|NOV. 13, 2022|
Chevrolet celebrates championships in season finale• Brittany Force races to second Top Fuel championship in record-setting performance• Erica Enders officially crowned Pro Stock champion for the fifth time in Camaro SS• Austin Prock in Top Fuel, Greg Anderson in Pro Stock earn second wins of season• Chevrolet Camaro SS Pro Stock racer Camrie Caruso voted rookie of the year
|POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 13, 2022) — Brittany Force put a big Bowtie stamp on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season in the Auto Club NHRA Finals.|
Force, driving the Monster Energy/Flav-R-Pac Chevrolet dragster, earned her second Top Fuel world championship in the season finale at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona to become the fourth female in NHRA professional ranks to win multiple titles.
“I want people to remember this day here in Pomona with this Monster Energy/Flav-R-Pac team — David Grubnic, Mac Savage, every single one of my guys,” said Force, who also joined three-time champion Shirley Muldowney as the only female multiple titleholders in Top Fuel. “We have been working all season long, we never gave up, and then we struggled in the Countdown and we recovered when we needed to in Vegas and win it here today in Pomona.“I have to thank every single one of my guys and our sponsors. We wouldn’t be here without them today, and I’m just so proud of everybody. It just seems surreal right now. I can’t believe it ended up this way.”
|In the season finale, Force claimed her 10th No. 1 qualifier in 22 races and 42nd of her career to pad her advantage over her closest pursuer, Justin Ashley, from seven to 26 points entering race day. She also reset the national Top Fuel speed record at 338.94 mph in qualifications. Ashley’s early exit in eliminations handed Force the title.|
Force lost to John Force Racing teammate Austin Prock, driving the Montana Brand/Rocky Mountain Twist Chevrolet dragster, in the semifinals. Prock went on to win his second race of the season with a personal-best run of 3.641 seconds.
Enders earned her fifth Pro Stock title, tying Greg Anderson and Jeg Coughlin Jr. for third on the all-time list. Bob Glidden with 10 is the leader and Warren Johnson is second with six.
“As a kid with big dreams, this makes me want to pinch myself,” said Enders, who also won titles with Chevrolet in 2014, ’15, ’19 and ‘20. “We have worked really hard to get here and we’ve sacrificed a lot. It’s nice to see all of those sacrifices paid off. I’m a blessed girl.“I go back to the seven years that I drove Pro Stock without a win and just how challenging those years were. Driving for teams that we knew when we pulled on property that we weren’t going to qualify unless somebody broke or hit the wall or something. It was all of those valleys that make these peaks so enjoyable because when you’re going through that stuff, the view of the top where you want to be seems so distant so it’s just a testament to never give up and to do your best and surround yourself with the right people and that’s what I have at Elite Motorsports.”Enders, seeking her 11th victory in 19 races, was runner-up to Anderson in the final. Anderson, driving the HendrickCars.comCamaro SS, won for the 101st time in his Pro Stock career and gave KB Racing team owner Ken Black a retirement Wally.
“This weekend is really for Ken Black; we want to celebrate him in every way we can, and it’s been a joyous weekend,” said Anderson, who has recorded 101 of Black’s 176 Pro Stock wins.Camrie Caruso, driver of the Powerbuilt Tools Chevrolet Camaro SS in Pro Stock, was voted the NHRA Rookie of the Year.
“We achieved so many of my goals this season from qualifying No. 1 to getting to a final round to qualifying at every national event,” she said. “We didn’t check all the boxes, but I am very thankful. The competition is so tough out here and to be recognized as the Rookie of the Year is a tremendous honor. Every race this season I feel like we got better, and I am excited to get back on track next season.”
Robert Hight came up short in his bid for his fourth Funny Car championship when the Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS lost traction early in his quarterfinal round matchup. Hight, who topped the Funny Car standings after all but six races, led the class with a career-high eight victories this season.
Sixteen-time Funny Car champion John Force, driving the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SS, lost in the quarterfinals in the 118th career meeting with Cruz Pedregon.
Tim Seymour of San Dimas, California, drove his Chevrolet COPO Camaro to a runner-up finish in Super Stock.
Last month, Chevrolet also won the Constant Aviation NHRA Factory Stock Showdown championship for the third consecutive year as David Barton of Reading, Pennsylvania, drove his Chevrolet COPO Camaro to the title for the second time (2017). Aaron Stanfield won in 2020 and ’21. Barton won the events at Bristol, Indianapolis and Reading in the eight-race series. Len Lottig (Gainesville) and Stanfield (Dallas) also drove their COPO Camaros to victory.
The 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season begins March 10-12 with the 54th Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Florida. FOX will telecast eliminations live at noon ET Sunday, March 12.
|An interview with Top Fuel champion BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONSTER ENERGY/FLAV-R-PAC CHEVROLET DRAGSTER:WERE YOU AWARE OF WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE FIRST ROUND OR WAS YOUR FOCUS ON YOUR RACE?“I was standing on the top end watching run after run. I knew what had to take place, but I honestly did not think it would go down that way. I thought it was going to be an all-day battle and somehow we locked it up in the first round. Still seems surreal.” WHAT A PHENOMENAL RACE CAR YOU HAVE HAD ALL SEASON LONG.“We’ve had a great season. This Monster Energy/Flav-R-Pac team set national records, track records, No. 1 qualifiers and we won a handful of races this season. I’m very proud of all of them and it took every single person to make it work and now we have a second championship.” ON THE TOP 10 LIST OF FASTEST SPEEDS IT READS YOUR NAME.“That’s David Grubnic for you. Always pushing, never wants to pull back, never wants to lay up. He wants to push the car as hard as we can go and that’s when we seem to excel and do our best. It’s pretty awesome. We got the national record in St. Louis at 338.4 and then here this weekend 338.9, so it’s pretty awesome to have it at my home track and share it with all the fans. Thank you to the fans for all your support.” YOU MUST HAVE ONE OR TWO MEMORIES OF BEING OUT HERE WATCHING YOUR DAD?“I remember sitting up in the stands with my sisters when we were little kids watching him go by and win races and win championships. We always brought our little animal cracker boxes up there and we’d sit up there all day watching Dad.”|
An interview with Pro Stock world champion ERICA ENDERS, ELITE MOTORSPORTS, MELLING PERFORMANCE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS:TEN WINS AND 13 FINAL ROUNDS. YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP REALLY WASN’T IN DOUBT FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON.“It was our goal coming out. I’m really proud of how my boys at Elite Motorsports race. We’re five-time world champions and I could not be more proud of my Melling Performance team.”
AS A YOUNG GIRL IN JUNIOR DRAGSTERS, YOU WATCHED THE PROFESSIONALS COMPETE AND HAD TO THINK MAYBE SOMEDAY THAT COULD BE ME?“I had big dreams and what’s awesome about being a kid is the magic of believing it can happen. With surrounding yourself with the right people and just working really hard — having an undeniable work ethic — but it’s all about the people. They are the most important pieces of the puzzle and I’m so proud. I got my Super Comp license for my 16th birthday right here at this racetrack and went on to do a lot of fun stuff in that category. But for 18 completed years in Pro Stock, I’d say we’re doing pretty good and I’m not done yet.”
DO YOU EVER WALK INTO YOUR OFFICE AND LOOK AT THE TROPHIES?“I do. I’m very proud. It’s one of those pinch-me moments where you’re humbled and you don’t feel like you’re there yet but you look at these pictures and see how awesome you’ve done. I’ve had the support of my family all along and this Elite Motorsports team I can’t deny talking about them because before I joined them I had six wins. We have 43 now. I’m really proud to be their driver.”
An interview with Top Fuel race winner AUSTIN PROCK, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONTANA BRAND/ROCKY MOUNTAIN TWIST CHEVROLET DRAGSTER:PRETTY GOOD DAY AT THE OFFICE FOR YOU.“This has been a dream of mine to win at Pomona. I think I’ve been in the final three times and to finally get it done for Rahn Tobler – the final race of his career and to go out in the fashion he did just shows what a legend he is. I’ve been blessed to race with him, blessed with the opportunity to even do this. My dad didn’t get it done today, but hopefully this will cheer the family up.”
WHAT ABOUT THOSE NUMBERS YOU WERE PUTTING ON THE SCOREBOARD?“I couldn’t even believe it. The run in the semis I didn’t even get to enjoy that. It was the quickest run I’ve ever had and I about double-stepped the thing and by the time I pulled the laundry at the top end I was still on the starting line. The final round I got to enjoy it and that thing left hard and went right own Broadway and we got to turn on the win light. Awesome to get up on the wing again and hopefully this is a good sign for 2023.”
THIS HAS TO MAKE GETTING READY FOR 2023 SWEET?“The nicest thing about winning the last one is you get to enjoy it the longest. I’m really looking forward to 2023. It just shows how hard this team has worked and what we’re capable of. We put this team together in about a week and a half and we showed that we could come and play. I really enjoyed driving this thing. I’m glad I can do my part and when we all come together we hold the Wally at the end of the day.”
YOU WON THE BATTLE; YOUR TEAMMATE WON THE WAR.“There isn’t a better way to finish out. I just wish would have gotten a better start in the Countdown. We would have been battling it out right with her. That would have been really cool. But to see her get her second championship, and then to see David Grubnic win it. He’s worked so hard. He’s been in the fight for the last four years and to finally get it done is really special.”
An interview with Pro Stock race winner GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, HENDRICKCARS.COMCHEVROLET CAMARO SS:HOW MUCH DOES THIS MEAN GOING INTO THE OFFSEASON?“It’s been a tough year for us. (Elite Motorsports has) done a fantastic job this year. (Erica Enders) won a lot of races. She is a very worthy world champion. She has kicked our butts all year, but we got the last battle. My motivation this weekend was Ken Black. He’s stepping out of the sport, but he’s done so much for this sport, so much for me personally, so much for this race team. I couldn’t think of any better way to thank him than handing him a trophy from the finals.”
YOU HAVE BEEN WITH KEN BLACK SINCE HE STARTED THE TEAM IN 2002. YOUR THOUGHTS?“Ken Black is responsible for every one of my wins. He’s made all of my hopes and dreams come true. Who knows what my life would have been if it wasn’t for him. He gave me this wonderful opportunity 20 years ago, and we tried to make the most of it. It’s because of him that we’ve been able to be a huge success. We have a lot to be proud of because of him. He’s absolutely the man. I’m happy for him, proud to be part of his team, and so thankful for all the years we’ve spent together. We’ve been awesome together. We’re going to try to keep his KB Racing name alive and strong for a lot of years to come.”
YOU HAVE SOME ANNOUNCEMENTS COMING AND THE TEAM WILL STILL BE AROUND TO CHASE WINS AND CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR YEARS TO COME.“Absolutely. I can’t tell you how excited I am for the future. Just like Ron Capps; he’s reborn. And look at the job he did this year. He’s a new team owner and it lights a fire under you. And that’s exactly what it’s going to do to me. And I’m going to need it to compete with that Elite team. It’s going to be a great offseason. We’ve got four months to make our product better and come out here and make everyone proud.”