Skip to main content

Event Guide: NHRA Midwest Nationals

Photo of Ron Capps' NAPA AUTO PARTS Funny Car. Sports

Get ready for an action-packed weekend when the NHRA Midwest Nationals return to World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Ill., on Sept. 30. Taking place on the quarter-mile drag strip, this event is part of the Camping World Drag Racing Series and is one of the six races included in the Countdown to the Championship.   

Race weekend schedule

Spectator gates open at 8 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 30 allowing fans to watch a full day of racing. Sportsman Qualifying and Time Trials run from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with Pro Mod, Pro Stock Motorcycle and Car, and Funny Car and Top Fuel following. End the night with fireworks and a concert to kick off the weekend. 

Qualifying continues Saturday and the eliminations begin with events scheduled from 8 a.m. to approximately 8 p.m. The final elimination rounds start at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday with Final Eliminations slated for 3:30 p.m. to round out the NHRA Midwest Nationals.   

History of the race

World Wide Technology Raceway, formerly Gateway International Raceway and Gateway Motorsports Park, hosted the NHRA for the first time in 1997. The current dragstrip broke ground a few years earlier in 1995. Joe Amato (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Warren Johnston (Pro Stock) and Jon Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were the inaugural champions of the NHRA Midwest Nationals in each class. 

WWT Raceway hosted an NHRA race every year through 2010 with a hiatus in 2011 and then picked up the event again in 2012. A few of the most successful drivers on this track have included Gary Scelzi, Doug Kalitta and Antron Brown (Top Fuel),  Capps and Del Worsham (Funny Car), Warren Johnson and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Angelle Sampey and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle). From 1998 to 2001, the NHRA Midwest Nationals also included the Pro Stock Truck class. 

Drivers to watch

After the 14th race of the 22-race Camping World Drag Racing Series, only a handful of drivers have clinched Countdown berths. In Top Fuel competition, Brittany Force is leading the way with 1,122 points. She holds the WWT Raceway track record of 337.66 mph which was set in 2021. Robert Hight has 1,334 points to lead the Funny Car class, Enders is leading Pro Stock with 1,156 points and Joey Gladstone leads the pack with 724 points in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Eight of the 10 Countdown spots are accounted for in the final class with less than 100 points separating the next three drivers. Marc Ingwersen has 378, Ryan Oehler has 298 and Jimmy Underdahl has 291.