Photos/videos courtesy of NHRA (Atlanta winners (from left) Ron Capps, Andrew Hines, Steve Torrence

NHRA Atlanta winners: Steve Torrence, Ron Capps, Andrew Hines

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Defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence earned his second straight win in Sunday’s finals of the Arby’s Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia.

Also capturing wins were Ron Capps in Funny Car and Andrew Hines in Pro Stock Motorcycle. The Pro Stock class did not compete in this event.

Here’s how things played out in the seventh race of the 24-race NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series:

IN TOP FUEL: Torrence, who earned his first career Top Fuel at Atlanta Dragway in 2012, felt right at home again on Sunday, covering the drag strip with a pass of 3.863 seconds at 320.20 mph, defeating Brittany Force (3.989 seconds at 274.00 mph).

The final round matchup featured the top two qualifiers of the weekend and the two most recent Top Fuel world champs (Force in 2017, Torrence in 2018).

It also was the 29th career win for the Top Fuel points leader and third at the track.

When you have a group of guys that sticks together and that continuity is there, that’s the reason for success,” Torrence said in an NHRA media release. “As a driver, I need to do my job and give them the best driving ability I possible can because they’re giving me the best race car they possibly can.

My guys are second to none and I would put them up against anybody out here. We went down the track every time we needed to and we’ve had a really good car. It’s really cool to have Arby’s out here and be the first guy to ever win the Arby’s Southern Nationals.”

IN FUNNY CAR: Capps, the 2017 Funny Car champion, earned his first win of the 2019 season with a run of 4.068 seconds at 315.34.

Capps earned the win by getting a great jump on final round opponent Tim Wilkerson, who ran a close race but couldn’t top Capps.

Wilkerson’s run was 4.052 seconds at 310.05 mph.

It was Capps’ third career win at Atlanta and his 62nd overall career win in a Funny car, extending a streak to 11 straight seasons with at least one win.

An average race car driver could have probably won in that car today,” Capps said. “This was a car you dream about driving. (Crew chief) Rahn Tobler pulled out the vintage Rahn Tobler, and that just gave me more and more confidence. It was just amazing and to get a (Dodge) Hellcat win was huge.”

IN PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: Just like Torrence, Andrew Hines earned his second straight win of the season, his third victory overall (in four races) in 2019 and his 51st career triumph on his Harley-Davidson two-wheeler.

Hines (6.865 seconds at 195.05 mph) defeated Jerry Savoie in the final round.

It also was the 100th career win for Harley-Davidson in the class, a streak that began back in 2004 when Hines earned his first career PSM event in 2004.

It was a good day and my motorcycle is nothing like I’ve ever had in my career,” said Hines, who now has three wins at Atlanta Dragway. “It’s working really well and doesn’t do much wrong. All in all, it was a fantastic day.

To get 100 wins for Harley-Davidson, it’s monumental. It was a very big struggle at first, and there’s been trials and tribulations, but it’s really nice to get the 100th.”

The series takes next weekend off before returning to action May 17-19 at the Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va.

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FINAL FINISHING ORDER:

TOP FUEL: 1. Steve Torrence; 2. Brittany Force; 3. Shawn Reed; 4. Jordan Vandergriff; 5. Antron Brown; 6. Leah Pritchett; 7. Dom Lagana; 8. Scott Palmer; 9. Clay Millican; 10. Austin Prock; 11. Luigi Novelli; 12. Audrey Worm; 13. Doug Kalitta; 14. Richie Crampton; 15. Pat Dakin; 16. Cameron Ferre.

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

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

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FINAL ROUND RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: Steve Torrence, 3.863 seconds, 320.20 mph def. Brittany Force, 3.989 seconds, 274.00 mph.

FUNNY CAR: Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.068, 315.34 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.052, 310.05.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.865, 195.05 def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.919, 193.65.

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FINAL ROUND-BY-ROUND RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE — Jordan Vandergriff, 3.817, 286.80 def. Pat Dakin, Foul – Red Light; Antron Brown, 3.771, 323.89 def. Clay Millican, 3.779, 320.89; Brittany Force, 3.887, 316.08 def. Cameron Ferre, 12.284, 61.95; Shawn Reed, 3.856, 320.13 def. Doug Kalitta, 4.208, 254.18; Dom Lagana, 3.819, 319.98 def. Austin Prock, 3.849, 321.42; Steve Torrence, 3.782, 319.60 def. Luigi Novelli, 3.940, 274.66; Leah Pritchett, 3.812, 317.79 def. Audrey Worm, 4.008, 289.88; Scott Palmer, 3.971, 265.85 def. Richie Crampton, 4.431, 180.60; QUARTERFINALS — Reed, 4.232, 265.74 def. Lagana, 7.933, 83.31; Vandergriff, 3.871, 313.15 def. Pritchett, 3.898, 306.95; Torrence, 4.043, 263.41 def. Palmer, 8.919, 86.97; Force, 3.843, 314.83 def. Brown, 3.888, 299.33; SEMIFINALS — Torrence, 3.876, 318.17 def. Reed, 3.864, 315.78; Force, 3.893, 309.20 def. Vandergriff, 4.630, 165.05; FINAL — Torrence, 3.863, 320.20 def. Force, 3.989, 274.00.

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE — Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.963, 321.12 def. Cruz Pedregon, Dodge Charger, 5.753, 121.59; Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.942, 310.91 def. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 5.681, 122.10; J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 4.696, 172.94 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, Foul – Red Light; John Force, Camaro, 3.994, 327.74 def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.040, 312.78; Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.020, 314.97 def. Dave Richards, Mustang, 4.406, 231.44; Ron Capps, Charger, 4.076, 315.78 def. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 4.414, 202.09; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.037, 309.84 def. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.113, 287.35; Paul Lee, Camry, 6.348, 102.03 def. Blake Alexander, Mustang, Broke; QUARTERFINALS — Wilkerson, 5.595, 231.79 def. Tasca III, 6.885, 128.97; Hight, 4.376, 279.90 def. Lee, 4.967, 169.61; Capps, 4.022, 317.57 def. Force, 4.312, 220.80; Johnson Jr., 4.334, 218.62 def. Todd, 10.638, 76.09; SEMIFINALS — Wilkerson, 4.084, 313.66 def. Hight, 4.182, 258.02; Capps, 4.071, 317.19 def. Johnson Jr., 4.091, 310.27; FINAL — Capps, 4.068, 315.34 def. Wilkerson, 4.052, 310.05.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: ROUND ONE — Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 9.709, 87.09 def. Matt Smith, Foul – Red Light; Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.916, 192.38 def. Cory Reed, 7.018, 191.00; Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.927, 195.59 def. Joey Gladstone, 6.953, 192.08; Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 7.129, 157.45 def. Hector Arana, Foul – Red Light; Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.958, 190.00 def. Angie Smith, 6.987, 192.28; Hector Arana Jr, 6.974, 192.88 def. Scotty Pollacheck, 7.028, 189.76; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.917, 195.53 def. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 7.068, 190.11; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.872, 194.80 def. Melissa Surber, Buell, 7.011, 189.82; QUARTERFINALS — Arana Jr, 6.919, 194.49 def. Sampey, 7.264, 145.42; Savoie, 6.938, 187.96 def. Johnson, 6.918, 192.25; Krawiec, 6.901, 195.22 def. Stoffer, Foul – Red Light; Hines, 6.881, 194.41 def. Oehler, 6.957, 194.80; SEMIFINALS — Savoie, 6.951, 192.77 def. Krawiec, 6.930, 194.07; Hines, 6.897, 193.99 def. Arana Jr, 6.913, 192.77; FINAL — Hines, 6.865, 195.05 def. Savoie, 6.919, 193.65.

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UPDATED POINT STANDINGS:

TOP FUEL: 1. Steve Torrence, 579; 2. Brittany Force, 483; 3. Doug Kalitta, 464; 4. Leah Pritchett, 433; 5. Clay Millican, 427; 6. Mike Salinas, 384; 7. Antron Brown, 373; 8. Richie Crampton, 329; 9. Terry McMillen, 319; 10. Austin Prock, 288.

FUNNY CAR: 1. Robert Hight, 663; 2. Matt Hagan, 472; 3. John Force, 470; 4. J.R. Todd, 456; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., 445; 6. Tim Wilkerson, 436; 7. Ron Capps, 430; 8. Jack Beckman, 425; 9. Shawn Langdon, 365; 10. Bob Tasca III, 338.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Andrew Hines, 444; 2. Eddie Krawiec, 366; 3. Hector Arana Jr, 356; 4. Matt Smith, 237; 5. Jerry Savoie, 233; 6. Ryan Oehler, 211; 7. Karen Stoffer, 204; 8. Joey Gladstone, 170; 9. Hector Arana, 169; 10. Angie Smith, 168.

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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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