Jerry Bonkowski

Photo/video courtesy of Papa John's

NHRA: Leah Pritchett becomes first female athlete featured in Papa John’s promotion

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Leah Pritchett drives the quickest pizza delivery vehicle in the world, holding the NHRA Top Fuel record for speediest run (3.658 seconds) down a 1,000-foot dragstrip.

Starting today, Pritchett will also become the first female athlete ever featured in a series of TV commercials and promotions for Papa John’s Pizza. The company was a part-time sponsor for Pritchett last season and elevated to primary sponsor for 2017.

Pritchett and her 11,000 horsepower dragster have certainly delivered for Papa John’s, being on top or near the top of the NHRA Top Fuel standings all season.

She’s won three of the first 12 national events and left Sunday’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, just 11 points behind race winner and Top Fuel points leader Steve Torrence.

Pritchett’s TV spots will feature a limited time offer of “Papa John’s Double XL” pizza, which will be available nationally from today through July 23.

“It is an honor to be able to represent this sport and Papa John’s on a national scale and to be featured as the first NHRA driver on a national pizza box,” Pritchett said in a media release.

Pritchett and Papa John’s founder, chairman and CEO, John Schnatter (pictured above with Pritchett), have also teamed up for the Charity Challenge Series, which has already raised $40,000 thus far this season.

The Challenge – which features Pritchett racing her Dodge Challenger vs. Schnatter driving his classic 1971 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 – promotes awareness and resources to combat the mental and physical issues that returning military heroes and their families may face. The next Challenge will be July 7-9 at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois.

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NHRA at Norwalk: Torrence wins 4th race of 2017; Beckman, Butner, Tonglet also win

Photo/videos courtesy NHRA
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Steve Torrence earned a career-best fourth Top Fuel win in a season Sunday, capturing the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.

Meanwhile, Bo Butner (Pro Stock) and L.E. Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) captured their third wins in 2017, while Jack Beckman (Funny Car) earned his second win of the season as the NHRA wrapped up the first half of its 24-race season.

TOP FUEL: Torrence (3.743 seconds at 331.45 mph) defeated Doug Kalitta (3.736 at 331.36) in the final round. Torrence has now reached six final rounds this season over the last eight events, with a 4-2 record.

“I knew I left good on the tree but I could tell it would just be a coin toss who got it and fortunately I was able to come out ahead,” Torrence said in an NHRA media release. “It’s been a great season so far and we are hoping to keep this momentum going.”

The win also keeps Torrence No. 1 in the Top Fuel point standings.

FUNNY CAR: “Fast Jack” Beckman (4.073 seconds at 311.85 mph) earned his 26th career win over Robert Hight (6.673 seconds at 98.53 mph). Beckman has now won two of the last three races.

“We were consistently a bit off this weekend, but we are definitely happy to earn the victory this weekend,” Beckman said. “Now that we are getting down the track consistently, it keeps our opponents honest and that is definitely a formula we will continue to use for the rest of the season.”

PRO STOCK: It was a great jump at the starting line that led Butner (6.601 seconds at 210.50 mph) to defeat Greg Anderson (6.581 seconds at 210.87 mph).

“Today was a great day, we made four pretty consistent runs and my car was good when it needed to be,” said Butner, who added to his lead in the Pro Stock standings. “It’s one thing to have a good car, but we also had a lot of things go our way to get those win lights today.”

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: Tonglet (6.824 seconds at 195.76 mph) earned his 13th career PSM win, defeating Matt Smith (6.882 seconds at 195.31 mph).

“I didn’t see any win lights throughout qualifying, but seeing them on Sunday is what matters and we are happy with the results,” Tonglet said. “This is huge for us and our position in the points standings, so getting as many wins as possible is definitely our goal.”

Tonglet, who took over the points lead with the win, leads all PSM riders, having reached the final round in three of the first five races this season, and won all three of those.

The NHRA has an off-weekend coming up before returning to action July 6-9 at the Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals in Joliet, Illinois.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FINAL FINISHING ORDER:

TOP FUEL: 1.  Steve Torrence; 2.  Doug Kalitta; 3.  Leah Pritchett; 4.  Brittany Force; 5.  Terry McMillen; 6.  Clay Millican; 7.  Tony Schumacher; 8.  Antron Brown; 9.  Shawn Langdon; 10.  Dom Lagana; 11.  Pat Dakin; 12.  Mike Salinas; 13.  Ike Maier; 14.  Troy Buff; 15.  Troy Coughlin Jr.; 16.  Scott Palmer.

FUNNY CAR: 1.  Jack Beckman; 2.  Robert Hight; 3.  Bob Tasca III; 4.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 5.  Ron Capps; 6.  John Force; 7.  Matt Hagan; 8.  Alexis DeJoria; 9.  J.R. Todd; 10.  Jim Campbell; 11.  Cruz Pedregon; 12.  Del Worsham; 13.  Jonnie Lindberg; 14.  Jeff Diehl; 15.  Dale Creasy Jr.; 16.  Tim Wilkerson.

PRO STOCK: 1.  Bo Butner; 2.  Greg Anderson; 3.  Jason Line; 4.  John Gaydosh Jr; 5.  Tanner Gray; 6.  Vincent Nobile; 7.  Jeg Coughlin; 8.  Allen Johnson; 9.  Erica Enders; 10.  Chris McGaha; 11.  Alex Laughlin; 12.  Val Smeland; 13.  Mark Hogan; 14.  Drew Skillman; 15.  Kenny Delco; 16.  Alan Prusiensky.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1.  LE Tonglet; 2.  Matt Smith; 3.  Hector Arana Jr; 4.  Scotty Pollacheck; 5.  Joey Gladstone; 6.  Mike Berry; 7.  Andrew Hines; 8.  Steve Johnson; 9.  Chip Ellis; 10.  Eddie Krawiec; 11.  Karen Stoffer; 12.  Cory Reed; 13.  Joe DeSantis; 14.  Angelle Sampey; 15.  Melissa Surber; 16.  Angie Smith.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FINAL RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: Steve Torrence, 3.743 seconds, 331.45 mph  def. Doug Kalitta, 3.736 seconds, 331.36 mph.

FUNNY CAR: Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.073, 311.85  def. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 6.673, 98.53.

PRO STOCK: Bo Butner, Chevy Camaro, 6.601, 210.50  def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.581, 210.87.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.824, 195.76  def. Matt Smith, Victory, 6.882, 195.31.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FINAL ROUND-BY-ROUND RESULTS: 

TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE — Clay Millican, 3.775, 311.63 def. Scott Palmer, Broke; Leah Pritchett, 3.760, 324.12 def. Ike Maier, 8.295, 105.60; Steve Torrence, 3.786, 326.32 def. Troy Coughlin Jr., 8.501, 87.48; Brittany Force, 3.772, 324.98 def. Pat Dakin, 3.832, 293.60; Doug Kalitta, 3.749, 329.99 def. Troy Buff, 8.421, 82.77; Antron Brown, 3.768, 323.35 def. Dom Lagana, 3.828, 322.34; Terry McMillen, 3.806, 323.04 def. Shawn Langdon, 3.787, 324.90; Tony Schumacher, 3.789, 326.56 def. Mike Salinas, 7.129, 96.03;

QUARTERFINALS — Torrence, 3.792, 326.79 def. Millican, 3.872, 312.86; Force, 3.808, 325.53 def. McMillen, 3.859, 291.32; Pritchett, 3.848, 322.04 def. Brown, 5.187, 142.16; Kalitta, 3.782, 325.85 def. Schumacher, 4.099, 232.03;

SEMIFINALS — Torrence, 3.751, 326.08 def. Force, 8.630, 75.66; Kalitta, 3.768, 328.62 def. Pritchett, 3.800, 314.46;

FINAL — Torrence, 3.743, 331.45 def. Kalitta, 3.736, 331.36.

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE — Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.993, 310.27 def. Jonnie Lindberg, Toyota Camry, 8.596, 84.51; Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.913, 329.75 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.101, 307.65; Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.349, 216.62 def. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 14.165, 61.22; John Force, Camaro, 3.930, 326.32 def. Dale Creasy Jr., Charger, Broke; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.942, 322.34 def. J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.032, 318.69; Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.944, 326.56 def. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, Foul – Centerline; Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.972, 324.75 def. Del Worsham, Camry, 7.528, 98.54; Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.060, 319.82 def. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.180, 266.11;

QUARTERFINALS — Johnson Jr., 3.960, 324.44 def. Capps, 3.965, 324.83; Hight, 3.978, 321.73 def. DeJoria, 4.741, 180.16; Tasca III, 4.006, 323.58 def. J. Force, 4.047, 301.00; Beckman, 4.078, 310.84 def. Hagan, 4.152, 275.06;

SEMIFINALS — Beckman, 4.074, 319.45 def. Johnson Jr., 6.049, 118.22; Hight, 3.925, 328.62 def. Tasca III, Foul – Red Light;

FINAL — Beckman, 4.073, 311.85 def. Hight, 6.673, 98.53.

PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE — Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.627, 209.43 def. Chris McGaha, Chevy Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.595, 210.37 def. Erica Enders, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.567, 210.64 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.676, 209.26; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.562, 210.50 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 14.694, 58.11; Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.558, 210.64 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 7.790, 130.97; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.579, 210.70 def. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.759, 198.76; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.570, 211.16 def. Mark Hogan, Pontiac GXP, 6.814, 203.52; John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.663, 208.01 def. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 7.212, 149.95;

QUARTERFINALS — Butner, 6.615, 210.73 def. Nobile, 6.687, 209.95; Anderson, 6.597, 210.90 def. Johnson, Foul – Red Light; Gaydosh Jr, 6.695, 207.18 def. Coughlin, 12.760, 68.65; Line, 6.585, 211.33 def. Gray, 6.599, 210.77;

SEMIFINALS — Butner, 6.606, 210.34 def. Gaydosh Jr, 6.701, 207.50; Anderson, 6.599, 210.80 def. Line, Foul – Red Light;

FINAL — Butner, 6.601, 210.50 def. Anderson, 6.581, 210.87.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: ROUND ONE — Mike Berry, Buell, 6.950, 192.22 def. Cory Reed, 6.991, 189.31; Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.924, 193.43 def. Angelle Sampey, Foul – Red Light; LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.853, 195.25 def. Melissa Surber, Buell, 22.220, 24.02; Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.907, 193.74 def. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.890, 193.93; Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.880, 194.80 def. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.915, 195.96; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.910, 196.13 def. Angie Smith, Buell, Broke; Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.867, 194.69 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.924, 193.16; Matt Smith, 6.849, 196.27 def. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, Foul – Red Light;

QUARTERFINALS — Pollacheck, 6.905, 194.46 def. Gladstone, 6.904, 193.49; Arana Jr, 6.846, 197.36 def. Hines, 6.925, 193.02; Tonglet, 6.823, 196.22 def. Johnson, 6.962, 182.72; M. Smith, 6.876, 196.50 def. Berry, 6.916, 192.77;

SEMIFINALS — M. Smith, 6.872, 195.48 def. Pollacheck, 6.969, 186.30; Tonglet, 6.831, 195.08 def. Arana Jr, 6.863, 195.22;

FINAL — Tonglet, 6.824, 195.76 def. M. Smith, 6.882, 195.31.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

POINT STANDINGS AFTER NORWALK:

TOP FUEL: 1.  Steve Torrence, 1,071; 2.  Leah Pritchett, 1,021; 3.  Antron Brown, 990; 4.  Tony Schumacher, 856; 5.  Doug Kalitta, 781; 6.  Brittany Force, 734; 7.  Clay Millican, 695; 8.  Terry McMillen, 477; 9.  (tie) Troy Coughlin Jr., 464; Scott Palmer, 464.

FUNNY CAR: 1.  Ron Capps, 1,095; 2.  Matt Hagan, 946; 3.  Jack Beckman, 855; 4.  Robert Hight, 809; 5.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 739; 6.  Courtney Force, 714; 7.  John Force, 683; 8.  Tim Wilkerson, 525; 9.  J.R. Todd, 508; 10.  Cruz Pedregon, 431.

PRO STOCK: 1.  Bo Butner, 1,067; 2.  Greg Anderson, 941; 3.  Tanner Gray, 887; 4.  Jeg Coughlin, 820; 5.  Jason Line, 781; 6.  Erica Enders, 690; 7.  Vincent Nobile, 670; 8.  Drew Skillman, 575; 9.  Chris McGaha, 454; 10.  Allen Johnson, 448.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1.  LE Tonglet, 480; 2.  Eddie Krawiec, 389; 3.  Scotty Pollacheck, 325; 4.  Jerry Savoie, 322; 5.  Andrew Hines, 317; 6.  Hector Arana Jr, 314; 7.  Joey Gladstone, 278; 8.  Matt Smith, 256; 9.  Steve Johnson, 219; 10.  Karen Stoffer, 217.

 

NHRA: Millican gets first career Top Fuel win in 254 starts; Capps, Laughlin also win

Photo/videos courtesy NHRA
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Sunday’s NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals will be something Clay Millican will never forget.

Not only was the race held in Tennessee – at the legendary Thunder Valley (a.k.a Bristol Dragway) – it was also the first career NHRA Top Fuel win for Volunteer State resident Millican.

TOP FUEL: What makes the win all the more impressive is that it was Millican’s first win in 254 career Top Fuel starts and nine final round appearances.

Millican (3.825 seconds at 316.38 mph) defeated Leah Pritchett (3.881 at 307.09) became the 103rd different winner in Top Fuel history.

“There were times I ever wondered if this was going to happen,” Millican said. “I don’t deserve this credit. I’m really happy for David Grubnic and all of the boys who work on this car and I mean that one-hundred percent.”

FUNNY CAR: Ron Capps earned his fifth win in the first 11 national events of the 24-race 2017 schedule, as well as his 55th career Funny Car win.

The defending NHRA Funny Car world champ (4.054 seconds at 317.05 mph) defeated Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman (4.040 at 319.29). It was a better launch at the starting line that propelled Capps to the win.

“We’ve gotten a few lucky rounds, but it’s been preparation in the offseason,” Capps stated. “We had runs on Sunday against four of the toughest cars, drivers and crew chiefs combined. You read down the list of people we had to beat in a new car that was prepared. There are not very many teams that are that prepared to pull a car out and have a quicker set-up than we were.”

The win ties Capps with 16-time national champion John Force for most Funny Car wins at Bristol with four victories apiece.

PRO STOCK: Alex Laughlin (6.718 seconds at 205.04 mph) earned his first win of the season and the second win of his Pro Stock career, defeating Bo Butner (6.729 seconds at 205.79 mph).

Laughlin, who reached his fourth final round of the season, becomes the eighth different winner in Pro Stock in the first 11 races of 2017.

“We didn’t really have anything handed to us; we had some good matchups all day,” Laughlin stated. “I definitely feel like I had a point to prove. We have a competitive car on the starting line. I came into this weekend with the confidence to win.”

Plus, in a shocker, neither Greg Anderson nor teammate Jason Line reached the final round for the first time since 2014.

The 2017 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues next weekend at Norwalk, Ohio, in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals June 22-25.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FINAL FINISHING ORDER:

TOP FUEL: 1.  Clay Millican; 2.  Leah Pritchett; 3.  Shawn Langdon; 4.  Steve Torrence; 5.  Scott Palmer; 6.Brittany Force; 7.  Antron Brown; 8.  Mike Salinas; 9.  Kebin Kinsley; 10.  Tony Schumacher; 11.Terry McMillen; 12.  Doug Kalitta; 13.  Troy Coughlin Jr.; 14.  Chris Karamesines; 15.  Pat Dakin; 16.  Kyle Wurtzel.

FUNNY CAR: 1.  Ron Capps; 2.  Jack Beckman; 3.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 4.  Matt Hagan; 5.  Robert Hight; 6.  Tim Wilkerson; 7.  Courtney Force; 8.  John Force; 9.  Del Worsham; 10.  Alexis DeJoria; 11.  Cruz Pedregon; 12.  J.R. Todd; 13.  Jonnie Lindberg; 14.  Jim Campbell; 15.  Jeff Diehl; 16.  Bob Bode.

PRO STOCK: 1.  Alex Laughlin; 2.  Bo Butner; 3.  Erica Enders; 4.  Tanner Gray; 5.  Shane Gray; 6.  Jeg Coughlin; 7.  Vincent Nobile; 8.  Allen Johnson; 9.  Jason Line; 10.  Greg Anderson; 11.  Drew Skillman; 12.  Alan Prusiensky; 13.  Wally Stroupe.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FINAL RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: Clay Millican, 3.825 seconds, 316.38 mph  def. Leah Pritchett, 3.881 seconds, 307.09 mph.

FUNNY CAR: Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.054, 317.05  def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.040, 319.29.

PRO STOCK: Alex Laughlin, Chevy Camaro, 6.718, 205.04  def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.729, 205.79.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FINAL ROUND-BY-ROUND RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE — Antron Brown, 3.952, 286.62 def. Pat Dakin, 12.230, 56.62; Clay Millican, 5.313,139.40 def. Kyle Wurtzel, Broke; Shawn Langdon, 4.183, 255.53 def. Doug Kalitta, 4.414, 206.35; Steve Torrence, 4.280, 203.80 def. Chris Karamesines, 8.710, 63.35; Leah Pritchett, 4.378, 186.51 def. Troy Coughlin Jr., 4.497, 189.26; Brittany Force, 3.897, 310.55 def. Terry McMillen, 4.283, 252.19; Scott Palmer, 3.969, 307.16 def. Tony Schumacher, 4.076, 275.96; Mike Salinas, 3.855,320.05 def. Kebin Kinsley, 3.850, 317.87;

QUARTERFINALS — Pritchett, 7.094, 84.32 def. Palmer, Foul – Red Light; Langdon, 4.251, 258.37 def.

Brown, 4.310, 263.26; Torrence, 4.000, 309.56 def. Salinas, Broke; Millican, 4.011, 294.18 def. Force, 4.060, 267.85;

SEMIFINALS — Pritchett, 3.798, 319.90 def. Langdon, 3.901, 308.00; Millican, 3.812, 319.90 def. Torrence, 3.949, 303.57;

FINAL — Millican, 3.825, 316.38 def. Pritchett, 3.881, 307.09.

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE — Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.132, 255.43 def. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 4.305, 240.89; Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.367, 233.12 def. Bob Bode, Dodge Charger, Broke; Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.985, 322.58 def. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 6.461, 105.19; Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.387, 233.48 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, 6.307, 105.26; Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.172, 303.43 def. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.302, 275.28; John Force, Camaro, 4.136, 312.42 def. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.211, 303.43; Ron Capps, Charger, 4.104, 315.34 def. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.246, 278.75; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.105, 314.17 def. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 5.901, 122.44;

QUARTERFINALS — Beckman, 4.321, 276.75 def. C. Force, 4.343, 221.42; Capps, 4.090, 314.31 def. Hight, 4.124, 310.55; Johnson Jr., 4.083, 314.53 def. Wilkerson, 4.220, 262.18; Hagan, 4.202,306.95 def. J. Force, Foul – Centerline;

SEMIFINALS — Beckman, 4.009, 318.99 def. Johnson Jr., 4.043, 313.29; Capps, 4.045, 314.61 def. Hagan, 5.264, 168.43;

FINAL — Capps, 4.054, 317.05 def. Beckman, 4.040, 319.29.

PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE — Alex Laughlin, Chevy Camaro, 6.761, 204.88 def. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.735, 205.13; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.752, 205.57 def. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.765, 203.74; Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.743, 204.54 def. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.748, 204.94; Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.736, 204.82 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.758, 204.60; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.742, 205.38 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.807, 203.61; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.714, 205.79 def. Wally Stroupe, Camaro, Foul- Red Light; Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.740, 205.26 was unopposed;

QUARTERFINALS — Enders, 6.761, 204.88 def. Nobile, 16.442, 49.55; Laughlin, 6.769, 204.54 def. Coughlin, 10.491, 95.69; T. Gray, 6.748, 204.94 def. S. Gray, 6.783, 205.01; Butner, 6.763, 204.76 was unopposed;

SEMIFINALS — Butner, 6.732, 205.44 def. Enders, 6.745, 205.01; Laughlin, 6.767, 204.48 def. T. Gray, Foul – Red Light;

FINAL — Laughlin, 6.718, 205.04 def. Butner, 6.729, 205.79.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

UPDATED POINT STANDINGS:

TOP FUEL: 1.  Steve Torrence, 954; 2.  Leah Pritchett, 943; 3.  Antron Brown, 934; 4.  Tony Schumacher, 801; 5.  Doug Kalitta, 678; 6.  Brittany Force, 649; 7.  Clay Millican, 639; 8.  Troy Coughlin Jr., 443; 9.  Scott Palmer, 432; 10.  Terry McMillen, 424.

FUNNY CAR: 1.  Ron Capps, 1,044; 2.  Matt Hagan, 881; 3.  Jack Beckman, 748; 4.  Robert Hight, 707; 5.

Courtney Force, 704; 6.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 663; 7.  John Force, 641; 8.  Tim Wilkerson, 490; 9. J.R. Todd, 476; 10.  Cruz Pedregon, 397.

PRO STOCK: 1.  Bo Butner, 945; 2.  Greg Anderson, 835; 3.  Tanner Gray, 830; 4.  Jeg Coughlin, 766; 5.  Jason Line, 702; 6.  Erica Enders, 657; 7.  Vincent Nobile, 617; 8.  Drew Skillman, 536; 9.  Shane Gray, 434; 10.  Chris McGaha, 421.

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NHRA Englishtown winners: Torrence (TF), Beckman (FC), Anderson (PS), Savoie (PSM)

Photo/videos courtesy NHRA
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If Steve Torrence was a train, he’d be an express: he’s not stopping for anyone.

Torrence earned his third Top Fuel win in the first 10 races of the season and 48th of his career Sunday in the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey.

Other winners were: Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

TOP FUEL: Torrence (3.857 seconds at 320.28 mph) defeated three-time defending champ Antron Brown (3.932 seconds at 306.74) to take home the winner’s check and trophy.

“All day long I was confident because we have historically done well in Englishtown since I have won here twice and don’t have that chip on my shoulder,” Torrence said in a media release. “Both Antron and I have cars that can win and we know we just have to do our jobs to win.

“I know my record against him isn’t the best (2-22), but it’s always fun to go up against one of my best friends in the final round.”

Torrence has now reached the final round in five of the last six NHRA national events, including his first two wins of the season back-to-back at Charlotte and Atlanta.

Even with his runner-up finish, Brown – who reached his fifth final round of the season – regained the lead in the Top Fuel standings. He leads Torrence by just seven points.

Former points leader Leah Pritchett fell to third in the standings after a first-round loss in eliminations.

FUNNY CAR: “Fast Jack” Beckman lived up to his nickname, earning his 25th career Funny Car win.

In reaching his first final round of the season, Beckman (4.100 seconds at 312.42 mph) also earned his first win since St. Louis last season, defeating defending Funny Car champ and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps (4.143 at 299.66 mph). It was Capps’ sixth final round appearance thus far this season, with four of those being wins.

“We needed to get this win today so we knew that we could do this more often,” Beckman said. “Not only is this our team’s first win together, but a win at the Summernationals in Funny Car is about as cool as it gets.”

PRO STOCK: Anderson (6.613 seconds at 210.44 mph) won his second race of the season (won at Phoenix), defeating Vincent Nobile (6.665 seconds at 210.21 mph). It was Anderson’s first win since Phoenix early this season.

But more importantly, the win continued Anderson’s dominance at Englishtown, where he now has eight career Pro Stock triumphs there.

“It certainly was a tough weekend but everything worked out for us, but this Wally (winner’s trophy) is going to my son for getting through high school,” Anderson said. “This track has been magical for me, I have a lot of great memories here. To win eight times here makes it a pretty special place.”

Anderson earned his fifth final round of the season to move into second place in the Pro Stock standings, while Nobile reached the final round for the first time of 2017.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: Defending 2016 PSM champ Jerry Savoie finally earned his first win of 2017 (6.918 seconds at 192.85 mph) and seventh of his career, defeating Hector Arana Jr. (6.862 at 195.62).

“I’ve had some struggles earlier in the season, but each win is special because you never know which one will be your last,” said Savoie, who has reached the final round twice in the last four races. “This track has been good to me in the past and we were able to take this one home today and I’m extremely thankful for that.”

The NHRA’s next event is this weekend at Bristol Dragway, which hosts the 17th NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, June 16-18, in Bristol, Tennessee.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FINAL FINISHING ORDER:

TOP FUEL: 1.  Steve Torrence; 2.  Antron Brown; 3.  Doug Kalitta; 4.  Brittany Force; 5.  Tony Schumacher; 6.  Scott Palmer; 7.  Clay Millican; 8.  Troy Coughlin Jr.; 9.  Dom Lagana; 10.  Terry McMillen; 11.  Leah Pritchett; 12.  Blake Alexander; 13.  Shawn Langdon; 14.  Smax Smith.

FUNNY CAR: 1.  Jack Beckman; 2.  Ron Capps; 3.  Courtney Force; 4.  Robert Hight; 5.  Cruz Pedregon; 6.  Matt Hagan; 7.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 8.  Alexis DeJoria; 9.  Jonnie Lindberg; 10.  Tim Wilkerson; 11.  Del Worsham; 12.  John Force; 13.  Bob Tasca III; 14.  Jeff Diehl; 15.  J.R. Todd; 16.  Jim Campbell.

PRO STOCK: 1.  Greg Anderson; 2.  Vincent Nobile; 3.  Bo Butner; 4.  Jeg Coughlin; 5.  Allen Johnson; 6.  Alan Prusiensky; 7.  John Gaydosh Jr; 8.  Erica Enders; 9.  Kenny Delco; 10.  Matt Hartford; 11.  Val Smeland; 12.  Tanner Gray; 13.  Jason Line; 14.  Drew Skillman.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1.  Jerry Savoie; 2.  Hector Arana Jr; 3.  Karen Stoffer; 4.  Angie Smith; 5.  Hector Arana; 6.  Eddie Krawiec; 7.  Scotty Pollacheck; 8.  LE Tonglet; 9.  Angelle Sampey; 10.  Chip Ellis; 11.  Melissa Surber; 12.  Joey Gladstone; 13.  Andrew Hines; 14.  Kelly Clontz; 15.  Steve Johnson; 16.  Cory Reed.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FINAL RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: Steve Torrence, 3.857 seconds, 320.28 mph  def. Antron Brown, 3.932 seconds, 306.74 mph.

FUNNY CAR: Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.100, 312.42  def. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.143, 299.66.

PRO STOCK: Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.613, 210.44  def. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.665, 210.21.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.918, 192.85  def. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.862, 195.62.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FINAL ROUND-BY-ROUND RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE — Clay Millican, 3.806, 314.31 def. Terry McMillen, 3.926, 307.02; Brittany Force, 3.809, 321.96 def. Troy Coughlin Jr., 3.852, 309.91; Steve Torrence, 3.832, 322.04 def. Smax Smith, 4.837, 177.46; Antron Brown, 3.783, 323.12 def. Blake Alexander, 3.992, 289.32; Doug Kalitta, 3.762, 326.79 def. Dom Lagana, 3.865, 319.37; Tony Schumacher, 3.839, 318.69 def. Leah Pritchett, 3.928, 300.26; Scott Palmer, 3.888, 319.67 def. Shawn Langdon, 4.270, 196.82;

QUARTERFINALS — Torrence, 3.827, 323.27 def. Millican, 7.241, 84.20; Force, 3.838, 316.67 def. Palmer, 3.901, 314.90; Brown, 6.622, 103.10 was unopposed; Kalitta, 3.805, 325.37 def. Schumacher, 3.900, 299.00;

SEMIFINALS — Brown, 3.789, 324.98 def. Force, 3.932, 279.09; Torrence, 3.827, 322.42 def. Kalitta, 3.854, 319.37;

FINAL — Torrence, 3.857, 320.28 def. Brown, 3.932, 306.74.

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE — Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.664, 260.36 def. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 4.689, 254.95; Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.019, 294.18 def. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 11.687, 77.47; Robert Hight, Camaro, 4.880, 189.10 def. J.R. Todd, Camry, 13.961, 64.63; Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.082, 306.60 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, 23.920, 130.73; Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.722, 243.59 def. John Force, Camaro, 4.829, 206.13; Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.048, 316.82 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.242, 228.58; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.010, 319.67 def. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.949, 182.85; Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.013, 317.94 def. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 4.044, 314.39;

QUARTERFINALS — Hight, 4.048, 314.75 def. Johnson Jr., 4.515, 195.05; Beckman, 4.285, 290.94 def. Pedregon, 4.286, 291.76; Capps,  def. DeJoria, Foul – Centerline; C. Force, 4.094, 312.28 def. Hagan, 4.374, 268.60;

SEMIFINALS — Beckman, 9.145, 72.26 def. C. Force, Foul – Red Light; Capps, 4.195, 260.31 def. Hight, 6.302, 107.84;

FINAL — Beckman, 4.100, 312.42 def. Capps, 4.143, 299.66.

PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE — Vincent Nobile, Chevy Camaro, 6.752, 208.68 def. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 18.629, 43.74; Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.611, 209.82 def. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.635, 210.67; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.647, 210.21 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.636, 208.78; Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.637, 209.59 def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.645, 209.79; Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.806, 182.92 def. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.941, 207.69; John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.801, 199.70 def. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.799, 176.12; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.612, 210.28 def. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.743, 198.50;

QUARTERFINALS — Nobile, 6.640, 210.37 def. Gaydosh Jr, Broke – No Show; Anderson, 6.611, 210.14 def. Johnson, 6.622, 209.56; Butner, 6.616, 210.14 was unopposed; Coughlin, 6.643, 209.49 def. Prusiensky, 6.715, 207.40;

SEMIFINALS — Nobile, 6.644, 209.56 def. Coughlin, 6.654, 208.62; Anderson, 6.632, 210.28 def. Butner, 6.648, 209.69;

FINAL — Anderson, 6.613, 210.44 def. Nobile, 6.665, 210.21.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: ROUND ONE — Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.854, 194.35 def. Cory Reed, 7.169, 182.65; Angie Smith, Buell, 6.942, 191.02 def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.960, 195.51; LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.817, 196.27 def. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.978, 192.74; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.870, 196.70 def. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.859, 193.27; Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.845, 194.30 def. Angelle Sampey, 6.858, 194.38; Hector Arana, Buell, 6.946, 195.56 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.014, 193.79; Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.902, 191.51 def. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.947, 193.79; Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.816, 196.79 def. Melissa Surber, Buell, 6.894, 192.66;

QUARTERFINALS — Stoffer, 6.894, 192.77 def. Arana, 6.874, 195.73; Savoie, 6.852, 195.45 def. Pollacheck, 6.938, 193.93; A. Smith, 6.942, 192.44 def. Tonglet, 7.257, 194.46; Arana Jr, 6.828, 196.02 def. Krawiec, 6.937, 194.38;

SEMIFINALS — Savoie, 6.878, 195.14 def. A. Smith, Foul – Red Light; Arana Jr, 6.854, 195.56 def. Stoffer, 6.899, 192.91;

FINAL — Savoie, 6.918, 192.85 def. Arana Jr, 6.862, 195.62.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

UPDATED POINT STANDINGS:

TOP FUEL: 1.  Antron Brown, 878; 2.  Steve Torrence, 871; 3.  Leah Pritchett, 842; 4.  Tony Schumacher, 766; 5.  Doug Kalitta, 648; 6.  Brittany Force, 609; 7.  Clay Millican, 520; 8.  Troy Coughlin Jr., 412; 9.  Terry McMillen, 392; 10.  Scott Palmer, 380.

FUNNY CAR: 1.  Ron Capps, 931; 2.  Matt Hagan, 802; 3.  Jack Beckman, 652; 4.  Courtney Force, 648; 5.  Robert Hight, 645; 6.  (tie) John Force, 587; Tommy Johnson Jr., 587; 8.  J.R. Todd, 444; 9.  Tim Wilkerson, 427; 10.  Del Worsham, 372.

PRO STOCK: 1.  Bo Butner, 837; 2.  Greg Anderson, 797; 3.  Tanner Gray, 758; 4.  Jeg Coughlin, 701; 5.  Jason Line, 668; 6.  Erica Enders, 579; 7.  Vincent Nobile, 562; 8.  Drew Skillman, 504; 9.  Chris McGaha, 421; 10.  Shane Gray, 382.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1.  Eddie Krawiec, 358; 2.  LE Tonglet, 356; 3.  Jerry Savoie, 322; 4.  Andrew Hines, 263; 5.  Scotty Pollacheck, 250; 6.  Hector Arana Jr, 234; 7.  Joey Gladstone, 223; 8.  Karen Stoffer, 186; 9.  (tie) Steve Johnson, 167; Angie Smith, 167.

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Watch one of most ferocious NHRA Top Fuel explosions in decades — and Terry McMillan walks away

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If you attended this weekend’s NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire, you can be forgiven if you thought it was 4th of July weekend.

There were plenty of fireworks, not just celebrating the winner’s of the race, but also two huge explosions that occurred during the course of the three-day event.

On Friday, Funny Car driver Courtney Force — daughter of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force and sister of Brittany Force (won Top Fuel Sunday) — walked away uninjured from a massive explosion — and still managed to qualify No. 1 on the same run!

In Sunday’s first round of eliminations, Top Fuel driver Terry McMillan had an equally tremendous motor explosion — some NHRA observers called it arguably the worst they’ve seen in the last two decades.

Like Courtney Force, McMillan was uninjured. But boy, what an explosion it was.

Check it out:

 

And for those of you that missed Courtney Force’s explosion on Friday, here it is again (thankfully, Force also walked away uninjured):

 

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