Motorsports

NHRA Wrap-Up: Anderson Makes it 10 Straight for Team Summit; Sampey, Torrence & Capps Also Win in Englishtown

NHRA Winners Circle Englishtown 2016

(Ron Capps, Steve Torrence, Greg Anderson, and Angelle Sampey celebrate victory Sunday at the NHRA Summernationals in Englishtown, NJ. (Image/NHRA)

NHRA Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson extended Team Summit’s streak of EFI dominance to 10 consecutive wins Sunday after defeating teammate Jason Line in the final round of the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Town Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ.

Angelle Sampey raced to her first Pro Stock Motorcycle victory since 2007, Steve Torrence won in Top Fuel, and Ron Capps won in Funny Car to round out the weekend.

In Pro Stock, Anderson won his fifth race of the season, 83rd of his career and seventh at Englishtown with a 6.610-second, 210.93-miles-per-hour pass in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro against teammate Line, who red lighted. Anderson has raced to seven final round appearances so far this season.

“It’s unreal,” Anderson said, “It’s just absolutely been a dream season. I keep wanting to pinch myself. It’s just cool and we’ve had such a great run. This was another great weekend. It’s just one more time that Englishtown tells me how much it loves me and how much the fans up here appreciate Pro Stock.”

Anderson’s win continues the Ken Black Racing domination of the season. He and Line have won all 10 to kick off the EFI Pro Stock era. Line holds the points lead with Anderson in second. Their KB Racing teammate, Bo Butner, is third.

Line does the engine tuning for Anderson’s Chevy Camaro (and Anderson does the same for Line’s), so they are invested heavily in one another’s success.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Sampey powered her Buell to a 6.876 at 194.41 mph to defeat Jerry Savoie’s 6.928 at 177.21 on his Suzuki. The win was her first since 2007 and 42nd of her career. She became the fifth female to win an event this season. The Summernationals is the sixth event of the year to feature a female victor.

“I know this is my 42nd win but it feels like my first ever,” said Sampey, the winningest female in NHRA history. “I don’t feel like I had any wins before today. I’m starting all over again and I had something to prove and it took a while.

“I feel totally responsible to show my daughter what she can do with her life,” she said. “Now I can show her that even if you aren’t winning every weekend but if you just keep trying, you’re going to get it. Showing her and being her role model — I don’t have the words for it.”

Sampey had to race past the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team of Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec, who have collectively claimed the first three victories of the season, in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, to get to the finals.

In Top Fuel, Torrence piloted his dragster to 4.037 at 281.71 for his second win of the 2016 season and seventh of his career. Torrence outlasted Tony Schumacher’s 4.234 at 268.28 in his U.S. Army dragster in the final. Torrence claimed the seventh victory his career and second at Raceway Park. He is third in the points standings.

“This is huge,” Torrence said. “This is home for my team. I’m proud to have contributed to this win. I got it for them. We’ve been so fortunate and blessed. We’ve got a race car that has been impeccable and the only fault has been me some of the time. We are going to count our blessings and just keep going.”

In the earlier rounds, Torrence had to race past Smax Smith, J.R. Todd, and a two-time winner this season, Brittany Force. Schumacher faced off against Terry McMillen, teammate and defending world champion Antron Brown, and Shawn Langdon to get to the finals.

Capps picked up his second-consecutive victory and third of the season with a 3.954 at 316.90 in his Dodge Charger R/T by defeating Jack Beckman’s 7.894 at 85.05 in his Dodge Charger R/T in the final round. Capps took the points lead with the victory, which was the 48th of his career.

“It’s great,” Capps said. “It’s something you hope will happen at the end of the day. With the competition, you can’t imagine it will go as planned or easy. We’re just taking it a little bit at a time. I almost felt embarrassed driving this car today because it’s just so good. You don’t want to mess up when it’s that good. It’s your race to lose.”

En route to his win, Capps defeated John Hale, 16-time world champion John Force and defending world champion Del Worsham. Beckman was tasked with getting past Las Vegas winner Alexis DeJoria, Atlanta and Topeka winner Matt Hagan, and Jeff Diehl to get to the finals.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing will continue June 17-20 with the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, TN.

Sunday’s race was the 10th of 24 slated for the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

NHRA Pro Stock Point Standings

1. Jason Line           1,062
2. Greg Anderson          937
3. Bo Butner              680
4. Allen Johnson          559
5. Drew Skillman          497

NHRA Funny Car Point Standings

1. Courtney Force         654
2. Jack Beckman           639
3. Ron Capps              632
4. Tim Wilkerson          608
5. Del Worsham            558

NHRA Top Fuel Point Standings

1. Doug Kalitta           785
2. Antron Brown           739
3. Steve Torrence         658
4. Brittany Force         623
5. Tony Schumacher        483

NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Point Standings

1. Eddie Krawiec          353
2. Andrew Hines           233
3. Hector Arana           207
4. Jerry Savoie           204
5. Chip Ellis             193

The NHRA and Drag Race Central contributed to this report.

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