Four-Wide NHRA Nationals from Las Vegas Highlights

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Best of the Finals of the Four-Wide NHRA Nationals

DAVE RIEFF: Here is the Top Fuel Harley. That is a crazy machine. Great to see that nice up close look at just how wild it is.

TONY: Well, you know, looking at those numbers-- I mean, they're very impressive. The heat, the temperature, and the racetrack doesn't seem to be affecting them. But what's most impressive have been their reaction times. Now these bikes-- like their cousin, Top Fuel dragster and Nitro Funny Car-- they leave it in idle so they don't get to rev them up like the Pro Stock cars or Pro Stock bikes. But very impressive.

This race, on paper, is evenly matched. It may come down to the rider who leaves first.

DAVE RIEFF: So Rickey House at the driver's left. It's Jay Turner rider's right. Jay Turner's away at .015. Oh, but that front wheel comes down early. And it's going to be Rickey House that goes the distance. 6.324-- that is the best run of the weekend. And the best time to do it in earning the Wally. Rickey House, joining Doug Vancil and Tii Tharpe as the third winter in four races in 2018.

TONY: Well, take a look at Rickey House. His pike is on the wheelie bar. He's not doing a lot of motion, not making a lot of motions with his body. This thing appeared to be pretty nice and straight. Jay Turner in, the other lane, is right alongside of him up till about that point that Rickey House continues. That kind of performance gets him to the finish line first in another impressive run.

DAVE RIEFF: The comp world champ Bruno Massel, pit reporter is John Kernan and Amanda Busick. I'm Dave Rieff. It is finals time at the Denso Spark Plugs Four Wide Nationals on a beautiful weekend. Track temperature-- 125 for our Pro Stock quad.

It features two racers already with wins this season. It's going to be Derek Kramer looking for his first win ever as the American Ethanol team finds themselves in lane. Number one. Chris McGaha's trying to win back to back Four-Wide events. He won the Charlotte event last year. In lane number three, it's the Pro Stock champion-- Bo Butner. Looking for his first ever Las Vegas win, and first ever in the 4 wide format. And finally, it's Vincent Nobile, whose last win on tour came back at Maple Grove in 2016. Let's check in with John Kernan.

JOHN KERNAN: Talking with Chris McGaha. They started out the weekend on Friday with engine number 11. They broke that. Now they have engine number seven in the car. He's going for his seventh win in the seventh round of racing here in--

DAVE RIEFF: In Vegas?

JOHN KURT: --competition here in Vegas. Now, you know, correct me if I'm wrong. But in Vegas, if you get like three 7's right next to each other, doesn't that pay off?

DAVE RIEFF: In some games, but if you roll a seven on a crap table with the number already established, you're done. Guys, jump in here.

BRUNO MASSEL: Sounds like you've got a little experience there, Dave.

DAVE RIEFF: Never done it. Never won. There's the Speed Dog driver, Bo Butner, looking to improve. Boy, keep in mind-- when we were here last year at this point, he didn't have a number one on his car. He didn't even have a one national event win.

BRUNO MASSEL: He's running up his way to this final. He needs to turn on a win light here. He said he could do it, all he has to do is get to the final.

DAVE RIEFF: Reaction time at a premium. McGaha's out of it with a red light. Vincent Nobile left first in lane four. And at the stripe it is Vincent Nobile by seven ten thousandths of a second. And if my math is right, that is a double pull shot national event win. And it would have been a triple, perhaps, if Chris McGaha went green.

BRUNO MASSEL: Wow, that's great for a team that set out the second part of last year to regroup because they weren't happy the results. They came in a brand new car this year. Took off-- they were number one in Pomona right on the pole. So they knew they had a good car, and they just need to put it all together. And Vincent, with his driving, got the job done. Congratulations.

DAVE RIEFF: First ever Spring Vegas win, his 11th career win. That ties him with the Grump, Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins, and Frank Iaconio. But more importantly, this is going to be a fired up man coming out of his car for his first win in almost two years.

[ENGINES REVVING]

Well, as it stands right now guys, it is Jack Beckman that leads the points. The first time he's been in that position since the US Nationals 2015. Courtney could take it away right here. But I don't think points is necessarily the point of this final.

BRUNO MASSEL: No, it's all about who's going to bring home the Wally. Tony, who you got?

TONY: I'm getting over those burnouts. That sounded like Jurassic Park to me. But you know, the irony here is Courtney Force the number one qualifier, is coming in with the slowest elapsed time. But if I have to pick a winner, I'm going to go with Tommy Johnson based on qualifying and the fact that he came to life the previous round.

BRUNO MASSEL: Well, to get a little skin in the game, I'm going to say Jack Beckman. The winner in Gainesville has been riding a lot of momentum right now. I think he cruises on through one more round.

TONY: All right, fine, I'll take JR Todd. Just when you think the DHL driver's counted out, that's when that delivery is going to be on time. Good opportunity for him to score and break that streak in the number one qualifiers.

DAVE RIEFF: From left to right, it's Courtney, it's Tommy, it's JR. It's Jack. It is the Four-Wide Funny Car final.

[ENGINES REVVING]

Courtney's late, Tommy's early. And the Four Wide win goes to JR Todd.

BRUNO MASSEL: What about second, do you get anything for second, Dave?

DAVE RIEFF: Nope. Not in the final here. So for JR Todd, it's the US Nationals winner from a year ago. Gets his first ever winning racing the Four-Wide format.

--us to the Top Fuel final. In lane number one, it's the guy looking to score for the first time ever Four-Wide. He's already won 83 times as a Top Fuel racer, but never at the Four-Wides. It's Tony Schumacher. Lane number two, it's his teammate Antron Brown. It's Doug Kalitta and Steve Torrence in lanes three and four.

[ENGINES REVVING]

For Don Schumacher Racing, you know the story. 10 consecutive national events without a win. How about this guys? We have the top four in points right now on the starting line. By the way, parity continues in Funny Car as well as JR Todd scores for the first time in 2018.

TONY: All right, Bruno, you put me on the spot. Now I'm going to do the same to you. Who are you going to pick in this final round?

BRUNO MASSEL: All right, I've got to get even with Dave here. I hate having him one up on me. So I'm to go with Antron Brown just based off his performance in round one. He hit the tree, he ran a 70, I think he's got another one under his belt in terms of reaction time. And I think Mark Oswald's got a good handle on it too. And I think that last round was a fluke.

TONY: Well, I'm going to have to go with Steve Torrence. He is going to have to bring the heat on the starting line. But what he did the previous round to get here is big. John Kernan, you got more on Steve Torrence?

JOHN KERNAN: Yes, I do. His crew chief, Richard Hogan, is a guy that will never give up. They've had all kinds of gremlins this weekend. He has worked hard to fix them. And that last run in that last round showed him they have a great car. They're using that same tune-up right here.

[ENGINES REVVING]

DAVE RIEFF: It's lane one-- it's lane four. Steve Torrence with the win. The margin of victory-- 83 ten thousandths. And Steve Torrence becomes the first repeat winner of 2018. Bobby Lagana is at the bottom of a small mosh pit getting torn up and he doesn't care.