Our planet’s premier drag racing sanctioning body celebrates amazing milestone mark….

Steve Torrence picked up his 50th career Top Fuel win and moved a step closer to his fourth straight world championship, rolling to the victory at the Dodge//SRT NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Dallas Glenn (Pro Stock) and Steve Johnson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won at the 19th of 20 races during the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the sixth race in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. The race was also the 1,000 race in NHRA history.

Torrence drove his 11,000-horsepower Capco Contractors dragster to a 10th win in his impressive 2021 season, powering to a run of 3.717-seconds at 329.50 mph in the final round against Mike Salinas, who went 3.737 at 314.24 and was after his second straight victory. To reach the final round, the points leader took out Jim Maroney, Tripp Tatum and Justin Ashley and then posted a wire-to-wire win against Salinas. Torrence was impressive on the starting line in the championship round and it led to another victory in his dominant 2021 campaign, as the Texan will now take a 105-point lead into the final race of the season.

Steve Torrence continued his incredible winning ways in NHRA Top Fuel – winning his 50th career national event.

“It’s truly unbelievable,” Torrence said. “It was just a great weekend for us and we just had to do our job. They told me to go and do my job and when they stand behind you like that, it’s truly the definition of a team. We’ll go to Pomona and see if we can get it done. I’ve really tried to focus on doing my job and not letting things get into my head. You hear all the stuff and you know what’s going on, but you have to tune that out. At the end of the day, we’re racing ourselves, so you have to be comfortable in that. Today, I was able to do my job and it’s a huge confidence-booster going into Pomona.”

Salinas reached his second straight final round and ninth in his career thanks to victories against Doug Kalitta, Billy Torrence and Brittany Force in a thrilling semifinal round. Salinas moved to third in points, while Force stayed in second heading to the finale in Pomona.

Pedregon stayed in the championship hunt in Funny Car, taking out points leader Ron Capps in the final round with a run of 4.257 at 225.03 in his 11,000-horsepower Snap-On Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. Capps ran into trouble almost immediately in the championship round, as Pedregon cruised to his second victory this season and 38th in his career. To reach the final round, Pedregon got by Tony Jurado, Chris Morel and Bob Tasca III, enjoying another memorable moment in his bounce-back season. Pedregon will go to Pomona third overall and 83 points out of first with a shot at his third career world championship in Funny Car.

Cruz Pedregon stayed in the hunt for the NHRA fuel FC title – winning his 3rd event for 2021.

“I dropped a couple of races due to holeshots and I feel like we had a better race car than what we’ve shown,” Pedregon said. “I drove well today and we were able to answer the bell today. The car was so steady today. We have a good car and this team has been plugging away. The car runs right with everyone and it’s an honor to win the 1,000th NHRA race. I’m just glad to be a part of it. After winning today, we’re back in (the championship hunt). We just had to keep our nose to the grindstone and things worked out for us.”

Capps jumped back into the points lead in eliminations, knocking off Tim Wilkerson, No. 1 qualifier Alexis DeJoria and Robert Hight to reach the finals for the fifth time this season and 131st time in his career. He left Las Vegas with a 58-point lead over Matt Hagan as he seeks his second world title.

In Pro Stock, Glenn was nearly perfect on the starting line again in the final round, holding off defending world champ Erica Enders with a run of 6.660 at 204.60 in his RAD Torque Systems Chevrolet Camaro. It was another stellar moment in Glenn’s impressive rookie season, as he picked up his third victory this season. He reached the final round with victories against Aaron Stanfield, Kenny Delco and Mason McGaha and had to be almost flawless in the championship round against Enders. She posted a remarkable .005 reaction time with her run of 6.684 at 203.74, but Glenn was even better, going .001 on the starting line to pick up the meaningful victory.

Rookie sensation Dallas Glenn rolled his RAD Torque Systems sponsored Chevy Camaro to victory for the 3rd time in 2021.

“When I got by Aaron, I just relaxed and started clicking them off,” said Glenn, who posted a perfect .000 reaction time in a final round earlier this year. “I missed it a little in the semis against Mason and in the final, I was just trying to do everything I can. I had all the faith in this team and I knew the car was going to be good as long I did my job. I knew I was good on the tree, I hit all my shifts and I was just hoping the win light came on. It feels really good to go up there with a plan and then execute it.”
Enders reached the final round for the sixth time this year and 61st time in her career thanks to wins against Bo Butner, Matt Hartford and Troy Coughlin Jr. She also made up major ground on points leader Greg Anderson, who fell in the first round on Sunday. With both Anderson and Enders aiming for their fifth world title, Anderson will take a 32-point lead into Pomona, with Glenn 109 points back in third.

Johnson had a huge turnaround this weekend in Las Vegas, staying alive in the championship hunt with a run of 6.869 at 195.11 on his USA Electric Mac Rak Suzuki in his final round against Karen Stoffer, who left too early. After a miserable first-round loss at the most recent race in Bristol, Johnson bounced back in a major way, reaching the final round after defeating Charles Poskey, Angie Smith and Angelle Sampey. He then pulled off the win in the finals, picking up his third victory this season and ninth in the veteran’s career. Johnson also pulled within 20 points of Matt Smith with one race remaining in the 2021 campaign.

Steve Johnson’s 9th career win kept his NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle World Championship titles hope very much alive.

“It is very, very special to win this event, but it’s really about the championship,” Johnson said. “It took us 17 years to win our first national event and I’m a sucker for this sport. I really want to bring home a championship. I’d love to be a part of that championship fraternity and to be able to try to do it in our hometown is going to be really, really special.”

Stoffer reached the final round for the second straight race and 26th time in her career thanks to victories against Kelly Clontz, Jerry Savoie and M. Smith. Sampey also remains in championship contention, sitting 30 points behind Smith.

Late Season Sensation

Lyle Barnett capped off his rookie season in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service in impressive fashion, taking his second victory in three races. The event was the last of 11 events during the 2021 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season.

Lyle Barrett sped to victory in the E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod season finale race.

Barnett finished off a stellar season in his first year in the class, knocking off fellow first-year driver J.R. Gray in the final round with a run of 5.814-seconds at 253.56 mph in his turbocharger-powered Elite HP Camaro.

For more Pro Mod class racing detail from Las Vegas – visit our “Smokie’s Garage Pro Mod Portal” coverage: HERE (Coming Soon).

Constant Conclusion

As the 2021 Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown season came to a close at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the newly crowned Factory Stock Showdown champion Aaron Stanfield won for the second race in a row and third time in 2021.

The driver from Bossier City, Louisiana, drove his Janac Brothers-owned Chevrolet Camaro to four win lights and ended the season in dominant fashion at the 1,000 NHRA national event.

“This is our second win in a row and after winning the championship this is kind of icing on top,” said Stanfield, who entered the race as the No. 2 qualifier. “It was cool to get a win at the 1,000 NHRA event. I had a good race car all day. It was fast and consistent. We hopped it up just a little bit for Leah in the final round and it paid off.

Aaron Stanfield ended his dominating season driving theJanac Brothers-owned Chevrolet COPO – with another Factory Stock Showdown victory

In the first round he outran Dan Condon with his best run of the weekend, 7.900 seconds at 173.16 mph. In the second round he faced reigning U.S. Nationals champion Jesse Alexandra. Both cars launched together but it was Stanfield who had more power at the finish line getting the win 7.936 to 7.967 seconds, respectively.

Going into the semifinals Stanfield was up against Jason Dietrich. Dietrich got the jump off the line but once again Stanfield was able to reel his opponent in at the finish line to reach his fifth final of the season. Stanfield would face Leah Pruett in the final in a classic Chevrolet versus Dodge battle.

Stanfield was looking for his third win of the season and his fourth round win over Pruett. The Dodge Drag Pak and Pruett took a slight starting line advantage but by half-track Stanfield was pulling away for the win. When he crossed the finish line his scoreboard lit up with a winning time of 7.903 seconds at 173.49 mph.

“We have been working really hard to try and find some power the past couple of races,” said Stanfield. “Driving this Factory Stock Camaro is a blast. Our team puts blood sweat and tears into the program so to be able to see your hard work come to life is special. To get to race with family those are cool things that not many people get the opportunity to experience.”

Four drivers took their best shots at trying to take out Stanfield to collect the $1,000 Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown Bounty. For the first time in 2021 the bounty was not paid during one of the national events.

Las Vegas Lucas Oil Lowdown

It was all on the line during the final round for Top Alcohol Dragster class racing at Las Vegas when star female racers Rachel Meyer and Jackie Fricke faced off. Not only was it a dash to the highly prestigious event title – the win light would also determine the 2021 NHRA Lucas Oil World Championship.

Rachel, who had replaced her sister Megan as the driver for the NTK-sponsored Meyer Racing machine left no doubt however as she sped to both low ET and top speed of the race (5.191 secs and 281.01 mph) to win it all. Fricke ran 5.260 secs 270.16 mph.

It was all on the line in the TAD class final (top photo) – with Rachel Meyer coming out on top for NHRA Lucas Oil World Championship glory.

Sean Bellemeur also used the TAFC final to clinch his 3rd NHRA World Championship in that category. The driver of the Bartone Brothers Camaro defeated Brian Hough in the final hitting 5.535 secs at 265.17 mph. That was Bellemeur’s 5th win of the season.

Sean Bellemeur – driver of the Bartone Bros TAFC also clinched NHRA Lucas Oil World Championship when he won the final round at Las Vegas.

Lucas Oil Sportsman Racing Final Round Summary

Top Alcohol Dragster — Rachel Meyer, 5.191, 281.01 def. Jackie Fricke, 5.260, 270.16.

Top Alcohol Funny Car — Sean Bellemeur, Chevy Camaro, 5.535, 265.17 def. Brian Hough, Camaro, 5.973, 161.34.

Bruno Massel is a NHRA Lucas Oil World Champion for Competition eliminator – he certified that by winning with his CC/AT Cobalt.

Competition Eliminator — Bruno Massel, Cobalt, 7.099, 182.92 def. Dean Carter, Dragster, 6.994, 167.43.

Super Stock — Chris Hall, Chevy Camaro, 8.990, 150.46 def. Larry Zavala, Camaro, 9.899, 134.15.

Stock Eliminator — Justin Lamb, Chevy Camaro, 9.918, 131.14 def. Todd Hoven, Dodge Coronet, 9.986, 130.59.

Driving his RAD Torque Systems backed COPO – Justin Lamb won the Las Vegas (2) event for the 2nd straight year in Stock eliminator.

Super Comp — Steve Williams, Dragster, 9.052, 184.57 def. Cody Webber, Dragster, 9.031, 177.65.

Super Gas — Evan Kowalski, Chevy Corvette, 10.038, 154.17 def. Mike Ferderer, Pontiac Grand Am, 10.034, 161.83.

Evan Kowalski – racing his Chevy Corvette — won the Super Gas title.

Super Street — Nick Alejandre, Chevy Chevelle, 11.029, 139.17 def. Kenny Snow, Chevelle, 11.029, 142.19.

The S/ST final featured two first time finalists with Nick Alejandre (near lane) winning.

Summit Racing ET Racing National Championships — Final Round Summary

Summit Super Pro — Nick Smith, KLRC, 7.256, 182.50 def. Joseph Bagwell, 7.943, 170.95.

Summit Pro ET — Dan Cassie, Mercury Capri, 9.460, 140.37 def. Brandon Schmall, Chevy Beretta, 9.530, 133.78.

Summit Sportsman — Derrick Jackson, Chevy El Camino, 12.182, 105.82 def. Gary Hairfield, Chevy Corvette, 12.213, 108.44.

Summit ET Motorcycle — Garreth Sheppeard, Suzuki Hayabusa, 8.221, 177.30 def. Erik Crosby, Kawasaki Ninja, 9.418, 139.40.

Garreth Sheppeard on a Suzuki Hayabusa – is the 2021 Summit Racing ET World Champ for Motorcycles.

Posted with files by NHRA Communications – Elon Werner and Bruce Biegler
All Photos by Bob Johnson

To view our event photo gallery from the Dodge//SRT Nationals – visit LMLCMedia: HERE

The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series closes out the 2021 season on Nov. 11-14 with the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.