Erica Enders became the winningest female in a single season in NHRA history with her victory in Pro Stock Sunday at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals…..
Richie Crampton (Top Fuel), Del Worsham (Funny Car) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also victorious at the 22nd of 24 events of the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season and the fourth of six races in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.
Enders powered her Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro to a 6.467-second run at 214.48 mph to defeat Jonathan Gray and earn her eighth victory of the year, breaking Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Angelle Sampey’s record of seven wins in 2001. The Houston native also claimed her 20th career victory and first victory at Texas Motorplex just outside of Dallas.
“I have been talking about a cowboy hat for months – wanting to come here and win a cowboy hat – so I’m excited to be able to get that done in front of all of our friends and family,” said Enders, who extends her points lead to 154 over Greg Anderson heading to Las Vegas. “It’s just a huge blessing. You know I didn’t drive my best in the final round and my guys stepped up to the plate and picked up my slack, so I’m so appreciative to them. We just have such great team chemistry and great horsepower so I’m a happy girl.”
Gray was appearing in his second final of the season in his Gray Manufacturing Chevy Camaro. He defeated Alex Laughlin, rookie Bo Butner and Allen Johnson to reach the final.
In Top Fuel, Crampton pushed his Lucas Oil dragster to a 3.972 at 283.07 win over Texas native Steve Torrence. Crampton, the 2014 Auto Club of California Road to the Future Award winner, earned his seventh career victory, fifth of the year and first at Dallas. The naturalized U.S. citizen and native of Australia moves to third in points with two races remaining.
“We started out pretty strong in qualifying,” said Crampton. “You figure you might have an easy first-round if you qualify in the top-half, but we pulled Doug Kalitta, and that team is tough. We were really lucky to throw that 3.70 down and get around him. Our race car fought us all day long from that point on. I was helping the guys change clutch controls between rounds twice today, and that’s a pretty big process. At the end of the day, I’m just beat.”
Local favorite Torrence pushed his Capco Contractors dragster to his third final of the season and first at Dallas, beating Larry Dixon, Shawn Langdon and Clay Millican.
Points leader Antron Brown and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher held on to first and second place, respectively, in points. Brown holds a 132 point advantage over Schumacher, who fell in the first round to Millican. Brown reached the semifinals, falling to Crampton.
Worsham came up big in Funny Car with a 4.041 at 272.17 win in his DHL Toyota Camry over Jack Beckman’s 4.077 at 286.25 in his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T during the final round. Worsham, the current points leader, earned his 37th career victory (29 in FC) and has won three of the first four Countdown to the Championship races.
“It was a great weekend,” said Worsham, who now owns a 38 point lead over Beckman. “The car ran well all weekend other than the final round where it got a little squirrely. It was challenging today. We didn’t have the fastest car all day. Being in the right lane one round didn’t seem to matter, and we got ourselves in a final round. We kind of showed the depth we have right now at Kalitta Motorsports to come back from that explosion [in the St. Louis final] and win all these rounds.”
Beckman, who was coming off a victory at the most recent event in Reading, powered past Tony Pedregon, 16-time world champion John Force and teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. en route to his ninth final round appearance in 2015.
Savoie rode his Savoie’s Alligator Farm Suzuki to his third Pro Stock Motorcycle victory of 2015 with a 6.744 at 198.44 win over Eddie Krawiec. The result was the fourth career win for Savoie, the event’s No. 1 qualifier, and his first at Dallas. The win moves the alligator farmer to third in points.
“When you’re making the power like we had this weekend, and I can’t thank Vance & Hines enough for that, you don’t want to throw it away on a red-light,” said Savoie, who moved to third in points. “We tried to set up the clutch and myself for .050 reaction times, and we ended up a bit slower than that. But we managed to get away with a couple of close ones, so all is good.”
Krawiec, who is second in points, raced past Angie Smith, Hector Arana Jr. and Chip Ellis in the earlier rounds.
The Lucas Oil Lowdown!
At the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex, Bill Litton captured his first career National event win in Top Alcohol Dragster. Sean Bellemeur rode a string of 5.40s to his first national event win this year in Top Alcohol Funny Car.
In the Top Alcohol Dragster final, Chris Demke and Litton, La Jolla, Calif., had their first final round face off. Litton completed a 5.318 second pass at 275.17 miles per hour for the win. Demke, Tujunga, Calif., had trouble at the start and never left the line for a runner-up finish.
In Top Alcohol Funny Car, Bellemeur, Placentia, Calif., had a career best elapsed time, earning the national event win in his sixth career final round appearance. Bellemeur faced off against Shane Westerfield, Anaheim, Calif., and posted the winning run of 5.423 seconds, 271.46 mph in his ’15 Camaro. Westerfield had trouble at the start and never completed his run.
Craig Bourgeois, Metairie, La., had a quick reaction time of .007 in the final round matchup with Clint Neff, Arvada, Colo., running a 6.840 second lap at 175.66 mph for the win. Bourgeois had the advantage off the line, and reeled in Neff for his fifth national event win. Neff has two national event wins; he was late off the line running a 7.3591 second lap at 171.08 mph runner-up finish. Craig Bourgeois now sits atop the national point standings as the season begins to wind down.
In a tight Super Comp race Chris LeBlanc, Pearland, Texas, had a great light and battled with Randy Prewitt of Mt. Pleasant, Texas, down the lane. LeBlanc ran a dead-on 9 to get the win and earned his third national event win; this being his first in Super Comp.
Seasoned NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series National Champion Tommy Phillips, Forney, Texas, had a great light and earned the win over Tommy Maedgen, of Troy, Texas in Super Gas. This is Phillips’ 34th National event win and his 15th in this class.
In Super Stock, Kevin Stubbs, Benton, Ark., had a slight advantage off the line but slowed as he went down the lane leaving Aaron Stanfield, Bossier City, La., to capture the win. Stanfield had a winning pass of 9.695 seconds at 132.59 miles per hour. This was Stanfields first national event win.
Jimmy Hidalgo, Donaldsonville, La., captured his second national event win in Stock Eliminator defeating Slate Cummings of Hammond, La. Both racers were quick off the line but Cummings broke out giving Hidalgo the win.
Monte Green, Haxtu, Colo., won his first national event NHRA Wally trophy in Top Sportsman defeating defending champion Danny Liebham of Tornball, Texas. Green earned his first win running 6.796 seconds at 194.49 mph.
In Top Dragster it was Lynn Ellison, who worked his way through eliminations and with an easy win captures his seventh national event victory, defeating JR Baxter, Waxahachie, Texas. Baxter fouled out at the line giving Ellison his second win this year in Top Dragster.
Posted with files by NHRA Communications and Mandi Ramirez