NHRA Results from the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals Finals
Indiana fans love Monday races especially when local drivers and Indiana-based teams get to stand atop the podium for one of the NHRA's premier events. It was an extended weekend of high-speed action at the 63rd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway just outside Indianapolis. In Monday's Top Fuel elimination, Texan Steve Torrence put the finishing touch on his point's lead eliminating Kebin Kinsley with a 3.757-second pass at 322.96 mph. Kinsley had a surprising weekend having defeated Clay Millican, Shawn Langdon and Tony Schumacher on his way to the finals.
The CAPCO Contractors' Top Fuel dragster of Torrence eliminated season-long rivals Antron Brown and Leah Pritchett before capturing his seventh victory of the season. Kinsley's dream weekend came to an end when he smoked the tires on his Road Rage-sponsored dragster leaving the tree. It was Torrence's second win in the last four races to take a 68-point lead over Brown and a 104-point lead over Pritchett, who dominated earlier in the year. This was the 18th of 24 national events and the last round before the Chase for the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series crown.
In Funny Car, J.R. Todd hoped to keep his transition season from the Top Fuel division to the Funny Car ranks on roll at the U.S. Nationals. Todd made history earlier this year by joining the small group of NHRA stars to have won in both of drag racing's elite classes. However, the Indiana native who had never won a Wally at Lucas Oil Raceway got a free trip to meet Ron Capps in the final round when Tim Wilkerson crossed the centerline in their semi-final run. Piloting the DHL Toyota Camry for Kalitta Motorsports, Todd clocked a winning 3.923-second pass at 325.61 mph to claim his second win of the 2017 season.
With the "Countdown to the Championship" for the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series beginning in two weeks at the NHRA Carolina Nationals in Concord NC, drivers and teams have the weekend off. The zMax Dragway, which also hosted the popular 4-wide event earlier this year, will kick-off the first of three chase events in a row starting September 15-17. Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania hosts the Dodge NHRA Nationals followed by Gateway Motorsports Park outside St. Louis for the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals. Let the CHASE begin!