Texas favorites Steve Torrence in Top Fuel and Erica Enders in Pro Stock will hope to use the home state advantage to buoy their points leads as final eliminations for the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals get under way Sunday at Texas Motorplex. Just two events, in Houston and Las Vegas, remain in the 2020 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series after the completion of this event.
Torrence, who leads challenger Doug Kalitta by 11 points after claiming the No. 1 qualifying position to Kalitta’s seventh spot, is fighting to win his third straight Top Fuel championship with the Capco Contractors entry. Torrence has been to the final four of four of the seven races he has entered this year, scoring three wins and a runner-up to go along with a pair of semifinal finishes. He’s only lost in the first round once.
Kalitta and the Mac Tools team entered the event with some momentum after beating Torrence in the final round of the Midwest Nationals two weeks ago, his second win of the season to go with a pair of runner-ups. Rookie Justin Ashley will also be in the fray after leading the qualified field after the first session and ended up second after Torrence stole the pole in Q2 with a 3.662.
Enders enters FallNationals eliminations with a fresh Wally trophy in her hand after winning the rain-delayed conclusion to the Midwest Nationals Saturday night, defeating points leader Jason Line to usurp his lead in their back and forth battle this season.
Enders qualified her red Melling/Elite Camaro just eighth in the field while Line ranked third, both of them behind Deric Kramer, who grabbed the No. 1 spot for the second time in three races with the American Ethanol Camaro.
Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader, like Enders, comes into Sunday raceday fresh off a Midwest Nationals win Saturday night. Smith defeated his teammate, Scotty Pollacheck in the delayed final, and ran 200 mph on all three of his Saturday passes.
Smith’s wife, Angie, joined the Denso 200-mph Club in Saturday’s first qualifying session, becoming the fifth member of the prestigious group in qualifying No. 2 behind her husband.
Defending event champ Jerry Savoie qualified a season-high No. 3 just ahead of three-time world champ Angelle Sampey, Ryan Oehler, and Pollacheck. Eddie Krawiec and Joey Gladstone round out the quick eight with first-round lane choice.
Funny Car points leader Matt Hagan, also a defending event champ, powered his specialk-edition Pennzoil Dodge to the No. 1 spot to continue to build his team's memonetum and push for a third world championship. Hagan will have to fight off his trio of teammates --- Tommy Johnson J r., who beat him in the Midwest Nationals final; Jack Beckman, with whom he's swapped the points lead this season; and tenacious veteran Ron Capps -- to reach he winenr's circle the four Don Schumacher Racing drivers has monpolized over the last 11 events dating back o this race last year,
Ten drivers joined Hagan in the three-second zone during Saturday's two qualifying sessions, all packed within a tenth of a second in performance, so racing in the class will be fast and furious Saturday. Privateeer TIm Wilkerson broke up the DSR drivers' stranglehold on the top three positions, qualifying No. 3 behind Hagan and Johnson and just in front of Capps. Beckman qualified sixth, behind Alexis DeJoira, who rebounded nicely after a body-shedding explosion in S. Louis.
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Sunday, Oct. 18: FS1 will show qualifying highlights from 1-2 p.m. Eastern
Sunday, Oct. 18 : FS1 Will televise three hours of live final eliminations from 2-5 p.m. Eastern