SEMA eNews Vol. 22, No. 36, September 5, 2019

Racing News: J. Force, Kalitta, Laughlin and Savoie Get Memorable Wins at 65th Annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals

Compiled by SEMA Editors

  John Force
John Force raced to his fifth career victory at Indy in his PEAK Chevrolet Performance Accessories Chevrolet Camaro SS, winning the 65th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals last Monday at Lucas Oil Raceway Park at Indianapolis.
   

J. Force, Kalitta, Laughlin and Savoie Get Memorable Wins at 65th Annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals

A month after picking up his 150th career NHRA win, 16-time Funny Car world champion John Force raced to his fifth career victory at Indy, winning the 65th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals last Monday at Lucas Oil Raceway Park at Indianapolis. Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Alex Laughlin (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won in their respective categories at the final regular-season race of the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. It is the 18th of 24 events in 2019. Force tied Ed “Ace” McCulloch for the most Funny Car wins in Indy history, powering his PEAK Chevrolet Performance Accessories Chevrolet Camaro SS to a run of 3.919 seconds at 324.44 mph to beat Jack Beckman’s 3.940 at 325.92 in the final round. Force will start the Countdown to the Championship from the second position, trailing only John Force Racing teammate Robert Hight.

Making his 500th race-day start, Kalitta won for the first time in Indy and 46th time in his career thanks to his 4.144 at 212.43 in the final in his Mac Tools dragster to slip past Billy Torrence’s 4.220 at 206.01. Kalitta will start the Countdown to the Championship in second as he seeks his first world title. In Pro Stock, Laughlin won for the first time in 2019 and at the U.S. Nationals, beating Elite Motorsports teammate Erica Enders in the final round with a 6.648 at 207.43 in his Havoline Camaro. Laughlin will start from second, behind only Bo Butner, who has been the points leader for all 12 Pro Stock races thus far in 2019. Savoie claimed his second career win at Indy, going 6.851 at 195.25 in the final round on his Savoie’s Alligator Farm Suzuki to beat points leader Andrew Hines. The veteran and former world champ beat Ryan Oehler, Joey Gladstone and Eddie Krawiec to reach the final round, earning the victory after Hines went red. In the Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley Series, Tii Tharpe won his second championship in the class on Monday. The title chase came down to the final day for the second straight year, and Tharpe again edged out Doug Vancil. Tharpe, who won three races in 2019, wrapped up the title by going 6.398 at 219.33 in the semifinals on his Spevco/Jay Turner Racing Harley.

The Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues September 12–15, with the first of six races in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs—the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pennsylvania.

For more racing news, visit Performance Racing Industry’s (PRI) website.

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