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Nasr, Sauber hope to end scoring drought dating to Austin last year

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It’s been an especially rough sophomore season in Formula One for Felipe Nasr.

In the first 17 races of the 2016 season, the 24-year-old Sauber driver has finished no higher than 12th (Baku, Azerbaijan).

Nasr scored on five occasions last year which ranked him 13th in the points, but being one of five drivers yet to score this year (Sauber teammate Marcus Ericsson, Haas’ Esteban Gutierrez and Manor’s Rio Haryanto and Esteban Ocon) leaves him just 22nd this year out of 24 drivers that have raced a Grand Prix this year.

Coming to Austin this weekend provides Nasr a shot – albeit a long one – at ending a year-long scoring drought since last year’s United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas.

It was at last year’s USGP that Nasr last scored points for finishing ninth – his best showing in an F1 race since.

“Finishing in P9 was a nice achievement, bearing in mind that it was the 400th GP for Sauber,” Nasr said in the team’s advance release. “Thinking about this year, I am very much looking forward to racing on this great track again.”

Nasr has four failures to finish this season and in the 13 races he has completed, has ended between 12th and 19th. He started and finished 19th last race at Suzuka, Japan, two weeks ago.

“I will do the best I can for us to achieve a similar result to last year, as scoring points is obviously our objective,” Nasr said.

“I am confident that we are keeping working to improve the Sauber C35-Ferrari, in order to make further steps to be more competitive.”

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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.