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IMSA: Jordan Taylor ready to race days after emergency appendectomy

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LONG BEACH, Calif. – Jordan Taylor practiced Friday morning on the streets of Long Beach, and the IMSA DPI points leader seems ready for Saturday’s 100-minute sprint race after undergoing an emergency appendectomy while on vacation in Hawaii.

Team owner Wayne Taylor, who is also the driver’s father, told NBCSports.com and the Associated Press after the opening session that his son was “fine” after getting behind the wheel of the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac Dpi-V.R that he shares with Renger van der Zande.

“He’s been off painkillers since Tuesday morning,” Wayne Taylor said of his son. “He’s only on Tylenol. It’s amazing.”

Wayne Taylor said his son woke up in pain on the last day of a three-day trip to Hawaii. Jordan Taylor was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he underwent the surgery late Monday night and stayed for a couple of days. Jordan and Wayne Taylor flew to California late Thursday night, and Jordan Taylor was at the track by 5 a.m. Friday for practice.

According to IMSA rules, Taylor would have been eligible to earn points by spending at least five minutes behind the wheel in Saturday’s race, but Wayne Taylor said he’s expecting his son to handle a full load in splitting stints with van der Zende.

“He’s not going to get out of the car,” Wayne Taylor said.

Kamui Kobayashi was summoned from Monaco to be on standby.

“We asked Kobayashi to come out just in case,” Taylor said. “We checked with IMSA, and (Jordan) was cleared. He had to be here at 5 a.m. to make sure he could get in the car.”

The Wayne Taylor Racing team of Taylor, van der Zande, Kobayashi and Fernando Alonso combined to win the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. Taylor, van der Zande and Matthieu Vaxiviere finished second last month at the 12 Hours of Sebring. The No. 10 has three consecutive top-two finishes dating to last season (including a victory in the 2018 finale at Petit Le Mans).

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.