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Torrence Remains Torrid

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, October 14 2018

Steve Torrence continues to romp in Top Fuel as he won Sunday in North Carolina. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

CONCORD, N.C. – Unstoppable and dominating. Those are the only two words to describe Steve Torrence’s history making run towards his first-ever NHRA Top Fuel championship.

With Torrence’s victory Sunday in the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway, the Texan remained undefeated in the Countdown to the Championship. He’s now 4-0 with two events remaining in the title run. Torrence’s fourth consecutive victory made him the first Top Fuel driver to accomplish that feat in a decade. On the season, Torrence is 9-0 in final round appearances.

“It’s been truly unbelievable and nothing less than just a miracle for us to be able to go out and accomplish what we’ve done,” says Torrence, who is producing the most dominating performance in NHRA playoff history.

“I brought everybody together yesterday (Saturday) and in a team meeting I told them not to let this moment pass us by. Look at what we have accomplished as a team, what we’re doing. It’s truly remarkable what we’ve done. We’re a family- run, family-owned, family-sponsored race team and every one of those guys are family to me. They’ve saved me a couple of times through this deal, but it’s a team and it takes the whole village to make this machine work. I’m kinda like the hood ornament. I’m sitting up there getting all the glory, but they’re pushing me to the front.”   

Torrence extended his lead to 169 points over primary title challenger Clay Millican due to Millican losing to Tony Schumacher in the second round. The 35-year-old Torrence defeated Chris Karamesines in the first round, Leah Pritchett in the second, and Schumacher in the semifinal. He then took out Brittany Force for the event victory with an elapsed time of 3.703 seconds, 329.67 mph. His reaction time was .041while Force’s was .087.

“You don’t win a championship by default,” Torrence said. “Today was the biggest race of the season for us. We needed to capitalize, we needed to gain points, we needed to gain rounds. Clay going out, that opened the door, and we did what we needed to do.”

While Torrence was extending his lead, Ron Capps was advancing in the Funny Car standings. Capps took over third in the points by defeating Dale Creasy Jr., point leader Robert Hight in the second round and Tim Wilkerson in the semifinals. He defeated J.R. Todd for the victory with a 3.890-second E.T., 331.20 mph. Todd is second in the standings. Capps’ third victory this season was his second at zMAX.

In Pro Stock, Mooresville, N.C., resident Jason Line acquired his first victory this season while providing Chevrolet Performance with its 300th in Pro Stock. The win at his home track was his 50th NHRA victory and 48th in Pro Stock. His other two victories came in the Stock Eliminator category.

Line took out standings leader Tanner Gray in the final round with an E.T. of 6.531, 211.89 mph. Gray succumbed to Line on reaction time .020 to .044.

“I was just trying to be calm and cut the best light I was capable of cutting,” said Line, who has earned at least one victory each season for 15 consecutive years. “When I looked over in high gear and I didn’t see him I was pleasantly surprised.”

Matt Smith, from King, N.C., took a 41-point lead over L.E. Tonglet in the Pro Stock Motorcycle standings with his third victory this season, first in zMAX’s fall event and 21st of his career. He easily won the final round when Chip Ellis turned on the red light.

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 Final finish order (1-16) at the 11th annual NHRA Carolina Nationals presented by WIX Filters at zMax Dragway. The race is the 22nd of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
TOP FUEL:
1. Steve Torrence; 2. Brittany Force; 3. Tony Schumacher; 4. Mike Salinas; 5. Clay Millican; 6. Dom Lagana; 7. Doug Kalitta; 8. Leah Pritchett; 9. Antron Brown; 10. Richie Crampton; 11.
Terry McMillen; 12. Scott Palmer; 13. Chris Karamesines; 14. Audrey Worm; 15. Kyle Wurtzel; 16.
Pat Dakin.
FUNNY CAR:
1. Ron Capps; 2. J.R. Todd; 3. John Force; 4. Tim Wilkerson; 5. Matt Hagan; 6. Cruz Pedregon; 7. Robert Hight; 8. Dave Richards; 9. Jack Beckman; 10. Jonnie Lindberg; 11. Dale Creasy Jr.; 12. Courtney Force; 13. Bob Tasca III; 14. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 15. Jim Campbell; 16. Shawn Langdon.
PRO STOCK:
1. Jason Line; 2. Tanner Gray; 3. Erica Enders; 4. Drew Skillman; 5. Jeg Coughlin; 6. Alex Laughlin; 7. Vincent Nobile; 8. Bo Butner; 9. Fernando Cuadra; 10. Wally Stroupe; 11. Shane Tucker; 12. Alan Prusiensky; 13. Deric Kramer; 14. Greg Anderson.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:
1. Matt Smith; 2. Chip Ellis; 3. Angelle Sampey; 4. Jerry Savoie; 5. Eddie Krawiec; 6. Andrew Hines; 7. Scotty Pollacheck; 8. Angie Smith; 9. Hector Arana Jr; 10. Hector Arana; 11. Steve Johnson; 12. LE Tonglet; 13. Joey Gladstone; 14. Karen Stoffer; 15. Jim Underdahl; 16. Ryan Oehler.
CONCORD, N.C. — Sunday’s final results from the 11th annual NHRA Carolina Nationals presented by WIX Filters at zMax Dragway. The race is the 22nd of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:
Top Fuel — Steve Torrence, 3.703 seconds, 329.67 mph def. Brittany Force, 3.708 seconds, 329.26 mph.
Funny Car — Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.890, 331.20 def. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 4.311, 214.96.
Pro Stock — Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.531, 211.89 def. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.534, 211.43.
Pro Stock Motorcycle — Matt Smith, EBR, 6.830, 196.64 def. Chip Ellis, Harley-Davidson, Foul – Red Light.
Pro Modified — Rick Hord, Chevy Corvette, 5.706, 257.68 def. Sidnei Frigo, Chevy Camaro, 5.952, 253.75.
Top Alcohol Dragster — Megan Meyer, 5.421, 218.76 def. Joey Severance, 5.546, 206.57.
Top Alcohol Funny Car — Sean Bellemeur, Chevy Camaro, 5.403, 271.13 def. Phil Burkart, Camaro, 6.832, 159.83.
Competition Eliminator — Art Hodges, Chevy Camaro, 7.249, 187.31 def. Danny Holt, Ford Escort, 8.171, 164.99.
Super Stock — Herbie Null Jr., Chevy Camaro, 9.799, 129.10 def. Joe Lisa, Camaro, 10.292, 130.29.
Stock Eliminator — Terry Taylor, Chevy Corvette, 11.128, 105.87 def. Anthony Fetch, Chevy Camaro, 11.105, 111.00.
Super Comp — Corey Manuel, Dragster, 8.930, 173.63 def. Tom Stalba, Dragster, 8.894, 168.07.
Super Gas — Joe Fisher, Chevy Corvette, 9.912, 169.38 def. Phil Smida, Chevy Cavalier, 9.885, 153.75.
Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs.com — Anthony Bertozzi, Dragster, 6.030, 224.21 def. J.B.
Strassweg, Dragster, 6.093, 217.35.
Top Sportsman presented by RacingRVs.com — Ronnie Proctor, Ford Mustang, 6.662, 194.35 def.
Jackie Robison, Chevy Nova, 6.896, 198.38.
CONCORD, N.C. — Final round-by-round results from the 11th annual NHRA Carolina Nationals presented by WIX Filters at zMax Dragway, the 22nd of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
TOP FUEL:
ROUND ONE — Clay Millican, 4.405, 244.16 def. Kyle Wurtzel, 5.574, 119.80; Leah Pritchett, 3.707, 324.67 def. Richie Crampton, 3.750, 317.79; Doug Kalitta, 3.718, 329.42 def. Scott Palmer, 3.788, 326.00; Mike Salinas, 3.725, 331.12 def. Pat Dakin, 20.722, 23.17; Brittany Force, 3.717, 323.12 def. Audrey Worm, 5.162, 157.23; Steve Torrence, 3.954, 323.81 def. Chris Karamesines, 4.121, 225.37; Tony Schumacher, 3.699, 329.91 def. Antron Brown, 3.736, 328.14; Dom Lagana, 3.716, 329.42 def. Terry McMillen, 3.780, 324.98; QUARTERFINALS — Salinas, 3.723, 329.83 def. Kalitta, 3.741, 328.30; Force, 3.702, 328.54 def.
Lagana, 3.730, 329.58; Schumacher, 3.712, 330.55 def. Millican, 3.729, 328.86; Torrence, 3.716,
330.96 def. Pritchett, 4.222, 219.76;
SEMIFINALS — Torrence, 3.728, 328.38 def. Schumacher, 3.718, 329.42; Force, 3.708, 330.07 def. Salinas, 3.737, 328.94;
FINAL — Torrence, 3.703, 329.67 def. Force, 3.708, 329.26.
FUNNY CAR:
ROUND ONE — Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.915, 308.28 def. Jim Campbell, Dodge Charger, 7.556, 86.70; Dave Richards, Mustang, 4.283, 279.27 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 7.265, 112.70; Ron Capps, Charger, 3.926, 328.86 def. Dale Creasy Jr., Dodge Stratus, 4.041, 316.67; J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.874, 330.55 def. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 3.964, 325.22; Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.019, 270.00 def. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.132, 232.31; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.891, 328.62 def. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 9.638, 78.22; Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.877, 330.96 def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.906, 329.26; John Force, Camaro, 3.970, 325.45 def. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.146, 256.60; QUARTERFINALS — J. Force, 3.948, 329.18 def. Richards, 4.272, 260.56; Wilkerson, 3.910, 328.46 def. Hagan, 3.903, 323.58; Todd, 3.919, 325.53 def. Pedregon, 3.943, 306.46; Capps, 3.889, 332.43 def. Hight, 3.953, 285.23; SEMIFINALS — Todd, 3.891, 326.48 def. J. Force, 3.968, 331.12; Capps, 3.903, 320.97 def. Wilkerson, 3.978, 323.97;
FINAL — Capps, 3.890, 331.20 def. Todd, 4.311, 214.96.
PRO STOCK:
ROUND ONE — Vincent Nobile, Chevy Camaro, 6.522, 211.30 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 18.517, 33.29; Alex Laughlin, Dodge Dart, 6.505, 211.83 def. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 16.308, 37.67; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.503, 211.96 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.526, 211.76; Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.499, 212.76 def. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.535, 210.77; Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.522, 212.09 def. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 12.410, 71.33; Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.537, 211.63 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 12.705, 69.24; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.493, 212.73 def. Wally Stroupe, Camaro, 6.722, 205.79; QUARTERFINALS — Skillman, 15.965, 34.99 was unopposed; Gray, 6.563, 211.66 def. Laughlin, 6.529, 211.39; Line, 6.510, 212.16 def. Coughlin, 6.527, 211.89; Enders, 6.521, 212.26 def. Nobile, 6.585, 211.46; SEMIFINALS — Gray, 6.527, 211.20 def. Enders, 6.529, 211.36; Line, 6.527, 211.86 def. Skillman, 6.547, 211.10; FINAL — Line, 6.531, 211.89 def. Gray, 6.534, 211.43.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:
ROUND ONE — Angie Smith, Buell, 6.902, 191.10 def. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 8.462, 117.98; Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.883, 194.02 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.910, 192.19; Chip Ellis, Harley-Davidson, 6.778, 197.19 def. Joey Gladstone, Buell, 6.973, 194.32; Matt Smith, 6.869, 196.67 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.010, 192.33; Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.878, 194.18 def. Hector Arana Jr, 6.855, 197.65; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.812, 196.53 def. Hector Arana, 6.903, 196.56; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.848, 197.91 def. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 7.073, 158.99; Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.809, 196.90 def. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.940, 194.77; QUARTERFINALS — M. Smith, 6.881, 197.19 def. Pollacheck, 6.890, 194.27; Ellis, 6.831, 197.08 def. A. Smith, 6.913, 191.67; Savoie, 6.842, 194.27 def. Hines, 6.857, 195.53; Sampey, 6.834, 195.31 def. Krawiec, 6.837, 197.91; SEMIFINALS — M. Smith, 6.869, 194.86 def. Sampey, 6.922, 193.18; Ellis, 6.854, 197.13 def. Savoie, 16.849, 35.06; FINAL — M. Smith, 6.830, 196.64 def. Ellis, Foul – Red Light.
CONCORD, N.C. — Point standings (top 10) following the 11th annual NHRA Carolina Nationals presented by WIX Filters at zMax Dragway, the 22nd of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series –
Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence, 2,592; 2. Clay Millican, 2,423; 3. Tony Schumacher, 2,382; 4. Leah Pritchett, 2,297; 5. Antron Brown, 2,253; 6. Brittany Force, 2,243; 7. Mike Salinas, 2,228; 8.
Doug Kalitta, 2,225; 9. Terry McMillen, 2,221; 10. Scott Palmer, 2,149.
Funny Car
1. Robert Hight, 2,445; 2. J.R. Todd, 2,434; 3. Ron Capps, 2,336; 4. Tim Wilkerson, 2,334; 5.
Tommy Johnson Jr., 2,296; 6. Courtney Force, 2,264; 7. John Force, 2,241; 8. Matt Hagan, 2,229; 9. Jack Beckman, 2,204; 10. Shawn Langdon, 2,152.
Pro Stock
1. Tanner Gray, 2,509; 2. Jeg Coughlin, 2,379; 3. Vincent Nobile, 2,373; 4. Drew Skillman, 2,356; 5. Erica Enders, 2,338; 6. Greg Anderson, 2,299; 7. Jason Line, 2,291; 8. Bo Butner, 2,186; 9. Deric Kramer, 2,168; 10. Chris McGaha, 2,096.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
1. Matt Smith, 2,426; 2. LE Tonglet, 2,385; 3. Eddie Krawiec, 2,370; 4. Jerry Savoie, 2,326; 5.
Andrew Hines, 2,291; 6. Hector Arana Jr, 2,288; 7. Angie Smith, 2,221; 8. Angelle Sampey, 2,216; 9. Steve Johnson, 2,209; 10. Scotty Pollacheck, 2,177.
| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, October 14 2018
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