Filippi, Newgarden deliver CFHR’s first double top-10 of 2015

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For a second consecutive race, CFH Racing’s pair of Luca Filippi and Josef Newgarden were quietly consistent and in the top dozen of the 24-car Verizon IndyCar Series field.

Whereas Filippi stealthily scythed up from 19th to ninth at St. Petersburg, and Newgarden was 12th, the pair both ended in the top-10 in Sunday’s inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana with Newgarden ninth and Filippi 10th.

It marks the first time this season and first time as the merged CFH Racing, combining the Ed Carpenter Racing and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing teams, that both cars have been in the top 10 in the same race.

Filippi, driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, explained post-race that realistically the pair were on target for top-five or top-six finishes without the off-sequence strategy that jumbled the order.

“It wasn’t so much of an effort today,” Filippi told MotorSportsTalk post-race. “I think we did everything right. Some luck played out for cars at the front. I think the top four were on the alternative strategy. From that prospect, Josef and me were fourth and fifth on the regular strategy.

“I probably made a call on the slicks one lap too late. In the traffic, I lost the position to Josef. But it’s good. Both cars in top-10 is not what we really want – we want more – but ultimately, it’s a solid position for our championship, to get two cars in the top-10, and for myself to have two in the top 10. I want more, but it’s good.”

Filippi has been good though. After only scoring one top-10 finish in his previous eight IndyCar starts in 2013 and 2014, he is two-for-two this year. He is one of five drivers to have done that; the others being Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Tony Kanaan.

Newgarden, in the No. 67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet, banked his first top-10 of the season in ninth after starting 12th.

“The thing I am happy about is that we got a top-10 on a difficult day,” Newgarden said, via the team release. “It could have gone a lot better for us. We struggled a little bit on the wet, but when it was going dry we were very strong and we didn’t get to capitalize on that.”

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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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.