ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. --
The best in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will all compete for the coveted Wally in one of the oldest and most prestigious events on the NHRA circuit. Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Michael Ray (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year's winners of the event that will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, located outside New York City, has seen great racing in the past and has hosted every major NHRA legend imaginable for the past 45 years. Joe Amato, Kenny Bernstein, Shirley Muldowney, Don Prudhomme and Bob Glidden have all enjoyed victories at the tradition rich event.
Last season in Top Fuel, Langdon won the event on the way to his 2013 Top Fuel world championship. The driver of the Al-Anabi Racing dragster is still looking for his first win of 2014 with his runner-up finish at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals being his best result. With success in Englishtown before, Langdon has what it takes to return to the winners circle.
Englishtown couldn't come soon enough for Funny Car driver Matt Hagan. Hagan defeated Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman to win the event last year. Hagan opened 2013 strong, reaching the final of the season opening event in Pomona. Since then, the Mopar/Express Lane Toyota Camry driver has struggled. Returning to a track where he won last year could be the perfect medicine for Hagan.
Funny Car points leader Robert Hight has three wins on the season, appearing in five finals out of six races this season. Hight, the 2009 Funny Car world champion, hasn't won at Englishtown before but 2014 could be the year the driver of the Auto Club Ford Mustang reaches victory lane here.
Englishtown winners John Force, Cruz Pedregon, Tony Pedregon, Del Worsham, Ron Capps, Tommy Johnson Jr., Bob Tasca III and Tim Wilkerson will all look to add to their New Jersey victories. Alexis DeJoria, Courtney Force, and Jack Beckman are a few of the other Funny Car competitors who are expected to compete for the victory.
Greg Anderson leads the Pro Stock category with five career wins at Old Royal Township Raceway Park in the factory hot rod class. Having returned from heart surgery at Houston, Anderson will be rounding back into form and could be back at full strength at the event. If so, Anderson's Summit Racing Chevy Camaro could be game for a sixth Englishtown win.
Michael Ray won this event in Pro Stock Motorcycle last season and so far the Star Racing driver has been the No. 1 qualifier at both events in 2014. Charlotte winner Andrew Hines has tasted success at Englishtown before, winning in 2004. Last year's Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Matt Smith and Eddie Krawiec will both be looking for a second Englishtown victory.
The NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series returns for its fourth race of the 2014 season at Englishtown. Mike Castellana and Mike Janis respectively took the opening events at Gainesville and Houston and both will be threats to take the New Jersey win in the popular doorslammer category.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they're granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and enjoy some cherished face time and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.
Fans also will want to visit NHRA's popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying begins Friday, May 30, with sessions at 4 and 6:15 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, May 31, at 12:45 and 3:15 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 1. NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series qualifying begins Friday, May 30, with sessions at 3:30 and 5:45 p.m. continuing with one qualifying session on Saturday, May 31 at 2:30 p.m. Round one of eliminations is later on Saturday at 3:15 p.m.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call Old Bridge Township Raceway Park at (732) 446-7800 or visit www.racewaypark.com.
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