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Torrence, Todd leave US Nationals as the big winners

From left, Eddie Krawiec, Drew Skillman, JR Todd and Steve Torrence celebrate with their trophies. Photo courtesy NHRA.

The 63rd Chevrolet Performance US Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway came down to the wire as Steve Torrence, JR Todd, Drew Skillman and Eddie Krawiec claimed victory at NHRA’s biggest event.

In Top Fuel, No. 3 Steve Torrence capitalized on No. 16 Kebin Kinsley’s mistake at the line, when he spun his tires, to capture his fist US Nationals victory.
Torrence and Kinsley come from opposite ends of the lineup. Torrence, who had six wins and was second in points coming into the weekend, was one of the fastest cars all weekend. Torrence also won the Traxxas Nitro Shootout on Saturday.
Kinsley had just one career round win coming into the weekend, and he toppled the likes No. 1 Clay Millican, No. 9 Shawn Langdon No. 4 Tony Schumacher to make it to the finals.
“I don’t even know if I realize what’s going on,” Torrence said of the win. “This is what we race our careers for, to win at Indianapolis. You can win a bunch of races, but if you don’t win Indy, you ain’t done (expletive).”
In Funny Car, Lawrenceburg, Ind. native JR Todd beat out No. 1 seed in the points Ron Capps, who was looking for his first win at Indianapolis.
The victory is just Todd’s second career Funny Car win and 11th NHRA win overall. During the offseason, Todd switched from Top Fuel. His first Funny car win at Sonoma, Calif. earlier in the season for his first win in the class.
“I grew up racing here weekly,” Todd said. “It’s too surreal. When you win Indy, you know you’ve beat the best in the sport. I’ve been trying to win Indy since 2006, so it’s awesome to be able to bring the trophy to the crew guys.”
In Pro Stock, Indianapolis native Drew Skillman picked up his fourth win of the season and seventh of his three-year career. Skillman is a household name in the Indianapolis area. His grandfather owns the car dealership Ray Skillman Automotive Group.
Skillman beat out veteran Greg Anderson, who has 88 career victories, six US National titles and four championships. Anderson dominated most of the weekend. He held the low ET time and top speed in pro stock for three of the five qualifying rounds, as well as through most of the day today.
“I had nothing to lose there,” Skillman said. “I was the slower car, had a slow ET time …so I just threw a wrench in there and went for it.”
Skillman is on a hot streak. He has won four of the last six Pro Stock events.
In Pro Stock Motorcycles, Brownsburg, Ind. resident Eddie Krawiec beat out Hector Arana Jr with 6.858 second pass, compared to the 6.886 second pass from Arana.
The win marked Krawiec’s second career win at the historic track and the 39th of his career. He also won the 2014 US Nationals and had one win this season leading up to this weekend at Denver, Colo.
Like Anderson, Krawiec dominated the weekend. He tied teammate Andrew Hines for the fastest ET time through the first two qualifying rounds. On Saturday night, Krawiec laid down a fast 6.822 second ET time. That time help up through the last three rounds of qualifying.
“I feel like I’ve had it all weekend,” Krawiec said. “I wasn’t nervous at all. When you have the confidence in your vehicle, it becomes easier because then I can focus on my marks.”
The NHRA has a week off before it heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the first round of the Countdown for the Championship, NHRA’s version of the playoffs.
Here’s how the field finished today per class:
1.  Steve Torrence; 2.  Kebin Kinsley; 3.  Tony Schumacher; 4.  Leah Pritchett; 5.  Antron Brown; 6.  Doug Kalitta; 7.  Pat Dakin; 8.  Shawn Langdon; 9.  Brittany Force; 10.  Clay Millican; 11.
Bob Vandergriff; 12.  Ashley Sanford; 13.  Terry McMillen; 14.  Scott Palmer; 15.  Richie Crampton; 16.  Wayne Newby.FUNNY CAR:
1.  J.R. Todd; 2.  Ron Capps; 3.  Jack Beckman; 4.  Tim Wilkerson; 5.  Cruz Pedregon; 6.  Robert Hight; 7.  Del Worsham; 8.  Jim Campbell; 9.  Alexis DeJoria; 10.  Jonnie Lindberg; 11.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 12.  Courtney Force; 13.  John Force; 14.  Justin Schriefer; 15.  Brian Stewart; 16. Matt Hagan.PRO STOCK:
1.  Drew Skillman; 2.  Greg Anderson; 3.  Tanner Gray; 4.  Alex Laughlin; 5.  Jason Line; 6.  Allen Johnson; 7.  Chris McGaha; 8.  Bo Butner; 9.  Vincent Nobile; 10.  Matt Hartford; 11.  Johnny Gray; 12.  Shane Gray; 13.  Erica Enders; 14.  Jeg Coughlin; 15.  Deric Kramer; 16.  Kenny Delco.

1.  Eddie Krawiec; 2.  Hector Arana Jr; 3.  Jerry Savoie; 4.  Matt Smith; 5.  Scotty Pollacheck; 6.
Chip Ellis; 7.  Andrew Hines; 8.  LE Tonglet; 9.  Angelle Sampey; 10.  Steve Johnson; 11.  Karen Stoffer; 12.  Cory Reed; 13.  Jim Underdahl; 14.  Angie Smith; 15.  Joey Gladstone; 16.  Mike Berry.

Zach Horrall is a NHRA reporter for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by NHRA and has full media access. Follow @ZHorrallBU and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.

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