NHRA Concord winners: Steve Torrence, Ron Capps, Jason Line, Matt Smith

From left, Matt Smith, Jason Line, Ron Capps, Steve Torrence. Photos and videos courtesy NHRA
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Steve Torrence continued to be unstoppable in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship, capturing Top Fuel honors in Sunday’s finals of the NHRA Carolina Nationals in Concord, North Carolina.

Torrence has now won each of the first four Countdown races and, with Sunday’s win, builds a big lead for the championship with just two races remaining in the Countdown.

Torrence (3.703 seconds at 329.67 mph) defeated 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion Brittany Force (3.708 seconds at 329.26 mph) to remain perfect in the 2018 Countdown.

It was Torrence’s ninth win in the first 22 races of the 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule – and the 25th triumph of his Top Fuel career.

Torrence becomes the first driver in Top Fuel or Funny Car history to sweep the first four races of the Countdown. He also won at Charlotte earlier this season in the Four-Wide Nationals.

Torrence defeated Chris Karamesines, Leah Pritchett, Tony Schumacher and Force to reach the winner’s circle on Sunday.

“It’s been truly unbelievable for us to go out and accomplish what we’ve done,” Torrence said in an NHRA media release. “We’re in the middle of this thing and it’s truly remarkable.

“I did my job today, but it’s a team and it takes the whole village to make this machine work. I couldn’t be more proud of what those guys are doing. They’re pushing me to the front and it’s pretty special to be part of.

“You don’t win a championship by default. You go up there and do your job when it’s crunch time. This was the biggest race of the season for us and we needed to capitalize, and we did what we needed to do.”

Torrence now has a commanding 169-point lead over second-ranked Clay Millican with just two races left in the season: Las Vegas (Oct. 25-28) and Pomona, California (Nov. 8-11).

In Funny Car: 2016 champ Ron Capps earned his third win of 2018 and his 61st career NHRA victory. Capps (3.890 seconds at 331.20 mph) defeated J.R. Todd (4.311 seconds at 214.96 mph) in Sunday’s final round.

Capps defeated Dale Creasy Jr., 2017 Funny Car champ Robert Hight, Tim Wilkerson and Todd to capture top Funny Car honors.

“To throw down those speeds and E.T.s when we needed it, that was very cool,” Capps said. “You’ve just got to be up for everything and I was just so glad that we did what we talked about doing.”

Capps now moves into third place in the Funny Car ranks, 109 points behind series leader Hight. By reaching the final round, Todd is now just 11 points behind Hight.

“We’ve got a lot of business left and it’s not over,” Capps said. “Anything can happen and we’re going to go down fighting. I can’t wait to celebrate and get to the next race. We’re gaining momentum and it really gives me a lot of confidence.”

In Pro Stock: Jason Line (6.531 seconds at 211.89 mph) earned his first win of the season and 48th of his Pro Stock career, defeating Pro Stock points leader Tanner Gray (6.534 seconds at 211.43 mph).

Line is a three-time NHRA Pro Stock champ, but has struggled this season. However, his win on Sunday – he defeated 2017 Pro Stock champ Bo Butner, five-time Pro Stock champ Jeg Coughlin Jr., No. 1 qualifier Drew Skillman and Gray – marked the 15th consecutive season he’s won at least one race in a season.

Line also is the 10th different winner in Pro Stock in the first 22 races this season.

“It’s been a struggle for sure, so I guess the good part of that is when you do finally win you definitely appreciate it,” said Line, who now has a Pro Stock-best four wins at zMAX Dragway. “I was just trying to be calm (against Gray) and cut the best light I was capable of cutting. It was a great run and our team did a great job on my racecar today.”

Gray had won two of the first three Countdown races (and seven this season). He reached the 10th final round this season on Sunday, defeating Alan Prusiensky, Alex Laughlin and two-time Pro Stock champ Erica Enders before falling to Line in the final round.

Even though he lost to Line, Gray still managed to extend his lead in the Pro Stock points standings to 130 points over Coughlin Jr.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle: Matt Smith rode to his third win of the season and also regained the points lead in the process. Smith (6.830 seconds at 196.64 mph) defeated Chip Ellis (fouled, red light at starting line) in Sunday’s final round.

Smith defeated Karen Stoffer, Scotty Pollacheck, Angelle Sampey and Ellis.

With his 21st career PSM win, Smith now holds a 41-point lead over LE Tonglet and a 56-point edge over 2017 PSM champ Eddie Krawiec.

“It’s pretty big if you look at the points,” said Smith, who has two playoff wins. “I went up and raced scared in Dallas (last week) and didn’t do my job, so I figured I would come here and do my job.

“All in all, the bike worked great and I just had to do my job. I said it to begin with that if we can win three races in the Countdown, I think we can win this championship. We just can’t have another first-round loss and we have to keep going rounds. We’re going to do everything we can to make this dream come true again.”

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FINAL FINISHING ORDER:

TOP FUEL: 1. Steve Torrence; 2. Brittany Force; 3. Tony Schumacher; 4. Mike Salinas; 5. Clay Millican; 6. Dom Lagana; 7. Doug Kalitta; 8. Leah Pritchett; 9. Antron Brown; 10. Richie Crampton; 11. Terry McMillen; 12. Scott Palmer; 13. Chris Karamesines; 14. Audrey Worm; 15. Kyle Wurtzel; 16. Pat Dakin.

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

PRO STOCK: 1. Jason Line; 2. Tanner Gray; 3. Erica Enders; 4. Drew Skillman; 5. Jeg Coughlin; 6. Alex Laughlin; 7. Vincent Nobile; 8. Bo Butner; 9. Fernando Cuadra; 10. Wally Stroupe; 11. Shane Tucker; 12. Alan Prusiensky; 13. Deric Kramer; 14. Greg Anderson.

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

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FINAL RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: Steve Torrence, 3.703 seconds, 329.67 mph def. Brittany Force, 3.708 seconds, 329.26 mph.

FUNNY CAR: Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.890, 331.20 def. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 4.311, 214.96.

PRO STOCK: Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.531, 211.89 def. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.534, 211.43.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: Matt Smith, EBR, 6.830, 196.64 def. Chip Ellis, Harley-Davidson, Foul – Red Light.

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FINAL ROUND-BY-ROUND RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE — Clay Millican, 4.405, 244.16 def. Kyle Wurtzel, 5.574, 119.80; Leah Pritchett, 3.707, 324.67 def. Richie Crampton, 3.750, 317.79; Doug Kalitta, 3.718, 329.42 def. Scott Palmer, 3.788, 326.00; Mike Salinas, 3.725, 331.12 def. Pat Dakin, 20.722, 23.17; Brittany Force, 3.717, 323.12 def. Audrey Worm, 5.162, 157.23; Steve Torrence, 3.954, 323.81 def. Chris Karamesines, 4.121, 225.37; Tony Schumacher, 3.699, 329.91 def. Antron Brown, 3.736, 328.14; Dom Lagana, 3.716, 329.42 def. Terry McMillen, 3.780, 324.98; QUARTERFINALS — Salinas, 3.723, 329.83 def. Kalitta, 3.741, 328.30; Force, 3.702, 328.54 def. Lagana, 3.730, 329.58; Schumacher, 3.712, 330.55 def. Millican, 3.729, 328.86; Torrence, 3.716, 330.96 def. Pritchett, 4.222, 219.76; SEMIFINALS — Torrence, 3.728, 328.38 def. Schumacher, 3.718, 329.42; Force, 3.708, 330.07 def. Salinas, 3.737, 328.94; FINAL — Torrence, 3.703, 329.67 def. Force, 3.708, 329.26.

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE — Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.915, 308.28 def. Jim Campbell, Dodge Charger, 7.556, 86.70; Dave Richards, Mustang, 4.283, 279.27 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 7.265, 112.70; Ron Capps, Charger, 3.926, 328.86 def. Dale Creasy Jr., Dodge Stratus, 4.041, 316.67; J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.874, 330.55 def. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 3.964, 325.22; Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.019, 270.00 def. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.132, 232.31; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.891, 328.62 def. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 9.638, 78.22; Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.877, 330.96 def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.906, 329.26; John Force, Camaro, 3.970, 325.45 def. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.146, 256.60; QUARTERFINALS — J. Force, 3.948, 329.18 def. Richards, 4.272, 260.56; Wilkerson, 3.910, 328.46 def. Hagan, 3.903, 323.58; Todd, 3.919, 325.53 def. Pedregon, 3.943, 306.46; Capps, 3.889, 332.43 def. Hight, 3.953, 285.23; SEMIFINALS — Todd, 3.891, 326.48 def. J. Force, 3.968, 331.12; Capps, 3.903, 320.97 def. Wilkerson, 3.978, 323.97; FINAL — Capps, 3.890, 331.20 def. Todd, 4.311, 214.96.

PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE — Vincent Nobile, Chevy Camaro, 6.522, 211.30 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 18.517, 33.29; Alex Laughlin, Dodge Dart, 6.505, 211.83 def. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 16.308, 37.67; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.503, 211.96 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.526, 211.76; Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.499, 212.76 def. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.535, 210.77; Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.522, 212.09 def. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 12.410, 71.33; Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.537, 211.63 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 12.705, 69.24; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.493, 212.73 def. Wally Stroupe, Camaro, 6.722, 205.79; QUARTERFINALS — Skillman, 15.965, 34.99 was unopposed; Gray, 6.563, 211.66 def. Laughlin, 6.529, 211.39; Line, 6.510, 212.16 def. Coughlin, 6.527, 211.89; Enders, 6.521, 212.26 def. Nobile, 6.585, 211.46; SEMIFINALS — Gray, 6.527, 211.20 def. Enders, 6.529, 211.36; Line, 6.527, 211.86 def. Skillman, 6.547, 211.10; FINAL — Line, 6.531, 211.89 def. Gray, 6.534, 211.43.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: ROUND ONE — Angie Smith, Buell, 6.902, 191.10 def. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 8.462, 117.98; Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.883, 194.02 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.910, 192.19; Chip Ellis, Harley-Davidson, 6.778, 197.19 def. Joey Gladstone, Buell, 6.973, 194.32; Matt Smith, 6.869, 196.67 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.010, 192.33; Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.878, 194.18 def. Hector Arana Jr, 6.855, 197.65; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.812, 196.53 def. Hector Arana, 6.903, 196.56; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.848, 197.91 def. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 7.073, 158.99; Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.809, 196.90 def. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.940, 194.77; QUARTERFINALS — M. Smith, 6.881, 197.19 def. Pollacheck, 6.890, 194.27; Ellis, 6.831, 197.08 def. A. Smith, 6.913, 191.67; Savoie, 6.842, 194.27 def. Hines, 6.857, 195.53; Sampey, 6.834, 195.31 def. Krawiec, 6.837, 197.91; SEMIFINALS — M. Smith, 6.869, 194.86 def. Sampey, 6.922, 193.18; Ellis, 6.854, 197.13 def. Savoie, 16.849, 35.06; FINAL — M. Smith, 6.830, 196.64 def. Ellis, Foul – Red Light.

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UPDATED POINT STANDINGS:

TOP FUEL: 1. Steve Torrence, 2,592; 2. Clay Millican, 2,423; 3. Tony Schumacher, 2,382; 4. Leah Pritchett, 2,297; 5. Antron Brown, 2,253; 6. Brittany Force, 2,243; 7. Mike Salinas, 2,228; 8. Doug Kalitta, 2,225; 9. Terry McMillen, 2,221; 10. Scott Palmer, 2,149.

FUNNY CAR: 1. Robert Hight, 2,445; 2. J.R. Todd, 2,434; 3. Ron Capps, 2,336; 4. Tim Wilkerson, 2,334; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., 2,296; 6. Courtney Force, 2,264; 7. John Force, 2,241; 8. Matt Hagan, 2,229; 9. Jack Beckman, 2,204; 10. Shawn Langdon, 2,152.

PRO STOCK: 1. Tanner Gray, 2,509; 2. Jeg Coughlin, 2,379; 3. Vincent Nobile, 2,373; 4. Drew Skillman, 2,356; 5. Erica Enders, 2,338; 6. Greg Anderson, 2,299; 7. Jason Line, 2,291; 8. Bo Butner, 2,186; 9. Deric Kramer, 2,168; 10. Chris McGaha, 2,096.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Matt Smith, 2,426; 2. LE Tonglet, 2,385; 3. Eddie Krawiec, 2,370; 4. Jerry Savoie, 2,326; 5. Andrew Hines, 2,291; 6. Hector Arana Jr, 2,288; 7. Angie Smith, 2,221; 8. Angelle Sampey, 2,216; 9. Steve Johnson, 2,209; 10. Scotty Pollacheck, 2,177.

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Supercross 2023: Results and points after Houston

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Eli Tomac led all 23 laps of the Monster Energy Supercross race at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas and the results show he now has three wins in the season and is one shy of tying Ricky Carmichael’s 48 for third on the all-time list. With this win, he takes a seven point lead in the standings with 12 rounds remaining.

For Tomac at Houston, it was literally a tale of two races. Both his heat and the main started the same with Tomac grabbing the holeshot, but he was passed quickly by Chase Sexton in the heat. Tomac faded quickly after getting passed and was trailing by almost eight seconds at the checkered flag, which caused him to retreat to the hauler and reassess his lines. Without making any adjustments to the bike, Tomac entered the Main with a new attitude, and simply rode better.

Supercross Results Houston
Chase Sexton played it safe in the sand, but he was aggressive in every other turn. – Feld Motor Sports

Sexton had so great a lead in his heat that one could not even use the cliche that he left Tomac in his dust. By the time the rider with the No. 1 plate crossed the same real estate as the No. 23, the dust was well settled. Sexton had a modest start on the initial gate drop and ended Lap 1 in fourth. He worked his way past Aaron Plessinger on Lap 3 and got around Jason Anderson three laps later. Sexton was able to catch Tomac and pressure him, but he picked a safe, i.e. slow line through the sand section and could never get alongside his rival.

RESULTS: Click here for 450 Results; Click here for full 250 East Main Results

After starting the season with back-to-back seventh-place finishes, Anderson now has a pair of podiums. He won his heat and was easily one of the top three riders in the field, ultimately finishing behind the riders who finished 1-2 in the other preliminary. Anderson was subdued on the podium – happy he was there, but disappointed he has not yet found a way around the riders he is chasing in the points.

In the early stages of the race, Plessinger appeared to have a bike capable of winning. He pressured Tomac on the first two laps and was setting up the pass just as a red flag waved for an injury to Dylan Ferrandis that brought out a red flag. He lost second to Anderson on the restart and eventually slipped to fourth to score his first top-five of the season.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

Cooper Webb rounded out the top five. Along with Sexton, he is now one of just two riders with a sweep of that mark in 2023, but with Tomac’s three wins, he is beginning to slip in the points. Webb sits third in the standings, 12 points behind the leader.

Ken Roczen entered the race as the third rider with a sweep of the top five and progressively better results in the first three races of 2023. Had the pattern held, he would have finished at least second, but he struggled for most of the night, finishing fifth in his heat and eighth in the Main. There may have been extenuating circumstances, however. Ferrandis’ injury was suffered when he landed on the back of Roczen’s bike and potentially damaged the No. 94 Suzuki.

Click here for 450 Main results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points | Lap Chart


The 250 East division made their 2023 debut in Houston, but the name atop the board was familiar. Hunter Lawrence joined his brother Jett Lawrence as the early points’ leader in their respective divisions, but it didn’t come without a little anxiety.

Riding behind Supercross newbie Tom Vialle on the second lap, Lawrence was forced to take evasive action when the leader pitched his bike sideways to scrub speed over a jump. Lawrence veered left and landed off course, but he cleared the Tuff Blox and kept his bike straight. Lawrence made the pass for the lead on Lap 18 and never relinquished it.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

In his first attempt on a 250, Max Anstie ascended to the podium. – Feld Motor Sports

England’s Max Anstie made the move from 450s to 250s this year after scoring a best result of 11th on the big bike at Anaheim 2 last year. It didn’t take anytime at all to find the front for Anstie, who finished second in both his heat and main.

It has been a while since Jordon Smith stood on the podium: February 23, 2019 to be exact when he finished that well in Detroit. A series of injuries kept him off the bike for much of 2020 and 2021, but he’s proving to be a factor when he’s healthy.

Click here for 250 Main results | 250 East Rider Points | Combined Rider Points | Lap Chart

There was a lot of hype surrounding the debut of Haiden Deegan in the 250 class and he proved it was merited. He finished fourth in his heat and main. He was as far down as ninth at one point in the feature before slowly picking off riders on his way to the front.

Jeremy Martin finished fifth and now has a streak of three consecutive top-fives to his credit stretching back to last year. Unfortunately, his pair of strong runs in 2022 were interrupted by injury.

Making impressive debuts in the 250 division, Vialle recovered from a fall to finish seventh, Chance Hymas finished eighth, and Talon Hawkins just missed the top 10 with an 11th.

2023 Results

Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Chase Sexton falls
Week 1: Eli Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s