By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
NHRA US Nationals Unfold At Indianapolis Raceway Park
Tim Wilkerson broke a five-year winless streak, finding the winner’s circle in Funny Car action on Sunday, Sept. 5 at the US Nationals in Indianapolis. Photo By Jeff Burghardt

For the NHRA, National Hot Rod Association, the US Nationals is the biggest event of the year and not just because it’s the final race for the pro teams to make their way into the countdown to the championship. It has been the biggest event for 70 years, although it also has taken on new meaning in recent years. The event used to be where the racers from the east coast squared off against the racers from the west coast. Now it’s the final race before NHRA’s version of the playoffs.

In Top Fuel, Steve Torrence and his Capco team continued their winning ways scoring their eighth win of the season. Torrence qualified second and took on Antron Brown in the opening round. Torrence laid down a stellar 3.716 at 325 mph as Brown’s Matco Tools Dragster lost traction. Round two he would take down part-time racer Greg Carillo. Another solid 3.744 at 323 mph for Torrence was more than enough to hold off Carrillo’s 3.948 @ 278 mph. Semi-final round would be a battle of father and son as Steve would take on Billy Torrence. Steve’s 3.744 @ 325 mph was good enough to defeat his father and move on. The final round saw number one and two in the points. Brittany Force and her Monster energy dragster, the number one qualifier, for the sixth straight race would try to stop Torrence, but as soon as she hit the throttle her dragster started to lose traction and all she could do was watch. Torrence put up another 3.749 @ 324 mph to score the win.

In Funny Car, Tim Wilkerson finally broke a five-year winless streak on Sunday, Sept. 5. Wilkerson took down Funny Car rookie Bobby Bode in the opening round with a less than spectacular 4.61 @ 218 mph. Round two Wilkerson took out the 16-time NHRA series champion and number one qualifier John Force. Force lost traction as soon as he stomped the throttle and watched Wilkerson streak to a 3.974 @ 297 mph. In the semi-final match, Wilkerson would compete with two-time series champion Cruz Pedregon. Much like Force before him, Pedregon lost traction and watched Wilkerson run a 3.984 @ 325 mph. Wilkerson would have one more series champion to get through in Ron Capps, the 2016 champ. Capps gave Wilkerson all he could handle with a 3.946 @ 326 mph but it was not enough to hold off the hard charging 3.912 @ 320 mph.

Pro Stock three-time champ Erica Enders captured the victory over rookie Kyle Koretsky. Though Koretsky put a 6.613 @ 206 mph on the score board to Enders’ 6.66 @ 206 mph, this race was won on the starting line. Enders with a .024 reaction time was enough advantage over Koretsky’s .040 to help her stay out front and capture the win.

Pro Stock Motorcycle saw a battle of champions in the final round as Angelle Sampey took on Eddie Krawiec. The two riders are teammates but they put on a great side by side show with Krawiec getting the best of Sampey, running a 6.844 @ 198 mph to Sampey’s 6.880 @ 195 mph to pick up the win.

The next stop for the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series is the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals in Maple Grove, Pennsylvania.

Torrence tf
Continuing a stellar campaign, Steve Torrence and his Capco team scored their eighth win of the season in the Top Fuel category. Photo By Jeff Burghardt