Heartland Park Topeka hosted the quickest Funny Car event of the season so far, as 15 three-second runs highlighted the NHRA Kansas Nationals this weekend. 2012 Funny Car champ Jack Beckman made five of those 15 runs on his way to the winner’s circle in Topeka.
Richie Crampton (Top Fuel) and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) joined Beckman in the winner’s circle following the numerous rain delays on Sunday.
“It was an odd deal, as I’ve had very few weekends like this, where there are so many weather delays and you still get the entire event done on Sunday,” said Beckman, crediting the NHRA Safety Safari for their work throughout the weekend.
Beckman took early-round wins over Courtney Force, John Hale and Del Worsham to the final round, where he met up with and defeated 16-time Funny Car champ John Force.
“I have all the respect in the world for John Force,” said Beckman. “It makes a difference when you race him. You’re getting a chance to play against Babe Ruth. It’s so unique in our sport, that a guy [who is] the best there has ever been in this sport, can still mix it up with us. I’ve said this before, I can’t wait to tell my grandkids I got to compete against John Force. This trophy will be extra special because it was John Force we beat in the final.”
Crampton held off Larry Dixon in the Top Fuel finals to claim his second Wally of the season. Crampton took early-round wins over Kyle Wurtzel, Spencer Massey and Brittany Force.
“I’m on top of the moon right now,” said Crampton. “There were great conditions, good enough to try to set national records. Hats off to everyone who made this happen and the Safety Safari that did a fantastic job once again. I can’t believe how many fans hung tough through this bad weather we had and enjoyed the racing with us.”
Enders earned her third victory of the season with a win over Greg Anderson. The No. 1 qualifier also earned round wins over Mark Hogan, Jonathan Gray and Larry Morgan on Sunday.
“My guys are really incredible and it speaks volumes of what they’re capable of when they’re given the tools that they need,” Enders said. “The last time we did this was Norwalk last year; (running) low e.t. of every round of qualifying and eliminations. It’s definitely a feat, especially with Pro Stock being as competitive as it is.”
The 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule continues Thursday through Sunday, June 4th through 7th with the Toyota Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey. Keep up with the action at www.nhra.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.