Inside with Eatmyink: The Complete U.S. Nationals Story

When it came to two wheels at the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals, there wasn’t much more that Matt Smith Racing and Jay Turner Racing could have done better while sweeping up every honor in sight.

MSR’s domination of Pro Stock Motorcycle started on day 1 when Angie Smith led Friday evening’s qualifying session with a 6.807 at 197.31 miles per hour on her DENSO Racing EBR. Teammate Scotty Pollacheck qualified third with a 6.864 at 197.28.

Angie Smith led Friday PSM qualifying

“I was happy about leading qualifying on Friday,” said Angie. “I didn’t make a perfect pass by no means. The bike went left in the 60 foot and I had to correct it, so that scrubbed some ET off. But it was still awesome to at least do it for one day.

“We still haven’t mastered the 60 foot with my bike yet, but I do think we have made progress in the right direction. The past two years it’s been very inconsistent with a best of high 1.07—low 1.08, and as high as 1.11 or 1.12.

“This weekend on the 6.80 pass I was 1.05. Then it was 1.10, then 1.08, then 1.11, then 1.08—if I remember correctly.

“I will say I am running what Matt and Scotty do down the back half, so if we can get that fixed completely, it will be better.”

And better would be a great description for MSR’s day on Saturday, putting two bikes in the Mickey Thompson Pro Bike Battle and retaining number one qualifier—albeit with a different bike/rider.

Pro Bike Battle winner Matt Smith

Matt earned his second career Pro Bike Battle win before the hit when opponent—and teammate—Pollacheck went -.001 red. The collective groan could be heard all the way to Scotty’s Medford, Oregon home.

Pollacheck came into the weekend on the cover of National Dragster as Kevin McKenna’s eighth annual pick as PSM’s next first time winner. A smooth, quick rider with copious wins at various levels of the sport, Pollacheck has always come up just short when it counted in PSM. Be it mechanical malady or missing the tree on one side or another, it was always something.

Pollacheck lighting the redeye in the Pro Bike Battle.

And the groan got louder when Smith’s motor locked up on the top end, winning with only a 7.244 at 175.75. Pollacheck had already sat up on his EBR—not because he saw Matt’s winlight but because his own transmission broke.

“That $25,000 (the Pro Bike Battle winner’s check) is already spent when you break a motor on one bike and the transmission on another in one race,” said Pollacheck’s MSR crewman Michael Ray.

“This race is a big deal for us and it means a lot,” Matt said. “For all the people that help me, thank you. And thank you to Mickey Thompson for putting this on for us in the class. We appreciate it a lot.”

Pollacheck did take the No. 1 qualifier with his run of 6.789 at 200.29, breaking the track speed record and snagging the last spot in the DENSO 200-mph club. It was Scotty’s second career No. 1 qualifier. Matt took the third spot with a 6.792 at 199.76, while Angie’s Friday lap held up for fifth.

“It’s been an awesome day, going 200 mph, getting the number one spot, and getting to race in the final round of the Mickey Thompson Pro Bike Battle,” Pollacheck said graciously. “It’s already been an awesome weekend and this has been a really good day for us.”

But there was still a very important job left for Pollacheck, and his first test on raceday for the U.S. Nationals would come against Matt’s starting line nemesis Michael Phillips.

Would Phillips get inside Pollacheck’s head before the tree came down? “I’m just gonna run my race,” said Michael to a collected crowd in the pits late Saturday night.

“Oh that’s gonna REALLY fuck him up!” laughed one rider in the crowd.

Here’s a video of Saturday night in the PSM pits:

Michael Phillips always pre-stages quickly and sets his glare on the other lane—Scotty Pollacheck, in this instance.

And Pollacheck did have a poor .120 light against Phillips’ .028, but Michael’s bike overpowered the track at the hit as it had most of the weekend, and Saturday’s groan turned into a “Whew” as Scotty dodged a bullet.

Next up for Pollacheck was Indy 3 winner Angelle Sampey. One of only two PSM winners at that point of the 2020 season, Angelle squeaked past the other when she beat Indy 1 winner Flyin’ Ryan Oehler in E1. That was an excellent race, as Angelle and Ryan’s performances were closely matched until her winlight lit.

Flyin’ Ryan Oehler came into the U.S. Nationals with the PSM points lead.

“We made it A-B every pass this weekend,” said Oehler. “Our first pass was a 6.95 and spun the tire nearly the entire 1320. We continued to make adjustments to put the power to the ground, just couldn’t pin down the tune-up in enough time to turn on the winlight.”

Pollacheck took the tree, out-60ed Angelle, and this one was never particularly close for Scotty.

Steve Johnson had his man Jock back at the track and was posting some serious numbers.

Steve Johnson came into his semifinal pairing with Pollacheck on his own personal mission. Johnson’s crew chief Ervin “Jock” Allen was back at the track for the first time since his much-publicized, intensive care bout with COVID19—which included losing his mother to the dreaded virus.

And Jock’s presence showed in the performance of Johnson’s Suzuki. Johnson split the Smith’s in qualifying, placing fourth with a 6.79 at 195. No other Suzuki came within a tenth of the .70s.

“I was so proud to see so many come up to Jock and love on him,” said Johnson. “It really made me feel good. I keep reminding myself how bad he was and what the statistics were for him day after day in the COVID unit. Really is all about gratitude right now.”

Former White Alligator Racing crewman Rick Elmore filled in well for Jock at Johnson’s team, but it wasn’t quite the same.

So great having Jock back at the track, seen here with Hector Arana Jr.

“Steve just trusts me with everything,” said Jock. “We’ve been together so long, he trusts me to go over everything with a fine tooth comb.”

“Having Jock here gave us some stability,” said Johnson, who believes he would have qualified and raced even better at the Indy 3 event if he hadn’t “have killed the engine and had to go home.”

“We are such a little team, and when we have a problem it sets us back weeks. Many other teams have much stronger infrastructure and can mess-up and still recover.”

“The engine that’s in right now, we’ve been trying to run since January of 2019,” revealed Jock. “Every time down it’s blown up.”

Would it hold up through the weekend?

“We hope so. If not, we’ve also got the engine that was fast all last year in the Countdown.”

As it turned out, it wasn’t the motor that let Johnson down in the semi against Pollacheck, but a leak in the oil line to the cylinder head. Johnson was pulled off the line and Scotty got a solo pass that turned exciting with a little brake lock-up in the shutdown area.

Lastly for Pollacheck was Andrew Hines in the final. Much like his race with Angelle on the other Harley, Pollacheck led this one from start to finish. Hines’ 1.11 60 foot put him way back at the start. Pollacheck’s 6.790 at 200.53 reset the track speed record.

“There’s so many people that put in so much work and effort to help get us here,” Pollacheck said, keeping his emotions in check till near the end. “My wife, Susan, has really pushed me, and Matt and Angie Smith have given me an amazing bike. Michael Ray, my crew guy, he’s the baddest man on the planet. This bike was just flawless all weekend. This is like the biggest thing ever. I can’t even believe it. It’s just awesome.”

Pollacheck went home to action of a different and dangerous kind, as his Medford, Oregon home is as of this writing under threat of the forest fires sweeping the area.

It’s hard to call a weekend with two bikes in the semis and one in the final lackluster for any team, but that’s the way it felt with the Vance & Hines H-D team—especially when compared to MSR.

Although Matt’s bike did fall off a bit after destroying the motor in the Pro Bike Battle, the performance of the three bikes under the MSR awning was really impressive. The COVID19 downtime was clearly well-spent back at their King, North Carolina shop. An engine dyno purchased from former racer Mike Berry in January wasn’t scheduled to be installed until this coming winter.

“We put a plan together to get the room built and get it up and running,” said Angie. “I think we had it running by late April, and we started learning what our motors wanted and liked.”

“It has been a lot of work for Angie and I, but it’s paying off,” said Matt. “We have been working really hard on the engine dyno getting all these motors as close to each other as we can. We have eight motors all within three horsepower.”

Which keeps the team in great shape for the coming championship stretch—although now racing for smaller purses at each event.

“We are all worried about the payout,” Matt said in the Eatmyink Facebook Group. “Up until this virus hit it was 10K to win and 1,250 to just make the show. If you won one or two races and finished in the top 10 in points you could make 50 to 100K. Now if you win all five of the races left it’s only 15K. It’s just a joke.”

Speaking of “K’s,” at the Indy 3 race, I mentioned to Hector Arana Sr. that I’d heard that some new gen2 EBR bodywork was coming out to compete against his. “Yes, I’ve heard that too,” said Hector.

Kenny’s Components craftsmanship on Cory Reed’s EBR

So at the U.S. Nationals, the competing EBR body made it’s first appearance on the bike of Cory Reed. Basically a dead-ringer for the Arana body but with Kenny’s Components craftsmanship, the competing product reportedly sells for half of Arana’s $25K price.

Arana was both pissed and despondent, while Reed found the whole thing humorous. And as things worked out, Reed faced Hector Arana Jr. in E1 and won with a strong performance in the middle sector of the track. Reed did a “waxed that ass” gesture in the shutdown area.

Although Cory redlit against Eddie Krawiec in E2, it was a remarkable showing for his team, who recently announced that their bikes and engines were for sale as they transition to brand new Vance & Hines Suzukis. Apparently racing to show off the quality of the stuff they were selling, just Reed entered and teammate Joey Gladstone crewed. Builder/tuner Cecil Towner worked his magic from afar in Richmond, Virginia. As to why they would develop a brand new body while selling off their EBRs, well….

Jerry Savoie

The White Alligator Racing season continues to be lackluster. The team is citing gremlins, and they’ve been known to have sensor-ECU communications issues in the past. But they’ve also been known to have component issues with the motors they receive from Vance & Hines, going through a spell of bad cranks a while back. Then again, 2020’s fewer qualifying sessions does not play nice with tuner Tim Kulungian’s methodic process of working towards performance over the course of the traditional three-day weekends. So it could be any or all of these issues keeping the team from going rounds.

John Hall

Jerry Savoie did have a 1.03 60 foot in Q1, and went one round in the Pro Bike Battle when Andrew Hines had a lurid -.129 redlight. But he and teammate John Hall qualified 12th and 11th, respectively, and were out in round one of the U.S. Nationals—Hall despite having a .076 better reaction time than opponent Hines.

Marc Ingwersen’s rear tire folding like a taco

Marc Ingwersen, along with his team of Jon and Parker Miller, were among those $25K EBR customers questioning the value of their purchase. But they also had another problem, realizing that their Motec was reading the ignition timing off the rear cylinder while the fuel timing was based off front, “Making the fuel system way out of time,” said Parker. 

“Now it’s back to square one,” said Jon, and they suddenly found their clutch having to deal with a lot of extra power. Their bike—and several others—started the weekend by overpowering the starting line in Q1. But they did make the field before losing to Krawiec in E1.

Chris Bostick

Another one of those bikes overpowering the track in Q1 was the 4V Suzuki of Chris Bostick—so much so that Bostick was actually hoping for a bog in Q2. Bostick made the field in 13th with a 6.94, running close to what he ran in testing, ran high MPH for any Suzuki on the weekend, but then lost first round to Johnson. There continues to be gobs of interest in Eatmyinkland about this motorcycle.

Jimmy Underdahl was one of three or four bikes in a row that blew the tire off right after the hit in the right lane during E1. They all lost.
Seemed like everyone was glad to see Michael Phillips back at the track. Here he gets a “punch-hug” from Greg Underdahl.
Hector Arana Jr and team couldn’t have been happy with their weekend, qualifying 7th and losing in E1 to Cory Reed and his copycat body.

MICKEY THOMPSON PRO BIKE BATTLE

ROUND ONE — Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.790, 199.76 def. Hector Arana Jr, Foul – Red Light; Matt Smith, 6.850, 195.48 def. Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 6.843, 197.05; Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.916, 193.10 def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, Foul – Red Light; Scotty Pollacheck, 6.789, 200.29 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.821, 195.39;

SEMIFINALS — Smith, 6.792, 199.76 def. Savoie, 6.918, 192.52; Pollacheck, 6.820, 198.03 def. Krawiec, 6.868, 198.52;

FINAL — Smith, 7.244, 175.75 def. Pollacheck, Foul – Red Light.

U.S. NATIONALS

ROUND ONE — Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 6.870, 197.28 def. Ryan Oehler, 6.894, 196.93; Cory Reed, 6.909, 195.00 def. Hector Arana Jr, 6.934, 196.13; Angie Smith, 6.924, 198.00 def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.943, 192.28; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.831, 196.87 def. John Hall, Suzuki, 6.964, 192.66; Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.860, 194.16 def. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 6.968, 194.80; Matt Smith, 6.908, 196.82 def. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, Broke; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.811, 198.93 def. Marc Ingwersen, Broke; Scotty Pollacheck, 6.812, 199.11 def. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 8.804, 111.64;

QUARTERFINALS — Johnson, 6.870, 194.94 def. A. Smith, Foul – Red Light; Hines, 6.868, 196.99 def. M. Smith, 29.003, 21.32; Pollacheck, 6.821, 199.08 def. Sampey, 6.966, 171.08; Krawiec, 6.850, 199.05 def. Reed, Foul – Red Light;

SEMIFINALS — Hines, 6.841, 197.86 def. Krawiec, 6.829, 199.70; Pollacheck, 6.821, 199.32 def. Johnson, Broke;

FINAL — Pollacheck, 6.790, 200.53 def. Hines, 6.914, 197.10.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Kelly Clontz, 7.045, 192.55; 18. David Barron, 7.054, 187.05; 19. Ron Tornow, 7.284, 184.30.

Pro Stock Motorcycle points

  1. Scotty Pollacheck, 251; 2.  Andrew Hines, 226; 3.  Eddie Krawiec, 225; 4.  Matt Smith, 224; 5. Angelle Sampey, 221; 6.  Ryan Oehler, 204; 7.  Hector Arana Jr, 158; 8.  Chris Bostick, 154; 9.Angie Smith, 145; 10.  Steve Johnson, 137

Top Fuel Harley

Jay Turner Racing’s domination of Top Fuel Harley was nearly as complete as MSR’s in PSM. The only headline that JTR let slip from their grasp last weekend was Bob “Opie” Malloy’s stunning NHRA record 6.09 at 216.86 in round 1 of U.S. Nationals eliminations on Sunday.

The first 100 feet of Bob Malloy’s 6.09

I was watching from the roof of the tower and Malloy’s 1.06 60 foot vs Ryan Peery’s 1.12 was visibly stunning. Malloy shot away from Peery like a rocket bike and carried it through to the stripe.

“I pretty much run from 1.05-1.08 all the time,” said Malloy. “If I don’t, I’m looking for something wrong.”

Bob Malloy

As Malloy rolled into the staging lanes for E2, he said “It won’t mean anything if we don’t win the race,” It was almost a prophecy of doom, as he smoked the tire at the hit despite being in the same lane a short time later.

“Really didn’t change much (on the bike), we were just trying to repeat,” reported Malloy.

Randal “Fast Coonass” Andras rollin’ on

JTR customer Randal “Fast Coonass” Andras went on to win his second straight U.S. Nationals, and his second race of the weekend including the rain-delayed Summernationals. Andras beat team boss Jay Turner in both finals, although Turner was on two different bikes.

Maybe the only racer ever to use NHRA’s “Eddie Hill rule” twice in one weekend, Turner replaced “Maddy Too” with the ProCharged “Lucky 7” for U. S. Nationals qualifying and the Summernationals final.

Jay Turner on “Lucky 7”

It looked like “Lucky 7” spun off the starting line for the final, but Turner twisted the throttle again and found both cylinders still lit. Jay gave chase and crossed the finishline 15 mph faster than Andras at 210, but his 6.921 was well off of Randal’s 6.388. “Lucky 7” then cashed in its chips in the shutdown.

With a locked-up clutch, “Lucky 7” came back up the return road with spark plugs removed, huffing and puffing like a locomotive. Turner and crew immediately began preparing “Maddy Too” for U.S. Nationals battle on Sunday.

Turner on “Maddy Too”

“Maddy Too” came off the trailer strong, and once again it was Turner and Andras in the final. Turner took the tree .025 to ,07, but Randal’s 1.09 60 obliterated Jay’s 1.14. Randal’s winning 6.19 at 224 would have been low ET of the event were it not a tenth off of Malloy’s.

Chris Smith qualified number one for the U.S. Nationals with a 6.29 at 224 on the JTR bike that Tyler Wilson had been riding. But Smith was done in E1 when Turner advanced in the other lane.

Andras has dominated the year since his breakthrough win here last year, beating riders without and within the JTR team—including 2X champ Tii Tharpe and his Samson Exhaust bike.

Tii Tharpe and the Samson Exhaust bike

Tharpe was happy for his teammate when Andras won the U.S. Nationals last year and Tii won the championship. But as Randal’s wins mount at his expense, is Tharpe still happy for him? “Heck yes,” said Tii. “Everything ebbs and flows!”

Tharpe’s plan for getting back on top? “Start winning and don’t stop! Keep my head in the game and trust the tune-up.”

“Randal has a good bike and team,” said Turner. “He is riding good and the racing gods are smiling on him.”

A highlight of the weekend in the TFH pits was a birthday party for Maddy Lehman. A cake was brought out, everyone sang “Happy Birthday to You,” Maddy blew out the candles, and then promptly broke down in tears, overcome with the emotion of the moment. There’s a lot of love in the TFH pits for Maddy, whose sticker can be seen on all the bikes.

Maddy’s birthday!
Maddy and number one qualifier Chris Smith
Ryan Peery was having a great weekend, qualifying 4th. Unfortunately for him, Malloy was qualified 5th and uncorked that .09 on Ryan’s .35.
Rickey “Sharky” House had an uneventful weekend, qualifying 6th and getting run over by the Andras train in E1

PRO MODIFIED

Stevie Fast Jackson and Todd Tutterow in the Pro Mod final.

Defending E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series world champion Stevie “Fast” Jackson rolled to his first win of the 2020 season, beating Todd Tutterow in the final round.

The race, which was presented by ATI ProCharger, was the third of the season in the class, with each taking place at Indy since the NHRA restarted its season in July. Jackson became the most recent winner thanks to a run of 5.756-seconds at 248.98 mph in his blown Bahrain 1 Racing Camaro in the finals, giving Jackson his second U.S. Nationals win and 10th victory in his career.

After a slow start to the season, Jackson reached his 15th final round on Sunday with wins against Clint Satterfield, former world champ Khalid AlBalooshi and Brandon Snider, posting a .009 reaction time and wire-to-wire advantage against Tutterow in the finals.

“When you have a car that is consistent, you’re a better driver,” Jackson said. “Coming into this race, we were behind the eight-ball, and I told (tuner) Billy (Stocklin), if you get it close, I’m going to get it for you. He gave me a hot rod, and when you get me and Billy working in harmony, we can do some pretty special stuff. Todd Tutterow is one of the best drivers there is and I knew he was coming for my head. We tore it up in the final and had a good day today.”

Tutterow advanced to the final round after wins against Steve Matusek, Kris Thorne and former world champ Mike Janis.

Chad Green (far lane) was this far behind Jason Scruggs when they came by me at 150 feet or so.

Chad Green scored his first career E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series victory on Saturday, beating Jason Scruggs in the final round of the postponed Lucas Oil Summernationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The final was moved to the DENSO Spark Plugs U.S. Nationals, as both drivers were after their first win in the class.

It was Green who crossed the finish line first, chasing down Scruggs at the top end with a winning run of 5.823-seconds at 250.09 mph in his nitrous-powered Bond Coat Corvette. Scruggs led most of the race, but slowed to a 5.904 at 204.42. Green suffered a major crash in 2019 at the U.S. Nationals, returning a year later to claim his first career win in the class.

“This moment means so much and it makes me emotional,” said Green, who appeared in his fourth final round. “After what happened last year, to be back here and to be able to do this, it’s just awesome. The first win is always the hardest, so hopefully we can get some more of these.”

It was the first final-round appearance for Scruggs. He will have a chance to win the U.S. Nationals on Sunday and he will start from the No. 1 position as well, as he claimed his first career top qualifier in the class thanks to his run of 5.717 at 253.04 from Friday. He will face points leader Kris Thorne in the first round of this weekend’s Pro Mod race, which is presented by ATI ProCharger.

U.S. NATIONALS PRO MOD RESULTS

ROUND ONE — Khalid alBalooshi, Chevy Camaro, 5.734, 251.91 def. Mike Castellana, Camaro, 6.031, 194.46; Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.776, 246.66 def. Clint Satterfield, Camaro, 5.832, 226.24; Kris Thorne, Camaro, 5.768, 257.87 def. Jason Scruggs, Camaro, 5.757, 250.74; Brandon Snider, Chevy Corvette, 5.745, 247.47 def. Tommy D’aprile, Camaro, 5.800, 246.66; Mike Janis, Camaro, 5.751, 250.46 def. Eric Dillard, Camaro, 5.865, 244.34; Todd Tutterow, Camaro, 5.767, 249.21 def. Steve Matusek, Ford Mustang, Foul – Centerline; Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 5.750, 251.49 def. Chad Green, Corvette, Foul – Red Light; Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.763, 249.86 def. Jim Whiteley, Corvette, 5.859, 244.03;

QUARTERFINALS — Jackson, 5.774, 248.39 def. alBalooshi, 5.730, 251.49; Janis, 5.774, 249.72 def. Gray, 5.771, 250.64; Snider, 5.749, 248.34 def. Smith, 5.760, 251.34; Tutterow, 6.785, 145.67 def. Thorne, Broke – No Show;

SEMIFINALS — Tutterow, 5.796, 249.35 def. Janis, 5.771, 250.04; Jackson, 5.751, 249.72 def. Snider, 5.753, 248.34;

FINAL — Jackson, 5.756, 248.98 def. Tutterow, 10.154, 87.62.

Pro Modified points

  1. Steve Jackson, 201; 2.  Jonathan Gray, 198; 3.  Kris Thorne, 191; 4.  Chad Green, 181; 5.  Mike Janis, 178; 6.  Jason Scruggs, 168; 7.  Clint Satterfield, 154; 8.  Khalid alBalooshi, 153; 9. Brandon Snider, 140; 10.  Todd Tutterow, 134.

TOP FUEL

Shawn Langdon (far lane) and Leah Pruett in the Top Fuel final.

Shawn Langdon, who was also the No. 1 qualifier this weekend, went 3.705-seconds at 326.32 mph in his 11,000-horsepower DHL dragster to beat Leah Pruett in the final round, winning for the 17th time in his career and second time at Indy. The victory marked a major moment for Langdon, a former Top Fuel world champ who moved to Funny Car in 2018 before switching back to Top Fuel in 2020. He knocked off Joey Haas, Cory McClenathan and Justin Ashley to reach the final round, where Langdon impressed with a .015 reaction time and had a superb start-to-finish run.

“There’s been a lot of hard work that has gone into this team,” Langdon said. “Working with (team owner) Connie (Kalitta) and the DHL team again, I love those guys and they’re all awesome. They proved that today. We’ve had an awesome car the entire weekend and it’s just a great team. How much work they put into this, it’s really impressive. This is an awesome deal, and when I hit the gas I knew we had it as long as we didn’t smoke the tires. I’m trying to give it everything I’ve got and my team did a great job.”

Pruett beat Terry McMillen, Tony Schumacher and Steve Torrence to reach her 16th final round.

Rookie Justin Ashley won the rain-delayed Summernationals over explosive T.J. Zizzo on Saturday nght.

ROUND ONE — Cory McClenathan, 3.761, 313.58 def. Doug Foley, 3.768, 322.65; Antron Brown, 3.752, 325.61 def. T.J. Zizzo, 3.793, 320.81; Tony Schumacher, 3.770, 324.59 def. Clay Millican, 3.763, 286.74; Doug Kalitta, 3.707, 329.67 def. Pat Dakin, Foul – Centerline; Shawn Langdon, 3.729, 315.71 def. Joey Haas, 4.032, 273.77; Steve Torrence, 3.749, 325.37 def. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.869, 311.70; Justin Ashley, 3.717, 323.12 def. Billy Torrence, 3.773, 320.81; Leah Pruett, 3.703, 325.61 def. Terry McMillen, 3.726, 320.13;

QUARTERFINALS — S. Torrence, 3.750, 325.77 def. Brown, 4.088, 246.30; Langdon, 3.723, 319.90 def. McClenathan, 3.731, 330.47; Ashley, 3.774, 294.50 def. Kalitta, 3.755, 329.67; Pruett, 4.312, 211.89 def. Schumacher, 9.048, 79.71;

SEMIFINALS — Pruett, 3.743, 322.34 def. S. Torrence, 3.724, 325.14; Langdon, 6.920, 175.00 def. Ashley, 7.237, 184.90;

FINAL — Langdon, 3.705, 326.32 def. Pruett, 5.141, 145.75.

Top Fuel points

  1. Doug Kalitta, 492; 2.  Leah Pruett, 442; 3.  Steve Torrence, 432; 4.  Justin Ashley, 370; 5. Billy Torrence, 331; 6.  Shawn Langdon, 330; 7.  Antron Brown, 316; 8.  Terry McMillen, 305; 9. Clay Millican, 279; 10.  T.J. Zizzo, 179.

FUNNY CAR

Jack Beckman (near lane) double-bulbed and beat J.R. Todd in the Funny Car final

Funny Car points leader Jack Beckman continued his impressive 2020 campaign, going 3.908 at 327.35 in his 11,000-horsepower Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to beat J.R. Todd in the final round, claiming his second win this year and 32nd overall. A day after Don Schumacher Racing claimed its 350th overall win, Beckman added to it on Sunday, also giving DSR its ninth straight Funny Car win dating back to last year. He beat Cruz Pedregon, teammate Ron Capps and Tim Wilkerson to reach the final round, edging out Todd in a close side-by-side race.

“If this is the last time I race at Indy, this team left nothing on the race track,” said Beckman, who reached his 67th career final round. “This is what drag racing is all about. I hope I can continue to keep doing this, but I’m going to revel in this right now. Our team was just awesome today.”

Todd reached his 35th final round by knocking off Blake Alexander, Dale Creasy Jr. and Matt Hagan.

Hagan picked up the rain-delayed Summernationals win on Saturday.

ROUND ONE — Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.915, 328.62 def. Dave Richards, Mustang, 8.079, 84.91; Bob Bode, Mustang, 4.034, 285.65 def. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 4.924, 156.41; Dale Creasy Jr., Dodge Charger, 4.009, 315.64 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.011, 276.58; Ron Capps, Charger, 3.924, 328.06 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.902, 166.25; Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.898, 330.31 def.

Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.383, 246.57; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.942, 326.63 def. Paul Lee, Charger, 4.737, 169.13; Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.909, 327.74 def. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 7.734, 87.81; J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.916, 331.28 def. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 3.996, 319.52;

QUARTERFINALS — Wilkerson, 4.011, 312.78 def. Bode, 4.005, 318.62; Beckman, 4.003, 316.01 def. Capps, 5.454, 137.79; Hagan, 3.939, 327.03 def. Tasca III, 3.940, 328.46; Todd, 3.919, 328.14 def. Creasy Jr., 4.000, 315.78; Todd, 3.919, 328.14 def. Creasy Jr., 4.000, 315.78;

SEMIFINALS — Beckman, 3.915, 329.10 def. Wilkerson, 3.914, 324.59; Todd, 3.946, 327.03 def. Hagan, 4.132, 273.05;

FINAL — Beckman, 3.908, 327.35 def. Todd, 3.960, 324.28.

Funny Car points

  1. Jack Beckman, 517; 2.  Matt Hagan, 482; 3.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 460; 4.  J.R. Todd, 387; 5.  Ron Capps, 376; 6.  Bob Tasca III, 355; 7.  Tim Wilkerson, 348; 8.  Alexis DeJoria, 241; 9.  Cruz Pedregon, 234; 10.  Paul Lee, 225.

PRO STOCK CAR

Erica Enders

A year after a defeat in the final round, defending world champ Erica Enders enjoyed her U.S. Nationals redemption on Sunday, rolling to the Pro Stock win with a 6.606 at 208.55 in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. She posted a sterling .009 reaction time against Matt Hartford in the final round and never trailed, winning for the second time in 2020 and 27th time in her career. To reach her 53rd career final round, Enders beat Kenny Delco, Deric Kramer and rookie Mason McGaha, picking up her second career U.S. Nationals victory a round later.

“This is really sweet and it means the world to me,” Enders said. “You work your entire life for something like this and it’s a dream come true. I’ve drag raced for 30 years and raced in Pro Stock for 16 years, and so many people have made this possible. This Chevy Camaro is mean, I’ve got the three baddest crew chiefs on the property in Rick Jones, Rickie Jones and Marc Ingersoll, and I’ve got the best team in the world. This is just amazing.”

Hartford beat Fernando Cuadra, Bo Butner and Jason Line to reach his eighth career final round.

ROUND ONE — Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.605, 208.65 def. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.594, 207.72 def. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.581, 208.39 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.586, 209.56; Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.574, 208.42 def. Fernando Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.622, 208.14; Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.578, 209.07 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.664, 206.54; Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.626, 207.98 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.601, 208.52; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.564, 208.59 def. Val Smeland, Camaro,

6.645, 208.17; Bo Butner, Camaro, 7.395, 135.35 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, Foul – Red Light;

QUARTERFINALS — M. McGaha, 6.660, 207.08 def. Koretsky, Foul – Red Light; Enders, 6.603, 208.68 def. Kramer, 12.821, 67.70; Hartford, 6.621, 206.57 def. Butner, 6.616, 208.88; Line, 6.598, 209.07 def. Anderson, 6.624, 208.55;

SEMIFINALS — Enders, 6.614, 208.49 def. M. McGaha, 6.791, 192.63; Hartford, 6.624, 208.84 def. Line, 6.605, 208.91;

FINAL — Enders, 6.606, 208.55 def. Hartford, 6.610, 208.59.

Pro Stock Car points

  1. Erica Enders, 453; 2.  Jeg Coughlin, 446; 3.  Jason Line, 442; 4.  Matt Hartford, 291; 5.  Greg Anderson, 290; 6.  (tie) Bo Butner, 249; Chris McGaha, 249; 8.  Alex Laughlin, 243; 9.  Kenny Delco, 228; 10.  Deric Kramer, 197.
Megan Meyer won Top Alcohol and broke the ET record
One of my favorite cars to see every year at the U.S. Nationals is Jim Daniels’ Ray Barton Racing Hemi.
Bob Tasca and Tony Pedregon match raced Mustangs with a twist—Tasca drove the electric Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 and Pedregon a supercharged Factory Stock Showdown ‘Stang. “Basically, they’re both dialed in to run 8.60,” Pedregon told me. “So it’s up to the driver, and I’m gonna win.” I didn’t see the race, but I’m told that he did.

Story and photos by Tim Hailey, car stories courtesy of NHRA

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,