NHRA Las Vegas winners (from left): Arana Jr., Butner, Salinas and Todd. Photo: NHRA.

NHRA Vegas Four-Wide Winners: Todd, Butner, Salinas, Arana Jr.

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Kalitta Motorsports driver J.R. Todd is once again doing his Elvis Presley imitation – belting out “Viva Las Vegas!”

The defending NHRA Funny Car champ won for the third consecutive time at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Sunday’s final round of the Denso Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals.

Also winning were Mike Salinas in Top Fuel (his first career victory), Bo Butner in Pro Stock and Hector Arana Jr. in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

IN FUNNY CAR: Todd just absolutely loves The Strip. It has kind of become his good luck charm.

And he continued to hit the jackpot Sunday.

Todd drove his DHL Toyota Camry to victory with a pass of 3.970 seconds at 319.07 mph. He defeated runner-up Tommy Johnson Jr., Jack Beckman and No. 1 qualifier Tim Wilkerson.

It’s all Kalitta Motorsports,” Todd said about his success in Las Vegas. “It seems like ever since I’ve come on board with this team, we’ve always run well here.

This whole team, all four cars, have a really good handle on this place, especially Todd Smith and Jon (Oberhofer, crew chiefs). It seems like the more we come here the better grip they get ahold of this place.”

IN TOP FUEL: Salinas broke through with his first career win. He began the day as the No. 1 qualifier and in the final round clocked a winning effort of 3.801 seconds at 330.39 mph.

Salinas and his Scrappers Racing dragster held off runner-up Brittany Force, Clay Millican and Doug Kalitta.

It means a lot,” Salinas said. “I have this program that I put in my head and I believed it would work. Alan Johnson (tuner) has been five years in the making. Didn’t say much, just let everything fall where it’s going to fall. We build something and now we can go racing.

The important thing, for me, is that I have four daughters coming into the sport. I set the bar for my family all the time and now we have a good bar for them to reach and meet from the (Pro Stock) motorcycle, to the A-Fuel, to our Pro Mod coming, to everything we’re going to do. It’s going to be a great thing.”

IN PRO STOCK: Butner, who won the 2017 championship, keeps rolling along, earning his third victory in the first four races of the 2019 season.

Butner’s winning pass was 6.677 seconds at 206.67 seconds, outlasting runner-up Matt Hartford, Jason Line and Greg Anderson. It was Butner’s first-ever win in four-wide races at either Las Vegas or Charlotte, and his second overall win at The Strip.

I learned that you can’t be a lazy winner,” Butner stated. “The win light is off now and it’s time for the next race.

We’ve got to work hard but I’m with the best team. I’m in the final with Greg and Jason, we’re like three brothers. It’s just great to get that with Ken (Black, team owner). It worked out to be a good day and just very blessed and can’t complain.”

IN PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: Arana Jr. (6.907 seconds at 195.97 mph) defeated runner-up Matt Smith, five-time champion Andrew and four-time champ Eddie Krawiec, who fouled with a red light start.

It was Arana Jr.’s second career win at The Strip.

That Lucas Oil motorcycle, she’s bad to the bone,” Arana Jr. said. “That’s just a testament to my team and the consistency.

We weren’t the fastest but we were consistent all weekend. I worked on my lights and they got better and better and I stepped it up when I needed to step it up in the final because the final was stacked.

I love going up against those guys. It makes me put out my best. It’s just something about racing those guys that you just dig deep and really go for it.”

The series moves to suburban Houston for this coming weekend’s Mopar Express Lane SpringNationals Presented by Pennzoil, the fifth race of the season.

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FINAL FINISHING ORDER:

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

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

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

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Hector Arana Jr; 2. Matt Smith; 3. Eddie Krawiec; 4. Andrew Hines; 5. Karen Stoffer; 6. Hector Arana; 7. Jerry Savoie; 8. Angie Smith; 9. Angelle Sampey; 10. Steve Johnson; 11. Joey Gladstone; 12. Cory Reed; 13. Ryan Oehler; 14. Kelly Clontz; 15. Jim Underdahl; 16. Freddie Camarena.

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FINAL RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: Mike Salinas, 3.801 seconds, 330.39 mph def. Brittany Force, 3.810 seconds, 321.42 mph and Doug Kalitta, 4.333 seconds, 193.74 mph and Clay Millican, 4.350 seconds, 264.23 mph.

FUNNY CAR: J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.970, 319.07 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 3.975, 313.29 and Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.370, 213.16 and Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.401, 205.35.

PRO STOCK: Bo Butner, Chevy Camaro, 6.677, 206.67 def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.667, 206.51 and Jason Line, Camaro, 6.674, 206.99 and Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.655, 207.94.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.907, 195.79 def. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.903, 197.02 and Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, foul and Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, broke.

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FINAL ROUND-BY-ROUND RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE — Clay Millican, 3.777, 328.14 and Terry Totten, 4.053, 301.54 def. Leah Pritchett, 6.768, 114.02 and Austin Prock, 20.242, 40.84; Brittany Force, 3.731, 320.74 and Richie Crampton, 3.769, 316.23 def. Scott Palmer, 3.798, 326.24 and Cameron Ferre, 3.998, 299.00; Steve Torrence, 3.729, 324.67 and Doug Kalitta, 3.780, 320.51 def. Terry McMillen, 3.770, 323.81 and Steven Chrisman, 6.102, 86.90; Mike Salinas, 3.747, 328.86 and Billy Torrence, 3.966, 271.95 def. Antron Brown, 4.072, 237.75.

SEMIFINALS — Salinas, 3.769, 325.45 and Millican, 3.793, 316.45 def. B. Torrence, 3.817, 319.22 and Totten, 4.157, 247.70; Force, 3.769, 318.99 and Kalitta, 3.790, 320.81 def. S. Torrence, 3.783,323.89 and Crampton, 4.903, 147.68;

FINAL — Salinas, 3.801, 330.39 def. Force, 3.810, 321.42, Kalitta, 4.333, 193.74 and Millican, 4.350, 264.23.

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE — Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.891, 325.69 and Jeff Diehl, Toyota Camry, 4.223, 264.23 def. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 4.538, 173.47 and Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 4.524, 186.30; Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 4.234, 229.27 and Ron Capps, Charger, 4.280, 265.06 def. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.332, 268.65 and Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.302, 289.88; John Force, Camaro, 3.916, 329.67 and Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.958, 322.88 def. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.981, 322.19 and Phil Burkart, Charger, 4.172, 263.56; Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.073, 288.03 and J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.349, 210.31 def. Gary Densham, Mustang, 4.330, 223.62 and Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.832, 168.14;

SEMIFINALS — Wilkerson, 3.996, 312.21 and Todd, 4.030, 314.24 def. Hagan, 4.017, 303.57 and Diehl, 5.727, 122.73; Johnson Jr., 3.994, 315.93 and Beckman, 4.010, 318.32 def. Force, 4.025, 321.81 and Capps, 4.037, 315.05;

FINAL — Todd, 3.970, 319.07 def. Johnson Jr., 3.975, 313.29, Beckman, 4.370, 213.16 and Wilkerson, 4.401, 205.35.

PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE — Matt Hartford, Chevy Camaro, 6.658, 206.73 and Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.687, 206.04 def. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.733, 203.06 and Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 10.559, 86.44; Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.661, 206.04 and Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.692, 207.78 def. Steve Graham, Camaro, 6.697, 206.51 and Joey Grose, Camaro, 6.712, 205.16; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.651, 205.72 and Jason Line, Camaro, 6.672, 206.83 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.721, 203.86 and Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.849, 171.25; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.639, 206.92 and Jeff Isbell, Ford Mustang, 6.851, 202.85 def. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, broke and Deric Kramer, Camaro, broke.

SEMIFINALS — Line, 6.680, 207.02 and Anderson, 6.689, 207.88 def. Laughlin, 6.694, 205.88 and Enders, 7.071, 204.05; Butner, 6.665, 207.02 and Hartford, 6.674, 206.48 def. McGaha, 6.672, 206.64 and Isbell, 6.801, 203.77;

FINAL — Butner, 6.677, 206.67 def. Hartford, 6.667, 206.51, Line, 6.674, 206.99 and Anderson, 6.655, 207.94.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: ROUND ONE — Karen Stoffer, Suzuki TL, 6.942, 193.21 and Andrew Hines, Harley Street Rod, 6.901, 195.51 def. Joey Gladstone, EBR, 6.999, 191.38 and Jim Underdahl, Suzuki GS, 7.064, 192.22; Eddie Krawiec, Street Rod, 6.903, 195.48 and Jerry Savoie, TL, 6.944, 191.81 def. Cory Reed, EBR, 7.127, 191.27 and Freddie Camarena, Suzuki GSXR, 7.355, 180.02; Hector Arana, EBR, 6.917, 196.39 and Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.891, 195.62 def. Steve Johnson, TL, 6.978, 189.98 and Kelly Clontz, TL, 7.009, 191.95; Matt Smith, EBR, 6.886, 197.31 and Angie Smith, EBR, 7.012, 193.18 def. Angelle Sampey, Street Rod, 6.970, 193.65 and Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.980, 195.39;

SEMIFINALS — Krawiec, 6.924, 194.46 and Arana Jr, 6.915, 195.62 def. Arana, 6.995, 195.76 and Savoie, 6.985, 192.38; Hines, 6.902, 195.19 and M. Smith, 6.919, 196.22 def. Stoffer, 6.942, 192.80 and A. Smith, 6.995, 194.55;

FINAL — Arana Jr, 6.907, 195.79 def. M. Smith, 6.903, 197.02, Krawiec, foul and Hines, broke.

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UPDATED POINT STANDINGS:

TOP FUEL: 1. Doug Kalitta, 319; 2. Mike Salinas, 286; 3. Steve Torrence, 256; 4. Leah Pritchett, 244; 5. Richie Crampton, 233; 6. (tie) Clay Millican, 231; Billy Torrence, 231; 8. Brittany Force, 224; 9. Terry McMillen, 198; 10. Antron Brown, 184.

FUNNY CAR: 1. Robert Hight, 363; 2. Jack Beckman, 297; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr., 283; 4. J.R. Todd, 280; 5. Matt Hagan, 271; 6. John Force, 258; 7. Tim Wilkerson, 246; 8. Ron Capps, 205; 9. Bob Tasca III, 198; 10. Cruz Pedregon, 179.

PRO STOCK: 1. Bo Butner, 425; 2. Alex Laughlin, 285; 3. Matt Hartford, 284; 4. Jason Line, 261; 5. Erica Enders, 239; 6. Jeg Coughlin, 225; 7. Rodger Brogdon, 220; 8. Greg Anderson, 208; 9. DericKramer, 199; 10. Chris McGaha, 189.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Andrew Hines, 201; 2. Hector Arana Jr, 198; 3. Eddie Krawiec, 188; 4. Matt Smith, 170; 5. Jerry Savoie, 105; 6. Joey Gladstone, 103; 7. Karen Stoffer, 88; 8. Ryan Oehler, 87; 9. (tie) Hector Arana, 85; Jim Underdahl, 85.

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Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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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.