Eight-time Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher picked up his first victory in more than two years, powering to the win in a thrilling side-by-side duel with Steve Torrence in the final round of Sunday’s 33rd annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park.  

Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car), Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won the Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil, the 10th of 11 races during the 2020 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.

With Schumacher and Johnson both winning, it gave Don Schumacher Racing its first nitro sweep of 2020 and 66th overall for the organization, which now has 356 wins. Schumacher, the winningest driver in Top Fuel history, and Torrence put on a remarkable show in the final round, with Schumacher’s run of 3.669-seconds at 330.63 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Okuma/Sandvik Coromant Toyota dragster edging past Torrence’s 3.687 at 330.07. It gave Schumacher his 85th career victory and first since winning at Bristol in June of 2018. He defeated Cameron Ferre, Doug Foley and Billy Torrence to reach the final round, saving his best pass of the weekend for the championship round.

“I’m super proud and I’m so happy for my guys,” said Schumacher, who returned to the sport in July after not racing in 2019. “I’ve done this and lived these moments, and been part of some cool stuff, and these guys were able to dig deep. That final round, those are epic battles. I’ve been on both sides of that. I beat Torrence in Indy by .0006 and lost the same way to him. You’ve got two badass teams battling it out and that was the best race we’ve seen all year. It was a team effort and everybody did a great job.”

Torrence, the No. 1 qualifier, stayed on pace as he chases his third straight Top Fuel world championship by advancing to his sixth final round this year and 61st in his career. He picked up round wins against Shawn Langdon and Antron Brown, making six passes in the 3.60s this weekend. Torrence will take a 101-point lead over Doug Kalitta to the 2020 finale in Las Vegas.

Johnson remained in championship contention in Funny Car with a clutch performance in Houston, going 3.929 at 321.04 in his 11,000-horsepower MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to beat teammate Ron Capps’ 3.952 at 325.14 in the final round. It gave DSR its 13th straight Funny Car win and a victory for Johnson’s sponsor in their hometown. Johnson, who now has three victories this season and 22 in his career, beat Jim Campbell, J.R. Todd and then points leader Matt Hagan in a critical semifinal race to reach the finals. The victory pulled Johnson to within 42 points of Hagan, with Jack Beckman, who was upset in the opening round by Capps, just one point behind Johnson, ensuring a must-see showdown in Las Vegas.

“It was a must-win,” Johnson said. “We get close and then we stumble and we think we’re out of it, and here we come again. We just keep coming back. It’s like a heavyweight battle and when we get knocked down, we get back up and keep swinging. I’m just really proud of these guys. They never quit. I’m just super happy with the fight in these guys and this has got drama written all over it when we go to Vegas. You’ve got to keep digging and you knew the final round was going to be a great race. It’s definitely been different this year, but once you fire the engine it’s no different. These guys have done a really good job under some tough circumstances.”

Capps reached the final round for the 125th time in his career with victories against Beckman, who was the No. 1 qualifier, Cruz Pedregon and Alexis DeJoria.

In Pro Stock, Stanfield earned his first career win in the class thanks to a pass of 6.535 at 211.03 in his Janac Brothers Racing Chevrolet Camaro to beat Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the final round. Stanfield beat Kenny Delco, Troy Coughlin Jr. and Kyle Koretsky to advance to the final round for the second time in his career. Coughlin beat Matt Hartford, points leader Erica Enders and Greg Anderson to reach his 115th career final and stay in championship contention.  

After advancing to his first final round in Gainesville, Stanfield finished the job in Houston, capping off an incredible day for the young standout. He won the race in the SAMTech.edu Factory Stock Showdown Drag Racing Series, also clinching the world championship in that class. Add in the Pro Stock victory and Stanfield took home a remarkable three Wallys on Sunday.

“I definitely can’t put this into words,” Stanfield said. “I remember listening to my dad race and I’ve dreamed of the day that I could hold up a Pro Stock Wally ever since I was a little guy watching my dad race. It’s always been at the top of my goals. I tried to stay as calm as I could, but I knew my guys had my best interests in mind. I stayed focused, we did our job and we got it done. To be honest, this whole day has been crazy, just accomplishing huge, huge dreams. I haven’t had time to soak it all in, but what my dad has taught me is to clear your head and focus on what you need to do. That’s what I was able to do today.”

Despite falling in the second round, Enders stretched her points lead as she tries to win back-to-back world titles and her fourth overall. She leads Jason Line and Coughlin by 55 points heading to Las Vegas.

Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Krawiec won for the first time in more than two years on his Harley-Davidson FXDR, going 6.801 at 198.61 in the finals to beat Ryan Oehler. Krawiec’s last victory came at Brainerd in 2018, but he was impressive in Houston on Sunday to pick up his 48th career victory. He had a series of 6.80 runs over the final three rounds, beating Michael Phillips, Jerry Savoie and Hector Arana Jr. to reach the final round. Oehler beat Kelly Clontz, Andrew Hines and points leader Matt Smith to earn his second final-round berth, but Krawiec led from start to finish in a strong championship round performance.

“It just feels good to win again,” Krawiec said. “I feel like I’ve accomplished all that I’ve needed to and I don’t have to prove anything, but it’s nice just to get it done. There’s a lot of great racers in the class and you can’t take anything for granted. You have to appreciate every win, even more so right now with the competition level in the class. We’ve got 4-5 motorcycles all fighting for the championship. It’s great racing and that’s the way it should be. You have to be on your game at all times. It’s a big team effort and that’s what I really attribute this to.”

Matt Smith kept the points lead and is 58 points ahead of Scotty Pollacheck with one race remaining. Defending world champ Hines trails Pollacheck by just eight points as he remains in title contention as well.

The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series finishes its 2020 season Oct. 30-Nov. 1 with the Dodge NHRA Finals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.


Looking for a Texas sweep, Top Fuel points leader Steve Torrence made the quickest run in both qualifying sessions on Saturday, powering to the No. 1 spot at the 33rd annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park.

Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Alex Laughlin (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also No. 1 qualifiers at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil, the 10th of 11 races during the 2020 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.

A week after winning in Dallas, Torrence stayed red-hot, going 3.672-seconds at 327.98 mph in his 11,000-horsepower Capco Contractors dragster. It’s the second straight No. 1 qualifier for Torrence, giving him the Texas sweep in that category, and also his third top spot this year and 27th overall. Tony Schumacher was the only other driver to reach the 3.60s on Saturday, qualifying second with a 3.685 at 330.07. Billy Torrence, who met his son in the Dallas final round last weekend, was third thanks to a 3.701 at 327.74. Doug Kalitta, who is second in points, qualified fifth with a 3.764 at 269.78.

“Today was a huge success and the car ran really well,” said Torrence, who is seeking his third straight Top Fuel world championship. “It gives us a lot of confidence going into tomorrow and that puts a little pressure on the competition. We’ll go out and do the best we can, and we just need to maintain that consistency. We’ve slowly become one of the teams that runs really quick when the conditions are good. We haven’t been that guy in years past, and we’ve slowly but surely gotten to the point where we’re confident to go out there and run really hard because you’re trying to get every point possible.”

In the middle of a tight points race with his Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Jack Beckman jumped to the No. 1 spot during the final qualifying session with an impressive and timely run of 3.884 at 328.14 in his 11,000-horsepower Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. It is his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and 28th in his career, as it bumped teammate and points leader Matt Hagan to second. Beckman will race another teammate, Ron Capps, to open eliminations as DSR seeks its 13th straight victory in the Funny Car ranks. Hagan, who entered the weekend with a slim four-point lead over Beckman, ran 3.907 at 327.74 to claim the second position, while J.R. Todd qualified third after running 3.923 at 328.62.

Alex Laughlin picked up his first Pro Stock No. 1 qualifier of the season and the third in his career, rolling to the top spot in his TexPlex Park/Havoline Chevrolet Camaro thanks to a standout run of 6.506 at 210.73. The Texan is looking for his second win of the season and first career victory at Houston Raceway Park, and Laughlin will race Fernando Cuadra to kick off eliminations. Greg Anderson qualified second with a run of 6.517 at 212.23, and points leader and defending world champ Erica Enders took the third spot with a run of 6.517 at 211.36. Her closest competitor in the title race, Jason Line, will start eliminations from seventh after his pass of 6.532 at 211.79.

Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader Matt Smith continued to roll in qualifying on his Denso/Stockseth/MSR EBR, picking up his fourth straight No. 1 qualifier with a run of 6.729 at 199.88, as the class raced in Houston for the first time since 2013. Smith’s run set both ends of the track record and handed the points leader his fifth top spot in 2020 and 43rd in his career. He’ll take on Marc Ingwersen to open eliminations, giving Smith, a three-time world champion, plenty of momentum for raceday after a tough first-round loss last weekend when his bike wouldn’t start. Angelle Sampey qualified second with a 6.789 at 198.88 and Eddie Krawiec took third after going 6.799 at 197.48.

In the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, points leader and defending world champion Stevie “Fast” Jackson will take the No. 1 spot into race day after going 5.659 at 253.52 in his supercharged Bahrain 1 Racing Camaro. Jackson will take on Laughlin, who is racing in both Pro Stock and Pro Mod this weekend, to open eliminations. Brandon Snider, who won last weekend in Dallas by beating Jackson in the final round for his first career NHRA Pro Mod win, took the second position with a 5.660 at 252.00. Snider had qualified No. 1 at the previous two races and trailed Jackson by just 18 points heading to Houston. Justin Bond took the third spot thanks to his 5.692 at 248.20.

Eliminations for the Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil begin at 10 a.m. CT on Sunday. Live television coverage of eliminations starts at 2 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 (FS1).

Sunday's first-round pairings for eliminations for the 33rd annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park powered by Pennzoil, the 10th of 11 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.

Top Fuel -- 1. Steve Torrence, 3.672 seconds, 327.98 mph vs. Bye; 2. Tony Schumacher, 3.685, 330.07 vs. 15. Cameron Ferre, 10.492, 70.27; 3. Billy Torrence, 3.701, 327.74 vs. 14. Joe Morrison, 7.028, 89.62; 4. Antron Brown, 3.741, 326.87 vs. 13. Scott Palmer, 6.440, 99.46; 5. Doug Kalitta, 3.764, 269.78 vs. 12. Kebin Kinsley, 5.235, 132.11; 6. Leah Pruett, 3.767, 324.20 vs. 11. Lee Callaway, 4.131, 224.88; 7. Clay Millican, 3.802, 276.58 vs. 10. Doug Foley, 3.913, 301.87; 8. Shawn Langdon, 3.812, 269.67 vs. 9. Justin Ashley, 3.881, 256.99.

Funny Car -- 1. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.884, 328.14 vs. 16. Ron Capps, Charger, 5.295, 136.44; 2. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.907, 327.74 vs. 15. Dave Richards, Ford Mustang, 5.269, 169.85; 3. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.923, 328.62 vs. 14. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 5.021, 150.48; 4. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.928, 325.22 vs. 13. Paul Lee, Charger, 4.492, 190.59; 5. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 3.958, 308.21 vs. 12. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.291, 225.71; 6. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.973, 317.94 vs. 11. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.120, 309.70; 7. Bobby Bode III, Mustang, 4.024, 259.51 vs. 10. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 4.077, 302.62; 8. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 4.041, 298.47 vs. 9. Chad Green, Mustang, 4.062, 294.88.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Todd Simpson, 7.606, 85.74.

Pro Stock -- 1. Alex Laughlin, Chevy Camaro, 6.506, 210.73 vs. 16. Fernando Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.605, 208.20; 2. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.517, 212.23 vs. 15. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.593, 209.04; 3. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.517, 211.36 vs. 14. Bruno Massel, Camaro, 6.578, 209.72; 4. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.520, 211.30 vs. 13. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.558, 210.50; 5. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.527, 210.70 vs. 12. Troy Coughlin Jr., Mustang, 6.546, 209.56; 6. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.528, 210.14 vs. 11. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.546, 209.82; 7. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.532, 211.79 vs. 10. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.541, 210.57; 8. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.540, 211.23 vs. 9. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.540, 210.34.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Val Smeland, 6.638, 209.07; 18. Alan Prusiensky, 6.664, 196.30; 19. Cristian Cuadra, 24.214, 29.40.

Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.729, 199.88 vs. 16. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, broke; 2. Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 6.789, 198.88 vs. 15. David Barron, EBR, 15.035, 48.32; 3. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.799, 197.48 vs. 14. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 7.655, 189.52; 4. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.808, 197.08 vs. 13. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.967, 191.43; 5. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.811, 197.65 vs. 12. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 6.958, 192.22; 6. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.836, 193.71 vs. 11. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.935, 190.46; 7. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.842, 199.17 vs. 10. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.919, 195.82; 8. John Hall, Suzuki, 6.875, 193.05 vs. 9. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.900, 197.36.

Pro Modified -- 1. Steve Jackson, Chevy Camaro, 5.659, 253.52 vs. 16. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.144, 217.84; 2. Brandon Snider, Chevy Corvette, 5.660, 252.00 vs. 15. Justin Jones, Corvette, 5.956, 207.02; 3. Justin Bond, Camaro, 5.692, 248.20 vs. 14. Doug Winters, Chevy Chevelle, 5.846, 245.81; 4. Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 5.693, 253.66 vs. 13. Paul Daigrepont, Camaro, 5.841, 245.40; 5. Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.710, 251.95 vs. 12. Mike Janis, Camaro, 5.777, 247.79; 6. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 5.728, 252.05 vs. 11. Kris Thorne, Camaro, 5.776, 258.52; 7. Jim Whiteley, Corvette, 5.735, 247.25 vs. 10. Jeff Jones, Corvette, 5.764, 227.61; 8. Brandon Pesz, Camaro, 5.736, 249.12 vs. 9. Chad Green, Corvette, 5.739, 249.72.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Clint Satterfield, 6.223, 199.17.