S. Torrence, Capps, Butner, Hines win Virginia NHRA Nationals
Defending Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence secured his second consecutive victory at the Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park, as Ron Capps (Funny Car), Bo Butner (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also clinched wins.
Torrence walked away with his 30th Top Fuel victory in his Capco Contractors dragster with a run of 3.881-seconds at 319.82 mph to defeat Antron Brown’s 3.899 at 309.49 in the final round. It was the 10th time the pair had met in the finals, with Brown winning the first five and Torrence the last five.
Torrence secured round wins against Todd Paton, Scott Palmer, and his father Billy Torrence en route to his 45th career final round.
“Hands down and hats off to the whole Capco team,” he stated. “Those guys gave me the best race car of the day. We were the guys that went down the track four times in a row. All I had to do was not run over anything or anybody and they gave me the best car ever. Richard Hogan and Bobby Lagana [co-crew chiefs] make the right calls when the pressure is on and when the heat is out there. In cowboy terms, I rode the two best horses out there.”
Brown defeated teammate Leah Pritchett, Brittany Force and Mike Salinas.
Capps secured his second consecutive Funny Car Wally in his NAPA Brakes Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to defeat defending champion J.R. Todd in the finals. This win marks Capps’ 62nd Funny Car win, 63rd overall and his 30th victory with crew chief Rahn Tobler since 2012.
Capps beat Jim Campbell, Robert Hight and teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. to reach the final round, earning his first career win at Richmond Motorsports Park.
“Just go up there and not make a mistake was my mindset today,” Capps said. “Tobler told me in the trailer prior to the final round, ‘I don’t know why it smoked the tires all day. Everybody has had problems and we’re just going to put it like we did first round when it went 3.99.’ I rolled it in there and obviously it went a bit slower but that’s what he went up there to do. Vintage Rahn Tobler.”
Todd beat Bob Tasca III, teammate Shawn Langdon and Jonnie Lindberg to reach the finals.
Butner locked-in his fourth win this season when his pass of 6.599 at 209.01 in his Jim Butner Auto Chevrolet Camaro took down Greg Anderson. This is Butner’s fourth victory this season, first at the facility and 11th of his career. Anderson was the last driver in 2004 to secure four victories within the first five events of the season.
Butner also went to the final round of the SAMTech.Edu Factory Stock Showdown where he fell short to Drew Skillman on a holeshot.
“It’s been an amazing season and a good call to come back,” Butner stated. “We made a very good run in the final. Greg and I both made mediocre runs up until that point. The track was great. It’s very smooth and the Franklins did a great job with this place and it would be nice if we came back here a couple of times. It was fun running two cars multiple rounds today. It was a good day and I can’t complain.”
Butner defeated Wally Stroupe, Chris McGaha and Jeg Coughlin Jr. on his way to his 24th career final round.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
Andrew Hines, the No. 1 qualifier, earned his third straight victory, fourth of 2019 and 52nd in his career after going 6.845 at 195.68 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Street Rod to defeat teammate Eddie Krawiec in the final round. The last Pro Stock Motorcycle rider to win four of the first five events to start the season was Hines’ brother, Matt Hines, 21 years ago.
“We have developed a very good hot-weather tune-up for our Street Rods and that’s saying a lot,” Hines said. “We typically tend not to look forward to the middle of the season because that’s where our performance tends to fall off and people make up ground on us. Today we were able to take what we’ve learned the last couple of weeks between Charlotte when it got hot and Atlanta when it was really hot.
“We don’t ever go up there with the same tune-up, ever. It was a little bit of picking on it here and there which has led to us finding the window where we need to be.”
The category points leader defeated Jiana Salinas, Ryan Oehler and defending world champion Matt Smith to reach the final round. Krawiec took down Kelly Clontz, Karen Stoffer and Hector Arana Jr. en route to his 25th final round against Hines.
Finishing order in Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park
TOP FUEL: 1. Steve Torrence; 2. Antron Brown; 3. Billy Torrence; 4. Mike Salinas; 5. Scott Palmer; 6. Clay Millican; 7. Austin Prock; 8. Brittany Force; 9. Richie Crampton; 10. Todd Paton; 11. Cameron Ferre; 12. Dan Mercier; 13. Audrey Worm; 14. Terry McMillen; 15. Leah Pritchett; 16. Doug Kalitta.
Final: Steve Torrence, 3.881 seconds, 319.82 mph def. Antron Brown, 3.899 seconds, 309.49 mph.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Ron Capps; 2. J.R. Todd; 3. Jonnie Lindberg; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 5. Shawn Langdon; 6. Robert Hight; 7. Jack Beckman; 8. John Force; 9. Tim Wilkerson; 10. Cruz Pedregon; 11. Bob Tasca III; 12. Terry Haddock; 13. Matt Hagan; 14. Jim Campbell; 15. Jeff Diehl; 16. Blake Alexander.
Final: Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.097, 310.98 def. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, Broke.
PRO STOCK: 1. Bo Butner; 2. Greg Anderson; 3. Jeg Coughlin; 4. Alex Laughlin; 5. Chris McGaha; 6. Erica Enders; 7. Jason Line; 8. Fernando Cuadra Jr.; 9. Fernando Cuadra; 10. Rodger Brogdon; 11. Matt Hartford; 12. Val Smeland; 13. Wally Stroupe; 14. Shane Tucker; 15. Kenny Delco; 16. Deric Kramer.
Final: Bo Butner, Chevy Camaro, 6.599, 209.01 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.607, 210.18.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Andrew Hines; 2. Eddie Krawiec; 3. Matt Smith; 4. Hector Arana Jr; 5. Angelle Sampey; 6. Karen Stoffer; 7. Ryan Oehler; 8. Joey Gladstone; 9. Angie Smith; 10. John Hall; 11. Steve Johnson; 12. Hector Arana; 13. Kelly Clontz; 14. Scotty Pollacheck; 15. Jianna Salinas; 16. Cory Reed.
Final: Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.845, 195.68 def. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.858, 196.44.
Point standings after eight of 24 events in the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
TOP FUEL: 1. Steve Torrence, 701; 2. Brittany Force, 541; 3. Doug Kalitta, 498; 4. Clay Millican, 489; 5. Leah Pritchett, 469; 6. Antron Brown, 467; 7. Mike Salinas, 466; 8. Richie Crampton, 363; 9. Terry McMillen, 352; 10. Austin Prock, 341.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Robert Hight, 717; 2. J.R. Todd, 556; 3. Ron Capps, 548; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr., 527; 5. John Force, 524; 6. Matt Hagan, 506; 7. Jack Beckman, 477; 8. Tim Wilkerson, 463; 9. Shawn Langdon, 404; 10. Bob Tasca III, 369.
PRO STOCK: 1. Bo Butner, 545; 2. Alex Laughlin, 358; 3. Jason Line, 328; 4. Matt Hartford, 318; 5. Greg Anderson, 305; 6. Jeg Coughlin, 298; 7. Erica Enders, 297; 8. Rodger Brogdon, 254; 9. Chris McGaha, 241; 10. Deric Kramer, 239.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Andrew Hines, 569; 2. Eddie Krawiec, 468; 3. Hector Arana Jr, 435; 4. Matt Smith, 318; 5. Ryan Oehler, 263; 6. Karen Stoffer, 257; 7. Jerry Savoie, 233; 8. Joey Gladstone, 222; 9. Angelle Sampey, 210; 10. Hector Arana, 203.
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