run of 3.958-seconds at 324.75 mph. It is the 37th career victory for the two-time world champ, who was understandably emotional in his winner’s circle celebration.

“It’s not why I drag race, but this will keep me drag racing,” Pedregon said. “It’s a good team and I felt like I was kind of holding my team back a little, but I dug deep. You work your way into winning again and these guys taught me to be in that winning mode. It feels good to be back at it. This win means I’m as good as the car, and I know we have a good car, so I think I can be there for the car as well.”

Cruz Pedregon’s win was the 37th of his career – but his first in 3 seasons.

Pedregon reached the final round, his first since the race he won in 2018 and 77th overall, thanks to round wins over Tim Wilkerson, Robert Hight and Alexis DeJoria. Tasca went to his third final round in 2021 and 19th in his career after victories against Blake Alexander, John Force and No. 1 qualifier Ron Capps. Tasca remained in the points lead, while Pedregon moved to seventh.

Top Fuel points leader Steve Torrence built on his impressive lead in the class by racing to his third win in Norwalk in the past four events at the facility, beating Brittany Force in a close side-by-side race. Torrence was first off the starting line, allowing his run of 3.736 at 313.88 to hold up over Force’s quicker 3.730 at 326.24. It gave Torrence his fourth win this year and 44th in his career in his 11,000-horsepower Capco Contractors dragster. He advanced to the final round by knocking off Shawn Langdon, Leah Pruett and Austin Prock, slipping past Force to grab his third win in the past four races this year.

Series points leader Steve Torrence continued to build on his impressive lead – winning for 4X this season.

“These wins really mean a lot,” Torrence said. “I had to get out and apologize to Brittany because I did not mean to go up there and double-bulb (her). I’ve been known to do some creative stuff on the tree, but I wasn’t trying to do that today. You just have to stay focused and be ready. Those Capco boys, they’ve done a great job and I’m so proud and honored to be in the position I’m in. To be part of this, it’s humbling. This car is unreal right now, and (crew chiefs) Bobby Lagana and Richard Hogan, those guys are awesome.”

Force powered to her second final this year and 25th overall by getting past Mike Bucher, Justin Ashley and Antron Brown. She also set the track E.T. record with an impressive run of 3.696 at 326.09 in her semifinal win.

In a must-see matchup of longtime rivals, Erica Enders used a .005 reaction time to beat Greg Anderson in the Pro Stock final in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. That allowed her run of 6.606 at 205.44 to hold up against Anderson’s quicker 6.594 at 206.20, denying Anderson the chance to tie Warren Johnson for the most wins in Pro Stock history (97). It gave back-to-back world champ Enders her second win this season and 31st in her career and a thoroughly satisfying victory in a race featuring a pair of four-time world champions.

Defending world champ Erica Enders notched her 2nd win of 2021 in Pro Stock.

“This is huge mojo. My team, they always step up to the plate,” Enders said. “After the semifinals, we knew we had to tune it up and we came back and made a bunch of changes. I’m just thrilled and I’m really proud of this team. I couldn’t be more excited and I couldn’t be more proud.”

Enders reached the final round, the 57th in her career, by knocking off Cristian Cuadra, Bruno Massel and Kyle Koretsky. Anderson, who qualified No. 1 for the sixth time in seven races, beat Fernando Cuadra, Val Smeland and Matt Hartford en route to his fourth final this year and 162nd in his career. He maintained the points lead, while Enders moved up to second.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Matt Smith set the track E.T. record in the final round on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/Matt Smith Racing EBR, going 6.782 at 200.56 to beat Steve Johnson. Smith picked up his second win this season and 28th in his impressive career, as the defending world champ built on his points lead. To reach the final round, Smith took out Jianna Salinas, Ryan Oehler and Eddie Krawiec, dialing up his best round of the weekend — and the quickest in Pro Stock Motorcycle history at Norwalk — to deny Johnson of his second straight victory.

Matt Smith set the track E.T. record while winning in Pro Stock Motorcycle

Johnson moved to second in points by advancing to his third final in 2021 and 25th in his career. He had round wins over Jim Underdahl, Angie Smith and Joey Gladstone.

Pro Mod Portal

After qualifying in the top spot to start the day at the 14th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series driver Jose Gonzalez took home the win at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.

The Norwalk event marked the fourth race of the 2021 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service season, and with today’s victory, Gonzalez currently sits second in the points standings.

Jose Gonzalez qualified #1 and won the race in Pro Mod.

His journey to the winner’s circle began when he defeated Alex Laughlin in the opening round. He then took down Mike Castellana in the quarterfinals and later Doug Winters in the semifinal round. It was his 5.723-second pass at 250.09 mph over points leader Brandon Snider.

Snider, the No. 7 seed, defeated Justin Jones, Lyle Barnett and Jerico Balduf en route to his first final round of the season.

The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series including the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, returns to action July 16-18 with the Dodge//SRT Mile-High NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Bandimere Speedway in Denver — the first race of the NHRA’s famed annual Western Swing.

The Lucas Oil Lowdown

NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing series racing at Norwalk produced a first time winner within the highly competitive Top Alcohol Dragster class.

Matt Cummings (from Florida) took full advantage of his opportunity to drive the McPhillips Racing injected nitro car to win his first NHRA nationals title in his first final round. Matt roared to a final round 5.206 secs to 5.240 secs win light over Karen Stalba.

TAD winner Matt Cummings – won for the first time.

TAFC class racing saw DJ Cox win for the second time in his career. His final round opponent – Bob McCosh – had a red light foul start.

DJ Cox won his 2nd career national event title in TAFC

Anthony Bertozzi’s multi car race team cleaned up in Lucas Oil Series level racing – with his owned cars winning 3 titles. Bertozzi (who is from Virginia) won himself in Super Stock with his SS/AS ’98 Grand Am – which was his 25th career score in NHRA national event competition. Joe Santangelo was the winner in Stock with the team’s high flying B/SA ’69 Camaro and John Labbous Jr., won in the Super Comp (8.90) index class.

Anthony Bertozzi earned a milestone 25th career win in NHRA nationals racing!

Jeremy Mason was the S/G class winner taking his Chevy Nova past Canadian Jason Kenny who had a red light in that final round.

Joe Santangelo scored in Stock with this classic ’69 Camaro B/SA
Jeremy Mason was the Super Gas 9.90 winner

Bruno Massel claimed the Competition eliminator title taking his super popular turbocharged 4-cylinder Chevy to that title. It was Massel’s 12th career win.

Bruno Massel won in Comp with his CC/TA Chevy Cobalt

Vortech Superchargers presented eliminations for Top Dragster and Top Sportsman.

Alan Kenny (a native of Kingston ON) won the T/D class defeating Anthony Bertozzi. That was Al’s 9th win within NHRA national event level. Curt Fredrich, racing a nitrous injected Chevy Camaro, came away with the event’s hard fought TS championship – his 2nd career win.

TS winner – Curt Fredrich

The Factory Stock Showdown (Presented by Constant Aviation) featured an all Ford Cobra Jet final with Chuck Watson running a super quick 7.761, 177.63 to defeat Bill Skillman in the final round.

Chuck Watson defeated Bill Skillman in the all Mustang Cobra Jet final round for the Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown title.

Posted with files by NHRA Communications & Bruce Biegler

Photos by Dave DeAngelis & Courtesy Auto Imagery

Link to the LMLCMedia Summit Racing Equipment Nationals photo gallery: HERE