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NHRA Results: Brown, Force, Line, Ellis start Countdown on high note, winning NHRA Carolina Nationals

(Above) John Force won for the third time in 2016, his 146th career victory

Antron Brown piloted his Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster to victory on Sunday at the 9th annual NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte.  John Force (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock), and Chip Ellis (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners in their respective categories at the 19th event of 24 on the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule. The NHRA Carolina Nationals is the first race of the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs.Brown claimed his 59th career victory, and fifth of the season, with a 3.763-second pass at 319.29 mph in his dragster, defeating Doug Kalitta and his Mac Tools machine, which ran a 3.811 at 320.28. It is Brown’s second consecutive win at the NHRA Carolina Nationals, the opening event of the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. In 2015, Brown went on to win the Top Fuel world championship. READ FULL STORY

BREAKING NEWS: NASCAR Sprint Cup Cars of Truex, Johnson Fail Inspection

JOLIET, Ill. – Martin Truex Jr. and Jimmie Johnson both had their cars fail post-race LIS inspection after Sunday’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Truex Jr. won the race while Johnson finished 12th on Sunday. Both will face penalties later this week.
However, NASCAR officials indicated neither violation exceeded laser measurements that would result in the stiffer penalties outlined for “encumbered” wins as was outlined last week. Under those policies, cars failing LIS inspection by a significant margin could received penalties as severe as not counting a win toward advancement into the next round of the Chase.
LIS inspection failures have resulted in P2 level penalties this year of 10 to 15 points and $15,000 fines.
Should similar punishment be handed out this week Truex Jr. would lose the point lead, but his win would still move him to round two of the Chase. Johnson would fall further down the Chase standings with the removal of points.

Sprint Cup Series Results: Martin Truex Jr. Takes Chase Opener

JOLIET, Ill. – Martin Truex Jr. opened the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with a win Sunday in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Truex Jr. made a big move on the race’s final restart in overtime to get around leader Ryan Blaney and held off the field to score his third win of the season.
“The racing gods want to make it difficult on us,” Truex said. “Man, this feels good. I’m a lucky guy to be able to drive this black 78. (Crew chief) Cole Pearn, Jazzy (Team Engineer Jeff Curtis), everybody on this team, the pit crew, Barney (Team Owner Visser) for giving us everything we need.
“This is the way we wanted to start the Chase. It feels awesome.”
The victory moves Truex Jr. into the second round of the Chase.
Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Blaney and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five.
“You never know,” Blaney said of the decision to stay out and not pit. “Those guys were on me so fast. We had a really good car all day. We started way back in the field and made it up there pretty quickly. We got our car decent at the end. We gambled and I prefer to do that. I prefer to take a gamble to stay out and try to hold those guys off.” READ FULL STORY

XFINITY Series Results: Erik Jones Claims Win and Top Seed

JOLIET, Ill. – Erik Jones won Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series The Drive for Safety 300 and leaves Chicagoland Speedway as the number one seed in the Chase.
Jones took the lead with less than 10 laps to go and went on to score his fourth win of the year and sixth of his XFINITY Series career.
Jones got by Elliott Sadler for the top spot and then took the checkered flag for his fourth win of the year. It wasn’t easy though as Jones had to fend off a fast charging Kyle Larson in the last two laps.
“I thought we were making a lot of speed today,” Jones said. “I saw Kyle Larson running me down on the high side so I moved up there and we had speed there too. Can’t say enough about Joe Gibbs Racing and this crew for this car today and we’re looking forward to having a chance to win a championship.” READ FULL STORY

POINTS N PLUGS By Jerry Hutchcroft

I’m happy to report, that even though I DID NOT finish in the top 20 (23rd) in Sportsman points for the 2016 NHRA Summit Racing Series for team Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, lucky for me several people above me could not attend the Bracket Finals in early October, SO, I’M IN!!!!! As always, I’m excited to be going and racing at our biggest bracket race of the year. Because the race is being held at “The Strip” at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, there will probably be over 500 racers representing 15 race tracks from all over the Pacific Division (Div. 7). I love racing at The Strip, it’s my favorite drag strip, because its so big and has so much great paved parking and the staging lanes are huge, it’s just a very racer friendly track.

In 2016 I won exactly TWO (2) rounds of racing from a total of 7 races. THAT IS HORRIBLE!!!!!!!! I think I drove 3-4 different vehicles during the year, which is not good either. The 1985 Chevy S-10 is now 95% finished (needs a bigger radiator) and running very good, but I don’t have a trailer or a big enough pickup truck to get it to Las Vegas, so I’m driving & racing my 2004 V-6 powered Saturn Vue that I won the 2 rounds in. If I was winning rounds at every race and maybe going late rounds once in a while, I’d find a way to get the S-10 to Vegas, but I deal in reality and right now I’m a dedicated racer, but NOT A GOOD RACER. I go into every race feeling like today is the day that its all going to come together and I’m going to get off the starting line with good consistent reaction times and then do my job at the finish line and WIN ROUNDS. If I didn’t feel that way, I wouldn’t even go. My three race wins (in over 25 years of racing) have all come after poor results in the last race, so I always have that hope. Everyone always says “seat-time  seat-time you gotta put in the seat-time to get better. I’m sure they are right, but seat-time takes time and it takes money, so I just keep trying and getting as much seat-time as I can at the team races. This year I not only raced in the Sportsman at all 7 races, but I also raced in the Pro class at all 7 races, which to me was extra seat-time, even though in 4 of the races, my car was not even fast enough to be in the Pro class.

ENJOY THE NICER WEATHER!!!!!!!

J. H.

Sprint Cup Series Results: Home Win for Denny Hamlin

NASCAR

Virginia native Denny Hamlin scored a win at his home track when he took the checkered flag in Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
Hamlin started from the pole but he had to fight to get back into the lead late in the wild race and then survived an overtime finish to score his third win of the season.
“It was great,” Hamlin said. “I’ll tell you, our cars were really running well. Wheels and the whole group just gave me a great car. Really got it tuned in there the last half of the race. Just good restarts, finally everything just kind of worked well for us all day.
“Yeah, that’s what’s so special about it so you get to do it at home, and there’s just I see all the extra Denny Hamlin shirts and hats and everything, and fires me up every time I get here. I’ve also got to thank Sport Clips for their support this year, as well. Got all that covered, and man, this is a great car. Hopefully we can use it in the Chase.”
Hamlin led seven times for 189 laps, including the last 85. READ FULL STORY

XFINITY Series Results: Kyle Busch Dominates at Richmond

NASCAR

Kyle Busch dominated the field Friday night and drove to an easy win in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Virginia 529 Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway.
Busch led 197 of the 250 laps to score his eighth win of the season and 84th of his career. Busch also scored his sixth series win at Richmond.
He started seventh and took the lead on lap 52. Busch stayed in front the next 106 laps before surrendering the top spot to pit. But once pit stops cycled through, he returned to the point and never looked back on his way to Victory Lane.
“I was down to begin with, never give up I guess,” Busch said after his win. “Just keep going, keep working and keep doing what we can do. Obviously an awesome job by my crew chief, Chris Gayle. A true testament to everyone on this NOS Energy drink Camry, this Toyota was awesome today.”
Busch was ahead by a whopping 6.453 seconds at the finish. READ FULL STORY

NHRA Results: Schumacher collects record 10th Indy win; Hagan, McGaha, Hines also score at Big Go

Tony Schumacher sprinted to victory on Labor Day at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.   Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Chris McGaha (Pro Stock), and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners in their respective categories at the 18th event of 24 on the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule. The Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals was the final race of the regular season.  Schumacher claimed his 82nd career win when he powered his U.S. Army dragster to a 3.806-second pass at 317.64 mph to beat Steve Torrence’s 3.803 at 325.06 in his Capco Contractors/Torrence Racing dragster during the final round on Monday. The winningest Top Fuel driver in NHRA Top Fuel history also became the winningest driver in Lucas Oil Raceway history by tallying his 10th career victory at the venerable track. Schumacher outran Tripp Tatum, reigning world champ Antron Brown, and Sonoma, Calif., event winner J.R. Todd in the earlier rounds before facing Torrence. READ FULL STORY