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AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals Friday Notebook

Steve Torrence tied a track record, while Ron Capps, Bo Butner, and Eddie Krawiec grabbed the provisional poles at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals.
13 Oct 2017
NHRA National Dragster staff
Race coverage
Dallas Hero

Preview | Features | Results | Photos

QUALIFYING ROUNDS RECAPS

eddie.JPGPRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE Q1 (2:53 p.m.): Eddie Krawiec made the quickest pass of the session, and one of only two runs in the 6.8s, to claim three bonus points in the opening bike session. That got him around defending champion Jerry Savoie (6.873) and Hector Arana Jr. (6.9). Rookie Joey Gladstone held down the quick half of the field with a 6.957, while Angie Smith experienced problems at the starting line and didn’t record a time. Her husband, Matt Smith, recorded a time, but not one he’ll be happy with (7.092). Gunner Courtney returned to the track he debuted at a year ago and put down a 7.12.

butner.jpgPRO STOCK Q1 (1:15 p.m.): Bo Butner, who entered the event three points behind standings leader Greg Anderson, cut that margin to just a single point after earning three points in the first session with a session-best 6.634 while Anderson earned one point with the session’s third-best pass, a, 6.642. It was a 1-2-3 sweep of the opening session as their KB Racing teammate, Jason Line, was second quickest with a 6.639. Rookie sensation Tanner Gray broke on the burnout and did not get a pass, nor did Texas favorite Chris McGaha.

jack.jpgFUNNY CAR Q1 (5:09 p.m.): An eventful Funny Car session ended with Jack Beckman (3.914) at the top of the qualifying heap. Dan Wilkerson (3.987) ended his run with a big-time blowup that wounded his body, but he wound up at No. 4 in the qualifying order. There was also a long delay following Cruz Pedregon’s less successful run. Courtney Force (3.928) and part-time racer Bob Tasca III (3.941) took the rest of the bonus points. Tim Wilkerson (4.016) and Tommy Johnson Jr. (4.149) were the only other two drivers to make it down the track successfully in a session filled with tire smoke. 

torrence.JPGTOP FUEL Q1 (5:37 p.m.): Steve Torrence unleashed a 3.717 pass to take the top spot in Top Fuel after the first session at his home track. That run topped rival Leah Pritchett’s 3.767 by a wide margin, earning the Texan three bonus points. Clay Millican (3.773) rounded out the top three in a solid first session of dragster racing. Scott Palmer held down the quick half of the field with a 3.846, while Richie Crampton kicked the tires early in the No. 16 spot. Billy Torrence smoked the tires right at the hit in his first pass since 2015, while both Brittany Force (3.775) and Tony Schumacher (3.793) made passes in the 3.7s. 

scotty.JPGPRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE Q2 (5:59 p.m.): Scotty Pollacheck moved up to No. 3 in the qualifying order by making the best run of the final session of the first day of qualifying. His 6.879 put him behind Jerry Savoie and Eddie Krawiec, but earned him three bonus points. Krawiec held onto the provisional No. 1 spot thanks to his run from the first session, and made the third-best pass of the second (6.906). LE Tonglet (6.901) earned two qualifying bonus points while moving into the No. 6 spot. Matt Smith jumped into the quick half of the field with a 6.941.

butner2.jpgPRO STOCK Q2 (6:20 p.m.): By the time Bo Butner ran in the final pair of the session, he had been bumped well down from the lead he held after the first session, but quickly regained the top spot, and did so in convincing fashion. Greg Anderson (6.626) and Erica Enders (6.634) had already set the bar high, but Butner cleared it with ease with a stunning 6.588 to claim the No. 1 spot by an unprecedented four-hundredths of a second.

capps.jpgFUNNY CAR Q2 (6:57 p.m.): Defending champion Ron Capps took a big step forward all the way to the provisional No. 1 qualifier spot. His 3.872 put him in front of Jack Beckman and Jonnie Lindberg, who ran identical 3.873s to earn the rest of the qualifying bonus points. Tim Wilkerson (3.909) and Courtney Force (3.928) round out the top five after the first day of qualifying, but Capps jumped up from an 8.981 in the first session to take the first step towards securing the green No. 1 qualifier cap. Jeff Diehl holds onto the bump spot with a 7.137 pass, while J.R. Todd is on the outside looking in after running a 9.019 in the second session. 

torrence.jpgTOP FUEL Q2 (7:34 p.m.): Steve Torrence tied the Texas Motorplex track record with a 3.682-second pass to snatch another three points. That gives him six bonus points through two sessions, while Tony Schumacher (3.692), and Antron Brown (3.696) rounded out the top three. It’s a great start to the weekend for Torrence, who has yet to get to the winner’s circle in his Top Fuel machine. His dad, Billy Torrence, got down the track with a 3.771 to move into the No. 9 spot. Blake Alexander holds the bump spot with a 4.52-second pass, while Troy Buff is on the outside looking in. 

FEATURES

1986overall.JPGThe first NHRA event was run at Texas Motorplex in 1986. The only driver who has participated at every single event since, no matter the name (and there have been a couple) is John Force. Force has taken home seven Wallys from Ennis, Texas – six at the Fall running of, and one back when the NHRA visited North Texas in the Spring. 

But there were a handful of drivers at the 1986 NHRA Chief Auto Parts Nationals who are still involved in NHRA Drag Racing other than Force. Three classes (Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock) were contested in the inaugural race, and all are represented at the 2017 AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals. 

Jim Head competed as a driver in Funny Car, and currently owns the flopper driven by rookie Jonnie Lindberg. Kenny Delco raced in Pro Stock, and is on the entry list for the 2017 edition of the Ennis contest. Mark Oswald, like Head and Force, raced in Funny Car and is currently the co-crew chief on the Matco Tools dragster piloted by Antron Brown. 

Then there’s Billy Meyer. The owner of the Texas Motorplex also competed in the 1986 event in Funny Car; starting to sense a pattern? He doesn’t still compete on the strip, but he’s (naturally) a fixture at Texas Motorplex during race weekends. 

Still, nobody can boast the same type of longevity as Force. His career at Texas Motorplex is nothing short of astounding. He has 11 No. 1s, is 28-6 in first rounds at the Ennis race track and is 71-27 in all elimination rounds. The 16-time champion is looking for his first victory in Ennis since 2010.

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Steve Torrence is looking for his first Top Fuel win at Texas Motorplex; there’s no time like the present for the Texan to cross yet another track off his list. He has reached the final round in the NHRA’s last four stops in his home state (Dallas and Houston twice apiece) but has come up short in each of those appearances.

“Yeah, it’s kinda frustrating,” Torrence. “To be there four times and not get it done, you just have to use that for motivation. (If) we keep putting ourselves in a position to win, eventually it’s going to happen. It doesn’t change our game plan at all. We’re still going to go out there and do what we’ve done all year.”

Those losses came against Leah Pritchett, Antron Brown, Doug Kalitta, and Richie Crampton. He could face all four of those drivers come Sunday – he had to beat three of them to capture his eighth Wally of the season in St. Louis. His Top Fuel points lead remains tenuous despite starting the Countdown with the points lead. 

That’s because fellow dragster competitor Doug Kalitta has captured more points than anyone else since starting the Countdown. Still, reaching back-to-back finals has put Torrence back at the top of the standings. He made four passes in the 3.60s to get the 16th Wally of his career by beating Kalitta two weeks ago. 

Now, the Texan is looking for the second Wally of his career in his home state – and the first in a Nitro car. The fourth win of his career, and final in a Top Alcohol Dragster, came at Texas Motorplex. That was way back in 2005. Since then, Torrence has carved out a pretty impressive career for himself in the professional ranks; but no season has been better than this. With three races to go, he’s one of the favorites to bring home a title.

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kinsley.jpgThe finale of the regular season, the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, came with one heck of a Cinderella Story in Top Fuel. Kebin Kinsley, a part-time racer from Texas, reached the final. He runnered up against Steve Torrence, but his run to the final was one of the best stories of the biggest race of the season. The response to his magical run was nothing short of incredible. 

“It’s been insane,” said Kinsley. “My Facebook blew up, I got all these emails and text messages, I don’t think I ever got through all my text messages. People I hadn’t heard from in 20 years. It was really pretty cool. You work your entire life to get through to this point.”

Kinsley broke a blower pully the final, and the crew has gone over the entire dragster with a fine-tooth comb. 

“We got new everything on this thing,” said Kinsley. “There’s a guy making new parts for this thing that are a little bit stronger. We had so much carnage from Indy, that I just finished the heads right before I got here.”

After all the excitement, and hard work since Indy, Kinsley is just ready to get back in the car. 

“I was ready to get back into this thing after Indy, I could do it every day,” said Kinsley. “That’s how you get good at it.”

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blake.jpgBlake Alexander is making his third appearance in Top Fuel, once again piloting the dragster owned by Del Worsham. Most of Alexander’s driving experience is in Funny Car, but after getting his license in Top Fuel, he’s diversifying his skillset. He made his Top Fuel in Englishtown, and earned his first Top Fuel round win in Chicago when he defeated Tony Schumacher.

“I don’t want to make too big of a deal about (that win),” said Alexander. “It was still the best round win I’ve ever had. I mean, I got my license when I was 21, and I’m 29 now, so that was a long time ago.”

Alexander has Pronto Auto Service on the side of his dragster, the same as he has at his other two appearances on tour. His goal remains the same: Get experience in Top Fuel, and put on a good show for his sponsor. That comes with a little extra pressure this weekend, as he’s expecting a big crowd for the Texas-based company. 

“I like to do it well when I show up,” said Alexander. “I’m not trying to say I’m Steve Torrence, but you know. I show up with good parts and good people.” 

Showing up with Worsham is a good place to start. Qualifying well, and picking up the second round win of his career would be a good place to finish. 

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Antron Brown joined the likes of Cruz Pedregon, Courtney Force, and Jeg Coughlin Jr. with a pink-themed racecar in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. The special edition Matco Tools "Tools for the Cause" pink scheme dragster carries the names of more than 400 people who have fought or are fighting breast cancer.
 
"Every year when we carry the names of people who are fighting or have fought breast cancer, it is an extra special time for us," Brown said. "My family has been affected by it as have so many families so this car is special to all of us."

To date, Matco Tools has donated more than $787,000 to breast cancer research and awareness. Matco is once again offering Tools for the Cause pink merchandise, in which Matco will donate 15 percent of the purchase price to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The track also holds a special memory for Brown as the site of his first-ever NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series victory when he won the Pro Stock Motorcycle final in 1999.  The three-time world champion is the defending event champ and also won at the facility in Top Fuel 2012 and will be looking for his third Top Fuel win in Dallas this weekend. He went on to earn the Top Fuel world championship in both seasons that he has previously won at the Motorplex.

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force.jpgIt’s been 10 long years since that fateful day at Texas Motorplex where we almost lost John Force in a terrible top-end accident during eliminations, and although John Force had healed physically and emotionally –- and is arguably better on both accounts because of it –- the sport’s winningest driver still feels he has some unfinished business to get a little closure.

A seven-time winner at Texas Motorplex, he hasn’t been back to the winner’s circle here since the wreck. Force also has 11 No. 1 qualifiers, 15 finals appearances and 71 elimination-round victories – the fourth most of any track in his career –- in Dallas but no event wins since 2005

“Seems like to I used to win the Dallas race every year I came through town,” mused Force. “I need to align the moons again by winning, to give me closure. I almost lost my life there or, at least, almost ended my career there. It still owes me.”

After spending weeks in Baylor hospital recovering from multiple injuries, Force embarked not only on a new fitness regimen, but also curtailed his social activities, determined to regain his championship form, culminating in his 15th season title, in 2010, and a 16th in 2013.

“We used to go with the guys and drink beer and live that lifestyle; I can’t do that anymore,” he confessed. “Two weeks ago, I ate good in St. Louis at a little place by the hotel -- ate hamburgers and steaks three days in a row and put on five, six, seven pounds. I’ve been starving myself the last few days and finally got back to 194 pounds [Wednesday] morning. I can’t live in that world any more.

“I’m not the same guy I was 10 years ago,” said the 68-year-old legend. “The crash changed my life."

Force doesn’t ever allow himself to flash back to that day, even when he lines his car up again in the right lane at Texas Motorplex.

“From that first run after the crash, you know if you start thinking about it, it’s over,” he said. “You’ve already lost. I’m still winning and plan to keep on winning. I can win races; I just have to get back to winning championships.”

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Cruz Pedregon has had some great moments at Texas Motorplex, with four career wins – including his memorable 1992 conquest of John Force that led to his first world championship -- but the two-time world champ is eager to make a return from a rough weekend in St. Louis that began ignominiously with his new pink-themed Snap-on Tools Toyota in the sand trap after a parachute failure.

"When some of the defining moments of your career are made at a track, it's always a special place to come back to, and that's the way I feel about the Texas Motorplex," said Pedregon. "We wanted to be ready, so we took the nose off the body that was damaged last week after hitting the sand and got it ready for this weekend.”

"We did the work we needed to do to get The Pink Fund special paint scheme body ready for Dallas and reviewed the issues we've had with the chutes this season,” said crew chief Aaron Brooks says. “We're good to go for Dallas and hoping we can help Cruz with some new career highlights there this weekend."

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dwilk.gifDaniel Wilkerson debuted a beautiful new Summit Racing paint scheme on one of the Wilkerson Racing cars owned by his father, Tim, but the red, white, and blue beauty may have met its end in Q1 after a booming engine explosion that heavily damaged the Shelby body, including a major break on the right-front fender.

“It was on a good run, and by halftrack on it was pulling like a mother, it was really getting it, for me anyway,” said Wilkerson, who made his first career three-second pass, a 3.98, on the run. “I just pushed my button to throw the chutes and closing the throttle when it banged. I don’t think I drove it too far.  It’s just a shame for Summit Racing Equipment. We had this beautiful paint scheme and [the body] is just junk now. It’s a shame. I’m beside myself. We can probably borrow a body [from Tim] – I think it will fit – but the whole idea of this was to salute the opening of Summit’s new Texas store, but we can’t run that body again.”

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aj.JPGAllen Johnson’s full-time Pro Stock career is coming to a close. The veteran driver has three races remaining before he hangs up the gloves, and has already moved up two spots in the first three races in the Countdown to the Championship. He began the playoffs in ninth, and has moved up to seventh with a pair of round wins over the last three races. 

“I’m enjoying it, but I’d like to have some round wins and move up a little bit,” said Johnson. “I’m working hard at it.”

His plans for next season, which will not include a full season of racing for the first time in a long time, are not yet certain. He knows he’ll remain involved with NHRA Drag Racing in some capacity, but he’s keeping his options open. 

“Mopar has talked to us a little bit about doing some Factory Stock, but right now we don’t really know,” he said. “We’ll be out doing something.”

During his retirement press conference, he offered up the possibility of selling, or even leasing, his Dodge Dart setup. His father, Roy Johnson, remains the expert tuner of his door slammer. So far, no one has come calling. 

“I haven’t had one offer (for my stuff),” said Johnson. “I don’t know what will come of it.”

For now, we can all enjoy what’s left of Johnson’s final few rides.

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morgan.jpgPro Stock veteran Larry Morgan continues his “comeback” tour after sitting out the entire 2016 season and most of 2017 before re-emerging at Indy with the RacerDirect.net Camaro. This event marks his fifth start of the season, and he’s progressed from missing the show at the U.S. National to qualifying in Charlotte and Reading to winning his first-round race two weeks ago in St. Louis.

Morgan, who missed just one race between 1984 and 2015, sat out last season – the first under the new fuel injection rules – as he had surgery on ruptured discs in his back to cure a long-nagging problem. He ran some Pro Mod racers earlier this year for Brad Anderson before returning to Pro Stock.

“I love to race, but this fuel injection thing has been hard for me,” he admitted. “Eventually I’ll grow to love it, but it’s different. The throttle is so much more sensitive than I’m used. I went to stage against Greg [Anderson] in St. Louis, just trying to raise the rpm 150 and it just shut off. It was like I turned the ignition switch off. I’ll get better, I’ll get the hang of it.”

Morgan has collected 10 NHRA national event Wallys – 12 in Pro Stock, four in Comp, and three in Super Stock.

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tucker.jpgThis is something of a home-away-from-home race for Australian Shane Tucker. That’s because his family business, Auzmet Architectural, has an office in Dallas. The story of how the company ended up with an office in the Lone Star State is an interesting one. 

“We had a race at the U.S. Nationals in 2014,” said Tucker. “And on the Tuesday, we had an email in our sales office.”

That email was from Don Powell, who runs BOKA Powell in Texas. He saw the Auzmet logo on the side of Tucker’s car, looked the company up, and reached out to the Australian because he saw a business opportunity. The rest, as they say, is history. 

“We’ve been very fortunate to have very good people around me,” said Tucker. “It allows me to get away and do this. This whole thing came about, because I decided to put the name of the company on the car instead of leaving it blank when we were trying to get a sponsor.”

That decision paid off. Tucker is set to compete in nine races this season, and hopes to come out for double-digit events next season. That will depend on what his business allows – that’s a good problem to have. 

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Twenty years ago this weekend, Jeg Coughlin Jr. made his Pro Stock debut at this event, and the three-time series champ is hoping for a Texas-sized rebound after a lost summer. The yellow and black JEGS Camaro has averaged just a ninth-place qualifying start over the last eight races, but has been 12th twice and 14th once over the last four races.

The Elite Motorsports team took both Coughlin’s Chevy and the red machine of teammate Erica Enders, which has fared slightly better but not up to par, back to chassis builder Rick Jones shop after the St. Louis event and went over both of them, stem to stern.

“We made a lot of changes to both cars for this weekend,” said Brian “Lump” Self, who recently was promoted from the mechanical end to drive the team’s third entry. “Both cars got completely revamped –- everything but the paint -– you name it, we probably changed it. We know we’re struggling and we have to fix them.”

The early returns from Q1 indicate the work was well worth it as Enders was fourth quickest with a 6.651 and Coughlin fifth with a 6.657.


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arana.jpgAfter beginning the Countdown with back-to-back semifinal finishes in Charlotte and Reading, Hector Arana Jr.’s bid to join his father as a Pro Stock Motorcycle champion hit a bump in the road in St. Louis where he lost in round one to Karen Stoffer. Not only did he get left on, but he also got outperformed, a duo that has not happened to the Lucas Oil Racing TV Buell rider much this season.

"No question we had a bit of bad luck and it was bad timing for that to happen to us in St. Louis but all we can do, what we're going to do, is look forward and move forward," Arana Jr. said. "Of course, it's still possible to win the championship but we're not going to race with that in mind. It never works. Nothing to do with winning the championship will change the decisions we make at the racetrack.
 
"It sounds cliché but we'll be taking things one round at a time, beginning with the first qualifying session. We're not going to get in over our heads. We're going to stick with what's worked for us all year. We'll try to be No. 1 qualifier every round and try to win every round we race on Sunday. That's the best way to drag race."
 
Arana Sr., still sidelined after early-season shoulder surgery, took full advantage of the off weekend and went through the bike from end to end. He also completely disassembled and freshened all three motors the team will use down the stretch.
 
"In the end, the engines are back to 100 percent and ready to race,” said Arana Jr. “All three are very strong and he figured out what had happened and why we were leaving slower than before. It took an incredible amount of work and lots of late nights going through our notes but Dad got it done and I'm super appreciative of him, even more than normal."

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tonglet_0.JPGBased on wins alone, LE Tonglet is enjoying his best season of all time. He wants to cap this with his second Mello Yello Championship. The Nitro Fish rider has six wins this season, his most in a single season, including a victory at the NHRA’s most recent stop. That win wasn’t enough to get him to No. 1 in the standings. 

He currently sits 19 points behind Eddie Krawiec, who Tonglet beat in the second round at Gateway Motorsports Park. That’s after the first qualifying session, when Krawiec grabbed three bonus points while the Louisianan finished outside the top three. Tonglet needs to keep that gap under 20 so he doesn’t need more than a round win to pass him by on Sunday. 

Based on Tonglet’s great run through the Countdown in 2010, when he won four of six races, and his 16-6 record in final rounds, it might seem like nothing can get to the Pro Stock Motorcycle rider. But he admitted to a little bit of nervousness against Krawiec in the second round at the AAA NHRA Midwest Nationals. 

“I’m not gonna lie, I was nervous in the second round,” said Tonglet. “That was the only one. We were at least 70 points behind going into that round, I don’t really count qualifying points. If he had won that race, he would’ve gained another 60 points.”

Tonglet winning that round kept him alive in the championship fight. Heck, it kept a few riders alive in the fight for a championship. Matt Smith is 140 points back in seventh place, and that might be the furthest back anyone can come from to catch Krawiec with three races to go. The Nitro Fish rider doesn’t have to worry about coming back from that distance, of course. He’s only got one round to recover from.

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With a lead of less than a round’s worth on L.E. Tonglet, Eddie Krawiec knows that every point matters. He lost a crucial second-round race to Tonglet –- who went on to win the event –- in St. Louis, so even after opening the Countdown with wins in Charlotte and Reading, the points are tight.

Krawiec opened his Friday account in Dallas with three more points, courtesy of 6.860, the best run of the opening qualifying session. Tonglet, conversely, earned no bonus points with his sixth-best effort, as his qualifying concerns continue. Krawiec picked up another point with the third-best run of Q2, but Tonglet got two, which leaves Krawiec with an 18-point edge -- still not more than a round.

“Little points, little points, little points,” preached Krawiec. “They all add up.  It’s all about getting the right setup right off the truck and running like we just did. You want to set the pace fast and never go backwards, so it’s looking like I’m going to have an awesome weekend.”

PHOTOS

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The NHRA community tipped its hat to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting and the town itself with supportive #VegasStrong decals on their cars.

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Summit Racing Pro Stock drivers Jason Line and Greg Anderson are among those showing their support.

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Top Fuel frontrunner Steve Torrence is joined in competition this weekend in Top Fuel by his father, Billy, in a second Capco Contractors machine.

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We've also got another father=son duo but with an opposite spin as Dan Wilkerson is joining his tour-regular father Tim in Funny Car this weekend.

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The last of five Charity Challenge races between Leah Pritchett and Papa John's founder and chairman John Schnatter went to Schnatter, near lane, in his classic 1971 Chevrolet Camaro Z28. Pritchett was undefeated with her supercharged Gen III HEMI in a 2017 Dodge Challenger configured for drag racing.

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DSR owner Don Schumacher and Schnatter each contributed $20,000 at each Charity Challenge and the total raised for the Infinite Hero Foundation, a cool $100,000, was saluted after the race.

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Richie Crampton’s first run in the SealMaster Top Fueler definitely didn’t go as planned as evidenced by this engine explosion.

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Funny Car rookie Jonnie Lindberg got extremely sideways on his Q1 launch and took a bead on the photographers before reeling it back in.

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Two pairs of jet dragsters closed down the evening in spectacular. flame-throwing fashion.

PREVIEW

Things are starting to tighten up in the Countdown to the Championship, as just three races remain on the calendar. As the NHRA Drag Racing tour moves to Texas for the second time this season, points leaders will look to pad their leads while those trailing will try to avoid being left in the dust. After taking a weekend off to recuperate, teams get back to the grind at Texas Motorplex for the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals.

S_Torrence.JPGTop Fuel points leader Steve Torrence gets to play a home game this weekend. The Kilgore, Texas native lives just 120 miles East of the Texas Motorplex and is seeking his career-best ninth win of the season. He holds a 42-point lead over Doug Kalitta, which was bolstered by his victory over the driver in St. Louis two weeks ago. Torrence is 83 points up on Brittany Force, 94 ahead of Antron Brown, and 141 past fifth-place pilot Clay Millican. The Texan has two wins, and three final-round appearances, in the last four races and has shown no signs of slowing. 

TOP FUEL

Driver Initial Seed Charlotte Result Reading Result St. Louis Result Current Position Change
Steve Torrence 1 E2 RU W 1 0
Antron Brown 2 E2 SF SF 4 -2
Leah Pritchett 3 E1 E2 E2 7 -4
Tony Schumacher 4 E2 E2 E2 6 +1
Doug Kalitta 5 W E2 RU 2 +3
Brittany Force 6 SF W E2 3 -3
Clay Millican 7 E2 E2 E2 5 +2
Terry McMillen 8 E1 E1 E1 8 0
Scott Palmer 9 E1 E1 E1 9 0
Shawn Langdon 10 E1 E1 E1 10 0

R_Capps.JPGThe same is true of defending Funny Car champion Ron Capps, who has also won a career-best eight times in 2017. Coming off a five-win campaign in 2016, Capps and crew chief Rahn Tobler have outclassed the flopper field as an encore. Their win in St. Louis gave them a 46-point over Robert Hight, and a 106-point lead over Courtney Force. After stumbling in the second round to start the Countdown, Capps has won back-to-back races to regain his No. 1 status. The NAPA driver hasn’t won at Dallas nor Pomona in the Fall; if he can cross those off his list, it’s going to be very tough for anyone else to catch him. 

FUNNY CAR

Driver Initial Seed Charlotte Result Reading Result St. Louis Result Current Position Change
Ron Capps 1 E2 W W 1 0
Robert Hight 2 W E2 SF 2 0
Matt Hagan 3 E1 SF E2 4 -1
Jack Beckman 4 E1 SF E2 5 -1
Tommy Johnson Jr. 5 E2 E2 E1 7 -2
Courtney Force 6 RU RU E2 3 +3
John Force 7 E2 E2 SF 6 +1
J.R. Todd 8 SF E1 E1 8 0
Tim Wilkerson 9 E1 E2 E1 9 0
Cruz Pedregon 10 E1 E1 E1 10 0

G_Anderson.JPGThat’s not a problem for Pro Stock points leader Greg Anderson, who has won at every track on the NHRA circuit, including four wins in Dallas. He moved into first place after knocking off teammate Jason Line for the second time this season, though his lead is a tenuous one. Anderson holds a three-point advantage over his other teammate, Bo Butner, despite reaching four-straight final rounds. The 2010 champion has only one victory from those final rounds, but has been running very consistently; if his luck is changing, more wins could follow his St. Louis triumph. Line is 76 points behind Anderson, while rookie Tanner Gray is 94 points back of the veteran driver. 

PRO STOCK

Driver Initial Seed Charlotte Result Reading Result St. Louis Result Current Position Change
Bo Butner 1 SF W SF 2 -1
Tanner Gray 2 W E2 E1 4 -2
Greg Anderson 3 RU RU W 1 +2
Drew Skillman 4 E2 E2 E1 5 -1
Jason Line 5 SF SF RU 3 +2
Erica Enders 6 E2 E2 E2 6 0
Jeg Coughlin 7 E2 E1 E1 8 -1
Vincent Nobile 8 E1 DNR DNR 10 -2
Allen Johnson 9 E1 SF E1 7 +2
Chris McGaha 10 E1 E1 E2 9 -1

E_Krawiec.JPGEddie Krawiec came up short against LE Tonglet in the second round of at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis, but held onto the Pro Stock Motorcycle points lead. That early loss ended a string of three-straight victories for the Harley-Davidson rider, who leads Tonglet by 16 points entering the Dallas event. Krawiec owns five victories this season to Tonglet’s six and entered the Countdown in the No. 2 position before passing the Nitro Fish rider behind his playoff-opening victory in Charlotte. Krawiec’s teammate, Andrew Hines, is in third place (76 points back), while Hector Arana Jr. is 115 back of first, and defending champion Jerry Savoie sits 117 behind. 

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE

Driver Initial Seed Charlotte Result Reading Result St. Louis Result Current Position Change
LE Tonglet 1 E2 RU W 2 -1
Eddie Krawiec 2 W W E2 1 +1
Hector Arana Jr 3 SF SF E1 4 -1
Jerry Savoie 4 SF E2 E2 5 -1
Matt Smith 5 E2 E2 SF 7 -2
Andrew Hines 6 RU E2 RU 3 +3
Scotty Pollacheck 7 E2 SF SF 6 +1
Joey Gladstone 8 E1 E1 E1 10 -2
Karen Stoffer 9 E1 E2 E2 8 +1
Angie Smith 10 E1 E1 E2 9 +1

 

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