From left, Matt Hagan, Billy Torrence, Jeg Coughlin Jr. All photos/videos: NHRA

NHRA: Billy Torrence, Matt Hagan, Jeg Coughlin Jr. earn wins at Phoenix

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Billy Torrence (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car) and Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) were the winners in Sunday’s final eliminations of the Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona (suburban Phoenix).

It was the second career Top Fuel win for Torrence, father of defending Top Fuel world champion Steve Torrence. The elder Torrence defeated Leah Pritchett (lost traction) in the final round.

“It’s just a blessing to be out here,” Billy Torrence said in an NHRA media release. “I’m trying not to choke up. The car ran great and they all worked so hard to keep a good car under me. Even Steve’s (Torrence) team came over to help them out and it was just outstanding.”

It was Billy Torrence’s weekend from start to finish, qualifying No. 1 and finishing No. 1, just like he did when he qualified No. 1 and finished No. 1 in his first career Top Fuel win, last year at Brainerd, Minnesota.

After his son Steve lost in the first round, Billy Torrence went on to defeat, in order, Terry Totten, Mike Salinas, Jordan Vandergriff and Pritchett, who appeared in her 14th career final, also at the location of her first career Top Fuel win in 2016.

In Funny Car: There’s something about Wild Horse Pass for Hagan, who won there for the third time in five years and earning his 30th career Funny Car victory, defeating defending 2018 Funny Car champion J.R. Todd in the final round.

Hagan also snapped a 0-2 lifetime mark in final rounds vs. Todd.

“For us, this win is huge with the new (Dodge) Hellcat body,” Hagan said. “Hats off to Dickie Venerables (crew chief). He won the race. He had a race car underneath me that was just going down the track every lap. We were able to put on a great show for our fans.”

Todd’s Toyota backfired as it left the starting line, triggering the mandatory safety system, allowing Hagan to cruise easily to the win.

It marked the seventh final round for Todd in the last nine NHRA national events, dating back to the last seven races of 2018 and the first two races of 2019. He came up short of giving team owner Connie Kalitta a win for a great 81st birthday present.

In Pro Stock:

Jeg Coughlin Jr. has had a lot of high points in his career, including five NHRA Pro Stock championships.

But Coughlin won’t soon forget Sunday’s race victory, as it came in his 1,000th round of Pro Stock competition. In addition, it was his 62nd career Pro Stock win and 81st overall victory in his lengthy drag racing career.

Coughlin caught a huge break in his final round match with Matt Hartford, as the latter fouled at the starting line, jumping the red light by .024 seconds.

“I felt really good behind the wheel,” Coughlin said. “We came out on top today and it feels great today to get our 1000th Pro Stock round win. Huge win today and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.”

It was Coughlin’s fourth career win at the suburban Phoenix track, having two previous wins in Pro Stock in 2000 and 2009, and once in Super Stock in 1995.

The next NHRA national event will be in three weeks, the 50th Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida, March 14-17.

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FINAL FINISHING ORDER:

TOP FUEL: 1. Billy Torrence; 2. Leah Pritchett; 3. Antron Brown; 4. Jordan Vandergriff; 5. Doug Kalitta; 6. Mike Salinas; 7. Austin Prock; 8. Terry McMillen; 9. Brittany Force; 10. Clay Millican; 11. Steve Torrence; 12. Richie Crampton; 13. Cameron Ferre; 14. Jim Maroney; 15. Terry Totten; 16. Scott Palmer.

FUNNY CAR: 1. Matt Hagan; 2. J.R. Todd; 3. Robert Hight; 4. Bob Tasca III; 5. Shawn Langdon; 6. Jack Beckman; 7. John Force; 8. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 9. Ron Capps; 10. Terry Haddock; 11. Tim Wilkerson; 12. Cruz Pedregon; 13. Blake Alexander; 14. Phil Burkart; 15. Jim Campbell; 16. Jeff Diehl.

PRO STOCK: 1. Jeg Coughlin; 2. Matt Hartford; 3. Deric Kramer; 4. Erica Enders; 5. Rodger Brogdon; 6. Bo Butner; 7. Jason Line; 8. Alex Laughlin; 9. Kenny Delco; 10. Fernando Cuadra; 11. Steve Graham; 12. Alan Prusiensky; 13. Joey Grose; 14. Chris McGaha; 15. Val Smeland; 16. Greg Anderson.

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FINAL RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: Billy Torrence, 3.965 seconds, 326.40 mph. def. Leah Pritchett, 9.568 seconds, 75.68 mph.

FUNNY CAR: Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.890, 325.06 mph. def. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, Broke.

PRO STOCK: Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Camaro, 6.557, 210.67 mph def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, Foul – Red Light.

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FINAL ROUND-BY-ROUND RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE — Mike Salinas, 5.690, 96.87 def. Scott Palmer, Foul – Centerline; Jordan Vandergriff, 3.692, 333.41 def. Brittany Force, 3.768, 314.02; Doug Kalitta, 3.741, 322.42 def. Jim Maroney, 6.447, 97.24; Antron Brown, 3.728, 330.63 def. Steve Torrence, 3.930, 256.50; Terry McMillen, 3.726, 329.02 def. Richie Crampton, 4.061, 215.79; Billy Torrence, 3.736, 329.42 def. Terry Totten, Foul – Centerline; Austin Prock, 3.748, 328.22 def. Clay Millican, 3.862, 306.74; Leah Pritchett, 3.722, 329.67 def. Cameron Ferre, 4.263, 207.82; QUARTERFINALS — B. Torrence, 3.687, 329.58 def. Salinas, 3.848, 275.17; Vandergriff, 3.734, 323.89 def. Kalitta, 3.735, 327.51; Pritchett, 3.731, 308.64 def. McMillen, 5.011, 146.69; Brown, 4.198, 261.12 def. Prock, 4.389, 179.40; SEMIFINALS — Pritchett, 3.721, 332.10 def. Brown, 3.763, 325.85; B. Torrence, 3.709, 328.70 def. Vandergriff, 9.920, 84.65; FINAL — B. Torrence, 3.965, 326.40 def. Pritchett, 9.568, 75.68.

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE — Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.901, 327.03 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.736, 168.41; John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.933, 317.19 def. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.968, 319.98; J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 4.655, 215.03 def. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.667, 182.62; Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.863, 329.67 def. Jeff Diehl, Camry, Broke; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.919, 324.12 def. Phil Burkart, Charger, 5.662, 126.26; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, No Time, No Speed def. Jim Campbell, Charger, Foul – Centerline; Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.264, 293.22 def. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 5.394, 133.08; Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.911, 326.24 def. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 5.244, 144.18; QUARTERFINALS — Todd, 3.967, 323.27 def. Johnson Jr., 5.048, 134.74; Hight, 3.879, 327.82 def. Force, 3.988, 325.92; Tasca III, 3.950, 321.96 def. Beckman, 3.963, 321.73; Hagan, 3.894, 327.19 def. Langdon, 3.951, 326.48; SEMIFINALS — Hagan, 3.921, 321.96 def. Tasca III, 3.983, 320.13; Todd, 3.919, 327.19 def. Hight, 3.922, 326.24; FINAL — Hagan, 3.890, 325.06 def. Todd, broke.

PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE — Deric Kramer, Chevy Camaro, 6.573, 210.18 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 7.305, 144.74; Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.568, 210.90 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 20.633, 48.17; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.577, 210.64 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.565, 210.44; Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.544, 211.53 def. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.590, 210.01; Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.556, 209.39 def. Val Smeland, Camaro, 12.750, 67.81; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.548, 211.10 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.637, 206.13; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.551, 211.06 def. Joey Grose, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.541, 211.73 def. Steve Graham, Camaro, 6.603, 208.97; QUARTERFINALS — Kramer, 6.567, 209.69 def. Butner, 6.582, 210.80; Enders, 6.552, 210.28 def. Line, 6.605, 190.67; Hartford, 6.569, 210.08 def. Brogdon, 6.538, 211.73; Coughlin, 6.562, 210.41 def. Laughlin, Foul – Red Light; SEMIFINALS — Hartford, 6.568, 209.79 def. Kramer, 6.555, 210.57; Coughlin, 6.541, 210.28 def. Enders, 6.575, 210.18; FINAL — Coughlin, 6.557, 210.67 def. Hartford, Foul – Red Light.

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UPDATED POINT STANDINGS:

TOP FUEL: 1. Billy Torrence, 178; 2. Doug Kalitta, 172; 3. Leah Pritchett, 145; 4. Steve Torrence, 137; 5. Terry McMillen, 132; 6. Mike Salinas, 122; 7. Antron Brown, 115; 8. Austin Prock, 106; 9. Jordan Vandergriff, 77; 10. Richie Crampton, 66.

FUNNY CAR: 1. Robert Hight, 205; 2. Matt Hagan, 160; 3. Jack Beckman, 151; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr., 132; 5. Bob Tasca III, 129; 6.(tie) John Force, 126; J.R. Todd, 126; 8. Shawn Langdon, 111; 9. Ron Capps, 89; 10. Cruz Pedregon, 86.

PRO STOCK: 1. Bo Butner, 181; 2. Jason Line, 157; 3. Erica Enders, 152; 4. Matt Hartford, 147; 5. Jeg Coughlin, 145; 6. Alex Laughlin, 136; 7. Deric Kramer, 110; 8. Rodger Brogdon, 100; 9. Chris McGaha, 84; 10.(tie) Steve Graham, 82; Val Smeland, 82.

We’ll have final round videos shortly. Please check back soon.

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Indy Lights: Askew clinches 2019 title while VeeKay wins Laguna Seca race 1

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MONTEREY, Calif – Rinus VeeKay may have won the first race of the weekend’s Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Saturday afternoon, but all all eyes post-race were all on the driver who finished the race in the fourth position.

That driver was Oliver Askew, who by simply starting the 30-lap event at the famed road course won the 2019 series title, along with the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series scholarship that guarantees a minimum of three races next season.

“It’s all sinking in,” Askew told NBC Sports following the race. “I’m really happy to be part of this team. They’re back to back champions now in Indy Lights, and I feel very fortunate to be driving in this car this year.

“This is what we worked for all year. I’m very happy to be in this position and I can’t wait to celebrate with my team.”

With the championship in Askew’s possession from the get-go, the best VeeKay could do for in race 1 was to win in dominant fashion. He went on to do just so.

After starting the race from the pole position, VeeKay led every lap from start to finish en route to his fifth victory of the season.

“We managed the car well and kept the car consistent throughout the whole race,” VeeKay said. “I got a great car from the team so I want to give a big shout out to them for giving me a winning car.”

Behind VeeKay, Portland race 2 winner Toby Sowery finished the race in the second position, while Robert Megennis finished third.

Live streaming coverage of race two of the Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca begins tomorrow afternoon at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results

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