Nasty wreck, heavy rains force NHRA to reschedule Charlotte race finish in Texas (video)

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For the second time in the last three races, the National Hot Rod Association has been forced to start a race in one location and finish it in another.

Nearly a month ago, final eliminations of the NHRA event at Brainerd, Minn., were unable to be completed due to rain.

The race was eventually completed two weeks ago as part of the U.S. Nationals in Brownsburg, Ind.

The rain jinx struck again in Sunday’s Pep Boys Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C. (suburban Charlotte).

The NHRA was unable to complete the final three rounds of Top Fuel and Funny Car, the final two rounds of Pro Stock and all rounds of Pro Stock Motorcycle.

As a result, instead of extending the race until Monday (more rain is expected), the NHRA will complete all unfinished rounds and crown a race winner about 1,050 miles west in Ennis, Texas.

All the remaining rounds will be wrapped into next weekend’s AAA Texas FallNationals at Texas Motorplex.

Rain stopped competition after only the first rounds of Top Fuel and Funny Car had been completed.

The Pro Stock class had begun to run when a frightful crash involving driver V. Gaines occurred, prompting a cleanup delay which was followed by a hard rain.

Despite the wreck, Gaines was credited with the win in his race with Allen Johnson because the latter crossed the lane dividing stripe as their drag race began.

Gaines, who was uninjured, will be allowed to compete with a replacement car, NHRA officials announced.

“It happened so fast, I was unable to catch it,” Gaines said, according to an NHRA media release. “I’m just sick that we ruined a very good race car. We’ll come back and rebound.”

Check out the video of Gaines’ wreck below:

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Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.