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Torrence Last Top Fueler Standing After Shootout

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, September 3 2017

Steve Torrence collected a nice trophy and nicer paycheck after winning Saturday’s Top Fuel Shootout at the U.S. Nationals. (Photo courtesy of the NHRA)

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Texan Steve Torrence emerged from “the baddest eight guys in drag racing” to win the Top Fuel NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout Saturday during the 63rd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

Torrence covered the 1,000-foot distance in 3.673-seconds at 329.50 mph in his Capco Contractors dragster to defeat eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher’s 3.680-second pass at 330.31 mph in the U.S. Army dragster during the specialty event final to win the $100,000 prize. It was Torrence’s third Traxxas Shootout finals appearance but first win. 

“This is just the icing on the cake; to go to Indy and be able to race in the Traxxas Shootout,” Torrence said. “Thanks to Mike Jenkins and all those guys at Traxxas that put this on. This is an unbelievable deal. When you come out here and you race for 100-grand and it’s a race-within-a-race, the competition level is at its highest. It’s the baddest eight guys in drag racing and when you go up there you have to bring your A-game every lap and we were able to come out with a win.”

In other racing at the facility in Clermont, Ind., Clay Millican (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 18th of 24 events on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

Millican set the Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis Top Fuel elapsed-time record during the third of five qualifying sessions at “The Big Go” when he put up a 3.663-second run at 329.10 mph in his Parts Plus/Great Clips dragster.

“I’m glad to be up here tonight. I know we have two more runs (Sunday),” Millican said. “I’m just so proud of (crew chief) David Grubnic and (assistant crew chief) Mac Savage and all the guys that work on that car. They’re the ones who should be up here talking, not me. They deserve all the credit, not me. I didn’t even look at the Christmas tree. My job on a run like that is to do everything a driver is supposed to do to give the race team everything they want from a driver.” 

Leah Pritchett is in the No. 2 spot via her 3.667-second run at 329.50 mph in her Don Schumacher Racing dragster from Friday, with Torrence in third.

Hagan leads the Funny Car field heading into Day 3 of qualifying with his track-record, 1,000-foot run of 3.799-seconds at 338.77 mph in the Mopar Express Lanes Dodge Charger R/T during Friday’s opening session. 

“I think everyone was surprised we didn’t improve,” said Hagan, a two-time world champion. “Last night was really killer; tonight was pretty killer. You lay the runs over each other and they’re identical. It’s just wild. You’re up there splitting hairs to make these cars run. It’s a real fine line. A little here and a little there makes such a difference. We got us a hot rod though, man. It’s running good, knock on wood, with three good runs in a row. It builds confidence.” 

National record-holder Robert Hight and his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS currently stand second with John Force Racing teammates Courtney Force in third and 16-time world champion John Force fourth. 

In Pro Stock, Anderson ran the quarter-mile in 6.561-seconds at 210.11 mph in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro during the third qualifying round to take over the No. 1 spot from rookie Tanner Gray.

“I’m a little bit surprised,” said Anderson, a four-time world champion from Ken Black Racing. “The weather conditions are great out there but not nearly what they were yesterday. Quite honestly, the class as a whole kind of missed yesterday. We knew even though the weather conditions were off today if we made a better quality run we could get close and have a chance. It took a very high-quality run. We made a beautiful run and I didn’t leave much on the table.”

Gray is second with his 6.566-second pass at 209.88 mph in the Gray Motorsports/Valvoline Camaro from Friday evening. Drew Skillman, who has three wins this season, is third with a 6.570-second pass at 209.33 mph in his Ray Skillman Camaro. 

Krawiec raced to the top of the Pro Stock Motorcycle category with a quarter-mile pass in 6.822-seconds at 196.62 mph aboard his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Street Rod during his third qualifying run. That pass bumped H-D teammate Andrew Hines, a five-time world champ, into the second spot. 

“Our bikes are performing well,” said Krawiec, who won the event in 2014 aboard a V-Rod. “We’ve made a lot of different chassis changes as the season has gone forward. It’s been a little bit of a challenge, a little bit of a struggle, but we’ve finally felt that we’ve turned the corner. That’s a tribute to our crew. It takes a lot of effort out here. It’s not one person, I just happen to be the individual on the motorcycle.” 

Hines’ 6.825-second pass at 194.74 mph from Friday night kept him above two-time world champ Matt Smith, who ran 6.840/196.02 in the third session aboard his Victory.

The third and final day of qualifying will begin Sunday at 11:30 a.m. (ET). Live television coverage is scheduled for noon and 5 p.m. on FOX Sports 1 (FS1). 

Final round-by-round results from the sixth annual Top Fuel NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout at the 63rd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway Park at Indianapolis:

ROUND ONE _ Tony Schumacher, 3.747, 324.51 def. Brittany Force, 3.747, 329.50; Doug Kalitta, 3.730, 329.26 def. Leah Pritchett, 3.782, 312.13; Steve Torrence, 3.725, 329.10 def. Clay Millican, 3.734, 321.58; Terry McMillen, 3.774, 318.69 def. Antron Brown, 3.808, 312.42; 

SEMIFINALS _ Schumacher, 3.727, 329.34 def. McMillen, 3.766, 322.04; Torrence, 3.711, 329.83 def. Kalitta, 3.746, 327.59; 

FINAL _ Torrence, 3.673, 329.50 def. Schumacher, 3.680, 330.31.

Saturday’s qualifying results after the first three of five rounds of time trials for the 63rd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway Park at Indianapolis:

Top Fuel _ 1. Clay Millican, 3.663-seconds, 329.10 mph; 2. Leah Pritchett, 3.667, 329.50; 3. Steve Torrence, 3.673, 329.50; 4. Tony Schumacher, 3.680, 330.31; 5. Doug Kalitta, 3.682, 329.58; 6. Antron Brown, 3.689, 329.91; 7. Bob Vandergriff Jr., 3.719, 325.30; 8. Brittany Force, 3.734, 329.50; 9. Shawn Langdon, 3.748, 289.82; 10. Scott Palmer, 3.754, 328.54; 11. Richie Crampton, 3.756, 329.91; 12. Terry McMillen, 3.770, 321.81; 13. Ashley Sanford, 3.775, 322.04; 14. Wayne Newby, 3.795, 321.88; 15. Kebin Kinsley, 3.808, 319.29; 16. Ike Maier, 3.861, 311.27.

Not Qualified _ 17. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.970, 292.33; 18. Pat Dakin, 4.054, 256.50.

Funny Car _ 1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.799, 338.77; 2. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.807, 336.23; 3. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.837, 334.90; 4. John Force, Camaro, 3.849, 336.74; 5. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.859, 333.16; 6. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.865, 332.34; 7. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 3.865, 329.83; 8. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.881, 332.02; 9. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.883, 329.67; 10. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.906, 330.23; 11. Brian Stewart, Mustang, 3.924, 296.44; 12. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.999, 319.45; 13. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.015, 281.89; 14. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.060, 317.94; 15. Justin Schriefer, Charger, 4.137, 305.15; 16. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 4.172, 292.27.

Not Qualified _ 17. Bob Bode, 4.983, 158.26; 18. Tommy Johnson Jr., 9.922, 84.08.

Pro Stock _ 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.561, 210.31; 2. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.566, 209.88; 3. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.570, 210.18; 4. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.572, 210.34; 5. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.576, 210.01; 6. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.577, 209.95; 7. Johnny Gray, Camaro, 6.596, 210.11; 8. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.598, 209.62; 9. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.601, 209.43; 10. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.604, 209.10; 11. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.607, 208.78; 12. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.610, 209.65; 13. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.615, 209.46; 14. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.625, 209.20; 15. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.628, 207.21; 16. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.661, 208.68.

Not Qualified _ 17. Shane Tucker, 6.668, 206.89; 18. John Gaydosh Jr., 6.681, 207.24; 19. Alan Prusiensky, 6.724, 206.20; 20. Larry Morgan, 6.772, 206.07.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _ 1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.822, 196.70; 2. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.825, 196.02; 3. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.840, 196.02; 4. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.862, 194.55; 5. Hector Arana Jr., Buell, 6.871, 194.88; 6. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.871, 194.72; 7. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.876, 195.96; 8. Chip Ellis, Victory, 6.892, 193.82; 9. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.897, 192.82; 10. Angie Smith, Buell, 6.927, 193.93; 11. Mike Berry, Buell, 6.936, 190.30; 12. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.940, 191.81; 13. Cory Reed, Victory, 6.941, 189.02; 14. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.964, 192.60; 15. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.996, 190.75; 16. Angelle Sampey, Victory, 7.019, 183.59.

Not Qualified _ 17. Ryan Oehler, 7.026, 189.12; 18. Mark Paquette, 7.061, 187.31; 19. Lance Bonham, 7.347, 181.50; 20. Odolph Daniels, 7.444, 174.68; 21. Wendell Daniels, 7.605, 171.29; 22. Andie Rawlings, 8.039, 168.37.

Mike Castellana continues to lead qualifying through Saturday at the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the 63rd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by JEGS.com, is the ninth of 12 events on the 2017 schedule.

Castellana’s Friday night track elapsed-time record 5.709-second pass at 252.52 mph in his Al Anabi Racing Chevrolet Camaro held up through an additional two rounds of qualifying at the world’s biggest drag race.

“My team’s put together a great car and we just hope we can keep this momentum up,” Castellana said. “We’ve got one more qualifier tomorrow. I don’t think the order’s going to change because it’s supposed to be a little hotter. We’re just going to take it round-by-round. Hopefully we can keep going.”

Troy Coughlin moved up to the second position with his 5.743-second pass at a track speed record of 258.76 mph in the JEGs Mail Order Chevy Corvette. Shane Molinari currently holds the third spot with his improved time of 5.750-seconds at 257.63 mph in his Pontiac Firebird.

NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Series qualifying continues Sunday at 2 p.m. (ET) with Round 1 of eliminations slated to begin at 5:40 p.m.

Saturday’s qualifying results after the first three of four rounds of time trials for the 63rd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway Park at Indianapolis, ninth of 12 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series:

Pro Modified _ 1. Mike Castellana, Chevy Camaro, 5.709, 252.52; 2. Troy Coughlin, Chevy Corvette, 5.743, 258.76; 3. Shane Molinari, Pontiac Firebird, 5.750, 257.63; 4. Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.779, 249.63; 5. Steven Whiteley, Cadillac CTS-V, 5.785, 249.86; 6. Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.794, 251.34; 7. Harry Hruska, Camaro, 5.795, 253.37; 8. Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 5.805, 249.67; 9. Richie Stevens, Camaro, 5.805, 247.79; 10. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 5.807, 249.86; 11. Steve Matusek, Camaro, 5.815, 249.58; 12. Shannon Jenkins, Ford Mustang, 5.820, 246.12; 13. Sidnei Frigo, Corvette, 5.829, 253.04; 14. Dan Stevenson, Camaro, 5.836, 254.86; 15. Danny Rowe, Corvette, 5.846, 247.38; 16. Jim Whiteley, Camaro, 5.849, 249.35.

Not Qualified _ 17. Michael Biehle, 5.870, 253.23; 18. Mike Janis, 5.875, 244.29; 19. Chuck Little, 5.876, 243.85; 20. Doug Winters, 5.880, 243.72; 21. Michael Bowman, 5.882, 258.37; 22. Bill Glidden, 6.038, 225.75; 23. Rick Hord, 6.223, 220.15; 24. Ruben Tetsoshvili, 6.357, 220.98; 25. Clint Satterfield, 6.503, 212.29; 26. Bob Rahaim, 6.692, 159.59. 

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, September 3 2017
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