Good Afternoon race fans!
This weekend the NHRA raced into Brainerd, Minnesota, home of the famed Brainerd Zoo, for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, and it was definitely full of excitement.
This race is a little bit different in the fact that they only run nitro here, so Top Fuel and Funny Car were top of the bill the weekend.
Starting with Top Fuel, on the left side of the ladder, No. 4 qualified Steve Torrence started his day by taking on No. 13 Mike Salinas, which is a big round one matchup. Unfortunately we didn’t get the toe to toe race we were thinking we might. Mike ran into some problems, eventually running a 5.28, while Steve went a to b with a 3.75. In the second round he faced good friend and most recent race winner Antron Brown. This wasn’t a spectacular race by any means, they were both slow from the get go, having over a 1.0 60 foot, (1.19 for Antron), (1.01 for Steve), but in the end Steve’s 4.94 bested Antron’s 5.33 and he was moving on. His semifinal matchup was against the always tough Brittany Force. Again, not a great round for either, both running into some issues, but Brittany had hers first and worst, eventually running a 10.39 while Steve went 5.40, putting him and the Capco team into the finals. On the other side of the ladder, No. 7 qualified Tony Schumacher started his day by taking on No. 10 Doug Kalitta. If there are any old school NHRA fans reading, with both Tony and Doug trying to secure their spots in the Countdown, this pairing today gave me ‘The Run‘ vibes. And if you don’t know what I’m taking about, watch the video, it’s an iconic part of Top Fuel history. But back to today, Tony went a to b on a solid 3.94 run, while Doug ran into some problems and went 5.34. In the second round he faced Josh Hart. This was another case of one running well and the other having problems. Josh had his, eventually running a 10.84, while Tony went a slower, but still solid 4.22. His semifinal matchup was against a tough customer in Justin Ashley. This was a pretty decent race, but with a 4.33 to a 4.93, Tony and the Okuma team were into the finals. Back when Tony was still one of the most dominant in the class and Steve was starting to groove and find his way, these two had some great races and this was an example of that. Tony was first off the line, (.059) to (.082) but Steve quickly caught up and they were pretty even until the end when, with a 3.86 to a 3.94, Steve grabbed the win and took home the Wally. This is Steve’s first win of the season.
Moving over to Funny Car, on the left side of the ladder, No. 4 qualified Ron Capps started his day by taking on No. 13 John Force. We all know that Capps and Force have had some great races and this one was decent. Though John left first, (.041) to (.070), Ron caught up and was able to drive around him almost immediately. In the end it was Ron’s 3.93 that bested John’s 4.02 and Ron was moving on. In the second round he faced Bobby Bode. Bobby had immediate problems after the burnout, he was unable to get the car into reverse and they had to push him off the track, so Ron ended up with a bye and he ran an 8.53. His semifinal matchup was against the tough Alexis DeJoria, his Team Toyota teammate. Alexis went red by (-.129), giving Ron the win immediately, and he went 3.95, putting him and the NAPA team into the finals. On the other side of the ladder, No. 3 qualified Bob Tasca III started his day by taking on No. 14 Dale Creasy Jr. They left pretty much even, slight advantage going to Dale (.083) to (.086), but Bob quickly caught up and with a 3.89 to a 3.96, Bob was moving on. In the second round he faced Chad Green. This round looked very similar to the first one for Bob. Chad had the slight advantage off the line, (.086) to (.090), but Bob quickly caught up and drove around, advancing with a 3.94 to Chad’s 4.08. His semifinal matchup was against the always tough Robert Hight. This was a good race in the beginning. They left almost identical, (.054) to (.055), and were keeping even until Robert ran into problems, eventually running a 4.64, while Bob went a to b with a 3.92, putting him and the Ford Motorcraft team into the finals. This was a good final, Ron had the advantage, (.052) to (.092), but by the 330 foot Bob had caught up and out powered him just a smidge, running a 3.94 to Ron’s 4.00, picking up the win and the Wally. This is Bob’s third win of the season.
The next race is the biggest one of the year, in fact they call it The Big Go. The Dodge Power Brokers NHRA US Nationals, August 31st – September 5th. I’m so happy to say we’re back to racing on Labor Day Monday as we’ve done so many years before. It’s going to be a fantastic weekend of racing and you won’t want to miss it!