Fletcher leads winners at the NHRA Carolina Nationals

Dan Fletcher wins NHRA national event number 105 to lead the winners at the 2021 NHRA Carolina Nationals

All photos courtesy of NHRA.tv

CHARLOTTE – NHRA Lucas Oil sportsman class superstar Dan Fletcher moved into a tie for second on the all-time NHRA win list after taking the Super Stock title at the NHRA Carolina Nationals on Sunday. Fletcher led a veteran group of Lucas Oil sportsman winners including Frank Aragona (Comp), Danny Nelson (TD), Craig Porter (SG), and Vince Hoda (TS). They were joined by first time national event winners Timothy Sickles (STK) and Bob Prose (SC).

For the eighth consecutive national event, the DragChamp crystal ball accurately predicted a winner. In our 2021 NHRA Carolina Nationals event preview, we picked Frank Aragona to win in Comp which he did. We also came close with our Super Gas pick as Iggie Boicesco made the final round but came up short to Craig Porter. Another great pick was Bryan Worner who made it to the semifinals in Super Stock before falling to eventual runner-up Herbie Null Jr.

Find the full event recap below!

2021 NHRA Carolina Nationals

Competition Eliminator – Frank Aragona

Frank Aragona rolled into Charlotte hot off a victory at the Mopar Express Lane Nationals in Maple Grove the previous weekend. His hot streak continued as he grabbed his second Wally in as many weeks. After qualifying in the #1 spot, Aragona drove past Pete D’Agnolo and John Frech to reach the final. There he squared off against the #5 qualifier, Larry Pritchett. Pritchett grabbed the advantage at the tree, .014 to .041, but was off the gas before the finish line to hand the victory to Aragona. The victory is Frank’s 16th overall and 15th in Competition Eliminator.

Super Stock – Dan Fletcher

Dan Fletcher finally snagged win number 105 to move into a tie for second, with Frank Manzo, on the all-time NHRA win list. For #105, the stars aligned as four of his five opponents turned it red including Herbie Null Jr. in the final. Fletcher’s only competitive round came in the quarterfinals where he met Jeff Lewis. With a bye to the final on the line, Fletcher used a .019 to .064 reaction time advantage to advance.

In the semifinals, Null defeated defending World Champ Bryan Worner to move into the final round where he turned it red to Fletcher.

Stock Eliminator – Timothy Sickles

Timothy Sickles drove his M/SA ’80 Malibu to the Stock Eliminator winners circle after defeating multi-time NHRA national event winner Brad Plourd in the final round. Sickles used a near-perfect .004 reaction time and a .034 over 12.194 to force Plourd under his dial and collect his first NHRA national event win. Plourd was .053 at the tree and posted an 11.067 on his 11.08 dial in the loss.

To reach his first national event final round, Sickles defeated a red-lighting Larry Hill in the semifinals while Plourd moved past a late leaving Chris Vang on the other side of the ladder.

Super Comp – Bob Prose

Bob Prose picked up his first NHRA national event victory at the Carolina Nationals after Michael Handras left .002 too soon in the Super Comp final round. Prose would have been tough to beat as he posted a .009 initiated 8.920 lap in the final. To reach the final, Prose posted a string of near perfect laps including a perfect 8.900 in round one, an 8.904 in round 2, and an 8.899 on his semifinal bye run.

Handras hit the 8.90 index three times in six rounds to reach the final. In the semifinals, Handras defeated Allison Prose, Bob’s daughter, to prevent a father/daughter final round.

Super Gas – Craig Porter

Craig Porter collected Wally number three at the Carolina Nationals after defeating Iggie Boicesco in the double-breakout final. Porter was better at the tree, .012 to a .026, and closer to the dial, 9.893 to Boicesco’s 9.885, in the final to secure the victory. To reach the final Porter had to run the semifinal round twice after a timing issue prompted a rematch with David Morris. With a .004 to .030 advantage at the tree, Porter took the win and moved into the final after both drivers posted 9.95 elapsed times.

Boicesco had an easier path to the finals as his opponent, John Taylor, rolled the beams in the semifinals to send Boicesco to the final round.

Top Sportsman – Vince Hoda

Division 4 veteran Vince Hoda collected his second national event victory on Sunday after taking a .004-second win over former World Champ Sandy Wilkins. In a near heads-up final, Hoda was .008 at the tree and took .0048 at the stripe to secure the victory. Hoda’s 6.549 on his 6.53 dial was just enough the edge out Wilkins .016 light and 6.525 on his 6.51 dial-in.

In the semifinals, Hoda had the bye while Wilkins used a .012-pack to stop Jeff Brooks.

Top Dragster – Danny Nelson

The Top Dragster final round at the Carolina Nationals included two of the biggest names in the class, Danny Nelson and JB Strassweg. And they didn’t disappoint as they put on a great race. Nelson was .023 take .013 to secure his seventh NHRA national event win. After his .023 to .031 starting line advantage, Nelson cruised to a 6.149 on his 6.10 dial which bested Strassweg’s 6.274 on his 6.22 dial.

Nelson, a former Top Dragster World Champion, began eliminations as the #2 qualifier with a 6.121 lap at 217 mph. To reach the final, Nelson drove past a red-lighting Brian Younce in the semifinals while Strassweg defeated a late-leaving Alexis Whitaker on the other side of the ladder.

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