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2014 NHRA Kansas Nationals: Who to watch

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The eighth event on the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule is the NHRA Kansas Nationals, taking place this weekend, Friday through Sunday, May 23rd through 25th, at Heartland Park Topeka. Three of the NHRA’s top categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock – will take to the track for the 26th annual event.

Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel) and Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) return to defend their titles at HPT, while the Funny Car of 2013 winner Johnny Gray will return with Tommy Johnson Jr. behind the wheel. Funny Car legend John Force leads all drivers with nine wins at HPT.

The hottest driver in any category right now is Funny Car driver Robert Hight, who has four wins this season, including the last three straight. The John Force Racing driver has raced in the last six final rounds, and is hoping to add a few more round wins to his resume this weekend.

“We have a lot of momentum and we want to make some history,” said Hight. “I’ve won three in a row a few times, but I want to win four or even five in a row. I want to see where we can go. We have to take it one round at a time and that’s what we’re doing, it’s a total team effort.”

At Atlanta, Hight beat his JFR teammate Courtney Force, who was going after some history of her own – the 100th win in the NHRA by a woman. Force, her sister Brittany, Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett, Funny Car star Alexis DeJoria – who already has two wins this season – and Erica Enders-Stevens go into Topeka still looking for that historic win.

Qualifying sessions for the NHRA Kansas Nationals get underway Friday at 4:30 and 7 p.m. CT, continuing Saturday at 1:30 and 4 p.m. CT. Eliminations begin Sunday at 11 a.m. CT. Keep up with the action at

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