No. 3 Qualifier Clay Millican Remains Red Hot Sunday—Literally—Before Enduring Round 2 Heartbreaker at Charlotte
CONCORD, N.C., October 15, 2018: After earning his ninth No. 1 qualifier of the season last week at Texas, No. 2-ranked Clay Millican was looking to maintain the hot hand and cool off current No. 1 driver Steve Torrence at the Carolina Nationals.
As it turned out, things got plenty hot, pretty quickly, as the Parts Plus Top/Strutmasters/Great Clips Fuel dragster qualified third in the field with a blazin’ quick [email protected] mph. And how’s this for a hot streak? The popular Parts Plus/Strutmasters driver has now qualified in the top-four spots at 13 of the last 14 events, a remarkable feat.
Sunday’s elimination rounds were primed to really heat up despite mild temperatures in the area, as the top-3 point-leaders in the Countdown for the Championship—Torrence, Millican and No. 3-ranked Tony Schumacher— would all be competing in the same ladder at...
Event 22: NHRA Carolina Nationals presented by WIX Filters
October 12 - 14
Todd secures second consecutive runner-up finish as he closes Funny Car points gap Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team continued their incredible streak of consistency with a final round appearance for the fourth time in the past five events. Unfortunately, for just the second time in six final round appearances this season, Todd was not able to earn the Wally.
Todd continued his incredibly consistent racing with four...
TORRENCE CRUSHES ‘EM AGAIN!
Texan Stays Playoff Perfect with Only Two Races Remaining
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Steady Steve Torrence extended his playoff winning streak to 16 consecutive rounds Sunday and took another step toward an historic Mello Yello Championship by driving his Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster to victory in the 11th annual NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
Racing the final three rounds without the benefit of lane choice after a first round scare against Chris Karamesines, the 35-year-old cancer survivor never flinched in taking down Leah Pritchett, eight-time series champion Tony Schumacher and reigning champ Brittany Force for his fourth win in the Countdown and his category-best ninth of the current season.
As he has all season long, an emotional Torrence gave credit first to the Lord for providing him with the resources and the opportunity and second to an incredible crew anchored by Richard Hogan and Bobby Lagana Jr.
He should have thrown in an...
NHRA Carolina Nationals
Event 22 of 24 (Charlotte II)
NHRA Countdown, Event 4 of 6
October 12-14, 2018
Following her Factory Stock Showdown Series title clinch at the previous event, Leah Pritchett will attempt to make NHRA history by becoming the first woman to secure titles in two different categories within the same season as she works towards a Top Fuel championship
Most recent Funny Car No. 1 qualifier Tommy Johnson Jr. has raced to the semifinals or better at six of the last seven events
Antron Brown leads the Top Fuel class in most victories (five) at zMAX Dragway...
STREAKING TORRENCE STILL FOCUSED
Point Leader Goes for Record Fourth Straight NHRA Countdown Victory
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – With an elusive Mello Yello Championship once again clearly in sight, Steve Torrence tries to seal the deal this week when he sends his Capco Contractors dragster after the Top Fuel title in the 11th annual NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
Halfway through the NHRA’s six-race Countdown to the Championship, Torrence leads second place Clay Millican by a whopping 103 points on the strength of consecutive victories at Reading, Pa., St. Louis and Dallas.
Nevertheless, despite the fact that he’s five full rounds clear of the field, despite the fact that over the last two years he’s won three times as many races as any other Top Fuel driver, despite the fact that he’s unbeaten in eight final round appearances this year, the outspoken Texan is not in a celebratory mood. Not yet, anyway.
“We know what can happen,” he said. “We know how quick you can go from...
NHRA® Team Report
NHRA Carolina Nationals – Charlotte
Consistent runs and besting three countdown contenders so far has Cruz Pedregon and team feeling confident about the weekend ahead in Charlotte. “We’re all experiencing that excitement of heading back to the track that redefined this season for us as a team earlier this year. Winning the four-wide in Charlotte last spring was such an adrenaline boost, and we’re bringing that energy back with us to the Carolina Nationals,” Cruz says. “Shout out to Tommy (Delago), Glen (Huzar) and this quality group of guys for the work they’re doing that’s getting the car to respond consistently and taking us rounds on race day.”
Crew Chief DeLago says, "With a spring Charlotte win and a Round 1 win last weekend, we’re in a good place for getting Cruz his 37th Funny Car victory and finishing out the season with another Wally in the case."
The Snap-on Toyota will continue to feature a pink and black Snap-on "Socket to...
Millican Corrals 9th No. 1 Season Qualifier at Texas Before McMillen Outruns Parts Plus/Great Clips/Strutmasters Dragster in Sunday Semis Showdown
ENNIS, TEXAS, Oct. 8, 2018: No. 2 ranked Clay Millican entered the NHRA FallNationals weekend at Texas Motorplex looking to continue the Parts Plus/Great Clips/Strutmasters Top Fuel team’s Wally-taking, record-breaking, stands-shaking, track-quaking season.
Millican proved to be quick on the draw from the get-go, running a [email protected] mph to shoot to No. 1 and pick up three bonus points in the process. Meanwhile, in the other lane, points leader Steve Torrence clicked it off early.
Millican strengthened his grip on the top spot in Q2, closing out his Friday qualifying efforts in a blaze of glory with a quick [email protected] mph.
Millican’s homerun incremental times: 60-ft.–0.829 sec.; 330-ft.–2.120; and 660-ft.–[email protected] mph.
“Honestly, Grubby [crew chief David Grubnic] typically has a great idea of what this Parts Plus...
Leah Pritchett Crowned 2018 Factory Stock Showdown Series Champion in Dallas
ENNIS, Texas (October 7, 2018) – Leah Pritchett clinched the 2018 SAM Tech NHRA Factory Stock Showdown Series championship in her Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, racing to her third consecutive win of the season and earning her first championship in her first full year competing in the class.
The NHRA Factory Stock Showdown crown is the third title for Pritchett, who also captured 2000-2001 Jr. Dragster Division 7 championships and the 2010 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series Championship in the Nostalgia Funny Car class. She is currently the only professional driver in contention to win two world titles during the 2018 NHRA season.
Pritchett entered the action at the Texas Motorplex facility coming off of victories at the NHRA U.S. Nationals in early September and at the NHRA Midwest Nationals two weeks ago, where she became the first NHRA...
TORRENCE GETS HIS COWBOY HAT
Texan Finally Gets His Capco Dragster into the Winners’ Circle on Home Track
DALLAS, Texas – Just short of twelve months after slamming his Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster into the guardwall at the Texas Motorplex at more than 320 miles per hour, in essence destroying his car and his chances of winning NHRA Championship, Steve Torrence finally won on his home track to the delight of friends, family and a partisan crowd.
The 35-year-old Kilgore resident beat close friend and fellow Top Fuel independent Terry McMillen in the final round of the 33rd annual AAA Texas Fall Nationals and, in so doing, opened up a 103-point lead halfway through the Countdown to the Championship.
“We were just here to go rounds,” Torrence said. “I don’t have a Top Fuel championship yet but I have a Top Alcohol Championship and the year that I won that, I won Dallas. So, we’ve been trying to get this done since 2010 (when he made his first Top Fuel appearance in the...
Todd reaches final round in Dallas; notches runner-up finish Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team remained one of the most consistent cars on the circuit with a final round appearance for the third time in the past four events. Unfortunately, for the first time in his five final round appearances in 2018, Todd was unable to pick up a victory.
Todd continued his incredibly consistent racing with three out...
Ron Capps to Feature NAPA NIGHTVISION Lamps at NHRA Carolina Nationals
BROWNSBURG, Indiana (October 3, 2018) – Funny Car world champion Ron Capps will sport a new look when he hits the track at zMAX Dragway next weekend to begin qualifying for the NHRA Carolina Nationals. Capps will pilot a special one-race-only NAPA NIGHTVISION Lamps scheme in conjunction with NAPA AUTO PARTS’ NAPA NIGHTVISION Lamp Program, a month-long promotional campaign which offers customers NAPA’s newest premium product line at a discounted price while benefitting the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF).
For every pack of NAPA NIGHTVISION Lamps sold throughout October, NAPA AUTO PARTS will make a...
NHRA® Team Report
NHRA Fall Nationals – Dallas
Cruz Pedregon has had three of his most epic wins in Dallas, and this weekend he'll be going for another victory when the team debuts a new breast cancer awareness paint scheme for the month of October. "El Cucuy may mean 'the boogieman,' but this month it will be a frighteningly good guy when we push the Snap-on Toyota and generate exposure for The Pink Fund and its important work" Cruz says. "Snap-on and our team support the mission of The Pink Fund to provide for non-medical living expenses of breast cancer patients undergoing the fight of their lives…like transportation, utilities and housing."
Crew Chief DeLago says, "As a team, we're all excited about the good we'll be doing this month, to bring awareness of The Pink Fund, and starting it in Dallas at a winning track for Cruz is a great way to kick it off. We're finding our groove, and we plan to finish out the season strong."
Mixed Emotions in Return to Motorplex for 33rd AAA Texas Fall Nationals
DALLAS, Texas – It is with mixed emotions that Steve Torrence returns to the Texas Motorplex, the all-concrete track on which he will resume his bid for the $500,000 Mello Yello Drag Racing Championship in this week’s 33rd annual AAA Texas Fall Nationals.
Torrence admittedly loves the Motorplex, a track on which he has logged more “seat time” than any other and one on which he won a pair of races en route to the 2005 Top Alcohol Dragster World Championship. Recently, though, the facility he calls “home” hasn’t loved him back – and therein lies the rub.
One of only four tracks on the NHRA tour on which he hasn’t won since turning pro, the Motorplex played a key role last year in denying him the title that would have made him the first ever to win championships in both the Fuel and Alcohol divisions.
The point leader then, as he is now, Torrence drove his Capco Contractors dragster to the No. 1...
2nd to One
Parts Plus Driver Clay Millican, Steve Torrence Joust for Points, Top Spot in Countdown Thriller at St. Louis
Sept. 24, 2018: For Parts Plus/Great Clips/Strutmasters Top Fuel driver Clay Millican, the 2018 fall weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park in the NHRA Mello Yello Series may be remembered for the one(s) that got away.
In a dramatic piece of foreshadowing, just as Millican appeared to be driving toward his second-consecutive No. 1 qualifier spot, points leader Steve Torrence swooped in like a thief in the night in Q4 to snatch it away under the St. Louis stars. That’s not a crime, mind you, and Torrence had plenty of witnesses on hand at the sold-out NHRA Midwest Nationals, who saw one heck of a head-to-head drag race Saturday evening as the Capco Contractors car jousted with the Parts Plus dragster all the way to the finish line.
Meanwhile, Millican, who picked up right where he left off at Maple Grove, kicked things off quickly Friday, grabbing three bonus...
Texan Beats Rival Millican in Final Round at AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – With a Sunday victory in the 21st AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park, Steve Torrence and his Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster remained perfect in the NHRA’s 2018 Countdown to the Championship. That’s two up, two down and four to go.
Nevertheless, the talented Texan has not yet been able to create enough separation between himself and rival Clay Millican to really enjoy the ride.
“Those guys have been bad ass all year,” Torrence said of Millican and crew chief David Grubnic. “This is going to be a really hard-fought championship but I couldn’t have a better group to be backing me up than these Capco boys.”
When qualifying for the AAA Texas Fall Nationals begins Oct. 5 at the Texas Motorplex outside Dallas, Torrence will lead Millican by just 70 points in their increasingly tense duel for the $500,000 Mello Yello championship.