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.
Leah Pritchett made it two-in-a-row, picking up her second consecutive Factory Stock Showdown Series event win
Pritchett moved into second place in the FSXX driver standings
The DSR Top Fuel trio of Antron Brown, Leah Pritchett and Tony Schumacher sit in the top five of the Countdown to the Championship rankings
Ron Capps is ranked in the top half of the Funny Car Countdown standings
Pritchett (Top Fuel) and Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car) raced to semifinal finishes
Leah Pritchett Continues Factory Stock Showdown Series Dominance with St. Louis Triumph MADISON, Illinois (September 23, 2018) – Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak driver Leah Pritchett continued to own the Factory Stock Showdown class, celebrating her second consecutive event win one day after becoming first in the class to run in the seven-second...
Event 20: NHRA Midwest Nationals
Gateway Motorsports Park
September 21 - 23
Todd reaches semifinal as consecutive round winning streak halts at 10 Race Recap: Coming off back-to-back wins, J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team reached the semifinals in St. Louis, seeing their streak of 10 consecutive round wins come to an end.
Todd continued his remarkably consistent streak through qualifying, as he entered eliminations seventh in the qualifying order after four strong passes: all of which were under the four-second...
Team Kalitta owner Connie Kalitta has decided that effective immediately, Jim Oberhofer has been released from Kalitta Motorsports and his position as crew chief for the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster team driven by Doug Kalitta.
Oberhofer has been a member of Kalitta Motorsports for over 30 years and has held numerous positions including Vice President of Operations as well as being crew chief on Kalitta’s dragster where he helped secure multiple top-ten point finishes for the veteran driver.
“I want to thank Jim for his years at Kalitta Motorsports and appreciate everything he accomplished here. I wish him the best in the future,” said team owner Kalitta.
Troy Fasching will continue as Crew Chief for the Mac Tools team for the remaining five races of the Countdown to the...
Capco Driver Tries to Extend Point Lead; Second Car Entered for Billy Torrence
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Few pro racers have more fun on the NHRA Mello Yello tour than Top Fuel point leader Steve Torrence. The 35-year-old Texan is a live-life-to-its-fullest kind of guy due in no small part to the fact that he has survived both Hodgkins Lymphoma and a related heart attack.
Nevertheless, entering this week’s AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park, a race he won just a year ago, the usually fun-loving Torrence has taken on a more serious demeanor.
“I’m naturally intense,’ admitted the 22-time pro tour winner, “but as the year’s gone on, I’ve been a little more relaxed and able to have some fun. To be honest, though, the rest of these races won’t be fun.
“We have five more counting this one and we need to win them all,” he said. “If we’ve learned one thing, it’s that you can’t leave anything to chance because there are no...
Cruz Pedregon and team are optimistic about the upcoming race in St. Louis. "Tommy (DeLago) is really honing in on what the Snap-on Toyota likes and doesn’t like," Cruz says. "The Round 1 win last weekend is encouraging, and we're looking forward to going more rounds this weekend."
Crew Chief DeLago says, "I feel like St. Louis is going to be fast, and we will be ready for a good qualifying spot on race day."
"The strategy for us as a team is to continue to work as hard as we would if we were in the Countdown," says Cruz. "We'll push the Snap-on Toyota as if we were."
On the side of Cruz's car –
Check Cruz's car this week, and you'll see the name of area Snap-on Nitro Franchisee Dave McCuan. He's had his Snap-on Franchise for three years and was a technician earlier in his career. McCuan says what he likes best about having his own business is that he's rewarded for the effort he puts into it. He hasn't...
Event 19: NHRA Nationals
Maple Grove Raceway
September 13 - 16
Todd goes back-to-back and secures the 100th career victory for Kalitta Motorsports Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team decided that the accolades wouldn't stop with back-to-back Indianapolis victories, as they won their second consecutive event of the season and secured the 100th career victory for Kalitta Motorsports in the process.
Unlike in Indianapolis, Todd did not dominate throughout qualifying, as...
Texan Drives Capco Contractors Top Fuel Dragster to Sixth Win of Season
READING, Pa. – There may be something to that old cliché that says “when the going gets tough the tough get going” because when faced with his first major playoff challenge, Steve Torrence went all John Wayne on his Top Fuel rivals Sunday in the 34th annual Dodge Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
With his lead cut from 197 points to just 20 by those responsible for “adjusting” the points in advance of the six-race Countdown to the Championship, Torrence saw it reduced even further – to just 10 points, after a near perfect qualifying performance by rival Clay Millican.
Nevertheless, the 35-year-old cancer survivor never blinked, not even when he lost the choice of lanes to Millican ahead of a pressure-packed semifinal that could have knocked him out of the Top Fuel points lead for the first time since Feb. 24th.
Instead, he used a sizeable reaction time advantage (.068 of a second to .085) to make his...
Event 19: NHRA Nationals
Maple Grove Raceway
September 13 - 16
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 3.863 sec. at 322.42 MPH Q2: 4.162 sec. at 218.41 MPH Q3: 3.833 sec. at 325.69 MPH Q4: 3.790 sec. at 326.63 MPH
Starting Position: 8th
First Round Matchup: Richie Crampton Quotable: “We have been pretty consistent this weekend, and we are excited by how we ran today. It will be a tough matchup with Richie tomorrow...
Event 19: NHRA Nationals
Maple Grove Raceway
Sept. 13 - 16
Kalitta Aims for Second Career Victory at Maple Grove Raceway Reading Highlights: One win (2002); One no.1 qualifier (2004)
Last Event Recap (NHRA U.S. Nationals): Qualified 11th; Finalist (Defeated Leah Pritchett in the first round, Antron Brown in the quarterfinals and Billy Torrence in the semifinals, lost to Terry McMillen in the finals)
Regular Season Champ Leads the Top Fuel Contingent at 34th Dodge Nationals
READING, Pa. – His once imposing lead reduced to a paltry 20 points after the NHRA’s “adjustment” of the driver standings, Steve Torrence goes back to work this week trying to turn regular season dominance into playoff success, something he was unable to do a year ago.
Winner of 13 of the last 42 Mello Yello tour events, twice as many as any other driver in the class, the 35-year-old Texan’s first piece of playoff business will be to end a career-long victory drought at Maple Grove Raceway which, in a flip-flopped schedule, plays host to the first of the six races comprising the Countdown to the Championship.
“We only know one way to race,” the driver of the Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster said of his team’s strategy for the 34th annual Dodge Nationals, beginning Friday. “We’re not going to change for the Countdown.
“Last year, Brittany (reigning champion Brittany Force) had a great run but I...
Cruz Pedregon took some time after Indy to hit the dirt track, and now he and the team are prepping the Snap-on Funny Car to take on Reading. "Reading has been a winner for us before, so we know with our current setup, we can make it happen again," Cruz says. "Tommy (DeLago), the team and I have taken a good hard look at the runs we had in Indy, and we collectively have a positive outlook heading into the fall races of the NHRA season."
Crew Chief DeLago says, "Looking forward to seeing how the car performs in cooler, damper conditions. And, with Hurricane Florence heading up the east coast this weekend, we'll all be constantly monitoring the water grains and the impact the humidity could have on these powerful cars.”
"I've been racing at Reading for more than two decades, and after all these years I'm still amazed by how much fun it is," says Cruz. "Drag racing is such a great family sport where everyone can...
No. 2 Qualifier Clay Millican Earns Valuable Bonus Points, Elusive Round Win Light at Indy to Fuel Championship Run
Indianapolis, Ind.: Sept. 4, 2018: It was all systems go for Clay Millican and the Parts Plus Top Fuel team heading into Labor Day’s NHRA U.S. Nationals event at Indy, affectionately known by race fans as “The Big Go.” In past years, that meant win big or go home for Millican, who seemed to be consistently on the bubble of those who could possibly secure a top 10 spot in the Top Fuel standings to qualify for the Countdown to the Championship in the Mello Yello Series.
Nowadays, though, Millican, crew chief David Grubnic and the entire Stringer Performance organization work hard to punch their ticket to the dance early, with the only question this year being whether they would enter the Countdown in the No. 1, 2 or 3 spot. Since the points reset in the top 10 following Indy, Millican was jockeying to reclaim that No. 2 spot after slipping to...
Event 18: NHRA U.S. Nationals
Lucas Oil Raceway
August 31 - September 3
Todd wins Indy....again Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team won their second straight U.S. Nationals today.
Todd was the dominate car throughout the race weekend. He started the weekend with a 3.910 second pass that put him in the position to earn his first career no.1 qualifier. He followed that up with several more solid passes, and led the pack with 12 bonus points. He would earn his first pole for the DHL/WIX Filters team and...