Johnson, Torrence, Enders win NHRA Arizona Nationals
Tommy Johnson Jr., Steve Torrence and Erica Enders emerged victorious from the 36th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in front of a sold out crowd.
In an all-Don Schumacher Racing final, Johnson’ MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat went 3.883-seconds at 326.40 mph to defeat teammate Jack Beckman during the final round. Along the way, he defeated Paul Lee, Bob Tasca ll and Ron Capps to reach the finals and score his 18th win.
“We had a good car,” said Johnson, whose previous Phoenix win came back in 2006. “The last qualifying run showed us that we have a solid car. Coming up here today, we had a lot of confidence.
“As a driver, going into each round knowing you have a car that’s going to perform makes your job a little easier. It gives you a little less stress. The guys did a great job.”
In Top Fuel, defending champion Torrence, who missed the opening round at Pomona, picked up his 37th career win and his second in Phoenix after going 3.679-seconds at 321.27 in his CAPCO Contractors dragster. Torrence defeated Jim Maroney, Shawn Langdon and dad Billy Torrence to advance to the final round, where he out pedaled Doug Kalitta for the win.
“First round I had a little bit of the jitters,” said Torrence. “We missed Pomona… and I was a little bit nervous to go up there.
“We’re just going to see how the races go and what the weather throws at us. I think that we’ve always had a good hot weather tune-up. We’re just going to try to develop cool track conditions. We’re easing up to it.”
In Pro Stock, three-time world champion Erica Enders grabbed her first win of the season and the 26th of her career with a 6.531-second pass at 210.44 in her Melling/Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro. Sunday’s win moves Enders into the Top 10 for all-time wins in the Pro Stock class. Enders beat Fernando Cuadra Jr., Chris McGaha and Jason Line to advance to the final round where she defeated Bo Butner.
“I’d have to say today was excellent,” said Enders. “Our objective coming in was to just get my car as happy as possible… We were definitely optimistic and finally got our act together for that one run on Saturday.
“The guys gave me a tremendous racecar today. Very consistent, very fast and we just crushed the competition today and it was really fun.”
Final order in NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park
TOP FUEL: 1. Steve Torrence; 2. Doug Kalitta; 3. Billy Torrence; 4. Antron Brown; 5. Brittany Force; 6. Leah Pruett; 7. Shawn Langdon; 8. Justin Ashley; 9. Terry McMillen; 10. Clay Millican; 11. Scott Palmer; 12. Jim Maroney; 13. Doug Foley; 14. Terry Totten; 15. Austin Prock; 16. Shawn Reed.
Final: Steve Torrence, 3.679 seconds, 321.27 mph def. Doug Kalitta, 4.052 seconds, 218.90 mph.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 2. Jack Beckman; 3. Ron Capps; 4. John Force; 5. Tim Wilkerson; 6. Bob Tasca III; 7. Jeff Diehl; 8. Jim Campbell; 9. Paul Lee; 10. Blake Alexander; 11. Alexis DeJoria; 12. Cruz Pedregon; 13. J.R. Todd; 14. Robert Hight; 15. Terry Haddock; 16. Matt Hagan.
Final: Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 3.883, 326.40 def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 6.156, 119.31.
PRO STOCK: 1. Erica Enders; 2. Bo Butner; 3. Jason Line; 4. Alex Laughlin; 5. Kenny Delco; 6. Jeg Coughlin; 7. Cristian Cuadra; 8. Chris McGaha; 9. Matt Hartford; 10. Fernando Cuadra Jr.; 11. Marty Robertson; 12. Aaron Stanfield; 13. Val Smeland; 14. Alan Prusiensky; 15. Greg Anderson; 16. Deric Kramer.
Final: Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.531, 210.44 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.606, 209.33.
Point standings after 2 of 24 events in 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
TOP FUEL: 1. Doug Kalitta, 212; 2. Brittany Force, 153; 3. Leah Pruett, 137; 4. Austin Prock, 131; 5. Steve Torrence, 121; 6. Justin Ashley, 108; 7. Antron Brown, 103; 8. Shawn Langdon, 91; 9. Clay Millican, 85; 10. Shawn Reed, 83.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Jack Beckman, 220; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr., 175; 3. John Force, 173; 4. Ron Capps, 128; 5. Matt Hagan, 124; 6. Tim Wilkerson, 107; 7. Robert Hight, 100; 8. Alexis DeJoria, 99; 9. Bob Tasca III, 87; 10. (tie) Paul Lee, 65; J.R. Todd, 65.
PRO STOCK: 1. Erica Enders, 203; 2. Jeg Coughlin, 197; 3. Jason Line, 168; 4. Kenny Delco, 132; 5. Bo Butner, 131; 6. Chris McGaha, 106; 7. Alex Laughlin, 104; 8. Matt Hartford, 85; 9. (tie) Cristian Cuadra, 82; Fernando Cuadra Jr., 82.
Steve Torrence, Don Schumacher Racing, 2020 NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
Photo by: NHRA