‘The Sarge’ Is In Command Again

| , RacinToday.com Monday, October 26 2020

Tony Schumacher picked up the victory Sunday in Top Fuel.


Eight-time Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher earned his first victory in more than two years Sunday, defeating fellow-Texan Steve Torrence in a side-by-side final of the 33rd annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals. 

Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car), Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also prevailed in their respective professional categories at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown. The race was the 10th of 11 comprising the 2020 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series schedule.

With Schumacher and Johnson both winning, Don Schumacher Racing notched its first nitro sweep of 2020 and 66th overall for an organization which now has 356 wins.

Schumacher, winningest driver in Top Fuel history, and Torrence put on a remarkable show in the final, with Schumacher’s 1,000-foot pass of 3.669-seconds at 330.63 mph in his Okuma/Sandvik Coromant Toyota dragster edging Torrence’s 3.687 at 330.07. Schumacher posted his 85th career victory and first since winning at Bristol Dragway in June 2018. Schumacher defeated Cameron Ferre, Doug Foley and Billy Torrence, Steve’s father, to reach the final round.

Schumacher began running a limited schedule in July after sitting out the 2019 tour due to a lack of sponsorship.

“I’m super-proud and I’m so happy for my guys,” said Schumacher, a native of Chicago now living in Austin, Texas. “I’ve done this and lived these moments and been part of some cool stuff, and these guys were able to dig deep. That final round, those are epic battles. I’ve been on both sides of that. I beat Torrence in Indy by 0.0006-seconds and lost the same way to him. You’ve got two bad-ass teams battling it out and that was the best race we’ve seen all year. It was a team effort and everybody did a great job.”

Torrence, the No. 1 qualifier, stayed on paced as he chases a third straight Top Fuel world championship by advancing to his sixth final this year and 61st in his career. The resident of Kilgore, Texas, recorded round wins against Shawn Langdon and Antron Brown, making six passes in the 3.60s this weekend. Torrence will take a 101-point lead over Doug Kalitta into the 2020 season-ending Dodge NHRA Finals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Oct. 30-Nov. 1.

Johnson remained in championship contention in Funny Car with a clutch performance, going 3.929-seconds at 321.04 mph in his MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to trailer DSR teammate Ron Capps’ 3.952 at 325.14. DSR recorded its 13th straight Funny Car win and a victory for Johnson’s sponsor in their hometown area.

Johnson, who now has three victories this season and 22 in his career, beat Jim Campbell, J.R. Todd and then-points leader Matt Hagan in a critical semifinal race to reach the final. The victory pulled Johnson to within 42 points of Hagan, with Jack Beckman _ who was upset in the opening round by Capps _ just one point behind Johnson.

“It was a must-win,” Johnson said. “We get close and then we stumble and we think we’re out of it, and here we come again. We just keep coming back. It’s like a heavyweight battle and when we get knocked down, we get back up and keep swinging.

“I’m just really proud of these guys. They never quit. I’m just super-happy with the fight in these guys and this has got drama written all over it when we go to Vegas. You’ve got to keep digging and you knew the final round was going to be a great race. It’s definitely been different this year, but once you fire the engine it’s no different. These guys have done a really good job under some tough circumstances.”

Capps reached a final for the 125th time in his career with victories against Beckman, who was the No. 1 qualifier, Cruz Pedregon and Alexis DeJoria.

In Pro Stock, Stanfield earned his first career win via a quarter-mile pass of 6.535-seconds at 211.03 mph in his Janac Brothers Racing Chevrolet Camaro to beat Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the final. Stanfield also beat Kenny Delco, Troy Coughlin Jr. and Kyle Koretsky to advance to a final for the second time in his career. Coughlin beat Matt Hartford, point-leader Erica Enders and Greg Anderson to reach his 115th career final and remain in championship contention. 

After advancing to his first final round in Gainesville, Stanfield finished the job in Houston, capping off an incredible day for the rising star. He won the race in the SAMTech.edu Factory Stock Showdown Drag Racing Series, also clinching the world championship in that class. Add in the Pro Stock victory and Stanfield took home a remarkable three Wallys on Sunday.

“I definitely can’t put this into words,” Stanfield said. “I remember listening to my dad race and I’ve dreamed of the day that I could hold up a Pro Stock Wally ever since I was a little guy watching my dad race. It’s always been at the top of my goals. I tried to stay as calm as I could, but I knew my guys had my best interests in mind. I stayed focused, we did our job and we got it done.

“To be honest, this whole day has been crazy, just accomplishing huge, huge dreams. I haven’t had time to soak it all in, but what my dad has taught me is to clear your head and focus on what you need to do. That’s what I was able to do today.”

Despite falling in the second round, Houston native Enders stretched her point lead as she tries to win back-to-back world titles and her fourth overall. She leads Jason Line and Coughlin _ both planning to retire at season’s end _ by 55 points heading to Las Vegas.

Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Krawiec won for the first time in more than two years aboard his Harley-Davidson FXDR, covering the quarter-mile in 6.801-seconds at 198.61 mph to beat Ryan Oehler. Krawiec’s last victory came at Brainerd, Minn., in 2018, but he was impressive Sunday en route to his 48th career Wally. He logged a series of 6.80-second runs over the final three rounds, beating Michael Phillips, Jerry Savoie and Hector Arana Jr. to reach the final. Oehler beat Kelly Clontz, Andrew Hines and point-leader Matt Smith to earn his second final-round berth, but Krawiec led from start to finish in a strong championship round performance.

“It just feels good to win again,” said Krawiec, one of three Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammates. “I feel like I’ve accomplished all that I’ve needed to and I don’t have to prove anything, but it’s nice just to get it done. There’s a lot of great racers in the class and you can’t take anything for granted. You have to appreciate every win, even moreso right now with the competition level in the class. We’ve got four-five motorcycles all fighting for the championship. It’s great racing and that’s the way it should be. You have to be on your game at all times. It’s a big team effort and that’s what I really attribute this to.”

Matt Smith retained the point lead and is 58 markers ahead of Scotty Pollacheck with one race remaining. Defending world champ Hines trails Pollacheck by just eight points as he remains in title contention.


Final finishing order (1-16) at the 33rd annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown and powered by Pennzoil. The race was the 10th of 11 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series schedule:

Top Fuel _ 1. Tony Schumacher; 2. Steve Torrence; 3. Billy Torrence; 4. Antron Brown; 5. Leah Pruett; 6. Doug Kalitta; 7. Doug Foley; 8. Shawn Langdon; 9. Clay Millican; 10. Joe Morrison; 11. Scott Palmer; 12. Justin Ashley; 13. Lee Callaway; 14. Kebin Kinsley; 15. Cameron Ferre.

Funny Car _ 1. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 2. Ron Capps; 3. Matt Hagan; 4. Alexis DeJoria; 5. Cruz Pedregon; 6. Bob Tasca III; 7. J.R. Todd; 8. Blake Alexander; 9. Bobby Bode; 10. Dave Richards; 11. Jack Beckman; 12. Chad Green; 13. Tim Wilkerson; 14. Paul Lee; 15. Jim Campbell; 16. Terry Haddock.

Pro Stock _1. Aaron Stanfield; 2. Jeg Coughlin Jr.; 3. Kyle Koretsky; 4. Greg Anderson; 5. Alex Laughlin; 6. Erica Enders; 7. Chris McGaha; 8. Troy Coughlin Jr.; 9. Jason Line; 10. Matt Hartford; 11. Deric Kramer; 12. Mason McGaha; 13. Kenny Delco; 14. Bo Butner; 15. Fernando Cuadra; 16. Bruno Massel.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _  1. Eddie Krawiec; 2. Ryan Oehler; 3. Hector Arana Jr.; 4. Matt Smith; 5. Andrew Hines; 6. Scotty Pollacheck; 7. David Barron; 8. Jerry Savoie; 9. John Hall; 10. Kelly Clontz; 11. Michael Phillips; 12. Chris Bostick; 13. Angelle Sampey; 14. Angie Smith; 15. Steve Johnson; 16. Marc Ingwersen. 

Sunday’s final results from the 33rd annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals: 

Top Fuel _Tony Schumacher, 3.669-seconds, 330.63 mph def. Steve Torrence, 3.687 seconds, 330.07 mph. 

Funny Car _Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 3.929, 321.04 def. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.952, 325.14. 

Pro Stock _ Aaron Stanfield, Chevy Camaro, 6.535, 211.03 def. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.611, 207.53.

Pro Modified _ Justin Bond, Chevy Camaro, 5.707, 249.35 def. Brandon Pesz, Camaro, 7.504, 127.58. 

Pro Stock Motorcycle _Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.801, 198.61 def. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.905, 181.37.

Top Alcohol Dragster _ Shawn Cowie, 5.207, 276.13 def. Julie Nataas, 5.259, 274.16.

Top Alcohol Funny Car _ Brian Hough, Chevy Camaro, 5.900, 187.16 def. Chris Marshall, Camaro, Foul/Red Light. 

Competition Eliminator _ Craig Bourgeois, Dragster, 6.816, 181.89 def. Frank Aragona, Bantam, 7.444, 170.36.

Super Stock _ Gary Emmons, Chevy Cavalier, 10.113, 101.99 def. Jeff Miller, Chevy Camaro, 12.698, 70.31.

Stock Eliminator _ Woody Gary, Dodge Challenger, 10.228, 128.08 def. Wes Neely, Pontiac Firebird, 11.552, 113.51.

Super Comp _ Shannon Brinkley, Dragster, 8.905, 177.35 def. Dylan Hough, Dragster, 8.895, 176.74.

Super Gas _ Charlie Stewart, Chevy Corvette, 9.914, 169.44 def. Vernon Rowland, Olds Calais, 9.946, 161.42.

Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers _ Mark Buehring, Chevy Cobalt, 7.237, 158.58 def. David Cuadra, Pontiac GTO, Foul/Red Light.

Factory Stock Showdown _ Aaron Stanfield, Chevy Camaro, 7.875, 174.05 def. David Barton, Camaro, 7.901, 175.11. 

Final round-by-round results from the 33rd annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals:


ROUND ONE _Doug Foley, 3.803, 323.04 def. Clay Millican, 3.843, 306.26; Leah Pruett, 3.745, 321.65 def. Lee Callaway, 6.222, 96.74; Doug Kalitta, 3.716, 327.27 def. Kebin Kinsley, 6.874, 96.34; Antron Brown, 3.731, 324.12 def. Scott Palmer, 4.283, 197.10; Tony Schumacher, 3.712, 319.37 def. Cameron Ferre, Foul/Red Light; Steve Torrence, 3.674, 329.34 was unopposed; Billy Torrence, 3.756, 324.98 def. Joe Morrison, 4.177, 248.11; Shawn Langdon, 3.720, 327.59 def. Justin Ashley, 4.741, 169.72; 

QUARTERFINALS _B. Torrence, 3.708, 331.61 def. Pruett, 3.708, 322.58; Brown, 3.719, 329.42 def. Kalitta, 3.747, 325.92; Schumacher, 3.735, 327.43 def. Foley, 3.852, 269.24; S. Torrence, 3.686, 328.46 def. Langdon, 4.063, 216.00;

SEMIFINALS _ Schumacher, 3.701, 319.07 def. B. Torrence, 3.753, 325.92; S. Torrence, 3.673, 324.83 def. Brown, 4.763, 154.53;

FINAL _ Schumacher, 3.669, 330.63 def. S. Torrence, 3.687, 330.07.


ROUND ONE _ Blake Alexander, Ford Mustang, 3.949, 321.35 def. Bobby Bode, Mustang, 4.086, 275.67; Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 3.874, 330.39 def. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 5.426, 132.70; Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.286, 301.00 def. Dave Richards, Mustang, 4.421, 212.86; Ron Capps, Charger, 4.158, 320.51 def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 5.012, 207.88; J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.894, 333.49 def. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 9.360, 73.65; Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.271, 317.34 def. Paul Lee, Charger, 6.305, 104.29; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 6.373, 110.91 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, Foul/Red Light; Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.926, 327.19 def. Chad Green, Mustang, 5.086, 149.65; 

QUARTERFINALS _ Hagan, 3.914, 328.78 def. Alexander, 13.014, 54.58; DeJoria, 3.912, 323.19 def. Tasca III, 3.970, 296.96; Johnson Jr., 3.934, 327.51 def. Todd, 3.979, 326.00; Capps, 3.962, 326.87 def. Pedregon, 3.961, 324.36; 

SEMIFINALS _ Johnson Jr., 3.941, 321.96 def. Hagan, 3.981, 321.12; Capps, 4.160, 247.38 def. DeJoria, 5.175, 142.10; 

FINAL _ Johnson Jr., 3.929, 321.04 def. Capps, 3.952, 325.14.


ROUND ONE _ Kyle Koretsky, Chevy Camaro, 6.563, 210.28 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.599, 208.23; Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.590, 209.88 def. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.552, 209.85; Jeg Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.558, 210.37 def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.556, 209.04; Troy Coughlin Jr., Ford Mustang, 6.555, 209.26 def. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.574, 209.98; Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.551, 210.70 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.585, 209.59; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.542, 210.44 def. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.576, 209.88; Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.537, 209.17 def. Fernando Cuadra, Mustang, 6.625, 207.69; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.557, 210.60 def. Bruno Massel, Camaro, Foul/Red Light;

QUARTERFINALS _ Coughlin, 6.565, 208.55 def. Enders, Foul/Red Light; Stanfield, 6.548, 210.73 def. Coughlin Jr., Foul/Red Light; Anderson, 6.550, 209.82 def. C. McGaha, 6.637, 208.01; Koretsky, 6.571, 209.10 def. Laughlin, 6.566, 210.41;

SEMIFINALS _ Coughlin, 6.566, 208.91 def. Anderson, 6.565, 210.08; Stanfield, 6.543, 211.20 def. Koretsky, 6.549, 209.79; 

FINAL_ Stanfield, 6.535, 211.03 def. Coughlin, 6.611, 207.53.


ROUND ONE _ Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.935, 187.65 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, Broke; Hector Arana Jr., 6.854, 197.51 def. Angie Smith, 8.003, 119.68; Scotty Pollacheck, 6.877, 197.94 def. John Hall, Suzuki, Foul/Red Light; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.810, 198.15 def. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 7.225, 189.23; David Barron, 7.028, 191.29 def. Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 7.314, 169.53; Ryan Oehler, 6.850, 198.12 def. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.929, 193.71; Matt Smith, 6.769, 200.44 def. Marc Ingwersen, Broke/No Show; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.818, 196.50 def. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 6.944, 192.91;

QUARTERFINALS _ Arana Jr., 6.835, 196.79 def. Barron, 6.964, 190.32; Krawiec, 6.808, 198.29 def. Savoie, Broke; Oehler, 6.855, 197.16 def. Hines, 6.818, 198.15; M. Smith, 6.801, 200.68 def. Pollacheck, 6.854, 198.26;

SEMIFINALS_ Krawiec, 6.803, 199.11 def. Arana Jr., 6.883, 196.59; Oehler, 6.859, 197.13 def. M. Smith, 6.962, 163.06;

FINAL _ Krawiec, 6.801, 198.61 def. Oehler, 6.905, 181.37.

Point standings (top-10) following the 33rd annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals: 

Top Fuel _1. Steve Torrence, 868; 2. Doug Kalitta, 767; 3. Billy Torrence, 675; 4. Leah Pruett, 670; 5. Shawn Langdon, 544; 6. Antron Brown, 534; 7. Justin Ashley, 485; 8. Terry McMillen, 436; 9. Tony Schumacher, 415; 10. Clay Millican, 414.

Funny Car _1. Matt Hagan, 842; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr., 800; 3. Jack Beckman, 799; 4. Ron Capps, 679; 5. Bob Tasca III, 595; 6. J.R. Todd, 584; 7. Tim Wilkerson, 570; 8. Alexis DeJoria, 489; 9. Cruz Pedregon, 388; 10. Paul Lee, 382.

Pro Stock _1. Erica Enders, 753; 2. (tie) Jeg Coughlin Jr., 698 and Jason Line, 698; 4. Greg Anderson, 570; 5. Matt Hartford, 547; 6. Alex Laughlin, 531; 7. Aaron Stanfield, 483; 8. Chris McGaha, 434; 9. Deric Kramer, 405; 10. Bo Butner, 398.

Pro Stock Motorcycle _1. Matt Smith, 542; 2. Scotty Pollacheck, 484; 3. Andrew Hines, 476; 4. Angelle Sampey, 447; 5. Eddie Krawiec, 424; 6. Ryan Oehler, 339; 7. Angie Smith, 338; 8. (tie) Steve Johnson, 303 and Jerry Savoie, 303; 10. Hector Arana Jr., 284.



| , RacinToday.com Monday, October 26 2020
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