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SCELZI AND THE POMONA CAR TANTRUMS

scelziBGW_3649.jpgGary Scelzi, who surrendered his Reigning Funny Car Champion title to John Force
as Sunday's Pomona eliminations unfolded, had a theory about why his Don
Schumacher-owned Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger ran hot and cold this season and
finally couldn't carry him to a Round 1 victory Sunday morning against Tommy
Johnson Jr.

"Like I've been saying all along, the thing either smokes
the tires or hauls ass," he said, "and now it's not hauling ass."

It
wasn't cooperating in Sunday morning warm-ups.

FORCE TALKS LEGENDS

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"I'm honored to race against Ron Capps," he said, referring to the man he took
the points lead from and beat in the second round after a
down-to-the-last-minute battle. Capps finished third in the Funny Car
standings.

"The kid worked hard," the 14-time champion said.

Then
Force once again turned philosophical.

"I've heard two things in my life,
by two legends" he said. "Richard Petty was one, and I never question a legend.
Richard Petty believed women should stay in the kitchen. I never agreed with
that. My children [youngest three daughters] are coming down this road. They
love this sport. And it's because of the Melanie Troxels and the Hilary Wills
and the Shirley Muldowneys. Women earned that right. And they've done it well.

CREW CHIEFS REACT TO OLSON'S APPOINTMENT

d_olson.jpgDan Olson has never been one to turn away from a drag racing
challenge. A quiet man, he’s not the best known tuner in the business
but he could be one of the more conciliatory members of a very volatile
fraternity.

Chosen by NHRA to succeed Ray Alley as technical director for the Top
Fuel and Funny Car nitro categories, the Fresno, Calif. native is
looking forward to bringing the two classes added competitiveness
without inflicting additional costs. “I am excited to work with the
entire racing community to find solutions and new approaches to the
complex issues” of NHRA POWERade racing, he said.

Olson was “looking for a new challenge at this stage of my life,” and
is keenly happy to be returning home to the Pacific time zone when he
takes over his post on December 1st. “I’ve been working in Indy and
think I’ve been home perhaps 45-50 days this past year.” His son has
taken over the family business, Olson said.

FORCE SALUTES CAPPS AND HIGHT

Following his Round 1 victory over Jim Head in the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang,
John Force couldn't help but talk about his chief rivals in this championship
hunt.

"I'm going to get emotional here," Force, at the time one round-win
away from clinching his unprecedented 14th series title, said. "You know how
much I love [Ron] Capps and how much I lover Robert [Hight]. Then he referred to
those two drivers' last-ditch efforts to knock him aside to claim a first
championship: "You've got to throw a Hail Mary. But I've seen Hail Marys before,
so I'm going to keep my mouth shut."

FORCE DEDICATES WIN TO FALLEN HERO

050906_sold.jpgJohn Force dedicated his Funny Car triumph Sunday to Bryan Brewster, a U.S. Army
sergeant killed May 5 in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. The young soldier is
the son of longtime motorsports writer Louis Brewster, sports editor of the
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario, California, and the San Bernardino Sun.

"I was even praying to your son, Louis," Force told Louis Brewster, his
friend for years. "I have a trophy for him, and I think you deserve
that.

SCHUMACHER FELT BAD FOR KALITTA

Doug Kalitta sat silent on his golf cart at the top end of the track, watching
the final-round results. And even Tony Schumacher, who had a gracious moment
with the man whose goal he stole after exiting the car, couldn't help sympathize
with the Mac Tools Dragster.

"I felt so bad. I love the guy. Of all the
people to battle with, if I couldn't win it, I'd pray for him to win it. He's so
deserving."

FINAL NHRA PROFESSIONAL POINTS

Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional
categories following the 42nd annual Automobile Club of Southern
California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the final of 23
events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series -

ROUND-BY-ROUND PRO RESULTS FROM POMONA

Final round-by-round results from the 42nd annual
Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway
at Pomona, the final of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag
Racing Series:

FINAL ROUND RESULTS FROM POMONA

Sunday's final results from the 42nd annual Automobile
Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
The $1.8 million race is the final of 23 in the $50 million NHRA
POWERade Drag Racing Series:


Top Fuel --
Tony Schumacher, 4.428 seconds, 327.98 mph def. Melanie
Troxel, 4.585 seconds, 308.50 mph.

SUNDAY POMONA RESULTS

SCHUMACHER COMPLETES GREATEST NHRA POWERADE SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP
COMEBACK;
Force and Hines also claim titles, while Anderson and Treble
take victories at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona

 

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Tony Schumacher completed the biggest comeback in NHRA drag racing
history Sunday at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona and clinchedthe 2006
POWERade Series world championship with a national record final-round
run that has to be considered the greatest quarter-mile pass of all
time.

In Funny Car, John Force used a holeshot start to win his 122nd
racejust two rounds after clinching his 14th title. Greg Anderson
bettered new champ and teammate Jason Line by three hundredths of a
second in Pro Stock, while Craig Treble got his first Pro Stock
Motorcycle win in morethan two years on a day that featured Andrew
Hines winning his third
straight motorcycle championship.

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