:::::: News ::::::


Point standings (top
10) for NHRA professional categories following the Seventh annual
O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Q at Bristol
Dragway, the 12th of 23 events in the  NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series -


Top Fuel


1.  Rod Fuller, 861; 2.  Brandon Bernstein, 787; 3.  Larry Dixon, 761; 4.  J.R. Todd, 730; 5.  Tony Schumacher, 693; 6.  Bob Vandergriff, 615; 7.  David Grubnic, 584; 8.  Melanie Troxel, 551; 9.  Whit Bazemore, 549; 10.  Cory McClenathan, 539.


Funny Car


1.  Ron Capps, 873; 2.  Robert Hight, 753; 3.  Mike Ashley, 690; 4.  Tony Pedregon, 669; 5.  (tie) Jim Head, 647; Gary Scelzi, 647; 7.  Cruz Pedregon, 547; 8.  Jack Beckman, 530; 9.  Ashley Force, 510; 10.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 495.


Pro Stock


1.  Greg Anderson, 1,029; 2.  Jeg Coughlin, 943; 3.  Dave Connolly, 851; 4.  Jason Line, 717; 5.  Allen Johnson, 638; 6.  Kurt Johnson, 571; 7.  Larry Morgan, 564; 8.  V. Gaines, 552; 9.  Richie Stevens, 524; 10.  Warren Johnson, 507.


Final round-by-round
results from the Seventh annual O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
presented by Q at Bristol Dragway, the 12th of 23 events in the  NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:


Sunday's final results from the Seventh annual O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Q at Bristol Dragway.  The  race is the 12th of 23 in the  NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:



Top Fuel -- Brandon Bernstein, 4.648 seconds, 317.57 mph  def. Bob Vandergriff, 9.236 seconds, 100.08 mph.


John Force said following his Bristol victory that the fourth team
will return and the assembly is already being addressed.

“John Medlen told me that he’s
ready to bring the fourth team back,” Force said. “We are addressing it and we
don’t exactly know where we are with drivers. We are talking to a few young
kids and we are just happy to be here.”

Torco's CompetitionPlus.com will have more on this story as it develops. 




Veteran racer Terry McMillen, Elkhart, Ind., defeated first-time Top Fuel
competitor Jeff O’Neill during the CARS RV
& Marine & Motorsport Rocky Mountain Nationals presented by Torco Racing
Fuels. Both competitors came to Castrol Raceway seeking their first career
Knoll-Gas Nitro Jam event wins.


Other professional winners included Terry Haddock (Nitro Funny Car),
Ed Hoover (Pro Modified), Mark Thomas (Alcohol Funny Car) and Robert Patrick
(Pro Stock). Sportsman eliminations are still underway after a short


McMillen, who entered Knoll Gas Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Top Fuel
eliminations qualified No. 7, ran a 4.953 in round one to take out Mike
Strasburg. His semifinal opponent was teammate Doug Foley, who had just
dispatched Bruce Litton. Foley was No. 1 qualifier and had event low ET of
4.581. However, in round two, Foley shook the tires at half-track and McMillen
took the stripe to advance to the finals.


O’Neill had a tough road to the finals as well. He took out points
leader T.J. Zizzo in round one with a 4.678, then Scotty Cannon with a 4.951,
both times clocking impressive reaction times.


Gilbertson Claims Top Nitro Funny Car


Bob Gilbertson,
Charlotte, N.C., earned the Knoll Gas Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car top
qualifying honors before a standing-room only crowd at Castrol Raceway, the site
of this weekend’s CARS RV
& Marine & Motorsport Rocky Mountain Nationals presented by Torco Racing
Fuels. As the last of the fans packed into the Knoll-Gas Nitro Jam™ event, after
backing up traffic for miles in both directions all day long, Gilbertson used a
track record-setting 4.831 elapsed time at 312.13 mph to jump to No. 1 and claim
the Last Man Standing bonus points.


Two first-time event winners visited the Motor Mile Dragway winner's
circle Saturday night at the conclusion of the ADRL.us Independence
Drags, although one of them had previously won the biggest title the
Flowmaster American Drag Racing League has
to offer.

Bubba Stanton (Pro Extreme) and Doug Riesterer (Pro Nitrous) won their
respective classes to cap an exciting day of racing Saturday in front
of another sold out ADRL venue. For Stanton, the event win was his
first in an ADRL points-earning event, although his other ADRL victory
- the Battle for the Belts world championship eliminator last fall -
made him the 2006 ADRL Pro Extreme world champion.

With his win Saturday night, Stanton jumped to the top of the
AlphaTrade Battle for the Belts points standings, leaping over Joshua
Hernandez (who did not attend) and Huntsville winner Jason Scruggs (who
recorded a surprising DNQ). Stanton's 1,544 points now leads Hernandez
by the rough equivalent of three round-wins.

After qualifying No. 7 with a 4.018 best, Stanton simply got better
with each eliminations pass he made. He opened with a 4.032 to oust
Dwayne Watkins, then followed with three consecutive 3-second runs:
3.997 to edge Michael Neal's 4.03; 3.990 to take a dramatic holeshot
win over Frankie Taylor's 3.971; and, in the final, a 3.971 to score an
easy win over Travis Swearingen, who shook and could not recover.



schu_qual_final.jpgReigning champion Tony Schumacher will try to become the first Top Fuel driver
this season to win a race from the No. 1 qualifying position after racing his
U.S. Army dragster to the top of the field Saturday at the seventh annual
O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Q.


Schumacher, Funny Car
leader Tim Wilkerson, and hard-charging Pro Stock racer Jeg Coughlin all
finished the day on top of their respective ladders at historic Bristol Dragway
at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event. Coughlin's run to the top was the
most impressive as he went from out-of-contention to race favorite in 6.765
seconds. Like Schumacher, Wilkerson relied on his Friday night run to earn low
qualifier honors.


was Schumacher's sixth low qualifying effort of the season, which he secured
with his Round 2 pass of 4.544 at 321.12 mph. He then backed it up with
Saturday's quickest pass, a 4.585 at 322.58 mph in his U.S. Army dragster to
prove he has a car capable of winning its third trophy of the year.




wilkerson_bristol_friday.jpgThe largest crowd in
Bristol Dragway history watched independent Funny Car racer Tim Wilkerson knock
off all the heavyweights to lead Friday's qualifying action at the seventh
annual O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Q.


Wilkerson's 4.819 at
321.42 mph placed him alongside Top Fuel leader Tony Schumacher and Pro Stock's
Jason Line on the top qualifiers podium.


Racing without the
benefit of a teammate or a big-name sponsor, Wilkerson showed the little guy can
still hang with the big dogs, if only for a day. If his run stands, Wilkerson
will have a chance at his first No. 1 qualifying award since the Brainerd race
in 2004.


people are usually pretty excited when they see an independent guy run good,"
said Wilkerson, who received an ovation from his peers when he towed back to the
pits. "There are a lot of teams in the Funny Car and Top Fuel ranks that give us
a lot of help. Don Schumacher has been letting me run his blower dyno here
lately. He'll probably lock the doors now on me but I hope not. There's a group
out here that pulls for the little guy and I think that's cool."


Force continues to qualify well, earning the fifth spot here with a 4.853 at
292.46 mph in his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang. Daughter Ashley is 15th
with a 4.923.


NHRA, Motel 6, BRUT® and
Nitro Fish Wear have teamed up to select the Motel 6 “Ultimate Nitro Fan” at
ten events on the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule.  In conjunction with the “Ultimate Nitro Fan”
experience, the BRUT® and Nitro Fish Wear teams have offered access to their
teams.  Fans can register for the
“Ultimate Nitro Fan” sweepstakes online at NitroRaceFan.com or link to the
registration Web site through Motel6.com, BrutRacing.com, Nitrofish.com or

“We’ve been involved in many
motorsports series, and it seems drag racing fans are the most passionate about
their racing,” said Eric Studer, senior vice president of marketing services
for Accor North America. “Last year’s Ultimate Nitro Fan promotion was a big
success for Motel 6 and all our co-op partners. 
This year we’ll work with our good friends at Brut and Nitro Fish.”

In advance of the Mopar
Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver,
Colorado on July 14-15, a fan
will be chosen as the Motel 6 “Ultimate Nitro Fan.”  The “Ultimate Nitro Fan” and their guest will
receive two tickets for the Saturday and Sunday of the event, a full,
NHRA-guided tour of the track and its facilities, and will meet FRAM Top Fuel
dragster driver Cory McClenathan.