- SCHUMACHER, BURKART AND ANDERSON CLAIM VICTORIES
AT NHRA SUMMITRACING.COM NATIONALS AT THE STRIP AT LVMS
|Tony Schumacher raced to his third Top
Fuel victory of the season Sunday at the NHRA SummitRacing.com
(4-5-2004) -- Tony Schumacher raced to his third
Top Fuel victory of the season Sunday at the NHRA SummitRacing.com
Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Phil Burkart and Greg Anderson also were winners at the $1.8 million
race, the fourth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag
Schumacher stretched his POWERade Series points lead over his rivals
by outrunning two-time defending champ Larry Dixon in the final
round. Schumacher clocked a 4.525 second run at 331.53 mph in the
U.S. Army dragster for his 14th career win, while Dixon's Miller
Lite dragster trailed with a 4.571 at 323.97.
With talented crew chief Alan Johnson tuning his machine, the determined
Schumacher, who defeated Scott Weis, Scott Kalitta and Doug Herbert
in the first three rounds, is in hot pursuit of a second NHRA Top
Fuel championship crown.
"This is a lot of fun, but [Dixon] has the No. 1 on his car
right now, and it's there for a reason – those guys kicked
butt last year," said Schumacher, who leads Brandon Bernstein
by 110. "We were chasing them and making mistakes. Now we've
kind of leap-frogged them a little bit and maybe the roles are reversed,
but they're still the champs. Those guys are stout and I'm sure
today has motivated them. They're not going away and we'll duke
it out all year. As I've said many times before, Dixon is a great
driver. The fans are going to get every nickel's worth watching
how things unfold the rest of the season. We're going to have a
lot more close races and exciting finishes before we're done."
|Phil Burkart earned his second career
victory in Funny Car, defeating Whit Bazemore in the final round..
Burkart earned his second career victory in Funny Car, defeating
Whit Bazemore in the final round. Burkart, who last won at Columbus,
Ohio in 1999, powered his Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird
to a 5.029 at 264.03 while Bazemore's Matco Tools Dodge Stratus
R/T had an engine explosion past mid-track and limped to a finish
of 5.452 at 189.50.
Burkart defeated Tim Wilkerson, Gary Scelzi and John Force before
knocking off Bazemore in the final.
"To be able to win three of the first four races is just awesome
for this Checker Schuck's Kragen team and Worsham Racing,"
said Burkart, who watched teammate Del Worsham win back-to-back
races earlier in the season at Phoenix and Gainesville, Fla. "Today
we just raced our hearts out and it feels great to win here in Vegas.
It seems that I race better when I am coming from the bottom half
of the field (12th). I guess we just dig down a little deeper when
we are the underdogs."
|Greg Anderson continued his domination
in Pro Stock, scoring his third win of the season and 19th of
Worsham, who lost in the first round, stayed in the points lead,
71 ahead of Force.
Anderson continued his domination in Pro Stock, scoring his third
win of the season and 19th of his career. He raced to a 6.849 at
201.31 in his Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am to defeat
Kurt Johnson's ACDelco Chevy Cavalier, which clocked a 6.908 at
Anderson, who has now won three in a row at The Strip, increased
his points lead to 92 over runner-up Johnson.
"Just to be mentioned in the same sentence with some of the
guys that have dominated this class over the years like Bob Glidden,
Lee Shepherd and Warren Johnson is just unreal for me to believe,"
Anderson said. "Our car worked better this weekend than it
ever has before. It really loves this track. This is just a great
place for us to win here in front of my team owner (Ken Black).
It's certainly great for job security."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 17th annual
O'Reilly Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil, April 15-18 at
Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas
Sunday's final results from the fifth annual NHRA SummitRacing.com
Nationals at The
Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The $1.8 million race is the
fourth of 23 in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:
Top Fuel -- Tony Schumacher, 4.525 seconds, 331.53
mph def. Larry Dixon, 4.571 seconds, 323.97 mph.
Funny Car -- Phil Burkart, Chevy Monte Carlo,
5.029, 264.03 def. Whit Bazemore, Dodge Stratus, 5.452, 189.50.
Pro Stock -- Greg Anderson, Pontiac Grand Am,
6.849, 201.31 def. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Cavalier, 6.908, 200.08.
Final round-by-round results from the fifth annual NHRA SummitRacing.com
Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the fourth of
23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series -
ROUND ONE -- Tony Schumacher, 4.526, 323.58 def. Scott
Weis, 5.225, 205.38; David Grubnic, 4.646, 320.89 def. Brady Kalivoda,
11.108, 76.12; Larry Dixon, 4.521, 328.94 def. David Baca, 4.631,
316.60; Doug Herbert, 4.601, 320.05 def. Darrell Russell, 5.052,
227.31; Cory McClenathan, 4.554, 318.92 def. John Smith, 4.668,
318.09; Doug Kalitta, 4.524, 323.12 def. Mike Strasburg, 6.887,
121.10; Brandon Bernstein, 4.578, 321.88 def. Scott Palmer, 5.916,
160.59; Scott Kalitta, 4.618, 290.19 def. Steven Chrisman, 18.777,
QUARTERFINALS -- Bernstein, 4.598, 318.54 def. Grubnic,
5.565, 160.82; Herbert, 6.451, 126.15 def. McClenathan, broke; Schumacher,
5.095, 283.55 def. S. Kalitta, 5.582, 168.87; Dixon, 4.562, 322.88
def. D. Kalitta, 5.216, 225.52;
SEMIFINALS -- Schumacher, 4.666, 297.55 def. Herbert,
5.512, 171.62; Dixon, 4.754, 297.35 def. Bernstein, 5.762, 160.67;
FINAL -- Schumacher, 4.525, 331.53 def. Dixon, 4.571,
ROUND ONE -- Phil Burkart, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.849, 318.09
def. Tim Wilkerson, Monte Carlo, 4.997, 280.49; Ron Capps, Monte
Carlo, 5.842, 165.90 def. Tony Bartone, Pontiac Firebird, 6.061,
198.85; Tony Pedregon, Chevy Camaro, 4.850, 308.64 def. Jim Head,
Toyota Celica, 5.112, 294.31; Gary Densham, Ford Mustang, 4.812,
325.14 def. Bob Gilbertson, Firebird, 4.948, 318.09; Gary Scelzi,
Dodge Stratus, 4.837, 322.04 def. Terry Haddock, Camaro, 5.043,
292.77; Eric Medlen, Mustang, 4.838, 307.23 def. Jerry Toliver,
Celica, 7.966, 102.84; Whit Bazemore, Stratus, 4.841, 319.52 def.
Del Worsham, Monte Carlo, 5.676, 194.63; John Force, Mustang, 4.830,
325.14 def. Cruz Pedregon, Monte Carlo, 4.898, 283.31;
QUARTERFINALS -- Medlen, 4.869, 315.34 def. Capps, 5.990,
160.86; Burkart, 4.887, 310.48 def. Scelzi, 6.652, 138.10; Bazemore,
4.836, 319.22 def. Densham, 4.884, 315.71; Force, 4.941, 252.90
def. T. Pedregon, 5.335, 212.83;
SEMIFINALS -- Burkart, 4.893, 295.98 def. Force, 6.269,
158.11; Bazemore, 4.882, 316.15 def. Medlen, 4.864, 317.42;
FINAL -- Burkart, 5.029, 264.03 def. Bazemore, 5.452,
ROUND ONE -- Dave Connolly, Chevy Cavalier, 6.941, 198.50
def. Steve Johns, Cavalier, 6.941, 200.00; Mark Pawuk, Pontiac Grand
Am, 6.938, 199.05 def. Rickie Smith, Cavalier, foul; Larry Morgan,
Dodge Stratus, 6.910, 200.14 def. Kenny Koretsky, Stratus, 6.949,
198.76; Vince Fourcade, Ford Escort, 6.912, 199.05 def. Warren Johnson,
Grand Am, 6.919, 200.38; Jason Line, Grand Am, 6.877, 200.50 def.
JR Carr, Cavalier, 6.976, 198.23; Kurt Johnson, Cavalier, 6.870,
200.32 def. Bruce Allen, Grand Am, 8.567, 114.63; Greg Anderson,
Grand Am, 6.838, 200.95 def. V. Gaines, Cavalier, 6.936, 199.61;
Jeg Coughlin, Cavalier, 6.931, 198.93 def. Allen Johnson, Stratus,
QUARTERFINALS -- Morgan, 6.912, 200.08 def. Fourcade,
6.937, 199.23; Line, 6.885, 200.56 def. Pawuk, 6.967, 198.85; K.
Johnson, 6.882, 200.02 def. J. Coughlin, 6.896, 200.44; Anderson,
6.839, 201.40 def. Connolly, 6.927, 198.85;
SEMIFINALS -- K. Johnson, 6.912, 200.17 def. Line, 6.900,
200.38; Anderson, 6.846, 201.16 def. Morgan, 6.946, 199.52;
FINAL -- Anderson, 6.849, 201.31 def. K. Johnson, 6.908,
Post Race Notes
* Tony Schumacher, from Long Grove, Ill., earned his third victory
of the season and 14th of his career, defeating Larry Dixon in a
close final round. Schumacher powered his U.S. Army dragster to
a winning run of 4.525 seconds at 331.53 mph, while Dixon's Miller
Lite dragster trailed with a 4.571 at 323.97. It was Schumacher's
first victory at The Strip at LVMS in three finals. It was the first
final round appearance for Dixon since the CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals
at Chicago last October.
* It is the ninth final round appearance (seven victories) for
Schumacher since his team hired crew chief Alan Johnson last May,
a span of 17 races.
* Scott Kalitta earned his first No. 1 qualifying award since 1999
(Dallas 2), the 19th of his career, when his Jessee James/Mac Tools
dragster covered the distance in a track record time of 4.472 at
* Doug Kalitta clocked the fastest speed in NHRA history in his
Mac Tools dragster during qualifying, a 335.57 mph effort. He failed
to back-up the speed within 1 percent as required by NHRA rules
to certify the performance an NHRA national record. Kalitta holds
the current national speed record in Top Fuel at 333.25.
* Schumacher's victory increased his NHRA POWERade Series points
lead to 110 over Brandon Bernstein, who lost in the semifinals.
The runner-up effort from Dixon moved the defending two-time champion
from ninth to sixth overall in the points order.
* Phil Burkart Jr., from Yorkville, N.Y, drove his Checker Schuck's
Kragen Chevrolet Monte Carlo to the winner's circle for his second
career victory. It was the first NHRA Funny Car win for General
Motors' Chevrolet Monte Carlo brand, which was introduced to competition
this year at the season-opening Winternationals at Pomona, Calif.
Burkart, who last won in 1999 at Columbus, Ohio, drove his CSK Monte
Carlo to a winning run of 5.029 at 264.03 in the final, defeating
Whit Bazemore's Matco Tools Dodge Stratus R/T, which posted a performance
of 5.452 at 189.50. It was the third consecutive victory for the
Checker Schuck's Kragen Funny Car team, as Del Worsham won at Phoenix
and Gainesville, Fla.
* Tony Pedregon drove his Quaker State Chevy Camaro to the No.
1 qualifying position with a track record time of 4.747 at 321.88.
It was Pedregon's 26th career No. 1 effort, his second at The Strip,
and his first as a team owner.
* Gary Densham powered his Auto Club Ford Mustang to a track record
speed of 327.27 mph during qualifying.
* Burkart's CSK teammate Worsham, who lost in the first round,
held on to the NHRA POWERade Series points lead and is 71 ahead
of John Force. With the victory, Burkart moved to fifth in the standings.
* Greg Anderson, from Charlotte, N.C., continued his domination
in Pro Stock, driving his Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand
Am to his third victory of the season, and 19th of his career. Anderson
posted a final round run of 6.849 at 201.31 to knock off rival Kurt
Johnson, who posted a slower 6.908 at 200.08 in his ACDelco Chevy
* Anderson kept his No. 1 qualifying streak alive, earning his
ninth consecutive top qualifying effort dating back to the CARQUEST
Nationals at Chicago last season. The record for most consecutive
No. 1 qualifying positions is 23, set by Bob Glidden from 1986-'88.
The most consecutive No. 1 qualifying positions in one season is
14, also by Glidden (1987). Anderson claimed his fourth No. 1 of
the season and 21st of his career with a track record performance
of 6.812 at 202.03 in his Grand Am.
* Kurt Johnson earned $1,000 from Motel 6 for winning the Motel
6 'Who Got the Light' award. Johnson defeated Jeg Coughlin by .0158-second
in the second round of Pro Stock to earn the award.
* Anderson holds a 92-point lead over Johnson in the NHRA POWERade
Pro Stock points order.
SATURDAY - KALITTA,
PEDREGON AND ANDERSON TAKE NO. 1 QUALIFYING POSITIONS AT NHRA SUMMITRACING.COM
|Scott Kalitta raced to his first No. 1
qualifying position in more than four years.
(4-3-2004) -- Scott Kalitta raced to his first
No. 1 qualifying position in more than four years Saturday, leading
a parade of track record performances that included the fastest
speed in history at the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip
at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 16-car fields for all three pro
categories were set on two rounds of qualifying after rain washed
out Friday's racing.
Tony Pedregon and Greg Anderson also were No. 1 qualifiers in their
respective categories at the $1.8 million race, the fourth of 23
events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
Kalitta, a two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion, captured his 18th career
No. 1 and first since 1999 by posting a track record time of 4.472
seconds at 333.74 mph in his Jesse James/Mac Tools dragster.
|Doug Kalitta took bragging rights in the
speed department by clocking a 335.57. He needs a 332.22 to
back it up for a record.
"I was concentrating on staging, trying to get an advantage
of a few thousandths and it turned out to be a very smooth run,"
Kalitta said. "It's been frustrating doing poorly the first
few races this year. We needed this. It's good for team morale."
His cousin Doug took bragging rights in the speed department by
clocking a 335.57 mph run his Mac Tools dragster, the fastest speed
in NHRA history. To certify the speed as an NHRA national record,
Doug needs to record a speed of 332.22 mph during Sunday's 11 a.m.
"It's a big deal to the Mac Tools guys," Doug said .
"The conditions were good and so is the facility, so I am happy
we could pull off a fast (speed)."
Pedregon, who won both races and clinched the championship at this
track one year ago, continued his Vegas hot streak with a track
record time of 4.747 at 321.88 in his Quaker State Chevy Camaro.
"This is by far one of the best moments of my career because
we did it on our own, me and Dickie (Venables, crew chief), just
a couple of guys who wanted to come out here and give it a try on
our own," Pedregon said of his 26th career No. 1 effort. "Maybe
there was some doubt that we could do it, but we put a great group
together and this was a direct result of teamwork. This is a great
facility and we had optimum conditions and we ran extremely well.
We went up there with low E.T. in mind and that's what we got."
|Anderson earned his ninth consecutive
No. 1 qualifying effort in Pro Stock and fourth of the season
with a track record run of 6.812 at 202.03.
Anderson earned his ninth consecutive No. 1 qualifying effort in
Pro Stock and fourth of the season with a track record run of 6.812
at 202.03 in his Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am. Anderson
had to rally to take his 21st career No. 1 after a piece of debris
interfered with the timing system on his first session attempt,
resulting in no time or speed.
"You come up for a one-shot deal and anything can happen,
it wasn't very comforting," Anderson said. "But we did
what we had to do and I am real proud of my guys. It really feels
good to come out here and run like this in front of your team owner
(Ken Black), friends and family."
First-round pairings for professional eliminations Sunday for
the fifth annual NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at
Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the fourth of 23 events in the $50 million
NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying,
which ended Saturday.
Top Fuel -- 1. Scott Kalitta, 4.472 seconds, 333.74
mph vs. 16. Steven Chrisman, 5.187, 277.09; 2. Brandon Bernstein,
4.479, 333.66 vs. 15. Scott Palmer, 4.998, 227.27; 3. Doug Kalitta,
4.483, 335.57 vs. 14. Mike Strasburg, 4.778, 300.60; 4. Cory McClenathan,
4.550, 322.34 vs. 13. John Smith, 4.686, 309.56; 5. Darrell Russell,
4.561, 321.58 vs. 12. Doug Herbert, 4.681, 313.66; 6. Larry Dixon,
4.564, 325.53 vs. 11. David Baca, 4.641, 308.14; 7. David Grubnic,
4.591, 327.82 vs. 10. Brady Kalivoda, 4.636, 306.67; 8. Scott Weis,
4.613, 287.72 vs. 9. Tony Schumacher, 4.625, 303.09.
Funny Car -- 1. Tony Pedregon, Chevy Camaro, 4.747,
321.88 vs. 16. Jim Head, Toyota Celica, 5.180, 302.35; 2. Gary Densham,
Ford Mustang, 4.753, 327.27 vs. 15. Bob Gilbertson, Pontiac Firebird,
5.049, 306.95; 3. Ron Capps, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.779, 324.75 vs.
14. Tony Bartone, Firebird, 4.987, 295.72; 4. Gary Scelzi, Dodge
Stratus, 4.788, 284.09 vs. 13. Terry Haddock, Camaro, 4.984, 298.01;
5. Tim Wilkerson, Monte Carlo, 4.803, 323.58 vs. 12. Phil Burkart,
Monte Carlo, 4.881, 316.08; 6. Jerry Toliver, Celica, 4.810, 320.89
vs. 11. Eric Medlen, Mustang, 4.874, 312.57; 7. Del Worsham, Monte
Carlo, 4.823, 323.74 vs. 10. Whit Bazemore, Stratus, 4.850, 313.80;
8. Cruz Pedregon, Monte Carlo, 4.833, 314.68 vs. 9. John Force,
Mustang, 4.833, 304.12.
Pro Stock -- 1. Greg Anderson, Pontiac Grand Am,
6.812, 202.03 vs. 16. V. Gaines, Chevy Cavalier, 6.907, 200.23;
2. Jason Line, Grand Am, 6.835, 201.49 vs. 15. JR Carr, Cavalier,
6.901, 199.79; 3. Kurt Johnson, Cavalier, 6.857, 201.46 vs. 14.
Bruce Allen, Grand Am, 6.898, 199.67; 4. Warren Johnson, Grand Am,
6.864, 201.16 vs. 13. Vince Fourcade, Ford Escort, 6.898, 199.85;
5. Larry Morgan, Dodge Stratus, 6.877, 200.68 vs. 12. Kenny Koretsky,
Stratus, 6.896, 199.85; 6. Allen Johnson, Stratus, 6.881, 200.02
vs. 11. Jeg Coughlin, Cavalier, 6.896, 200.20; 7. Mark Pawuk, Grand
Am, 6.882, 199.46 vs. 10. Rickie Smith, Cavalier, 6.896, 200.35;
8. Steve Johns, Cavalier, 6.888, 200.95 vs. 9. Dave Connolly, Cavalier,
Hey Man, you might need that...
(4-3-2004) - Shawn Jones' Funny Car pitched a
body during the first round of qualifying for Top Alcohol Funny
Car. (James Drew Photo)
FRIDAY - PERSISTENT RAIN
SHOWERS CANCEL FRIDAY QUALIFYING AT NHRA SUMMITRACING.COM
(4-3-2004) -- Persistent rain showers forced NHRA
officials to cancel Friday's qualifying for the NHRA SummitRacing.com
Nationals at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The $1.8 million
race is the fourth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade
Drag Racing Series.
Saturday's professional sessions (11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.) will
run as scheduled, pending weather conditions. Final eliminations
are set for Sunday at 11 a.m.
The value of tickets purchased for Friday can be applied to ticket
purchases for Saturday or Sunday this weekend, the fall event here
in October or this race next season.
Daily coverage of the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals
|As news breaks, we'll pass it on to you.
(4-2-2004) - WHAT: Fifth annual
NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals, the fourth of 23 events in the
$50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Professional competitors
in three categories earn points leading to 2004 NHRA POWERade championships.
Sportsman competitors in six categories earn points leading to
'04 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series championships.
WHERE: The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway,
Las Vegas. Track is located approximately 15 miles north of downtown
Las Vegas off Interstate 15.
WHEN: Thursday through Sunday, April 1-4.
PURSE: Cash and contingency awards of more than
SCHEDULE: THURSDAY, April 1 -- Sportsman
qualifying and time trials, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
FRIDAY, April 2 -- Sportsman qualifying and eliminations
begin at 8 a.m.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS at 3 and 6 p.m.
SATURDAY, April 3 -- Sportsman eliminations begin at
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
SUNDAY, April 4 -- Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.
FINAL ELIMINATIONS begin at 11 a.m.
TELEVISION: Saturday, April 3, ESPN2 will televise
two hours of qualifying highlights at 10 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, April 4, ESPN2 will televise two hours of final eliminations
at 11 p.m. (ET).
WINNERS: Larry Dixon, Top Fuel; Tony Pedregon, Funny Car;
Greg Anderson, Pro Stock.
TRACK RECORDS: Top Fuel -- 4.499 seconds
by Doug Kalitta, April '03; 332.75 mph by Larry Dixon, April '03
Funny Car -- 4.748 seconds by Whit Bazemore, Oct. '01;
326.56 mph by Gary Densham, April '03
Pro Stock -- 6.837 seconds by Greg Anderson, Oct. '03;
201.73 mph by Kurt Johnson, April '03
NATIONAL RECORDS: Top Fuel -- 4.441 seconds (Oct.
'03, Reading, Pa.) by Tony Schumacher; 333.25 mph (Nov. '03, Pomona,
Calif.) by Doug Kalitta
Funny Car -- 4.721 seconds (May '03, Joliet, Ill.) by John Force;
329.18 mph (Sept. '03, Joliet, Ill.) by Gary Scelzi
Pro Stock -- 6.670 seconds, 207.18 mph (May '03, Englishtown, N.J.)
by Greg Anderson
TICKETS: For tickets call Las Vegas Motor Speedway
at (702) 644-4444, or visit LVMS.com, or tickets.com.
GENERAL ADMISSION (includes pit pass) - Thursday:
Adult, $16; Junior (6-12 years), free. Friday: Adult, $27; Junior
(6-12 years), $11. Saturday: Adult, $42; Junior (6-12 years), $11.
Sunday: Adult, $53; Junior (6-12 years) $16. Children five years
and under admitted free to general admission and pit areas each
RESERVED SEATS (includes pit pass) - Friday:
Adult, $37; Junior (6-12 years), $21; Child (Five and under), $11.
Saturday: Adult, $53; Junior (6-12 years), $21; Child (Five and
under), $11. Sunday: Adult, $63; Junior (6-12 years) $27; Child
(Five and under), $11.