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

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



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.



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.



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.



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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IndyCar champion Will Power completes ‘Victory Lap’ at ceremony in Indianapolis

Will Power Victory Lap
Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment

INDIANAPOLIS – Will Power went on his “Victory Lap” last week to celebrate his second career championship as the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series champion.

It began with several media interviews in Monterey, California, the day after he won the championship with a third-place finish in the Sept. 11 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.

From there, it was off to Los Angeles for more interviews and personal appearances that included a VIP Tour at the Petersen Automotive Museum, several appearances on SiriusXM and lunch at The Ivy, where the Team Penske IndyCar Series driver was treated to Wagyu Beef.

“It was one of the best steaks I’ve ever had in my life,” Power told NBCSports.com.

From L.A. back to Power’s North Carolina home, near Team Penske’s home base of Mooresville, there was one stop left on Sept. 17 — the Victory Lap Celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, an invitation-only banquet where Power and his No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet crew at Team Penske were honored for the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series championship.

They didn’t even have to check into a hotel and spend another night on the road. Power and his team left on a Team Penske plane from the Statesville, N.C., airport at 4 p.m. ET Saturday to fly to Indianapolis. On arrival an hour later, a limo bus took the team to IMS.

Power led the 2022 season with five NTT P1 Awards for pole, earning the NTT P1 Award as the best qualifier of the season for the fifth time in his career. Power also made history with his 68th career pole, breaking the all-time mark held by the legendary Mario Andretti.

Power and Scott Dixon also became just two of only five drivers to complete every lap of every race in IndyCar Series history.

“What a year,” Power said as he was awarded his personal Astor Cup trophy (the second in his collection after the 2014 championship. “What a phenomenal year coming off one of my worst seasons personally. We came back with a vengeance.

“I want to thank Roger and Kathy Penske for everything they have done for me over the years. I wouldn’t be standing here and have the numbers I have without what Roger has done for me. I’m given a car every week that is capable of winning the pole, races, championships, and Indianapolis 500s. I’m so grateful for that.

“Also, to Greg Penske, you are there every week now at every event and I know we will be in good hands moving forward with the Penske Family.”

There are many on Power’s team and at home, that helped support Power throughout his career. None is bigger than Power’s wife, Liz, who told Power before the season that he would win the championship and break Andretti’s record.

“I must thank my wife. I’m so lucky to have a wife with that crystal ball that can tell me what is going to happen,” Power said. “I can’t think you enough, babe. I love you so much and you have been a big support to me my whole career. We’ve been together 17 years, and I’ve been in the series 17 years. She has been such a huge support to me. The mother of our child and she is a fantastic mother.

“She can’t tell the future. She just had faith in me.”

Liz Power’s premonition came true and that allowed Power and his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet team to celebrate Penske’s 17th IndyCar championship and 42nd title in the racing team’s history.

“The 12 crew this year, I’ve never had such a great group of guys,” Power said. “Trevor Lacasse (chief mechanic) is such a calm guy, but he does such a meticulous job on the preparation of the car. He is very, very good at keeping the whole crew happy. It feels as if there is no pressure on us. That’s a huge part in getting the most out of people. It was our first year together with you as a crew chief. What a great year to start our relationship.

“Dave Faustino (Power’s longtime engineer), we’ve worked together for 15 years. He’s almost like a wife to me, a partner … apart from sleeping together. We have a very good working relationship. Sorry Dave, I’m an awkward person and you are not.

“The things we have been through in our years together, it’s crazy that we continually improve and get better. We are standing on the podium after winning the championship and we are talking about the car, the race, and the tires. We weren’t talking about the championship.

“We never stop. The other boys were laughing at us, but I’m already thinking about next year.

“Ron Ruzewski (Team Penske IndyCar Managing Director and strategist) on the radio, always calm. He has actually made me a calm person. I rarely get upset on the radio anymore.”

Power also recognized the fans who helped boost attendance at many venues on the schedule this season as NBC Sports enjoyed its largest IndyCar audience yet.

“This series is growing,” Power said. “With open wheel racing now so popular because of Formula One, it’s really our time to push and put money behind it and go now and take IndyCar to another level because we have the best racing product in the world.

“I have to thank my teammates and (Team Penske president) Tim Cindric. I can’t tell you how hard we push each other. We are ultracompetitive and love each other and push each other hard, so thank you.”

Power won the championship by 16 points over hard-charging teammate Josef Newgarden, who finished second in the standings for the third year in a row.

“Overall, I’m filled with a lot of pride for our team and what we were able to do this year,” Newgarden said in his banquet address. “Any year that you step in the championship, you can easily see the challenges it presents everybody.

“It’s a very difficult challenge for the teams and drivers. To be a part of it, make it through it and for us at Team Penske, to topple it, is a very big deal. We’re all competitive.

“The tough thing about being in a championship fight, especially with teammates is we all want to be the best. That’s how it should be. We are competitive people and want to be the best. But it’s a team sport.

“Will, tremendous season, great, great job. I think the world of everybody on our team. It’s a big group. I’m so happy for all of you on the 12-car crew. There is so much we can take into next year.”

Six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon was unable to attend the banquet because of the Goodwood Festival in England but sent congratulations to Power via a video message.

“I really want to congratulate Will Power,” Dixon said. “You drove a tremendous season this year. Even with some of the lows that you had, some of the mistakes with qualifying, you bounced back tremendously. I know how tough these championships are and to see you do it in the style that you did it in the last race of the season, massive congratulations.”

Power’s championship formula included one victory, nine podiums and 12 top-five finishes. Teammate Josef Newgarden was second in the championship with five wins but only six podiums.

Cindric saluted Power’s season in accepting the championship team owner award.

“Will, you took it to another level this year,” Cindric said. “You are the complete package. You completed every lap, had nine podiums, finished out of the top 10 just four times, broke Mario Andretti’s record, and you did it all without cussing at the officials on national TV.

“One complaint I do has is while most of us think you might be from another planet, you never told us your wife was a fortune teller.”

Cindric also honored the seasons of Penske drivers Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin, who won three times in his second full season (“You are one of only two full-time IndyCar drivers that has driven for us in the past 23 years that hasn’t won an Indy 500 or an IndyCar championship. Your time is coming.”).

Kyle Moyer was named team manager of the year (his fifth time and Penske’s sixth). Pennzoil presented Lacasse with the chief mechanic of the year for the first time, the sixth time for Team Penske. The No. 12 crew also won the Firestone Pit Performance Award for the most pit stop performance award points in 2022.

Power, Newgarden and McLaughlin delivered nine of Chevrolet’s series-leading 11 victories this season, helping Chevy win the Manufacturer Award for the seventh time since it returned to the series in 2012 and the first time since 2017. Jim Danahy, U.S. vice president, Competition Motorsports Engineering for Chevrolet, accepted the award on behalf of his team.

Christian Lundgaard was honored as the 2022 NTT IndyCar rookie of the year. Lundgaard, from Denmark, scored one podium, two top-five finishes and seven top-10s in the No. 30 Honda fielded by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. He edged David Malukas of Dale Coyne Racing with HMD by 18 points in the standings for first-year series drivers.

Christian Lundgaard (Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment)

“It’s been a tough season and looking at how it panned out, we struggled so much at the beginning of the season and how we were able to turn it around means so much to me and the team,” Lundgaard said. “It’s the one thing that you only get one shot at. I’m happy to have it.

“Being the first Dane at the Indy 500 certainly helps. Competing here for me is quite important and also special. To win this award and to be here in future years means so much to me. I have a chance to compete for wins and championships.

“This team gave me this opportunity at this track one year ago. We came back and got redemption. We got our first podium here. This year was 40 years ago that Bobby Rahal won the same award. It’s pretty special to keep it among the team.”

Sweden’s Linus Lundqvist was honored as Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion after a dominant season for HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing. Lundqvist won a series-high five races in the No. 26 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing entry and clinched the Lights championship with a race to spare, ending with a 92-point advantage over Sting Ray Robb. HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing owners Henry and Daiva Malukas accepted the team championship.

“I’m very proud of that,” Lundqvist said. “It’s cool to see. We are starting to look to the future, and this might not be doing too bad. It’s been great. As most of you can guess with Henry and Daiva Malukas (team owners), it’s been an incredible journey. So much fun that we’ve had. To be on the grid this year was so much of a struggle for us. I didn’t even know I would be doing this until January.

“To be able to pull out the season that we had, I cannot thank this team enough. We will celebrate this for a long time. I’m so happy and proud about that.”

Outgoing IndyCar Director of Medical Affairs Dr. Geoffrey Billows also was honored as he is leaving that role while battling cancer.

“When I think of Dr. Billows, I think of two words,” IndyCar president Jay Frye said. “One is selfless and the other is tough. He’s gone through a lot these last couple of years, and he didn’t want anybody to know. He’s an amazing man, and we are very grateful for what you have done.”

Dr. Geoffrey Billows with IndyCar president Jay Frye (Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment)

Billows was presented with a framed checkered flag signed by all drivers in the series as well as other IndyCar officials and dignitaries.

“I was not expecting this at all,” Billows said. “This means so much for me to be part of this family for the past 30 years. I’ve been presented with opportunities I never thought I would ever have. I can’t tell you how much I love all of you guys and care for all of you guys.

“Thank you so much. I want to also thank my wife, Tammy, who has been a pillar of strength as I continue on this journey with cancer for the past two years as well. You will still see me as a consultant because I love this too much to quit altogether.”

When the evening concluded, Team Penske boarded a bus to the airport for the short return flight to Statesville. They were home by midnight.

Power’s Victory Lap was complete.

“The best thing about this is I get to sleep in my own bed tonight,” Power said.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500