NHRA Story
Crampton, DeJoria, Gray, Krawiec win 60th Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals
Monday, September 01, 2014


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Alexis DeJoria raced past 16-time Funny Car world champ John Force Monday to win the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the world’s most prestigious drag race.

Richie Crampton (Top Fuel), Shane Gray (Pro Stock), and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were first-time winners at the tradition-rich NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, the last race of the regular season.

DeJoria crossed the finish line in 4.038 seconds at 310.34 mph in the Patron XO Cafe Toyota Camry to defeat the current Funny Car points leader, who won the NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout Sunday. It was the third win of DeJoria’s season and her first at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. With the victory, DeJoria became the fourth female winner of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals and the first female driver to win three Funny Car races in a single season.

Alexis DeJoria

DeJoria, who also outran Cruz Pedregon, Blake Alexander, and Courtney Force en route to the victory, earned a record 10th season victory for female racers in the NHRA Mello Yello Series.

“It’s huge [to win the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals],” said DeJoria, wife of noted TV personality Jesse James and daughter of famed entrepreneur John Paul DeJoria. “I was just happy to make it to another semifinal; that was four in a row. To make it past the semifinals, that was huge, but to win this race just builds our confidence even more and in me especially.”

DeJoria will be the fourth seed in Funny Car when the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs begins at the NHRA Carolina Nationals in two weeks.

Force was appearing in his sixth consecutive final and ran a 4.039 at 319.67 in the Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang. Following his Traxxas Nitro Shootout victory on Sunday, Force was strong on Monday, defeating Robert Hight, Matt Hagan, and Ron Capps in the first three rounds. Force was appearing in his eighth Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals final and was seeking his fifth victory. He finished the regular season as the points leader and will open the Countdown playoffs with a 30-point advantage over teammate Hight.

Richie Crampton

Rookie Top Fuel driver Crampton, appearing in his first Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, powered past Steve Torrence with a 3.766 at 327.98 mph in the GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster to claim his second Wally trophy of the season. He was close to sweeping the weekend; he posted a runner-up finish in the $100,000 Traxxas Nitro Shootout bonus event on Saturday.

“Steve-O (Torrence) is one of my great friends out here, and he beat me at the Brainerd race,” said Crampton, who will be seeded eighth in the Countdown. “We said to each other before the run that we were going to go out there and have some fun. It’s pretty awesome that he and I got to share a final round here at the 60th Indy. If I would have been runner-up, I probably would have been almost as happy because it’s been a fantastic weekend for our team.”

Torrence was appearing in his second consecutive Indianapolis final in his Capco Contractors dragster, posting a 3.799 at 327.82 during the final. The result broke a one-year drought from final-round appearances for the Kilgore, Texas, native. Torrence will be seeded fifth in the Countdown.

Doug Kalitta claimed the Top Fuel Countdown No. 1 seed and will open the playoffs with a 30-point advantage over Antron Brown.

Shane Gray

In Pro Stock, Gray drove his Gray Manufacturing Chevy Camaro to his first U.S. Nationals victory, defeating teammate Dave Connolly in the final with a 6.641 at 208.42 mph. It was the fourth career victory for Gray, who finished the regular season sixth in points, and his first win since the Las Vegas race last October.

“I really can’t describe this in words,” said Gray, who beat Shane Tucker, Allen Johnson, and brother Jonathan Gray before the final. “If I've learned anything this year, I've learned that it's a lot different to go out and qualify [well] than it is to race on Sunday."

Connolly was appearing in his fifth final round at the Big Go, having collected victories three times. He was also runner-up at the event in 2006. Connolly defeated V. Gaines, Erica Enders-Stevens, and ended Jason Line’s three-race winning streak on his way to the final-round matchup with his Gray Motorsports teammate.

Line’s late-season performance earned him the top seed for the Pro Stock Countdown playoffs.

Eddie Krawiec

Krawiec took home his first Indy win and third victory of the season with a 6.941 at 192.63 mph on the Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson, beating Jerry Savoie. The win was the 25th career victory for Krawiec, a three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ.

“I’ve been fortunate to win three championships and 25 races now, and I’ve finally got an Indy win,” said Krawiec, who finished second in regular season points behind teammate Andrew Hines. “I was joking that I could just step off the bike now, announce my retirement, and not run the Countdown [to the Championship]. I think I’ll stick around, though.”

Savoie was appearing in his second consecutive final on his Savoie’s Alligator Farm Suzuki. He beat Chaz Kennedy, John Hall, and reigning world champ Matt Smith before posting a 6.987 at 192.58 in the final.

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will head to North Carolina for the 7th annual NHRA Carolina Nationals, Sept. 12- 14, at zMAX Dragway. The race will be the opening event of the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, a six-race championship playoff.

Reigning NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series world champion Rickie Smith raced to the NHRA Pro Mod Series victory. Pro Mod racing was presented by JEGS at the event.

Smith ran his ’68 IDG Camaro to a 5.901-second pass at 245.72 mph, defeating Pete Farber in the final. It was Smith’s second win of the season and sixth of his career. Smith, the runner-up at Indianapolis last season, defeated Danny Rowe, Jeff Naiser, and Troy Coughlin on the way to the final.

Farber drove his CRC Brakeleen Dodge Daytona to the final round with victories over Steven Whiteley, Steve Matusek, and Billy Glidden. It was his second final-round appearance of the season, following a victory in Bristol. Farber was appearing in his first Indianapolis final.

The NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series will head to Charlotte for the Pro Mod portion of the NHRA Carolina Nationals, Sept. 12-14. The event is the seventh of 10 races on the 2014 schedule.

2014 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES STANDINGS
Updated 9/1/2014 (Following the 18th of 24 events; season victories in parentheses)
 
TOP FUEL
Place Driver Points
1. Doug Kalitta, Ypsilanti, Mich., Mac Tools dragster (2) 1,479
2. Antron Brown, Indianapolis, Matco Tools dragster (5) 1,385
3. Shawn Langdon, Indianapolis, Al-Anabi Racing dragster (1) 1,261
4. Tony Schumacher, Chicago, U.S. Army dragster (2) 1,160
5. Steve Torrence, Kilgore, Texas, Capco Contactors dragster 1,075
6. Spencer Massey, Fort Worth, Texas, Battery Extender dragster (2) 985
7. Khalid alBalooshi, Los Angeles, Al-Anabi Racing dragster (2) 959
8. Richie Crampton, Indianapolis, GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster (2) 958
9. Brittany Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Castrol Edge dragster 921
10. J.R. Todd, Indianapolis, Optima/Advance Auto Parts dragster (1) 836
 
FUNNY CAR
1. John Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang (3) 1,420
2. Robert Hight, Yorba Linda, Calif., Auto Club Ford Mustang (5) 1,340
3. Ron Capps, Carlsbad, Calif., NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger (2) 1,188
4. Alexis DeJoria, Austin, Texas, Patron XO Cafe Toyota Camry (3) 1,148
5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Brownsburg, Ind., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger (1) 1,107
6. Courtney Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Traxxas Ford Mustang (2) 1,093
7. Matt Hagan, Christiansburg, Va., Mopar/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger (1) 1,074
8. Cruz Pedregon, Brownsburg, Ind., Snap-on Tools Toyota Camry (1) 963
9. Del Worsham, Villa Park, Calif., DHL Toyota Camry 961
10. Tim Wilkerson, Springfield, Ill., Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang 883
 
PRO STOCK
1. Jason Line, Mooresville, N.C., Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro (4) 1,408
2. Erica Enders-Stevens, New Orleans, Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro (4) 1,324
3. Allen Johnson, Greeneville, Tenn., Team Mopar Dodge Dart (4) 1,318
4. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Delaware, Ohio, JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Dart (2) 1,254
5. Dave Connolly, Mooresville, N.C., Charter Chevy Camaro (1) 1,231
6. Shane Gray, Mooresville, N.C., Gray Manufacturing Chevy Camaro (1) 1,188
7. Vincent Nobile, Dix Hills, N.Y., Mountain View Tire Chevy Camaro (1) 1,093
8. V. Gaines, Lakewood, Colo., Kendall Oil Dodge Dart 805
9. Chris McGaha, Odessa, Texas, Harlow Sammons of Odessa Chevy Camaro 782
10. Jonathan Gray, Mooresville, N.C., Gray Motorsports Chevy Camaro 725
 
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE (following the 10th of 16 events)
1. Andrew Hines, Brownsburg, Ind., Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson (4) 906
2. Eddie Krawiec, Brownsburg, Ind., Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson (3) 889
3. Hector Arana Jr., Milltown, Ind., Lucas Oil Buell (1) 692
4. Hector Arana Sr., Milltown, Ind., Lucas Oil Buell 574
5. John Hall, Hamden, Conn., Matt Smith Racing Buell 569
6. Matt Smith, King, N.C., Nitro Fish Buell 563
7. Michael Ray, New Braunfels, Texas, Gottspeed/Star Racing Buell 501
8. Scotty Pollacheck, Medford, Ore., Petrolhead Apparel Buell 493
9. Angie Smith, King, N.C., Kandy Racing Buell (1) 490
10. Steve Johnson, Birmingham, Ala., Steve Johnson Racing Suzuki (1) 462



Detailed coverage and features from the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals can be found on NationalDragster.net. The site is open to all users throughout the event.

 

 

 

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