Lady Pro racers came ever to close to a clean sweep at NHRA New England!….

Brittany Force raced to the Top Fuel victory during the fifth annual NHRA New England Nationals held at scenic New England Dragway.

2X NHRA World Champion Erica Enders won in Pro Stock and Courtney Force placed runner in the Funny Car class when Matt Hagan edged by her in that championship final round. The New England Nationals was the ninth of 24 events for the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Brittany Force won for the 4th time in her Top Fuel racing career

Force earned the fourth victory of her career and first of the season with a pass of 3.716 seconds at 328.62 mph in her Monster Energy dragster to defeat Antron Brown who ran a 3.728 at 327.98 in his Matco Tools dragster in the final round.

“We figured things out in Topeka and I felt like we had our team back so we knew our first win would be right around the corner,” Force said. “The key to it all is our team sticking together and not giving up, and it definitely paid dividends today.”

Force qualified second for the event and defeated Steve Chrisman, Troy Coughlin Jr., Shawn Langdon and Brown on her way to the victory. Force now sits at sixth in the points standings and is the fifth Top Fuel winner of the season. Brown defeated Shawn Reed, Scott Palmer and points leader Leah Pritchett before reaching his fourth final round of the season.

Hagan powered to the 25th victory of his career and third of the season with a 3.897 pass at 332.59 in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger Funny Car to defeat Courtney Force who ran a 3.927 at 332.34 in her Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro.

“I knew we had a great racecar today and the conditions were great so we knew we were better than our qualifying times,” Hagan said. “Everything went the way it should have today, and things seemed to fall in place for us.”

Matt Hagan collected his 25th career title in NHRA Funny Car racing.

After qualifying fourth, he defeated 16-time world champion John Force, Del Worsham and teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. before facing off with Courtney Force in the final. Hagan won the first two events of the season in Pomona and Phoenix and currently sits second in the points standings behind teammate Ron Capps who ended a four-race win streak when he fell to C. Force in the semifinal round.

Courtney Force’s runner-up finish was an amazing event accomplishment for her JFR team which bounced back strongly from a very major and violent top end engine explosion which happened in the first qualifying session.

Former Pro Stock world champion Enders secured her 22nd career victory and first since the fall Las Vegas event in 2015 with a 6.534 at 213.16 in her Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro to defeat rookie Tanner Gray who ran a 6.550 at 212.06 in his Gray Motorsports Chevy Camaro.

For Erica’s team it was her first win within the new EFI era for the Pro Stock class.

Erica Enders-Stevens roared to her first win in the new NHRA Pro Stock EFI era

“Today is a culmination of everything that happened over the past year and a half, since 2016 was tough for us,” said Enders of the importance of today’s victory. “It’s so awesome to have a team that has my back and it is absolutely the reason why I am able to drive the way I drive.”

Enders now sits at sixth in the standings and is the seventh different Pro Stock winner of the season. After qualifying second, Enders defeated reigning world champion Jason Line and points leader Bo Butner before knocking off Gray. Gray lined up against Val Smeland and Drew Skillman before reaching his third final round of the season.

Canada’s Smax Smith earned what was arguabley his biggest round win ever — he upset Tony Schumacher in round one!

The event’s weekend racing card also included some added attraction eliminators featuring Top Fuel Harley, Pro Stock Snowmobile and for the first time ever in NHRA national event racing – the X275 category.

Tii Tharpe won in Top Fuel Harley, Dean Marinis in the X-275 and Frank Berard in Pro Stock Snowmobile. Tharpe went 6.248 at 227.96 mph to end Rickey House’s day, and Marinis, Whetstone, N.Y., downed Robert Baptista. Berard held off Canadian racer and 2X and defending event champion Tiina Duncanson in a close 8.354 to 8.363 final round.

Top Fuel Harley winner – Tii Tharpe

Racing his Ford Mustang -Dean Marinis prevailed in NHRA’s first ever X275 class eliminator.

The Lucas Oil Lowdown   

Super Stock winner – Bryon Worner

Vermont’s John Benoit was a popular winner in Top Sportsman racing his stunning C7 Corvette

Twin brothers Byron and Bryan Worner faced off for the Super Stock title at the NHRA New England Nationals and the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series with Byron taking the win, the trophy, and bragging rights at the dinner table. John Labbous also won in Super Gas to continue his racing dominance this year.

Byron, Duncannon, Pa., got the jump off the line by about two-hundredths of a second, then ran 9.736 seconds for the win in his ’94 Camaro forcing Bryan to run too quick at 10.184 on the 10.22 dial. The win was Byron’s fifth to tie him with Bryan at the national event level.

Labbous, White House, Tenn., grabbed his third national event win of the year and second in Super Gas taking out Chuck Rothermel, Kinderhook, N.Y. With four over all wins in Super Gas and three more in Super Comp, Labbous sits on top of the national point’s standings in both classes.

Deborah DiGenova and Brian Sawyer each pocketed their first national wins in their first final rounds while Rich Dorr won his first national event NHRA Wally trophy in his third final round. Local racer DiGenova, Derry, N.H., won in Top Dragster presented by Racing RVs holding off No. 1 qualifier Scott Hall out of Ledyard, Conn. DiGenova was out first and held on with a 6.826 second lap at 194.60 mph to the hard charging Hall who broke out with a 6.191, 219.65.

Sawyer, Lunenburg, Mass., won a close one in Super Street beating Karri Khoury to the finish by about four feet in his ’67 Camaro and Dorr, Watertown, N.Y., topped Raymond Fredricks in a double break out for the Super Comp win.

The final in Top Sportsman presented by Racing RVs went back and forth as John Benoit had the early lead on two-time defending event champion Matt Harper who overtook Benoit only to see Benoit come back around at the strip for the win. Benoit, Montpelier, Vt., posted a run of 6.444 at 213.03 mph in his ’16 Corvette to Harper’s 7.441, 178.74. The win was Benoit’s first in Top Sportsman and second at the national level

Rounding out the winners were David Ficacci in Stock. Ficacci, Whippany, N.J., defeated the red lighting Thomas Auger in his ’94 Camaro.

Debra DiGenova was a first time national event winner in Top Dragster

John Labbous Jr won in Super Gas with his Corvette

The Super Street (10.90) title went to Brian Sawyer

Posted with files by NHRA Communications and Bruce Biegler
Photos by Bruce Biegler – Steve Embling – Dave DeAngelis

Connect to DragRaceCanada’s New England Event photo gallery : HERE