- Most successful Top Fuel racer Tony Schumacher claims first triumph since 2020.
- Funny Car points leader Robert Hight matches his career-best mark with sixth victory this season.
- Troy Coughlin Jr. earns his first Pro Stock trophy.
For Funny Car dominator Robert Hight, winning the Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals Sunday at Pacific Raceways, near Seattle, was a bit commonplace.
But for Top Fuel’s Tony Schumacher and Pro Stock’s Troy Coughlin Jr., the experience was a bit more profound.
Granted, Schumacher is the most successful Top Fuel driver in class history, and this 86th victory simply extended his record. It also was his fifth at Seattle (after success in 2004 and 2006-08). Moreover, with it, the eight-time series champion passed legend Bob Glidden to become the fourth-most successful racer in NHRA history, after John Force (155 victories), Greg Anderson (99), and Warren Johnson (97). So winning itself certainly isn’t a new sensation.
What made this triumph so special for Schumacher was that it was his first since the Houston race in the fall of 2020 and that it put an exclamation mark on the first race with philanthropists Joe and Cathi Maynard as team principals at the newly branded Maynard Family Racing /Don Schumacher Racing.
Coughlin Jr.’s so-called “Wally” statue was his first in the Pro Stock class that his uncle Jeg Coughlin has torn through for 65 victories. It came in an Elite-Performance final round as he defeated the seemingly unstoppable points leader, Erica Enders. She was going for her seventh victory, 40th overall, and second in a row. But Coughlin edged her by one ten-thousandths (.0001) of a second in only his third final-round appearance in the category.
Coughlin Jr. called himself “definitely blessed” to break onto the Pro Stock winners list. “I’ll never forget this. It hasn’t sunk in yet.”
Elite Performance team owner Richard Freeman said, “T.J. wanted that. He deserves it. We struggled first part of the year, but it’s coming around.” As for two of his cars facing off in the final, he said, “I think you’re going to see a whole lot more of that.”
The Camping World Drag Racing Series will be idle until the Aug. 12-14 Menards NHRA Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.
Tony Schumacher’s Season, Career Back on Track
Top Fuel ace Tony Schumacher entered this 525th race with a 5-12 record, outside of the top 10 in the standings, with a string of five first-round losses in his most recent races. But he turned around his luck against Brittany Force, the fiercest competitor in the class all season long.
Her hopes of recording back-to-back victories for the second time this season and winning for the fifth time went up in tire smoke. And Schumacher made the last of four not-all-that-pretty runs himself to reclaim some of his magic for pulling off upsets.
Afterward, he was candid: “We were awful for a long time. We dug deep. We worked hard. We had a never-give-up attitude. We didn’t put blame on anybody. We worked and worked and worked.”
Earlier in the weekend, Schumacher had said, “We got some new excitement. I’m kind of jacked up. When you watch someone come in and they sponsor a car, then they go, ‘I like this so much that we want to own it.’ You’ve got fans going, ‘Oh, where’s the sport going?’ It’s not going in a bad direction if you’ve got people that are successful in business wanting to buy in. As the year went on, they were like, ‘We want this.’ I thought it was odd, because we’re getting our ass whooped. I’m like, ‘Shoot, how many people will be trying to buy the team if we can’t win again?’ But we’re going to, and I think that’s what made it exciting.”
Joe Maynard said Sunday, “I think I bought a winner. Tony said, ‘We’ve had every rough break you could have.’ Cathi and I don’t have any doubt this is winning team. It just hadn’t started yet. We think it started today, and we plan on it staying this way for a long time. We’ve got the bets that’s ever been, so I’m going to go with that.”
Hight Puts Huge Dent In Hagan’s Title Bid
Robert Hight denied final-round opponent JR Todd the distinction of being just the fourth (after Ron Capps, Tommy Johnson Jr., and Del Worsham) to win at Pacific Raceways in both Top Fuel and Funny Car.
It was only the second time Hight, in the John Force Racing-owned Auto Club of Southern California Chevy Camaro, had met DHL Toyota Supra driver Todd this year. But Hight has beaten him twice in the past four events.
However, winning in this wicked heat, in which track temperatures hovered uncharacteristically in the mid-130-degrees much of the weekend, surprised Hight.
“We weren’t the best car in qualifying. Up until a couple of races ago, this Auto Club Chevy did not have the best hot-weather set-up. And today, to do this [and run] low E.T. [elapsed time] every single round, I’m so proud of my guys.”
Hight said, “To have six wins at this point in the year, I am blown away. I’d have lost money if I had bet on that.”
He might also have lost some cash if he had bet three weeks ago that he would have opened a 228-point advantage on closest rival Matt Hagan during the Western Swing. Just before the trek through Denver, Sonoma (Calif.), and Seattle, Hight swiped the points lead from Hagan, a three-time winner and six-time finalist early in the year – by a mere 21 points. Hagan lost in the first round at all three Western Swing stops.
“We’ve capitalized when we needed to,” Hight said. “I know it can turn around and go the other direction.” He said he needs to “stay steady” and predicted that “we’re going to need four or five more if we want to be champions.”
Hight earned his 59th victory Sunday by about a half-car length over Todd, who won at Seattle in the Top Fuel class in 2015.
Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals
Results, Updated Standings
Sunday’s final results from the 33rd annual Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways. The race is the 13th of 22 in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series:
Top Fuel — Tony Schumacher, 3.977 seconds, 251.34 mph def. Brittany Force, 5.145 seconds, 153.14 mph.
Funny Car — Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.975, 319.98 def. J.R. Todd, Toyota Supra, 3.978, 324.75.
Pro Stock — Troy Coughlin Jr., Chevy Camaro, 6.638, 208.68 def. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.644, 209.17.
Top Alcohol Dragster — Jackie Fricke, 5.668, 242.58 def. Kim Parker, 8.270, 139.04.
Top Alcohol Funny Car — Jake Guadagnolo, Chevy Camaro, 5.565, 262.23 def. Brian Hough, Camaro, 5.567, 264.08.
Competition Eliminator — Ryan Priddy, Chevy Camaro, 7.107, 148.01 def. Bruce Schmiedl, Bantam Roadster, Foul – Red Light.
Super Stock — Rod Stults, Olds Ciera, 10.969, 103.15 def. Kyle Rizzoli, Chevy Camaro, 10.154, 137.04.
Stock Eliminator — Jody Lang, Chevy Malibu Wagon, 12.317, 92.33 def. Ryan McClanahan, Chevy Camaro, Foul – Red Light.
Super Comp — Dylan Hough, Dragster, 8.914, 180.02 def. James Glenn, Dragster, 8.935, 161.23.
Super Gas — Randy Sides, Chevy Camaro, 9.923, 173.07 def. Rodney Lee, Chevy Corvette, Foul – Red Light.
Super Street — Tony Hopkins, Chevy, 10.910, 147.15 def. David Wakefield, Chevelle, Foul – Red Light.
Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers — Shawn Herbst, Firebird, 7.129, 166.60 def. Joe Mellof, GXP, Foul – Red Light.
Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers — Thomas Bayer, Dragster, 6.254, 224.73 def. Clinton Geise, Dragster, 6.670, 195.31.
Junior Dragster Shootout — Daniel O’Connor, 7.889, 81.02 def. Cole Dickhoff, Foul – Red Light.
Final round-by-round results from the 33rd annual Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways, the 13th of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series:
ROUND ONE — Josh Hart, 3.759, 325.61 def. Clay Millican, 3.792, 323.04; Leah Pruett, 3.781, 325.69 def. Antron Brown, 3.796, 320.81; Brittany Force, 3.742, 332.43 def. Jim Maroney, 4.148, 226.51; Tony Schumacher, 3.852, 294.75 def. Scott Palmer, 5.857, 110.73; Steve Torrence, 3.794, 324.36 def. Ron Smith, Broke; Doug Kalitta, 3.837, 322.11 def. Alex Laughlin, 3.856, 315.34; Shawn Langdon, 3.796, 321.73 def. Mike Salinas, Broke; Justin Ashley, 3.782, 325.30 def. Austin Prock, 3.796, 326.32;
QUARTERFINALS — Schumacher, 3.827, 313.66 def. Langdon, 3.797, 304.32; Force, 3.791, 327.59 def. Hart, 3.924, 291.07; Pruett, 3.818, 322.42 def. Kalitta, 3.827, 316.67; Ashley, 3.785, 322.42 def. Torrence, 6.333, 95.40;
SEMIFINALS — Force, 3.823, 325.61 def. Pruett, 6.295, 107.05; Schumacher, 4.485, 258.37 def. Ashley, Foul – Centerline;
FINAL — Schumacher, 3.977, 251.34 def. Force, 5.145, 153.14.
ROUND ONE — Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.939, 323.66 def. Gary Densham, Mustang, 5.110, 140.11; Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Supra, 3.964, 320.74 def. Jim Campbell, Dodge Charger, 4.045, 313.00; John Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.277, 277.66 def. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.633, 186.00; Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.459, 214.83 def. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 4.622, 181.64; Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.914, 323.35 def. Ron Capps, Supra, 4.674, 184.60; J.R. Todd, Supra, 3.955, 325.14 def. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 3.990, 312.21;
QUARTERFINALS — Force, 3.965, 323.97 def. Wilkerson, 4.462, 201.43; Todd, 3.980, 323.35 def. Tasca III, 7.751, 105.74; Hight, 3.960, 320.89 def. DeJoria, 5.142, 145.41;
SEMIFINALS — Todd, 3.984, 323.50 was unopposed; Hight, 3.976, 319.45 def. Force, 4.041, 322.50;
FINAL — Hight, 3.975, 319.98 def. Todd, 3.978, 324.75.
ROUND ONE — Fernando Cuadra Jr., Ford Mustang, 6.631, 208.04 def. Bo Butner, Chevy Camaro, 8.284, 114.70; Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.617, 206.10 def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.628, 207.34; Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.641, 205.91 def. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.668, 206.64; Camrie Caruso, Camaro, 6.610, 207.50 def. Cristian Cuadra, Mustang, Foul – Red Light; Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.598, 209.36 def. Fernando Cuadra, Mustang, 6.652, 207.11; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.599, 207.78 was unopposed; Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.605, 208.91 def. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.627, 208.42; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.593, 208.97 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.674, 208.23;
QUARTERFINALS — Stanfield, 6.643, 208.84 def. Koretsky, Foul – Red Light; Anderson, 6.598, 207.72 def. Cuadra Jr., Foul – Red Light; Coughlin Jr., 6.619, 209.23 def. Caruso, 6.635, 207.72; Enders, 6.594, 209.72 def. Glenn, 6.633, 206.16;
SEMIFINALS — Coughlin Jr., 6.659, 208.36 def. Anderson, 8.796, 112.18; Enders, 6.649, 208.71 def. Stanfield, 6.652, 208.42;
FINAL — Coughlin Jr., 6.638, 208.68 def. Enders, 6.644, 209.17.
Point standings (top 10) following the 33rd annual Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways, the 13th of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series –
1. Brittany Force, 1,083; 2. Mike Salinas, 1,008; 3. Justin Ashley, 910; 4. Steve Torrence, 862; 5. Josh Hart, 689; 6. Leah Pruett, 673; 7. Shawn Langdon, 657; 8. Doug Kalitta, 624; 9. Austin Prock, 602; 10. Clay Millican, 583.
1. Robert Hight, 1,250; 2. Matt Hagan, 1,022; 3. Ron Capps, 956; 4. John Force, 904; 5. Bob Tasca III, 797; 6. J.R. Todd, 708; 7. Cruz Pedregon, 686; 8. Alexis DeJoria, 659; 9. Tim Wilkerson, 574; 10. Jim Campbell, 457.
1. Erica Enders, 1,078; 2. Aaron Stanfield, 975; 3. Kyle Koretsky, 723; 4. Greg Anderson, 676; 5. Dallas Glenn, 614; 6. Mason McGaha, 572; 7. Troy Coughlin Jr., 571; 8. Camrie Caruso, 539; 9. Matt Hartford, 521; 10. Bo Butner, 475.
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