NHRA U.S. NATIONALS - HOME PAGE
Keep up with this weekend's NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals action from Indianapolis. Check out the results and our exclusive pit notebooks.
MONDAY FINAL - SCHUMACHER, HIGHT, ANDERSON AND
EARN VICTORIES AT MAC TOOLS U.S. NATIONALS
Three-time POWERade Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher drew within 54 points of the championship lead by earning his fifth Mac Tools U.S. Nationals victory Monday at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.
Schumacher's final round win over Brandon Bernstein at the $2.6 million NHRA POWERade Series race put him alongside fellow Indy champs Robert Hight (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle.) Like Schumacher, Anderson's win was his fifth at the world's most prestigious drag race, including the last four in a row.
Schumacher immediately dedicated his win to crew chief Alan Johnson's brother Blaine, who lost his life in a crash 10 years ago at this event.
Schumacher's U.S. Army dragster was the quickest of every round as he raced past J.R. Todd, Dave Grubnic, Rod Fuller, and Bernstein's Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster for his third win of the year and 33rd of his career.
"There are a lot of reasons to win races -- the fans, your sponsors, the championship chase, whatever -- but today we raced for Blaine," said Schumacher, the first nitro category driver this season to win from the No. 1 qualifying position. "My first Indy race was 10 years ago and I would've raced him in the first round if he hadn't died. To come back now and win with Alan as my crew chief, it was meant to be. This trophy is going on the Johnson family mantle. That's where it belongs."
With the victory, Schumacher cut Doug Kalitta's points lead to 54 with five races remaining. Kalitta was upset in the first round by David Baca.
Hight was a picture of relief and bewilderment after winning the sport's biggest race in just his second appearance here as a driver. He had to work for this one, getting chased by Whit Bazemore all the way down the race track, but he reached the stripe first with a 4.737 at 328.38 mph in his Auto Club Ford Mustang to Bazemore's 4.756 at 327.82 mph in his Matco Tools Dodge Charger.
"This is unbelievable," Hight said. "I didn't think I'd ever get to drive one of these cars, let alone drive for John Force. To come here, to a race I watched so many times as a fan and as a crew guy for John, and to find a way to win is beyond anything you can dream of. I always wondered what I'd do if I was here in this spot and now I don't know what to do."
John Force gave the Funny Car points lead back to Ron Capps after just one race on top by red-lighting against first-round foe Jim Head. Capps, who went to the semifinals, now leads by 19 points.
Skoal Showdown winner Force, a winner of 13 world championships, 121 events and four U.S. Nationals titles, was disappointed with his early round miscue.
"I have the best car here and I failed," Force said. "This is Indy. It's not where you make mistakes. I'm the best there is and I forgot how to race. If you lose like this at Indy you deserve to have your (butt) kicked."
Anderson broke his longest winless streak since his first career victory by taking out starting line specialist Dave Connolly, who fouled at the start in his Skull Gear Chevy Cobalt. Like Schumacher in Top Fuel, Anderson entered race day as the No. 1 qualifier and posted the quickest pass of every round in his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO to win his second race of the season and 41st of his career.
"Man I needed a win so badly, and what better place to get it than Indy," said Anderson, who joined Bob Glidden and Warren Johnson as the only Pro Stock racers to win four consecutive Indy races. "It's incredible in this day and age to win four in a row at the race where everybody goes all out to win. I know the competition was awesome when those guys did it, but it's even more brutal now. I feel very humbled and privileged."
Anderson's victory cut teammate Jason Line's series lead to 59 points.
One year ago, Smith felt the elation of an Indy Pro Stock Motorcycle win for about a day, only to have it stripped away when ESPN2 replays proved that a timing malfunction had occurred and opponent Steve Johnson had actually won the final. Although Smith agreed with the decision and was gracious in the turn of events, the incident has stayed with him.
On this day, any chance of a repeat performance was extinguished at the starting line when Sampey left the tree too early, thereby handing the win to Smith at the starting line. He went on to post a 7.222 on his Torco Buell to Sampey's 7.147 on her U.S. Army Suzuki.
"No one's taking this one away," Smith said as he clutched the trophy at the top end. "I saw her red-light come on and I was like, 'Thank you, thank you.' I doubt very seriously I made a very good run because I was screaming my head off in my helmet. I don't even remember going through the gears."
Andrew Hines and Antron Brown remain 1-2 in the point standings after a pair of semifinal finishes with Hines ahead by eight points.
The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series continues with the 22nd annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals, Sept. 14-17 at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa.
Monday's final results from the 52nd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. The $2.6 million race is the 18th of 23 in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:
Top Fuel -- Tony Schumacher, 4.505 seconds, 325.22 mph def. Brandon Bernstein, 4.602 seconds, 274.00 mph.
Funny Car -- Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 4.737, 328.38 def. Whit Bazemore, Dodge Charger, 4.756, 327.82.
Pro Stock -- Greg Anderson, Pontiac GTO, 6.687, 206.83 def. Dave Connolly, Chevy Cobalt, foul.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- Matt Smith, Buell, 7.222, 176.95 def. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, foul.
Pro RWD -- Brad Personett, Scion, 6.439, 218.80 def. Matt Scranton, Solara, foul.
Top Alcohol Dragster -- Bill Reichert, 5.244, 271.13 def. Randy Meyer, 5.273, 267.37.
Top Alcohol Funny Car -- Frank Manzo, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.569, 258.57 def. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 9.165, 97.28.
Competition Eliminator -- Glen Treadwell, Ford Roadster, 9.089, 158.54 def. Lee Zane, Ford Bantam, 9.055, 145.11.
Super Stock -- Mark Faul, Pontiac Grand Am, 10.156, 124.67 def. Scott Stillings, Grand Am, 8.799, 155.38.
Stock Eliminator -- Dan Fletcher, Chevy Camaro, 10.698, 118.87 def. David Edwards, Camaro, 10.860, 119.56.
Super Comp -- Heather Robilotto, Dragster, 8.890, 148.23 def. Jimmy Lewis, Dragster, 8.888, 168.41.
Super Gas -- Iggie Boicesco, Chevy Corvette, 9.941, 157.25 def. Regis Lepage, Chevy S-10, 9.931, 161.90.
Final round-by-round results from the 52nd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, the 18th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:
ROUND ONE -- David Grubnic, 4.549, 327.03 def. Morgan Lucas, 4.884, 228.27; Brandon Bernstein, 4.514, 332.67 def. Hillary Will, 8.463, 84.82; Cory McClenathan, 4.519, 327.35 def. Doug Herbert, 4.604, 324.12; Rod Fuller, 4.508, 329.02 def. Andrew Cowin, broke; Tony Schumacher, 4.486, no speed def. J.R. Todd, 4.606, 317.57; Larry Dixon, 4.549, 321.73 def. Doug Foley, foul; David Baca, 4.542, 316.52 def. Doug Kalitta, 4.517, 323.12; Melanie Troxel, 4.527, 326.71 def. Alan Bradshaw, 4.597, 323.50;
QUARTERFINALS -- McClenathan, 4.606, 316.45 def. Baca, 8.173, 87.65; Bernstein, 4.551, 329.02 def. Dixon, 9.996, 97.12; Fuller, 4.578, 324.20 def. Troxel, 4.613, 306.46; Schumacher, 4.497, 327.51 def. Grubnic, 4.798, 273.11;
SEMIFINALS -- Bernstein, 4.524, 332.51 def. McClenathan, 4.588, 323.04; Schumacher, 4.519, 330.88 def. Fuller, 4.586, 324.12;
FINAL -- Schumacher, 4.505, 325.22 def. Bernstein, 4.602, 274.00.
ROUND ONE -- Phil Burkart, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.789, 323.58 def. Gary Scelzi, Dodge Charger, 4.731, 330.96; Cruz Pedregon, Monte Carlo, 4.800, 327.11 def. Eric Medlen, Ford Mustang, 4.748, 323.19; Jim Head, Dodge Stratus, 4.825, 324.05 def. John Force, Mustang, foul; Scott Kalitta, Toyota Solara, 4.761, 320.97 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Monte Carlo, 8.066, 114.52; Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.715, 331.04 def. Bob Gilbertson, Stratus, 4.888, 308.43; Whit Bazemore, Charger, 4.790, 324.05 def. Tim Wilkerson, Monte Carlo, 12.262, 82.45; Ron Capps, Charger, 4.769, 323.66 def. Gary Densham, Monte Carlo, 4.805, 324.51; Mike Ashley, Stratus, 4.754, 326.95 def. Tony Pedregon, Monte Carlo, 4.753, 318.17;
QUARTERFINALS -- Bazemore, 5.072, 275.96 def. C. Pedregon, broke; Capps, 4.865, 314.53 def. Kalitta, 6.677, 129.53; Head, 4.901, 10.91 def. Ashley, 9.642, 97.71; Hight, 4.808, 321.42 def. Burkart, 4.843, 316.15;
SEMIFINALS -- Bazemore, no time def. Head, foul; Hight, 4.768, 324.67 def. Capps, 4.841, 319.67;
FINAL -- Hight, 4.737, 328.38 def. Bazemore, 4.756, 327.82.
ROUND ONE -- Greg Stanfield, Pontiac GTO, 6.690, 206.20 def. Larry Morgan, Dodge Stratus, 6.696, 206.10; Allen Johnson, Stratus, 6.684, 205.26 def. Tom Martino, GTO, 6.685, 206.20; Dave Connolly, Chevy Cobalt, 6.689, 205.85 def. Dave Howard, Cobalt, foul; V. Gaines, Stratus, 6.686, 206.26 def. Bob Benza, Cobalt, 6.733, 205.22; Jason Line, GTO, 6.671, 206.39 def. Warren Johnson, GTO, foul; Ron Krisher, Cobalt, 6.712, 205.29 def. Mike Edwards, GTO, foul; Greg Anderson, GTO, 6.670, 206.86 def. Dave Northrop, Stratus, 6.752, 203.77; Steve Schmidt, Cobalt, 6.709, 206.01 def. Kurt Johnson, Cobalt, 6.678, 206.48;
QUARTERFINALS -- Gaines, 6.741, 205.29 def. Krisher, 6.789, 183.74; A. Johnson, 6.701, 205.32 def. Schmidt, 6.722, 205.76; Connolly, 6.707, 205.63 def. Line, 6.682, 206.42; Anderson, 6.673, 206.61 def. Stanfield, 6.712, 205.63;
SEMIFINALS -- Connolly, 6.711, 205.82 def. A. Johnson, foul; Anderson, 6.678, 206.39 def. Gaines, 6.750, 205.41;
FINAL -- Anderson, 6.687, 206.83 def. Connolly, foul.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:
ROUND ONE -- Shawn Gann, Suzuki, 7.089, 187.91 def. Matt Guidera, Buell, foul; Paul Gast, Suzuki, 7.068, 185.31 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.152, 184.19; Chip Ellis, Buell, 7.077, 184.67 def. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 7.219, 186.12; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.028, 189.18 def. Chris Rivas, Buell, 7.091, 184.90; Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.079, 186.59 def. Tom Bradford, Buell, 7.110, 186.85; Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.111, 185.23 def. Ryan Schnitz, Buell, 7.094, 184.22; Matt Smith, Buell, 7.020, 186.64 def. GT Tonglet, Harley-Davidson, foul; Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 7.067, 186.15 def. Geno Scali, Suzuki, 7.185, 184.65;
QUARTERFINALS -- Brown, 7.186, 181.32 def. Ellis, 7.206, 179.04; Sampey, 7.137, 181.94 def. Stoffer, 7.223, 179.16; Hines, 7.098, 186.10 def. Gast, 7.196, 180.52; Smith, 7.151, 180.96 def. Gann, foul;
SEMIFINALS -- Smith, 7.163, 183.87 def. Brown, 7.148, 183.29; Sampey, 7.135, 184.12 def. Hines, foul;
FINAL -- Smith, 7.222, 176.95 def. Sampey, foul.
SUNDAY - FORCE RACES TO SIXTH SKOAL SHOWDOWN
VICTORY, ALSO GRABS NO.
1 QUALIFYING POSITION IN FUNNY CAR
Schumacher, Anderson and Smith also will lead their categories into
eliminations at the
Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
(9-3-2006) - John Force raced to the $100,000 Skoal Showdown victory Sunday at O'Reilly Raceway Park. It was Force's sixth career win in the special bonus race for the top eight Funny Car qualifiers from the last 12 months.
Force also was the No. 1 qualifier in his category at the $2.6 million Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the world's most prestigious drag race. Tony Schumacher, Greg Anderson, and Matt Smith also were No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 18th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
A 13-time series champion, Force used consistency to earn the Showdown trophy, beating Tony Pedregon with a 4.790, Eric Medlen with a 4.805, and Johnson with 4.789 at 327.19 mph. Johnson gave it a run in the final in his Skoal Racing Chevy Monte Carlo, posting a 4.823 at 321.04 mph, but Force simply had too much horsepower in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang.
"This is a great day for all of John Force Racing," said Force, who was competing in this event for the 23rd time. "It takes a team like this to win one of these deals because it's so hard to win anymore. It's a lot of stress because it's so much money on the line and your sponsors really want this trophy."
In Top Fuel, Schumacher will begin race day as the favorite to win his fifth U.S. Nationals trophy. His 4.475 at 332.59 mph in his U.S. Army dragster, the fastest pass ever at this facility, earned him his ninth low qualifier award of the season and 31st of his career. He'll try to become the first Top Fuel or Funny Car driver this season to win from the No. 1 position during Monday's 11 a.m. eliminations.
"No one has won a race from the No. 1 spot this year and half of that can be blamed directly on me," Schumacher said. "I'm the dummy screwing up the curve. I know it's starting to bother Alan [Johnson, crew chief] a little bit and he really wants to win this deal tomorrow and put an end to that streak. He's motivated to win, believe me."
Force's 131st low qualifying effort brought him within five of the all-time record held by Pro Stock legend Warren Johnson, who has 136 No. 1 starts. His 4.691 at 328.54 mph from Saturday evening, probably the coolest session of the weekend, ended up being his run of record.
"Being No. 1 is good because that's a few more points on (Ron) Capps and that's a good thing because we need them all," Force said. "Every day you wonder if you're done. Every time we do something good (crew chief Austin) Coil says, 'Do you think this is our last one?' You never know, it just might be. I don't feel like I'm done yet. I got some fight left in me, but it'll run out at some point."
Anderson's 6.662 at 206.95 mph run in his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO Sunday morning reset both ends of the ORP record for Pro Stock. This marked the 10th time this year and 50th time in his career that the three-time and reigning series champion has qualified in the No. 1 position.
"This is great but I need a win," said Anderson, who last won at the season-opening race in Pomona, Calif. "It seems like an eternity since we've won and I know it won't be easy to win here. Everyone brings their best to this race because of what it means and every round will be a knock-down, drag-out fight."
Smith's track-record 6.994 at 188.70 mph from Saturday remained the best run in Pro Stock Motorcycle, awarding the Torco Buell racer his second consecutive top qualifying effort.
"This weekend's been awesome for us," Smith said. "The cooler weather was a surprise. It worked out well for us because it allowed us to make more horsepower with the motors. We love to go fast."
First-round pairings for professional eliminations Monday for the 52nd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, the 18th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Sunday.
Top Fuel -- 1. Tony Schumacher, 4.475 seconds, 332.59 mph vs. 16. J.R. Todd, 4.585, 322.58; 2. Larry Dixon, 4.492, 328.38 vs. 15. Doug Foley, 4.583, 326.00; 3. Doug Kalitta, 4.497, 322.65 vs. 14. David Baca, 4.581, 327.11; 4. Rod Fuller, 4.509, 329.67 vs. 13. Andrew Cowin, 4.572, 323.50; 5. Melanie Troxel, 4.521, 326.08 vs. 12. Alan Bradshaw, 4.557, 326.32; 6. Cory McClenathan, 4.524, 329.34 vs. 11. Doug Herbert, 4.545, 322.50; 7. Hillary Will, 4.531, 325.69 vs. 10. Brandon Bernstein, 4.544, 328.46; 8. David Grubnic, 4.541, 327.51 vs. 9. Morgan Lucas, 4.543, 316.67.
Funny Car -- 1. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.691, 328.54 vs. 16. Jim Head, Dodge Stratus, 4.801, 323.35; 2. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.692, 326.56 vs. 15. Bob Gilbertson, Stratus, 4.793, 318.92; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr., Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.701, 325.14 vs. 14. Scott Kalitta, Toyota Solara, 4.790, 322.11; 4. Whit Bazemore, Dodge Charger, 4.718, 327.43 vs. 13. Tim Wilkerson, Monte Carlo, 4.784, 319.37; 5. Eric Medlen, Mustang, 4.728, 324.12 vs. 12. Cruz Pedregon, Monte Carlo, 4.779, 325.92; 6. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.730, 324.67 vs. 11. Gary Densham, Monte Carlo, 4.770, 319.98; 7. Gary Scelzi, Charger, 4.735, 330.31 vs. 10. Phil Burkart, Monte Carlo, 4.760, 328.54; 8. Tony Pedregon, Monte Carlo, 4.735, 325.30 vs. 9. Mike Ashley, Stratus, 4.737, 328.30.
Pro Stock -- 1. Greg Anderson, Pontiac GTO, 6.662, 206.95 vs. 16. Dave Northrop, Dodge Stratus, 6.717, 205.44; 2. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Cobalt, 6.672, 206.83 vs. 15. Steve Schmidt, Cobalt, 6.716, 205.85; 3. Jason Line, GTO, 6.676, 206.64 vs. 14. Warren Johnson, GTO, 6.710, 205.79; 4. V. Gaines, Stratus, 6.682, 206.32 vs. 13. Bob Benza, Cobalt, 6.707, 205.29; 5. Mike Edwards, GTO, 6.683, 206.73 vs. 12. Ron Krisher, Cobalt, 6.705, 205.66; 6. Dave Howard, Cobalt, 6.686, 206.07 vs. 11. Dave Connolly, Cobalt, 6.702, 205.13; 7. Allen Johnson, Stratus, 6.690, 205.57 vs. 10. Tom Martino, GTO, 6.695, 206.10; 8. Greg Stanfield, GTO, 6.693, 206.35 vs. 9. Larry Morgan, Stratus, 6.694, 206.20.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.994, 188.70 vs. 16. GT Tonglet, Harley-Davidson, 7.117, 186.85; 2. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.020, 189.68 vs. 15. Chris Rivas, Buell, 7.102, 185.03; 3. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.041, 189.23 vs. 14. Tom Bradford, Buell, 7.098, 186.98; 4. Chip Ellis, Buell, 7.053, 188.52 vs. 13. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 7.097, 187.89; 5. Ryan Schnitz, Buell, 7.069, 187.70 vs. 12. Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.096, 185.61; 6. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 7.070, 186.41 vs. 11. Geno Scali, Suzuki, 7.095, 189.15; 7. Paul Gast, Suzuki, 7.078, 186.64 vs. 10. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.092, 185.95; 8. Matt Guidera, Buell, 7.085, 185.69 vs. 9. Shawn Gann, Suzuki, 7.088, 188.81.
Final round-by-round results from the Skoal Showdown, a bonus race for Funny Car competitors held during the 52nd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, the 18 th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:
ROUND ONE -- Tommy Johnson Jr., Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.750, 324.36 def. Gary Scelzi, Dodge Charger, 9.373, 85.93; Eric Medlen, Ford Mustang, 4.770, 323.35 def. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.793, 320.05; John Force, Mustang, 4.790, 322.58 def. Tony Pedregon, Monte Carlo, 4.834, 295.46; Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.768, 321.58 def. Whit Bazemore, Charger, 4.860, 310.41;
SEMIFINALS -- Force, 4.805, 320.51 def. Medlen, 5.876, 159.76; Johnson Jr., 5.325, 259.16 def. Hight, 6.314, 146.51;
FINAL -- Force, 4.789, 327.19 def. Johnson Jr., 4.823, 321.04.
Upper Deck Shot – The NHRA’s media department scored a major victory on Friday. USA Today featured the NHRA U.S. Nationals in a four page special section. In addition, the sport was featured in a special “snapshot” section as well as in the sports page.
This unprecedented achievement is something NHRA Public Relations Director Anthony Vestal feels will continue to grow the sport.
“It’s certainly a great thing for the sport and we are developing a better relationship with USA Today and its staff,” Vestal said. “They are getting more enthusiastic about drag racing. We certainly look forward to growing that relationship through this year and next year’s POWERade Countdown to the Championship.”
Vestal feels this is a great opportunity for the sport.
“This is a grand slam,” Vestal added. “To have a four-page section on this
race and the sport centered on drag racing is a great boost. I think at this
point, the country knows there is a major drag race going on this weekend in
Tower of Power - NHRA President Tom Compton confirmed the
current tower will be replaced with a state-of-the-art version hopefully by next
year and no later than 2008. The design will be a change from the conventional
design and feature a unique shape.
Rockingham Rumblings - Rockingham Dragway, once a stalwart on the NHRA trail, and more recently the home of a successful IHRA national event or two could, could in the long run return to NHRA. Major changes to the facility would have to take place first, however.
We’re hearing from reliable sources that in order to land an NHRA national
even the track’s infamous concrete grandstands and the artificial hill they’re
built upon would have to be torn down and removed, and in their place there’d
have to be hi-rise aluminum grandstands with the requisite number of VIP suites
perched atop them. Current track owner Steve Earwood is unlikely to make this
kind of an investment in the near term, but an influx of funding from the taking
on of a partner or two could change his mind. – Jon Asher
Extended Gators - NHRA and ACDelco reached an agreement to extended their title sponsorship of the NHRA Gatornationals, held at historic Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway.
“We are excited that ACDelco has renewed its title sponsorship of the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals,” said Gary Darcy, senior vice president of sales and marketing, NHRA. “A truly dedicated supporter of NHRA throughout the years, ACDelco has demonstrated through a variety of entitlement programs how to effectively utilize NHRA event and team sponsorships to promote its products. As title sponsor of the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals, ACDelco has aligned itself with one of the most legendary and exciting events in the NHRA POWERade Series, and one of NHRA’s strongest individual event brands. We are looking forward to many more great years in our strong relationship with ACDelco and being able to provide them with optimum marketing value by helping them identify more potential customers through their association with NHRA.”
The commitment maintains ACDelco’s participation in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing. ACDelco also is the title sponsor of the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, as well as the primary sponsor for Kurt Johnson’s Chevy Cobalt in Pro Stock, and an associate sponsor of Warren Johnson’s GM Performance Parts Pontiac GTO.
SATURDAY - HINES RACES TO $25,000 VICTORY IN
RINGERS GLOVES PRO BIKE
BATTLE; Schumacher, Force, Anderson and Smith are
qualifying leaders at Mac Tools
(9-2-2006) - Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Andrew Hines claimed the largest payout in class history by winning the $25,000 top prize in the Ringers Gloves Pro Bike Battle Saturday at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.
The special race within a race bonus event highlighted a spectacular day of qualifying for the 52nd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the $2.6 million showcase event in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are the provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the event, the 18th of 23 on the tour.
For the third year in a row, a Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson V-Rod from the vaunted Vance & Hines stable came away with a win in the Ringers Gloves Pro Bike Battle, which features the top eight qualifiers from the previous 12 months. Hines won in 2004, while teammate GT Tonglet took the trophy in 2005. This year the winner's purse increased from $15,000 to $25,000.
The back-to-back series champ and current points leader, Hines left Ellis at the starting line and led all the way down the track, crossing the finish line with a 7.062 at 188.15 mph to Ellis' 7.114 at 184.75 mph on his Drag Specialties S&S Buell.
"That's three years in a row for our team and that's hard to believe," Hines said. "I felt like I was making a good run and I didn't hear Chip. I was just tucked in, looking at the wall and thinking, 'come on finish line.' If we can keep this up, we've got a shot at that $10,000 bonus for winning on Monday."
Hines has put himself in position to earn another $20,000 from NHRA should he manage to "Double-up" and win the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Monday. The race and the "Double-up" bonus are worth $10,000 each.
Schumacher answered points leader Doug Kalitta's opening day salvo with a blistering 4.475 at 332.59 mph in his U.S. Army dragster to move up the Top Fuel ladder to the No. 1 spot. Schumacher's top speed was the fastest ever recorded at ORP. Kalitta dropped to third with a best of 4.497 seconds in his Mac Tools dragster.
"We don't want [Kalitta] to be No. 1 because we need every single point we can get," Schumacher said. "That's a world-class team over there. They haven't won a championship yet but they're of that caliber. I always say, we don't just come for the trophy we come for the challenge and it's a big one right now."
Force's 4.691 at 328.54 mph in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang was a true crowd-pleaser as the four-time Indy champ and series points leader lit-up the night sky from one end of the track to the other. Force took the points lead from Ron Capps at the last event by 17 markers. Capps is qualified sixth here with a 4.730 at 324.67 mph in his Brut Dodge Charger.
"It's funny because we're low E.T. now but right before that run I was as nervous as can be," Force said. "We'd been pushed down to the bump and I was about to get knocked out. I looked at [crew chief Austin] Coil and said, 'Well, what do you think?' He said, 'I think I'm gonna be sick.' Then it was our turn to go and he said, 'Well, no guts, no glory.' This sport can bring you to your knees. I don't care how many championships you've won."
Three-time and defending series champion Anderson found his Indy tune-up in the third session and quickly moved to the front of Pro Stock with a 6.681 at 206.23 mph in his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO. Anderson has won three of the last four Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, including the last three in a row.
"This place is magic to me and always has been," Anderson said. "For a drag racer, it just doesn't get any better to have this track, and this race, be the one where you always seem to shine."
Smith's track record 6.994 at 188.70 mph was the 10th quickest pass in Pro Stock Motorcycle history and his first in the six-second range. The Torco Buell V-Twin rider also became the fifth member of the Mickey Thompson 6-Second Pro Stock Bike Club and put himself in position to claim his second consecutive low qualifier honor.
"It means a lot to join that club," Smith said. "My dad [Pro Stock racer Rickie Smith] was a member of the 6-Second Club in Pro Stock and for both of us to be a part of the history books like that is pretty amazing."
Sunday's final two qualifying sessions are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday's eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
Results Saturday after qualifying for the 52nd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, 18 th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Sunday for Monday's final eliminations.
Top Fuel -- 1. Tony Schumacher, 4.475 seconds, 332.59 mph; 2. Larry Dixon, 4.492, 328.38; 3. Doug Kalitta, 4.497, 322.65; 4. Melanie Troxel, 4.521, 326.08; 5. Rod Fuller, 4.523, 327.43; 6. Cory McClenathan, 4.524, 329.34; 7. Hillary Will, 4.531, 325.69; 8. Morgan Lucas, 4.543, 316.67; 9. Brandon Bernstein, 4.544, 328.46; 10. Doug Herbert, 4.545, 322.50; 11. David Grubnic, 4.548, 324.98; 12. Alan Bradshaw, 4.557, 326.32; 13. Andrew Cowin, 4.572, 323.12; 14. Doug Foley, 4.583, 326.00; 15. Joe Hartley, 4.595, 327.51; 16. J.R. Todd, 4.598, 322.58.
Funny Car -- 1. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.691, 328.54; 2. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.692, 326.56; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr., Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.701, 325.14; 4. Whit Bazemore, Dodge Charger, 4.718, 327.43; 5. Eric Medlen, Mustang, 4.728, 324.12; 6. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.730, 324.67; 7. Gary Scelzi, Charger, 4.735, 330.31; 8. Tony Pedregon, Monte Carlo, 4.735, 325.30; 9. Mike Ashley, Dodge Stratus, 4.737, 328.30; 10. Phil Burkart, Monte Carlo, 4.760, 328.54; 11. Gary Densham, Monte Carlo, 4.770, 319.98; 12. Cruz Pedregon, Monte Carlo, 4.779, 325.92; 13. Tim Wilkerson, Monte Carlo, 4.784, 319.37; 14. Scott Kalitta, Toyota Solara, 4.790, 322.11; 15. Bob Gilbertson, Stratus, 4.793, 318.92; 16. Jim Head, Stratus, 4.801, 323.35.
Pro Stock -- 1. Greg Anderson, Pontiac GTO, 6.681, 206.23; 2. Mike Edwards, GTO, 6.685, 205.91; 3. Dave Howard, Chevy Cobalt, 6.686, 205.76; 4. Jason Line, GTO, 6.687, 206.16; 5. Allen Johnson, Dodge Stratus, 6.690, 205.29; 6. Greg Stanfield, GTO, 6.694, 205.85; 7. Kurt Johnson, Cobalt, 6.696, 205.57; 8. V. Gaines, Stratus, 6.700, 205.94; 9. Tom Martino, GTO, 6.703, 205.07; 10. Dave Connolly, Cobalt, 6.705, 205.10; 11. Larry Morgan, Stratus, 6.708, 205.51; 12. Ron Krisher, Cobalt, 6.712, 205.01; 13. Steve Schmidt, GTO, 6.716, 205.26; 14. Jim Yates, GTO, 6.718, 204.48; 15. Dave Northrop, Stratus, 6.721, 204.66; 16. Mark Pawuk, GTO, 6.724, 204.60.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.994, 188.70; 2. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.041, 189.23; 3. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.049, 188.78; 4. Chip Ellis, Buell, 7.068, 188.52; 5. Ryan Schnitz, Buell, 7.069, 187.05; 6. Paul Gast, Suzuki, 7.078, 186.64; 7. Matt Guidera, Buell, 7.085, 185.69; 8. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.092, 185.95; 9. Geno Scali, Suzuki, 7.095, 189.15; 10. Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.096, 184.95; 11. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 7.097, 187.89; 12. Tom Bradford, Buell, 7.098, 186.48; 13. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 7.099, 184.72; 14. Chris Rivas, Buell, 7.102, 185.03; 15. GT Tonglet, Harley-Davidson, 7.117, 186.25; 16. Shawn Gann, Suzuki, 7.123, 186.69.
Final round-by-round results from the Ringer's Gloves Pro Bike Battle, a bonus race for Pro Stock Motorcycle competitors held during the 52nd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, the 18th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:
PRO BIKE BATTLE:
ROUND ONE -- Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.096, 184.95 def. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 7.131, 183.24; Matt Smith, Buell, 6.994, 188.70 def. Ryan Schnitz, Buell, 7.069, 187.05; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.049, 188.78 def. Tom Bradford, Buell, 7.120, 186.41; Chip Ellis, Buell, 7.068, 188.52 def. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.158, 185.61;
SEMIFINALS -- Ellis, 7.118, 185.36 def. Brown, foul; Hines, 7.061, 188.33 def. Smith, 7.099, 185.46;
FINAL -- Hines, 7.062, 188.15 def. Ellis, 7.114, 184.75.
FRIDAY - KALITTA, HIGHT, LINE AND STOFFER EARLY LEADERS AT MAC
TOOLS U.S. NATIONALS
(9-1-2006) - Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta posted a quick 4.497-second run at 322 mph to lead the opening day action Friday at the $2.6 million Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the most prestigious drag race in the world.
Kalitta was joined by Funny Car's Robert Hight, Pro Stock's Jason Line, and Pro Stock Motorcycle's Karen Stoffer as leading qualifiers at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis with four more rounds of professional qualifying left on the schedule for Monday's 11 a.m. eliminations in the NHRA POWERade Series marquee event.
Just as he did in Memphis, Kalitta showed up reigning champ Tony Schumacher, who was in the other lane during his track record run. His 4.497 at 322.65 mph in his Mac Tools dragster drew a large cheer from the crowd and sent a message to Schumacher that the fight for the championship won't be easy. Schumacher, who recently moved up to second place in the points, ended up 11th with a 4.591 in his U.S. Army dragster.
"That was kind of nice, I must admit," Kalitta said. "We're in the heat of the battle and we're trying to do the very best we can on every pass. I was surprised to see the win light come on just now. It was exciting to get there first."
The other three provisional low qualifiers all used track record elapsed times to grab the No. 1 spot in their respective categories. Hight ran a 4.692, Line a 6.687, and Stoffer a 7.068. Gary Scelzi also set an ORP speed record with a 330.31-mph pass in his Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger.
Since he turned pro at the start of 2005, no one has more No. 1 qualifiers than Hight's 13 efforts. Now the sophomore driver has the inside track to add No. 14 after blazing down ORP with a 4.692 at 326.56 mph in his Auto Club Ford Mustang.
"What's really frustrating for me right now is to look at the standings," Hight said. "They just don't reflect how good this car really is. I know in my heart we have the best car out here. We just seem to find a new way to lose every week. We've got to get past that."
Line continues to be the class of Pro Stock, finishing as the low qualifier after a 6.687 at 205.04 mph in his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO. Line has four No. 1 qualifiers this year and eight in his career, but he's never been No. 1 here. His elapsed time is a track record.
"I won my very first round in Pro Stock at this race," Line said. "Ever since then, I've pretty much struggled at this track. We're off to a good start now so hopefully we can win four more rounds Monday and change our luck here. We're in good shape now. It's a pretty big relief."
Stoffer has never led an NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle field until Friday when she rode her Suzuki through a 7.068 at 187.11 mph on her Geico Suzuki. She'll have to hold off everyone else in the pack for four more qualifying sessions to maintain the honor but opening day belongs to her.
"This is amazing," said Stoffer of her track record time. "This is our first time in the No. 1 spot, at least in a pro race, and it's really an amazing feeling to be here, even if it's just for one day. We couldn't have picked a better place to do this. We're living a dream and if we're lucky enough to stay No. 1 there will be lots of tears in our pit, mostly from the guys."
POWERade Series points leader Andrew Hines is second on his Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson V-Rod, although his 7.083 at 188.38 mph is a fair bit back from Stoffer's number.
Saturday's two time trials are scheduled to begin at 1 and 6:15 p.m.
Results Friday after qualifying for the 52nd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, 18th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday and Sunday for Monday's final eliminations.
Top Fuel -- 1. Doug Kalitta, 4.497 seconds, 322.65 mph; 2. Melanie Troxel, 4.521, 326.08; 3. Rod Fuller, 4.523, 326.95; 4. Cory McClenathan, 4.524, 329.34; 5. Doug Herbert, 4.545, 322.50; 6. Larry Dixon, 4.546, 328.22; 7. Hillary Will, 4.547, 325.69; 8. Brandon Bernstein, 4.550, 326.63; 9. Morgan Lucas, 4.564, 308.64; 10. Andrew Cowin, 4.580, 320.74; 11. Tony Schumacher, 4.591, 304.12; 12. Joe Hartley, 4.595, 327.51; 13. J.R. Todd, 4.598, 322.58; 14. Alan Bradshaw, 4.606, 304.25; 15. Doug Foley, 4.636, 322.73; 16. Bruce Litton, 4.708, 283.61.
Funny Car -- 1. Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 4.692, 326.56; 2. Whit Bazemore, Dodge Charger, 4.718, 327.43; 3. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.730, 324.67; 4. Gary Scelzi, Charger, 4.735, 330.31; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.747, 322.96; 6. Eric Medlen, Mustang, 4.765, 323.66; 7. Gary Densham, Monte Carlo, 4.770, no speed; 8. Cruz Pedregon, Monte Carlo, 4.779, 325.92; 9. Phil Burkart, Monte Carlo, 4.788, 325.22; 10. Bob Gilbertson, Dodge Stratus, 4.793, 318.92; 11. Jim Head, Stratus, 4.801, 320.51; 12. Johnny Gray, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 4.895, 317.79; 13. Tony Pedregon, Monte Carlo, 4.898, 243.19; 14. Bob Bode, Monte Carlo, 4.981, 237.55; 15. Paul Lee, Monte Carlo, 4.985, 307.72; 16. Tony Bartone, Monte Carlo, 5.015, 304.05.
Pro Stock -- 1. Jason Line, Pontiac GTO, 6.687, 205.04; 2. Mike Edwards, GTO, 6.689, 205.38; 3. Dave Howard, Chevy Cobalt, 6.691, 205.63; 4. Greg Stanfield, GTO, 6.694, 205.85; 5. Allen Johnson, Dodge Stratus, 6.698, 205.13; 6. Greg Anderson, GTO, 6.700, 205.85; 7. Dave Connolly, Cobalt, 6.705, 204.76; 8. Tom Martino, GTO, 6.706, 204.82; 9. Larry Morgan, Stratus, 6.714, 204.88; 10. Kurt Johnson, Cobalt, 6.716, 205.38; 11. Steve Schmidt, GTO, 6.716, 205.19; 12. Jim Yates, GTO, 6.718, 203.92; 13. V. Gaines, Stratus, 6.722, 204.94; 14. Mark Pawuk, GTO, 6.724, 204.60; 15. Richie Stevens, Stratus, 6.726, 204.94; 16. Bob Benza, Cobalt, 6.727, 204.23.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.068, 187.11; 2. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.083, 188.38; 3. Matt Smith, Buell, 7.089, 184.47; 4. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 7.097, 187.89; 5. Tom Bradford, Buell, 7.098, 185.61; 6. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 7.099, 184.72; 7. Chip Ellis, Buell, 7.136, 184.27; 8. Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.138, 183.47; 9. Paul Gast, Suzuki, 7.142, 183.97; 10. Chris Rivas, Buell, 7.157, 184.07; 11. Mike Berry, Suzuki, 7.160, 184.47; 12. GT Tonglet, Harley-Davidson, 7.164, 184.19; 13. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.176, 184.25; 14. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.178, 183.89; 15. Geno Scali, Suzuki, 7.187, 184.07; 16. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 7.211, 182.35.
MAC TOOLS U.S. NATIONALS: NHRA'S PRESTIGIOUS CELEBRATION OF SPEED
AND HIGH PERFORMANCE RACES INTO 52nd YEAR
As NHRA celebrates the 52nd anniversaryof the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the world's most prestigious drag raceis set to provide its traditional offering of the very best in speed and
high performance for thousands of hot rodding enthusiasts. More than
1,000 competitors in 12 different racing categories will perform in
front of the standing-room only crowd at the Labor Day classic.
The super bowl of drag racing takes place at revered O'Reilly Raceway
Park at Indianapolis, Aug. 30-Sept. 4. It is the 18th of 23 events in
the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series for 2006 and will be
showcased nationwide on ESPN2, which will air more than 10 hours of
coverage of drag racing's marquee spectacle.
Throughout the years fans at ORP have cheered on drag racing immortals
like "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney, Bob Glidden, and Don
"The Snake" Prudhomme as they raced to the winner's circle at more than
300 mph to etch their names into the NHRA record book. Today's stars -
such as four-time Mac Tools U.S. Nationals winners John Force, Tony
Schumacher and Greg Anderson - will be racing hard to solidify their
status as modern-day legends. For many of the competitors, the race has
evolved into much more than an annual contest of speed. For those who
seek to become a part of its mystique, winning the event has become a
must-do to complete any great driver's resume.
Larry Dixon (Top Fuel); Del Worsham (Funny Car); Anderson (Pro Stock);
and Steve Johnson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are the defending winners in
their respective pro categories.
This year's edition of the famed event features intense side-by-side
racing as drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock
Motorcycle chase their share of the $2.6 million purse, and more
importantly, a spot in history. Teams will be working hard to earn
coveted points in their quest to win NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series
world championship titles. Teams in the NHRA Lucas Oil Series and the
NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series also will compete during the
There will be two lucrative bonus events guaranteed to increase the
level of excitement for fans during the weekend. The world's eight best
Funny Car drivers will compete for the $100,000 winner's share in the
Skoal Showdown on Sept. 3, and the eight-best Pro Stock Motorcycle
riders will race for their share of the $25,000 top prize in the Ringers
Gloves Pro Bike Battle on Sept. 2.
In addition, NHRA will offer a celebration of the sport's early history
with a Salute to the Gassers, a special theme-program that will run
throughout the weekend as more than 35 of the legendary gas coupes and
sedans that competed in NHRA in the 1960s will be showcased at the Mac
Other attractions include the high-flying acrobatics of a popular team
of freestyle motocross jumpers who will perform throughout the weekend
as well as spectacular fireworks displays Friday and Saturday nights,
including the biggest fireworks display ever seen at an NHRA POWERade
Series event. Fans also will be thrilled by multiple skydiving
Prior to the start of official racing at ORP, fans can get a taste of
the excitement on Wednesday, Aug. 30th at the NHRA Mac Tools U.S.
Nationals Fan Fest, which will feature a display of a wide variety of
race cars, interactive displays and team transporters at Monument Circle
in downtown Indianapolis. The Fan Fest, which starts at noon, also will
feature a premier autograph session with many of the top professional
drivers in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, as well as a live band,
live radio remotes and Motel 6 Vision.
* SCHEDULE: The first of five pro qualifying sessions is scheduled for
6:15 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1. Qualifying continues at 1 p.m. and 6:15
p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2 and concludes at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday,
Sept. 3. Ringers Gloves Pro Bike Battle eliminations are at 2:15 p.m., 6
p.m. and 7:25 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2. Skoal Showdown eliminations are
at 12:30 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3. Final
eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 4.
* TICKETS: Tickets are available for the 52nd annual Mac Tools U.S.
Nationals. Call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) for ticket information, or check
online at ticketmaster.com, nhra.com and oreillyracewaypark.com.
* ON TV: ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will televise more than 10 hours of coverage
of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals beginning with a one-hour qualifying
show on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 5 p.m. (ET). A two-hour qualifying show
will be telecast by ESPN2 at noon (ET) on Sunday, Sept. 3, along with a
two hour qualifying show at 11 p.m. (ET). On Monday, Sept. 4, ESPN2 will
telecast two shows, with two hours of early eliminations coverage at
noon (ET) and a three-hour final eliminations show at 4 p.m. (ET). NHRA
2Day, ESPN2's popular magazine show that covers the NHRA POWERade Drag
Racing Series, will feature one show live from ORP during the event at
11:30 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, Sept. 3.