Steve Torrence raced to the Top Fuel victory Sunday at the ninth annual NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
Cruz Pedregon in Funny Car, Erica Enders in Pro Stock, and Jerry Savoie in Pro Stock Motorcycle were also winners in their respective categories at the sixth event on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Torrence piloted his dragster to a 3.813-second pass at 326.56 miles per hour to the win, making him the first driver to reach three victories on the season. He defeated Doug Kalitta, Terry McMillen, and Clay Millican in the final round for his 19th career win and second at zMAX Dragway.
With the victory, Torrence moves back into sole possession of the Top Fuel points lead after entering Charlotte in a first-place tie with Tony Schumacher, who was eliminated in the first round.
Pedregon Gets First Funny Car Win Since 2014, Moves Up to 5th All-Time
Pedregon ran a 4.059 at 310.84 in his Toyota Camry for his 36th career victory and first since Englishtown 2014. After qualifying sixth for the event, he was able to knock off 16-time Funny Car world champion John Force, Tommy Johnson Jr., and #1 qualifier Courtney Force in the final round to earn the victory.
“I knew we had our work cut out for us when I pulled up to the starting line in the finals, and I actually didn’t believe my ears when my team manager told me that I won,” Pedregon said. “It was surreal, and I cannot believe that I won this race.”
This was Pedregon’s 36th career Funny Car win, moving him past the legendary Don Prudhomme into sole possession of fifth place for all-time in Funny Car victories.
Enders Wins Pro Stock
In Pro Stock, Enders picked up her 23rd career victory and second win in Charlotte with a 6.535 at 212.73 in her Chevrolet Camaro.
She took down Vincent Nobile, Chris McGaha, and top-qualifier Drew Skillman in the final round to lock down her first victory since Epping in 2017.
“In my opinion I have the best team in all of motorsports, so I am really lucky to be their driver,” Enders said. “We made a car change going into our home race in Houston last week and we made it to the finals, so we came into this race with some confidence and this is definitely a special victory for me.”
Savoie Gets His First 2018 Win in Pro Stock Motorcycle
Jerry Savoie emerged victorious in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class, as he earned his ninth career victory and first at zMAX Dragway when he ran a 6.784 at 195.73 on his Suzuki in the final round. He bested Andrew Hines, Scotty Pollacheck, and Matt Smith in the final round to lock down his first victory since Brainerd last season.
“We struggled all weekend, but my team worked really hard to get things right so we went out and gave it all we got and figured some things out,” Savoie said. “My reaction times on this bike are traditionally not great, but I was able to do pretty well today and we had the power on this bike to get a win.”
The 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues with the NHRA Southern Nationals Powered by Mello Yello at Atlanta Dragway in Atlanta, GA, May 4-6.
NHRA Pro Stock Point Standings
1. Bo Butner 434 2. Vincent Nobile 417 3. Erica Enders 406 4. Chris McGaha 403 5. Greg Anderson 377
NHRA Funny Car Point Standings
1. Jack Beckman 466 2. Courtney Force 425 3. J.R. Todd 403 4. Matt Hagan 395 5. Robert Hight 381
NHRA Top Fuel Point Standings
1. Steve Torrence 503 1. Tony Schumacher 426 3. Doug Kalitta 401 4. Clay Millican 384 5. Antron Brown 362
NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Point Standings
1. Andrew Hines 204 2. Eddie Krawiec 166 3. Scotty Pollacheck 154 4. Jerry Savoie 148 5. Cory Reed 107
Drag Race Central and NHRA contributed to this report.