Motorsports

NHRA Wrap-Up: Bo Butner Wins #3 With Perfect Light; Torrence, Beckman & Tonglet Also Win in Norwalk

LE Tonglet, Bo Butner, vaunted fantasy football league commissioner Brett Rabung, Jack Beckman, John Strudtoff, and Steve Torrence celebrate in the Winner’s Circle in Norwalk, OH.

NORWALK, OH. — Bo Butner used a .000 light to win his third Pro Stock race of 2017 on a holeshot Sunday at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, and extending his points lead over the rest of the class as we hit the halfway mark of the 2017 NHRA Mellow Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Steve Torrence in Top Fuel, Jack Beckman in Funny Car, and LE Tonglet in Pro Stock Motorcycle were also winners Sunday at Summit Motorsports Park.

Butner secured his third career Pro Stock win after driving to a 6.601-second at 210.50 miles-per-hour pass in his Jim Butner’s Auto Chevrolet Camaro to knock off Greg Anderson on a holeshot after his perfect light. Anderson ran a 6.581 at 210.87 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro.

“Today was a great day. We made four pretty consistent runs and my car was good when it needed to be,” Butner said. “It’s one thing to have a good car, but we also had a lot of things go our way to get those win lights today.”

Butner had the second-best qualifying time and defeated Val Smeland, Vincent Nobile, and John Gaydosh en route to his fifth final round of 2017. Anderson earned his sixth final round appearance of the season by defeating Mark Hogan, Allen Johnson and Jason Line.

Butner added to his lead in the points standings, becoming the first three-race winner in Pro Stock this season. Anderson remains second in points with his fourth runner-up appearance of the year.

(We caught up with Butner Friday at Summit Motorsports Park, and did a Q&A with him about his first season in Pro Stock.)

Torrence Wins Top Fuel

Torrence secured his career-best fourth victory of the season with a 3.743 at 331.45 dragster to defeat Doug Kalitta on a holeshot after he ran a 3.736 at 331.36. Torrence emerged victorious for the first time since Englishtown, and has now reached six final rounds this season, with all six coming over the past eight events.

“I knew I left good on the tree but I could tell it would just be a coin-toss who got it, and fortunately I was able to come out ahead,” Torrence said. “It’s been a great season so far and we are hoping to keep this momentum going. We just need to keep our head down and work hard so that we can reach our goals as a team.”

Torrence qualified third and defeated Troy Coughlin Jr., Clay Millican and Brittany Force on the way to victory. Kalitta knocked off Troy Buff, Tony Schumacher and Leah Pritchett before reaching his second final round appearance of the season.

Torrence remained atop the points standings with the victory. Pritchett is second in the standings after a semifinal appearance.

Beckman Gets Career Win #26 in Funny Car

Beckman earned his 26th career victory and second of the season with a 4.073 pass at 311.85 that ended with his Dodge Charger R/T engine exploding in flames at the finish line. Beckman defeated Robert Hight who ran a 6.673 at 98.53 in his Chevy Camaro. This was Beckman’s first win since Englishtown, and his third consecutive final round appearance this season.

“We were consistently a bit off this weekend, but we are definitely happy to earn the victory,” Beckman said. “Now that we are getting down the track consistently, it keeps our opponents honest and that is definitely a formula we will continue to use for the rest of the season.”

Beckman qualified ninth and defeated Cruz Pedregon, Matt Hagan and Tommy Johnson Jr. before reaching his third final round of the season. Hight reached his second final round of the season after defeating Jim Campbell, Alexis DeJoria and Bob Tasca III.

Beckman remains in third place in the points standings behind teammates Ron Capps and Matt Hagan, who both fell in the quarterfinals.

Tonglet Wins Pro Stock Motorcycle

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Tonglet emerged victorious with a 6.824 at 195.76 on his Suzuki to defeat Matt Smith’s pass of 6.882 at 195.31 on his Victory Polaris Magnum. Tonglet notched his 13th career victory and third of the season.

“I didn’t see any win lights throughout qualifying, but seeing them on Sunday is what matters and we are happy with the results,” Tonglet said. “This is huge for us and our position in the points standings, so getting as many wins as possible is definitely our goal.”

Tonglet has now reached three final rounds in five events this season, winning all three of those appearances. He defeated Melissa Surber, Steve Johnson and Hector Arana Jr. before the final round. Smith took on Joe DeSantis, Mike Berry and Scott Pollacheck before reaching his first final round of the season.

Tonglet jumped to first in the Pro Stock Motorcycle points standings and Eddie Krawiec fell to second after falling in the first round.

The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues with the Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N Filters at Route 66 Raceway July 6-9.

NHRA Pro Stock Point Standings

1. Bo Butner          1,067
2. Greg Anderson        941
3. Tanner Gray          887
4. Jeg Coughlin         820
5. Jason Line           781

NHRA Funny Car Point Standings

1. Ron Capps          1,095
2. Matt Hagan           946
3. Jack Beckman         855
4. Robert Hight         809
5. Tommy Johnson Jr.    739

NHRA Top Fuel Point Standings

1. Steve Torrence     1,071
2. Leah Pritchett     1,021
3. Antron Brown         990
4. Tony Schumacher      856
5. Doug Kalitta         781

NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Point Standings

1. LE Tonglet           480
2. Eddie Krawiec        389
3. Scotty Pollacheck    325
4. Jerry Savoie         322
5. Andrew Hines         317

Drag Race Central and NHRA contributed to this report.

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