by Darin Williams Jr., Photos by Dave Kommel Sun, 2023-10-15 13:17
It had been nearly twenty years since Jim Murphy last visited the winner circle at the March Meet, with the most recent coming in 2004. In his final start in the highly revered race, Murphy went all the way on Saturday at the rain-delayed event, defeating Pete Wittenberg in the final round to claim his fifth March Meet title overall, tying the legend "Big Daddy" Don Garlits for the most all-time in Top Fuel eliminator.
"It's really special, I got to tell you," Murphy said. "We won it in 1998 and 1999. Won it again in 2003 and 2004, and we've been trying ever since to tie Garlits with five. I didn't know if it was ever going to come, and here it is at my last race. It's just awesome. It's a storybook ending."
by Bobby Bennett Jr Sun, 2023-10-15 00:39
The most significant gains in the final day of qualifying came from the Pro Stock divisions, as Greg Anderson set the pace for the quickest Pro Stock field in drag racing history and Gaige Herrera established a new world record in the Pro Stock Motorcycle division.
Bob Tasca (Funny Car) and Steve Torrence (Top Fuel) remained at the top of the list for the nitro-burning divisions.
Anderson, the five-time series champion, rocketed to the top of the Pro Stock field with a run of 6.480 at 211.76 in his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro. The pace-setting run gives Anderson his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and the 123rd of his career.
“Momentum is obviously worth a lot. You can’t quantify it, but it’s worth a lot,” Anderson said. “To get the No. 1 spot this weekend, this has probably been the toughest four rounds of qualifying that I can remember in my career. There has never been as many cars capable of driving the pole and being No. 1 through No. 10 in any order. Every thousandth meant everything, and that means to us, not only does that car have to be perfect every time down the racetrack, but you have to shift it perfectly.
by Bobby Bennett Jr., Photos by Ron Lewis Sat, 2023-10-14 14:42
When it comes to winning a championship, it’s the little points that matter.
One year after watching Ron Capps earn the NHRA Funny Car championship by a meager three points over Robert Hight, Bob Tasca realized that if he ever wanted to realistically challenge for a title of his own, he was going to have to savor those little points.
And this postseason, no one has earned more bonus points than Tasca, the driver of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang.
by Larry Crum; Photo by Ron Lewis Sat, 2023-10-14 09:27
by Bobby Bennett Jr.; Photos by Ron Lewis Sat, 2023-10-14 02:26
With incredible atmospheric conditions, a solid racing surface, and monetary incentives to run fast, it didn’t take much for the superstars of the NHRA’s Camping World Drag Racing Series to throw down solid performances during the first day of the NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex outside of Dallas.
Nobody threw down more than one of the Lone Star state’s finest Top Fuel drivers, as four-time Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence emerged at the top of the qualifying list in posting the fifth-quickest run in drag racing history.
The stellar performances were not limited to Torrence, as Bob Tasca (Funny Car), Deric Kramer (Pro Stock), and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) all set the first-day pace in their respective categories with track records.
by Bobby Bennett Jr. Fri, 2023-10-13 19:59
Dale Creasy Jr. was as down as he'd ever been at the drag strip. The veteran independent has been on fire, suffered explosions, and once had a crash so bad that he was nearly crippled for life.
But, for Creasy, Friday's incident during the first qualifying session at the NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex had him wondering if the time had come for him to hang up the firesuit.
Creasy's TekPak-sponsored Funny Car made an abrupt turn left towards the centerline, and even though he was completely out of the throttle, the racecar's momentum drove him into the path of fellow Funny Car driver Dave Richards. As Creasy drifted into the path of Richards, their Funny Cars collided and bounced off of the guardwalls en route to sliding to a stop in the shutdown area.
by Tracy Renck Thu, 2023-10-12 16:24
Steve Torrence knows plenty about winning NHRA Top Fuel World Championships.
The Kilgore, Texas, driver won fifth world titles from 2018-2021 and is aiming to reclaim the throne in 2023.
Torrence will arrive at the Texas NHRA FallNationals in Dallas this weekend 51 points behind class leader Doug Kalitta.
by Jessica Hatcher Thu, 2023-10-12 14:51
By the time Competition Eliminator is completed during Sunday's final eliminations at the NHRA FallNatioonals, one driver will put $100,000 in his pocket, courtesy of the Rooftec Competition Eliminator Bonus Fund. Another will put $25,000 just for finishing runner-up in the series.
The Rooftec Competition Eliminator Bonus Fund will pay out $300,000 to its top ten points earners, who all are still eligible to win an NHRA world championship and divisional title.
The Rooftec Competition Eliminator Bonus Fund is precisely as its name says - it's bonus money. The Bonus money has been enough to attract full 32-car fields at five of seven NHRA Division 4 events and 63 cars at the NHRA U.S. Nationals, where Rooftec also sponsored a $50,000 shootout for those top 16 points earners following the double-divisional at the Texas Motorplex back in May.
by Bobby Bennett Jr.; Photos by Chris Simmons Wed, 2023-10-11 14:23
The Discovery Channel has its weekly Shark Week, and it's not for the weak at heart. Starting this year in the second week of October, Donald Long's Duck X Productions presents its Duck Week. Instead of a television screen, it's in your face, relentless drag radial doorslammer competition.
The first phase of Duck Week ended on Tuesday evening, with an early-in-the-week drag race featuring the best of the best in five key drag radial divisions - Radial vs. The World, Pro 275, X275, Ultra Street, and Limited Drag Radial.
The Battle of Thrones, the specialty event formerly known as The Sweet 16, came to an end with Brian Markiewicz (Radial vs The World), Jason Collins (Pro 275), Shane Moses (x275), Dave Fiscus (Ultra Street) and Jamie Hancock(Limited Drag Radial).
by Bobby Bennett Jr. Wed, 2023-10-11 13:42
After months of preparation, the weekend has finally arrived for Angelle Sampey to expand her racing endeavors from two-wheels to four. The 46-time NHRA national event winner will make her highly-anticipated Top Alcohol Dragster racing debut at the NHRA Fall Nationals.
She comes into the Texas Motorplex after another successful A/Fuel Dragster test, this time behind the wheel of the Michalek Brothers' entry at Indianapolis Raceway Park. She will drive the same dragster this weekend.
"I feel very confident going into this weekend," said Sampey. "What a night and day difference between where I'm at now and those first few licensing runs at Brainerd (Minn.) back in August. I will admit, when I first got into the car last Wednesday, I was nervous again because I hadn't driven in three weeks, so I just had to get that first run down and shake the nerves off, but I was good after that."