Andrew Hines, Bo Butner capture fourth victories at Virginia NHRA Nationals; Ron Capps, Steve Torrence go back-to-back
Andrew Hines won his third-straight Wally while racing Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammate Eddie Krawiec in the Pro Stock Motorcycle final at the Virginia NHRA Nationals. The win is the 52nd in his career and came on the back of a 6.845-second pass at 195.68 mph.
Hines beat 2018 champion Matt Smith in the semifinals after qualifying in the No. 1 position. He boasts two No. 1 qualifiers on the season to go with his four victories. [Event Winners]
Bo Butner boasts a similar resume. Butner beat K.B. Racing stablemate Greg Anderson to score his fourth Wally in five Pro Stock races to extend his lead in the category. He got off the starting line second but ran down Anderson's Summit Chevrolet to park his Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet in the winner's circle at Virginia Motorsports Park. Butner is now just one win away from matching the five he earned in his 2017 Pro Stock title-winning year, which came in a 24-race schedule.
Ron Capps went back-to-back in his NAPA Brakes Funny Car. He defeated reigning world champion J.R. Todd with a 4.097-second lap to cap a wild day of racing. Capps also got past teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. in the semifinals and defeated 2017 champion Robert Hight in a pedalfest in the second round. The win is Capps' 63rd overall, 62nd in Funny Car, second on the season and 30th with multi-time champion tuner Rahn Tobler.
Steve Torrence also won his second-straight race in his Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster. Torrence narrowly edged three-time champion Antron Brown in the final with a 3.881-second pass, took down his dad, Billy Torrence, in the semifinals and beat teammate Scott Palmer in the second round. It's Torrence's 30th Top Fuel victory; his first came at Virginia Motorsports Park.
TOP FUEL WINNER STEVE TORRENCE: “Hands down, hats off to the Capco boys; they gave me the best racecar of the day; it went down the track four times in a row and all I had to do was not run over anything or anybody. Richard Hogan and Bobby Lagana make the right calls when the heat is on.
“Antron has kicked my butt over and over and over but to say that you can go head to head with a guy like that and be 5-5 in finals is something because in my opinion he’s the best. He’s proven time and again that when the heat is on, he’s the best driver out here. He has been for years.”
FUNNY CAR WINNER RON CAPPS: “That’s our 30th win together since 2012, which is incredible to me. We qualified so well, just one hiccup in Q3 when it broke the belt. First round we didn’t take Jim Dunn’s car lightly, and Tobler put it where we went in the heat of the day Saturday ad it went 3.99 when everyone else was throwing down low 4.0s, so hats off to Rahn Tobler.
“We didn’t have lane choice for the final and I honestly was surprised that [J.R. Todd’s team] took the left lane. Richard Hogan [crew chief for Top Fuel winner Steve Torrence] told me he was taking the right, and I didn’t know which lane was better but I know if Richard Hogan is picking it, it’s gotta be darned good. I saw about 120 Kalitta crewmembers walk in front of me as we were getting ready – I don’t know if they were trying to intimidate me – but I knew I needed to spoil their mosh pit. Tobler set it back like we had it first round and it went right down there; vintage Rahn Tobler.”
PRO STOCK BO BUTNER: “Greg Anderson is the most competitive dude you will ever meet but we’re always happy when one of the K.B. Racing cars win. It’s always a win when Ken and Judy Black win, we still want to win, I’m still a racer, don’t get me wrong.”
“Drew Skillman is a good friend and a good racer. I’m glad he’s in Factory Stock and not in Pro Stock. With him and Tanner Gray not in Pro Stock … I’m not saying it’s any easier, but it’s easier. We’ve made some strides in our Cobra Jet car, and I’m thinking it’s going to be very fun driving that this year.”
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE WINNER ANDREW HINES: “This new chassis is really good. It’s very forgiving and it just plants the tire completely differently than what we had in the past, so we’re able to plant the tire a lot better than we were able to in the past. So we’re able to apply more power and run more ignition timing in it.
“Eddie’s bike is close, we just need to work on the clutch a little bit, which we also do at Vance & Hines. It’s just the total package is really good – it doesn’t roll the front tire over like it did last year which was probably costing me a few hundredths of a second last year. We’re going to go celebrate and make sure our guys get treated really well.”
Steve Torrence, lean lane, scored his third straight victory, defeating Antron Brown in the Top Fuel final.
Ron Capps backed up his Atlanta win with another score in Funny Car, besting world champ J.R. Todd in the final.
Bo Butner, far lane, remained red hot in Pro Stock with his fourth win of the season, defeating teammate Greg Anderson in the final round.
Andrew Hines, near lane, collected his fourth win in five Pro Stock Motorcycle starts this season, finishing it off with a final-round victory over his Harley-Davidson teammate Eddie Krawiec,
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns to action at Route 66 Raceway with the Route 66 NHRA Nationals on May 30. [Tickets]
LUCAS OIL SERIES FINAL-ROUND RESULTS
Joe Santangelo def. Steve Comella
Wallace Dent def. Joe Lisa
Chris Garretson def. Colby Fuller
Tom Goldman def. Michelle Furr
Chad Traylor def. Junior Houston