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NHRA New England Nationals: Weekend Preview

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via NHRA

The second half of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season sees the stars of Top Fuel and Funny Car head north to New Hampshire, as New England Dragway hosts the NHRA New England Nationals. The 13th of 24 rounds on the season has become a staple of the busy summer months for the series, and will see the sport’s top drivers return to action after taking the last weekend off.

Steve Torrence’s utter domination of the sport continued last time out at Summit Motorsports Park, where Torrence won his sixth race of the past seven. After Mike Salinas snapped Torrence’s five-race winning streak at Bristol Dragway, the defending Top Fuel champion took down Pat Dakin in the final from Norwalk to extend his lead in the standings.

Don’t expect the momentum to fade, either, as Torrence won in New England last year. He’s now more than 400 points up on the field, including closest rivals Doug Kalitta and Brittany Force. Antron Brown is fourth in the championship, though he’s still pursuing his first Wally of 2019; Salinas completes the top five, just 28 points behind Kalitta for second. A single timely elimination could completely shake up the standings behind Torrence.

On the Funny Car side of the paddock, the classic battle of American muscle continues at the head of the field. Teammates Robert Hight and John Force have their Chevrolet Camaros 1-2 in points, but the Don Schumacher Racing Dodges of Tommy Johnson Jr., Jack Beckman, and Ron Capps complete the top five, and Bob Tasca III’s Ford Mustang has led the New Englander to two straight Wallys heading into his home race. Only defending champion JR Todd’s Kalitta Racing Toyota in sixth currently breaks up the group.

The NHRA New England Nationals will air live on FS1 on Sunday at 1PM ET. After Sunday’s eliminations, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series takes another weekend off before returning to action on July 19-21 at Bandimere Speedway in Colorado. The Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals will see the return of both Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, which last competed two weeks ago in Norwalk.

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