2019 NHRA FALLNATIONALS - EVENT RESULTS
SUNDAY - B. TORRENCE, HAGAN, ANDERSON AND SAVOIE RACE TO KEY VICTORIES AT AAA TEXAS NHRA FALLNATIONALS
It was a Texas-sized celebration for Billy Torrence on Sunday at Texas Motorplex, as the Top Fuel Texan powered to the victory at his home track during the 34th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals.
Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won in their respective categories at the fourth of six races during the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs. It is also the 22nd of 24 events in during the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
Torrence claimed his second victory in the playoffs, going 3.775-seconds at 319.67 mph in his Capco Contractors dragster to beat first-time finalist Jordan Vandergriff in the final round. Torrence, whose son Steve is the points leader and defending world champ, earned his fourth victory this season and fifth in his career, winning for the first time at his home track. He pulled to within 71 points of his son, who lost in the opening round on Sunday, picking up wins against Terry McMillen, Shawn Reed and No. 1 qualifier Brittany Force to reach the final round. Vandergriff was quicker off the line, but hazed the tires and Torrence chased him down for the biggest win in his career, also giving the Torrence family their third straight win in the playoffs and second consecutive in Dallas.
“It’s home turf and we love to race here,” said B. Torrence, who is now fourth in points. “We’ve raced here our whole career and we have a lot of fans here. There’s no better place to race than Dallas, Texas, and we did have the best car today. It has been very humbling, and we’ve been very blessed and fortunate to have the success we’ve had. We’ve got a great group of guys on both cars and our success is just a testament to the work these guys do. I think that we’re probably the second-best car in the country, with Steve having the best. We’ve had a stellar season.”
Vandergriff reached the final round for the first time thanks to wins against Clay Millican, Lee Callaway and fellow rookie standout Austin Prock. S. Torrence stayed in the points lead, leaving Dallas with a 33-point advantage over Doug Kalitta.
Hagan earned his third Funny Car win of 2019, going 3.909 at 327.59 in the final round in his Western Technical College/MOPAR CAP Dodge SRT Hellcat to beat Bob Tasca’s 3.928 at 323.12. It is Hagan’s 32nd career win and third at Texas Motorplex. He knocked off Blake Alexander, defending world champ J.R. Todd and points leader Robert Hight en route to the win, beating Tasca in a thrilling side-by-side race. Hagan also moved to fourth in points in the loaded class.
“We had a great racecar today,” Hagan said. “Qualifying was pretty tough, but to turn on four win lights was pretty huge. Bob is a great driver and those guys are good, so I’m glad things turned out the way they did. We’re just trying to keep some momentum going, keep doing our job and control what we can control. It was a pretty special weekend. We’ve just got to keep digging and keep working. I love this sport and it’s been a big part of my life for 10 years. I knew (crew chief Dickie Venables) was tuned in and you could see he was confident, and that builds confidence in me.”
Tasca beat Jonnie Lindberg, Jack Beckman and No. 1 qualifier John Force to reach his 16th career final round. Hight maintained the points lead in the class, with Jack Beckman the nearest competitor at 70 points back with two races left.
In Pro Stock, Anderson beat longtime rival Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the final round, going 6.609 at 209.75 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro to slip past Coughlin’s 6.610 at 207.56. It gives the veteran three wins this year, 94 overall and five at Texas Motorplex, tying him with Warren Johnson for the most in class history at the facility. Anderson reached the finals with wins against teammate Jason Line, points leader Erica Enders and Deric Kramer, meeting Coughlin for the 102nd time overall and 21st time in the final round.
“We’ve had so many titanic clashes with so much on the line, and I knew it would be close,” said Anderson, who is seventh in points. “It’s a total team effort and that’s what it takes to win a national event in Pro Stock right now. You’ve got to have perfection every time out there. We made a lot of changes this week and we hit on it. It showed it on Saturday and I knew coming into today we had a chance. Now it’s a matter of if I can drive the car well enough. I can’t tell you who’s going to win this thing because everybody right now can beat everybody else.”
Coughlin, who is now third in points, qualified No. 1 and beat Richie Stevens, Aaron Stanfield and Matt Hartford to reach the finals for the 109th time in his career. Enders stayed in the points lead, but saw it slip to just 28 points over Matt Hartford.
Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Savoie went 6.881 at 195.90 in the final round on his White Alligator Racing Suzuki to knock off Eddie Krawiec and claim his third win in 2019. It is his 12th career win. Savoie also earned his second win in the Countdown to the Championship, closing to within 94 points of leader Andrew Hines heading into the final two events. Savoie reached his fifth straight final in Dallas with wins against Jianna Salinas, Karen Stoffer and Hines, picking up a key victory against the points leader before knocking off Krawiec in a pivotal final round.
“It was a great day and we knew we had a good bike coming in,” Savoie said. “We said if we held our composure we could win this thing. For the most part, tracks favor certain riders and we’ve been blessed here. It’s a great place and today was great. Bottom line, I want a championship just as bad as anybody else, so whoever is in my way I’m going to do everything I can to try and beat them. I felt good and we’ve got a great team. To me, this win gives you more hope and means a lot. This gives you that window of opportunity where you could win a championship again.”
Krawiec reached his 47th final round thanks to wins against Ryan Oehler, No. 1 qualifier Matt Smith and Angelle Sampey. The three-time world champ remains winless in his last 10 final-round appearances dating back to last season. Hines’ points lead also grew to 81 over Stoffer.
The Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues Oct. 31-Nov. 3 with the fifth of six races in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs, the Dodge NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
SATURDAY - B. FORCE, J. FORCE, COUGHLIN & M. SMITH TAKE NO. 1 SPOTS INTO RACEDAY AT DALLAS
Brittany and John Force both raced to the No. 1 spot in their respective classes Saturday at Texas Motorplex during the 34th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, as they try to become the first father-daughter combo in NHRA history to win at the same event.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also earned No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the fourth of six races during the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs. It is also the 22nd of 24 events in during the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
B. Force’s track record run of 3.651-seconds at 331.28 mph from Friday in her Advance Auto Parts dragster held up to take the No. 1 spot for the eighth time in 2019 and 18th time in her career. She finished qualifying with another impressive run in the 3.60s on Saturday and will meet Cameron Ferre to open eliminations. It marks the second time B. Force and her father qualified No. 1 at the same event, with the first also coming in Texas during the race in Houston last spring.
“It’s always really special to hold the No. 1 qualifier with my dad,” B. Force said. “He’s the one who taught me everything about this sport and he’s the reason I’m out here. We did it earlier in the season and to do it again, it’s special to me. It’s on my bucket list to double-up (with a win) with my dad. It would just be awesome to share that with him. Our team is in a very good place.”
Leah Pritchett qualified second thanks to her 3.681 at a track speed record of 332.10 from Friday, and Mike Salinas’ 3.681 at 331.12 has him third. Points leader Steve Torrence qualified fourth with a 3.689 at 329.18.
Funny Car’s J. Force earned his fifth No. 1 qualifier this season and a remarkable 160th in his career thanks to his 3.834 at a career-best 337.33 on Friday in his PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil / BlueDEF Chevrolet Camaro SS. A seven-time winner in Dallas, J. Force will try to win for the sixth time from the No. 1 spot at Texas Motorplex and join his daughter in the winner’s circle.
“That makes it really special anytime you can do something with your kids,” said J. Force, who will race Jeff Arend in the opening round on Sunday. “I’m looking forward to tomorrow. This is what we do and what we love. Those were prime conditions (last night), and we wanted to push it today. We’ve got a good car for raceday tomorrow.”
After qualifying second with a 3.851 at 335.07 from Friday, Robert Hight is racing for a third straight win in Dallas. Defending world champ J.R. Todd went 3.866 at 334.40 to qualify third.
In Pro Stock, Jeg Coughlin Jr. earned his second No. 1 in 2019 and 31st in his career after his 6.509 at 210.41 in his JEGS.com Chevrolet Camaro from Friday held up. Coughlin, who now has back-to-back No. 1 in Dallas, made a pair of consistent runs on Saturday as well, including the quickest of the final qualifying session, adding to his momentum for Sunday. He will race Richie Stevens in the opening round of eliminations.
Coughlin’s Elite Motorsports teammate, points leader Erica Enders, will start raceday from the second position after going 6.510 at 211.53. She had been the No. 1 qualifier at the first three playoff races. Charlotte winner Deric Kramer qualified third with a 6.609 at 209.17.
“We’ve had some unique weather conditions here, so it feels great to be No. 1,” said Coughlin, who is after his second victory of 2019. “We’ve got three races left in the Countdown and we were No. 1 in three of the four sessions, so our team is looking really, really strong. I’m really looking forward to hitting the track tomorrow.”
Defending Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ Matt Smith stayed in the top spot after his impressive run of 6.776 at 200.26 on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/MSR EBR on Friday. Smith, who also set the track speed record, earned fifth No. 1 qualifier of 2019 and 36th in his career. Jerry Savoie will begin eliminations from the second position after his 6.790 at 196.13 on Friday, while Steve Johnson moved into the third spot on Saturday with a 6.830 at 194.44. Points leader Andrew Hines qualified sixth with a 6.851 at 196.96.
“It’s just a lot of hard work after the struggles we had at Charlotte,” Smith said. “We had two tough days of non-stop work, and I can’t say enough about my crew guys and the people who help me. Not only are we No. 1 qualifier, we get some bonus points and we get a bye in the first round. All in all, we’ve got a good bike for tomorrow.”
Drew Skillman clinched the 2019 SAM Tech.edu Factory Stock Showdown championship on Saturday, locking up his first world title at the conclusion of qualifying. Skillman had a banner 2019 campaign, winning three races en route to the championship.
Eliminations at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals begin at 11:00 a.m. CT on Sunday.
Sunday's first-round pairings for eliminations for the 34th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex, the 22nd of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.
Top Fuel -- 1. Brittany Force, 3.651 seconds, 331.28 mph vs. 16. Cameron Ferre, 3.954, 301.81; 2. Leah Pritchett, 3.681, 332.10 vs. 15. Kebin Kinsley, 3.813, 273.22; 3. Mike Salinas, 3.681, 331.12 vs. 14. Lee Callaway, 3.808, 312.28; 4. Steve Torrence, 3.689, 329.18 vs. 13. Shawn Reed, 3.762, 323.12; 5. Billy Torrence, 3.712, 330.47 vs. 12. Terry McMillen, 3.748, 326.71; 6. Jordan Vandergriff, 3.713, 324.59 vs. 11. Clay Millican, 3.725, 328.30; 7. Austin Prock, 3.714, 328.38 vs. 10. Doug Kalitta, 3.724, 330.63; 8. Antron Brown, 3.717, 327.82 vs. 9. Richie Crampton, 3.720, 325.69.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Cory McClenathan, 4.223, 277.94.
Funny Car -- 1. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.834, 337.33 vs. 16. Jeff Arend, Ford Mustang, 4.112, 297.94; 2. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.851, 335.07 vs. 15. Jim Campbell, Dodge Charger, 4.079, 313.58; 3. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.866, 334.40 vs. 14. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 4.000, 323.74; 4. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.880, 329.02 vs. 13. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 3.961, 322.88; 5. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.881, 332.43 vs. 12. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.937, 327.11; 6. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.890, 310.77 vs. 11. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 3.925, 327.11; 7. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.895, 315.05 vs. 10. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.921, 326.08; 8. Paul Lee, Charger, 3.912, 316.08 vs. 9. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.920, 324.44.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Terry Haddock, 4.167, 291.51; 18. Todd Simpson, 4.298, 250.60.
Pro Stock -- 1. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Camaro, 6.509, 210.41 vs. 16. Richie Stevens, Dodge Dart, 6.648, 209.14; 2. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.510, 211.53 vs. 15. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.616, 209.23; 3. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.533, 210.28 vs. 14. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.611, 208.81; 4. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.535, 210.57 vs. 13. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.609, 209.39; 5. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.548, 210.64 vs. 12. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Camaro, 6.591, 209.07; 6. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.553, 210.37 vs. 11. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.577, 210.57; 7. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.556, 210.97 vs. 10. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.568, 209.10; 8. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.556, 210.14 vs. 9. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.560, 209.49.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Cristian Cuadra, 6.652, 208.55.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.776, 200.26 vs. Bye; 2. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.790, 196.13 vs. 15. Jianna Salinas, Suzuki, 7.006, 188.36; 3. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.830, 194.44 vs. 14. Michael Ray, Victory, 6.974, 190.38; 4. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.847, 197.65 vs. 13. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.936, 194.18; 5. Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 6.847, 194.74 vs. 12. Hector Arana, EBR, 6.884, 195.34; 6. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.851, 196.96 vs. 11. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.875, 195.56; 7. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.853, 195.17 vs. 10. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.871, 196.13; 8. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.857, 194.44 vs. 9. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.866, 195.34.
FRIDAY - B. FORCE, J. FORCE, COUGHLIN & M. SMITH START FAST WITH PROVISIONAL NO. 1 SPOTS AT NHRA FALLNATIONALS
It was an all-Force Friday during NHRA Prime Time qualifying at Texas Motorplex, as Brittany and John Force powered to the provisional top spots in Top Fuel and Funny Car, respectively, during the opening night of qualifying at the 34th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the fourth of six races during the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs. It is also the 22nd of 24 events in during the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
If it holds, it would mark the second time the father-daughter Force duo would claim the top spots at the same race. They accomplished the feat in Houston this year, becoming the first father-daughter combo to claim No. 1 at the same event. B. Force set the track E.T. record in Top Fuel in her Advance Auto Parts dragster on Friday with an impressive run of 3.651-seconds at 331.28 mph. If it holds it would be Force’s eighth No. 1 qualifier of 2019 and 18th in her career.
“That was an awesome run,” said B. Force, who is third in points. “It was a very important run and tomorrow is going to be what’s really important. How we run tomorrow, getting two consistent runs going into raceday, we should be set up pretty good. I put all my faith in these guys. It’s an incredible team and we’re looking for a win. We love No. 1 qualifiers, but we would rather win on raceday.”
Leah Pritchett qualified second with a 3.681 at a track speed record of 332.10, and Mike Salinas is third thanks to his 3.681 at 331.12. Points leader Steve Torrence is fourth after going 3.689 at 329.18.
Looking for his 17th world title, Funny Car’s J. Force is off to a good start in Dallas, going a remarkable 3.834 at a career-best 337.33 in his PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil / BlueDEF Chevrolet Camaro SS. If it holds it would give J. Force, who is currently third in points, his fifth No. 1 qualifier this season and 160th in his legendary career. His teammate and back-to-back winner in Dallas, points leader Robert Hight, is in the second spot after his 3.851 at 335.07, while defending champ J.R. Todd went 3.866 at 334.40 to sit in the third position.
“They stepped it up and they’ve given me a great race car, and I’m excited about that,” J. Force said. “We’ve got a fast car and my team is really good. I love being here and I’ve got to give credit to my guys. They make it happen and we’re having fun. I’m just having a ball.”
In Pro Stock, Jeg Coughlin Jr. shot to the top spot with his pass of 6.509 at 210.41 in his JEGS.com Chevrolet Camaro. Coughlin and his Elite Motorsports teammate, Erica Enders, put together a thrilling side-by-side pass under the lights, with the five-time world champ making the slightly better run. Coughlin is after his second No. 1 spot this year and 31st in his career.
Enders, the current points leader, picked up a handful of valuable qualifying points on Friday, and sits second with a run of 6.510 at 211.53. She has been the No. 1 qualifier at the first three races of the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. Deric Kramer, who won in Charlotte on Monday, qualified in the third spot with his run of 6.533 at 210.28.
Defending Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ Matt Smith put together the lone 200-mph pass to set the track speed record in the category on Friday, blasting to the top spot with an impressive run of 6.776 at 200.26 on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/MSR EBR. Smith is after his fifth No. 1 qualifier of 2019 and 36th in his career. Jerry Savoie sits second with a 6.790 at 196.13, while Angelle Sampey is a spot behind after going 6.847 at 194.74.
Points leader Andrew Hines is currently fifth with a 6.851 at 196.96.
Qualifying continues Saturday at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at 12:15 p.m. CT.
Friday's results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 34th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex, 22nd of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.
Top Fuel -- 1. Brittany Force, 3.651 seconds, 331.28 mph; 2. Leah Pritchett, 3.681, 332.10; 3. Mike Salinas, 3.681, 331.12; 4. Steve Torrence, 3.689, 329.18; 5. Billy Torrence, 3.712, 330.47; 6. Jordan Vandergriff, 3.713, 324.59; 7. Antron Brown, 3.717, 327.82; 8. Richie Crampton, 3.720, 325.69; 9. Doug Kalitta, 3.724, 330.63; 10. Clay Millican, 3.725, 328.30; 11. Austin Prock, 3.739, 328.54; 12. Terry McMillen, 3.748, 326.71; 13. Shawn Reed, 3.766, 322.88; 14. Lee Callaway, 3.808, 312.28; 15. Kebin Kinsley, 3.813, 273.22; 16. Cory McClenathan, 4.223, 277.94.
Funny Car -- 1. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.834, 337.33; 2. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.851, 335.07; 3. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.866, 334.40; 4. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.881, 332.43; 5. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.883, 327.90; 6. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.890, 310.77; 7. Paul Lee, Charger, 3.912, 316.08; 8. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.920, 324.44; 9. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.921, 326.08; 10. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 3.925, 327.11; 11. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.937, 327.11; 12. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 3.963, 321.12; 13. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.048, 244.65; 14. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.167, 237.34; 15. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 4.289, 216.03; 16. Todd Simpson, Charger, 4.298, 250.60.
Not Qualified: 17. Jim Campbell, 4.526, 188.62; 18. Jeff Arend, 4.781, 173.32.
Pro Stock -- 1. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Camaro, 6.509, 210.41; 2. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.510, 211.53; 3. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.533, 210.28; 4. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.535, 210.57; 5. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.548, 210.64; 6. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.553, 210.37; 7. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.556, 210.97; 8. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.556, 210.14; 9. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.560, 209.49; 10. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.574, 210.05; 11. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.577, 210.57; 12. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Camaro, 6.591, 209.07; 13. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.609, 209.39; 14. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.611, 208.81; 15. Richie Stevens, Dodge Dart, 6.648, 209.14; 16. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.652, 208.46.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.776, 200.26; 2. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.790, 196.13; 3. Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 6.847, 194.74; 4. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.850, 193.32; 5. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.851, 196.96; 6. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.853, 195.17; 7. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.857, 194.44; 8. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.866, 195.34; 9. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.871, 196.13; 10. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.875, 195.56; 11. Hector Arana, EBR, 6.884, 195.34; 12. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.887, 193.96; 13. Michael Ray, Victory, 6.974, 190.38; 14. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.975, 192.41; 15. Jianna Salinas, Suzuki, 7.006, 188.36.