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Torrence, Capps, Butner, Krawiec are Tricky Tipster's favorites for Dallas wins

Points leaders Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle), along with Pro Stock's Bo Butner are NHRA National Dragster's Tricky Tipster's picks to win the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex.
12 Oct 2017
NHRA National Dragster staff
News
Tricky Tipster

For more than five decades, NHRA National Dragster's famed Tricky Tipster has tested his prognosticating skills prior to each national event, putting odds on the top eight racers he thinks have the best shot at victory in Tricky Tipster. This week, Tricky Tipster handicaps the Auto Club NHRA Finals.

TOP FUEL
Funny Car | Pro Stock | Pro Stock Motorcycle
Steve Torrence
Steve Torrence • Capco Contractors
Wouldn’t this be the perfect scenario. Home-state racer wins Motorplex race to put a near hammerlock on Mello Yello Top Fuel title? It almost seems too perfect, but it’s also very likely.
ODDS: 3-1
Doug Kalitta
Doug Kalitta • Mac Tools
The championship is still very much his to win. He needs to keep pace with Torrence at the very least. A win here would set the stage for an incredible finish in Vegas and Pomona.
ODDS: 4-1
Antron Brown
Antron Brown • Matco Tools
Defending event winner could really use a final round about now. He needs to outlast Torrence and Kalitta, and that probably means he’s going to need to make the final round, which is very possible.
ODDS: 5-1
Brittany Force
Brittany Force • Monster Energy
When athletes talk about “seizing the moment,” this is it. She’s got a great opportunity to win the championship, but it won’t come easy. Probably needs to win at least one of last three events.
ODDS: 6-1
Clay Millican
Clay Millican • Parts Plus/Great Clips
Probably hasn’t gotten as much Tipster love as he deserves lately, but how can you ignore the quickest car in the country? Now, focus should be on winning four Sunday rounds.
ODDS: 8-1
Tony Schumacher
Tony Schumacher • U.S. Army
If you believe Torrence, Schumacher is not a Texan and will never be one. However, “the Sarge” does live in Austin these days, so the Motorplex is his home track.
ODDS: 10-1
Leah Pritchett
Leah Pritchett • Papa John’s Pizza
Barring an epic comeback, the championship is probably out of reach, but that doesn’t mean this car won’t contend for a win or two.
ODDS: 12-1
Shawn Langdon
Shawn Langdon • Global Electronic Technology
He is one of the best starting-line drivers in all of nitro racing, so there is a good chance he could spoil the day for one of the championship contenders.
ODDS: 14-1

FUNNY CAR
Ron Capps
Ron Capps • NAPA Dodge
Surprised to discover he hasn’t won at the Motorplex since 1998. The way things are going, the NAPA crew can do no wrong, so that could easily change here.
ODDS: 5-2
Robert Hight
Robert Hight • Auto Club Chevy
This is another Auto Club-backed event, and this is the month of “ProckTober,” so expect a big effort from the two-time Dallas champion and crew chief Jimmy Prock.
ODDS: 3-1
Matt Hagan
Matt Hagan • Mopar Express Lane Dodge
Honestly, not much difference between the No. 1 and No. 8 picks in Funny Car. Hagan, however, is a great driver, and this car can lay down some impressive numbers.
ODDS: 4-1
Courtney Force
Courtney Force • Advance Auto Chevy
This is honestly a make-or-break weekend for the Advance Auto team. She is 108 points out of first and can’t afford to lose any more ground. A win here would cut the deficit to four rounds (or less) and set up a fantastic finish to the 2017 season.
ODDS: 6-1
Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman • Infinite Hero Dodge
Surprising that he’s never won this race but does have a pair of runner-up finishes, in 2009 and 2015. It’s also not too late for him to make a run at the championship, but that would likely require running the table at the last three events.
ODDS: 8-1
Tommy Johnson Jr.
Tommy Johnson Jr. • Make-A-Wish Dodge
Strange to see that he’s only won two rounds during the Countdown. This car is capable of so much more than that. Still time for a big turnaround and a strong finish to the season, though.
ODDS: 10-1
Alexis DeJoria
Alexis DeJoria • Tequila Patrón Toyota
About to wrap up a very solid driving career, and nothing would provide a more fitting end than a win in her adopted home state.
ODDS: 11-1
John Force
John Force • Peak Chevy
Texas Motorplex has been home to some of the best (and worst) moments of his career. His seven wins at this track may never be equaled, and no one should be surprised if he gets No. 8 this weekend.
ODDS: 14-1

PRO STOCK
Bo Butner
Bo Butner • Butner Auto Camaro
His laid-back mentality seems perfectly suited for the pressures of a drawn-out points battle. Interesting to see how he rebounds from St. Louis disappointment.
ODDS: 3-1
Greg Anderson
Greg Anderson • Summit Camaro
Who is this guy and where did he come from? St. Louis win, his 89th was clutch. He’s now a genuine contender to win a fifth Mello Yello Pro Stock title.
ODDS: 4-1
Tanner Gray
Tanner Gray • Gray Manufacturing Technologies Camaro
He catches a lot of grief for outward displays of emotion, but as far as Tipster is concerned, it just shows how much this means to him. This kid is very much the future of drag racing. Get used to it.
ODDS: 5-1
Drew Skillman
Drew Skillman • Skillman Auto Camaro
So far, the Countdown has not been kind to the Indy winner. The championship is likely out of reach, but the Dallas victory is very much in play.
ODDS: 7-1
Jason Line
Jason Line • Summit Camaro
Can the defending champ make up 76 points in three races? Absolutely, but it won’t be easy. He’ll likely need two wins at the final three events in order to keep the No. 1 for another season.
ODDS: 9-1
Erica Enders
Erica Enders • Melling/Elite Camaro
There is something about Texans racing in Texas that brings out the best in this team. Her Epping win has been the highlight of the 2017 season, but a win here would be bigger and better.
ODDS: 12-1
Chris McGaha
Chris McGaha • Harlow Sammons Camaro
Speaking of Texans racing in Texas. Dallas is a long way from Odessa, but this is still home for the Harlow Sammons team. They figure to have a lot of support this weekend.
ODDS: 13-1
Allen Johnson
Allen Johnson • Marathon Petroleum Dart
He’s got three races left in his Pro Stock driving career, but the fire still burns for another win. Anyone who thinks he’s going to coast to the finish line is in for a rude awakening.
ODDS: 15-1

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
Eddie Krawiec
Eddie Krawiec • Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
He’s been to the final round here in three of the last four years with two wins. It appears that he’ll need a similar performance this time around to keep the pressure on in the championship battle.
ODDS: 5-2
LE Tonglet
LE Tonglet • Nitro Fish Suzuki
There probably isn’t any Pro driver in any class who is less affected by the pressure of a championship points battle than this guy. He really never seems to get rattled.
ODDS: 3-1
Andrew Hines
Andrew Hines • Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
With 72 points to make up, he’s got his work cut out for himself, but the bonus points in Pomona play right into his hands. That being said, he can’t lose ground to Krawiec or Tonglet here.
ODDS: 4-1
Jerry Savoie
Jerry Savoie • White Alligator Suzuki
Win here and he’s back in the discussion for a championship. Anything less and he’s probably going to be a blocker for teammate Tonglet the rest of the season. This could go either way.
ODDS: 5-1
Matt Smith
Matt Smith • Polaris Victory Magnum
This can be (and often is) the best bike in the class, but four runs on race day has been a struggle. Fix the consistency problem and he goes the distance, but that’s so much easier said than done.
ODDS: 7-1
Hector Arana Jr.
Hector Arana Jr. • Lucas Oil Buell
His situation isn’t much different than that of Smith. This bike hauls the mail, but Sundays have been tough. There is a world of potential here, though.
ODDS: 9-1
Scotty Pollacheck
Scotty Pollacheck • Suzuki Extended Protection Suzuki
Devastating to lose back-to-back races via holeshot, especially during the Countdown. And, we all know that he’s capable of much more. He honestly has one of the best bikes in the class now.
ODDS: 12-1
Angie Smith
Angie Smith • Denso Spark Plugs Buell
Once this bike began qualifying in the top half of the field, she became a threat. As previously noted, she’s got the potential to crush someone’s championship dreams.
ODDS: 15-1