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NHRA Nationals, June 22

Bob Vandergriff, of Alpharetta, Georgia, leaves the start line during Saturday afternoon qualifying sessions at New England Dragway. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
Jordan Neault sits on his father Chet Ostrokolowicz's shoulders in front of the grandstands as the top fuel dragsters qualify Saturday afternoon. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
Jesse Cabarrus, of Boston, sits on the hill at New England with his son, Julian, age 5, during Saturday afternoon qualifying. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
Sammy Cordero, of Peabody, MA, Stan Rydell, of Hingham, MA, Mike Davis, of Norwell, MA and Dave Papuga, of Hanover, MA, all sport hats to stay cool in the Saturday afternoon heat. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
Traffic to New England Dragway in Epping, NH for the Auto Plus NHRA New England Nationals met an over an hour backup from Route 101 to exits 8 and 9. In spite of the long waits to get to the track over 18,000 fans were expected to attend the event. Lieutenant Gary Wood of the NH State Police directs eastbound traffic off Route 101 in Epping at the New England Dragway.  (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
Carl Franklin, of Nitro Fish, an apparel manufacturer involved in sponsoring racing, poses with a fan he calls Momma Nitro (left) Agnes Cornine, of Old Town, FL and her sister Charlotte Constance, of Hudson, Maryland, at Saturday afternoon's qualifying sessions. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
West bound traffic from Rout 101 lines up to leave Exit 8 at New England Dragway in Epping. Traffic to New England Dragway in Epping, NH for the Auto Plus NHRA New England Nationals met an over an hour backup from Route 101 to exits 8 and 9. In spite of the long waits to get to the track over 18,000 fans were expected to attend the event.  (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
Traffic to New England Dragway in Epping, NH for the Auto Plus NHRA New England Nationals met an over an hour backup from Route 101 to exits 8 and 9. In spite of the long waits to get to the track over 18,000 fans were expected to attend the event. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
Ronin Blackwood, of Tolland, CT, sits on the hillside above the dragstrip watching Saturday afternoon qualifying sessions. Blackwood attended the NHRA Nationals with his grandfather Wayne Secore and his brother Florian, age 3. At 6 years old Blackwood is the youngest champion in 24 scale slot car racing in the NECC series. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
Jordan Neault sits on his father Chet Ostrokolowicz's shoulders in front of the grandstands as the top fuel dragsters qualify Saturday afternoon. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
Traffic to New England Dragway in Epping, NH for the Auto Plus NHRA New England Nationals met an over an hour backup from Route 101 to exits 8 and 9. In spite of the long waits to get to the track over 18,000 fans were expected to attend the event.  (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
Hector Arana Sr., of Milltown, Indiana, competes in Saturday afternoon qualifying at New England Dragway during the NHRA New England Nationals. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
Rich Arthur, of Lynn, MA, wears his 50th Anniversary US Nationals shirt while sitting on the hill above the drag strip Saturday afternoon. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
Todd Paton, of Wildomar, CA, races off the line in the Tim Horton top fuel dragster during Saturday afternoon qualifying. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
Sammy Cordero, of Peabody, MA, Stan Rydell, of Hingham, MA, Mike Davis, of Norwell, MA and Dave Papuga, of Hanover, MA, all sport hats to stay cool in the Saturday afternoon heat. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
Brittany Force lights up her top fuel dragster from the line during Saturday afternoon's qualifying sessions. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
Brittany Force lights up her top fuel dragster from the line during Saturday afternoon's qualifying. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)