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Aaron Stanfield on a Roll Heading Into NHRA New England Nationals

Aaron Stanfield and the Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage / Melling Performance / Janac Brothers team have been on a steady incline as they head into this weekend’s NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway, the seventh of 20 events on the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season schedule.

Stanfield, who also drives in the Factory X class, is coming off two consecutive final round appearances in his JHG / Melling Pro Stock hot rod. At the Charlotte Four-Wide event, Stanfield advanced to the final quad ultimately finishing with runner-up points for being second to the finish-line behind rival Greg Anderson but ahead of Dallas Glenn and teammate Cristian Cuadra. Most recently in Chicago at Route 66 Raceway, Stanfield raced past teammates Fernando Cuadra Jr., Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Jerry Tucker before coming up short to Dallas Glenn for the ninth runner-up finish of his career.

“So far this season this JHG / Melling / Janac Brothers team has had some decent days at the racetrack, but we have not turned on that last win light of the day,” Stanfield said. “New England Dragway has been good to us in the past. It’s a perfect place to get our first win representing the JHG brand. A win is coming, we just need to keep at it.”

Stanfield has two previous final round appearances at the New England Nationals. In 2022 he was runner-up to teammate Erica Enders and in 2021 he picked up a win at the facility against Greg Anderson.

“I really enjoy New England Dragway, it is full of some die-hard racing fans. It’s a part of the country we don’t get too close to very often, so when NHRA comes to town, they really come out,” Stanfield said. “I’m also looking forward to eating some of that famous East Coast lobster.”

In addition to competing for the Wally on Sunday, Stanfield’s performance at the Route 66 Nationals qualified him the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty Challenge. Stanfield and the other three semifinalists from Chicago will rematch for a chance to win championship bonus points and a cash prize during Saturday’s qualifying sessions.

“This weekend we get to compete in the #2Fast2Tasty Challenge,” Stanfield said. “It’s always fun to see the win light come on no matter the race, and it is a blast to have a little extra competition during qualifying to keep the blood flowing. I’m looking forward to it and appreciate Mission Foods for putting on this race within a race every weekend.”

Jerry Tucker and the Outlaw Mile Hi Light Beer / SCAG Power Equipment team will join Stanfield in the #2Fast2Tasty Challenge. The teammates will line up against each other as a rematch from the Route 66 Nationals semifinals. Tucker has been knocking on the door of his first Pro Stock victory, already with a runner-up finish, semifinals appearance and a No. 1 qualifier this season.

Reigning world champion Erica Enders will be running for her third win at New England Dragway. She visited the winners circle in 2022 and 2017. The six-time champ is chasing her 50th national event win, 49th in the Pro Stock ranks.

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Five-time champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. returns to New England Dragway in the SCAG / Outlaw Mile Hi Light Beet machine looking for his first victory at the facility. The New England Nationals is one of only two events on the current NHRA Mission Foods Series schedule that the drag racing phenom has not won at.

Troy Coughlin Jr. and the / White Castle team are coming off a No. 2 qualifying position and a quarterfinal finish at the Route 66 Nationals. In his fifth season racing Pro Stock, he’s on the hunt for his first win of the year to bring his career total to five.

The Cuadra / Corral Booths / Columbia Impex branded hot rod trio of brothers Fernando Jr.Cristian and David Cuadra are in a race against each other to get the first victory for the family. Cristian has come the closest already with two runner-up finishes at the Gatornationals and Charlotte Four-Wide event while David has kept himself in the top 10 in points with three quarterfinal appearances. For Fernando Jr., he’ll look to avoid his teammates in the first round of competition as he’s come up short to Elite Motorsports cars in the first-round four out of the five events he’s qualified for.

Competition at the NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway begins with four rounds of qualifying Friday at 5:00 and 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at noon and 2:30 p.m. Eliminations are slated for Sunday at 11 a.m. with Pro Stock first round beginning at noon. Television coverage of the event will be on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) with qualifying shows Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET and Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. Eliminations will air Sunday with two shows at 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. ET.

This story was originally published on May 30, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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