April 6, 2022
HOUSTON (April 6) — The 35th annual NHRA SpringNationals at legendary Houston Raceway Park has become the hottest ticket in motorsports as it approaches sell-out status more than two weeks before the event kicks off on the weekend of April 22-24.
“It looks like our final NHRA race will be one for the record books,” General Manager Seth Angel said. “We’ve already sold out of all the full event packages for both the Nitro Club and the Top Eliminator Club and single-day passes for both of those areas are becoming pretty scarce. Tickets in the remainder of the grandstands are selling quickly so we’re recommending any interested fans jump on HoustonRaceway.com as soon as possible to get their tickets. We don’t want anyone to miss out.”
It appears drag racing fans in Southeast Texas want to be a big part of the last NHRA event at the historic drag strip, where the sport’s first four-second Top Fuel pass was recorded. Late last year, the Angel family, which has owned and operated Houston Raceway Park since its inception, announced this event would be their final NHRA race, prompting area fans and nostalgic history buffs to make a run on seats.
The timing seems perfect for local enthusiasts as a pair of decorated Texans will headline the event. Four-time and reigning Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence of Kilgore arrives in his home state with the points lead in the 10,000-horspower category. He’s definitely a favorite to claim the final Top Fuel Wally at the track, having won last year’s Houston event in grand style.
“Winning at HRP last year capped off our CAPCO team winning at least one time at every track on the current NHRA tour,” Torrence said. “Naturally, it was also a big deal to win in Texas again. We’d won in Dallas, but Houston had alluded us until 2021.
“I’ve got a lot of memories at HRP, going all the way back to being a fan in the stands. My dream of becoming a drag racer started at HRP and the Texas Motorplex (in Dallas area) because those were the races we always attended when I was younger. When I started racing I’d match-up with Erica (Enders, of Houston) at HRP when we were both running Super Comp dragsters. I just hate to see it close but I’m happy to have one more big chance to make some noise down there.”
Enders, herself a four-time world champion, is the latest winner on the circuit and arrives at her home track just three points out of the Pro Stock points lead. Aside from her victory earlier this month in Las Vegas, Enders won the season-opening Winternationals in Pomona, Calif.
Born and raised in Houston, Enders started her career at Houston Raceway Park at the age of 8, racing in the Junior Dragster ranks. She also won her first national event there in 2004 when she triumphed in Super Gas. Ten years later in 2014 she claimed the coveted Pro Stock trophy against Allen Johnson at HRP, a feat she repeated in 2015 versus Chris McGaha.
Now 37, Enders leads all female racers with four NHRA world titles. She also has 36 national event wins.
“HRP has meant so much to me my entire life,” Enders said. “I literally fell in love with the sport watching my dad (Gregg Enders) race here before I was old enough to drive. When they first announced the Junior Dragster program, I couldn’t get down here fast enough to start racing myself. It’s always been my home track and a place where I want to win more than any other. Winning the last race here would be huge.”
Interested parties are encouraged to visit HoustonRaceway.com or call 281-383-7223 for tickets. Fans can also stop by the facility and visit the main office, located at 2525 South FM 565 in Baytown, Texas.