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Torrence, Todd and Nobile emerge victorious at DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals

by Mike Haag | Posted on Monday, April 9th, 2018

Steve Torrence, J.R. Todd and Greg Anderson. NHRA photo

 

Courtesy of the NHRA

LAS VEGAS – Steve Torrence raced to the Top Fuel victory Sunday at the 19th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as the inaugural four-wide racing experience for fans on the West Coast came to an end in front of a sellout crowd.

Steve Torrence. NHRA photo

J.R. Todd (Funny Car) and Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) were also winners in their respective categories at the fourth event on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Torrence piloted his Capco Contractors dragster 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.

Steve Torrence. NHRA photo

“I knew my team was confident coming into today, but going into a final round against Antron [Brown], Tony Schumacher and Doug [Kalitta] 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.

J.R. Todd. NHRA photo

Todd ran a 4.041 at 317.05 in his DHL Toyota Camry for his first DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals win and 11th of his career. 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.”

Vincent Nobile. NHRA photo

In Pro Stock, Nobile picked up his 11th career victory and first at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when he ran a 6.591 at 210.44 in his Harlow Sammons Chevy Camaro. 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.

Media Center Interviews:

Steve Torrence –

 

J.R. Todd –

 

Vincent Nobile –

 

Top Fuel final. NHRA photo

 

LAS VEGAS — Final finish order (1-16) for professional categories at the 19th annual DENSO Spark Plug NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race is the fourth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

  1. Steve Torrence; 2. Tony Schumacher; 3. Doug Kalitta; 4. Antron Brown; 5. Richie Crampton; 6. Steven Chrisman; 7. Leah Pritchett; 8. Clay Millican; 9. Billy Torrence; 10. Terry Totten; 11. Brittany Force; 12. Terry McMillen; 13. Troy Buff; 14. Mike Salinas; 15. Terry Haddock; 16. Scott Palmer.

FUNNY CAR:

  1. J.R. Todd; 2. Jack Beckman; 3. Courtney Force; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 5. John Force; 6. Jonnie Lindberg; 7. Del Worsham; 8. Gary Densham; 9. Bob Tasca III; 10. Tim Wilkerson; 11. Robert Hight; 12. Cruz Pedregon; 13. Matt Hagan; 14. Ron Capps; 15. Shawn Langdon; 16. Jim Campbell.

PRO STOCK:

  1. Vincent Nobile; 2. Deric Kramer; 3. Bo Butner; 4. Chris McGaha; 5. Greg Anderson; 6. Drew Skillman; 7. Matt Hartford; 8. Tanner Gray; 9. Shane Gray; 10. Alex Laughlin; 11. Steve Graham; 12. Joey Grose; 13. Jason Line; 14. Alan Prusiensky; 15. Erica Enders; 16. Jeg Coughlin.

Funny Car final. NHRA photo

 

LAS VEGAS — Sunday’s final results from the 19th annual DENSO Spark Plug NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race is the fourth of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

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;

Top Alcohol Dragster — Joey Severance, 5.244, 275.00 def. Julie Nataas, 5.349, 267.32.

Top Alcohol Funny Car — Sean Bellemeur, Chevy Camaro, 5.470, 265.69 def. John Lombardo Jr., Camaro, 10.788, 80.67.

Competition Eliminator — Joe Mozeris, Dragster, 7.008, 188.25 def. Scott McClay, Dragster, 7.454, 158.59.

Super Stock — Justin Lamb, Chevy Cobalt, 8.725, 155.52 def. Brad Burton, Pontiac Firebird, Foul – Red Light.

Stock Eliminator — Justin Lamb, Chevy Camaro, 10.025, 130.51 def. Larry Gilley, Dodge Dart, 11.043, 117.84.

Super Comp — Bradley Johnson, Dragster, 9.067, 168.39 def. Ryan McClanahan, Dragster, 9.081, 175.39.

Super Gas — Michael Miller, ’27-T Ford, 10.037, 145.28 def. Aaron Kinard, Chevy Corvette, 10.029, 163.18.

Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs.com — Mike MacBrair, Dragster, 6.617, 203.00 def. Steve Casner, Dragster, 6.738, 198.12.

Top Sportsman presented by RacingRVs.com — Bud Preuss, Chevy Camaro, 7.490, 154.53 def. Jeff Gillette, Pontiac GTO, Foul – Red Light.

Top Fuel Harley — Rickey House, Harley, 6.324, 217.14 def. Jay Turner, Dixie, 6.795, 158.97.

Pro Stock final. NHRA photo

 

LAS VEGAS — Final round-by-round results from the 19th annual DENSO Spark Plug NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the fourth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE — Clay Millican, 3.744, 326.48 and Steve Torrence, 3.811, 326.87 def. Billy Torrence, 3.811, 321.73 and Troy Buff, 3.832, 314.39; Doug Kalitta, 3.819, 320.89 and Richie Crampton, 3.832, 313.22 def. Brittany Force, 4.690, 175.52 and Terry Haddock, 6.914, 76.49; Antron Brown, 3.797, 327.35 and Leah Pritchett, 3.793, 324.05 def. Terry Totten, 4.139, 278.17 and Mike Salinas, 4.398, 191.81; Tony Schumacher, 3.899, 257.43 and Steven Chrisman, 4.111, 284.81 def. Terry McMillen, 4.697, 173.01 and Scott Palmer, 7.975, 94.17;

SEMIFINALS — S. Torrence, 3.763, 326.08 and Schumacher, 4.297, 249.49 def. Chrisman, 4.568, 216.24 and Millican, 5.970, 108.82; Kalitta, 3.864, 320.13 and Brown, 4.050, 278.58 def. Crampton, 4.261, 261.47 and Pritchett, 5.391, 149.51;

FINAL — S. Torrence, 3.771, 326.63 def. Schumacher, 3.790, 325.22, Kalitta, 3.914, 273.27 and Brown, 4.097, 252.52.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE — J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.959, 318.99 and John Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.015, 316.75 def. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 4.044, 314.97 and Shawn Langdon, Camry, 7.119, 104.82; Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.967, 317.87 and Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 4.389, 294.56 def. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 7.016, 73.75 and Jim Campbell, Dodge Charger, broke; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.030, 316.01 and Del Worsham, Camry, 4.496, 244.25 def. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.855, 172.36 and Matt Hagan, Charger, 5.899, 117.68; Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.082, 305.56 and Gary Densham, Mustang, 5.304, 149.66 def. Robert Hight, Camaro, 6.165, 109.93 and Ron Capps, Charger, 6.697, 78.55;

SEMIFINALS — Johnson Jr., 4.007, 314.68 and Todd, 4.054, 314.17 def. J. Force, 4.050, 315.34 and Worsham, 4.049, 307.93; Beckman, 4.013, 317.05 and C. Force, 4.126, 298.67 def. Lindberg, 4.674, 188.65 and Densham, 5.379, 136.72;

FINAL — Todd, 4.041, 317.05 def. Beckman, 4.052, 312.21, C. Force, 4.007, 300.53 and Johnson Jr., foul.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE — Chris McGaha, Chevy Camaro, 6.650, 207.59 and Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.685, 207.30 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.708, 206.10 and Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 10.415, 121.10; Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.686, 206.16 and Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.695, 205.69 def. Steve Graham, Camaro, 6.774, 204.51 and Jason Line, Camaro, 6.667, 205.38; Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.672, 205.82 and Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.669, 205.98 def. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.684, 206.07 and Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.756, 204.70; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.668, 206.57 and Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.725, 203.74 def. Joey Grose, Camaro, 6.825, 202.73 and Erica Enders, Camaro, 7.311, 200.80;

SEMIFINALS — Kramer, 6.693, 206.10 and Butner, 6.700, 205.91 def. Skillman, 6.697, 205.88 and T. Gray, 6.773, 206.07; McGaha, 6.675, 206.51 and Nobile, 6.674, 206.35 def. Anderson, 6.680, 207.62 and Hartford, 6.720, 205.72;

FINAL — Nobile, 6.690, 206.80 def. Kramer, 6.678, 206.45, Butner, 6.682, 206.57 and McGaha, foul.

J.R. Todd. NHRA photo

 

LAS VEGAS — Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional categories following the 19th annual DENSO Spark Plug NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the fourth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series –

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.

Vincent Nobile. NHRA photo

About the Author

Mike Haag has covered motorsports in San Antonio and South Texas for more than 30 years. In addition to working for the San Antonio Express-News for nearly 28 years, Mike also has co-hosted TrackSmack with Dawn Murphy for 15 race seasons. In addition to being a writer, Mike also teaches English at Floresville High School.

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