LAS VEGAS, Nev. -Steve Torrence raced to the Top Fuel victory Sunday at the inaugural DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
J.R. Todd (Funny Car) and Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) were also winners in their respective NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series categories.
Torrence piloted to a 3.771-second pass at 326.63 mph for the 18th victory of his career and second of the season. He defeated the No. 1 qualifier Tony Schumacher, three-time world champion Antron Brown and Doug Kalitta in the final round.
“I knew my team was confident coming into today, but going into a final round against Antron, Tony Schumacher and Doug up against you makes it a tough round,” Torrence said. “Our car still isn’t performing at the level it was last year, but we know we just have to work on the car and prepare for the later part of this season when every race really matters.”
With the victory, Torrence moves atop the Top Fuel points standings as he chases his first world championship in the class.
Todd ran a 4.041 at 317.05 for the Funny Car win. Jack Beckman finished in second after his 4.052 at 312.21, while Courtney Force wound up third and Tommy Johnson, Jr. ended in fourth.
“We brought out a new car in Gainesville and struggled during Friday’s qualifying this weekend, but I got my confidence up in the fourth round of qualifying and then definitely carried over into today,” Todd said. “I know it’s going to be tough to crack the top ten in this Funny Car class because it’s so competitive, so every win we can get is going to help us crack the Countdown to the Championship.”
In Pro Stock, Nobile picked up his 11th career victory when he ran a 6.591 at 210.44. He bested Deric Kramer, Bo Butner and Chris McGaha in the final round.
“My team worked their tails off this weekend, we went through three engines over the weekend but overall it was a great weekend and there isn’t any reason we can’t be back in the winner’s circle again soon,” Nobile said. “The car has been running well but we have had some bad luck so far this season, but we are hoping this is our turning point.”
The 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues at Royal Purple Raceway in Houston, Texas April 20-22.
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Las Vegas, NV
NHRA Four-Wide Nationals – April 8, 2018
Sunday’s Final Results
Top Fuel — Steve Torrence, 3.771 seconds, 326.63 mph def. Tony Schumacher, 3.790 seconds, 325.22 mph and Doug Kalitta, 3.914 seconds, 273.27 mph and Antron Brown, 4.097 seconds, 252.52 mph.
Funny Car — J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 4.041, 317.05 def. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.052, 312.21 and Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.007, 300.53 and Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, foul.
Pro Stock — Vincent Nobile, Chevy Camaro, 6.690, 206.80 def. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.678, 206.45 and Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.682, 206.57 and Chris McGaha, Camaro, foul.
Point standings (Top 10)
Top Fuel: 1. Steve Torrence, 333; 2. Tony Schumacher, 300; 3. Antron Brown, 290; 4. Clay Millican, 255; 5. Doug Kalitta, 248; 6. Richie Crampton, 215; 7. Leah Pritchett, 202; 8. Scott Palmer, 195; 9. Brittany Force, 158; 10. Terry McMillen, 148.
Funny Car: 1. Jack Beckman, 338; 2. Courtney Force, 302; 3. Matt Hagan, 301; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr., 265; 5. Ron Capps, 258; 6. J.R. Todd, 235; 7. Robert Hight, 222; 8. Shawn Langdon, 205; 9. Jonnie Lindberg, 171; 10. Del Worsham, 167.
Pro Stock: 1. Bo Butner, 322; 2. Chris McGaha, 293; 3. Deric Kramer, 289; 4. Vincent Nobile, 283; 5. Jason Line, 268; 6. Greg Anderson, 253; 7. Drew Skillman, 242; 8. Tanner Gray, 229; 9. Alex Laughlin, 212; 10. Erica Enders, 198.