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Thursday, July 18, 2024

2022 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Sportsman Preview

2022 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Lucas Oil Sportsman Preview from Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tennessee

Cover photo courtesy of NHRA.tv

BRISTOL – The NHRA traveling road show heads to Thunder Valley this week as they stop off at Bristol Dragway for the Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, TN. Bristol is one of the most beautiful stops on the tour with the mountains in the backdrop and a first class facility.

Once again we came up short in our predictions at the New England Nationals but will look to redeem ourselves this week.

The NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals will showcase over 195 Lucas Oil sportsman racers competing in five different classes. The schedule includes Super Stock, Stock Eliminator, Super Comp, Super Gas, and Top Sportsman.

Before we look ahead to the 2022 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, let’s look back at the 2021 event champions.

Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series

2021 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Champions

Super Stock – Greg Stanfield

Stock Eliminator – Brett Candies

Super Comp – Jack Sepanek

Super Gas – Jacob Elrod

Top Dragster – Chad Taylor

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2022 NHRA Thunder Valley 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.

Super Stock – 40 Car Field

2021 Super Stock Final – photo courtesy of NHRA.tv

Neither of last year’s finalists are entered this week but there’s a host of big names on the list including Ricky Decker, Cooter Hidalgo, Mike Crutchfield, Dan Fletcher, Tyler Bohannon, Joe Santangelo, and Anthony Bertozzi.

DragChamp picks to win:

Ricky Decker – The former world champ has been to the finals on the mountain but hasn’t won there, would love to see that change this week

Kent Hanley – Cagy veteran can get it done anywhere, anytime

Stock Eliminator – 44 Car Field

2021 Stock Final – photo courtesy of NHRA.tv

Last season Brett Candies scored an emotional victory in Bristol after winning for the first time in his fourth final round appearance. While he’s not returning to defend his title, a literal murder’s row of hitters will look to take the title this week. This includes Steve Foley, Randi Lyn Shipp, Brad Plourd, Joe Santangelo, David Barton and more.

DragChamp picks to win:

Todd Bones Ewing – Dude doesn’t attend many NHRA races but seems to win every time he shows up

Monty Bogan Jr. – Former event winner is overdue for another big weekend

Super Comp – 44 Car Field

2021 Super Comp Final – photo courtesy of NHRA.tv

Not sure where to even start with the 8.90 group as the entry list is just plain nasty. Bob Prose, the Isenhower bros., Sherman Adcock Jr., John Labbous, Steve Furr, Jonathan Anderson, and Jacob Elrod are just a few of the hitters that stand out.

DragChamp picks to win:

Jeremy Mason – D2 hitter has already grabbed a Wally this year on the divisional level, wouldn’t surprise me to see him add a big Wally to the collection this weekend

Anthony Bertozzi – I could pick this guy every week in Super Stock and Top Dragster but I try to not pick him too often. Can’t help myself this week as he’s in a different class. I believe it’s been a while since AB has competed in SC but that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten how to race with a throttle stop. Should be interesting to watch.

Super Gas – 50 Car Field

2021 Super Gas Final – photo courtesy of NHRA.tv

For the first time in a long time, Super Gas will have the largest field on the property. The big field includes some big names such as Jim Perry Jr., Jonathan Anderson, Nathan Vrooman, Jeremy Mason, Labbous, Barton, and Isenhower.

DragChamp picks to win:

Jacob Elrod – Would love to see this guy pull a repeat of his 2021 performance

Edmond Richardson – Hard to not to pick the King! His new Camaro roadster has given him new life in the 9.90 class

Top Sportsman – 18 Car Field

Ronnie Proctor Top Sportsman
photo courtesy of NHRA.tv

The Top Sportsman field is a little short on entries this week but big on talent. The 18 car field will be a tough one with names like Paul Mitsos, Curt Fredrich, Vince Hoda, Ronnie Proctor, and Johnny Brooks on the entry list.

DragChamp pick to win:

Ronnie Proctor – Former world champ has been too quiet as of late, seems like a good time for him to make some noise

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