MADISON, Ill. (AP) Top Fuel points leader Steve Torrence won the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals on Sunday at Gateway Motorsports Park for his eighth victory of the season.
Torrence had a 3.684-second pass at 329.34 to beat Doug Kalitta in the final round. Torrence has 16 career victories.
“We got here by doing what we do all year long and doing it ourselves,” Torrence stated. “We went out and we just took those guys out and put them back in the trailer and we’re leaving here with a bigger points lead and a trophy. You’re going to have to come in here and do everything you can to get every possible point because this thing could come down to one or two points at the end of the season.”
Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Greg Anderson in Pro Stock and LE Tonglet in Pro Stock Motorcycle in the third of six playoff events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown.
Capps topped rookie Jonnie Lindberg with 3.879 at 331.53 in a Dodge Charger R/T for his eighth victory of the season. The defending series champion added to his points lead.
Anderson had a 6.571 at 210.73 in a Chevy Camaro to beat teammate and defending series champion Jason Line. Anderson took the points lead with third victory of the season and 89th overall.
Tonglet had a 6.792 at 197.91 on a Suzuki to edge Andrew Hines. Tonglet has sixth victories this season.
Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.
Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.
Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.
A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.
A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.
Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.