The Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals represented the third COVID-19 make-up event of the season. This event served to make up the cancelled event at Bandimere Raceway in Denver, Colorado.
One of the hot topics through the COVID-19 events was the status of John Force Racing (JFR). Just prior to this event, JFR released a press release stating that the team would sit out the remaining 2020 season. Force felt that he could not properly represent his many sponsors and business partners at the COVID restricted fan attendance events. The race team will fully gear up to compete for a championship in the 2021 season.
As with the previous COVID-19 make up events help at the famed Lucas Oil Raceway in Claremont, Indiana (sandwiched between Brownsburg and Indianapolis), all state, city and county rules for fan attendance levels, social distancing and wearing of masks was enforced.
In Top Fuel, Terry McMillen put his Amalie Oil Alligator Racing dragster into the #1 qualifying spot with a strong 3.80 at 12.28 mph. It was his first career #1 qualifier. McMillen utilized this performance to march past Lex Joon, Billy Torrence and Doug Kalitta for a final round match up against the reigning NHRA Top Fuel champion, Steve Torrence.
Torrence, who qualified second, took out Luigi Novelli, Justin Ashley and Leah Pruett to put his CAPCO dragster into the final round. Torrence came in with a 15-10 round record against McMillen and a 1-0 final round record. Torrence got away first (0.054 to 0.234) and then held on for a 4.273 at 224.17 mph to 4.153 at 240.59 mph holeshot win. Both cars lost traction, but the starting line advantage for Torrence gave him a 0.1506 second winning margin.
In Funny Car, Ron Capps and his NAPA Dodge Charger qualified third and faced off against #10 qualifier, JR Todd and his DHL Toyota team for the event title. Capps gained a slight 0.065 to 0.074 starting line advantage and never looked back as Todd’s car lost traction instantly. Capps collected a 4.11 at 294.63 mph to 10.318 at 80.06 mph win. His win brought the Don Schumacher Racing consecutive event win level to seven straight.
Pro Stock featured the first ever “uncle vs. nephew” final round match up, as five-time NHRA Pro Stock champion, Jeg Coughlin took on his nephew, Troy Coughlin Jr. The seasoned champion took a 0.033 to 0.050 stating line advantage and streaked to his 65th career NHRA Pro Stock event title, as the young nephew’s car shook real hard off the starting line, forcing him to give up the run. The five-time champ recorded a 6.68 at 206.92 mph to claim the event win.
Starting with the final event of the 2019 season, the Pro Stock Motorcycle category has had two first time winners. They nearly made it three even in a row, as Chris Bostick went to his first career final round. Bostick faced off against three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, Angelle Sampey and her Vance and Hines Harley Davidson for the event trophy. Sampey showed why she was a multiple season champion by using a near perfect 0.003 second reaction time to win going away with a 6.88 at 196.07 mph to 6.95 at 191.78 mph performance margin to claim her 43rd career National Event win. Bostick had a 0.053 second reaction time.
The NHRA will return to Indianapolis for the annual US Nationals over Labor Day weekend.