June 9, 2024 | By NHRA

Schumacher, Prock, J Coughlin, Herrera win NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

Photo by NHRA photo

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Eight-time Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher picked up his first win in 37 races on Sunday at Bristol Dragway, defeating reigning world champ Doug Kalitta in the final round of the 23rd annual Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

Austin Prock (Funny Car), Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won at the eighth of 20 races during the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season.

Schumacher pedaled his way to a run of 4.236-seconds at 259.41 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Waltrip Brewing Co./Leatherwood Distillery dragster, getting past Kalitta’s 4.890 in the finals and claiming his first victory since July of 2022. It’s the 87th career win for the most successful driver in Top Fuel history and also his seventh win at Bristol Dragway, which is tied with Ron Capps for the most in NHRA history.

Schumacher defeated Jasmine Salinas, Shawn Langdon and Clay Millican to reach the final round before extracting some revenge on Kalitta, who beat Schumacher last weekend in the finals at New England Dragway. He moved to fifth in points with the victory as well as the team continues to make big strides in recent weeks.

“We hadn't gotten past half-track (in qualifying), but we found some things and it's always great when the crew chief goes, no I'm serious, this is what we found, and you listen and it truly makes sense,” Schumacher said. “When you have a year like we had last year, a lot of things are like, ‘Oh we figured it out, but it doesn't seem to progress into anything.’ The last couple of days, the last couple of weekends, even, it truly had. We didn't qualify great, but the tune-up we had on raceday was exactly what we needed. From the first round on, I knew we had a racecar.

“After we get the momentum going, calm and cool, it's so easy for me to race here. I've had so many good moments here, so much success. It just seems like we find a way to the winner's circle. This is everything you could ask for at the home track for the boss (team owner Joe Maynard).”

Kalitta moved into the points lead over Justin Ashley on Sunday by advancing to the final round for the third time this season and 115th time in his career, defeating Antron Brown, Steve Torrence and Brittany Force.

Funny Car’s Austin Prock finished off a flawless weekend at Thunder Valley, as the points leader picked up his second victory of the season in his 11,000-horsepower Cornwell Tools Chevrolet Camaro SS, going 3.989 at 312.42 in the finals to defeat J.R. Todd. It made it a clean sweep of the weekend for the young standout, as he qualified No. 1, won the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge and the picked up the event victory all in the span of three days, extending what has been a tremendous first year in Funny Car for the former NHRA Rookie of the Year.

On Sunday, Prock and his team were ultra-consistent, as he knocked off John Smith, Cruz Pedregon and defending world champion Matt Hagan to reach the final round. He went 3.97, 3.98 and 3.98 over the final three rounds as well, driving away from Todd, who went 4.022 at 313.66 in the finals, to pick up his first career victory in Thunder Valley.

“It was just an outstanding job by my team this weekend,” said Prock, who now has six career wins. “Every time we went up there the thing was a car to contend with and we ended up sweeping it. I’m super proud of that. None of these guys are easy anymore, they're so tough but we ended up getting it done.

“We had to race Matt Hagan in the semifinals and he's absolutely brutal and you have to bring your A-game against him. We were victorious this time and ended up racing J.R. and you never know with that DHL car. It can throw some serious punches and J.R. is definitely one of the best on the starting line. We ended up getting by him and walking out of here with some gold, and I’m super proud of that.”

Todd, who is now third in points, reached his second final round this year and 47th in his career, getting past Terry Haddock, Ron Capps and Epping winner John Force, who remains second in points.

In Pro Stock, Jeg Coughlin Jr. added another win in his return to the category, this time dispatching longtime rival Greg Anderson in the championship round with a run of 6.707 at 204.94 in his Scag Power Equipment car. It’s already Coughlin’s second win this season and it’s back-to-back Coughlin Pro Stock wins after Troy Coughlin Jr. won last Sunday in Epping.

Jeg Coughlin Jr. followed suit in Thunder Valley, taking down Elite Motorsports teammates Jerry Tucker, Troy Coughlin Jr. and Erica Enders to reach the final round. Anderson shook the tires almost immediately on the starting line, helping give Coughlin his 67th career victory and third at Bristol Dragway. The veteran and five-time world champion also moved to fourth in points with the victory.

“It was quite a team battle as we started the day off. Pro Stock in today's day and age reminds me a lot of the late 90s and early 2000s where fields are separated just by a couple hundredths of a second,” Coughlin said. “When the field is that tight, it does put a on the driver's shoulders to drive well, get a good start and bang through the gears efficiently and not make any mistakes.

“Greg and I have been in so many elimination-rounds side-by-side. To see them make a mistake and have a hiccup after the stellar runs they've put down was amazing. I put it in fourth gear and kind of peeked over a little bit, it was spinning and shaking, got it into fifth gear and I peeked over again and I'm like, you've got to be kidding me. Surely, he's going to be coming on like a freight train. Bottom line, what a great win for us today.”

Anderson, who was the No. 1 qualifier and remained second in points, reached the finals for the third time in 2024 and 179th time in his career after round wins against Larry Morgan, Cristian Cuadra and points leader Dallas Glenn.

Points leader Gaige Herrera enjoyed another record-setting day on Sunday in Pro Stock Motorcycle, winning his ninth straight race and picking up his 35th straight round win after defeating Jianna Evaristo in the final round with a run of 6.818 at 198.17 on his RevZilla/Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki. Herrera passed the great Dave Schultz for the most consecutive wins in Pro Stock Motorcycle history, while the nine straight wins and 35 consecutive round wins ties legendary Pro Stock racer Bob Glidden for the most in NHRA history.

It didn’t come easy on Sunday, as Herrera defeated defending event winner Steve Johnson, John Hall and No. 1 qualifier Matt Smith to reach the finals. The victory in a must-see matchup against Smith came on a holeshot, as Herrera’s 6.825 held off Smith’s 6.824 in the semifinals. Herrera, who now has four wins in 2024 and 15 in his career, led wire-to-wire in the finals, avenging last year’s loss at Bristol in the final round in the process.

“It was a good day, but kind of weird starting from the 5th position. We struggled a little bit here in Bristol, it's a beautiful facility but it's seemed to have my number,” Herrera said. “The semifinal was probably the highlight of my career so far. Matt was running well all weekend. What a day. The final against Jianna, I always love racing her, and I'm so happy for her. She's been improving round by round and pass by pass, and to get the win over her is awesome. Not only that, to have basically two young guns in the final it's very cool. I'm happy to go home with the Bristol win.

“To be mentioned with Dave Schultz and Bob Glidden, it's a lot to take in. It's obviously real, but it doesn't feel real, what's been accomplished in such a small time. But I'm enjoying the ride and trying to look at every little milestone that passes. As a kid, I never would have thought I would be in this position or have my name in the history. It gets emotional sometimes when I think about it.”

Evaristo advanced to her first final round of the season by knocking off Marc Ingwersen, Chase Van Sant and Richard Gadson.

The NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series returns to action with the Virginia NHRA Nationals on June 22-23 at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va.


BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Final round-by-round results from the 23rd annual Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, the eighth of 20 events in the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series:


ROUND ONE -- Doug Foley, 3.878, 301.74 def. Tony Stewart, 5.131, 148.41; Tony Schumacher, 3.794, 325.61 def. Jasmine Salinas, 3.802, 328.78; Doug Kalitta, 3.723, 328.54 def. Antron Brown, 3.782, 327.27; Clay Millican, 4.328, 195.45 def. Cameron Ferre, 7.084, 93.18; Shawn Langdon, 3.739, 322.81 def. Shawn Reed, 5.031, 144.72; Brittany Force, 3.733, 329.42 def. Justin Ashley, 3.764, 324.36; Steve Torrence, 3.773, 329.75 def. Cody Krohn, 3.901, 311.34; Billy Torrence, 3.768, 331.45 def. Josh Hart, 3.830, 322.65;

QUARTERFINALS -- Millican, 3.848, 309.42 def. Foley, 5.325, 134.62; Schumacher, 3.815, 324.05 def. Langdon, 3.835, 300.86; Force, 3.820, 320.58 def. B. Torrence, 4.228, 212.06; Kalitta, 3.767, 326.48 def. S. Torrence, 3.775, 326.08;

SEMIFINALS -- Schumacher, 3.795, 326.16 def. Millican, 3.824, 322.50; Kalitta, 3.800, 318.02 def. Force, 4.204, 224.43;

FINAL -- Schumacher, 4.236, 259.41 def. Kalitta, 4.890, 150.06.


ROUND ONE -- Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.951, 321.65 def. Chad Green, Ford Mustang, 4.009, 318.39; Alexis DeJoria, Toyota GR Supra, 3.938, 318.69 def. Dave Richards, Toyota Camry, 4.242, 294.75; Austin Prock, Chevy Camaro, 3.924, 326.87 def. John Smith, Charger, 5.740, 126.84; Ron Capps, GR Supra, 3.962, 323.12 def. Buddy Hull, Charger, 4.176, 288.46; Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.194, 250.46 def. Bobby Bode, Mustang, 4.221, 238.55; J.R. Todd, GR Supra, 3.999, 319.14 def. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.097, 298.01; John Force, Camaro, 3.953, 320.97 def. Daniel Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.981, 318.69; Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 4.069, 308.00 def. Paul Lee, Charger, 6.130, 113.55;

QUARTERFINALS -- Todd, 3.977, 319.75 def. Capps, 4.001, 316.45; Force, 4.010, 316.60 def. DeJoria, 4.088, 306.19; Prock, 3.976, 319.07 def. Pedregon, 4.065, 313.22; Hagan, 4.126, 279.56 def. Tasca III, 7.292, 85.62;

SEMIFINALS -- Todd, 4.012, 311.34 def. Force, 4.060, 314.83; Prock, 3.982, 317.57 def. Hagan, 4.096, 296.89;

FINAL -- Prock, 3.989, 312.42 def. Todd, 4.022, 313.66.


ROUND ONE -- Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.679, 205.16 def. Brandon Foster, Chevy Camaro, 6.971, 204.23; David Cuadra, Mustang, 6.694, 205.57 def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.706, 204.57; Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.662, 205.41 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.717, 204.11; Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.661, 205.51 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 7.072, 158.82; Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.639, 205.41 def. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.657, 204.82; Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.657, 205.04 def. Jerry Tucker, Camaro, 6.698, 205.38; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.633, 204.82 def. Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.713, 202.55; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.636, 206.80 def. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Camaro, 6.697, 204.60;

QUARTERFINALS -- Coughlin, 6.690, 205.32 def. Coughlin Jr., 6.736, 204.85; Glenn, 6.665, 204.91 def. Stanfield, 6.689, 205.16; Enders, 6.665, 206.67 def. D. Cuadra, 6.776, 203.55; Anderson, 6.660, 204.35 def. C. Cuadra, 6.699, 204.01;

SEMIFINALS -- Coughlin, 6.720, 204.60 def. Enders, 9.657, 104.42; Anderson, 6.658, 205.10 def. Glenn, 6.833, 179.11;

FINAL -- Coughlin, 6.707, 204.94 def. Anderson, 20.530, 37.09.


ROUND ONE -- Hector Arana Jr, 6.868, 198.17 def. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.896, 195.11; Jianna Evaristo, Buell, 6.871, 196.53 def. Marc Ingwersen, Broke - No Show; John Hall, 6.876, 195.96 def. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, Foul - Red Light; Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.813, 197.91 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.922, 192.82; Chase Van Sant, Suzuki, 6.878, 195.45 def. Ron Tornow, 6.920, 195.03; Richard Gadson, Suzuki, 6.860, 196.96 def. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 8.130, 119.97; Matt Smith, Buell, 6.807, 199.61 def. Ryan Oehler, 7.012, 194.24;

QUARTERFINALS -- Evaristo, 7.115, 161.19 def. Van Sant, Foul - Red Light; Gadson, 6.876, 195.87 def. Arana Jr, 6.874, 197.68; Herrera, 6.829, 197.31 def. Hall, 6.866, 197.45; M. Smith, 6.817, 198.82 was unopposed;

SEMIFINALS -- Evaristo, 6.898, 196.50 def. Gadson, 6.916, 194.80; Herrera, 6.825, 198.12 def. M. Smith, 6.824, 198.82;

FINAL -- Herrera, 6.818, 198.17 def. Evaristo, 6.861, 197.94.


Super Stock -- Byron Worner, Chevy Camaro, 9.882, 120.24 def. Jeff Adkinson, Camaro, 9.449, 140.43.

Stock Eliminator -- Jimmy Hidalgo Jr., Pontiac GTO, 11.094, 113.81 def. Monty Bogan, Chevy Camaro, 10.929, 118.54.

Super Comp -- Ray Miller III, Dragster, 8.931, 174.68 def. Vincent Nobile, Dragster, 8.933, 177.86.

Super Gas -- Gene Brown, Chevy II, 9.906, 162.63 def. JJ Brock, Chevy Camaro, Foul - Red Light.

Top Dragster -- Matt Sackman, Dragster, 6.191, 224.73 def. Vance Houston, Dragster, 6.532, 209.43.

Factory Stock Showdown -- David Janac, Chevy Camaro, 8.037, 169.98 def. Stephen Bell, Camaro, 17.200, 60.47.

Mountain Motor Pro Stock -- Bo Butner, Chevy Camaro, 6.712, 162.10 def. John DeFlorian Jr., Camaro, Foul - Red Light.

Legends Nitro Funny Car presented by Modern Warriors -- Bobby Cottrell, Chevy Camaro, 4.810, 233.72 def. Geoff Monise, Pontiac Firebird, 8.510, 75.61.


Top Fuel                                        

1  Doug Kalitta 631
2  Justin Ashley 609
3  Shawn Langdon    583
4  Steve Torrence      522
5  Tony Schumacher     471
6  Antron Brown            465
7  Clay Millican            460
8  Billy Torrence          443
9  Tony Stewart             378
10  Brittany Force            373

Funny Car                                    

1  Austin Prock              703
2  John Force                639
3  J.R. Todd                   594
4  Matt Hagan               586
5  Bob Tasca III             510
6  Ron Capps                417
7  Dan Wilkerson           411
8  Alexis DeJoria           398
9  Chad Green               351
10  Blake Alexander         295

Pro Stock                                       

1  Dallas Glenn               697
2  Greg Anderson           676
3  Erica Enders                662
4  Jeg Coughlin Jr.           567
5  Aaron Stanfield            484
6  Troy Coughlin Jr           441
7  Jerry Tucker                  432
8  Cristian Cuadra             386
9  David Cuadra                307
10  Brandon Foster             298

Pro Stock Motorcycle                

1  Gaige Herrera                493
2  Matt Smith                      319
3  Richard Gadson             266
4  John Hall                        258
5  Angie Smith                   239
6  Chase Van Sant              238
7  LE Tonglet                       233
8  Hector Arana Jr               193
9  Jianna Evaristo               189
10  Steve Johnson                153



BRISTOL, Tenn. - NHRA announced the disqualification of J.R. Gray’s run on Sunday during a post-race inspection following the final round of the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in the Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+ due to a technical violation after bypassing a safety device.

As a result of the disqualification, Kris Thorne has been named the winner at Bristol Dragway, with Gray finishing as the runner-up.

It was the fifth of 10 races during the 2024 season and this weekend’s event was powered by Cardinal Insurance.

Thorne, who qualified No. 1 with a run of 5.764-seconds at 250.41 mph, knocked off Rickie Smith, Ken Quartuccio and points leader Jose Gonzalez to reach the final round. It is Thorne’s first win this season and the seventh in his career.

The Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+ returns to action with the Virginia NHRA Nationals on June 22-23 at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va. It is the final race of the regular season in the category.



BRISTOL, Tenn. – J.R. Gray raced to the win in the Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+ on Sunday, defeating former world champion Kris Thorne at Bristol Dragway as part of this weekend’s 23rd annual Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

It was the fifth of 10 races during the 2024 season and this weekend’s event was powered by Cardinal Insurance.

In the final round, Gray went 5.812-seconds at 247.61 mph in his Camaro, getting past Thorne’s 5.937 at 203.55 to pick up his second career win. To reach the championship round, Gray had to get past Doug Winters, Dmitry Samorukov and Mike Thielen. It was his first finals appearance of the 2024 season.

“We looked at the qualifying sheet and sometimes it’s an uphill battle, but we keep on digging,” said Gray, who qualified second with a run of 5.799 at 249.07. “We had a quite a few things come into play over the last few races, but we’ve been digging hard to come up with ways to get us a little bit more horsepower. I take it one round at a time. Every race is a different race and we up line and shoot them down, but in the back of your mind you’re thinking about it a little bit.”

Thorne, who qualified No. 1 with a spectacular 5.764 at 250.41, knocked off Rickie Smith, Ken Quartuccio and points leader Jose Gonzalez to reach the final round for the second time this season and the 10th time in his career.

The Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+ returns to action with the Virginia NHRA Nationals on June 22-23 at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va. It is the final race of the regular season in the category.


BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Final round-by-round results from the 23rd annual Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. The race is the fifth of 10 events in the Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+.


ROUND ONE -- Jose Gonzalez, Chevy Camaro, 5.806, 247.79 def. Kevin Rivenbark, Ford Mustang, 5.838, 244.34; Ken Quartuccio, Camaro, 5.809, 244.60 def. Dwayne Wolfe, Camaro, 7.830, 121.54; Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.783, 247.57 def. Lyle Barnett, Camaro, 5.803, 245.40; Billy Banaka, Camaro, 5.853, 233.44 def. Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 5.837, 246.62; Kris Thorne, Camaro, 5.756, 249.86 def. Rickie Smith, Mustang, 6.017, 190.67; JR Gray, Camaro, 5.868, 247.43 def. Doug Winters, Chevy Chevelle, 6.012, 227.80; Mike Thielen, Camaro, 5.857, 246.03 def. Justin Bond, Camaro, 5.957, 244.34; Dmitry Samorukov, Camaro, 5.835, 244.69 def. Jordan Lazic, Camaro, 5.844, 247.66;

QUARTERFINALS -- Gonzalez, 5.815, 247.20 def. Banaka, 5.883, 239.82; Thielen, 5.866, 246.44 def. Castellana, 6.039, 196.59; Thorne, 6.147, 185.61 def. Quartuccio, Foul - Red Light; Gray, 5.808, 247.93 def. Samorukov, Foul - Red Light;

SEMIFINALS -- Thorne, 5.820, 248.29 def. Gonzalez, 5.826, 247.66; Gray, 5.844, 247.38 def. Thielen, Foul - Red Light;

FINAL -- Gray, 5.812, 247.61 def. Thorne, 5.937, 203.55.


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