Tricky Tipster names Torrence, Capps, Butner, Tonglet as Chicago favorites

NHRA National Dragster's famed Tricky Tipster has made picks for the Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N Filters, and, as was the case with last race in Norwalk, Steve Torrence, Ron Capps, Bo Butner, and LE Tonglet lead the rankings.
06 Jul 2017
NHRA National Dragster staff
Steve Torrence, Ron Capps, Bo Butner, and LE Tonglet

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 Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N Filters.

Funny Car | Pro Stock | Pro Stock Motorcycle
Steve Torrence
Steve Torrence • Capco Contractors
As he noted in Norwalk, “We’re not on the verge of something special, we ARE DOING something special.” At this point, we couldn’t agree more.
ODDS: 5-2
Antron Brown
Antron Brown • Matco Tools
It feels like he should have more than two wins this season, but the Matco team has never been far from the front. They also tend to do some of their best work in the second half of the season anyway.
ODDS: 3-1
Leah Pritchett
Leah Pritchett • Papa John’s Pizza
The Eastern Swing was so-so with seven round-wins and a runner-up in Bristol. Regardless, this is a car that almost always qualifies top four, and on most days, a semifinal is nearly a given.
ODDS: 5-1
Doug Kalitta
Doug Kalitta • Mac Tools
This can’t go on much longer, right? To think the entire Kalitta team went winless for the first half of the season is insane. Expect a big second half from the Ypsilanti gang.
ODDS: 6-1
Clay Millican
Clay Millican • Parts Plus/Great Clips
This is team owner Doug Stringer’s home event, so naturally there will be an extra push to get results. Bristol win was only the beginning. These guys aren’t going away anytime soon.
ODDS: 7-1
Tony Schumacher
Tony Schumacher • U.S. Army
Almost unimaginable that the Army team only scored two round-wins during the Eastern Swing. The silver lining is that they entered the Swing in fourth place and that’s where they remain.
ODDS: 9-1
Brittany Force
Brittany Force • Monster Energy
Cooled off a bit since confidence-building Epping win, but the potential is still there for a big second half. In fact, we’ll go out on a limb and predict the Monster car gets at least one more win before the end of the Western Swing.
ODDS: 10-1
Shawn Langdon
Shawn Langdon • Global Electronic Technology
Battling to make the top 10 and making steady progress. Can’t afford too many more first-round losses, though. In fact, a win would make all the difference in the world right now.
ODDS: 13-1

Ron Capps
Ron Capps • NAPA Dodge
The NAPA team pretty much dominated the first half of the season, and there is no reason to think they’re going to ease up any time soon. Hasn’t won here since the fall race in 2005, but that’s not much of a concern.
ODDS: 3-1
Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman • Infinite Hero Dodge
He is the defending event champ, but more importantly, the Infinite Hero team would love to be able to honor the memory of their biggest supporter, Terry Chandler, who passed away this week.
ODDS: 4-1
Matt Hagan
Matt Hagan • Mopar Express Lane Dodge
Three wins here since 2010, it’s safe to say that Route 66 Raceway agrees with him. He’s also a solid favorite to qualify No. 1 and possibly nudge the track records.
ODDS: 5-1
Robert Hight
Robert Hight • Auto Club Chevy
One of the few tracks where he does not have a victory, but that could be just a temporary thing. The Auto Club car is long overdue for a big weekend.
ODDS: 6-1
Tommy Johnson Jr.
Tommy Johnson Jr. • Make-A-Wish Dodge
If he had one wish it would be to bring home a Wally to honor the memory of Terry Chandler. His 2015 win here proves that he’s capable of doing just that.
ODDS: 7-1
John Force
John Force • Peak Chevy
Recent test session in Indy yielded some very impressive numbers. The rest of the field might be in for a big surprise this week.
ODDS: 9-1
Tim Wilkerson
Tim Wilkerson • Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford
It’s a bit of a crime that he hasn’t won his home event since 1999. The performance is definitely there, but the consistency has been a bit off.
ODDS: 11-1
Courtney Force
Courtney Force • Advance Auto Parts Chevy
We’re going to assume the DNQ in Norwalk was nothing more than a bad dream come to life. This is a car that could and should be out there winning races. Expect a quick rebound.
ODDS: 15-1

Bo Butner
Bo Butner • Butner Auto Camaro
It was pretty much a given that once he won his first race, a slew of others would follow. Extra style points for a perfect .000 reaction time in the Norwalk final.
ODDS: 2-1
Greg Anderson
Greg Anderson • Summit Camaro
His car is still not perfect, but it’s absolutely quick enough to get the job done. He’s also probably eager to prove a thing or two after tough Norwalk loss.
ODDS: 3-1
Erica Enders
Erica Enders • Elite Camaro
She’ll tell you that Houston is her favorite place because that’s home, but in reality, this is where it all started. Route 66 is the site of her first Pro Stock win in 2012.
ODDS: 5-1
Jeg Coughlin Jr.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. • Camaro
With the JEGS Allstars race being held this weekend, there is no doubt he’d love to join in the fun with his first Pro Stock win in three years. He’s also got five Chicago wins, which makes him a badass here.
ODDS: 6-1
Tanner Gray
Tanner Gray • Gray Manufacturing Technologies Camaro
Now that we’re through a half a season, the world has seen how good this kid can be. Now, it’s time to focus on the second half and prepare for the Countdown.
ODDS: 8-1
Jason Line
Jason Line • Summit Camaro
This summer has not been kind to the reigning champ. He’s taken his lumps lately, but he remains a championship favorite.
ODDS: 10-1
Chris McGaha
Chris McGaha • Harlow Sammons Camaro
Jury is still out regarding his four-race hiatus. Did it help or hurt his program? After early exit in Norwalk, we should get more answers this weekend.
ODDS: 12-1
Drew Skillman
Drew Skillman • Skillman Auto Camaro
A win waiting to happen. That’s the easiest way to describe the Skillman team, which is still looking for their first win of the season.
ODDS: 14-1

LE Tonglet
LE Tonglet • Nitro Fish Suzuki
There is something enjoyable to watch about a kid who just loves racing motorcycles and seemingly never has a bad day at the track. A positive attitude goes a long way.
ODDS: 2-1
Matt Smith
Matt Smith • Polaris Magnum
Impressive as hell in Norwalk, where he qualified No. 1, had the best bike all weekend, and reached the final. Only a loss to Tonglet prevented a perfect race.
ODDS: 3-1
Jerry Savoie
Jerry Savoie • White Alligator Suzuki
He missed the Norwalk race because of business, and now the reigning champ is about to get down to business against the rest of the field. He’s going to be a thorn in their sides all season.
ODDS: 4-1
Andrew Hines
Andrew Hines • Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
It’s going to take a bit of time for them to get used to their new Street Rod bikes, but when that happens, it’s almost a given that they’ll start winning races again.
ODDS: 5-1
Scotty Pollacheck
Scotty Pollacheck • Suzuki Extended Protection Suzuki
Yep, this is the No. 3 rider in the class right now, but he’s still looking for his first national event win. Anyone want to bet he’ll get it this season.
ODDS: 6-1
Hector Arana Jr.
Hector Arana Jr. • Lucas Oil Buell
We hate to keep harping on the addition of Jim Yates, but it’s clear that he’s made this a better team. It’s up to Jr. to carry the load for the Lucas team, and he certainly seems capable.
ODDS: 8-1
Eddie Krawiec
Eddie Krawiec • Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
Same story here: it’s going to take a bit to get two new bikes sorted out, but when that happens, it will be big trouble for the rest of the field.
ODDS: 10-1
Joey Gladstone
Joey Gladstone • San Marino Excavating Suzuki
Admittedly, Tanner Gray has all but put the Auto Club Road to the Future Award out of reach, but there is still time to get a win or two this season, and he’s a big favorite to do just that.
ODDS: 14-1