• Top Fuel's B. Torrence secures first career victory
• Funny Car's Beckman gets second win of 2018
• Kramer grabs second career Pro Stock victory
• Defending Pro Stock Motorcycle champ Krawiec earns fourth win of year
Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Deric Kramer (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also winners in their respective categories at the 17th of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Torrence, whose son, Steve, is the points leader in the class, went 3.756 at 329.99 mph in his Capco Contractors dragster to defeat three-time world champion Antron Brown on a holeshot in the final round. Making his 27th career start, Billy Torrence, who was also the No. 1 qualifier for the first time in his career this weekend, knocked off Terry Totten, Scott Palmer and Mike Salinas to face off with Brown in his first career final round appearance.
Steve Torrence maintained his points lead in the class despite falling to Brown in a tight semifinal race. Brown, who won the previous race in Seattle, is now a point out of fifth place, beating Luigi Novelli, defending world champion Brittany Force and S. Torrence to reach his 121st career final round and third straight at Brainerd.
"We have struggled, it's no secret we haven't had the car we had early in the season," said Beckman, who moved to fourth in Funny Car points. "We weren't exactly stellar Friday and Saturday and we didn't have lane choice all weekend long. (But) I feel a heck of a lot better today than I did yesterday. To put it back in the winner's circle again, it just reaffirms we have a contending car. I like the way we picked away at things and we got significantly better every time down the racetrack today."
Johnson clinched his spot in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship on Sunday, advancing to his second final round of the season with victories over Del Worsham, Tim Wilkerson and J.R. Todd, who also secured his spot in the playoffs.
"It's been a lot of fun," said Kramer, who made his third straight finals appearance this season. "I know how good you have to be to win in this class. You just have to be ready every time you go to the starting line. There's no free shots. You have to be competitive, and if you're not competitive on the tree and you're not competitive on the track, you're not going to win, you're going to go home. We just continue to do that and hopefully it works out for us more than it doesn't."
Gray, who remained second in points, advanced to his second straight finals at Brainerd with victories over Dave Connolly, Fernando Cuadra and points leader Greg Anderson. Line, Chris McGaha and Drew Skillman all secured their spots in the Countdown to the Championship.
"It's about building momentum right now," Krawiec said. "We know where we are and we're in a great position. I think as long as you have that great drive and have that upbeat spirit, you have everybody all excited and that's what it's about right now. I have a good motorcycle under me. I know if it's not winning, it's most likely because of me. It's just great to come out and run well. We had a consistent motorcycle and that's what you need to win races."
Hines' path to his fifth final round this season included wins against Karen Stoffer, Jerry Savoie and Angie Smith. No. 1 qualifier Matt Smith also clinched his spot in the Countdown to the Championship.
The Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues Aug. 29-Sept. 3 with the last race of the regular season, the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
Sunday's final results from the 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. The race is the 17th of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series-
Top Fuel -- Billy Torrence, 3.756 seconds, 329.99 mph def. Antron Brown, 3.751 seconds, 329.10 mph.
Funny Car -- Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.961, 325.69 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.031, 319.67.
Pro Stock -- Deric Kramer, Chevy Camaro, 6.652, 207.56 def. Tanner Gray, Camaro, Foul - Red Light.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.897, 195.14 def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.903, 193.99.
Top Alcohol Dragster -- Jackie Fricke, 5.302, 269.24 def. Dean Dubbin, 5.443, 264.86.
Top Alcohol Funny Car -- Annie Whiteley, Chevy Camaro, 5.564, 267.37 def. Jay Payne, Camaro, 11.980, 68.98.
Super Stock -- Brian Johnson, Plymouth Duster, 11.164, 116.68 def. Jason DeForrest, Chevy Cavalier, Foul - Red Light.
Stock Eliminator -- Ben Line, Ford Mustang, 10.538, 123.15 def. Randi Lyn Shipp, Pontiac Firebird, 10.679, 106.56.
Super Comp -- Don Nichols, Dragster, 8.899, 160.04 def. Donald Leisdon, Dragster, 8.877, 172.89.
Super Gas -- Jeff Crooks, Pontiac Firebird, 9.885, 151.87 def. Tom Carlson, Chevy Corvette, Foul - Red Light.
Top Dragster presented by RacingRVs.com -- Todd Fleck, Dragster, 7.591, 154.30 def. Ross Laris, Dragster, Broke.
Top Sportsman presented by RacingRVs.com -- J.R. Lobner, Olds Cutlass, 7.559, 178.31 def. Michael Freischel, Pontiac Firebird, 7.581, 180.89.
Pro Stock Snowmobile -- Glenn Hall, Arctic Cat, 8.273, 155.70 def. Matt Ernst, Arctic Cat, 8.242, 155.19.