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The latest update as of September 15, 2022

Top Alcohol Dragster & Funny Car Championship Chase

With the season moving into the home stretch, it's time to start posting the championship "chase" standings for the Top Alcohol classes. To give some background, we've got the standings as of August 23rd, followed by the latest numbers as of September 12. You'll note that in the span of three weeks, nearly half of the Top 20 racers in each category have been mathematically eliminated from contention.

Those eliminated have a coloured background for their "possible" final points totals. The yellow background highlights which future national events each racer has entered. And the XXX in event boxes indicates there is no chance for the racer to attend any further events. With the season rapidly winding down, and just five national and four regional events remaining, the chances to catch up, or pass, the leaders are becoming more remote each week. Following this weekend's national event at Reading, PA's newly refurbished Maple Grove Raceway (the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals), we'll post updated standings and in all probability, eliminate anyone below the Top Ten.

Click on the tables to see a larger (and easier to read) version

August 23, 2022 standings

TAD Championship Points - August 23, 2022

TAFC Championship Points - August 23, 2022

September 12, 2022 standings

TAD Championship Points - September 12, 2022

TAFC Championship Points - September 12, 2022

The biggest change between the two tables is at the top, as Joey Severance re-took the points lead over Matt Cummings, following Joey's win at the Acton, MT regional race and his tour-de-force at the U.S. Nationals. Severance went to the semi-finals in the event, and the final round in the concurrent Jeg's All-Stars race within a race. All told, he made nine runs over the weekend, so it appears that he's taking the next few weeks off before re-joining the tour at the Texas FallNationals in early October.

Cummings wasn't sitting idle as he picked up a runnerup at last week's Earlville, IA regional event, to go with his second round finish at Indy. He does hold a slight advantage over Severance, with just six national events on his card, compared to Severance's seven. Offsetting that perceived advantage is the 10 points Severance earned for a non-qualifying performance at his home track (Woodburn, OR) in early July. He will in all likelihood run his final regional event at Las Vegas on the second-to-last weekend of the season, and could gain as many as 75 points in the process. In comparison, Cummings can only gain a possible 53 points if he can win at the final East Regional (Richmond, VA) at the end of the end of this month.

Lurking in 3rd place, just 43 points behind Severance is Jasmine Salinas in the McPhillips Family tuned "Scrappers Racing" entry. She's had an interesting season, with a win at the Gatornationals and two more victories at regional events, leaving her in position to overtake either of the top two runners if they falter going down the stretch. The #4 (Julie Nataas) and #5 (Jackie Fricke) racers are not too far back but their potential points totals pale when compared to the leaders and they will need some strong performances in the final races to move into championship contention.

Then we come to #6 on the list, Canada's Shawn Cowie in the always-in-the-hunt "Mundie's Towing" blown alcohol dragster. After wearing the #2 on his wing for four consecutive years, he fell to #3 last year as a series of setbacks, on and off the track, cost the team in the late stages of the season. Coming out of a very personally trying time over the winter, when his father and major presence for the team sadly lost a long and hard-fought battle with cancer, Cowie has worked his way back into the championship conversation.

Four final round appearances, two of them winning, in regional competition, and a win at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals (Brainerd, MN) has steadily moved him up in the standings after a very slow start to the season, with just two races (Las Vegas national and regional) on his ticket before winning the regional event at Denver in June. Since then, he's been steadily piling up the points and put up quite a fight at the U.S. Nationals before falling in the semi-finals.

LATE UPDATE: Joey Severance is on the entry list for the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals. It's a little surprising, but on reflection, not really, as one of Severance's sponsors and engine parts supplier, Noonan Engineering is based in Spartanburg, SC, less than 100 miles from ZMAX Dragway. I'm sure that had something to do with his entry and it will be interesting to see what happens with five of the top six racers in the standings already entered. Entries close on Monday. Stay tuned for more updates then.