NHRA Wrap-Up: Line Stays in Hunt with Pro Stock Win; B. Force, Hight, Krawiec Win in Dallas

2017 NHRA Texas FallNationals Winners

(Left to Right) Robert Hight, Brittany Force, Jason Line, and Eddie Krawiec celebrate wins Sunday in Texas. (Image/NHRA)

Defending Pro Stock world champion Jason Line found himself in the winner’s circle for the second time this season and 27th time of his career, after running a 6.548-second pass at 211.20 miles per hour in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro to take down Drew Skillman who lost on a red-light start.

“The truth is, with the playoff format, now is what matters,” Line said. “We are picking up at the right time.”

Brittany Force in Top Fuel, Robert Hight in Funny Car, and Eddie Krawiec in Pro Stock Motorcycle, joined Line in the winner’s circle Sunday at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, TX.

Two races remain on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship schedule.

“I’m hopefully giving Greg Anderson, Bo Butner and everybody else something to think about for the next couple of weeks,” Line said. “No questions, it’s not over. For me, it was do or die. If we didn’t win here this weekend the chances of winning the championship were going to be slim to none. Really had to kind-of win. And I was lucky enough to win. Really a nice feeling.”

Line raced past Alan Prusiensky, Texas native Alex Laughlin, and Brian Self, on the way to his third final round of the season. Skillman bested veteran Jeg Coughlin, Bo Butner, and points-leader Greg Anderson, before losing to Line. Anderson maintains the points lead by 15 points over Butner. Line is in third.

Force Wins Top Fuel with Record ET

Brittany Force piloted her dragster to a Texas Motorplex elapsed-time record of 3.681 at 326.87 to defeat Shawn Langdon’s 3.693-second pass at 326.56 in the Top Fuel finals. The victory, Force’s third of the season and sixth of her career, moves her into second in the points standings.

“It’s been quite a day. A lot needed to happen and it seemed to work in our favor,” Force said. “Really it was about us going rounds. We had Doug Kalitta and Steve Torrence, the two people in front of us in the standings. Everyone has been struggling trying to take them down. They’ve been killing it. When we pulled up there, I felt confident in us that we were going to turn those win lights on. That’s what we needed to do, we were able to do it, and then we were able to take down Langdon and won the thing. This is a huge win. It’s a Countdown race. And we’re still climbing that ladder.”

Her route to victory included wins against Terry McMillen, Doug Kalitta, and points-leader Steve Torrence. Torrence, an east Texas native and the #1 qualifier, raced Force in a back-up vehicle after his dragster lost control after crossing the finish line in his quarterfinal win against Richie Crampton. Langdon, who was racing in his first final round since his win at St. Louis, MO in 2016, had round wins against Clay Millican, Terry Haddock, and reigning world champion Antron Brown before falling to Force in the final.

Hight Gets Win #4 in 2017

Hight raced to a 3.877-second pass at 332.34 mph in his Chevy Camaro SS to defeat reigning world champion and category points leader Ron Capps’ 3.927 at 329.18 in his Dodge Charger R/T in the Funny Car final.

It was Hight’s fourth win of the season, 41st of his career, third at Texas Motorplex, and second in the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship. Hight remains second in the points standings, trailing Capps by just 24 points.

“This was huge. A round win is worth 20 points, but truthfully that final round win for us was 40 points,” Hight said. “We were 44 back going into the final round and had we lost that’s 64. Winning brought it back to 24 which is a little over a round with two races left. That was a 40-point swing for us. That was big. We needed that one. We would have been pretty bummed leaving here over three rounds back.”

On his way to victory, Hight defeated Jim Campbell, Alexis DeJoria—who recently announced her retirement following the 2017 season, and Tim Wilkerson. Capps took down Del Worsham, 16-time world champion John Force, and teammate Jack Beckman on his way to victory.

Krawiec Wins Pro Stock Motorcycle

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Eddie Krawiec rode his Harley-Davidson to a 9.336 at 92.62, which was enough due to a red-light start from defending world champion Jerry Savoie. It is Krawiec’s sixth win of the season, 42nd of his career, and second-consecutive and third total at Texas Motorplex.

“This track really, leaving here kind of sets the tone for how that championship is going to shape up. I probably put more pressure on myself to do really good here,” Krawiec said. “You need to capitalize. For me, I had, I would say, a perfect weekend for how it worked out. I went out there and got a lot of the little points in qualifying. I needed to capitalize. This was the opportunity for me to grab the ball and run with it. I think that was more of my drive for today. Lucky enough for me, I had a great motorcycle under me.”

Krawiec’s road to victory was lined with wins over David Hope, Karen Stoffer, and Scotty Pollacheck. The win puts him 107 points ahead of LE Tonglet, who remains in second. Savoie, Tonglet’s teammate, rode past Gunner Courtney, rookie Joey Gladstone, and former champ Matt Smith.

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Oct. 26-29, with the 17th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals.

NHRA Pro Stock Point Standings

1. Greg Anderson      2,471
2. Bo Butner          2,456
3. Jason Line         2,441
4. Tanner Gray        2,360
5. Drew Skillman      2,301

NHRA Funny Car Point Standings

1. Ron Capps          2,495
2. Robert Hight       2,471
3. Courtney Force     2,324
4. Jack Beckman       2,309
5. Matt Hagan         2,269

NHRA Top Fuel Point Standings

1. Steve Torrence     2,465
2. Brittany Force     2,408
3. Doug Kalitta       2,389
4. Antron Brown       2,360
5. Leah Pritchett     2,285

NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Point Standings

1. Eddie Krawiec      2,506
2. LE Tonglet         2,399
3. Andrew Hines       2,364
4. Jerry Savoie       2,360
5. Scotty Pollacheck  2,330

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