Maple Grove begins NHRA Countdown to the Championship

After 18 races, the Countdown to the Championship for NHRA drivers begins this weekend at Maple Grove Raceway located in Mohnton, Pennsylvania, marking the 35th race at the dragway.

Flashing back to the big race in Indianapolis, John Force scored his 16th Indy win and the 151st of his career. Doug Kalitta picked up the first Indy win of his career while Alex Laughlin won in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

With Indy behind them, the NHRA drivers will now set their sights on the championship with just six races remaining on the schedule.

Here’s a rundown on who is competing for the championship.

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The competitors in the Top Fuel class include Steve Torrence, Doug Kalitta, Antron Brown, Brittany Force, Mike Salinas, Clay Millican, Leah Pritchett, Austin Prock, Richie Crampton and Billy Torrence.

The Funny Car division will see Robert Hight, Force, Tommy Johnson Jr., Jack Beckman, Ron Capps, Matt Hagan, Bob Tasca III, J.R. Todd, Shawn Langdon and Tim Wilkerson rounding out the 10 drivers competing for the championship in that division.

Bo Bunter, Alex Laughlin, Jason Line, Greg Anderson, Erica Enders, Deric Kramer, Matt Hartford, Jeg Coughlin Jr, Chris McGaha and Val Smeland will all compete for the Pro Stock championship.

The Pro Motorcycle class will feature Andrew Hines, Eddie Krawiec, Matt Smith, Hector Arana Jr., Jerry Savoie, Karen Stoffer, Angie Smith, Angelle Sampey, Ryan Oehler and Hector Arana. With that in mind, all classes will be in play this weekend in Pennsylvania at Maple Grove Raceway.

Looking at the stats for the event, Force holds the record for Funny Car wins with seven, Sampey with six in Pro Stock Motorcycle, Tony Schumacher with five wins in Top Fuel and Jeg Coughlin and Warren Johnson with four each, in Pro Stock.

The NHRA drivers have been racing at Maple Grove Raceway for 35 years since their first race dating back to 1985. During that first event, Don Garlits won in Top Fuel, Tim Grose in Funny Car and Bruce Allen in Pro Stock.

The winners in last year’s event were Torrence in Top Fuel, J.R. Todd in Funny Car, Vincent Nobile in Pro Stock and Hector Arana Jr. in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Race weekend begins on Thursday with Lucas Oil Series qualifying and will then transition on Friday to Mello Yello Series qualifying at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. ET. On Saturday, the Lucas Oil Series will have their eliminations while the Mello Yello Series continues qualifying at 12:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. ET.

Pre-race ceremonies are slated for 10 a.m. ET with eliminations beginning at 11 a.m. ET.

Fox Sports 1 will have television coverage at 7 p.m.ET for Friday qualifying, Saturday at 1 p.m. ET with one-hour qualifying. Then, at 2 p.m ET, race fans will see three hours of the finals.

Countdown to the Championship Points rundown:

Top Fuel

  1. Steve Torrence
  2. Doug Kalitta, -20
  3. Antron Brown, -30
  4. Brittany Force, -40
  5. Mike Salinas, -50
  6. Clay Millican, -60
  7. Leah Pritchett, -70
  8. Austin Prock, -80
  9. Richie Crampton, -90
  10. Billy Torrence, -100

Funny Car

  1. Robert Hight
  2. John Force, -20
  3. Tommy Johnson Jr, -30
  4. Jack Beckman, -40
  5. Ron Capps, -50
  6. Matt Hagan, -60
  7. Bob Tasca III, -70
  8. J.R. Todd, -80
  9. Shawn Langdon, -90
  10. Tim Wilkerson, -100

Pro Stock

  1. Bo Butner
  2. Alex Laughlin, -20
  3. Jason Line, -30
  4. Greg Anderson, -40
  5. Erica Enders, -50
  6. Deric Kramer, -60
  7. Matt Hartford, -70
  8. Jeg Coughlin Jr, -80
  9. Chris McGaha, -90
  10. Val Smeland, -100

Pro Stock Motorcycle

  1. Andrew Hines
  2. Eddie Krawiec, -20
  3. Matt Smith, -30
  4. Hector Arana Jr, -40
  5. Jerry Savoie, -50
  6. Karen Stoffer, -60
  7. Angie Smith, -70
  8. Angelle Sampey, -80
  9. Ryan Oehler, -90
  10. Hector Arana, -100

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