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Top Fuel racers Steve Torrence and Brittany Force launch at the start of Friday qualifying at the 2021 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

Bristol Dragway released its 2022 schedule with the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals returning to its traditional Father’s Day weekend date.

Scheduled for June 17-19, the event headlines the 2022 drag racing calendar. The NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals returned in October 2021 after being canceled the previous year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mike Salinas rocketed down the track over 334 mph on his way to capturing a second straight Top Fuel crown at Bristol. Alexis DeJoria parlayed her No. 1 qualifying effort into her first Bristol Funny Car victory, while Angelle Sampey went nearly 200 mph on two wheels to win in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

The Pro Stock class returns in 2022, meaning all four NHRA Camping World pro series will be competing at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals for the first time. As tradition with NHRA events, all tickets are a pit pass where fans are able to interact and get autographs from the drivers.

In addition, Bristol Dragway will host big-money bracket races, the Street Car Takeover, the American Motorcycle Racing Association the Mike Bos Jr. Dragster Nationals and the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Eastern Conference Finals. The local DER Racing Series and the popular Thunder Valley Street Fights are also on the agenda.

“The 2022 season promises to be an exciting one at historic Bristol Dragway,” said Jerry Caldwell, president of Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway. “The NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals returns to its traditional date on Father’s Day weekend and in addition, we have a full slate of events on the calendar throughout the summer to continue Thunder Valley’s legacy as one of the busiest quarter-miles in the nation. We hope you can come out and join us for some of the fun.”

Bristol Dragway will also host some of the most lucrative bracket races in the country. The BTE World Footbrake Challenge XVI is scheduled for June 30-July 3 and the BTE Labor Day 250K will be held Sept. 1-4. The Rad Torque Fall Fling returns Sept. 20-24.

There are five weekends scheduled for the DER Bracket Series, while local folks can drive their own cars down the drag strip with the Thunder Valley Street Fights starting April 23.

More events are expected to be announced later.


The 3/8-mile asphalt oval in Coeburn, Virginia is celebrating its 50th anniversary. It was recently announced the track is under new ownership with Walter Cooper and Lance Wimmer of Raceway Management Group and veteran racer Jeff Roark serving as promoter and general manager.

An open practice is scheduled for March 19 with the first races scheduled for April 2. Two races are scheduled in every month through September, other than July, when there are three races on the calendar.

There will be one Powder Puff race and one Enduro scheduled each month. According to track officials, more special events will be added.


The 30th annual FMF Winter Indoor Series is a little over halfway done with six motocross events scheduled in February to wrap up the season.

Kingsport rider Carson Eads racked up six wins and nine podium finishes through the first six events. He won three classes — Unlimited B, Schoolboy 2 and Collegeboy 14-24 — during New Year’s Day races held at the WNC Ag Center in Fletcher, North Carolina.

Another Kingsport rider, Cash Taylor, got off to a strong start with four podium finishes over the first six races in the 85cc Beginner 9-15 class. He is the points leader in that class and also ranks second in the 85cc 12-15 standings.

Alex Colley from Norton, Virginia has two wins in 125cc Two-Stroke, and Anthony Fields from Bluff City won in the 450C class on Nov. 27.

Brandon Hughes from Roan Mountain leads the adult contingent, currently second in the 30+ points and third in the 35+ class. Adam Delph from Bristol ranks third in the 40+ standings.

The next Winter Indoor races are scheduled Feb. 4-5 at the Smoky Mountain Expo Center in White Pine.

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Jeff Birchfield is a sports writer for the Johnson City Press with a lifelong passion for motorsports. The father of two attended ETSU and served in the Tennessee Army National Guard.

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