NHRA Mile-High Nationals winners: Torrence, Beckman, Morgan, Krawiec


Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Larry Morgan (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were the winners in Sunday’s final eliminations of the NHRA Mopar Mile-High Nationals in suburban Denver.

Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo., hosted the 14th race on the 24-race NHRA national event schedule, kicking off the yearly three-race “Western Swing,” which moves on to Sonoma (Calif.) next Sunday and suburban Seattle in two weeks.

Torrence (3.925 seconds at 319.37 mph) earned his first win in more than two years, defeating reigning Top Fuel champ and points leader Tony Schumacher (3.940 seconds/305.08 mph).

“We needed this win,” Torrence said. “Tony and I are friends, but when you run a (Don Schumacher Racing) car, you have to bring you’re A-game.

“To beat him on the mountain is unbelievable. It’s been way too long to get into the winner’s circle. It’s not representative of the team we have. I’m getting confidence in myself, and that’s a good thing.”

Schumacher maintains an 85-point lead in the Top Fuel standings over teammate Antron Brown.

In Funny Car, Beckman, who won the championship in 2012, lived up to his nickname of “Fast Jack” (4.190 seconds at 293.92 mph) by earning his fourth win of the season, his third at Bandimere and 19th of his career, defeating 16-time champion John Force.

Beckman is now 10th on the Funny Car all-time wins list.

“Last year, I was 0-6 against (John Force Racing, so I figured I had paid my dues,” Beckman said. “To do it in the final round today, when they really had the better car throughout the weekend — to beat the No. 1 qualifier, the winningest driver of all time, and at the Mopar race — this is just a perfect weekend.”

Beckman moved into second place in the Funny Car standings, while Force, who was seeking his seventh career win at Bandimere, moved up to third despite the final round loss.

In Pro Stock, Morgan (6.944 seconds at 199.02 mph) earned his second win of the season and 12th of his career. It not only was a great battle down the track, but also before the start light lit, as Allen Johnson and Morgan engaged in a 1 minute, 45 seconds battle of wits before Johnson finally staged.

“What a wonderful race!” said Morgan, who won his first Denver event in 1990. “This was probably my best win this year. The Four-Wide (event at Charlotte) was cool because I got to beat three guys at one time.

“Coming up here and racing Allen, though, I give those guys all the respect in the world for being in the final round nine straight years (at Denver, including wins in the previous three races).

“Nobody will ever do what he’s done up here, and I commend him for that. Those guys are still the ‘King of the Mountain.’ I just got lucky enough to keep it for one race. He still owns this place.”

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Krawiec (7.239 seconds at 185.51 mph) earned his 28th career win (7.239 seconds at 185.51 mph), defeating Hector Arana Jr.

The PSM points leader and three-time series champ, Krawiec finally notched his first win of the season, as well as his third career win at Bandimere.

“I really didn’t want the final to be that close, but I couldn’t ask for any better,” Krawiec said.

Arana is second in the points to Krawiec, trailing by just 36 points.


TOP FUEL: 1.  Steve Torrence; 2.  Tony Schumacher; 3.  Brittany Force; 4.  Larry Dixon; 5.  Clay Millican; 6. J.R. Todd; 7.  Richie Crampton; 8.  Shawn Langdon; 9.  Spencer Massey; 10.  Antron Brown; 11. Jenna Haddock; 12.  Terry McMillen; 13.  Doug Kalitta; 14.  Scott Palmer; 15.  Steven Chrisman; 16. Dave Connolly.

FUNNY CAR: 1.  Jack Beckman; 2.  John Force; 3.  Alexis DeJoria; 4.  Tony Pedregon; 5.  Cruz Pedregon; 6. Matt Hagan; 7.  Tim Wilkerson; 8.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 9.  Ron Capps; 10.  Del Worsham; 11. Courtney Force; 12.  Robert Hight; 13.  John Hale; 14.  Chad Head; 15.  Jeff Diehl; 16.  Todd Simpson.

PRO STOCK: 1.  Larry Morgan; 2.  Allen Johnson; 3.  Erica Enders; 4.  Shane Gray; 5.  Greg Anderson; 6.  Jason Line; 7.  Drew Skillman; 8.  Jonathan Gray; 9.  Chris McGaha; 10.  Vincent Nobile; 11.  V. Gaines; 12.  Bo Butner; 13.  Deric Kramer; 14.  Matt Hartford; 15.  Joey Grose.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1.  Eddie Krawiec; 2.  Hector Arana Jr; 3.  Andrew Hines; 4.  Jim Underdahl; 5.  Hector Arana; 6. Matt Smith; 7.  Scotty Pollacheck; 8.  Steve Johnson; 9.  Jerry Savoie; 10.  Shawn Gann; 11.  Karen Stoffer; 12.  Chaz Kennedy; 13.  Freddie Camarena; 14.  Chip Ellis; 15.  LE Tonglet; 16.  Angie Smith.


TOP FUEL: Steve Torrence, 3.925 seconds, 319.37 mph  def. Tony Schumacher, 3.940 seconds, 305.08 mph.

FUNNY CAR: Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.190, 293.92  def. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.291, 258.96.

PRO STOCK: Larry Morgan, Chevy Camaro, 6.944, 199.02  def. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.930, 199.23.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 7.239, 185.51  def. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 7.230, 186.43.


TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE — Steve Torrence, 3.891, 320.13 def. Jenna Haddock, 4.156, 284.93; Brittany Force, 3.974, 307.09 def. Terry McMillen, 4.182, 237.46; Larry Dixon, 4.352, 243.99 def. Scott Palmer, 4.408, 231.52; Tony Schumacher, 4.150, 227.69 def. Steven Chrisman, 5.546, 124.64; Richie Crampton, 4.193, 254.90 def. Doug Kalitta, 4.242, 256.70; Shawn Langdon, 3.906, 302.08 def. Spencer Massey, 3.920, 317.34; Clay Millican, 4.264, 229.43 def. Dave Connolly, 6.251, 88.18; J.R. Todd, 3.968, 305.56 def. Antron Brown, 3.991, 302.89; QUARTERFINALS — Schumacher, 3.933, 304.87 def. Millican, 3.963, 308.57; Dixon, 3.974, 300.86 def. Todd, 4.080, 259.26; Torrence, 3.946, 303.64 def. Crampton, 4.309, 235.97; Force, 3.932, 313.37 def. Langdon, 4.548, 208.42; SEMIFINALS — Torrence, 3.902, 318.09 def. Dixon, 3.948, 312.57; Schumacher, 3.896, 315.56 def. Force, 3.916, 315.71; FINAL — Torrence, 3.925, 319.37 def. Schumacher, 3.940, 305.08.

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE — John Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.225, 300.26 def. John Hale, Dodge Charger, 4.632, 216.58; Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.596, 220.26 def. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 4.880, 179.52; Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.587, 270.92 def. Todd Simpson, Camaro, 6.287, 114.09; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.497, 246.39 def. Chad Head, Toyota Camry, 4.665, 118.18; Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.316, 281.36 def. Robert Hight, Chevrolet Camaro, 4.568, 212.63; Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.235, 303.71 def. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.221, 292.39; Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.330, 271.52 def. Courtney Force, Camaro, foul; Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.157, 287.17 def. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.205, 299.93; QUARTERFINALS — T. Pedregon, 4.216, 279.56 def. Johnson Jr., 4.694, 190.83; Beckman, 4.124, 302.48 def. Hagan, 4.391, 228.11; J. Force, 4.224, 304.87 def. C. Pedregon, 4.272, 279.85; DeJoria, 4.248, 292.84 def. Wilkerson, 4.427, 254.23; SEMIFINALS — J. Force, 4.107, 310.70 def. T. Pedregon, 4.281, 267.00; Beckman, 4.184, 295.40 def. DeJoria, foul; FINAL — Beckman, 4.190, 293.92 def. J. Force, 4.291, 258.96.

PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE — Drew Skillman, Chevy Camaro, 6.944, 199.08 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, foul; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.915, 199.97 def. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.940, 198.50; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.925, 198.96 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.924, 199.91; Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.955, 199.55 def. V. Gaines, Dodge Dart, 6.952, 199.32; Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.968, 198.50 def. Deric Kramer, Dodge Avenger, 6.972, 198.76; Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.907, 199.49 was unopposed; Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.925, 199.43 def. Joey Grose, Camaro, foul; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.895, 199.97 def. Matt Hartford, Pontiac GXP, 6.996, 197.22; QUARTERFINALS — S. Gray, 6.915, 200.14 def. J. Gray, broke; Morgan, 6.918, 199.37 def. Line, 6.910, 200.00; Johnson, 6.905, 200.05 def. Skillman, 6.950, 198.23; Enders, 6.900, 199.91 def. Anderson, 6.904, 199.73; SEMIFINALS — Johnson, 6.930, 199.14 def. S. Gray, 6.948, 199.20; Morgan, 6.914, 199.32 def. Enders, 6.920, 199.26; FINAL — Morgan, 6.944, 199.02 def. Johnson, 6.930, 199.23.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: ROUND ONE — Matt Smith, 7.254, 183.69 def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 7.268, 185.31; Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 7.266, 184.40 def. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, foul; Hector Arana, Buell, 7.417, 171.49 def. Chip Ellis, Buell, 7.371, 183.02; Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 7.287, 183.82 def. Angie Smith, 7.555, 177.49; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.258, 184.57 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.321, 183.00; Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 7.208, 187.76 def. Freddie Camarena, Suzuki, 7.355, 183.59; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 7.208, 186.85 def. Chaz Kennedy, Buell, 7.339, 180.16; Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.273, 180.84 def. Shawn Gann, Buell, 7.277, 184.52; QUARTERFINALS — Underdahl, 7.240, 185.05 def. Arana, 7.262, 185.28; Hines, 7.256, 183.87 def. Pollacheck, 7.298, 183.92; Krawiec, 7.229, 184.72 def. M. Smith, 7.278, 183.87; Arana Jr, 7.212, 187.29 def. Johnson, broke; SEMIFINALS — Krawiec, 7.254, 184.35 def. Underdahl, 7.453, 160.81; Arana Jr, 7.245, 185.08 def. Hines, 7.277, 182.13; FINAL — Krawiec, 7.239, 185.51 def. Arana Jr, 7.230, 186.43.


Top Fuel: 1.  Tony Schumacher, 1,126; 2.  Antron Brown, 1,041; 3.  Larry Dixon, 920; 4.  Doug Kalitta, 880; 5.  Richie Crampton, 848; 6.  Spencer Massey, 788; 7.  Brittany Force, 762; 8.  Shawn Langdon, 748; 9.  Steve Torrence, 728; 10.  J.R. Todd, 703.

Funny Car: 1.  Matt Hagan, 1,083; 2.  Jack Beckman, 938; 3.  John Force, 891; 4.  Ron Capps, 879; 5.  Del Worsham, 868; 6.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 855; 7.  (tie) Cruz Pedregon, 782; Tim Wilkerson, 782; 9. Alexis DeJoria, 731; 10.  Robert Hight, 703.

Pro Stock: 1.  Greg Anderson, 1,201; 2.  Erica Enders, 1,164; 3.  Jason Line, 988; 4.  Chris McGaha, 925; 5. Allen Johnson, 845; 6.  Larry Morgan, 842; 7.  Drew Skillman, 779; 8.  Shane Gray, 723; 9.  Vincent Nobile, 681; 10.  Jonathan Gray, 667.

Pro Stock Motorcycle: 1.  Eddie Krawiec, 575; 2.  Hector Arana Jr, 539; 3.  Andrew Hines, 484; 4.  Karen Stoffer, 413; 5. Jim Underdahl, 387; 6.  Hector Arana, 383; 7.  Matt Smith, 357; 8.  Angelle Sampey, 336; 9.  LE Tonglet, 334; 10.  Jerry Savoie, 328.

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New Chip Ganassi driver Marcus Armstrong will team with boyhood idol Scott Dixon

Marcus Armstrong Scott Dixon
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images

Marcus Armstrong was a Scott Dixon fan his entire life, and when he was 8, the aspiring young racer asked his fellow New Zealander to autograph a helmet visor that he hung on his bedroom wall.

Next year, Armstrong will be Dixon’s teammate.

Armstrong was named Friday as the fourth IndyCar driver in the Chip Ganassi Racing lineup and will pilot the No. 11 next season on road and street courses.

A driver for the five oval races on the 17-race schedule will be named later.

The No. 11 is essentially the No. 48 that seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson drove the last two seasons, with Chip Ganassi making the change to run four cars numbered in sequential order. Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson drives the No. 8, six-time champion Dixon drives the No. 9, and 2020 IndyCar champion Alex Palou drives the No. 10.

So just who is the second Kiwi in the Ganassi lineup?

A 22-year-old who spent the past three seasons in Formula One feeder series F2, a Ferrari development driver in 2021, and former roommate of Callum Illot and former teammate of Christian Lundgaard – both of whom just completed their rookie IndyCar seasons.

“I’ve always been attracted to the IndyCar championship because it’s one of those championships that’s been really well televised in New Zealand since I was young, mainly because of Scott and his success,” Armstrong told The Associated Press. “As time progressed, as I got closer to F1 and single-seaters, the attraction to IndyCar grew just because of how competitive the championship is – I like to challenge myself and the level of competition in IndyCar is remarkably high.”

Armstrong, from Christchurch, New Zealand, was set to travel from his current home in London to Indianapolis this weekend to meet his new team. He won’t need an introduction to Dixon, the 42-year-old considered the best IndyCar driver of his generation and Armstrong’s unequivocal childhood hero.

Last season, Dixon earned his 53rd career victory to pass Mario Andretti for second on the all-time list. Dixon has driven for Ganassi in all but 23 of his 345 career starts.

“For a long time I’ve been a Scott Dixon fan. I don’t want to make him cringe with our age difference,” Armstrong told the AP.

Despite the two-decade age difference, Armstrong never considered someday racing with Dixon a fantasy.

He convinced his father after winning five national karting championships to allow him to leave New Zealand for Italy at age 14, where he moved by himself to pursue a racing career. Armstrong said as soon as he’d received parental permission, he’d never look back.

Armstrong was in Formula 4 two years after his move to Italy and won that title in his first season. He won four races and four poles in F3 in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, then collected four wins and eight podiums in three seasons of F2.

“Maybe it’s a strength, or maybe it’s a weakness, but I always thought I was capable of doing great in the sport,” Armstrong told the AP. “I think you probably have to succeed in the sport, you need to believe in yourself. I always pictured myself being in IndyCar.

“As Scott’s teammate? I can’t specifically say I saw that. It’s an extraordinary chain of events.”

Armstrong becomes just the latest driver to leave Europe, where F1 is the pinnacle but has only 20 seats each year. Alexander Rossi began the trend in 2016 when the American left F1 and won the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie. He’s been followed by Ericsson, last season’s Indy 500 winner, Romain Grosjean, Illot, Lundgaard, and on Thursday three-time W Series champion and Williams F1 reserve driver Jamie Chadwick was announced as driver for Andretti Autosport in IndyCar’s second-tier development series.

Armstrong said he could have remained in F2 for a fourth season, but he’d been watching IndyCar for so long, and after conversations with Illot and Lundgaard, he decided to make the move to what he believes is the most balanced racing series in the world. He tested for Dale Coyne Racing at Sebring in October.

He doesn’t know if European racing is done for good, just that he wants to be in IndyCar right now.

“I don’t want to think too far into the future, I’m just grateful for this opportunity that is standing right in front of me,” Armstrong said. “I want to perform as well as I can in the near future and just consolidate myself in the fantastic chance that is IndyCar and just do my best.

“I’m not looking at F1 as a landing spot – I am looking at IndyCar, and that’s exactly why I am here.”