Capps, Torrence, Hines win Southern Nationals in Atlanta
Ron Capps scored his first victory of the year at the 39th annual Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, as Steve Torrence and Andrew Hines clinched wins in Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle respectively.
Capps secured his first win of 2019 in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, running a 4.068 at 315.34 to win on a holeshot against Tim Wilkerson’s 4.052 at 310.05 in the final round.
It was Capps’ 62nd career victory, continuing his impressive string of 11 straight seasons with at least one win, and his route to the final saw him defeat Shawn Langdon, John Force and his own Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tommy Johnson Jr.
“An average racecar driver could have probably won in that car today,” said Capps, whose first win with crew chief Rahn Tobler came in Atlanta in 2012. “This was a car you dream about driving.
“Rahn Tobler pulled out the vintage Rahn Tobler, and that just gave me more and more confidence. It was just amazing and to get a Hellcat win was huge.”
Wilkerson beat Cruz Pedregon, Bob Tasca III and points leader Robert Hight to reach the finals.
Torrence, whose first career Top Fuel win came in Atlanta seven years earlier, produced a 3.863-second pass at 320.20mph in his Capco Contractors dragster to defeat Brittany Force’s 3.989/274.00 in a final round matchup that featured the top two qualifiers of the weekend and the two most recent Top Fuel champs. It is the 29th career win for Torrence and third at the track.
Torrence, who became the first repeat winner in the class this season, also picked up round wins against Luigi Novelli, Scott Palmer and Shawn Reed to earn his second victory in three years at the venue.
“When you have a group of guys that sticks together and that continuity is there, that’s the reason for success,” Torrence said. “As a driver, I need to do my job and give them the best driving ability I possibly can because they’re giving me the best race car they possibly can. My guys are second to none and I would put them up against anybody out here.
“We went down the track every time we needed to and we’ve had a really good car.”
Force reached the final round with wins against Cameron Ferre, Antron Brown and Jordan Vandergriff.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
Five-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Hines earned his third win of 2019 and 51st in his career after going 6.865 at 195.05 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to defeat Jerry Savoie in the final round. It marked the 100th PSM win for Harley-Davidson – a streak that Hines started with his first career victory in 2004.
Hines beat Melissa Surber, Ryan Oehler and Hector Arana Jr. to reach the final round.
“It was a good day and my motorcycle is like nothing I’ve ever had in my career,” said Hines, who now has three wins at Atlanta Dragway. “It’s working really well and doesn’t do much wrong. All in all, it was a fantastic day. To get 100 wins for Harley-Davidson is monumental. It was a very big struggle at first, and there have been trials and tribulations, but it’s really nice to get the 100th.”
Savoie beat Cory Reed, Steve Johnson and Eddie Krawiec en route to the finals.
Final finish order at 39th annual Arby's NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway
TOP FUEL: 1. Steve Torrence; 2. Brittany Force; 3. Shawn Reed; 4. Jordan Vandergriff; 5. Antron Brown; 6. Leah Pritchett; 7. Dom Lagana; 8. Scott Palmer; 9. Clay Millican; 10. Austin Prock; 11. Luigi Novelli; 12. Audrey Worm; 13. Doug Kalitta; 14. Richie Crampton; 15. Pat Dakin; 16. Cameron Ferre.
Final: Steve Torrence, 3.863 seconds, 320.20 mph def. Brittany Force, 3.989 seconds, 274.00 mph.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Ron Capps; 2. Tim Wilkerson; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 4. Robert Hight; 5. John Force; 6. Paul Lee; 7. Bob Tasca III; 8. J.R. Todd; 9. Jack Beckman; 10. Matt Hagan; 11. Jim Campbell; 12. Dave Richards; 13. Shawn Langdon; 14. Terry Haddock; 15. Cruz Pedregon; 16. Blake Alexander.
Final: Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.068, 315.34 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.052, 310.05.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Andrew Hines; 2. Jerry Savoie; 3. Hector Arana Jr; 4. Eddie Krawiec; 5. Steve Johnson; 6. Ryan Oehler; 7. Karen Stoffer; 8. Angelle Sampey; 9. Joey Gladstone; 10. Matt Smith; 11. Angie Smith; 12. Melissa Surber; 13. Cory Reed; 14. Scotty Pollacheck; 15. Hector Arana; 16. Kelly Clontz.
Final: Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.865, 195.05 def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.919, 193.65.
Point standings after 7 of 24 events in the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
TOP FUEL: 1. Steve Torrence, 579; 2. Brittany Force, 483; 3. Doug Kalitta, 464; 4. Leah Pritchett, 433; 5. Clay Millican, 427; 6. Mike Salinas, 384; 7. Antron Brown, 373; 8. Richie Crampton, 329; 9. Terry McMillen, 319; 10. Austin Prock, 288.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Robert Hight, 663; 2. Matt Hagan, 472; 3. John Force, 470; 4. J.R. Todd, 456; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., 445; 6. Tim Wilkerson, 436; 7. Ron Capps, 430; 8. Jack Beckman, 425; 9. Shawn Langdon, 365; 10. Bob Tasca III, 338.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Andrew Hines, 444; 2. Eddie Krawiec, 366; 3. Hector Arana Jr, 356; 4. Matt Smith, 237; 5. Jerry Savoie, 233; 6. Ryan Oehler, 211; 7. Karen Stoffer, 204; 8. Joey Gladstone, 170; 9. Hector Arana, 169; 10. Angie Smith, 168.
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