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NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

NHRA Arizona Nationals Sunday preview

After two wild and somewhat frantic days of qualifying and taking care of delayed Winternationals business, Sunday at Firebird Motorsports Park is back to the normal business of crowning race champs at the NHRA Arizona Nationals.
07 Apr 2024
Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor
Race coverage
NHRA Arizona Nationals

After two wild and somewhat frantic days of qualifying and taking care of delayed Winternationals business, Sunday at Firebird Motorsports Park is back to the normal business of crowning race champs at the NHRA Arizona Nationals.

Although none of the six drivers who came into the event with the chance to triple – wins in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, the Winternationals, and Arizona Nationals – were able to put themselves into position to do that today, we’ve still got several interesting storylines to follow.

Winternationals champs Justin Ashley, John Force, and Dallas Glenn have the chance to follow their Saturday wins with victories today for a race-weekend double wins. Ashley is the defending event champ and Force has won this event eight times while Glenn is still looking for his first win in the Valley of the Sun.

Meanwhile Antron Brown in Top Fuel, Matt Hagan in Funny Car, and Erica Enders in Pro Stock are all looking for significant career milestone wins. 

Brown, the only driver in NHRA history with wins in both Pro Stock Motorcycle and Top Fuel, is knocking at the door of a 75th career victory that would make him just the 12th driver to reach that number. Brown’s last win came last year in Indy and even though he’s won this race three times, he hasn’t done it in 10 years, since he defeated Brittany Force in her sophomore season in the class in 2014.

Both Hagan and Enders are standing on the verge of their 50th career wins. Hagan hasn’t tasted victories since last year’s Dallas event while Enders has been considerably hotter with a win at the season-opening Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals and a runner-up yesterday in the Winternationals.

Steve Torrence, Austin Prock, and Jeg Coughlin Jr. enter raceday as the No. 1 qualifiers.

Torrence went two-for-three in qualifying efforts and grabbed the No. 1 spot Friday, then missed in Q2, before rebounding with the third-best run of the final sessions.

Prock was one of three Funny Car drivers to run in the three-second zone of each of his qualifying passes – Paul Lee and Mission Challenge winner J.R. Todd being the others – and will saddle up today looking for his first career Funny Car win in his third start in the class.

Coughlin had an impressively consistent trio of runs in the Scag Power Equipment Camaro with passes of 6.528, 6.531, and 6.517. Coughlin has won this race four times, a hat trick in Pro Stock and a Super Stock win way back in 1995.


2023 EVENT WINNERS 

Justin Ashley, Top Fuel; Robert Hight, Funny Car; Camrie Caruso, Pro Stock

MOST EVENT VICTORIES

Tony Schumacher, 5, TF; John Force, 8, FC; Bob Glidden, 5, PS.

TRACK RECORDS

Top Fuel - 3.643 seconds by Brittany Force, Feb. '20; 337.92 mph by  Force, Feb., ‘20.
Funny Car - 3.823 seconds by Matt Hagan, Feb. '22; 337.16 mph by Courtney Force, Feb. '18.
Pro Stock - 6.498 seconds by Mike Edwards, Feb. '13; 213.77 mph by Mike Edwards, Feb. '13.

NATIONAL RECORDS

Top Fuel - 3.623 sec. by Brittany Force, Sept. ‘19, Reading, Pa.; 338.94 mph by B. Force, Nov. ‘22, Pomona.
Funny Car - 3.793 sec. by Robert Hight, Aug. '17, Brainerd, Minn.; 339.87 mph by Hight, July ’17, Sonoma, Calif.
Pro Stock - 6.450 sec. by Erica Enders, Mar. ’22, Gainesville, Fla.; 215.55 mph by Enders, May ’14, Englishtown N.J.

SCHEDULE

SUNDAY, April 7: Pre-race ceremony, 10 a.m.; eliminations begin at 11 a.m.

TELEVISION

SUNDAY, April 7: FS1 will televise one and half hours of qualifying highlights at 10:30 a.m. (ET)
SUNDAY, April 7:  FS1 will televise three hours of finals coverage at 6:30 p.m. (ET)