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Ashley, Capps, Enders and Arana Jr. pick up huge playoff wins at Texas NHRA FallNationals

by racedaysaeditor | Posted on Monday, October 17th, 2022

Ron Capps, Hector Arana Jr., Erica Enders and Justin Ashley. Photo courtesy of the NHRA


Courtesy of the NHRA

ENNIS, Texas – Top Fuel’s Justin Ashley extended his points lead on Sunday, rolling to an impressive win at the Texas Motorplex for the second straight year at the 37th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals.

Justin Ashley. Photo courtesy of the NHRA

Ron Capps (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won at the 20th event in the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the fourth of six races in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

After struggling in qualifying, Ashley more than made up for it on Sunday, going 3.688-seconds at 329.24 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Phillips Connect Toyota dragster to defeat Austin Prock in the championship round. It gives the points leader his third victory this season – as well as his second straight in Dallas – and fifth overall, extending his lead to 82 points over Brittany Force in the process. He knocked off Doug Kalitta, Kebin Kinsley, and Shawn Langdon to reach the final round, running a weekend-best 3.677 at 331.76 in the semifinals. Ashley, who qualified 10th, was impressive on the starting line in the finals, picking up a critical victory in the Countdown to the Championship.

Justin Ashley. Photo courtesy of the NHRA

“This really was a great win and if you can win in Dallas, that puts you in position to go for a championship,” Ashley said. “To run that fast and consistent, it’s really amazing. Everyone on this team, we all make each other better. We’ve won from the bottom half before, so I wasn’t worried. These guys on this team, they’ve won so many races and championships, so I’ve always got confidence in them. Everyone has done a great job, but we’ve got two more races left and we can’t let up. We know it’s going to come down to the wire in Pomona.”

Prock, who qualified No. 1, reached his second final round in the Countdown to the Championship thanks to wins against Alex Laughlin, Leah Pruett, and Antron Brown, moving to seventh in points.

Ron Capps. Photo courtesy of the NHRA

In Funny Car, Capps also won for the second straight year in Dallas, also inching closer to the points lead after defeating Matt Hagan in the final round with his run of 3.911 at 327.18 in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra. It gives the defending world champion his fifth victory this season and 73rd in his fantastic career, also bringing him to within 10 points of leader Robert Hight with two races remaining. After knocking off Jeff Diehl and longtime rival John Force, Capps got past Hight in a critical semifinal matchup, also getting some redemption after falling to the points leader in the final round in St. Louis.

That set up another marquee matchup with Hagan, where Capps delivered an excellent .035 reaction time and held on for the victory.

Ron Capps. Photo courtesy of the NHRA

“We never left the (championship) conversation,” Capps said. “If we can leave Vegas in the position we’re in right now, or even gain a little bit, that’d be huge. It’s shaping up to be another year like last year.”

“We’ve been behind Robert and that team by a little more than two rounds. So, to have him in the semis and to be able to take care of business ourselves was just icing on the cake. We’ll go to Vegas half a round behind Robert Hight and that team that has won eight races this year. It’s going to be a battle and the real winners are the fans. They’re getting to see one of the best seasons in Funny Car. I’m so proud to drive the race car.”

Hagan, who was the No. 1 qualifier, collected his seventh final round this season and 78th in his career after wins against Terry Haddock, Tim Wilkerson, and Bob Tasca III. He also remained third in the championship hunt and trails Hight by 78 points heading to Vegas.

Erica Enders. Photo courtesy of the NHRA

In a season of dominant performances, Enders had one of her finest showings this weekend in Dallas, capping it off with a victory on the strength of a 6.537 at 209.63 in the finals in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. It gave her the win over rival Greg Anderson, extending an already huge points lead and putting her in position to clinch her fifth world title in Las Vegas.

Enders made the quickest run in every round of qualifying and eliminations, knocking off Fernando Cuadra Jr., Matt Hartford, and Troy Coughlin Jr. to reach the final round on Sunday. That led to her ninth win of the season, matching her career-best for a single season, and the 42nd victory in her career. She also swept both races in her home state in 2022 and will take a 166-point lead to Vegas.

Erica Enders. Photo courtesy of the NHRA

“Coming in on Friday, we had high hopes for the weekend,” Enders said. “Winning two of the Countdown races of the three entering Dallas, we just wanted to come here and have a successful weekend. It was awesome.

“Coming out on Friday night going low, collecting that $7,500 bonus, and then going on to win the race today was just the icing on the cake. We were able to get around my teammate T.J. Coughlin in the semifinals and then beat our arch-rival Greg Anderson in the final. So, it was just a really great day for our entire operation.”

Defending event winner and world champion Anderson reached the finals for the fourth time this season and 171st time in his career thanks to wins against Mason McGaha, Cristian Cuadra and Aaron Stanfield to set up another huge matchup with Enders.

Hector Arana Jr. Photo courtesy of the NHRA

Arana Jr., who made just his fifth appearance this season in Dallas, provided a thrilling underdog winner in Pro Stock Motorcycle, grabbing his first victory since 2019 with a run of 6.822 at 196.35 on his Team Arana Buell to beat Jerry Savoie in the final round. It also gives Arana his 16th career victory and first at Dallas and the veteran took out some heavy hitters to get there. He defeated Chip Ellis, Angie Smith, and points leader Matt Smith to reach the finals, playing the spoiler role perfectly. Arana then tracked down Savoie to pick up a meaningful victory at Dallas.

“This is so awesome. You’ve got to make the best of it,” Arana Jr. “We just have such a passion for it. It’s been so long, and we love being out here with all the fans and to bring home a Wally, is the icing on the cake.”

Hector Arana Jr. Photo courtesy of the NHRA

Savoie reached the final round in Dallas for the seventh time in the past eight years by defeating Marc Ingwersen, Ryan Oehler and Steve Johnson. It’s also his third final this season. With two races remaining, Matt Smith now holds a 51-point lead over Joey Gladstone.

The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to action on Oct. 27-30 with the NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

ENNIS, Texas — Final finish order (1-16) at the 37th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex. The race is the 20th of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.


  1. Justin Ashley; 2. Austin Prock; 3. Antron Brown; 4. Shawn Langdon; 5. Brittany Force; 6. Leah Pruett; 7. Spencer Massey; 8. Kebin Kinsley; 9. Josh Hart; 10. Doug Kalitta; 11. Tony Schumacher; 12. Steve Torrence; 13. Clay Millican; 14. Alex Laughlin; 15. Buddy Hull; 16. Mike Salinas.


  1. Ron Capps; 2. Matt Hagan; 3. Bob Tasca III; 4. Robert Hight; 5. Tim Wilkerson; 6. Paul Lee; 7. John Force; 8. Blake Alexander; 9. Cruz Pedregon; 10. Jim Campbell; 11. Terry Haddock; 12. J.R. Todd; 13. Jeff Diehl; 14. Alexis DeJoria; 15. Chad Green; 16. Jack Wyatt.


  1. Hector Arana Jr; 2. Jerry Savoie; 3. Steve Johnson; 4. Matt Smith; 5. Angie Smith; 6. Eddie Krawiec; 7. Ryan Oehler; 8. Angie Smith; 9. Marc Ingwersen; 10. Jianna Evaristo; 11. Chip Ellis; 12. Gaige Herrera; 13. Angelle Sampey; 14. Karen Stoffer; 15. Richard Gadson; 16. Chris Bostick.

ENNIS, Texas — Sunday’s final results from the 37th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex. The race is the 20th of 22 in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Justin Ashley, 3.688 seconds, 329.24 mph def. Austin Prock, 12.682 seconds, 48.46 mph.

Funny Car — Ron Capps, Toyota Supra, 3.911, 327.18 def. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.923, 331.32.

Pro Stock — Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.537, 209.63 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.547, 208.74.

Pro Stock — Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.537, 209.63 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.547, 208.74.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.822, 196.35 def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.890, 193.03.

Top Alcohol Dragster — Jasmine Salinas, 5.252, 280.88 def. Madison Payne, 5.262, 278.62.

Top Alcohol Funny Car — Sean Bellemeur, Chevy Camaro, 5.458, 266.60 def. Kyle Smith, Ford Mustang, 5.497, 258.41.

Competition Eliminator — Adam Hickey, Spitzer, 7.780, 123.12 def. Scott Cashio, Chevy Cobalt, Foul – Red Light.

Super Stock — Brandon Bakies, Chevy Camaro, 9.381, 127.03 def. Aydan Patterson, Camaro, 9.515, 137.20.

Stock Eliminator — John Brimer, Ford Mustang, 8.881, 155.27 def. Randi Lyn Shipp, Pontiac Firebird, 10.710, 122.71.

Super Comp — Austin Williams, Dragster, 8.919, 171.40 def. Kyle Secrest, Dragster, 8.926, 175.66.

Super Gas — Phil Unruh, Chevy Camaro, 9.963, 172.08 def. Heidi Robison, Chevy Corvette, 9.889, 174.32.

Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers — Wayne Johnson, Dragster, 6.269, 213.95 def. Robert Cool, Dragster, 6.920, 192.08.

Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers — Jimmy Lewis, Pontiac GXP, 7.011, 143.88 def. David Cuadra, Pontiac GTO, Foul – Red Light.

Factory Stock Showdown — Aaron Stanfield, Chevy Camaro, 7.764, 165.00 def. Bill Skillman, Ford Mustang, Broke – No Show.

Pro Modified — Kris Thorne, Chevy Camaro, 5.720, 250.24 def. Stan Shelton, Ford Mustang, Foul – Outer Boundary.

Top Fuel Harley — Randal Andras, Harley, 6.348, 211.42 def. William Jackson, Harley, Broke – No Show.

ENNIS, Texas — Final round-by-round results from the 37th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex, the 20th of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series:


ROUND ONE — Leah Pruett, 3.888, 229.84 def. Josh Hart, Foul – Red Light; Justin Ashley, 3.699, 331.08 def. Doug Kalitta, 3.714, 326.13; Antron Brown, 3.684, 330.54 def. Tony Schumacher, 3.715, 326.16; Kebin Kinsley, 3.799, 322.97 def. Clay Millican, 3.795, 271.36; Austin Prock, 3.736, 326.23 def. Alex Laughlin, 3.837, 318.83; Brittany Force, 3.722, 336.30 def. Buddy Hull, 5.840, 108.10; Spencer Massey, 3.783, 319.47 def. Mike Salinas, Foul – Red Light; Shawn Langdon, 3.730, 322.79 def. Steve Torrence, 3.735, 327.53;

QUARTERFINALS — Prock, 3.737, 324.18 def. Pruett, 3.764, 275.72; Brown, 3.699, 328.04 def. Massey, 3.879, 263.44; Ashley, 3.677, 331.76 def. Kinsley, 5.132, 149.33; Langdon, 3.721, 328.25 def. Force, 3.676, 332.96;

SEMIFINALS — Prock, 3.681, 326.30 def. Brown, 3.689, 329.72; Ashley, 3.686, 329.79 def. Langdon, 3.723, 323.79;

FINAL — Ashley, 3.688, 329.24 def. Prock, 12.682, 48.46.


ROUND ONE — Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.856, 330.44 def. Jim Campbell, Dodge Charger, 4.003, 320.47; Ron Capps, Toyota Supra, 3.889, 330.88 def. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Camry, 4.343, 212.54; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.875, 326.56 def. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.051, 305.98; Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.884, 330.76 def. Jack Wyatt, Charger, Broke; Blake Alexander, Mustang, 3.924, 324.61 def. Alexis DeJoria, Supra, 4.471, 192.42; John Force, Camaro, 3.925, 331.66 def. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.902, 7.70; Paul Lee, Charger, 3.980, 296.36 def. J.R. Todd, Supra, 4.092, 239.55; Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.967, 271.99 def. Chad Green, Mustang, 7.870, 80.69;

QUARTERFINALS — Hight, 3.901, 326.73 def. Lee, 3.968, 327.15; Tasca III, 3.861, 328.68 def. Alexander, 6.112, 115.68; Hagan, 3.883, 335.12 def. Wilkerson, 3.938, 329.26; Capps, 3.885, 336.78 def. Force, 4.045, 293.79;

SEMIFINALS — Capps, 3.897, 332.84 def. Hight, 7.486, 91.11; Hagan, 3.891, 338.02 def. Tasca III, 3.891, 329.21;

FINAL — Capps, 3.911, 327.18 def. Hagan, 3.923, 331.32.


ROUND ONE — Matt Hartford, Chevy Camaro, 6.582, 208.88 def. Camrie Caruso, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.596, 208.85 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.590, 209.00; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.566, 208.50 def. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.602, 209.35; Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.579, 209.12 def. Fernando Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 9.978, 91.10; Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.572, 210.04 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 8.214, 114.31; Cristian Cuadra, Mustang, 6.574, 208.41 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.616, 209.50; Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.555, 209.21 def. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.644, 208.61; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.539, 209.79 def. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Mustang, 6.668, 187.05;

QUARTERFINALS — Coughlin Jr., 6.574, 209.94 def. Koretsky, 6.575, 208.57; Anderson, 6.565, 208.67 def. C. Cuadra, 6.582, 208.27; Stanfield, 6.559, 209.18 def. Kramer, 6.565, 208.30; Enders, 6.541, 209.93 def. Hartford, Foul – Red Light;

SEMIFINALS — Anderson, 6.568, 204.46 def. Stanfield, 6.575, 209.12; Enders, 6.561, 209.39 def. Coughlin Jr., 7.829, 127.42;

FINAL — Enders, 6.537, 209.63 def. Anderson, 6.547, 208.74.


ROUND ONE — Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.862, 194.45 def. Marc Ingwersen, 6.880, 189.67; Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.917, 192.98 def. Chip Ellis, 6.930, 194.75; Angie Smith, 6.841, 200.77 def. Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.955, 190.96; Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.804, 195.54 def. Jianna Evaristo, Suzuki, 6.888, 196.97; Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.852, 197.92 def. Richard Gadson, 7.675, 121.02; Ryan Oehler, 6.960, 191.84 def. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 7.033, 146.09; Eddie Krawiec, Suzuki, 6.834, 198.88 def. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 11.660, 68.21; Matt Smith, Buell, 6.818, 200.38 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.065, 180.43;

QUARTERFINALS — Savoie, 6.874, 194.70 def. Oehler, 7.045, 187.79; Arana Jr, 6.924, 193.32 def. A. Smith, 7.713, 125.09; Johnson, 6.778, 195.33 def. A. Smith, Foul – Red Light; M. Smith, 6.804, 200.07 def. Krawiec, 6.904, 193.97;

SEMIFINALS — Arana Jr, 6.887, 193.41 def. M. Smith, 7.595, 130.37; Savoie, 6.874, 194.46 def. Johnson, 7.014, 186.24;

FINAL — Arana Jr, 6.822, 196.35 def. Savoie, 6.890, 193.03.

ENNIS, Texas — Point standings (top 10) following the 37th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex, the 20th of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series –

Top Fuel

  1. Justin Ashley, 2,422; 2. Brittany Force, 2,340; 3. Antron Brown, 2,338; 4. Steve Torrence, 2,326; 5. Mike Salinas, 2,304; 6. Josh Hart, 2,275; 7. Austin Prock, 2,262; 8. Doug Kalitta, 2,251; 9. Shawn Langdon, 2,234; 10. Clay Millican, 2,218.

Funny Car

  1. Robert Hight, 2,486; 2. Ron Capps, 2,476; 3. Matt Hagan, 2,408; 4. John Force, 2,349; 5. Bob Tasca III, 2,312; 6. Tim Wilkerson, 2,228; 7. Alexis DeJoria, 2,219; 8. J.R. Todd, 2,218; 9. Cruz Pedregon, 2,191; 10. Blake Alexander, 2,118.

Pro Stock

  1. Erica Enders, 2,557; 2. Aaron Stanfield, 2,394; 3. Greg Anderson, 2,362; 4. Troy Coughlin Jr., 2,343; 5. Kyle Koretsky, 2,330; 6. Matt Hartford, 2,286; 7. Dallas Glenn, 2,267; 8. Mason McGaha, 2,157; 9. (tie) Bo Butner, 2,149; Camrie Caruso, 2,149.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

  1. Matt Smith, 2,377; 2. Joey Gladstone, 2,326; 3. Jerry Savoie, 2,274; 4. Steve Johnson, 2,259; 5. Angie Smith, 2,258; 6. Eddie Krawiec, 2,237; 7. Angelle Sampey, 2,218; 8. Marc Ingwersen, 2,171; 9. Karen Stoffer, 2,140; 10. Ryan Oehler, 2,139.
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