Action recently wrapped up in the 2021 Camping World NHRA Drag Racing season, with the finale hosted in Pomona, California.
The Pro Stock category came down to another epic battle between Erica Enders and Greg Anderson. Anderson had the best car for most of the season, but Enders, not only has a very good car, but was also deadly on the tree. She often won races by gaining great starting line advantages. 2021 was a struggling season for Enders and her Elite Motorsports backed team, as they chased mechanical gremlins and she also had some uncharacteristic off reaction time lapses at key points during the season. The two would square off for all the marbles in the semi-final round. If Anderson won he was the champ. If Enders won, she must then go on and win the race to be the champ. She left first (0.031 to 0.072) but then shook the tires badly, forcing her to short shift to the next gear to save the run. But it wasn’t enough as Anderson was able to take the win (and claim the Pro Stock Championship) 6.579 at 208.23 mph to 6.742 at 206.92 mph. He then went on the win the event by taking out Kyle Koretsky on a hole shot (0.027 to 0.047) in the final, 6.574 at 208.23 mph to 6.567 at 209.56 mph. It was Anderson’s fifth career season Pro Stock Championship and 99th career Pro Stock event win.
The Pro Stock Motorcycle category featured three prominent riders contesting for the 2021 NHRA Camping World Championship. Matt Smith and Steve Johnson both battled, exchanging places in the point standings between first and second throughout the season. Both had very similar strengths and weaknesses. Both had strong running motorcycles. Smith rides a Buell V-twin and Johnson rides Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle. Both have had events where their bikes suffered mechanical failures, even ones that prevented the bikes from starting. Both have been long time fixtures in NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racing. Then there is Angelle Sampey. She has is a three-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Champion and came into the final event in strong contention. Johnson came in about one round of racing behind Smith and Sampey about a round and half. All three riders successfully made it out of the opening round. In the second round the championship battle was over as Johnson lost to Eddie Krawiec on a 0.048 to 0.071 hole shot, losing at 6.859 at 196.42 mph to 6.876 at 199.32 mph. Then Sampey, who usually reacts well at the start, also lost on a hole shot (0.040 to 0.094), handing away a strong 6.771 at 198.52 mph to 6.808 at 199.86 mph performance, making Matt Smith the 2021 NHRA Camping World Pro Stock Motorcycle Champion. Smith then went on to win the event, defeating Karen Stoffer in the final round, as she left uncharacteristically late (0.101 to 0.011), 6.817 at 200.74 mph to 6.766 at 198.47mph. Matt Smith is now a five-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Champion, having now won two consecutive titles. His wife, Angie Smith, also races in Pro Stock Motorcycle and finished seventh in the championship battle.
At the finals, the NHRA rookie of the year is announced after the event. This year it was Pro Stock driver, and Greg Anderson teammate, Dallas Glenn. Glenn finished third in the Pro Stock Championship standings.