Events / Motorsports / News & Car Culture

NHRA Wrap-Up: Anderson, J. Force, and Schumacher Win in Epping

Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson beat Allen Johnson in the final round for his second consecutive NHRA win.

Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson beat Allen Johnson in the final round for his second consecutive NHRA win.

Four-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson has returned to form in 2015, winning back-to-back races for the first time since 2011, capturing his third Wally of this NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season Sunday in Epping, NH.

John Force in Funny Car, and Tony Schumacher in Top Fuel also won Sunday. All three winners of the event rank as the active wins leaders in their classes, making it the winningest Winner’s Circle ever. The racers have a combined 299 wins on NHRA drag racing’s grandest stage.

Anderson drove his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro to a 6.512-second, 214.72 miles-per-hour pass to defeat Allen Johnson in the final round for the second week in a row. The win was the 77th of Anderson’s career.

“My car has been fantastic,” said Anderson, who is now three for three in final rounds this season. “I’m absolutely having a ball. I’ve got a great race team behind me and they are doing a great job. I can’t wait to go to the next race.”

Force, a 16-time Funny Car world champ, raced to a winning performance of 4.160 seconds at 309.49 mph in his Chevy Camaro SS, defeating #1 qualifier Tommy Johnson Jr. in the final. The victory was Force’s 143rd of his career, 99 ahead of second place Ron Capps. The win was Force’s first at New England Dragway following a runner-up at this event in 2013. With the win, Force now has a victory at every track that has appeared on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series circuit.

“I had a great day,” said Force, who moves to third in points with the win. “I’m not going out of racing any time soon, but I was going to win at New England. I almost did the first year and this year I finally did.”

Johnson Jr. was appearing in his first final of the season. The #1 qualifier for the weekend, Johnson Jr. leaves Epping still searching for his first win since Bristol last June. He is now fifth in Funny Car points.

In Top Fuel, Schumacher went the distance as the top qualifier, running a 3.809 at 321.35 in his U.S. Army dragster during a final round win over three-time world champ Larry Dixon, who finished in 3.881 at 319.60 in his dragster. Schumacher, the defending and eight-time world champ, secured his second win of the season, second in a row at Epping, and 79th of his career. The victory propels Schumacher to second in points.

“[Crew chiefs] Mike [Green] and Neal [Strausbaugh] did an outstanding job today,” Schumacher said. “I felt like I drove well today. Together as a team we went out and won. We did a great job. What a battle.”

Dixon, whose last win came in 2011 at Phoenix, was appearing in his third final of the season and first at New England Dragway. He is now fifth in points.

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to Bristol, TN next weekend for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, June 19-21 at Bristol Dragway.

Yesterday’s race was the 10th of 24 slated for the 2015 season.

Pro Stock Championship Point Standings

1. Greg Anderson         907
2. Erica Enders-Stevens  837
3. Jason Line            776
4. Chris McGaha          646
5. Allen Johnson         554

Funny Car Championship Point Standings

1. Matt Hagan            746
2. Ron Capps             685
3. John Force            652
4. Del Worsham           643
5. Tommy Johnson Jr.     611

Top Fuel Championship Point Standings

1. Antron Brown          790
2. Tony Schumacher       757
3. Spencer Massey        657
4. Richie Crampton       640
5. Larry Dixon           600

The NHRA and Drag Race Central contributed to this report.

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