Royal Purple Raceway’s (RPR) first national event happened in the fall of 1988 and established RPR as one of the sport’s quickest with NHRA’s first four-second Top Fuel quarter-mile pass and new national record. Since then the track has been host to numerous record runs, including the first 4.5-second Top Fuel quarter-mile pass by Larry Dixon in 1999.
The Baytown, Texas, facility played home to NHRA SpringNationals on April 20–22, 2018, where at just 10 feet of elevation and close proximity to Trinity Bay, which feeds the facility cool air, made for some super quick runs for just about every drag car on the premises. Pro Stock cars love the conditions as proven by Greg Anderson, who set both ends of the track record with a pass of 6.492 at 213.00 mph in his Summit Racing Camaro during the first round of qualifying and backed it up with a 6.495 in the second round. Anderson was on fire all weekend, although he fell to Erica Enders in the Pro Stock semifinals with a 6.572 to Enders’ 6.561 elapsed time.
Chevy Camaro Funny Car driver Robert Hight qualified in the Number One spot with a 3.894 e.t. at 317.27 mph in his final qualifying run to take the top spot from fellow John Force Racing teammate Courtney Force.
With Chevys making a statement in the Pro ranks, there were plenty high-flying Chevys in the Sportsman, doorslammer classes, too, as you can see in this huge image gallery featuring over 100 photos of Pro and Sportsman drag racers in fierce competition at the 2018 NHRA SpringNationals.
Photos by Ron Lewis