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Dave Richards Hopes to Add to History at New England Dragway

National Dragster photo

When Dave Richards and the Versatran / BlueBird Funny Car team head into New England Dragway for this weekend’s NHRA New England Nationals, they’ll be returning to the sight of Richards Funny Car debut.

Richards had his first taste of nitro Funny Car at the 2013 New England Nationals. He would qualify for race day in the No. 16 position and have to line up against arguably the greatest drag racer of all-time, John Force, in the first round. Richards wouldn’t make it out of the first round, but the experience left its mark.

“I’m excited to be heading to Epping. I have some good memories there. It’s a little nostalgic for me. New England Dragway is where I first staged against a competitor,” Richards said. “First round on Sunday, my first round of competition, and who was next to me in the other lane? John Force, the legend. It was wild. The feeling is a bit of the same now. Getting to lineup on race day, and this year, I have the opportunity to do it for a full season in the Versatran/ BlueBird Funny Car. It’s crazy to think about.”

In their first full season, Richards and the Versatran team have qualified for four of the first six events on the 20 race NHRA Mission Foods schedule. They had their first-round win at the Charlotte Four-Wide event and most recently qualified 15th in Chicago and had a first round loss to Bob Tasca III but moved from 15th to 14th in points standings.

“It’s been a little rocky to start, but we’re figuring it out, you can tell, not just on the track but in the pit,” Richards said. “It’s coming together. I’m just happy to be part of it and this SCAG Racing team.”

Competition at the NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway begins with four rounds of qualifying Friday at 5:30 and 8:00 p.m. and Saturday at 12:30 and 3:00 p.m. Eliminations are slated for Sunday at 11 a.m. 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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