Ford Mustang racer Bob Tasca III picks up right where he left off last week — at Norwalk Ohio …..

Tasca, a New England based racer, scored back-to-back Funny Car wins for the first time in his career, knocking off Jack Beckman in the final round for the 13th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.

Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Chris McGaha (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also winners at the 12th of 24 events during the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

Tasca, who won for the first time in nearly seven years last weekend in Bristol, waited just seven days to pick up his next victory, making it two in a row by going 4.383-seconds at 245.09 mph in the final round in his Motorcraft/Tasca Parts Ford Shelby Mustang. It is the sixth career win for Tasca, who reached his 14th career final round on Sunday with wins against Matt Hagan, Paul Lee and John Force.

Beckman, who slowed to an 11.764 at 77.85 in the finals, knocked off Jonnie Lindberg, Shawn Langdon and Tommy Johnson Jr. to reach his 59th final round.

“I worked a lot of years to get to this place and there were days I never thought I would get back here, but I never gave up and I thank the people that never gave up on me,” Tasca said. “I always knew if I could get the right car under me we could do great things. I woke up this morning and was as confident as I ever was, and when you make four runs in the 3.00s in very challenging conditions, there was no reason why we couldn’t have won. I’m glad we got it done.”

Bob Tasca III continued his sudden hot streak — winning in fuel FC for the 2nd straight event.

In Top Fuel, defending world champ and current points leader Torrence continued his dominant stretch, powering to his sixth win in the last seven races and 33rd in his career with a run of 3.832 at 323.27 in his Capco Contractors dragster to beat Pat Dakin’s 3.909 at 301.40. Torrence, who was nominated last week for Best Driver at the 2019 ESPY Awards, reached his seventh straight final round by beating Jordan Vandergriff, Doug Kalitta and Brittany Force, with the semifinal win giving Torrence his 300th career round win.

Dakin, who advanced to his first final round since 1998 and was looking for his first Top Fuel victory since 1973, reached the finals after beating Mike Salinas, Terry McMillen and Leah Pritchett.

There was no let up from “Team Torrence” as they again roared to victory in Top Fuel eliminator.

“Some days you come out here and you just feel really on top of your game and some days you’re a little slower and today was one of those slow days,” said Torrence, who won for the second time in Norwalk. “But my guys had my back and we went down the track four laps in a row. This is completely a team sport and without those guys working on the car, it’s nothing. I’m just proud to drive it.”

Pro Stock’s McGaha picked up his first win of 2019 and eighth in his career with his winning run of 6.620 at 210.11 in his Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro to beat Alex Laughlin’s 6.668 at 208.75. McGaha reached his 11th final round thanks to wins against Wally Stroupe, Greg Anderson and points leader Bo Butner.

Laughlin earned a berth in his fifth final round by topping Rodger Brogdon, Jason Line and Jeg Coughlin.

Texan Chris McGaha picked up eighth career win for Pro Stock.

“We just kept taking the same car up there all four rounds,” McGaha said. “I had a bad light in the first round and in the second round, I was a little better on the tree. I botched the burnout really bad in the semifinals and I’m sure everybody thought we were done, but next thing you now we let it rip and won that round.”

Five-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ and points leader Hines rolled to his fifth win of 2019 and class-best 53rd in his career, going 6.895 at 196.99 in the final round on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to beat teammate Eddie Krawiec’s 6.967 at 196.64. It was the 26th time the standout teammates have met in the final round, with Hines winning for the 12th time.

Hines’ day started with round wins against Marc Ingwersen, Angelle Sampey and defending world champion Matt Smith. Krawiec reached the final round for the 83rd time by knocking off Michael Ray, John Hall and Scotty Pollacheck.

Five-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ Andrew Hines came away a winner again.

“We had different conditions today than the rest of the week, but for some reason my bike tends to work well on a greasy track,” said Hines, who won for the fifth time in Norwalk. “The competition is tough and you have to earn it each round. Our guys do a great job making sure we have phenomenal motorcycles. (Racing Krawiec) has brought out the best in both of us. That’s probably why we have as many wins as we have. We push each other to be that much better.”

The Mello Yello Drag Racing series continues at the NHRA New England Nationals, July 5-7 at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H.

A Pro Mod Push

Former world champion – Khalid alBalooshi scored his first victory of the 2019 season during E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service portion of the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals.

In the final round versus Caribbean-based racer Jose Gonzalez, who had won the previous weekend at Bristol, alBalooshi powered to a run of 5.765-seconds at 259.01 mph in his turbocharged Bahrain 1 Racing Camaro to beat Gonzalez’s 5.801 at 258.81.

Highly versatile driver Khalid alBalooshi won in Pro Mod — it was his first title in a turbocharged car.

It marked the second win in Norwalk for alBalooshi, with his first coming in Top Fuel. The victory is also the fifth in alBalooshi’s standout Pro Mod career — and his first in a turbo-powered race car.

alBalooshi picked up wins against Todd Tutterow, No. 1 qualifier Mike Castellana and three-time world champion Rickie Smith to reach the final round. Gonzalez beat Doug Winters, Brandon Snider and points leader Stevie “Fast” Jackson to reach his second straight final round and fifth in his career.

The PM event (presented by Plochman’s Mustard in Norwalk) marked the eighth of 12 races 2019 season races. The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series will now take a summer break before returning back to action at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Aug. 28-Sept. 2 at Lucas Oil Raceway Park at Indianapolis.

For additional PM class racing detail at Norwalk – link to our VP Racing Fuels Pro Mod Portal subsection : HERE (Coming soon!)

Lucas Oil Lowdown

Because of very inclement weather leading up to the 2019 NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals — the majority of Lucas Oil Series Sportsman class car racing was suspended because of existing and potential flooding.  That proactive move made jointly by track management and NHRA officials will result in that scheduled racing — being deferred to a later date.

Two NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series eliminators did compete however – with Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car categories being contended.

Ohio’s Troy Coughlin Jr was a popular winner in the TAD class racing his Jegs-sponsored car which is overseen by McPhillps Racing.

Homestate racer Troy Coughlin Jr., was dominating while winning in the TAD class.

Troy was very dominating while winning his 2nd career NHRA national title in the class – cascading his low ET of the meet qualifier (5.183 secs) all the way to victory circle.

In the championship round — Coughlin Jr., beat first time finalist Will Hanna who was driving the Hirata Racing injected nitro car. Coughlin won that by a 5.266 secs 278.40 mph to 5.564 secs 275.57 mph margin.

“This is all a kid from Ohio could ask for,” said Coughlin, who was runner-up at this event one year ago. “Having my wife Brenna, my mom (Michelle Shelly), my dad (Troy Sr.), Pappy (grandfather Jeg Coughlin Sr.), my uncle Jeg (Coughlin), aunt Samantha (Coughlin) and my goddaughter Carly all here, it’s just so special.”

The TAFC title went saw the impressive 2019 rampage for Sean Bellemeur continue as he racked up season win #3 driving the Bartone Brothers Hussey Performance-sponsored Chevy Camaro.

Defending Lucas Oil World Champ – Sean Bellemeur — scored again in TAFC class racing,

Bellemeur too was the most dominating class car on the premises — setting low ET and top speed of the meet during qualifying — 5.413 secs and 272.23 mph.

Sean singled in round one but then defeated Chip Beverett and rising Canadian racer *Tyler Scott to advance to his 14th career national event title.

*(DragRaceCanada will post an additional feature on this race car/team — coming soon.)

In just his second start in a newer car acquired only recently by co-owners Larry Dobbs and Jay Johnston – Ontario-based racer Tyler Scott went to the TAFC “final four”!

FS/XX Ford Fest!

NHRA’s latest round for the highly popular Sam-Tech Automotive School of Machinists Factory Stock Showdown series was a resounding plus for fans of the “Blue Oval” brand — with late model Mustangs — muscling by the completion once again.

The final round was a cool feature that paired off Indiana-based father and son: Bill Skillman v.s. Drew Skillman for the title.

Drew Skillman (near lane) won the Ford-brand dominated Sam-Tech Factory Stock Showdown event at Norwalk.

Drew Skillman, who is the overall points leader after the 5th of 8 races for 2019, increased that margin when he won for the 3rd time this year – beating his Dad to the stripe 7.921 secs 173.34 mph to 7.931 secs 173.25 mph.

Ford Mustangs also set low ET of the event (Kevin Skinner 7.875 secs) and top speed (Bob Butner 179.78 mph).

The event’s added attraction 1/8th mile AA/GS exhibition eliminator was won by Mike Kalinowski’s ’48 Austin.

Posted with files by NHRA Communications and Bruce Biegler
Photos by Bruce Biegler & Steve Embling

To view additional photos from this race visit our LMLCMedia photo galley: HERE