CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Steve Torrence beat Doug Kalitta in the Top Fuel final on Monday and took over the points lead at the 12th NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
Torrence, the defending champion, won the event for the second straight year with a final run of 3.772 seconds at 323.19 mph. It was Torrence's ninth win of 2019 and the 36th of his Top Fuel career.
"To race Doug Kalitta, that guy is a legend," Torrence said. "I look up to him as a driver. You trust in the team and the good Lord and you just go do the best you can. I knew that we had a car that could run with him and if I did my job we could be right there with him on the tree. You can't let what or who is in the other lane influence you and that's what I was able to do today because you've got one of the best ever right there beside you."
Robert Hight won in the Funny Car final at the third of six races in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Hight went 3.917 at 329.02 in his Chevrolet Camaro to win the final round when Jack Beckman went red at the starting line. It marks Hight's 500th round win, a distinction shared by only 19 other drivers. This win puts him in the lead in the Countdown to the Championship.
Deric Kramer won in Pro Stock and Andrew Hines in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Kramer edged Matt Hartford with a 6.541 at 211.33 in his Chevrolet Camaro to claim his second victory of 2019 and the fourth of his career .
Hines defeated Karen Stoffer, picking up his eighth win of the season in his Harley-Davidson with a pass of 6.805 at 199.37. Hines and Stoffer met in the final for the second consecutive event. Stoffer took the victory when they met in St. Louis.