Historic First NHRA Win for New Generation Camaro  

Greg Anderson delivered a huge victory at Englishtown NJ on Sunday driving his all new Chevy Camaro to a win in Pro Stock during NHRA’s Toyota Supernationals.  That marked the first win to be recorded for the 2012 model within NHRA racing.  The last win by a Chevy Camaro in the category had been by Kurt Johnson during the  2000 NHRA Finals event at Pomona, CA.

It was also Anderson’s 4th Pro Stock victory of the season and 74th of his career, which came in the debut event for the new race car, which had only finished testing days before. 

Anderson defeated teammate Jason Line in the final round with a performance of 6.560 at 212.03 in his Summit Racing Equipment Camaro, while Line’s Summit Racing Pontiac GXP trailed with a 6.588 at 200.98.  It was also the 100th win for the KB Racing team, owned by Ken Black. 

“We brought [the new Camaro] here with high hopes and surpassed those hopes,”Andersonsaid. “This is a fantastic weekend. Couple weekends ago I lost in the final to Allen Johnson. I thought I had the better car. I had a better light and we shook the tires. I lost and I told [team owner] Ken Black, that maybe you should be on hand for the 100th win for KB racing. For him to come across the country fromLas Vegas, he must have had that feeling. He jetted all the way over here.”  

Anderson, who qualified sixth, advanced to the final with early round wins over Ron Krisher, Mike Edwards and Allen Johnson.  It was his fifth career win at Raceway Park, which makes him the winningest Pro Stock driver in the track’s history, moving past Bob Glidden and Warren Johnson. 

Line pulled ahead of the final round race, but then slowed dramatically as the two cars charged toward the finish line. 

Greg Anderson rolled his all new Camaro to victory over teamate Jason Line in the Pro Stock final

“In the final, Jason would have won but he broke a valve spring and that cost him about 2-100ths,”Anderson said. “If this had been a 1,000-foot race he’d have won but this isn’t Top Fuel. We run a quarter-mile and that made the difference. It’s tough for Jason but the bottom line was we couldn’t lose in the final.”

Anderson, who increased his series lead with the victory, was thrilled to win with his new Camaro in its debut. 

“It was a gutsy call to bring the Camaro here,”Andersonsaid. “It was a tough decision but I’m so excited about GM being back in Pro Stock, and the muscle car being back in Pro Stock. We knew that the sooner we got it out here the better off the class would be. Even if it wasn’t 100-percent, we were bringing it.”  

2nd Consecutive TF Strike for Torrence  

Steve Torrence raced to his second Top Fuel victory of the season and Johnny Gray (Funny Car) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event, which was slightly delayed by a passing afternoon thunderstorm as teams prepared for their final rounds.
Torrence beat Tony Schumacher and Spencer Massey in earlier rounds with quicker reaction times and then used a horsepower advantage to edge Brandon Bernstein at the finish line in the final round.  In the final, Torrence’s Capco Contractors dragster finished in 3.800 seconds at 323.66 mph while Bernstein’s MAV TV/Lucas Oil machine trailed with a 3.807 at 321.04.

Steve Torrence continued his rising star status in NHRA Top Fuel racing

“It’s really a little surreal coming out and having success in a short time,” Torrence said. “I figured this team to be a competitive team and run with these guys, but I didn’t expect to do as well as we have. It’s really gratifying to be able to go out and do that well. Today, we had some really tough races. Two races, we won by a thou against both of the Schumacher cars. I don’t know but it’s more gratifying when you go out and you really have races that you’ve got to beat the guy beside you rather than them smoking the tires or whatever. I had my best light of the weekend againstBrandon that round, and I was pretty pumped up because I knew he’d been on it. I may have cheated the car a little bit. I think it was going to go .79 instead of .80, but I stole from the starting line.” 

Massey, who failed to certify his category-best low E.T. of the event as a national record, maintained his series lead over second place Schumacher with the semifinal effort. Torrence, who also won atAtlantain May, has surged to fifth in the points standings.  

“The car that I’ve got right now is the best Top Fuel car that I’ve ever driven, so I do feel like we have a championship contender car if it stays the way that it’s running,” Torrence said. “We’ll just see. [Contending for the championship] is in the back of my mind, but we’re still going one round, one race at a time because consistency is the key. We’re trying to get some parts built up for the Countdown, and when that time comes, we’ll start looking in that direction. I don’t want to get the cart before the horse. I just want to go out here and keep racing and hopefully get some round-wins.”

Johnny Gray won big for Mopar fans -- taking the potent NTB Charger to a FC victory

In Funny Car, Gray claimed his first victory of the season and second of his career by beating teammate Ron Capps in the final round. Gray pulled away from Capps, who was making his fifth consecutive final round appearance, with a performance of 4.078 at 314.39 in his NTB/Service Central Dodge Charger. Capps’ NAPA Auto Parts Charger, which posted the quickest run in NHRA history on Friday with a blast of 3.964 seconds, lost traction and finished in 5.358 at 160.71. Capps also failed to back-up his category-best performance during eliminations to certify it as a national record.

Gray faced tough competitors all day, as he beat Jim Head, John Force and Robert Hight in the opening rounds.

“There wasn’t anything easy about it,” Gray said. “Nothing is ever easy trying to outrun any of the fuel cars that are out there, but Rob [Wendland, crew chief], Rip [Reynolds, assistant crew chief], and all the guys just gave me a great race car all weekend. I think a .11 was our slowest pass of the weekend. What can you say? That car’s just awesome. It’s fun to drive. It goes good. It goes straight. You know what it’s going to do, so we’re really looking forward to going to the next race.” 

Ron Capps recorded the quickest run in FC history (3.964 secs) during qualifying

With the semifinal finish Hight increased his series lead over Capps, who solidified his second place position with the runner-up effort. Gray, who failed to qualify for the Countdown playoffs last season, made a major move toward making the top 10 this season with this victory, climbing to fourth in the standings.  

“We struggled a little bit and we lost it a little bit a few races back, but we made some changes along with the help of Rahn Tobler and Mike Green and just really all the guys over at the DSR brain trust,” Gray said. “They came over and kind of got us back on track and helped the guys kind of get the car lined up, and now she’s just a pooch. You just take her up there, and she goes right down the racetrack.”  

Local favorite Krawiec, former Raceway Park GM, claimed an emotional first Pro Stock Motorcycle victory at the historic track, taking the automatic victory when his final round opponent Hector Arana Sr. fouled at the start on his Lucas Oil Buell. Krawiec claimed his 14th career victory by finishing in 6.921 at 171.45 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson.

The Pro Stock Motorcycle final saw Eddie Krawiec beat Hector Arana

 “During my TV interview I actually started crying,” said Krawiec, an Englishtown, N.J. native who now calls Indianapolis home. “[Team owner] Terry Vance has said many times, that something that never comes out of Eddie’s mouth is ‘I have nothing to say.’ But I was speechless.”

 Krawiec, who increased his series lead with the win, defeated Joe DeSantis and former world champs Matt Smith and LE Tonglet in the first three rounds to advance to the final. He knew he would need to be on his game for the final with Arana, who had posted some of the quickest runs of the day. 

“I knew I had to hit the tree good and make a nice run to have a chance of winning,” Krawiec said. “I let Craig Treble whip me here in 2009 because I thought I had a better bike and I laid back on the starting line. He picked my pocket and still doesn’t let me forget it. I thought that was my one and only chance to win this race. Thankfully, it wasn’t.”

 Rowe Very Convincing Again In Pro Mod 

Transplanted Canadian racer Danny Rowe raced to his second consecutive victory of the season during the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by ProCare Rx portion of the Toyota NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

Danny Rowe strengthened his Pro Care RX Pro Mod points lead

Driving his supercharged Sterling Bridge-sponsored Chevy Camaro, Rowe defeated Troy Coughlin in the final round to take the victory. Coughlin fouled at the start in his JEGS.com ’68 Camaro, giving Rowe’s 5.910 at 239.57 mph effort a clear path to victory lane.

In earlier rounds, Rowe defeated Jay Payne, Steve Matusek and top qualifier Mike Castellana. It was Rowe’s third career victory and his second win in a row at the historic New Jersey track. 

With the win, Rowe increased his series lead to 30 points over second place Castellana.  

*For more detailed Pro Mod results visit DragRaceCanada’s Pro Mod Portal Subsection

Posted by:  NHRA Communications

Event Essentials42nd NHRA Toyota Supernationals (May 31-June 3rd, 2012) Englishtown NJ  

TOP FUEL Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Steve Torrance 3.800 323.66 2nd
R/UP: Brandon Bernstein 3.807 321.04  
Low ET: Spencer Massey 3.728    
Top Speed: Spencer Massey   329.91  
Bump Spot:   3.920    
FUNNY CAR Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Johnny Gray 4.078 314.39 2nd
R/UP: Ron Capps 5.358 160.71  
Low ET: Ron Capps 3.964    
Top Speed: Ron Capps   320.89  
Bump Spot:   4.231    
PRO STOCK Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Greg Anderson 6.560 212.03 74th
R/UP: Jason Line 6.588 200.98  
Low ET: Jason Line 6.518    
Top Speed: Jason Line   212.76  
Bump Spot:   6.628    
Winner: Eddie Krawiec 6.921 171.45 14th
R/UP: Hector Arana 8.640 105.66  
Low ET: Eddie Krawiec 6.782    
Top Speed: Eddie Krawiec   197.48  
Bump Spot:   7.152    
Pro Care Pro Mod Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Danny Rowe 5.910 239.57  
R/UP: Troy Coughlin 5.964 229.51  
Low ET: Mike Castellana 5.865    
Top Speed: Troy Coughlin   254.33  
Bump Spot:   6.099    
LUCAS OIL        
Sportsman Winners: Name ET MPH  
Competition Arnie Martel 7.574 170.17  
Super Stock Brian Martel NTR NSR  
Stock Joe Santangelo 10.86 119.79  
Super Comp Franklin DiBartolomeo 8.883 170.34  
Super Gas Ray Sawyer 9.888 167.74  
Super Street Pete Biondo 10.88 146.29  


Big Names Win Englishtown Sportsman Titles

In the final results for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and the Toyota NHRA Supernationals at Old Bridge Township RacewayPark two reigning national champions and a former champion took home the hardware.  Reigning Stock Champion Joe Santangelo,Marlborough,Conn., won in Stock and Super Gas Champion Peter Biondo won in Super Street to become just the second driver in history to win an NHRA national event in six different classes.

Competition eliminator winner - Arnie Martel

Santangelo won immediately off the starting line in his ’95 Camaro as Eric Cabral,Manchester,N.H., left early with a red-light.  Santangelo drove through to a 10.866 second 119.79 mph winning run.

Biondo, Maspeth, N.Y., used a better reaction time to knock out Chris Butcher for his first national event win inSuper Streetto tie Jeg Coughlin Jr. as the only driver to win in six different categories at an NHRA national event.  Biondo has also won in Comp Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp and Super Gas.  Biondo went 10.887, 146.29 to Butcher’s quicker 10.883, 146.40 in the final.  

Versatile racer Pete Biondo won in Super Street with this immaculate Camaro

2005 Super Gas NHRA Lucas Oil National Champion Ray Sawyer, Acton, Mass., wheeled his ‘02 Camaro to the win in Super Gas as he ran down Marc-Andre Piche-Nadeau, St. Jean Chrysostome, Que., with a 9.888, 167.74 for his first win of the 2012 season.  

Comp Eliminator saw the numbers 3 and 4 on the all-time Comp win list face off in the final round with Arnie Martel,Tewksbury,Mass., downing Dan Fletcher,Churchville,N.Y.  Fletcher got out front early but Martel drove around him for the win in 7.574 seconds at 170.17 mph to Fletcher’s 7.808, 157.06.  

Brian Martel (no relation) marched to the win in Super Stock as did Franklin DiBartolomeo in Super Comp.  Martel, Magnolia,Del., won against James Antonette, New Hyde Park, N.Y., on a red-light and DeBartolomeo,Beaver Springs,Pa., won on a double break-out with Dave Heuwetter,Iselin, N.J.  

Posted by:  Eric Lotz 

Photos by:  Bruce Biegler, Steve Embling and Dave DeAngelis 

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