The Franklin Family and Virginia Motorsports Park host huge crowds, great racing, and a Winners Circle full of previous champs.
We will get to talking about the race itself in just a moment. First, we at E3xtreme wanted to take a minute and congratulate Tommy & Judy Franklin, along with the entire VMP crew and holding what we have been told was an absolutely amazing event. We were unable to be there in person due to my current health, but we watched live all weekend, and talked to numerous teams that could not stop raving about how amazing the surface at VMP was. This was the first NHRA event at VMP in almost a decade, and based on how this weekend went, I believe that we will see VMP continue to be on the NHRA schedule year after year now.
So what about the competition from the weekend. Let's discuss the four pro classes that were competing this weekend at VMP. That would be Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle. We will address everything Pro Mod related in a separate article.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle this weekend, it was the Louisiana based Firefighter L.E. Tonglet, who is part of the White Alligator Racing Team. L.E. certainly didn't have an easy go of it during his road to victory this weekend though. In round one he faced off against John Hall. Round two it was last years World Champion Eddie Krawiec, and in the semi finals he took out Mr. 200 MPH Hector Arana Jr. That meant he would be facing off against another Vance and Hines Harley, this time being Andrew Hines. L.E. crushed the tree with a .006 to Andrew's .029 and he carried that advantage all the way through. L.E. crossed the stripe with a 6.841 to Andrerw's 6.848. This win keeps L.E. solidly in the top five in points.
Moving over to the class where no one wants to pull away with the points. The top ten are less than 200 points apart, but this weekend it was the kid, Tanner Gray that took the the Wally home. Before Tanner faced off against the two time World Champion Erica Enders in the finals, Tanner had to go through a gauntlet of competitors. Kenny Delco, Vincent Noble, and Drew Skillman all fell to Tanner earlier in the day. The win for Tanner allows him to continue to move up the points ladder as well. The win also moved Tanner ahead of his dad Shane in Pro Stock Wally wins.
Rolling into the Nitro field and more specifically Funny Car. To say this was an exciting weekend might be a hell of an understatement. Bob Tasca had a big explosion during qualifying, and that was a small bang compared to the Snap On Tools backed Cruz Pedregon sky high explosion during Q3 on Saturday. That explosion demolished the body on the car, and when we say demolish, we mean load in up in a wheel barrel and bring it to the dumpster. When it came to racing on Sunday though, it was a family affair, the Force family to be exact. Courtney and John faced off against each other at the end of the day. Courtney mowed down Jeff Diehl, Jim Campbell, and J.R. Todd before taking out her dad in the final round. A 4.036 to John's 4.076 was what the final looked like.
Finally, in Top Fuel this weekend we saw Steve Torrence back on top. The win leaves Steve first in points heading into next weekends race at Bristol. Steve faced off against Doug Kalitta in the finals. Before Steve had the chore of lining up against Doug, he first had to get around none other than Scott Palmer, Terry McMillen, and his close friend Antron Brown. In the finals it was Steve's 3.812 over Doug's slower 3.844. There were plenty of "upsets" early on Sunday in Top Fuel as well. Not sure if it's the new track prep, the heat, or what it was, but it certainly made for a great day of racing.
With all that in mind, congrats to the winners this weekend at VMP, and congrats to the Franklin Family, the VMP staff, and everyone involved on making this come back to VMP a very successful one!