S. Torrence, Hagan scores wins at Brainerd
Steve Torrence has now won on every track of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series circuit, finally solving the Brainerd International Raceway on Sunday and securing a memorable Top Fuel victory at the 39th edition of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
Matt Hagan (Funny Car) also won the 12th race of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Torrence, the Top Fuel points leader and three-time reigning world champion claimed his seventh victory in 2021 and 47th of his career, clocking 3.712 at 323.74 mph in the final round of his 11,000 horsepower Capco Contractors dragster for beat Clay Millican, who went 3.729s at 320.05. Torrence had won at every stage of the NHRA Series but Brainerd headed for the weekend, but impressed throughout the eliminations on Sunday, beating Terry Totten and Justin Ashley to reach the final round.
Both riders had identical reaction times of 0.052s at the start line, but Torrence had just enough at the finish to secure the close victory and end the memorable weekend. Of the active drivers, Torrence joins John Force and Ron Capps as the only current competitors to have won on every NHRA track.
“I did everything I could to screw it up until the final where I finally got my head out of my ass,” Torrence said. “It was a hell of a race against Clay and these guys are strong right now. This team, they keep saving me when I need it, I help them when they need it, and we’re at the front and we stay there. It’s just a blessing to be here and to have this opportunity is really special. To say that I won all the races on the circuit, I just remember dreaming of winning a race.
Millican kept up her steady pace as she qualified for her second straight final and third this season, defeating Doug Kalitta, Mike Salinas and No. 1 qualifier Brittany Force, who remained second in points behind Torrence.
– #NHRA (@NHRA) August 22, 2021
In Funny Car, reigning world champion Hagan delivered time and time again on Sunday, ending his day with a 3.923 second run to 327.98 in his 11,000 horsepower Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye on the last lap to pass. Cruz Pedregon. This gave Hagan his second victory this season and the 38th of his outstanding career, sending him to the top of the category as well. In the process, he became the fourth different driver to lead the points in the last four races. He took out Dale Creasy Jr., Paul Lee and No.1 qualifier Bob Tasca to reach the final round.
Hagan stayed in the low 3.90 all day in front of a huge crowd at Brainerd International Raceway and led the last round against Pedregon.
“We are trying to get to where we need to be and should be out of a championship last year,” Hagan said. “(Team Leader) Dickie Venables, you give this guy enough punches on the racetrack and he’s a bad man. I really want to do my job up there. I’m really proud to have got off the start line really well, and I think most of my competitors understand that. He’s just gonna take it all. You’re going to have to start well and run well, and right now we’re doing it.
– #NHRA (@NHRA) August 22, 2021
Pedregon, who clocked 3.935 seconds to 324.83 in the championship round, reached the final for the 78th time in his career and the second time this season with wins over Gary Densham, Ron Capps and JR Todd.
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to action September 1-5 for the prestigious 67th Dodge // SRT US Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.