Torrence, Beckman, Hartford, and Savoie Win at AAA Texas FallNationals
Since 1986, Texas Motorplex has hosted the fastest races in the state at its all-concrete quarter mile drag racing facility. When the facility first opened thirty-four years ago, the track saw its first winning passes made by Don “Big Daddy” Garlits (Top Fuel), Kenny Bernstein (Funny Car), and Bob Glidden (Pro Stock). Although the 2020 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series has only allowed a select few spectators due to COVID-19, those race fans witnessed the 11,000 horsepower engines come to life with speeds in excess of 330 mph with Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), “Fast” Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Matt Hartford (Pro Stock), and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) taking home top honors at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals in Ennis, TX.
Father and Son Shootout in Top Fuel
The weekend could not have gone better for the Capco Contractors racing team from Henderson, TX. Racing in front of home-state fans at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, defending event winner in Top Fuel, Billy Torrence, made it an all-Capco event when he qualified for his third final of the 2020 season. Along side the elder Torrence, son Steve advanced to his 60th final round. After qualifying Number One, Steve reached his fifth final in eight starts this season and extended his Top Fuel points lead over Doug Kalitta by beating his father for the second time in the last three NHRA races. The two-time defending series champion has four victories this year (40 overall) and won the AAA Texas FallNationals for the second time in three years.
Don Schumacher Racing Goes for 12th Straight
Don Schumacher Racing was assured of its 12th straight win when teammates Matt Hagan and Jack Beckman both qualified for the final round. Hagan reached his second straight final, fourth of the 2020 season, and 64th of his career by beating DSR stablemate Ron Capps. “Fast Jack” made certain the team would dominate the winner’s circle by eliminating the defending event winner from 2019, Bob Tasca III. In his purple Infinite Hero Dodge Hellcat, Beckman posted a 3.90 ET to Hagan’s 3.94 ET to close within four ticks of Hagan’s series points lead.
Hartford Breaks Red Hot Pro Stock Win Streak
Matt Hartford defeated points leader Erica Enders in the semifinal round at Texas Motorplex with only two events remaining in Pro Stock for the 2020 NHRA Camping World championship. Enders was fresh off her weather-delayed Midwest Nationals victory and was intent on making it a double-win weekend in front her partisan Texas crowd. Hartford staged late and relied on a .008 reaction time for a holeshot win. In the final round, Hartford was again quick off the light and drove his Total Seal Camaro to victory over former champ Greg Anderson. Hartford earned the honor of being awarded the first Camping World Wally in Pro Stock.
Savoie Dominates Texas FallNationals Again…
When first-time finalist Joey Gladstone stagged his Pro Stock Motorcycle, it looked as though it might be his lucky day. After all, Hector Arana Jr redlighted in round one and Midwest Nationals winner Matt Smith’s bike refused to run in his opening run, which pitted Gladstone against the slowest qualifier. In the semifinal, both he and Angelle Sampey redlighted but Sampey moved first. Unfortunately, that’s where his luck ran out. Jerry Savoie unleashed his White Alligator Suzuki to claim his third win at Texas Motorplex in six years with three second-place finishes sandwiched in between.
Next up is the penultimate stop for the 2020 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series at the rescheduled Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil on Oct. 23-25 at Baytown, TX. After that, only one race remains before the National Hot Rod Association awards class winners at the finale in Las Vegas, on Oct. 30-Nov. 1.
Photo Credit @SteveTorrenceTF