By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The NHRA Countdown to the Championship will begin this weekend at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pennsylvania. We will be on hand providing coverage of the event.
This is event No. 19 of the season. The Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil will kick off the six-race Countdown to the Championship.
Funny Cars return to The Grove, beginning on Friday, Sept. 13th through Sunday, Sept. 15th.
J.R. Todd won the Wally in the category last year at this event. He defeated Tim Wilkerson in the final round.
The Indianapolis, Indiana native went 3.972 at 319.90 mph to win the Wally. The Springfield, Illinois native went 4.196 at 249.95 mph in the losing effort.
Both Todd and Wilkerson will be back at the property this weekend. In addition, Todd’s Kalitta Motorsports teammate Shawn Langdon will be competing this weekend, as well.
John Force Racing’s heavy-hitters Robert Hight and living legend John Force will be there, as well. Don Schumacher Racing will also have their four heavy-hitters in Tommy Johnson Jr., Ron Capps, Jack Beckman, and Matt Hagan at the track near Amish Country.
Snap-On Tools Funny Car pilot Cruz Pedregon will be competing at The Grove. In addition, the former champion will be joined by a boxing legend on Saturday, as Larry Holmes will be attending his first NHRA event.
Full-time competitor Bob Tasca III will be there in his Motocraft/Quick Lane ride. Fellow full-time competitor Jim Campbell will be there in his Dunn Racing Cattleman’s Cut ride.
Other Funny Cars on the property include Terry Haddock, Mike Smith, John Smith, Mike McIntire Jr., and Jonnie Lindberg. In addition to his Funny Car responsibilities, Lindberg will also be tuning Brian Hough’s Top Alcohol Funny Car ride, who made the trek across the country to be at this event.
There will be 17 Funny Cars on the property this weekend. Only 16 will make eliminations on Sunday, so one will be sent home following Saturday’s qualifying session.
Legend Force has the most all-time wins at The Grove. He won in 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2001, and 2013.