Point Leader Goes to ‘School’ in Advance of the Countdown
SEATTLE, Wash. – It’s a down-and-dirty weekend for Mello Yello point leader Steve Torrence who after a misstep last week at Sonoma, Calif., tuned up for this week’s 31st annual Cat Spot Northwest Nationals, last of the three races comprising the NHRA’s arduous Western Swing, with a trek off the concrete-and-asphalt and into the gravel-and-mud with close friend Antron Brown.
The principals in Chocolate-and-Crème Racing took advantage of their proximity to DirtFish Rally School to polish their car control skills at the wheel of a couple of turbocharged 4-cylinder Subaru Impreza STIs that represent a night-and-day difference from the 10,000 horsepower dragsters in which they will compete this weekend.
Nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in scenic Snoqualmie, DirtFish is considered North America’s premier rally school, the perfect place for Torrence and Brown to refresh...
NHRA® Team Report
NHRA Northwest Nationals – Seattle, WA
Cruz Pedregon is heading to Seattle on a high after living the dream at Raiders' Team Camp as the NHRA's number one fan of the team. "That stopover with my favorite team after the race in Sonoma is the energy boost I needed to lead our great team back into top 10 Funny Car standings," Cruz said. "I'm so proud of the team for getting the car ready to be the quickest overall in the first qualifying round last weekend after making a fast-turnaround run back to the shop for another body for the Snap-on Toyota. We'll all be rested and revved this weekend for the Seattle race."
Crew Chief Aaron Brooks says, "The Snap-on Funny Car is a better car than recent runs have shown. Every driver, team and fan knows the Seattle track is full of personality, and we're ready for a great weekend at Pacific Raceways for the Snap-on Team and all our great NHRA fans."
Cruz and Team Manager Caleb Cox had the opportunity to...
CRAFTSMAN® named primary sponsor for Crampton’s Top Fuel dragster beginning in Indianapolis
SONOMA, Calif. (July 28, 2018) – Kalitta Motorsports is pleased to announce that CRAFTSMAN®, a Stanley Black & Decker brand, will be the primary sponsor on Richie Crampton’s Top Fuel dragster starting at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis and continuing through the balance of the season.
“I am very excited to represent an iconic brand like CRAFTSMAN as we finish out the...
Event 15: NHRA Toyota Sonoma Nationals
Kalitta advances to the semifinal Race Recap: Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team advanced to the semifinal of the Sonoma Nationals earlier this afternoon.
Kalitta's Mac Tools team did not have the qualifying effort that they would have liked. Kalitta's best effort, a 3.790, put Kalitta amongst the top half at that point. Saturday did not yield an improvement, and Kalitta was bumped to ninth overall.
The ninth spot meant a tough draw of points leader...
Point Leader Guilty of Rare Foul Start in Opening Round of Toyota Nationals
SONOMA, Calif. – A rare foul start sent Steve Torrence to the sidelines Sunday in the very first round of the 31st annual Toyota Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway but the talented Texan will move on to Seattle for this week’s conclusion to the arduous Western Swing with his 100-plus point lead still intact.
“There’s no way to put lipstick on this one and make it look any better,” a disappointed-but-philosophical Torrence said after leaving the starting line too early against Doug Kalitta. “When you’re racing those Kalitta boys, you know you have to squeeze every little bit of performance out of the race car and the driver. Today the driver just squeezed a little too hard.
“All you can do is put this one in the rearview mirror and move on down the road and that’s what we’re gonna do,” said the driver of the Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster. “We’ll regroup, get Hoagie...
Tub O’ Towels and Free All partner with Don O’Neal for remaining of ’18 season
Evansville, IN – Tub O’ Towels and Free All join NHRA Top Sportsman Driver and US Army Veteran Don O'Neal through the remainder of the 2018 season, keeping the iconic “Mad Scientist” clean while competing in NHRA Top Sportsman competition at 200 MPH.
"We have been using Tub O’ Towels for a long time and they make it easy to keep the Mad Scientist clean,” said O'Neal. "The Mad Scientist is having a great year and we are lucky to have Tub O’ Towels on board. We are looking forward to finishing the season strong, just like Tub O’ Towels finishes the job strong.”
Tub O’ Towels, a Federal Process Corporation brand, is equally as excited for this partnership.
“Don has been a fan of our heavy-duty cleaning wipes for several years,” said Ashley Szeremet, Director of Marketing at Federal Process Corporation. “We are excited to have formed an official sponsorship with him to support the upkeep of their...
Point Leader Aims for Sixth Season Victory in Capco Contractors Dragster
SONOMA, Calif. – No matter what transpires at this week’s 31st annual Toyota Sonoma Nationals, no matter the track conditions, no matter who wins the race or who doesn’t, no matter whether it rains or shines, Steve Torrence will leave town Monday as the Mello Yello point leader.
Having driven the Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster to victory in more than a third of the NHRA races contested over the last two seasons (13 of 38) including last year’s Toyota Nationals, Torrence has grown accustomed to life at the top. After all, he’s been No. 1 following 23 of the last 28 NHRA tour events including 13 of 14 this year.
Nevertheless, the odds of the 35-year-old Texan growing complacent, even with a massive 173-point advantage, are astronomical.
“After what happened last year we don’t take anything for granted,” he said, recalling that he was in a similarly dominant position a year ago before fate...
NHRA® Team Report
Toyota Sonoma Nationals NHRA Nationals – Sonoma, CA
A trip back to Brownsburg to pick up the El Guapo body made for a busy week for Cruz Pedregon's team leading up to this weekend's Sonoma Nationals. "That was a trip we didn't plan on having to make, but we're getting everything back together and proving the resilience of this team," Cruz says. "We're coming off some strong runs and a round one win in Denver with our El Veijito (older person) body after blowing the new El Chicano body off during qualifying last Friday. In spite of a tough start to last weekend and a quick trip home to get another body, you'll see the team rocking and rolling when we hit Sonoma Raceway."
Crew Chief Aaron Brooks says, "You'll see this team come out swinging this weekend…just look at how they rallied to get the Snap-on Toyota back on the track after that boomer last Friday. That takes perseverance for a team to recover and get us a first...
Clay Millican Peaks Early on Mountain with Record-Breakin’ E1 Run En Route to Nailbitin’ Semis Loss at Denver
DENVER, July 23, 2018: Like most drivers in the NHRA Mello Yello Series, Parts Plus Top Fuel dragster Clay Millican has often struggled on Denver’s Thunder Mountain, with his car always seemingly “gasping for air” in the mile-high altitude. This weekend in Denver, however, it was the Parts Plus Top Fuel/Great Clips/Strutmasters dragster that took folks’ breath away.
The dragster wasted no time kicking things into quick gear in Sunday’s opening round, powering No. 3 qualifier Millican to a new track-record speed of 327.59 mph in the day’s first stanza, eliminating Greg Carilllo in the process.
Officially, Millican, crew chief Dave Grubnic and the rest of the Parts Plus/Great Clips/Strutmasters Top Fuel team staked their claim to the record and planted their proverbial flag atop the Mountain with a [email protected] mph.
“I’ve always looked...
Point Lead Intact as NHRA Tour Moves This Week to Sonoma
DENVER, Colo. – Racing without crew chief Richard Hogan in his pit for the first time in more than four years, point leader Steve Torrence fell to Blake Alexander Sunday in the second round of the 39th annual Dodge Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.
Despite the loss, the 35-year-old Texan will carry a 133-point lead over Clay Millican into this week’s 31st annual Toyota Sonoma Nationals, the second of three races in a grueling Western Swing that sets the table for the Countdown to the Mello Yello Championship.
The veteran Hogan, who has come into his own as tuner of the Capco Contractors dragster, was confined to his hotel room at Denver after reacting adversely to the heat and thin air at Bandimere’s 5,800 foot altitude. “He was a little under the weather,” Torrence said of the man who has directed him to a category-best 13 wins over the last two seasons. “We were sending data back to him at the hotel but...
Point Leader Plans to Keep Pressure on Rivals at the Dodge Mile-High Nationals
DENVER, Colo. – His Mello Yello point lead is so big that Texan Steve Torrence could have stayed home this week, not turned a tire at the 39th annual Dodge Mile-High Nationals and still been four rounds ahead of his nearest rival when the NHRA drag racing tour moved next week to Sonoma, Calif.
He could have caught up on the paperwork at his day job at Capco Contractors, hung out with his dogs, Gus and Cuatro, relaxed with girlfriend Natalie Jahnke, indulged in one of his several hobbies or maybe donned his cowboy hat and done a little calf-roping.
Instead, he’ll be back in the cockpit of his 10,000 horsepower Top Fuel dragster Friday when qualifying begins at Bandimere Speedway in the first of three races-in-three-weeks that comprise the NHRA’s grueling Western Swing.
Skipping an event never was an option for the 35-year-old point leader who has been a man on a...
NHRA fans will see a new body and paint scheme on the Snap-on Toyota when Cruz Pedregon and team roll into Bandimere Speedway. "We're excited to continue the team's tradition of naming our Funny Car bodies, and we'll be introducing 'El Chicano' this weekend and its new Snap-on Franchise 'Own It' paint scheme," says Cruz. "The body name is one that reflects my heritage as a Mexican American, and I'm ready to show it off to fans watching the events at Mile-High this weekend."
Crew Chief Aaron Brooks says, "It feels like a fresh start as we head to Denver with a new body and look on the Snap-on Toyota. We even had the Snap-on toolboxes trimmed out with custom pinstriping that will give the team and everyone coming by our pit a whole new energy as we head into the Western Swing."
Sporting the franchise paint scheme is important to Cruz since he's been through Snap-on franchisee...