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Torrence On Pole In Bristol

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 19 2016
Steve Torrence captured the Top Fuel pole at Thunder Valley. (File photo courtesy of the NHRA)

Steve Torrence captured the Top Fuel pole at Thunder Valley. (File photo courtesy of the NHRA)


Steve Torrence claimed pole position in Top Fuel on Saturday as qualifications concluded for the 16th NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway.

Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) also were No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 11th of 24 events on the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Torrence posted a 1,000-foot pass in 3.745-seconds at 324.12 mph in his Capco Contractors/Torrence Racing dragster to secure his sixth pole of the year and 11th of his career. Torrence raced to victory in Englishtown, N.J., last weekend as the No. 1 qualifier and posted a runnerup finish the weekend before in Epping, N.H. The Texan has two wins this season and is aiming for his second Thunder Valley victory on Sunday.

Torrence, whose car is tuned in an alliance with Alan Johnson, will meet Terry Haddock in the opening round of eliminations, scheduled to begin at noon (EDT). Fox Sports 1 will air three hours of coverage starting at 4 p.m. (EDT).

“It feels great and I did win here a few years ago,” said Torrence, victorious at Bristol in 2013. “It’s always Father’s Day when we race (here) and this year I have my dad with me so that adds a lot to it. To be able to share success with him while he’s here, with the way the car is running and with the team, the morale is at an all-time high. We’re going to try to repeat and go all the way.”

Three-time 2016 winner Doug Kalitta qualified No. 2 at 3.767-seconds at 323.97 mph in his Mac Tools dragster. Kalitta, a three-time Bristol winner, will battle Kyle Wurtzel in the opening round. Brittany Force, who has two wins in 2016, is third in her Monster Energy dragster. She will face veteran Chris Karamesines.

Two-time/reigning world champ Antron Brown is fourth in his Matco Tools dragster and will race Scott Palmer in the first round, while Phoenix winner Leah Pritchett is fifth and will meet Aussie Richie Crampton.

In Funny Car, Capps raced to his third consecutive pole with a track-record 1,000-foot time of 3.884-seconds at 323.66 mph in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T. Capps, who has won the last two races and three this year, has 21 poles in his career. The Californian, who will be gunning for his fourth Thunder Valley victory on Sunday, will race Jim Campbell to open eliminations.

“We wipe it clean every night and we wipe it clean every race,” said Capps, who with a win would become the first driver since 16-time world champion John Force in 1996 to win three consecutive Funny Car races from the No. 1 spot. Capps would also tie his former team owner _ NHRA legend Don “The Snake” Prudhomme _ on the all-time wins list at 49 career victories.


“We’re glad we can continue onto the next race,” Capps said. “The streak, starting in Epping, then going to completely different weather conditions and track conditions in Englishtown, and then here _ again completely different _ just shows the versatility that (crew chief) Rahn Tobler has. Then the NAPA guys continually give him a car without nuts or bolts loose and nothing strange. It’s a fun car to drive right now.”

Reigning world champ Del Worsham sits second with a 3.888-second pass at 329.42 mph in his DHL Toyota Camry. Worsham, a two-time Bristol winner, will meet Jeff Diehl in Sunday’s first round. Robert Hight, the 2009 world champ who won in Gainesville, Fla., is third in his Auto Club Chevy Camaro SS and will battle John Hale in the opening round.

Matt Hagan, a two-time 2016 winner and two-time world champion, qualified third and is matched with Dave Richards. Baytown, Texas, winner Courtney Force is fifth and will race two-time world champion Cruz Pedregon.

In Pro Stock, Line pushed his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro to a quarter-mile pass in 6.652-seconds at 208.01 mph to earn his fourth consecutive pole and sixth of the year. Line, who has 47 top qualifiers in his career, won this event 10 years ago. The five-time 2016 winner and point-leader will face Dave River in the first round.

“I wasn’t expecting to run that quick, so that was a really good run,” said Line, a two-time world champion. “I was pretty excited about that. It’s a lot of fun. This is not going to last forever and I’ll spare you of the ‘They’re Gaining on Us’ speech, but that was a really good run. We were missing something on the previous runs and I think we figured out why. It feels good and we should have three really fast hot rods (for Sunday).”

Line’s Ken Black Racing teammate, four-time world champion Greg Anderson, qualified second at 6.675-seconds and 206.95 mph in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro. Anderson, a two-time Bristol winner, is second in points with five wins and two runnersup this season. He will meet John Gaydosh Jr. in the opening round.

Bo Butner, the third member of the KB Racing team, is third and will battle V. Gaines in the first round. Drew Skillman is fourth and will race five-time world champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. Sunday morning while Vincent Nobile is fifth and will go heads-up with teammate and back-to-back world champ Erica Enders.


First-round pairings for eliminations for the 16th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, the 11th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings:

Top Fuel _ 1. Steve Torrence, 3.745-seconds, 324.12 mph  vs. 16. Terry Haddock, broke; 2. Doug Kalitta, 3.767, 323.97 vs. 15. Kyle Wurtzel, 5.564, 195.25; 3. Brittany Force, 3.773, 323.04 vs. 14. Chris Karamesines, 4.253, 216.13; 4. Antron Brown, 3.774, 317.34 vs. 13. Scott Palmer, 4.082, 237.21; 5. Leah Pritchett, 3.799, 323.35 vs. 12. Richie Crampton, 3.947, 280.84; 6. Shawn Langdon, 3.802, 323.12 vs. 11. Terry McMillen, 3.918, 299.66; 7. Clay Millican, 3.805, 318.39 vs. 10. Pat Dakin, 3.867, 314.02; 8. Tony Schumacher, 3.808, 322.42 vs. 9. J.R. Todd, 3.825, 319.60.

Funny Car _ 1. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.884, 323.66 vs. 16. Jim Campbell, Toyota Camry, 6.992, 89.20; 2. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.888, 329.42 vs. 15. John Hale, Charger, 6.589, 98.90; 3. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.897, 321.27 vs. 14. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 5.476, 135.33; 4. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.914, 327.51 vs. 13. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.236, 266.16; 5. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.938, 322.81 vs. 12. Dave Richards, Mustang, 4.197, 266.53; 6. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.948, 320.51 vs. 11. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.167, 258.47; 7. Chad Head, Camry, 3.955, 320.36 vs. 10. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.999, 314.83; 8. John Force, Camaro, 3.956, 320.43 vs. 9. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.976, 318.84.

Pro Stock _ 1. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.652, 208.01 vs. 14. Dave River, Chevy Cobalt, 18.977, 201.10; 2. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.675, 206.95 vs. 13. John Gaydosh Jr., Camaro, 6.801, 202.85; 3. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.689, 209.26 vs. 12. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Dodge Dart, 6.755, 204.57; 4. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.695, 206.70 vs. 11. V. Gaines, Dart, 6.755, 205.35; 5. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.700, 206.54 vs. 10. Erica Enders, Dart, 6.746, 205.10; 6. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.708, 206.51 vs. 9. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.741, 205.04; 7. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.713, 206.61 vs. 8. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.713, 205.60.


| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 19 2016
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