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NHRA Drag Racing 'Stampede of Speed' Arrives in Texas Where Everything Is Bigger

The first of the final three races in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs begins on October 14 at the 37th annual rendition of the NHRA Texas Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex just outside of 'Big D.'
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Photo: NHRA.com
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Fans have already been treated to edge-of-their-seat NHRA drag racing in the first three events of the playoffs, and all expectations are the excitement factor will increase a notch or two beginning this weekend at the famed Stampede of Speed.

In Top Fuel, a spectacular season continued in the first three races of the Countdown as we saw three different winners open up the championship; Austin Prock, Antron Brown, and Steve Torrance. There is no question that points leader Brittany Force had the momentum coming into the Countdown, but she has yet to win a race in the first three events to fall out of the lead and into third place. Justin Ashley has been the points leader throughout the playoffs vaulting over Mike Salinas and Force in the first event.

On the strength of his win in St. Louis, Steve Torrance is second behind Ashley, just 14 points behind, followed by Force, who is 30 points clear of the lead in the third.

In Funny Car, 3-time NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series champion, points leader, and the man to beat all season Robert Hight has won two of the first three playoff races to remain in first. Defending champion Ron Capps and winner in Charlotte is just 46 points behind in second. Matt Hagan and John Force, in third and fourth, respectively, need to rally in order to move up into contention. Hagan is 103 points behind, and Force trails by 114 points.

Four-time NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series champion Erica Enders has a tight grip in Pro Stock with a 120-point lead over second-place over teammate Aaron Stanfield. Enders has won two of the first three playoff events and seems virtually unbeatable. With eight wins on the season, she is clearly the favorite to capture her fifth world championship.

Pro Stock Motorcycle has only participated in two playoff events but will run out the season in the final three. The lead has changed in both the first two events setting up an intense battle the rest of the way. Matt Smith jumped ahead of Joey Gladstone with a win last week in St. Louis. Going into Texas, Smith is just 21 points clear of Gladstone and 90 points ahead of his wife, Angie Smith.

After this weekend's event in Texas, the racers will get a two-week break before the NHRA Nevada Nationals in Las Vegas October 28-30, before finishing up at Auto Club NHRA Nationals in Pomona November 10-13.
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