DINWIDDIE, Va. - Courtney Force was able to build on her points lead in the Funny Car category at the Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park on Sunday, as she brought home her fourth Funny Car victory of the season.
Steve Torrence (Funny Car), Tanner Gray (Pro Stock), and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also winners.
Force’s 4.039-second pass at 321.96 mph was enough to take down her father, John Force, in the final round on Sunday.
“It was really exciting for us to be part of an all John Force Racing final, but to have my team tuning this car so well all weekend helped get us a win here,” Force said. “We just have to maintain our focus throughout the season and keep performing well as a driver as we prepare for the Countdown to the Championship.”
This marked the 50th time in the history of John Force Racing that two team cars faced off in the final. She took down Jeff Diehl, Jim Campbell, and J.R. Todd on her road to victory.
Torrence powered to the Top Fuel win with a run of 3.812 at 322.96 to take down Doug Kalitta in the finals. The current points leader in the class notched his fourth victory of the year and the 20th of his career in his 200th race as a Top Fuel competitor.
“We didn’t qualify exactly where we wanted to, but at the end of the day we were in the right spot to win the race so I was proud of my team,” Torrence said. “This is one of the best racetracks I’ve ever been down because it’s so smooth, I really enjoyed coming back here where my Top Fuel career started.”
Torrence qualified sixth for the event and defeated Scott Palmer, Terry McMillen, and Antron Brown en route to victory.
Kalitta secured his second runner-up of the season and first since Charlotte, as he is still aiming for his first win since the season-opening Pomona event.
Gray was able to take down two-time world champion Erica Enders in the final round for his seventh career victory and second of the season. His 6.595 at 208.81 made him just the second Pro Stock competitor to reach the winner’s circle twice in 2018.
“Every time we match up with Erica it makes for some good racing, it’s a lot of fun getting to race the two-time champion,” Gray said. “It means a lot to get a win in my first time at the track, so it’s fun to get a win here in Virginia especially since it isn’t far from my home.”
He took down Kenny Delco, Vincent Nobile, and Drew Skillman to lock down the win.
Enders now has three runner-up finishes on the year to go along with a victory in Charlotte, as her four final rounds are the most in the class in 2018.
Tonglet earned his first victory of the season in Pro Stock Motorcycle, using a 6.841 at 196.76 to take down points leader Andrew Hines in the finals.
“Getting this win was huge, especially going against a Harley-Davidson bike because we know they are always going to be tough to beat,” Tonglet said. “Our bike is just flying and is fun to ride right now.”
After qualifying fifth, he bested John Hall, defending champion Eddie Krawiec, and No. 1 qualifier Hector Arana, Jr. to notch the win.
Hines now has three runner-up appearances on the season, as he still chases his first win of the year.
The 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tennessee from June 15-17.
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
Virginia Motorsports Park – Dinwiddle, VA
Virginia NHRA Nationals – June 10, 2018
Sunday’s Final Results
Top Fuel: Steve Torrence, 3.812 seconds, 322.96 mph def. Doug Kalitta, 3.844 seconds, 309.56 mph.
Funny Car: Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.039, 321.96 def. John Force, Camaro, 4.076, 307.65.
Pro Stock: Tanner Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.595, 208.81 def. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.628, 208.46.
Pro Stock Motorcycle: LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.841, 196.76 def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.848, 196.22.
Point Standings (Top 10)
Top Fuel: 1. Steve Torrence, 827; 2. Clay Millican, 719; 3. Doug Kalitta, 665; 4. Tony Schumacher, 641; 5. Leah Pritchett, 639; 6. Antron Brown, 530; 7. Terry McMillen, 521; 8. Brittany Force, 518; 9. Richie Crampton, 387; 10. Scott Palmer, 383.
Funny Car: 1. Courtney Force, 856; 2. Jack Beckman, 683; 3. Robert Hight, 665; 4. Matt Hagan, 633; 5. J.R. Todd, 615; 6. Ron Capps, 576; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr., 554; 8. John Force, 468; 9. Shawn Langdon, 461; 10. Cruz Pedregon, 454.
Pro Stock: 1. Greg Anderson, 720; 2. Vincent Nobile, 703; 3. Tanner Gray, 693; 4. Erica Enders, 686; 5. Bo Butner, 610; 6. Chris McGaha, 605; 7. Drew Skillman, 601; 8. Deric Kramer, 592; 9. Jeg Coughlin, 546; 10. Jason Line, 532.
Pro Stock Motorcycle: 1. Andrew Hines, 454; 2. Eddie Krawiec, 401; 3. LE Tonglet, 367; 4. Scotty Pollacheck, 332; 5. Hector Arana Jr, 317; 6. Matt Smith, 314; 7. Jerry Savoie, 294; 8. Hector Arana, 223; 9. Cory Reed, 204; 10. Angie Smith, 200.