New NHRA Top Fuel points leader Steve Torrence can ditch the conspiracy theories. The Capco Contractors Dragster driver said Monday he had feared somebody had put a curse on him or “sprayed win-repellant on me” as the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals approached.
His victory over surprise finalist Kebin Kinsley erased his fears, as he earned not only his seventh triumph of the season but also the No. 1 seeding for the six-race Countdown to the Championship that starts in two weeks at Charlotte.
Torrence, winner also of Saturday’s $100,000 Traxxas Shootout bonus race jackpot, said, “To be able to do this in the same weekend is surreal. I don’t even know if I know what’s going on right now. Unless you’re in this situation, I don’t know that you can explain it. You’re overjoyed. But it’s a marathon. I’m wore out.”
But he understood the significance of it: “If you win all kinds of championships but you don’t win Indy, you really ain’t got shit.”
Torrence was runner-up to Shawn Langdon in 2013, to Richie Crampton in 2014, and to Tony Schumacher last September. He also was a two-time runner-up in the Traxxas Shootout.
“I was glad to get the monkey off my back,” Torrence said.
In this battle of Texans, Kilgore native Torrence covered the Lucas Oil Raceway 1,000-foot course with a winning 3.757-second elapsed time at 322.96 mph as Kennedale’s Kinsley lost traction immediately on the launch and finished with a 10.820, 48.47 showing.
Torrence shared the winners circle with three Indiana-born or based racers: JR Todd Funny Car, Lawrenceburg, Drew Skillman Pro Stock, Bargersville, and Eddie Krawiec Pro Stock Motorcycle, Avon. Torrence, Todd, and Skillman are first time U.S. Nationals winners.
JR Todd, who switched this season from the Top Fuel class, claimed the Funny Car trophy over final-round rival Ron Capps. Driving the DHL Toyota Camry for Kalitta Motorsports, Todd clocked a winning 3.923-second 1,00-foot pass at 325.61 mph. With 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi in his cheering section, points leader Capps -- the NAPA Dodge Charger driver for Don Schumacher Racing -- challenged with a 3.949-second, 325.53-mph pass in his quest for a first victory here.
Skillman raced the Gray Motorsports-powered Camaro to his fourth Pro Stock victory in the past six races this summer. He used a holeshot to beat six-time Indianapolis victor Greg Anderson. Skillman’s 6.676-second, 206.61-mph topped Anderson’s quicker and faster 6.660, 208.01. The difference was Skillman’s .022-second reaction time at the starting line, compared to Anderson’s .050.
In the bike class, Vance & Hines Racing’s Eddie Krawiec registered the biggest success yet for the brand-new Harley-Davidson Street Rod, defeating Hector Arana Jr.in the final round. Krawiec clocked a 6.858-second E.T. and 196.90-mph speed. Arana Jr. crossed the finish line in 6.886 seconds at 195.48 mph.
By Susan Wade
#NHRA Racing #Motorsports
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