Brittany Force, Hagan, Enders win NHRA New England Nationals
Brittany Force raced to the Top Fuel victory at the fifth annual NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway, as Matt Hagan (Funny Car) and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) also notched victories.
Brittany 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.
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.”
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.
Two-time Pro Stock world champion Enders secured her 22nd career victory and first in 18 months 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.
“Today is a culmination of everything that happened over the past year and a half, since 2016 was tough for us,” said Enders. “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.
Final finish order at the fifth annual NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway
TOP FUEL: 1. Brittany Force; 2. Antron Brown; 3. Leah Pritchett; 4. Shawn Langdon; 5. Scott Palmer; 6. Troy Coughlin Jr.; 7. Steve Torrence; 8. Smax Smith; 9. Doug Kalitta; 10. Dom Lagana; 11. Clay Millican; 12. Tony Schumacher; 13. Steven Chrisman; 14. Shawn Reed; 15. Terry McMillen.
Final: Brittany Force, 3.716 seconds, 328.62 mph def. Antron Brown, 3.728 seconds, 327.98 mph
FUNNY CAR: 1. Matt Hagan; 2. Courtney Force; 3. Ron Capps; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 5. Cruz Pedregon; 6. Del Worsham; 7. Bob Tasca III; 8. Mike Smith; 9. J.R. Todd; 10. Robert Hight; 11. Jim Campbell; 12. Jack Beckman; 13. Alexis DeJoria; 14. John Force; 15. Tim Wilkerson; 16. Jeff Diehl.
Final: Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.897, 332.59 def. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.927, 332.34.
PRO STOCK: 1. Erica Enders; 2. Tanner Gray; 3. Bo Butner; 4. Drew Skillman; 5. Jason Line; 6. Kenny Delco; 7. Vincent Nobile; 8. Jeg Coughlin; 9. Allen Johnson; 10. John Gaydosh Jr; 11. Greg Anderson; 12. Alan Prusiensky; 13. Val Smeland; 14. Shane Tucker.
Final: Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.534, 213.16 def. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.550, 212.06.
Point standings after nine of 24 events in the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
TOP FUEL: 1. Leah Pritchett, 809; 2. Antron Brown, 775; 3. Steve Torrence, 746; 4. Tony Schumacher, 712; 5. Doug Kalitta, 571; 6. Brittany Force, 528; 7. Clay Millican, 466; 8. Troy Coughlin Jr., 379; 9. Terry McMillen, 359; 10. Scott Palmer, 328.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Ron Capps, 827; 2. Matt Hagan, 748; 3. Courtney Force, 564; 4. Robert Hight, 561; 5. John Force, 555; 6. Jack Beckman, 537; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr., 533; 8. J.R. Todd, 413; 9. Tim Wilkerson, 393; 10. Del Worsham, 341.
PRO STOCK: 1. Bo Butner, 750; 2. Tanner Gray, 715; 3. Greg Anderson, 682; 4. Jason Line, 630; 5. Jeg Coughlin, 627; 6. Erica Enders, 547; 7. Drew Skillman, 470; 8. Vincent Nobile, 466; 9. Chris McGaha, 421; 10. Shane Gray, 382.
Pritchett, Hight, T. Gray take No. 1 qualifiers Saturday at New England Nationals
NHRA reveals 24-race schedule for 2018