HomePro Stock MotorcycleNHRA: 2024 Summit Racing Equipment Nationals - Pro Stock Motorcycle

NHRA: 2024 Summit Racing Equipment Nationals – Pro Stock Motorcycle

NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series
18th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals
Summit Motorsports Park
June 28-30, 2024

Gaige Hererra Wins 2024 Summit Racing Equipment Nationals

Gaige Herrera again raised his performance on Sunday in Pro Stock Motorcycle, extending his NHRA record with an 11th straight win, defeating Matt Smith in the final round on his RevZilla/Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki with an impressive run of 6.704 at 200.77. The dominant points leader and defending world champion remained undefeated since last September and for all of 2024, winning his sixth straight race this year and first at Summit Motorsports Park.

Herrera qualified third heading into eliminations, but was incredible on Sunday, going a track-record 6.698 at 200.95 to open the day. He added round wins against Chase Van Sant and John Hall to reach the final round before the marquee matchup with Smith. But Herrera left the starting line first and rolled to the victory.

“I have an awesome team behind me, and they deserve more of the credit than I do. I get the spotlight but all in all, it’s them. It shows their hard work. It’s just been a lot accomplished in a short time and it’s really hard to take it all in, but I’m enjoying it. It’s unbelievable but it makes me feel like all my hard work is paying off. I’ve always wanted to be here since I was a little kid.

“I actually grew up one city over from John Force. You grow up watching John, hearing about him, to have my name in that same area – it’s still John Force, you can never compare yourself to anyone like that, but to have my name mentioned in the history books like that, it’s incredible. I never would have dreamed anything of it as a kid and I still don’t believe it.”

Smith earned his second trip to the finals this year and the 77th in his career thanks to round wins against Wesley Wells and Richard Gadson.

The NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series returns to action July 19-21 with the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Seattle.

Gaige Herrera
Gaige Herrera

ROUND 1

W – John Hall / 0.098 / 6.829 / 197.77
L – Hector Arana Jr / 0.011 / 7.332 / 192.25
Weather conditions: air temperature 67 degrees, relative humidity 73 percent, barometer 30.10 inches, adjusted altitude 1,906 feet, track temperature 86 degrees. Arana Jr. with a great light, but has problems right at the hit. Hall is straight down the groove for the win.

John Hall
John Hall

W – Angie Smith / 0.318 / 6.786 / 196.5
L – Eiji Kawakami / 0.011 / 7.565 / 151.85
Angie Smith wins 70% of her Rd. 1 races when she has lane choice. Eiji Kawakami is making his 14th start overall and his 3rd this year. This is the first time Smith and Kawakami have faced each other in eliminations. Kawakami with a great light, but is out of the groove and over by the wall. Smith has the lead by 330-feet and never trails from there on for the win. Smith with her quickest pass of the weekend for the win and lane choice over Hall in the next round.

Angie Smith
Angie Smith

W – Chase Van Sant / 0.021 / 6.814 / 196.79
L – Marc Ingwersen / 0.033 / 6.901 / 194.13
Ingwersen is 2 – 0 against Van Sant in prior events. Van Sant with the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win

Chase Van Sant
Chase Van Sant

W – Jianna Evaristo / 0.055 / 6.754 / 200.53
L – Chris Bostick / 0.045 / 14.183 / 38.77
This is the first time Evaristo and Bostick have faced each other in eliminations. Bostick with the starting line advantage, but has problems right at the hit and clicks it off. Evaristo with her quickest pass of the weekend for the win.

Jianna Evaristo
Jianna Evaristo

W – Richard Gadson / 0.026 / 7.029 / 161.59
L – Steve Johnson / 0.037 / 10.048 / 81.26
This is the first time Gadson and Johnson have faced each other in eliminations. Gadson with the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win. Gadson with a puff of smoke right at the finish line. He will give up lane choice to Evaristo in the next round.

W – Gaige Herrera / 0.032 / 6.698 / 200.95
L – Ron Tornow /-0.012 / 6.907 / 195.96
This was the 1st race last year where Herrera didn’t make the Final round. Ron Tornow is making his 30th start. Herrera is 4 – 0 against Tornow in prior events. Tornow goes red to give Herrera the win. Herrera with the quickest pass of the event for the win. He will have lane choice over Van Sant in the next round.

Matt Smith
Matt Smith

W – Matt Smith / 0.108 / 6.779 / 200
L – Wesley Wells / 0.02 / 7.435 / 179.97
Matt Smith makes the final round 48% of the time when qualified #1. Wesley Wells is making his 31st start overall and his 2nd this year, Smith is 3 – 0 against Wells in prior events. Wells with the starting line advantage, but Smith has the lead by 100 feet and never trails for the win. Smith with the bye in the next round.

ROUND 2

W – John Hall / 0.035 / 6.798 / 198.99
L – Angie Smith / 0.034 / 6.872 / 198.9
Smith is 5 – 1 against Hall in prior events. Smith with a tick on the tree, but Hall has the lead as they go by the Christmas tree and never trails from there on for the win.

W – Richard Gadson / 0.02 / 6.862 / 198.2
L – Jianna Evaristo / 0.069 / 6.871 / 200.26
Evaristo and Gadson have each won 1 times against the other in prior events. Gadson with the starting line advantage and the win.

W – Matt Smith / 0.044 / 6.817 / 199.32
L – Earned Bye
Smith gets the bye run here. Smith is straight down the groove and he will have lane choice over Gadson in the semifinal.

W – Gaige Herrera / 0.032 / 6.76 / 199.64
L – Chase Van Sant / 0.041 / 6.812 / 197.68
Herrera is 5 – 0 against Van Sant in prior events. Herrera with the starting line advantage and the win. He makes the quickest pass of the round for the win. He will have lane choice over Hall in the semifinal.

Chase Van Sant
Chase Van Sant

SEMI-FINAL

W – Matt Smith / 0.016 / 6.798 / 198.82
L – Richard Gadson / 0.045 / 7.608 / 124.27
This is the first time Smith and Gadson have faced each other in eliminations. Smith with the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win. He is advancing to his 77th final round.

Matt Smith
Matt Smith

W – Gaige Herrera / 0.016 / 6.72 / 200.8
L – John Hall /-0.008 / 6.848 / 196.73
Herrera is 4 – 0 against Hall in prior events. Hall goes red to give Herrera the win. Herrera is straight down the groove for the win. He will have lane choice over Smith in the final. He is advancing to his 18th final round.

FINAL

W – Gaige Herrera / 0.026 / 6.704 / 200.77
RU – Matt Smith / 0.04 / 5.632 / —
Herrera is 5 – 1 against Smith in prior events and Herrera is 2 – 0 against Smith in prior final rounds. Herrera with the starting line advantage and is straight down the groove for his 11th consecutive win. Smith starts to drift out of the groove and collects the finish line blocks.

Gaige Herrera
Gaige Herrera

Qualifying – Saturday

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Richard Gadson enjoyed a special moment, picking up his first win in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty after going 6.819 at 196.87 on his RevZilla/Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki against John Hall, who beat Gaige Herrera in the opening round. Gadson took down Hector Arana Jr. earlier in the day, getting past Hall’s 6.857 in the finals.

“That round right there, that was big for me, to avenge my teammate. That was big. Before I walked out of the trailer, Gaige said to me, ‘Go do what I couldn’t do.’ That was a little booster,” Gadson said. “I’m having a blast and I just want to thank Mission Foods and NHRA for having this. It gets the juices flowing before Sunday. I love it.

ROUND 1

W – Richard Gadson / 0.095 / 9.633 / 158.73
L – Hector Arana Jr / 0.026 / 10.148 / —

W – John Hall / 0.013 / 6.826 / 198.2
L – Gaige Herrera / 0.023 / 6.82 / 198.58

FINAL

W – Richard Gadson / 0.031 / 6.819 / 196.87
RU – John Hall / 0.024 / 6.857 / 197.86

Richard Gadson
Richard Gadson

“It gets you into race mode and you start to find your spot, you start to learn how your bike is reacting and how you’re reacting. Typically, you might not be worried about that stuff in qualifying, but it gets you amped up and into race mode. I love the format.”

Matt Smith earned his third No. 1 qualifier in the past four races, as his track-record run of 6.748 at 201.31 from Friday on his Denso Auto Parts/Matt Smith Racing Buell easily held up. The six-time world champion enjoyed another strong effort in qualifying and will now to look to pick up his first win since September of last year. Since then, Herrera has won the past 10 races, but Smith has plenty of momentum heading into Sunday’s eliminations.

“We’ve been No. 1 two other times before this, but we have to get it done on Sunday. We have not done that this year like we need to,” Smith said. “Hopefully we can do that tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be a totally different day from what it looks like. It’s going to be cooler and a lot drier. We’re just trying to get an MSR bike in the final and see if we can win this thing tomorrow.”

Angie Smith qualified second with a 6.798 at 200.26, while Herrera took third with a 6.799 at 198.88.

Matt Smith
Matt Smith

Qualifying Order

  1. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.748, 201.31
  2. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.798, 200.26
  3. Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.799, 198.90
  4. Jianna Evaristo, Buell, 6.802, 201.13
  5. Richard Gadson, Suzuki, 6.803, 199.52
  6. Chase Van Sant, Suzuki, 6.809, 198.82
  7. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.812, 200.08
  8. John Hall, Beull, 6.817, 198.99
  9. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.878, 196.10
  10. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.884, 196.04
  11. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 6.901, 196.02
  12. Ron Tornow, Victory, 6.928, 195.76
  13. Eiji Kawakami, Suzuki, 7.148, 187.21
  14. Wesley Wells, Suzuki, 7.516, 177.11

Qualifying – Friday

Qualifying continues to go well for six-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Matt Smith, going a track-record 6.748 at 201.31 on his Denso Auto Parts/Matt Smith Racing Buell. It puts Smith in line for his third No. 1 qualifier in the past four races as the bike continues to impress in qualifying. He ended Gaige Herrera’s string of No. 1 qualifiers in Chicago and has controlled that area recently, but Smith is focused on getting the job done on Sunday. Friday’s run gives him a good start on the weekend, but Herrera has been unbeatable for the past 10 races, something Smith hopes to change this weekend.

“Qualifying doesn’t mean anything if you can’t back it up on Sunday, and that’s what I’ve learned so far this year,” Smith said. “We’ve had a good bike in qualifying a couple races and we haven’t closed the deal. But we’re right where we should be here, and all in all, I’m happy with our Denso/Outlaw Beer bike. We’ve got a great team right now – Angie (Smith) is second, Jianna (Evaristo) is fourth. We have three bikes in the top four right now, (and) we just have to keep digging.”

Angie Smith is currently second with a 6.798 at 200.26, while Herrera is right behind after going 6.799 at 198.88.

Qualifying Order

  1. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.748, 201.31
  2. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.798, 200.26
  3. Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.799, 198.90
  4. Jianna Evaristo, Buell, 6.802, 201.13
  5. Richard Gadson, Suzuki, 6.803, 199.52
  6. Chase Van Sant, Suzuki, 6.809, 198.82
  7. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.812, 200.08
  8. John Hall, Beull, 6.817, 198.99
  9. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.878, 196.10
  10. 10. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.884, 196.04
  11. 11. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 6.901, 196.02
  12. 12. Ron Tornow, Victory, 6.962, 195.76
  13. 13. Eiji Kawakami, Suzuki, 7.148, 185.66
  14. 14. Wesley Wells, Suzuki, 7.516, 177.11

PRE-RACE SUMMARY

Hector Arana Jr. was one of only four riders to win in Pro Stock Motorcycle a year ago, picking up a victory in Norwalk. He’d love to replicate that this weekend, which would also put to end Gaige Herrera’s record-breaking run in the category. The defending world champion hasn’t lost since September, picking up an NHRA-record 10 straight victories, 39 consecutive round wins and a world championship.

Herrera is undefeated in 2024, winning the first five races of the year, but Arana will attempt to put a stop to that in Norwalk. Currently seventh in points, Arana made a good move in Richmond, advancing to the semifinals in his best result of the season. Others to watch include Matt Smith, Angie Smith, Jianna Evaristo, Steve Johnson, Richard Gadson and Chase Van Sant.


ABOUT NHRA

The National Hot Rod Association, the largest auto racing organization in the world, has come a long way since Wally Parks founded it in 1951.

Though it has grown into a global sports-entertainment business, NHRA has not lost sight of Parks’ original goal: to provide competitors a place to race. But now those places are deluxe supertracks in major U.S. markets, and the racing runs the gamut from 11,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragsters to 5-horsepower Jr. Dragsters. Drag racing’s journey through the decades has been sometimes swift, sometimes rocky, but always exciting and always worth the trip.

In the 1950s, top performance marks were 140 mph in 9 seconds. Today, they’re more than 330 mph in less than 3.7 seconds. Back then, winners earned little more than a trophy and bragging rights. Today’s racers compete for trophies and bragging rights as well as a share of more than $3 million in prize money.

In 2024, NHRA joined forces with Mission Foods to present the world’s fastest motorsports attraction as the flagship sponsor of the national touring series, the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series.

Under the leadership of President Glen Cromwell, NHRA raced forward in 2020 with a number of key initiatives, including a multiyear partnership with FOX Sports to televise NHRA events from the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series, the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, and the Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. FOX Sports networks aired more than 500 hours of programming throughout the year, highlighted by 22 race-day shows, including eight on FOX’s national network, in addition to primetime Friday night qualifying shows, and fans are in for more of the same this year.

NHRA has extremely loyal fans that are committed to the sport they love, and it’s easy to see why. They continue to have the best access to the behind-the-scenes action of racing. NHRA’s open-pits policy allows fans to get an up-close-and personal view of how teams rebuild engines. Drivers are often found in their pit areas, signing autographs and chatting with fans, who have the rare opportunity to get behind the wheel themselves in a variety of racing simulators in the Nitro Alley Fan Zone. Those are just a few reasons NHRA fans continue to be some of the most loyal in any sport.

For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.


About Mission Foods

Great food is a great motivator. It brings everyone to the table and inspires us to explore all kinds of delicious destinations. At Mission®, it drives us to seek the freshest ingredients, simple recipes, diverse flavors and wholesome products that help us discover all the places our tortillas can go. There are better-for-you destinations like with our high protein, low carb, or gluten-free tortillas. Of course, tacos and nachos are favorite stops. We are always up for those. www.missionfoods.com

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