S. Torrence, Capps, Butner And Hines Win Virginia NHRA Nationals

Defending Top Fuel world champion Steve Torrence secured his second consecutive victory at the Virginia NHRA Nationals and third of the season Sunday evening at Virginia Motorsports Park.

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

Words and photos courtesy NHRA/National Dragster

S. Torrence walked away Sunday with his 30th Top Fuel victory in his Capco Contractors dragster with his run of 3.881-seconds at 319.82 mph to defeat Antron Brown’s 3.899 at 309.49 in the final round. This was the 10th time the pair had met in the finals. Brown won the first five and S. Torrence has clinched the last five victories.

S. Torrence secured round wins against Todd Paton, Scott Palmer, and his father Billy Torrence en route to his 45th career final round.

“Hands down and hats off to the whole Capco team,” S. Torrence stated. “Those guys gave me the best race car of the day. We were the guys that went down the track four times in a row. All I had to do was not run over anything or anybody and they gave me the best car ever. Richard Hogan (crew chief) and Bobby Lagana (crew chief) they make the right calls when the pressure is on and when the heat is out there. In cowboy terms, I rode the two best horses out there.”

Brown defeated teammate Leah Pritchett, Brittany Force and Mike Salinas.

Capps secured his second consecutive Funny Car Wally in his NAPA Brakes Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to defeat the defending world champion J.R. Todd in the finals. This win marks Capps’ 62nd Funny Car win and 63rd overall along with his 30th victory with crew chief Rahn Tobler since 2012.

Capps beat Jim Campbell, Robert Hight and teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. to reach the final round, earning his first career win at Richmond Motorsports Park.

“Just go up there and not make a mistake was my mindset today,” Capps said. “Tobler told me in the trailer prior to the final round, ‘I don’t know why it smoked the tires all day. Everybody has had problems and we’re just going to put it like we did first round when it went 3.99.’ I rolled it in there and obviously it went a bit slower but that’s what he went up there to do. Vintage Rahn Tobler.”

Todd beat Bob Tasca III, teammate Shawn Langdon and Jonnie Lindberg to reach the finals.

Butner locked-in his fourth win this season when his pass of 6.599 at 209.01 in his Jim Butner Auto Chevrolet Camaro took down Greg Anderson. This is Butner’s fourth victory this season, first at the facility and 11th of his career. Anderson was the last driver in 2004 to secure four victories within the first five events of the season.

Butner also went to the final round of the SAMTech.Edu Factory Stock Showdown where he fell short to Drew Skillman on a holeshot.

“It’s been an amazing season and a good call to come back,” Butner stated. “We made a very good run in the final. Greg and I both made mediocre runs up until that point. The track was great. It’s very smooth and the Franklins did a great job with this place and it would be nice if we came back here a couple of times. It was fun running two cars multiple rounds today. It was a good day and I can’t complain.”

Butner defeated Wally Stroupe, Chris McGaha and Jeg Coughlin Jr. on his way to his 24th career final round.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Hines, the No. 1 qualifier, earned his third straight victory, fourth overall of 2019 and 52nd in his career after going 6.845 at 195.68 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Street Rod to defeat teammate Eddie Krawiec in the final round. The last Pro Stock Motorcycle rider to win four of the first five events to start the season was Hines’ brother, Matt Hines, in 1998.

“We have developed a very good hot weather tune up for our Street Rods and that’s saying a lot,” Hines said. “We typically tend to not look forward to the middle of the season because that’s where our performance tends to fall off and people make up ground on us. Today we were able to take what we’ve learned the last couple of weeks between Charlotte when it got hot and Atlanta when it was really hot. We don’t ever go up there (the starting line) with the same tune up, ever. It was a little bit of picking on it here and there which has led to us finding the window where we need to be.”

The category points leader defeated Jiana Salinas, Ryan Oehler and defending world champion Matt Smith to reach the final round. Krawiec took down Kelly Clontz, Karen Stoffer and Hector Arana Jr. en route to his 25th final round against Hines.

Sidnei Frigo claimed his first victory of the season at Virginia Motorsports Park in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service on Sunday, winning the second annual Virginia NHRA Nationals, where the series was presented by Real Pro Mod Association. It is the fifth of 12 races during the 2019 season.

Frigo ran 5.796-seconds at 256.55 mph in his Itatiba Sao Paulo Brazil Chevrolet Camaro picking up the final round win on a holeshot over Stevie “Fast” Jackson’s pass of 5.768 at 251.16.

It marks the third career E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod victory for Frigo, who qualified second and also earned round wins over Chip King, Alex Laughlin and Eric Latino.

“My team really pulled through today,” Frigo stated. “For some reason, our turbo car runs really well in the heat and I wouldn’t be mad if it was this in Topeka at our next race. I saw Stevie over there at half track and I know that the turbo power really comes on at the top end. All I could think of was that we had him. It was really cool.”

Sunday’s final results from the Second annual Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park. The race is the eighth of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series: 

Top Fuel — Steve Torrence, 3.881 seconds, 319.82 mph def. Antron Brown, 3.899 seconds, 309.49 mph.

Funny Car — Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.097, 310.98 def. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, Broke.

Pro Stock — Bo Butner, Chevy Camaro, 6.599, 209.01 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.607, 210.18.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.845, 195.68 def. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.858, 196.44.

Pro Modified — Sidnei Frigo, Chevy Camaro, 5.796, 256.55 def. Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.768, 251.16.

Super Stock — Joe Santangelo, Chevy Camaro, 10.250, 118.73 def. Steve Comella, Dodge Dart, 8.838, 146.19.

Stock Eliminator — Wallace Dent, Chevy Camaro, 10.624, 123.40 def. Joe Lisa, Camaro, 10.937, 118.20.

Super Comp — Chris Garretson, Dragster, 8.905, 133.38 def. Colby Fuller, Dragster, 8.914, 175.96.

Super Gas — Tom Goldman, Chevy Corvette, 9.909, 160.23 def. Michelle Furr, Corvette, 9.870, 159.72.

Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs.com — Chad Traylor, Dragster, 7.209, 180.26 def. Junior Houston, Dragster, 7.415, 172.08.

Factory Stock Showdown — Drew Skillman, Ford Mustang, 7.990, 170.69 def. Bo Butner, Mustang, 7.989, 171.29.

About the author

Andrew Wolf

Andrew has been involved in motorsports from a very young age. Over the years, he has photographed several major auto racing events, sports, news journalism, portraiture, and everything in between. After working with the Power Automedia staff for some time on a freelance basis, Andrew joined the team in 2010.
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