With the Pep Boys logo emblazoned on the side of their Top Fuel and Top Alcohol Dragster machines, the Scrappers Racing team is poised and ready for an outstanding week of racing at the historic Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals.
In the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, there are 25 Top Fuel dragsters slated to compete at the U.S. Nationals, the most entries the category has seen since 2013. The competition will be stiff and every pass down the track will count for points and a half. Top Fuel driver and team owner Mike Salinas is ready to take on the challenge behind the wheel of his powerful 11,000-horsepower Pep Boys dragster. Although he’s clinched a spot in the Countdown to the Championship, he is one of only four drivers in the category to have done so. With so many drivers vying for the six remaining Top Fuel Countdown spots, the racing action promises to be some of the best we’ve seen all season.
In addition to regular competition, the Pep Boys NHRA All-Star Callout specialty race will take place this weekend. M. Salinas won the first round of the new specialty event earlier this year in Gainesville. Brittany Force, Steve Torrence and Justin Ashley are all still in the running to be named the first Pep Boys NHRA All-Star Callout winner. Force will have the callout advantage but the points leader’s lips are sealed as to whom she might select to be her second-round competitor.
“When we race, it doesn’t matter who’s going to be in the lane next to us,” said M. Salinas. “Regardless of who we face, we want to win. The fact that this is a Pep Boys specialty race just makes us want it that much more. The drivers in the Pep Boys Callout are some of the best in the world. We are going to approach it with the same determination and focus we’ve shown all year.”
The last competition for the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Motorcycle category was at the beginning of August in Topeka and Scrappers Racing Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Jianna Evaristo has made the most of her time off. She took her Harley-Davidson on an epic road trip from Topeka, Kan. to Brainerd, Minn. to support her Scrappers Racing family.
“Family time was just what I needed to get refreshed and mentally prepared for Indy,” said Evaristo. “This is the most iconic event on the circuit and I’m looking forward to being a part of it. This has been a bit of a rebuilding season for me. I’ve been recovering from a crash during testing and working on how best to harness the power of my Scrappers Racing Suzuki. I’m learning a lot from Matt and Angie (Smith). They’ve taken me under their wing and I feel confident that I can finish this season out strong.”
Sitting second in the national Top Alcohol Dragster points standings, Jasmine Salinas is experiencing the best performing season of her career and she’s excited to represent Pep Boys at the “Big Go.” With two NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series regional event wins and one national event win to her name this season, the standout driver is coming into her own with consistently low E.T.s and laser-sharp reaction times. J. Salinas will also be competing for the North Central Region in the JEGS Allstars competition. A unique event that rewards both individual and team achievements, the JEGS Allstars is comprised of up to 80 drivers representing 10 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series categories.
“We feel really good about things right now,” said J. Salinas. “Indy is such a prestigious race and there’s really nothing else like it. This crew is amazing and we all work well together. I’m also looking forward to competing in the JEGS Allstars. It’s such a cool competition and creates an atmosphere of teamwork, which I love.”
The Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals runs from August 31-September 5.