2017 NHRA U.S. NATIONALS - VIDEO NOTEBOOK
TORRENCE, TODD BAG THE BIG WINS - Steve Torrence piloted his Capco Contractors dragster to the Top Fuel victory Monday at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the world’s biggest drag race, at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
J.R. Todd (Funny Car), Drew Skillman (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also victorious at the 18th event of 24 on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Series Drag Racing Series schedule.
Torrence raced to a 3.757-second pass at 322.96 mph to defeat Kebin Kinsley who lost traction in his Road Rage Fuel Booster dragster at the start of the final. It is Torrence’s first win at the Chevy Performance U.S. Nationals, seventh of the season and 15th of his career.
DANIELS DOUBLES - James Daniels, for the second consecutive season, will leave the NHRA U.S. Nationals $15,000 richer.
Daniels, behind the wheel of the Ray Barton-themed Dodge Dart, used a .01 reaction and an 8.404 elapsed time to beat Wendell Howes, who spun the tires at the hit and coasted through the lights at 9.923 seconds.
With the win, Daniels further added to the family legacy in the event started by his father, Jim, who claimed victory in 2010.
"It's an unbelievable experience," Daniels said of winning the Mopar HEMI Challenge for the second consecutive year. "I can't describe it."
TWO BROTHERS AND A CAMARO - Sometimes second-guessing can pay off.
For brothers Ben, and Dave Wenzel, they were going to buy a car with the intention of drag racing back in 1967. They were intent on getting a brand-new 375-horse, Chevelle to race in NHRA's Stock Eliminator.
Once the Wenzel's saw the Camaro z/28, a 302-inch, 290-horse, 4-speed combination, they knew this was a dog capable of hunting. Five decades later, it's still bagging ducks.
"I bought it to race," Dave said. "I bought it brand new, I ordered it, raced, always been a race car."
When they bought the car on June 6, 1967, a solid plan was in place. Ben would drive, and Dave would make it go faster than the day it rolled off the showroom floor.
BECKMAN BAGS THE PRIZE - The first time Jack Beckman won the Traxxas Shootout in 2013, the veteran joked the $100,000 prize was spent just as fast as he won it after Beckman’s car exploded just after crossing the finish line.
This year, all he has to do is replace a windshield.
A split windshield was the only victim on Sunday, as Beckman stayed perfect in the Funny Car Traxxas Shootout, winning for the third time by going 3.952 at 324.67 mph to knock off Robert Hight’s 4.36. It was Hight’s fourth straight runner-up in the shootout, but when he smoked the tires midway through the final round run, Beckman, who also won in 2015, was there to take advantage.
A FAN FAVORITE - John McCarthy has fielded the question so many times he stopped keeping track.
Why, would anyone in their right mind, choose a 1960 Chevrolet Kingswood Station, as a race car?
"You’re not the first person to ask who looks at a ’60 Chevy Wagon and thinks, ‘I want to race that," McCarthy responded with a laugh. "In 1978 we started racing Stock Eliminator, MJ Quinn and myself, and we really couldn’t afford a fast car. It was a way for us to be able to run NHRA Stock Eliminator. We built the car originally; it was a two barrel car, ran X Stock Automatic. But when they changed the rules to where no V8’s and W, X, Y, and Z, we put the four barrel on it and moved up to U/Stock Automatic."
TORRENCE WINS BIG, MILLICAN LEAPS TO NO. 1 - Steve Torrence piloted his Capco Contractors dragster to the Top Fuel NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout victory Saturday at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the world’s biggest drag race, at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
In other racing, Clay Millican (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were the provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 18th of 24 events on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing
FRIDAY'S LEADERS - Matt Hagan set both ends of the Funny Car track record on Friday of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the world’s biggest drag race, at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel), Tanner Gray (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also lead qualifying in their respective categories at the 18th of 24 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
PRO STOCK AJ RETIRES - Longtime Mopar fan favorite and 2012 NHRA Pro Stock World Champion Allen Johnson announced his retirement from Pro Stock competition at the end of this season during a press conference on Friday at the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.
Johnson currently owns 27 NHRA National event wins, good for ninth overall in Pro Stock class history. His 37 No. 1 qualifier spots also rank sixth all-time in Pro Stock and are tied for 22nd overall in NHRA history. Johnson, with his father Roy Johnson by his side and building his engines, has raced to 59 final rounds in 497 career races during his 22-year career - all spent competing in a Mopar HEMI®-powered Dodge Pro Stock machine.
THE CHALLENGE TO END ALL CHALLENGES - They were the original alpha class. Big block engines, four-speed transmissions and a penchant for doing whatever they wanted. These beasts, although no longer at the top of Stock Eliminator is still very much ornery, and quite the animal to tame. Go behind the scenes at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Thursday as these high horsepower beasts battle for A/Stock supremacy.