event: 31st Annual NHRA Texas Fallnationals
when:October 14-16, 2016
where: Texas Motorplex,, Ennis, TX, USA

Kraweic Takes Holeshot TX Win

story and photos by NHRA with a lil' help from Tim Hailey and team reports


Eddie Krawiec crossed up and cookin' in Dallas

Eddie Krawiec rode his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a 6.880 at 196.36 in the Pro Stock Motorcycle final round at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals to cross the finish line before Jerry Savoie, who posted a 6.856 at 196.76 on his White Alligator Racing Suzuki. Savoie's .120 light gave Krawiec (.031) all the room he needed to win by 19 feet despite a considerably slower ET.

"Anytime you’ve got to race [Savoie], you’ve got to be focused,” said Krawiec, who now has a 17-point lead over teammate Andrew Hines. “As a matter of fact, you have to be focused for just about anybody out there. When you look at this category as a whole right now, it’s some of the best racing that there could be. You see LE (Tonglet) came up from nowhere and took Andrew out, then I’ve got to run him, and we run almost neck and neck with each other. You have to be on your game every single round here, no matter who you’re racing and who’s in that other lane.”

Krawiec claimed his fifth win of the season, 36th of his career and second at the Texas Motorplex. He beat Karen Stoffer, Hector Arana and LE Tonglet to appear in his seventh final round of the season.

Jerry Savoie's Suzuki was breast cancer awareness pink

Savoie, an alligator farmer from Louisiana, beat Krawiec in the final round at Dallas one year ago. Savoie qualified No. 1 and sprinted past Joe DeSantis, Matt Smith and Englishtown, N.J., winner Angelle Sampey before losing to Krawiec.

Antron Brown, the No. 1 Top Fuel qualifier, sprinted to a 3.744-second pass at 321.12 mph in his Matco Tools dragster to defeat Steve Torrence’s 3.750 at 323.12 in his Capco Contractors dragster. This is Brown’s 61st career win, seventh of the season and third at the Texas Motorplex. He extended his lead over second-place Doug Kalitta by 150 points with the win. Brown outlasted Chris Karamesines, Kalitta and J.R. Todd in the earlier rounds.

“We had a great drag race out there,” said two-time and reigning world champion Brown. “It could’ve went either way. We were both close on the tree, but we snuck one out there. Nobody is blowing people out anymore. The only way you win is by inches. To win that final was monumental for our team. We needed to do that. We’re still not done working yet.”

Torrence raced past Clay Millican, Phoenix winner Leah Pritchett and three-time 2016 winner Shawn Langdon en route to his seventh final round appearance of the season. The runner-up finish bumped Torrence up to fifth in points.

Matt Hagan pushed his Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T to a 3.913 at 327.03 to beat Funny Car points-leader Ron Capps’ 3.906 at 322.19 in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T on a holeshot in the Funny Car final round. Hagan, who won at Dallas in 2010, claimed his fourth victory of the year and 22nd of his career. The Virginia cattle rancher moved to third in points, trailing Capps by 88 and second-place Tommy Johnson Jr. by 24. He defeated John Bojec, Houston winner Courtney Force and No. 1 qualifier Robert Hight in the earlier rounds.

“That was a huge round,” said Hagan, a two-time world champion. “It’s just unfortunate that we’re facing [Ron Capps] so late in rounds. In Reading I had him in the semi’s and he spanked me on the tree, and this time I was able to get a little payback. I actually try to minimize everything out of my control and just focus on leaving on time, keeping it in the groove, and turning on the win light, and let the rest take care of itself. We can’t worry about who might mess up or how many rounds someone might go; we just need to do the best job we can and turn on as many win lights as we can.”

Capps, who has five victories in 10 final rounds this year, outlasted two-time 2016 winner Tim Wilkerson, fourth-place Jack Beckman and reigning world champion Del Worsham in the earlier rounds. Capps became the 15th driver in NHRA history to appear in 100 final rounds.

In Pro Stock Car, Drew Skillman notched a 6.661 at 209.36 in his Ray Skillman Auto Group Chevy Camaro to knock off Alex Laughlin’s 6.708 at 208.30 in his Gas Monkey Garage Chevy Camaro. Skillman, who won earlier this year in Brainerd, Minn., tallied his third career win with the performance. This was his first final round appearance and win at Dallas. The 2015 Rookie of the Year award winner moved to sixth in points. He eliminated Chris McGaha, points leader Jason Line and Shane Gray in the earlier rounds.

“We have struggled so badly with this race car,” said Skillman. “We were lost, and going into the Countdown that’s the worst time of the year to be lost. We had some luck on our side this weekend. I drove decent, and the car at least went. We’re going the right direction, I think. We need to test again. We’re going to get back out there. We’re going to hit these last two races hard, so that’s where we’re going to go.”

Laughlin, who claimed his first career victory recently in St. Louis, raced past five-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr., Shane Tucker and second-place Greg Anderson. Laughlin did not qualify for the Countdown to the Championship.

Sunday's final results from the 31st annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex. The race is the 22nd of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel -- Antron Brown, 3.744 seconds, 321.12 mph def. Steve Torrence, 3.750 seconds, 323.12 mph.

Funny Car -- Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.913, 327.03 def. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.906, 322.19.

Pro Stock -- Drew Skillman, Chevy Camaro, 6.661, 209.36 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.708, 208.30.

Pro Stock Motorcycle -- Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.880, 196.36 def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.856, 196.76.

Top Alcohol Dragster -- Bradley Thompson, 5.299, 268.17 def. Shawn Cowie, Foul - Red Light.

Top Alcohol Funny Car -- Sean Bellemeur, Chevy Camaro, 5.527, 236.84 def. John Lombardo Jr., Camaro, 10.104, 98.76.

Competition Eliminator -- Keith Hall, Chevy Cavalier, 8.434, 154.83 def. Dick Maris, Dragster, Foul - Red Light.

Super Stock -- James Caro, Dodge Challenger, 9.847, 133.33 def. Norvell Bowers, Pontiac Firebird, 10.673, 122.77.

Stock Eliminator -- Rusty Hall, Ford Mustang, 10.218, 120.96 def. Bobby Brannon, Chevy Camaro, 10.406, 125.12.

Super Comp -- Jeremy Demers, Dragster, 8.912, 176.44 def. Gary Stinnett, Dragster, 8.917, 177.39.

Super Gas -- Christopher Best, Chevy Nova, 9.927, 155.54 def. Heidi Robison, Chevy Corvette, 9.939, 166.66.

Super Street -- Chase Huffman, Chevy Camaro, 10.979, 120.41 def. Tom Phillips, Pontiac Firebird, 11.050, 140.11.

Top Sportsman presented by RacingRVs.com -- Scooter Hampton, Pontiac GTO, 7.178, 190.75 def. Roger Massey, Chevy Cavalier, Foul - Red Light.

Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs.com -- Jeff Koron, Dragster, 6.398, 200.83 def. Danny Nelson, Dragster, Foul - Red Light.

Full NHRA results