NEW CHALLENGE MOTIVATES TORRENCE
Texan Protects Point Lead in Return to Virginia Motorsports Park
RICHMOND, Va. – Mello Yello point leader Steve Torrence would like to think that he has an edge at this week’s Virginia Nationals insomuch as he is one of those with previous experience at Virginia Motorsports Park, the Richmond-area track that hasn’t hosted an event in the NHRA series since 2009.
He’d like to believe that, but he doesn’t.
“That’s ancient history,” said the 35-year-old Texan. “The last time I raced here (2006), they were running the quarter mile. We ran the big tires on the back and we had parachutes. That’s about the only thing that relates to what we’re doing today.
“The advantage I do have is (crew chief) Richard Hogan, Bobby Lagana (Jr.) and this Capco crew,” he said. “They’re the best at adapting to whatever gets thrown at them. You drive better when you go up there knowing you’ve got a bad ass race car and I go up there every round knowing...
Cruz Pedregon and team are looking forward to returning to Virginia Motorsports Park this weekend for the first time since the 2009 NHRA hiatus from the park. "We can't wait to get back on the track that was a winner for me and my team in 2008," says Cruz. "With my new team, we've now qualified in the top five in four of the last five events and in the top half of the field in six consecutive races. We're ready to take on the track in Dinwiddie…looking for good numbers and to going rounds in the Snap-on Toyota."
Crew Chief Aaron Brooks says, "The hard work we've put in over the past 18 months is paying off, and we're getting more consistent with our runs. We got a handle on what the car can do in both cool and hot temps in the same weekend, and we've got some good night tuning under our belts for the season, so we're ready for a competitive weekend of racing ahead."
“We hope all the fans will be excited to come out to the track when the NHRA heads back into town this week," Cruz...
Road Runner: Parts Plus Driver Clay Millican Runs Quick, Gets His Kicks at Route 66 Nationals to Earn Second Straight Wally Win
CHICAGO, June 4, 2018: Like the Beatles sang on their hit single in 1970, it’s been a long and winding road for Parts Plus driver Clay Millican to get to this point in his Top Fuel career.
While that was the last No. 1 single for the Fab Four, who broke up a month after the song’s debut on the charts, Millican and his traveling band are just now getting warmed up. And the Parts Plus team is shooting toward the top of the charts like a bullet after back-to-back national event title wins at Topeka and now Chicago.
Millican reflected on his “overnight” success shortly after winning Sunday’s Route 66 Nationals, capping off a weird, wild, wonderful day of racing.
Millican’s road to racing began in Drummonds, Tenn., when he was only 16. He raced as a hobby for years in the Sportsman ranks before earning the attention of Peter Lehman. Millican was...
Event 09: JEGS Route 66 Nationals
Route 66 Raceway
Kalitta scores semi-final finish at Route 66 Race Recap: Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team earned a semi-final finish today in Chicago.
The qualifying portion did not go as the Mac Tools group would have liked as Kalitta made just one clean pass, a 3.786 second run on Friday evening. However, that run was good enough for another top half starting spot and a first round draw of Terry McMillen.
Kalitta got the slight advantage on McMIllen on the...
TORRENCE UPSET AT CHICAGO
Texan Out in First Round of Route 66 Nationals; Retains Point Lead
CHICAGO, Ill. – Changing track conditions rendered inconsequential Steve Torrence’s record-breaking qualifying performance and ended the Texan’s bid to repeat as Top Fuel champion Sunday in the 21st annual JEGS Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.
After obliterating the track record during qualifying with a time of 3.677 seconds and a finish line speed of 333.58 miles per hour, Torrence appeared to be in command in a first round match with journeyman Luigi Novelli until his Capco Contractors dragster began to lose traction near half track.
Unable to get the 10,000 horsepower hybrid back under control, the 19-time tour winner slowed to 4.237 seconds at just 221 mph. It was a disappointing result for the 35-year-old cancer survivor who was bidding for his fourth win of the current campaign and his 12th over the last two seasons.
NHRA® Team Report
NHRA Route 66 Nationals - Chicago
After qualifying in the top half at seven out of eight races, Cruz Pedregon says the Snap-on Toyota team is doing well and is excited about being at Route 66, the ”home” track of primary sponsor Snap-on with headquarters nearby in Kenosha, WI. "It will be good to have so many of the Snap-on folks at the track this weekend," says Cruz. "At the end of last season, Snap-on renewed our contract to extend our great, long-time partnership. I set a track record here in 2015, so I'm up for setting a new one for our sponsor and all the terrific NHRA fans who'll be watching at the track, online and on TV."
Crew Chief Aaron Brooks says, "We know what the car can do, especially after what we've been able to get out of it over the last three races. We had low ET when the conditions were good at the last race, and we're expecting to see more of those types of runs this weekend."
“We've been doing some clean-up and...
FATHER-SON SHOWDOWN AT CHICAGO
Steve Torrence Defends Top Fuel Title in Route 66 Nationals Field That Includes his Dad
CHICAGO, Ill. – The biggest threat to Steve Torrence in his bid to repeat this week as Top Fuel champion at Route 66 Raceway may come from just across the dinner table.
“We’re both real competitive,” the 34-year-old said of his relationship with his dad, Billy, who this week will make his fifth appearance of the season, his first in the JEGS Route 66 Nationals, at the wheel of a second Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster.
“He wants to beat me as bad as I want to beat him,” Torrence said of the 57-year-old founder and CEO of Texas-based Capco Contractors against whom he has raced since he was a teenager.
They first opposed one another in Super Comp before Steve moved up to the Top Alcohol Dragster class where he won the 2005 NHRA championship. Now they have renewed their rivalry in the sport’s ultimate category.
Kurt Elliott named assistant crew chief for Langdon
YPSILANTI, Mich. (May 25, 2018) – Kalitta Motorsports is pleased to announce that Kurt Elliott has joined Team Kalitta, effective immediately. Elliott will join Nicky Boninfante as assistant crew chief on the Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Shawn Langdon.
“I am really excited to be joining Kalitta Motorsports. To work for Connie is incredible. He is a true legend in this sport,” said Elliott. “Kalitta Motorsports has some great people, which is something I am really big about. I have thought about racing with Nicky for many years, and I think we are a good fit. Shawn is a very...
Event 08: Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties
Heartland Motorsports Park
Todd advances to Topeka semifinal Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team earned two round wins at the rain delayed Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals in Topeka.
Qualifying saw a strong performance from Todd, as the DHL/WIX Filters Camry was one of just four drivers to dip into the three second range. Todd also earned one bonus point in the final session and was seeded fourth overall going into...
TORRENCE EXITS IN TOPEKA SEMIS
Capco Driver Retains Point Lead Despite Monday Disappointment
TOPEKA, Kansas – When you’re the Mello Yello point leader, you get everyone’s best shot. That reality hit home with Steve Torrence Monday when he was upended by Terry McMillen in the semifinals of the rain-lengthened 30th annual Menard’s Heartland Nationals at Heartland Motorsports Park.
“We ran good; they ran better,” was Torrence’s terse synopsis after McMillen’s 3.758 second effort got him to the finish line just ahead of the 35-year-old Texan who trailed in 3.784 seconds after pushing his Capco Contractors dragster to a time of 3.684 seconds in the previous round.
Rain delayed the start of the race for eight hours Sunday and, following a second round in which Torrence dispatched reigning world champion Brittany Force with comparative ease, NHRA officials opted to suspend racing because of the late hour.
After an eight-hour rain delay, the NHRA was able to begin eliminations for the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals at 7:00 p.m. CST on Sunday evening. After two rounds, racing was suspended for the rest of the night when conditions made it impossible to continue. Eliminations will resume tomorrow at 10 a.m. local time beginning with Top Fuel semifinals.
The following DSR drivers have been eliminated after two rounds of competition:
Top Fuel – Antron Brown (E1), Leah Pritchett (E2)
Funny Car – Jack Beckman (E2), Ron Capps (E1), Matt Hagan (E2), Tommy Johnson Jr. (E2)
Tony Schumacher will represent Don Schumacher Racing on Monday. A complete...
TORRENCE EYES TOPEKA WIN
Point Leader Tries to Extend Every-Other-Race Victory Cycle in 2018
TOPEKA, Kansas – Point leader Steve Torrence tries to maintain an impressive every-other-race victory cycle this week when he drives the Capco Contractors dragster in pursuit of the Top Fuel title at the 30th annual Menard’s Heartland Nationals at Heartland Motorsports Park.
The only Top Fuel driver with multiple wins this year, the 35-year-old Texan hasn’t hoisted a trophy at Heartland Park since the 2005 season when he won both a national event and a Lucas Oil sportsman race on the way to the NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster world championship.
Despite that 13-year drought, Torrence returns with a wealth of confidence borne not only of his performance thus far this season but also of his runner-up finish to close friend and rival Antron Brown in this same race a year ago.
“We’re racing with confidence,” Torrence said. “(Crew chief Richard) Hogan is making great adjustments, the crew is...