Tasca, S. Torrence, McGaha, Hines win in Norwalk
Bob Tasca III beat Jack Beckman to score his second straight Funny Car win, as Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Chris McGaha (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won the NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.
Tasca, who last weekend won for the first time in nearly seven years, waited just seven days to pick up his next victory, scoring two in a row for the first time in his career. A 4.383sec pass at 245.09 mph in the final round in his Motorcraft/Tasca Parts Ford Shelby Mustang was enough to beat Beckman whose car suddenly slowed.
It is the sixth career win for Tasca, who beat Matt Hagan, Paul Lee and John Force.
Said Tasca: “I worked a lot of years to get to this place and there were days I never thought I would get back here, but I never gave up and I thank the people that never gave up on me,” Tasca said. “I always knew if I could get the right car under me we could do great things. I woke up this morning and was as confident as I ever was, and when you make four runs in the 3.00s in very challenging conditions, there was no reason why we couldn’t have won. I’m glad we got it done.”
Defending champion and current points leader Torrence continued his dominant stretch, powering to his sixth win in the last seven races and 33rd in his career with a run of 3.832 at 323.27 in his Capco Contractors dragster to beat Pat Dakin’s 3.909 at 301.40.
Torrence, who was nominated last week for Best Driver at the 2019 ESPY Awards, reached his seventh straight final round by beating Jordan Vandergriff, Doug Kalitta and Brittany Force, with the semifinal win giving Torrence his 300th career round win.
Dakin, who advanced to his first final round since 1998 and was looking for his first Top Fuel victory since 1973, reached the finals after beating Mike Salinas, Terry McMillen and Leah Pritchett.
Said Torrence: “Some days you come out here and you just feel really on top of your game and some days you’re a little slower and today was one of those slow days. But my guys had my back and we went down the track four laps in a row. This is completely a team sport and without those guys working on the car, it’s nothing. I’m just proud to drive it.”
McGaha picked up his first win of 2019 and eighth in his career with his winning run of 6.620 at 210.11 in his Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro to beat Alex Laughlin’s 6.668 at 208.75. McGaha reached his 11th final round thanks to wins against Wally Stroupe, Greg Anderson and points leader Bo Butner.
“We just kept taking the same car up there all four rounds,” McGaha said. “I had a bad light in the first round and in the second round I was a little better on the tree. I botched the burnout really bad in the semifinals and I’m sure everybody thought we were done, but next thing you now we let it rip and won that round.”
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
Five-time champ and points leader Hines rolled to his fifth win of 2019 and class-best 53rd in his career, going 6.895 at 196.99 in the final round on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to beat teammate Eddie Krawiec’s 6.967 at 196.64. It was the 26th time the standout teammates have met in the final round, with Hines winning for the 12th time.
Hines’ day started with round wins against Marc Ingwersen, Angelle Sampey and defending champion Matt Smith. Krawiec reached the final round for the 83rd time by beating Michael Ray, John Hall and Scotty Pollacheck.
“We had different conditions today than the rest of the week, but for some reason my bike tends to work well on a greasy track,” said Hines, who won for the fifth time in Norwalk. “The competition is tough and you have to earn it each round. Our guys do a great job making sure we have phenomenal motorcycles.
“[Racing Krawiec] has brought out the best in both of us. That’s probably why we have as many wins as we have. We push each other to be that much better.”
Final order at Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park
TOP FUEL: 1. Steve Torrence; 2. Pat Dakin; 3. Brittany Force; 4. Leah Pritchett; 5. Antron Brown; 6. Doug Kalitta; 7. Billy Torrence; 8. Terry McMillen; 9. Austin Prock; 10. Richie Crampton; 11. Luigi Novelli; 12. Mike Salinas; 13. Scott Palmer; 14. Clay Millican; 15. Jordan Vandergriff; 16. Lex Joon.
Final: Steve Torrence, 3.832 seconds, 323.27 mph def. Pat Dakin, 3.909 seconds, 301.40 mph.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Bob Tasca III; 2. Jack Beckman; 3. John Force; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 5. J.R. Todd; 6. Shawn Langdon; 7. Ron Capps; 8. Paul Lee; 9. Robert Hight; 10. Blake Alexander; 11. Tim Wilkerson; 12. Cruz Pedregon; 13. Matt Hagan; 14. Dale Creasy Jr.; 15. Jonnie Lindberg; 16. Bob Bode.
Final: Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 4.383, 245.09 def. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 11.764, 77.85.
PRO STOCK: 1. Chris McGaha; 2. Alex Laughlin; 3. Bo Butner; 4. Jeg Coughlin; 5. Jason Line; 6. Greg Anderson; 7. Matt Hartford; 8. Deric Kramer; 9. Fernando Cuadra Jr.; 10. Shane Tucker; 11. Kenny Delco; 12. Fernando Cuadra; 13. Wally Stroupe; 14. Erica Enders; 15. Rodger Brogdon; 16. Val Smeland.
Final: Chris McGaha, Chevy Camaro, 6.620, 210.11 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.668, 208.75.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Andrew Hines; 2. Eddie Krawiec; 3. Matt Smith; 4. Scotty Pollacheck; 5. Angie Smith; 6. John Hall; 7. Joey Gladstone; 8. Angelle Sampey; 9. Cory Reed; 10. Karen Stoffer; 11. Ryan Oehler; 12. Marc Ingwersen; 13. Michael Ray; 14. Hector Arana; 15. Hector Arana Jr; 16. Kelly Clontz.
Final: Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.895, 196.99 def. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.967, 196.64.
Point standings following the 12th of 24 events in the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
TOP FUEL: 1. Steve Torrence, 1,164; 2. Doug Kalitta, 760; 3. Brittany Force, 744; 4. Antron Brown, 733; 5. Mike Salinas, 732; 6. Leah Pritchett, 651; 7. Clay Millican, 649; 8. Richie Crampton, 532; 9. Terry McMillen, 524; 10. Austin Prock, 518.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Robert Hight, 1,022; 2. John Force, 869; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr., 856; 4. Jack Beckman, 819; 5. Ron Capps, 809; 6. J.R. Todd, 764; 7. Bob Tasca III, 689; 8. Matt Hagan, 656; 9. Tim Wilkerson, 619; 10. Shawn Langdon, 580.
PRO STOCK: 1. Bo Butner, 671; 2. Alex Laughlin, 523; 3. Jason Line, 448; 4. Greg Anderson, 445; 5. Matt Hartford, 441; 6. Erica Enders, 427; 7. Deric Kramer, 422; 8. Jeg Coughlin, 405; 9. Chris McGaha, 390; 10. Rodger Brogdon, 320.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Andrew Hines, 727; 2. Eddie Krawiec, 641; 3. Hector Arana Jr, 549; 4. Matt Smith, 527; 5. Karen Stoffer, 381; 6. (tie) Ryan Oehler, 328; Angie Smith, 328; 8. Angelle Sampey, 313; 9. Joey Gladstone, 273; 10. Hector Arana, 271.
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