NHRA has wild day in St. Louis
A wild day for fans and drivers alike
This weekend the NHRA took to St. Louis, Missouri for the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Midwest Nationals and it was the wildest raceday we've seen in a long time. From multiple explosions, to Pro Stock being pulled off the track due to unsafe conditions for their class and crashes from Kenny Delco and Leah Pruett to the new title sponsor announcement this is a raceday that no one will be forgetting any time soon.
In Top Fuel, the nitro cars were the only cars that got any qualifying and it was one pass, so going into Sunday anything was possible. On the left side of the ladder number five qualifier Doug Kalitta started his day by taking on number twelve Shawn Langdon and Doug's 3.73 bested Shawn's 9.26. In the second round he took on TJ Zizzo and in a close race Doug's 3.70 beat TJ's 3.75. The semifinal match up was a classic Top Fuel pairing, Doug Kalitta and Tony Schumacher. It probably would have been very exciting but Tony had a backfire during the burnout giving Doug a single run and his 3.71 gave him and the Mac Tools team lane choice in the finals. On the other side of the ladder The number six qualifier Steve Torrence started his day taking on number eleven Kyle Wurtzel. Steve's 3.68 bested Kyle's 3.78 and into the second round he went where he took on Antron Brown. It was a super close race, but Steve's 3.71 to Antron's 3.73 advanced him into the semifinals. Steve's semifinal match up was against his dad Billy and while Billy had his own problems Steve raced to the finals with a 3.94 to a 5.45. The finals had big points implications and both teams brought it. Steve and the Capco team had problems right at the start while Doug was on an a to b run and took home the win with a 3.69. Doug is now two points behind Steve.
In Funny Car and on the left side of the ladder number eight qualifier Tommy Johnson Jr started his day by taking on number nine Terry Haddock. TJ and his 3.91 drove around Haddock and his 4.17 and into the second round where he took on Paul Lee. That race was close, but with the help of a .078 on the tree, TJ's 3.94 bested Paul's 3.89. In the semifinals TJ took on DSR teammate Jack Beckman and in a very close race TJ and the MD Anderson Cancer Center team were able to reach the finals with a 3.89 to Jack's 3.90. On the other side of the ladder number six qualifier Matt Hagan and the Mopar team took on number eleven Bob Bode in the first round and Matt's 3.95 bested Bob's 4.08. In the second round Matt took on DSR teammate Ron Capps and while Ron had an explosion leading to a 5.18, Matt was on a good run and his 4.08 put him in the semifinals where he took on Alexis DeJoria. Alexis had a huge explosion in the previous round so I applaud her and her team for getting the car back together in time for the semis. She did go up in smoke at the start and Matt had a great run so his 3.93 bested her 8.04. In the finals it was another tough DSR battle and Tommy Johnson Jr pulled out the win with a 3.884 to a 3.886 making it eleven in a row for Don Schumacher Racing in Funny Car.
The Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycles along with Pro Mod, Factory Stock and Sportsman had their races halted due to cold temperatures and wind direction. The Sportsman classes will run the rest of their races on Monday but at this time no new dates or venues have been announced for the other competitors.
The next race will be the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals, October 14th-18th in Dallas, Texas.