Saturday, July 13, 2024

NHRA Heartland Nationals Sportsman Preview

Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals Lucas Oil Sportsman Preview

TOPEKA – After a huge event last week at Route 66 Raceway in Chicago, the NHRA crew heads to Topeka for the Heartland Nationals. The Heartland Nationals is the second stop on a month long stretch that includes four-straight NHRA national events.

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The four-race stretch kicked off in Chicago with the Route 66 Nationals that included the JEGS Allstars specialty race. A number of racers had huge weekends in Chicago including Jeff Lopez, Lester Johnson, and Jeff Dona.

As the tour moves on, some of the top racers in the country will convene on Heartland Motorsports Park in pursuit of a national event Wally.

NHRA division 5

The Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals will showcase 300 Lucas Oil sportsman racers competing in seven classes. The schedule includes Competition Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock Eliminator, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, and Factory Stock Showdown.

The three-day national event schedule will be in place this weekend. This includes sportsman time trials and qualifying on Friday with eliminations beginning Saturday morning.

Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series

2018 NHRA Heartland Nationals Champions

Super Stock – Michael Mans

Stock Eliminator – Tyler Wudarczyck

Super Comp – Danielle Jaramillo-Miller

Super Gas – Kevin Theobald

Top Sportsman – Dusty Meyer

Top Dragster – Phil Unruh


2019 Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals Predictions

With each NHRA national event DragChamp’s sportsman preview includes an overview of each class. In addition, we select the DragChamp Picks to win the race. Here are this week’s picks.

Competition Eliminator – 31 Car Field

For the second-straight event, the Comp cars have turned out in great numbers. This week’s field includes 31 cars which is double the normal turnout. The increased participation is a great sign for a class that’s struggled for years.

DragChamp pick to win:

Bruno Massel Jr. – Bruno has been quiet for too long, look for him to make some noise in the Heartland.

Super Stock – 56 Car Field

2018 Heartland Nationals Super Stock Champ Michael Mans
Michael Mans 2018 Super Stock Champ

The Super Stock field may be the most talented field of the season. The entry list includes Route 66 Champ Vic Penrod, JEGS Allstars Super Comp winner Chris Dodd, and many more.

World Champion Justin Lamb is entered this week. He enjoyed a solid outing in Chicago last week, look for him to better that in Topeka.

In other news, Todd Patterson will debut his new ’19 Camaro this week. The car includes the Patterson biege retro paint scheme.

Todd Patterson Super Stock Camaro
Todd Patterson

DragChamp picks to win:

Chris Chaney – Opened the season last week in Chicago and made a ton of rounds. Didn’t look rusty to me, seems ready to win.

Pete Perry – Was brilliant in his Spring Nationals win earlier in the season. Expect more of the same in Topeka.

Tyler Wudarcyzk – 2018 Stock event winner is always a tough out in Kansas.

Stock Eliminator – 48 Car Field

Randi Lyn Shipp looks to go back-to-back after her second win of the season last week in Chicago. She’ll have to stop another racer on a hot streak if she’s able to repeat.

Randi Lyn Shipp 2019 Route 66 Nationals Stock Champ
Randi Lyn Shipp

That racer is Drew Skillman. Drew has been in a final at every national he’s attended this year. Three-for-three and looking for more.

Jacob Pitt was also on a heater in the spring, we’ll see if he can pick up where he left off this week.

DragChamp picks to win:

Austin Williams – This guys has owned Topeka for the last few years. There’s no way I’m picking against him.

Brett Speer – Was solid at the Route 66 Nationals, could be a precursor to bigger things this week.

Scott Burton – The new Mustang has already found the winners circle this year.

Super Comp – 59 Car Field

2018 Heartland Nationals Super Comp Champ Danielle Jaramillo-Miller
Danielle Jaramillo-Miller 2018 Super Comp Champ

Five of the 2018 Top 10 finishers are in attendance this week. That should make for a competitive event. Combine this with a track that is notoriously a driver’s track, and you have a recipe for fun.

Red-hot Koy Collier is in the house. After a Super Gas runner up at the Spring Nationals, Koy grabbed a $20,000 win at the Texas Triple Tens bracket race recently.

Shannon Brinkley is back in action this week after back-to-back finals at the 4-Wide Nationals and Southern Nationals.

Former world champions Dan Fletcher, Luke Bogacki, and Gary Stinnett are all entered this week.

DragChamp picks to win:

Austin Williams – Odds are in my favor here. He wins way more than he loses in Topeka.

Luke Bogacki – Hasn’t raced much in 2019 but when he shows up, he’s usually in the final.

Trevor Larson – Talented top-end racer should show out this week. Topeka is a driver’s track and this guy can flat out drive.

Super Gas – 53 Car Field

2018 Heartland Nationals Super Gas Final
2018 Heartland Nationals Super Gas Final

Robert Rowan gets back on track this week after his dominating win at the Spring Nationals in Houston. He was the number one qualifier, never let go worst than .01, and laid down .90’s like they were going out of style.

Dave Dahlem won his second national event last week in Chicago. He would love a repeat performance this week.

The most entertaining car in Super Gas will be in attendance this week. The four-speed manually shifted ’67 Camaro of Tim Nicholson is always fun to watch. With speeds of only 100 MPH, he gives competitors fits at the finish line.

DragChamp picks to win:

Kevin Moore – The Division 5 runner is always in the mix at Topeka.

Craig Maddox – Talented driver that’s overdue for a big win.

Aaron Kinard – Didn’t do much in Chicago, expect to see that change this week.

Super Street – 38 Car Field

The Super Street class is in action for the second consecutive weekend. Rodger Sauder claimed his first national event win last week. Can he make it two in a row?

To do so he’ll have to outlast guys like Gary Stinnett, Trevor Larson, Steve Domingues, and Ray Dew.

Rodger Sauder 2019 Route 66 Nationals Super Street Champ
Rodger Sauder

DragChamp picks to win:

Gary Stinnett – Multi-time world champ has been closing in on a Super Street win. This feels like the week to me.

Rodger Sauder – This is a bad dude. Has a great shot at winning his second-straight.

Factory Stock Showdown – 23 Car Field

The Factory Stockers are back in business this week. After more rules changes and a few weeks off, the most entertaining class in sportsman racing shouldn’t disappoint.

Drew Skillman 2019 Virginia Nationals Factory Stock
Drew Skillman

The Skillman Motorsports team have combined to win all three of the FSS events this year. Will the rules changes slow them down or do they have more up their sleeve? Those questions will be answered this weekend.

Of note, only three Mopars are in attendance this week in a field of 23 cars. While the class is generating tons of attention, I think this will quickly fade if only one or two manufactures dominate the entry list. We need the Mopars to be competitive in order to keep the class exciting.

DragChamp pick to win:

Bo Butner – Butner has done everything but win in FSS this season. After a couple of runner ups, expect him to get it done this week.

DragChamp is your source for NHRA Lucas Oil sportsman drag racing news and drag race results. Follow DragChamp for daily updates throughout the weekend.

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