Speciality event results from the NHRA U.S. Nationals race card weekend….

Continued Dominate

The fastest vintage Super Stock cars in the world did battle for annual bragging rights and bonus purse during the Dodge HEMI Challenge held on Friday. 14-machines were entered with the final round taking place at centre sage just prior to the opening round of FC and Top Fuel qualifying.

Driving his 1968 Plymouth Barracuda – it was Steve Comella continuing his mastery of the event winning the title for the 3rd year in a row. Comella outran Jim Daniels’ 1968 Dodge Dart in the final by a 8.331 secs 161.56 mph to 8.399 secs 159.32 mph margin.

Comella had defeated James Hensler and Gary Wolkowitz in earlier competition and also had low ET >  a stout 8.313 secs.

Steve Comella collected a 3rd straight Dodge Hemi Challenge title at Indy.

For his win Comella pocketed $15,000 plus a special edition Dodge Hemi Challenge trophy. The special event has been a staple of the U.S. Nationals since being first conceived back in 2001.

Comp Cash Clash

Sportsman racing at Indy did include the debut for a special bonus race for Competition eliminator class racers the all new Rooftec NHRA Competition Eliminator Cash Clash.

That event held during Friday’s schedule featuring a total purse of $50,000 with the winner in the 16-car field earning $30,000.

The final round came down to a battle between two Texas based drivers with Don Thomas’s C/DA defeating Chase Williams.

Don Thomas won the inaugural Rooftec NHRA Competition Eliminator Cash Clash event.

#2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge 

Saturday’s final round results from the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge event were highlighted by a win for Funny Car legend John Force who claimed his first win within this speciality event series – newly debuted in 2023. Justin Ashley (Top Fuel), Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge titles at the world’s biggest drag race – Indy edition.

Mission #2Fast2Tasty Top Fuel Challenge — Justin Ashley, 3.714 seconds, 334.73 mph def. Antron Brown, 3.856 seconds, 321.50 mph.

Mission #2Fast2Tasty Funny Car Challenge — John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.989, 328.78 def. Ron Capps, Toyota GR Supra, 4.844, 163.75.

Mission #2Fast2Tasty Pro Stock Challenge — Aaron Stanfield, Chevy Camaro, 6.630, 207.56 def. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.644, 207.05.

Mission #2Fast2Tasty Pro Stock Motorcycle Challenge — Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.759, 199.11 def. Eddie Krawiec, Suzuki, 6.822, 199.29.

Legendary driver John Force won his first ever Mission #Fast2Tasty event.

Justin Ashley collected his 6th (!) Mission #2Fast#Tasty Top Fuel win of the season.

Factory Fantastic

Jesse Alexandra and his Barton Chevy COPO Camaro picked their second straight Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown victory at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

In the finals, Alexandra faced-off with Stephen Bell and his Stanfield Racing Engines COPO Camaro. Alexandra would get the hole shot victory by leaving the line first with a 0.019-second reaction time that combined with his 7.831-second pass at 175.05 mph would be just enough to defeat Bell and his 0.048 reaction time with a 7.811 pass at 177.60 mph.

“This is great. I wish my wife, Lana, was here with me. This is crazy to win the U.S. Nationals again. This was such a big field in the Flexjet Factory Showdown this week with lots of real heavy hitting competitors.”

Jesse Alexandra won the FlexJet Factory Showdown event with his COPO Camaro.

With the win, Alexandra also had a $1,000 pay day for beating Bell, the previous event winner, through the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown Bounty Program.

To get to the finals, Alexandra defeated Richard Ingram, Scott Libersher, Joe Welch and Aaron Stanfield.

The quickest run for the FS/XX cars at Indy was credited to Anthony Berge (COPO Camaro) at 7.734 secs (low qualifer) and the fastest speed was recorded by Dodge Challenger driver Mark Pawak (181.84 mph).

The Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown competition continues next at the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, PA. September 14-17.

A Brand New Eliminator

NHRA’s all new class concept – Factory X (presented by Holley), a new category (reserved for late model 2019 and newer manufactured automobiles) — had its first official race.

With just limited entries so far for the new early development class – the winning driver did receive the category’s first-ever awarded Wally.

Greg Stanfield was the winner of NHRA’s first ever Factory X – eliminator offering.

Four competitors – Greg Stanfield, Allen Johnson, Chris Holbrook and Jim Cowan – made up the field this weekend for the “Big Go”.

That final round saw Greg Stanfield drive his Camaro to victory over the Ford Mustang entered by Chris Holbrook.  Stanfield (from Louisiana) ran a winning 7.254 secs at 191.73 mph. He had also set low ET and top speed of the event earlier at 7.236 secs 191.95 mph.

At the race NHRA officials also announced the incentive program — “Jesel 200 MPH Club” — which will award the first driver to make a 200-mph run $10,000 for the category and then with seven additional drivers earning a cash payout for hitting the 200-mph mark.

All-Star Call Out King

Sunday’s event schedule at the Dodge Power Brokers US Nationals did include the 2023 edition Pep Boys All Star Call out event held for a very elite group of fuel Funny Car drivers.

Robert Hight emerged victorious for that lucrative 8-car specialty eliminator when he wheeled his Cornwell Tools/AAA Chevy Camaro to a 3.955 secs 321.58 mph to 3.979 secs 322.58 mph final round decision over Matt Hagan.

Hight had raced his machine past Ron Capps and Cruz Pedregon in earlier rounds and also had low ET and top speed for the competiton @ 3.935 secs 324.44 mph.

“It’s amazing to get this,” Hight said. “Hagan really stepped up in the final round. We made the right decisions today, went out and did the job today.”

Robert Hight collected a cool $80G by winning the Pep Boys All Star Call Out event – held on Sunday.

Posted with files by NHRA Communications, Elon Werner and Bruce Biegler
Photos by Steve Embling & Courtesy of NHRA