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Small-Teamer Steve Torrence Wins In Englishtown

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 3 2012

Steve Torrence shocked the big boys again on Sunday.


Steve Torrence’s incredible season continued Sunday when he won the Top Fuel portion of the NHRA Toyota Supernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.

The victory was the second of the season for the one-car, family-owned Capco Steve Torrence Racing team. Torrence beat Brandon Bernstein in the finals to get the victory.

Also winning Sunday were Johnny Gray in Funny Car, Greg Anderson in Pro Stock and Eddie Krawiec in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Gray defeated Ron Capps for the second the Funny Car title of his career and first this season.

Anderson got his victory by beating teammate Jason Line in the finals.

Krawiec won when Hector Arana red-lit in the finals.

Torrence beat Tony Schumacher and Spencer Massey in earlier rounds with quicker reaction times and then used a horsepower advantage to edge Bernstein at the finish line in the final round. In the final, Torrence’s Capco Contractors dragster finished in 3.800 seconds at 323.66 mph while Bernstein’s MAV TV/Lucas Oil machine trailed with a 3.807 at 321.04.

“It’s really a little surreal coming out and having success in a short time,” Torrence said. “I figured this team to be a competitive team and run with these guys, but I didn’t expect to do as well as we have. It’s really gratifying to be able to go out and do that well. Today, we had some really tough races. Two races, we won by a thou against both of the Schumacher cars. I don’t know but it’s more gratifying when you go out and you really have races that you’ve got to beat the guy beside you rather than them smoking the tires or whatever. I had my best light of the weekend against Brandon that round, and I was pretty pumped up because I knew he’d been on it. I may have cheated the car a little bit. I think it was going to go .79 instead of .80, but I stole from the starting line.”

Massey, who failed to certify his his category-best low E.T. of the event as a national record, maintained his series lead over second place Schumacher with the semifinal effort. Torrence, who also won at Atlanta in May, has surged to fifth in the points standings.

“The car that I’ve got right now is the best Top Fuel car that I’ve ever driven, so I do feel like we have a championship contender car if it stays the way that it’s running,” Torrence said. “We’ll just see. [Contending for the championship] is in the back of my mind, but we’re still going one round, one race at a time because consistency is the key. We’re trying to get some parts built up for the Countdown, and when that time comes, we’ll start looking in that direction. I don’t want to get the cart before the horse. I just want to go out here and keep racing and hopefully get some round-wins.”

In Funny Car, Gray claimed his first victory of the season and second of his career by beating teammate Capps in the final round. Gray pulled away from Capps, who was making his fifth consecutive final round appearance, with a performance of 4.078 at 314.39 in his NTB/Service Central Dodge Charger. Capps’ NAPA Auto Parts Charger, which posted the quickest run in NHRA history on Friday with a blast of 3.964 seconds, lost traction and finished in 5.358 at 160.71. Capps also failed to back-up his category-best performance during eliminations to certify it as a national record.

Gray faced tough competitors all day, as he beat Jim Head, John Force and Robert Hight in the opening rounds.

“There wasn’t anything easy about it,” Gray said. “Nothing is ever easy trying to outrun any of the fuel cars that are out there, but Rob [Wendland, crew chief], Rip [Reynolds, assistant crew chief], and all the guys just gave me a great race car all weekend. I think a .11 was our slowest pass of the weekend. What can you say? That car’s just awesome. It’s fun to drive. It goes good. It goes straight. You know what it’s going to do, so we’re really looking forward to going to the next race.”

With the semifinal finish Hight increased his series lead over Capps, who solidified his second place position with the runner-up effort. Gray, who failed to qualify for the Countdown playoffs last season, made a major move toward making the top 10 this season with this victory, climbing to fourth in the standings.

“We struggled a little bit and we lost it a little bit a few races back, but we made some changes along with the help of Rahn Tobler and Mike Green and just really all the guys over at the DSR brain trust,” Gray said. “They came over and kind of got us back on track and helped the guys kind of get the car lined up, and now she’s just a pooch. You just take her up there, and she goes right down the racetrack.”

Anderson raced to his fourth Pro Stock victory of the season and 74th of his career in a new car, a Chevy Camaro. Anderson defeated teammate Jason Line in the final round with a performance of 6.560 at 212.03 in his Summit Racing Equipment Camaro, while Line’s Summit Racing Pontiac GXP trailed with a 6.588 at 200.98. It was also the 100th win for the KB Racing team, owned by Ken Black.

“We brought [the new Camaro] here with high hopes and surpassed those hopes,” Anderson said. “This is a fantastic weekend. Couple weekends ago I lost in the final to Allen Johnson. I thought I had the better car. I had a better light and we shook the tires. I lost and I told [team owner] Ken Black, that maybe you should be on hand for the 100th win for KB racing. For him to come across the country from Las Vegas, he must have had that feeling. He jetted all the way over here.”

Anderson, who qualified sixth, advanced to the final with early round wins over Ron Krisher, Mike Edwards and Allen Johnson. It was his fifth career win at Raceway Park, which makes him the winningest Pro Stock driver in the track’s history, moving past Bob Glidden and Warren Johnson.

Line pulled ahead of the final round race, but then slowed dramatically as the two cars charged toward the finish line.

“In the final, Jason would have won but he broke a valve spring and that cost him about two-hundredths,” Anderson said. “If this had been a 1,000-foot race he’d have won but this isn’t Top Fuel. We run a quarter-mile and that made the difference. It’s tough for Jason but the bottom line was we couldn’t lose in the final.”

Anderson, who increased his series lead with the victory, was thrilled to win with his new Camaro in its debut.

“It was a gutsy call to bring the Camaro here,” Anderson said. “It was a tough decision but I’m so excited about GM being back in Pro Stock, and the muscle car being back in Pro Stock. We knew that the sooner we got it out here the better off the class would be. Even if it wasn’t 100-percent, we were bringing it.”

Local favorite Krawiec, former Raceway Park general manager, claimed an emotional first Pro Stock Motorcycle victory at the historic track, taking the automatic victory when his final round opponent Hector Arana Sr. fouled at the start on his Lucas Oil Buell. Krawiec claimed his 14th career victory by finishing in 6.921 at 171.45 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson.

“During my TV interview I actually started crying,” said Krawiec, an Englishtown, N.J. native who now calls Indianapolis home. “[Team owner] Terry Vance has said many times, that something that never comes out of Eddie’s mouth is ‘I have nothing to say.’ But I was speechless.”

Krawiec, who increased his series lead with the win, defeated Joe DeSantis and former world champs Matt Smith and LE Tonglet in the first three rounds to advance to the final. He knew he would need to be on his game for the final with Arana, who had posted some of the quickest runs of the day.

“I knew I had to hit the tree good and make a nice run to have a chance of winning,” Krawiec said. “I let Craig Treble whip me here in 2009 because I thought I had a better bike and I laid back on the starting line. He picked my pocket and still doesn’t let me forget it. I thought that was my one and only chance to win this race. Thankfully, it wasn’t.”

The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series continues June 15-17 with the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway.

Final finish order (1-16) at the 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. The race is the ninth of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.


1. Steve Torrence; 2. Brandon Bernstein; 3. Spencer Massey; 4. Clay Millican; 5. Tony Schumacher; 6. Morgan Lucas; 7. Doug Kalitta; 8. Shawn Langdon; 9. Bob Vandergriff; 10. Khalid alBalooshi; 11. Dom Lagana; 12. Terry McMillen; 13. Antron Brown; 14. David Grubnic; 15. T.J. Zizzo; 16. Bruce Litton.


1. Johnny Gray; 2. Ron Capps; 3. Robert Hight; 4. Courtney Force; 5. Mike Neff; 6. Jack Beckman; 7. John Force; 8. Matt Hagan; 9. Jim Head; 10. Jeff Arend; 11. Blake Alexander; 12. Bob Bode; 13. Alexis DeJoria; 14. Tony Pedregon; 15. Bob Tasca III; 16. Tim Wilkerson.


1. Greg Anderson; 2. Jason Line; 3. Erica Enders; 4. Allen Johnson; 5. Rodger Brogdon; 6. Ronnie Humphrey; 7. Mike Edwards; 8. Vincent Nobile; 9. Shane Gray; 10. Larry Morgan; 11. Ron Krisher; 12. Kurt Johnson; 13. Grace Howell; 14. Warren Johnson; 15. V. Gaines; 16. Steve Kent.


1. Eddie Krawiec; 2. Hector Arana; 3. Hector Arana Jr; 4. LE Tonglet; 5. Andrew Hines; 6. Matt Smith; 7. Michael Ray; 8. Scotty Pollacheck; 9. Michael Phillips; 10. Steve Johnson; 11. John Hall; 12. Karen Stoffer; 13. Mike Berry; 14. Joe DeSantis; 15. Jerry Savoie; 16. Shawn Gann.

Sunday’s final results from the 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. The race is the ninth of 23 in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing


Top Fuel — Steve Torrence, 3.800 seconds, 323.66 mph def. Brandon Bernstein, 3.807 seconds, 321.04 mph.

Funny Car — Johnny Gray, Dodge Charger, 4.078, 314.39 def. Ron Capps, Charger, 5.358, 160.71.

Pro Stock — Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.560, 212.03 def. Jason Line, Pontiac GXP, 6.588, 200.98.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.921, 171.45 def. Hector Arana, Buell, foul.

Competition Eliminator — Arnie Martel, Pontiac GTO, 7.574, 170.17 def. Dan Fletcher, Chevy Cobalt, 7.808, 157.06.

Super Stock — Brian Martel, Chevy Cobalt, broke def. James Antonette, Pontiac Grand Am, foul.

Stock Eliminator — Joe Santangelo, Chevy Camaro, 10.866, 119.79 def. Eric Cabral, Pontiac Firebird, foul.

Super Comp — Franklin Di Bartolomeo, Dragster, 8.883, 170.34 def. Dave Heuwetter, Dragster, 8.879, 170.43.

Super Gas — Ray Sawyer, Chevy Camaro, 9.888, 167.74 def. Marc-Andre Piche-Nadeau, Camaro, 9.882, 131.36.

Super Street — Pete Biondo, Chevy Nova, 10.887, 146.29 def. Chris Butcher, Ford Mustang, 10.883, 146.40.

Pro Mod – Danny Rowe, Camaro, 5.910, 239.57 def. Troy Coughlin, Camaro, 5.964, 229.51

Final round-by-round results from the 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, the ninth of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series:


ROUND ONE — Clay Millican, 3.859, 317.27 def. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.874, 315.86; Morgan Lucas, 3.770, 326.40 def. Bruce Litton, broke; Tony Schumacher, 3.783, 311.99 def. Terry McMillen, 5.239, 130.35; Steve Torrence, 3.808, 323.35 def. Bob Vandergriff, 3.862, 320.58; Spencer Massey, 3.778, 326.00 def. T.J. Zizzo, 5.968, 110.22; Shawn Langdon, 4.214, 297.88 def. Dom Lagana, 5.143, 139.21; Brandon Bernstein, 3.789, 320.66 def. David Grubnic, 5.790, 108.88; Doug Kalitta, 3.811, 318.77 def. Antron Brown, 5.774, 120.07;

QUARTERFINALS — Bernstein, 3.820, 295.98 def. Langdon, 8.452, 84.33; Torrence, 3.838, 319.75 def. Schumacher, 3.809, 320.89; Millican, 4.508, 234.37 def. Lucas, 5.039, 191.40; Massey, 3.838, 320.28 def. Kalitta, 6.940, 105.60;

SEMIFINALS — Torrence, 3.814, 323.12 def. Massey, 3.813, 324.67; Bernstein, 3.815, 320.81 def. Millican, 3.859, 311.99;

FINAL — Torrence, 3.800, 323.66 def. Bernstein, 3.807, 321.04.


ROUND ONE — Courtney Force, Ford Mustang, 4.111, 311.70 def. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 8.816, 92.78; Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.129, 302.28 def. Tony Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.540, 196.30; Ron Capps, Charger, 4.162, 306.05 def. Bob Bode, Chevy Impala, 4.233, 296.89; Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.094, 313.00 def. Blake Alexander, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.172, 274.11; Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.119, 309.20 def. Jim Head, Toyota Solara, 4.151, 301.00; John Force, Mustang, 4.142, 308.14 def. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.318, 229.74; Mike Neff, Mustang, 4.108, 309.27 def. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 6.125, 109.47; Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.107, 308.50 def. Jeff Arend, Camry, 4.153, 306.81;

QUARTERFINALS — Gray, 4.090, 309.84 def. J. Force, 4.162, 304.80; Capps, 4.104, 305.98 def. Beckman, 4.144, 305.36; Hight, 4.107, 311.27 def. Neff, 4.083, 309.13; C. Force, 4.123, 308.57 def. Hagan, 4.172, 292.27;

SEMIFINALS — Capps, 4.079, 303.64 def. C. Force, 4.110, 305.49; Gray, 4.091, 311.13 def. Hight, 4.084, 307.02;

FINAL — Gray, 4.078, 314.39 def. Capps, 5.358, 160.71.


ROUND ONE — Rodger Brogdon, Pontiac GXP, 6.580, 210.34 def. Steve Kent, GXP, 14.170, 59.19; Ronnie Humphrey, GXP, 6.564, 211.23 def. V. Gaines, Dodge Avenger, 7.575, 132.69; Vincent Nobile, Avenger, 6.563, 205.04 def. Shane Gray, GXP, 6.563, 210.11; Mike Edwards, GXP, 6.534, 211.86 def. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.604, 209.92; Jason Line, GXP, 6.527, 211.76 def. Grace Howell, Mustang, 6.642, 208.59; Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.532, 211.26 def. Warren Johnson, GXP, 6.759, 208.91; Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.542, 211.20 def. Kurt Johnson, GXP, 6.629, 209.75; Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.529, 211.93 def. Ron Krisher, GXP, 6.610, 210.70;

QUARTERFINALS — Enders, 6.584, 211.30 def. Nobile, broke; A. Johnson, 6.564, 211.46 def. Humphrey, foul; Anderson, 6.595, 210.90 def. Edwards, 11.428, 71.55; Line, 6.561, 211.39 def. Brogdon, 6.574, 210.93;

SEMIFINALS — Anderson, 6.543, 211.99 def. A. Johnson, 18.071, 45.08; Line, 6.540, 211.66 def. Enders, 6.569, 211.23;

FINAL — Anderson, 6.560, 212.03 def. Line, 6.588, 200.98.


ROUND ONE — Matt Smith, Buell, 6.913, 192.17 def. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 6.968, 192.66; Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 7.007, 189.55 def. Shawn Gann, Buell, DQ; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.946, 190.89 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.990, 191.40; LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.915, 191.89 def. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.019, 188.15; Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.847, 193.21 def. Jerry Savoie, Buell, 9.912, 81.35; Hector Arana, Buell, 6.844, 194.18 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.968, 190.30; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.897, 192.85 def. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, foul; Michael Ray, Buell, 6.893, 191.54 def. John Hall, Buell, 6.978, 188.73;

QUARTERFINALS — Tonglet, 6.916, 192.33 def. Ray, 6.944, 190.92; Krawiec, 6.872, 193.93 def. M. Smith, 6.938, 191.08; Arana Jr, 6.858, 195.28 def. Hines, 6.934, 192.80; Arana, 6.850, 194.02 def. Pollacheck, 7.026, 189.02;

SEMIFINALS — Krawiec, 6.870, 195.19 def. Tonglet, foul; Arana, 6.836, 195.00 def. Arana Jr, 6.901, 194.27;

FINAL — Krawiec, 6.921, 171.45 def. Arana, foul.

Point standings (top 10) following the 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, the ninth of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series –

Top Fuel

1. Spencer Massey, 753; 2. Tony Schumacher, 719; 3. Antron Brown, 671; 4. Morgan Lucas, 657; 5. Steve Torrence, 644; 6. Doug Kalitta, 508; 7. Brandon Bernstein, 493; 8. Shawn Langdon, 479; 9. David Grubnic, 437; 10. Bob Vandergriff, 416.

Funny Car

1. Robert Hight, 857; 2. Ron Capps, 700; 3. Mike Neff, 615; 4. Johnny Gray, 558; 5. Jack Beckman, 543; 6. Cruz Pedregon, 477; 7. Bob Tasca III, 451; 8. John Force, 438; 9. Courtney Force, 429; 10. Jeff Arend, 388.

Pro Stock

1. Greg Anderson, 869; 2. Jason Line, 770; 3. Allen Johnson, 710; 4. Vincent Nobile, 598; 5. Mike Edwards, 586; 6. Erica Enders, 506; 7. Ronnie Humphrey, 434; 8. Rodger Brogdon, 372; 9. Shane Gray, 364; 10. Ron Krisher, 335.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

1. Eddie Krawiec, 466; 2. Andrew Hines, 325; 3. Hector Arana Jr, 301; 4. Hector Arana, 293; 5. Michael Ray, 235; 6. Karen Stoffer, 214; 7. Matt Smith, 211; 8. LE Tonglet, 198; 9. Scotty Pollacheck, 194; 10. Shawn Gann, 170.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 3 2012
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