NHRA Southern Nationals Coverage From Atlanta Dragway

Defending Top Fuel world champion Steve Torrence rolled to his second straight victory on Sunday with a win at the 39th annual Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also winners in their respective categories at the seventh of 24 events during the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

Torrence, whose first career Top Fuel win came in Atlanta in 2012, used his 3.863-second pass at 320.20 mph in his Capco Contractors dragster to defeat Brittany Force’s 3.989 at 274.00 in a final round matchup that featured the top two qualifiers of the weekend and the two most recent Top Fuel world champs. It is the 29th career win for the Top Fuel points leader 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 Georgia’s House of Speed.

“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 possible 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. It’s really cool to have Arby’s out here and be the first guy to ever win the Arby’s Southern Nationals.”

Force, the No. 1 qualifier, reached the final round with wins against Cameron Ferre, Antron Brown and Jordan Vandergriff.

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In Funny Car, Capps secured his first win of the 2019 season in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, going 4.068 at 315.34 to win on a holeshot against Tim Wilkerson’s 4.052 at 310.05 in the final round. It also gives Capps his 62nd career victory, continuing his impressive string of 11 straight seasons with at least one win.

Capps beat Shawn Langdon, John Force and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. to reach the final round, earning his third career win at Atlanta Dragway.

“An average race car 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.

Five-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Hines earned his second straight victory, third overall 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 also marked the 100th career win for Harley-Davidson in the class, a streak that Hines started with his first career victory in 2004.

It was another noteworthy accomplishment for Hines, who became the first rider to claim 50 wins in the class last weekend and has three victories in four races to open the 2019 Pro Stock Motorcycle season. The class points leader beat Melissa Surber, Ryan Oehler and Hector Arana Jr. to reach the final round.

“It was a good day and my motorcycle is nothing like 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, it’s monumental. It was a very big struggle at first, and there’s been trials and tribulations, but it’s really nice to get the 100th.”

Savoie knocked off Cory Reed, Steve Johnson and Eddie Krawiec en route to the finals.

The Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues May 17-19 with the Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va.

Final finish order (1-16) at the 39th annual Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. The race is the seventh of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

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.

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.

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.

Sunday’s final results from the 39th annual Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. The race is the seventh of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Steve Torrence, 3.863 seconds, 320.20 mph def. Brittany Force, 3.989 seconds, 274.00 mph.

Funny Car — Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.068, 315.34 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.052, 310.05.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.865, 195.05 def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.919, 193.65.

Pro Modified — Mike Castellana, Chevy Camaro, 5.825, 248.29 def. Jose Gonzalez, Camaro, Foul – Red Light.

Competition Eliminator — Craig Bourgeois, Dragster, 6.858, 188.15 def. Brian Browell, Dragster, 7.328, 181.11.

Super Stock — Aaron Stanfield, Chevy Camaro, 9.858, 134.02 def. Brandon Bakies, Camaro, 9.676, 137.12.

Stock Eliminator — Chip Johnson, Chey Camaro, 10.721, 96.96 def. Jeff Warren, Camaro, Foul – Red Light.

Super Comp — Trene Cressonie, Dragster, 8.881, 178.57 def. Shannon Brinkley, Dragster, Foul – Red Light.

Super Gas — Jim Perry, Chevy S-10, 9.894, 167.68 def. Rich Price, Chevy Corvette, 9.893, 165.99.

Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs.com — Clint Riley, Dragster, 7.412, 184.37 def. Steve Cohen, Dragster, Foul – Red Light.

Final round-by-round results from the 39th annual Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, the seventh of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:


ROUND ONE — Jordan Vandergriff, 3.817, 286.80 def. Pat Dakin, Foul – Red Light; Antron Brown, 3.771, 323.89 def. Clay Millican, 3.779, 320.89; Brittany Force, 3.887, 316.08 def. Cameron Ferre, 12.284, 61.95; Shawn Reed, 3.856, 320.13 def. Doug Kalitta, 4.208, 254.18; Dom Lagana, 3.819,
319.98 def. Austin Prock, 3.849, 321.42; Steve Torrence, 3.782, 319.60 def. Luigi Novelli, 3.940, 274.66; Leah Pritchett, 3.812, 317.79 def. Audrey Worm, 4.008, 289.88; Scott Palmer, 3.971, 265.85 def. Richie Crampton, 4.431, 180.60; QUARTERFINALS — Reed, 4.232, 265.74 def. Lagana, 7.933, 83.31; Vandergriff, 3.871, 313.15 def.
Pritchett, 3.898, 306.95; Torrence, 4.043, 263.41 def. Palmer, 8.919, 86.97; Force, 3.843, 314.83 def. Brown, 3.888, 299.33; SEMIFINALS — Torrence, 3.876, 318.17 def. Reed, 3.864, 315.78; Force, 3.893, 309.20 def.
Vandergriff, 4.630, 165.05;
FINAL — Torrence, 3.863, 320.20 def. Force, 3.989, 274.00.


ROUND ONE — Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.963, 321.12 def. Cruz Pedregon, Dodge Charger, 5.753, 121.59; Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.942, 310.91 def. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 5.681, 122.10; J.R.
Todd, Toyota Camry, 4.696, 172.94 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, Foul – Red Light; John Force, Camaro, 3.994, 327.74 def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.040, 312.78; Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.020, 314.97 def.
Dave Richards, Mustang, 4.406, 231.44; Ron Capps, Charger, 4.076, 315.78 def. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 4.414, 202.09; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.037, 309.84 def. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.113, 287.35; Paul Lee, Camry, 6.348, 102.03 def. Blake Alexander, Mustang, Broke; QUARTERFINALS — Wilkerson, 5.595, 231.79 def. Tasca III, 6.885, 128.97; Hight, 4.376, 279.90 def.
Lee, 4.967, 169.61; Capps, 4.022, 317.57 def. Force, 4.312, 220.80; Johnson Jr., 4.334, 218.62 def.
Todd, 10.638, 76.09;
SEMIFINALS — Wilkerson, 4.084, 313.66 def. Hight, 4.182, 258.02; Capps, 4.071, 317.19 def. Johnson Jr., 4.091, 310.27; FINAL — Capps, 4.068, 315.34 def. Wilkerson, 4.052, 310.05.


ROUND ONE — Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 9.709, 87.09 def. Matt Smith, Foul – Red Light; Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.916, 192.38 def. Cory Reed, 7.018, 191.00; Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.927, 195.59 def. Joey Gladstone, 6.953, 192.08; Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 7.129, 157.45 def. Hector Arana, Foul – Red Light; Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.958, 190.00 def. Angie Smith, 6.987, 192.28; Hector Arana Jr, 6.974, 192.88 def. Scotty Pollacheck, 7.028, 189.76; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.917, 195.53 def. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 7.068, 190.11; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.872, 194.80 def. Melissa Surber, Buell, 7.011, 189.82; QUARTERFINALS — Arana Jr, 6.919, 194.49 def. Sampey, 7.264, 145.42; Savoie, 6.938, 187.96 def.
Johnson, 6.918, 192.25; Krawiec, 6.901, 195.22 def. Stoffer, Foul – Red Light; Hines, 6.881, 194.41 def. Oehler, 6.957, 194.80; SEMIFINALS — Savoie, 6.951, 192.77 def. Krawiec, 6.930, 194.07; Hines, 6.897, 193.99 def. Arana Jr, 6.913, 192.77; FINAL — Hines, 6.865, 195.05 def. Savoie, 6.919, 193.65.

Point standings (top 10) following the 39th annual Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, the seventh of 24 events in the 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.


Brittany Force powered to the No. 1 qualifying position in Top Fuel on Saturday at the 39th annual Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also the No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the seventh of 24 events during the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. Qualifying concluded after the third session on Saturday due to weather.

Force claimed her third No. 1 qualifier of 2019 and 13th in her career after the 2017 Top Fuel world champion’s pass of 3.720-seconds at 319.52 mph from Friday in her Advance Auto Parts dragster held up. Defending world champ and points leader Steve Torrence, who won last weekend in Charlotte, is second with a 3.727 at 328.46, and Doug Kalitta took the third spot, going 3.737 at 320.36.

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Force will look to become the fourth driver in her family to win at Atlanta Dragway following previous wins from her sisters, Courtney and Ashley, as well as her father, John Force, who celebrated his birthday on Saturday.

“I’m feeling good and we’re exactly where we want to be going into raceday,” B. Force said. “We have three No. 1 qualifiers this season and that’s awesome, but we want more and we want more wins. We want it all. All of my family has won here, so we’re hoping for a win.”

Funny Car points leader Hight rocketed to the top spot for the fifth time in 2019 with a run of 3.920 at 328.54 in his Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS during the final qualifying session. It gave Hight his 65th career No. 1 qualifier as he seeks his fourth win in 2019. Defending world champ J.R. Todd qualified second with a 3.944 at 323.50, while J. Force will start eliminations from third thanks to his 3.958 at 322.04.

It also marked the second time Hight and his John Force Racing teammate, B. Force, qualified No. 1 at the same event in 2019.

“Going in (to the third qualifying session), we knew we were going to be in the bottom half of the field if we didn’t improve, but instead of making a safe run (crew chief) Jimmy (Prock) put it down,” Hight said. “When you push that hard, you risk smoking the tires, but we didn’t and we made the run. It doesn’t get any better than this right now. We don’t want it to go away.”

Krawiec took his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and 44th in his career in Pro Stock Motorcycle thanks to a 6.851 at 196.90 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. Krawiec, the defending event winner, slipped past teammate and points leader Andrew Hines’ 6.855 at 196.44, and is after his fifth career win at the track. Hector Arana Jr. qualified third with a 6.861 at 196.27.

“We’ve never had motorcycles the way we’ve had them this weekend where they’re this consistent,” said Krawiec, whose first career win in the class came in Atlanta in 2009. “They’re within thousandths of each other, trading numbers going down the track, and it’s something that’s really cool. It’s hard to tune to changing weather conditions, but we’ve done a pretty good job of that here.”

In the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, points leader Stevie “Fast” Jackson claimed his second No. 1 qualifier of the season in his supercharged Bahrain 1 Racing Camaro, racing to a class-best qualifying time of 5.768 at 250.69.

“We were ready to make a run for it in that last session before the weather hit since we knew we could stand on our run from (Friday),” Jackson said. “We were trying some stuff to get ready for raceday, but it wasn’t in the cards to run it today. Qualifying in Pro Mod in general is an accomplishment and I think the odds are in our favor (Sunday).”

Eliminations for the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals begin at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday.

Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the 39th annual Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, the seventh of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.

Top Fuel — 1. Brittany Force, 3.720 seconds, 319.52 mph vs. 16. Cameron Ferre, 4.310, 218.87; 2.Steve Torrence, 3.727, 328.46 vs. 15. Luigi Novelli, 4.079, 269.94; 3. Doug Kalitta, 3.737, 320.36 vs. 14. Shawn Reed, 4.036, 237.59; 4. Leah Pritchett, 3.764, 325.14 vs. 13. Audrey Worm, 4.005, 297.61; 5. Jordan Vandergriff, 3.788, 316.97 vs. 12. Pat Dakin, 3.850, 302.55; 6. Dom Lagana, 3.806, 321.88 vs. 11. Austin Prock, 3.843, 319.37; 7. Richie Crampton, 3.814, 312.64 vs. 10.
Scott Palmer, 3.827, 314.24; 8. Clay Millican, 3.817, 321.04 vs. 9. Antron Brown, 3.821, 323.19.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Terry McMillen, 4.883, 216.72.

Funny Car — 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.920, 328.54 vs. 16. Terry Haddock, Ford Mustang, 6.258, 138.46; 2. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.944, 323.50 vs. 15. Jim Campbell, Dodge Charger, 5.727, 122.51; 3. John Force, Camaro, 3.958, 322.04 vs. 14. Jack Beckman, Charger, 5.126, 149.12; 4. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.959, 324.83 vs. 13. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 4.644, 188.91; 5. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.981, 314.61 vs. 12. Dave Richards, Mustang, 4.442, 211.46; 6. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.987, 322.11 vs. 11. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.149, 290.94; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.031, 313.66 vs. 10. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.129, 263.98; 8. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 4.101,295.40 vs. 9. Paul Lee, Camry, 4.113, 308.57.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Jeff Diehl, 7.802, 85.02.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.851, 196.90 vs. 16. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 7.076, 190.48; 2. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.855, 196.44 vs. 15. Melissa Surber, Buell, 7.026, 191.48; 3. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.861, 196.27 vs. 14. Scotty Pollacheck, EBR, 6.996, 192.63; 4. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.892, 192.36 vs. 13. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.990, 195.96; 5.Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.901, 193.18 vs. 12. Cory Reed, EBR, 6.983, 192.25; 6. Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 6.905, 192.55 vs. 11. Hector Arana, EBR, 6.957, 194.55; 7. Ryan Oehler, Buell, 6.909, 197.45 vs. 10. Joey Gladstone, EBR, 6.946, 193.99; 8. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.909, 196.33 vs.9. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.929, 195.25.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Andie Rawlings, 7.326, 180.89.


Defending Funny Car world champion J.R. Todd raced to the provisional qualifying lead on Friday at the 39th annual Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

Brittany Force (Top Fuel) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional qualifying leaders in their respective categories at the seventh of 24 events during the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

Todd raced his DHL Toyota Camry to the top spot in Funny Car with his pass of 3.944-seconds at 323.50 mph on Friday. After picking up his first win of the 2019 season in Houston, Todd is now going for his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and 11th in his career. If it holds up, Todd would also give Kalitta Motorsports its 100th career No. 1 qualifier.

“This gives me a lot of confidence, but I know going into a race that I have a great team behind me and they can adapt to any condition,” Todd said. “It was tricky and I had my hands full down track. We were lucky to hang on and I think we just hit it right.”

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