- The first winner of the special bonus race for the Pro Stock elite was Bruce Allen in 1985. The Chevrolet driver wheeled his Camaro to a 7.602-second, 181.52 mph victory over Butch Leal’s 7.676, 183.67 in a Pontiac Trans Am. In all, Allen competed for the special trophy 14 times with two overall wins.
- Now held at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the race now known as the K&N Horsepower Challenge was originally contested at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis (1985-1990). It then ran in Englishtown at the NHRA Supernationals from 1991-2003, moved to Route 66 Raceway in Chicago from 2004-2007, and was held in Norwalk during the Summit Racing NHRA Nationals from 2008-2012. The Challenge took place in Las Vegas during the national event for the first time in 2013.
- Legendary NHRA Pro Stock driver Warren Johnson has the most appearances in the Pro Stock shootout. He’s raced for the special trophy 24 times.
- Kurt Johnson followed in dad WJ’s footsteps; he has the second-most shootout appearances with 16.
- The youngest driver to ever win the K&N Horsepower Challenge is Vincent Nobile. He accomplished the feat in 2012 in his first attempt, and he went on to score the victory in the main event as well – then held in Norwalk at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.
- Six drivers have won the K&N Horsepower Challenge back-to-back: Bruce Allen (1985-86), Bob Glidden (1987-88), Larry Morgan (1989-90), Jeg Coughlin Jr. (1999-2000), Greg Anderson (2010-11), and Erica Enders (2014-15). No driver has won the event in three consecutive seasons.
- Nine drivers have doubled-up in the history of the special Pro Stock competition, including Erica Enders, the defending shootout titlist and reigning NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock champion. She won the main event as well as the K&N Horsepower Challenge in both 2014 and 2015. Other double-up winners are Allen Johnson (2013), Vincent Nobile (2012), Greg Anderson (2010), Jeg Coughlin Jr. (2000), Warren Johnson (1993), Darrell Alderman (1991), Larry Morgan (1989), and Bob Glidden (1987 and 1988).
- In each of the previous four K&N Horsepower Challenge competitions, the winner has gone on to win the main event on Sunday.
- Erica Enders will be racing in her seventh K&N Horsepower Challenge. The driver of the Elite Motorsports/Mopar Performance Dodge Dart GT has been to the final round in each of the most recent three runnings of the Challenge. She was runner-up to Allen Johnson in 2013.
- No. 1 seed Greg Anderson, driver of KB Racing’s red Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro, has won the Pro Stock shoot more than any other currently competing driver with four total victories. He is tied with Kurt Johnson as the overall winningest driver in the special competition. This is his 12th time racing for this trophy.
- Greg Anderson, who won the Pro Stock shootout in 2006 over Summit Racing teammate Jason Line, made the then-quickest pass in the history of the class in the final round. Unfortunately for Anderson, his 6.620-second run at 208.20 mph did not count as a national record because it did not take place as part of qualifying or eliminations for the national event.
- Elite Performance driver Jeg Coughlin Jr. and the Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Dart GT return to the K&N Horsepower Challenge via fan vote in 2016. It will be Coughlin’s 13th appearance in the bonus race, which he has won three times. Coughlin is perfect in K&N Horsepower Challenge final rounds with wins garnered in 1999, 2000, and 2009.
- Allen Johnson, driver of the Marathon Petroleum/J&J Racing Dodge Dart GT, will be competing in the Challenge for the 13th time in his NHRA Pro Stock career. AJ has two previous wins, once in 2008 and then again in his 2013 double-up.
- The pilot of KB Racing’s blue Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro, Jason Line, has raced in this event 11 times. He has been a runner-up on three different occasions but has yet to win this event. The current Pro Stock points leader qualified in the top-half in all but three races leading up to this season’s K&N Horsepower Challenge to earn his berth in the competition.
- This year will be the second consecutive Pro Stock shootout appearance for Harlow Sammons Racing Chevrolet Camaro pilot Chris McGaha. The Odessa, Texas-based driver, now in his third season of full-time competition, scored his position based on five low-qualifier awards in 2015. Notably, in the first three races of 2016, McGaha is the only driver outside of the KB Racing camp to reach a final round.
- Elite Performance/Ray Skillman Chevrolet Camaro driver Drew Skillman is the only driver of the 8 contenders who will be racing for the K&N Horsepower Challenge victory for the first time. Skillman debuted in the Pro Stock class in 2015 and earned his position in the Challenge based on a series of strong qualifying performances throughout the season– including three No. 1 starts.
- Shane Gray, driver of the Gray Motorsports/Nova Services Chevrolet Camaro, will be racing in the K&N Horsepower Challenge for the fourth time. He qualified in the top-half at 17 of the 24 events that count towards positioning in the shootout, including a No. 1 in Bristol last season.
Greg Anderson vs. Jeg Coughlin
Erica Enders vs. Allen Johnson
Jason Line vs. Shane Gray
Chris McGaha vs. Drew Skillman
Final Qualifying Order
1. Greg Anderson
2. Erica Enders
3. Jason Line
4. Chris McGaha
5. Drew Skillman
6. Shane Gray
7. Allen Johnson
8. (by fan vote) Jeg Coughlin Jr.
K&N Horsepower Challenge Schedule
Saturday, April 2, 2016 (all times Pacific)
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
12:40 p.m. Driver intros
1 p.m. Round one
4 p.m. Round two
5 p.m. Final round
Live results will be posted on Twitter @winlightnews