The K&N Horsepower Challenge field has been set, and Greg Anderson leads the star-studded field as the No. 1 seed in the lucrative special event, which will take center stage Saturday, April 2nd during the 17th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The winner of the 32nd annual K&N Horsepower Challenge will earn $50,000, a custom K&N Horsepower trophy, and bragging rights as the best Pro Stock racer in the country. The runner-up will earn $10,000, the two semifinalists $3,000 each, and the four first-round finishers $2,500 apiece. A total purse of $76,000 is up for grabs for the eight drivers competing in the K&N Horsepower Challenge.
This will be the 12th start in the specialty race for Anderson, who has won the event four times, his most recent coming in 2011. Anderson, of Mooresville, N.C., qualified No. 1 at six of the 23 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events where drivers could earn K&N Horsepower Challenge points.
The $145,000 K&N Horsepower Challenge showcases eight Pro Stock teams in a race-within-a-race bonus event. Seven of the teams qualified during a 23-race span from the 2015 DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas through the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Florida. The No. 8 seed - Jeg Coughlin Jr. - was selected via a special fan vote on the K&N website.
Besides the $76,000 available in the K&N Horsepower Challenge, bonuses of $69,000 were paid to the top Pro Stock qualifiers throughout the 23 races in the K&N Horsepower Challenge, including $3,000 to the No. 1 qualifier at each race.
The competitors in this year's event will feature four past winners with a total of 11 Challenge wins between them. In addition to Anderson's four wins, fan vote winner Coughlin is a three-time winner. Two-time defending winner Erica Enders is joined by Allen Johnson in the two-win club. Four racers are looking for their first win in the bonus event, including Jason Line, Chris McGaha, Drew Skillman and Shane Gray.
Line, a two-time Pro Stock world champion, is making his 12th career start in the K&N Horsepower Challenge but has yet to take home the top prize. He has raced to three runner-up finishes in the event.
In the opening round, top-seeded Anderson will face K&N fan-vote winner Coughlin Jr., second-seeded Enders will meet Johnson, third-seeded Line will face Gray, and young guns McGaha and Skillman will decide the 4 vs. 5 pairing.
Other past winners of the K&N Horsepower Challenge include Darrell Alderman, Warren Johnson, Kurt Johnson, Dave Connolly, Larry Morgan, Jim Yates, Bruce Allen and Bob Glidden. Anderson and Kurt Johnson are tied for the most K&N Horsepower Challenge wins with four apiece.
K&N Horsepower Challenge rounds are scheduled for 1, 4, and 5 p.m. on April 2.
2016 K&N HORSEPOWER CHALLENGE FINAL STANDINGS:
1. Greg Anderson, Mooresville, N.C., Summit Racing Chevy Camaro--3,570
2. Erica Enders, New Orleans, Mopar Performance/Elite Motorsports Dodge Dart--3,445
3. Jason Line, Mooresville, N.C., Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro--3,340
4. Chris McGaha, Odessa, Texas, Harlow Sammons of Odessa Chevy Camaro--3,265
5. Drew Skillman, Bargersville, Ind., Ray Skillman Chevrolet Chevy Camaro--2,965
6. Shane Gray, Mooresville, N.C., Gray Manufacturing Chevy Camaro--2,950
7. Allen Johnson, Greeneville, Tenn., Marathon Petrolium Dodge Dart--2,920
8. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Delaware, Ohio, Magneti Marelli/JEGS.com Dodge Dart--Fan vote
2016 K&N HORSEPOWER CHALLENGE ROUND PAIRINGS:
FIRST ROUND (1 p.m.):
Anderson vs. Coughlin Jr.
Enders vs. Johnson
Line vs. Gray
McGaha vs. Skillman
SEMIFINALS (4 p.m.)
Anderson-Coughlin winner vs. McGaha-Skillman winner
Enders-Johnson winner vs. Line-Gray winner
FINAL (5 p.m.)