NHRA Atlanta Produces Breakthrough TF Winner 

Texan Steve Torrence has broken through to become the newest winner within NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel Racing history…..

The driver of the Capco Contractors dragster scored during last weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals held at Georgia’s Atlanta Dragway.  Ron Capps (Funny Car) Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Kraweic (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were also winners during the 7th season stop for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

Torrence earned his first career Top Fuel victory and in the process denied Tony Schumacher from finally getting a victory at Atlanta Dragway, the only track on the circuit where the seven-time world champ has yet to win. Torrence covered the distance in 3.893 at 320.66 mph in his dragster while Schumacher’s U.S. Army dragster lost traction early in the race and finished in 4.913 at 169.44 mph. 

Steve Torrence is NHRA's newest Top Fuel class winner

Torrence, who qualified second, used a bunch of 3.8-second runs to cruise through eliminations, knocking off J.R. Todd, Bob Vandergriff and Brandon Bernstein along the way to his first career final.

“It hasn’t really even set in,” said Torrence, the 2005 Top Alcohol Dragster national champ in the NHRA Lucas Oil Series. “We’ve been working our tails off since last year at this race. This was the last race that I raced with Dexter [Tuttle] and we set out to start our own team. To kind of start the new team and get the first win here, that’s a big deal for us. We’re 10 races into this new team. Richard Hogan [crew chief], I’ve got all the confidence in the world in that guy. I told him from day one that he’s my guy, and I’ve stuck with it. This car has run really, really well. My driving, I’ve been practicing, and the seat time of just making passes in a good car has really helped me a lot. Getting this first win, it’s unbelievable. To do it here atAtlantais awesome. This is a great racetrack. It just hasn’t caught up to me yet. Hopefully, this is the start of a lot of really good things.”

 Ron Capps raced to his first victory of the season Sunday at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway and ended John Force Racing’s season-long stronghold on the winner’s circle in Funny Car.

Capps, who used a consistent string of 4.16-second runs to take his 34th career victory, outran Robert Hight in the final round, who was trying to give JFR its seventh consecutive win of the season. Capps’ Napa Auto Parts Dodge Charger posted a 4.166 second run at 303.91 mph to take the win, while Hight’s Auto Club Ford Mustang trailed with a 4.399 at 273.44.

Ron Capps scored for Napa and Mopar in FC ending the JFR 6-event winning streak

 “We love those guys,” Capps said of Hight and his team. “[Crew chief Rahn] Tobler and Prock went to dinner here not too long ago. They’re good friends, and Robert and I are good friends. We had dinner last night and watch the UFC fight. I told them at the other end, ‘You guys bring everything I got out when I have to race you.’ I got so tired of hearing about Force [Racing] winning every race. I got tired hearing about Robert. I love him but I got tired of hearing about him on this race streak. I tweeted when they gave Will Power the first quarter Driver of the Year thing. That’s a pretty stout group of guys voting for that thing — I mean it’s Mario Andretti, ‘Snake’ [Don Prudhomme] — and it irritated me that they didn’t give him that, but I told him, ‘I’m tired of hearing about you winning.’ I know Tobler’s the same way. We go up there, and it brings everything we’ve got to race those guys, so to beat them was huge.”

 Capps also beat Daniel Wilkerson, Matt Hagan and Jeff Arend to advance to the final, the 73rd of his career. It is the third-straight final round appearance for Capps since Tobler joined his team. 

“This is such a great team, and right from the get-go in Charlotte, the first run reminded me how fun it can be to race again,”  “I was starting to just get a little frustrated and wondered if maybe I wasn’t as good as I used to be when I was younger. It just got very difficult. When Don [Schumacher, team owner] made the move and put me with Rahn [Tobler] and John Collins, I’m telling you it was just unbelievable. I’m having so much fun right now. I’m the luckiest guy in the world to be driving this car.” 

Anderson raced to his third Pro Stock win of the season with a reaction time advantage, holding off hard-charging teammate Jason Line at the finish line.Andersontook his 73rd career victory with a performance of 6.649 at 208.26 in his Summit Racing Pontiac to hold off the quicker, but losing Summit Racing Pontiac of Line, which finished in 6.618 at 209.62.

“We’re very happy as a team [about theSummitcars reaching five Pro Stock finals this year],” said Anderson, who beat Greg Stanfield, Steve Kent and Allen Johnson in earlier rounds. “It’s great to have threeSummitcars in the semis. That doesn’t happen too often with multi-car teams. It just tells you that everybody is rowing the boat in the same direction and pulling their load. That’s what I’m the most proud of – assembling this team and instilling in them that it doesn’t matter which driver wins.

Greg Anderson won his sponsors race at Atlanta -- it was his 3rd Pro Stock win of 2012

“It all goes back to what Ken Black does for this team. We just want to dig harder and harder every day because that’s what he is doing, going to rehab and trying to get back to walking, and he’s darn close. When you see that, you don’t want to let the man down. You want to make him proud. And when he gets back to the race track full-time, we want our cars to be running at their best.”

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, defending world champ Krawiec took his second victory of the season, outrunning first-time finalist Michael Ray. Krawiec powered his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a winning run of 6.905 at 195.53 to hold off Ray’s GottSpeed Racing Buell, which finished in 7.036 at 187.94.

Krawiec advanced to the final with early round wins over Michael Phillips, Karen Stoffer and Shawn Gann. It was Krawiec’s 13th career victory and second at Atlanta Dragway.

“We are just trying to get a handle on the motorcycle and working on getting it to leave well, and I think we did that this weekend,” Krawiec said. “It ran awesome and I’ve got a killer motorcycle right now.”

The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series continues May 18-20 with the Dollar General NHRA Summernationals at Heartland Park Topeka,Topeka,Kan.

Double Wins for Cobra Jet Pilot

Drew Skillman pulled off the rare double this weekend at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway winning in both Stock Eliminator and in Super Stock

Skillman, Greenwood, Ind., faced off with fellow Indiana racer Douglas Duell taking the Stock Eliminator win in his ’12 Mustang with a pass of 9.141 seconds at 149.33 mph for his first ever NHRA national event win. 

Roughly twelve minutes later he was at the starting line looking for his second as he matched up with Drew Allen, Mary Ester, Fla.  Skillman got the hole-shot and never looked back taking his second win of the day becoming just the 11th driver in history to capture the double-up.  Skillman also drives a ’12 Mustang in the Super Stock class clocking in at 146.18 mph in 8.837 seconds.

Drew Skillman's 2012 Cobra Jet Mustang

Jeffrey Barker, Warner Robins, Ga., took the win in Top Sportsman running 199.37 mph in 6.933 seconds in his ’02 Camaro.  Barker qualified No. 1 and faced off with Billy Vaughn, Knoxville, Tenn., who ran 7.377 seconds, 147.76 mph.

Ed Richardson and Jeff Money were near perfect on the starting line in their winning runs in Super Comp and Super Street respectively.   Richardson, Bradenton, Fla., was just one-thousandth of a second from a perfect run combining a .001 second reaction time with an 8.900 second lap on an 8.90 dial to beat Brad Plourd, Avon, Ind.  Money, Abbeville, Ala., was .002 on the line which resulted in the win over Dennis Hill, Fayetteville, N.C.

Rounding out this weekend’s winners was Nick Folk, Durand, Ill., in Top Dragster and Billy Upton, Taylors, S.C., in Super Gas.  Folk defeated the quicker Dylan Stott, Columbus, N.C., with a 7.175, 186.69 mph lap while Upton won when Steven Furr, Harrisburg, N.C., left early with a red light foul.

Posted by:  NHRA Communications & Eric Lotz

Event EssentialsSummit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals (May 4-6th, 2012) Commerce, GA 

TOP FUEL Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Steve Torrance 3.893 320.66 1st
R/UP: Tony Schumacher 4.913 169.44  
Low ET: Tony Schumacher 3.815    
Top Speed: Antron Brown   323.12  
Bump Spot:   3.954    
FUNNY CAR Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Ron Capps 4.166 303.91 34th
R/UP: Robert Hight 4.399 273.44  
Low ET: Robert Hight 4.104    
Top Speed: Cruz Pedregon   310.20  
Bump Spot:   4.326    
PRO STOCK Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Greg Anderson 6.649 208.26 73rd
R/UP: Jason Line 6.618 209.62  
Low ET: Allen Johnson 6.594    
Top Speed: Allen Johnson   209.98  
Bump Spot:   6.710    
Winner: Eddie Krawiec 6.905 195.53 13th
R/UP: Michael Ray 7.036 187.94  
Low ET: Hector Arana 6.863    
Top Speed: Eddie Krawiec   195.70  
Bump Spot:   7.153    
LUCAS OIL        
Sportsman Winners: Name ET MPH  
Top Dragster Jeffery Barker 6.933 199.37  
Top Sportsman Nick Folk 7.175 186.69  
Super Street Jeff Money 10.94 131.01  
Super Stock Drew Skillman 8.837 146.18  
Stock Drew Skillman 9.141 149.33  
Super Comp Ed Richardson 8.900 165.97  
Super Gas Billy Upton 11.29  96.53  

DragRaceCanada File Photos