CLERMONT, Ind – For the second straight year, we saw a ladder full of upsets for the Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing Series’ Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. Last year, the upset category belonged to the Funny Car division. In the second round, we saw No. 16 vs. No. 8, No. 13 vs. No. 5, No. 14 vs. No. 6 and No. 10 vs. No. 2. In the semifinals it was No. 8 vs. No. 5 and No. 10 vs. No. 6.
This year, other than No. 15 beating No. 2 and then No. 7 beating No. 15, it was virtually chalk.
Top Fuel though, that’s a different story.
We saw four of the eight first round matchups end in upsets. The second round though, it was crazy.
The semifinal matchups were No. 13 vs. No. 9 and No. 11 vs. No. 10. The finals were No. 13 vs. No. 11.
No. 9 Blake Alexander beat No. 8 T.J. Zizzo and No. 1 Mike Calinas en route to the semis. No. 13 Terry McMillan beat No. 4 Scott Palmer and No. 5 and current points leader Steve Torrence.
No. 11 Doug Kalitta beat No. 6 Leah Pritchett and No. 3 Antron Brown while No. 10 Billy Torrence went through No. 7 Tony Schumacher and No. 2 Clay Millican.
That’s a lot of star power knocked out in favor for four drivers to make their way to the semifinals who have never won the “Big Go” before.