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Schmidt Peterson Motorsports names new general manager

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Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced Wednesday that Piers Phillips has stepped down after three years as General Manager of the organization, effective immediately.

“After considerate and thoughtful discussions about the future of both the organization and Phillips’ involvement, his departure was a joint decision,” according to a media release.

Piers Phillips

Team manager Taylor Kiel has been named the organization’s new GM.

The 31-year-old Kiel has been with the organization since 2008.

“Both Ric (SPM co-owner Ric Peterson) and I are very thankful to Piers for the impact he has had on the team for the last three years and for helping us to get to where we are today,” noted Sam Schmidt, co-owner of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

“We wish him nothing but the best in whatever he chooses to do next.”

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.