Terrific weekend for Torrence at Indy

Torrence (far lane) took the Top Fuel win over Kebin Kinsley.


It just couldn’t have been a better trip to Indianapolis for Texan Steve Torrence: he won the $100,000 Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel dragsters on Saturday and then got his first win at the Big Go on Monday.


The Indy win also clinched the No. 1 spot in the Countdown to the Championship, which begins its six races at zMax Raceway in Charlotte, NC, on Sept. 15-17.


“I’m wore out,” Torrance admitted. ”Unless you’re a racer and in this situation, I don’t think I can explain the feelings you get.”


But his focus soon turned to the next challenge. “Our goal was to be No. 1 and get that 30-point advantage going into the Countdown and we did that. But this is no time to pat ourselves on the back. There’s still a lot of work to do. It’s real easy to go from hero to zero and zero to hero in those last six races.” 

Jimmy Daniels wins second consecutive Hemi Challenge

Jimmy Daniels is two-for-two in the Mopar HEMI® Challenge. The 21-year-old driver from Yardley, Pennsylvania, made his second start in the prestigious annual event on Friday, Sept. 1, during the NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, and drove his 1968 Dodge Dart to the winner's circle for the second consecutive year.


With the win, Daniels further added to the family legacy in the event started by his father, Jim, who claimed victory in 2010.


See all the Hemi Challenge coverage at here

Kramer smokes the competition

Deric Kramer was the winner of the first Pro Stock burnout contest at the U.S. Nationals. With Goodyear awarding replacement tires for the winner of each round during qualifying, Kramer decided he would give the fans a real show. Kramer won the $5,000 Grand Prize of the “Pro Stock Battle of the Burnouts: Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em” -- and a well-deserved standing ovation from the fans as he came back the return road. Good show!

Frigo gets first NHRA Pro Mod win

Brazilian Sidnei Frigo drove to his first career NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series win Monday at the U.S. Nationals.


In a battle of the Corvettes, Frigo’s car turned in a 6.318-second pass at 203.68 mph to overtake Troy Coughlin Sr’s 9.079/122.76.


“It’s amazing,” Frigo said. “For my crew chief, for my guys. My son’s here. It’s amazing. The car is so…everything is working good now. I’m very confident. And thank you to my crew.”  

Royal Purple Raceway suspends racing to help in hurricane relief efforts

Royal Purple Raceway, site of the annual NHRA SpringNationals, will suspend all drag racing activities through the end of the year to help in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.


Utilizing its gigantic footprint in the Houston suburb of Baytown, Royal Purple Raceway will become a temporary storage facility for cars, trucks, boats and construction equipment destroyed by the largest recorded storm in U.S. history.


The track will resume its regular racing schedule in the New Year.


"Some things transcend racing and when you see half of our city underwater, you obviously have to prioritize your energies and resources," Vice President and General Manager Seth Angel said. "Our focus and priority over the next few months will be on helping our community rebuild and get back on its feet.


"There are literally tens of thousands of vehicles all around Southeast Texas that are completely flooded out and inoperable. We have 400 acres here capable of storing a large quantity of vehicles and we collectively made the decision to do what we could to help.


"The destruction created by this storm can only be described as biblical. It will take quite a bit of time for things to return to normal and considering this city has done so much for the Angel family over the last three decades, we very much want to be part of the recovery."


Royal Purple Raceway is also making a $10,000 donation to the American Red Cross.


Remarkably, considering its proximity to Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, Royal Purple Raceway only suffered minor flooding but many others in the immediate surrounding areas were not as fortunate.


Fans that have purchased tickets to the events scheduled for the rest of the year will be refunded the full purchase amount. 

Hitchcock, Salemi and Banas win again at Lancaster

Keith Banas of Tonawanda, NY, earned his second-straight win in McGard Mod. Banas held off Jeff Kerl in the finals as he matched his 6.73 dial-in.


Lancaster National Dragway kicked off the final month of the season for the Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing on Friday night, Sept. 1, with a jam-packed program that included the Buffalo Street Outlaws.


Brian Hitchcock of Amherst, NY, earned his second win in a row in Top 8 Eliminator. Hitchcock ran his 5.18 dial-in in the final round as he defeated Wayne Cleveland for his third win overall in 2017. The loss denied Cleveland his third win of the year in Top 8.


In Mallare Enterprises Top ET, veteran Billy Leber of Tonawanda, NY, took the win aboard Joe Masullo’s rear engine dragster. Leber made a phenomenal pass in the finals as he had a near-perfect .501 reaction time and just missed his 4.99 dial-in with a 5.009 ET.


The final round in Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds featured two of the class’s biggest winners this season in Lucas Salemi and Vic Puglia. Salemi got the win over Puglia on Friday night for his fourth win of the season. The win helped Salemi to get within 10 points of Mike Peters for the Bikes & Sleds points lead with three races left this season.


The chase for the championship was also on in Tread City Tire Street as Mason Fix of Amherst, NY, earned his first class victory of the year. That puts Fix just two rounds behind Ed Semlitsch for the points lead.


Rachel Jewell of Rochester was victorious in the final round of the Buffalo Street Outlaws. Jewell’s 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle beat the Buick Grand National of Grant Farmer to score the win. Aaron Astyk of Tonawanda, NY, won the BSO Street Limited class. Astyk got the victory when Don Belkota red lighted in the finals.  

Preister has perfect run at TNT Super Series

The Joe's Transmission TNT Super Series held its second annual $5K on August 18 at Empire Dragway's IHRA SSNC weekend and 64 cars made the call for round one. Presented by Roy and Tara Lister, the TNTSS 5K is a high dollar sportsman drag race based on the popular IHRA Hot Rod class.


Competition was fierce with many drivers going for broke as they chased the big check. One of those drivers was Ben Priester from Twinsburg, Ohio, who made a perfect run in second round of eliminations - He was trip zip on the tree and ran 7.000 through the lights to take the win.


According to Joe Boniferro, this is the first time in the series' eleven-year history that this has happened. "You'd think with the competition as tight as it is in this series, we would get this all the time but this is the first," he said. Priester received $200 cash thanks to Boniferro Speed and Custom for his efforts.


The 1970 Ford Maverick has been in the family since 1981 with Ben driving the past 15 years. It is capable of runs in the 9.95 range thanks to a 352 cubic inch small block Ford.


The event was cut short by rain with seven of the 64 cars remaining. The purse was split and shared between Chris Close, Gary Fleenor, Tyler Halleen, JJ Jablonski, Nick Karas, Tyler Schneider and David Surmatchewski with each driver getting $1060. 

Torrence and Beckman win Traxxas Nitro Shootouts and $100,000 each


Steve Torrence marked another item off his high-performance bucket list Saturday at Lucas Oil Raceway where he won the hundred thousand dollar Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top fuel dragsters.


Runner-up for the big money in 2012 and 2013, the Texan beat eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher in the final round of the bonus race contested each year in conjunction with the U.S. Nationals.


Torrence drove his Capco Contractors dragster through the 1,000-foot course in 3.673 seconds at 329.50 mph while Schumacher cross the finish line in 3.680 second at 330.31 mph.


First Round: Tony Schumacher 3.747, 324.51 def. Brittany Force 3.747, 329.50; Doug Kalitta 3.730, 329.26 def. Leah Pritchett 3.782, 312.13; Steve Torrence 3.725, 329.10 def. Clay Millican 3.734, 321.58; and Terry McMillen 3.774, 318.69 def. Antron Brown 3.808, 312.42


Semifinals: Schumacher 3.727, 329.34 def. McMillen 3.766, 322.04; Torrence 3.711, 329.83 def. Kalitta 3.746, 327.59


Don Schumacher Racing won at least one Traxxas Nitro Shootout title since the event's inception in 2012, and no one has won the $100,000 bonus for DSR more than Jack Beckman.


Beckman, in Terry and Doug Chandler’s Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Powered by Pennzoil Funny Car won an all-star title for the fourth time including three in the Traxxas Shootout Funny Car event, on Sunday when he defeated Robert Hight. Beckman’s Funny Car ran 3.952/324.67 to Hight’s troubled 4.360/207.11.


First Round: Jack Beckman 3.872, 331.77, def. Tommy Johnson Jr. 4.000, 324.98; John Force, 3.949, 309.98 def. Matt Hagan, 3.918, 331.45; Ron Capps, 3.871, 330.55 def. Courtney Force, 3911, 329.91; and Robert Hight, 3.889, 332.34 def. J.R. Todd 3.956, 316.60


Semifinals: Hight 3.893, 332.51 def. John Force 3.954,314.24; Beckman 4.942, 332.51 def. Capps 5.568, 129.33  

Allen Johnson to retire from driving at end of this season

Longtime Mopar fan favorite and 2012 NHRA Pro Stock World Champion Allen Johnson announced his retirement from Pro Stock competition at the end of this season during a press conference on Friday at the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.


Johnson currently owns 27 NHRA National event wins, good for ninth overall in Pro Stock class history. His 37 No. 1 qualifier spots also rank sixth all-time in Pro Stock and are tied for 22nd overall in NHRA history. Johnson, with his father Roy Johnson by his side and building his engines, has raced to 59 final rounds in 497 career races during his 22-year career - all spent competing in a Mopar HEMI®-powered Dodge Pro Stock machine.


"Allen Johnson has served Mopar as a beloved ambassador for more than 20 years and has earned a special place in the hearts of our fans and in the history of our brand," said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar) FCA - Global. "We will never forget Allen succeeding in his long quest to capture a Pro Stock championship, or his amazing run of victories at our showcase event, the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.


"I speak not just for the Mopar brand, but also on a personal level, when I say we cherish the special bonds we have built with AJ and his father Roy over the years. It's been a family affair for them, and we wish them both, as well as the entire J&J Racing team, nothing but the best as they move on to their next challenge."


Mopar pulled the factory sponsorship of Johnson last year and moved it to Erica Enders and Jeg Coughlin Jr., who this year returned to driving Chevrolets.


"It's been an amazing run for my dad (Roy) and I, but it just felt like now was the right time to step away from the Pro Stock chapter of our careers," said Johnson, whose wife Pam and mother Revonda are also familiar figures in the Pro Stock pits. "We've celebrated an NHRA World championship, captured wins at historic tracks like Gainesville, Pomona and Bandimere, and basically lived our dream for 22 years. We couldn't have done it without the help and hard work of our J&J Racing team members over the years.”    

Millican sets Indy track record, clinches Countdown spot

For the second year in a row, Clay Millican earned the No. 1 qualifying spot and set a Lucas Oil Raceway track record at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. He now has three of the top 10 quickets runs, in Top Fuel history.


On Saturday evening, Millican drove the Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio Top Fuel dragster to an elapsed time of 3.663 at 329.10 mph. This put him in the top qualifying spot, set the Top Fuel E.T. record at Lucas Oil Raceway and became the seventh fastest Top Fuel pass ever.


Unfortunately, Millican made in early exit on race day. In the first round Millican came up against No. 16 qualifier, Kebin Kinsley. While Millican made a great pass of 3.756/323.97, Kinsley took the win on a holeshot running 3.813/318.02.


At the end of the day, however, Millican clinched the No.7 spot in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.   




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