Multi-time World Champions Brittany Force, Ron Capps, Erica Enders and Matt Smith were crowned Monday night at the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Awards Ceremony at the Pechanga Resort Casino in the scenic southern wine country of California.
The four standout drivers were honored for their accomplishments throughout the season and received their trophies for winning the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Championships in a memorable countdown to the championship playoffs.
Force clinched its second Top Fuel championship and won the NHRA and Camping World top prizes after a record-breaking season in the busy category. She clinched the championship with her first-round win at Pomona, as the record-breaking 11,000 horsepower Monster Energy/Flav-R-Pac drag racer took five wins and 10 No. 1 qualifiers – plus a plethora of track records and the fastest race in Top Fuel’s history – during its 2022 banner campaign.
In his first year as a team owner, Capps became Funny Car’s first repeat champion in 20 years, outlasting Robert Hight on the final day at Pomona to win his third career World Championship. His semi-final win, coupled with Hight’s second-round loss in the NHRA Finals, secured the championship for Capps in his 11,000-hp Toyota GR Supra NAPA Auto Parts. In all, Capps had five wins this season, earning his second straight NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series championship.
Enders was also credited for her Pro Stock dominance on Monday, as the star driver clinched her fifth career championship and her third in the past four years. She clinched the title in Las Vegas, winning four of the first five races in the championship countdown in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. Enders also had his best season yet, picking up 10 wins and advancing to 13 finals, with his win in Vegas capping off a spectacular season.
Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Matt Smith claimed his third consecutive World Championship on his Denso Auto Parts Buell, also claiming his sixth career title. That ties him with Andrew Hines and Dave Schultz for the most in class history, with Smith having won four of those crowns in the past five years. This season Smith has won four wins and made it to six finals, winning both a Suzuki and a Buell during the season.
Pro Stock’s Camrie Caruso won the NHRA Rookie of the Year award after an outstanding first season in his Powerbuilt Tools Chevrolet Camaro. Caruso qualified in all 19 races and qualified for the championship playoff countdown, earning her first No. 1 qualifier in Houston. She also qualified for the final round there, where she joined points leader Enders in the first all-female final round in Pro Stock history. Top Fuel’s Scott Farley and Funny Car’s Jason Rupert were also nominated.
The NHRA Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to legendary driver and team owner Don Schumacher. Heralded as one of the pioneers of drag racing, Schumacher claimed more than 365 victories, as well as 19 world championships, as a team owner. As a driver, the fierce competitor won five races from 1970 to 1973, including the 1970 US National Championships at Indy.
For the sixth straight season and an NHRA record 27th time, Chevrolet was named the winner of the NHRA Manufacturers’ Cup. The award is given to the automaker whose current model year vehicles accumulate the most points during the NHRA season. Among those who enjoyed Chevrolet’s flagship seasons were Hight, Funny Car legend John Force, Enders, Aaron Stanfield, Greg Anderson and Troy Coughlin Jr.
NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series riders have also been recognized as 2022 World Champions including Jeremy Hancock (Top Dragster), Lance Abbot (Top Sportsman), Bob Locke (Super Gas), James Glenn (Super Comp), Jimmy Hidalgo Jr. (Stock), Pete D’Agnolo (Super Stock), Ryan Priddy (Comp), Doug Gordon (Top Alcohol Funny Car) and Joey Severance (Top Alcohol Dragster).
The 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Awards Ceremony will be available to fans around the world this week on www.NHRA.com and the NHRA YouTube page.
The 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season begins March 9-12 with the 54th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at historic Gainesville Raceway.