Texas Motorplex is the only all-concrete quarter-mile on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule, which allows crew chiefs the opportunity to unleash horsepower with little restraint and guarantees explosive performances, sometimes in more ways than one.






llewellynDSB_4656.JPG Pro Stock Motorcycle newcomer Peggy Llewellyn won her first NHRA national event at a critical juncture in the season, pushing her way into the Countdown to One field by the slenderest of margins Sunday evening.

The San Antonio-based rider shared a somber Texas Motorplex winner's circle with new POWERade points leaders Larry Dixon and Tony Pedregon, as well as Pro Stock juggernaut Dave Connolly, who collected his fourth trophy in a row, at the 22nd annual O’Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec.

The mood of the day was tempered greatly by an accident involving John Force, who suffered a broken left ankle and wrist and numerous abrasions, and Kenny Bernstein. Force was airlifted to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

Dixon used his third victory of the season to take the Top Fuel lead in the Countdown to Four. The driver of the SkyTel dragster was ready for the final, leaving with a .059-second reaction time. Final-round foe Bob Vandergriff was close behind in his UPS rail, taking off in .065 seconds, but his car was soon smoking its tires, allowing Dixon to take the 41st win of his career in 4.629 at 310.91 mph.

"I'm glad that [John Force is] alive," Dixon said. "From that point you can fix anything. A lot of credit goes to the Safety Safari, the medical team, and the rules package for the way the cars have to be built so that you can survive an accident like that. I feel safer in my car that goes 330 mph than I do in my rent car going 55 mph on the way to the track. I feel like I could run over a nuclear bomb, and I trust in that. He'll be back racing one day; you can count on that."

dixonDSB_4680.JPG Vandergriff extended his record streak in final rounds to 0-11, but he did move
to within 21 points of the top four. The Countdown to Four field now shows Dixon with 2,297 points, Rod Fuller with 2,252 points, Tony Schumacher with 2,247 points, and Brandon Bernstein with 2,221 points.
The battle of the Pedregon brothers went to younger brother Tony as Cruz had to give up his pass just before halftrack when his Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala SS started smoking its tires. It was a fortunate outcome for Tony as his Q Horsepower Chevy neared the centerline at the top end of the track, which forced him to lift off the gas to avoid crossing the line and getting disqualified. His 5.010 at 254.06 mph was definitely beatable, but Cruz was already in spectator mode, eventually drifting across the stripe in 6.882 at 131.31 mph.

Both Pedregon's reached the final round with bye runs. Tony would have raced John Force, while Cruz would have faced Ashley Force, who left the track to be with her father at the hospital.

"I was watching Force's race on the monitor and I saw what happened," Pedregon said. "I have to admit it really shook me up. It took me back to when I was a kid and my dad told me about these wrecks where cars got cut in half. I ran over there to try and help and there was no cockpit. It really scared me. I just wanted to hear that he was okay. Broken bones will mend. I wanted to hear he was talking and if he was swearing, even better."

pedregonDSB_3653.JPG Tony's big weekend lifted him from out of the top four and into the points lead with one race remaining before the Countdown to One begins. Former points leader Robert Hight failed to qualify for this race. He dropped to second overall, 16 behind Tony Pedregon. "Fast Jack" Beckman is now third, 30 points back of Hight, while John Force moved up to fourth, 22 behind Beckman.

Connolly has now won four Pro Stock races in a row, the last three over three-time series champion Greg Anderson, to pad his lead in the Countdown to Four standings. This one was easy as Anderson began leaking oil after his burnout and was forced to shut off and surrender the race.

Connolly attempted a pass any way but quickly shut off and coasted to the win in his Torco/Seelye Wright Chevrolet Cobalt.

This was Connolly's seventh win of the year, which ties him for the class lead with Anderson, who fell to 7-4 in trophy rounds this year. Connolly is 7-1 on the year and 16-12 overall in his career.

"We were ready to do battle," Connolly said. "I guess Greg had some problems and I'm sure he isn't happy about it. Either way, the team did a great job for the first three rounds. The driver was a little off his game today. I feel a little under the weather and I know I didn't leave on anyone all day. The team jumped in and picked me up this time."

 Connolly and Anderson both clinched berths in the Countdown to One this weekend, connollyDSB_4667.JPGmeaning they'll both run for the 2007 championship over the last two races of the season. Connolly is now 52 points ahead of Anderson, who in turn is 154 ahead of third-place Allen Johnson. Jeg Coughlin rounds out the top four. He's 16 points behind Johnson.

Llewellyn needed to win her first NHRA national event to make it into the Countdown to One field and she delivered with a huge holeshot victory over points leader Andrew Hines. Hitting the Christmas Tree with a .010 reaction time in front of Hines' .045-second start, Llewellyn managed to hold off a hard-charging Hines to take the win with a 7.020 at 190.00 mph to Hines' quicker but losing 7.007 at 191.16 mph.

"A year ago I was back in my real estate company working behind a desk thinking I wasn't gonna race any more," Llewellyn said. "I keep on telling my crew guys, 'pinch me, pinch me,' it's pretty exciting. At the same time, it's important to remember John Force right now and to keep him in all of our thoughts and prayers."

This is Llewellyn's 20th NHRA event. The San Antonio-based rider of the Rush Racing Products S&S Buell V-Twin was a clear favorite in her home state and when the win light came on in her lane, the crowd roared its approval. Hines will enter the final two-race sprint to the championship with the most points. His Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson V-Rod is 4-2 in final rounds this year.

Matt Smith and Chip Ellis will also run for the Pro Stock Motorcycle title.



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Sunday's final results from the 22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec at Texas Motorplex. The race is the 20th of 23 in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:


Top Fuel -- Larry Dixon, 4.629 seconds, 310.91 mph def. Bob Vandergriff, 5.426 seconds, 307.72 mph.


Funny Car -- Tony Pedregon, Chevy Impala, 5.010, 254.86 def. Cruz Pedregon, Impala, 6.882, 131.31.


Pro Stock -- Dave Connolly, Chevy Cobalt, 8.553, 112.17 def. Greg Anderson, Pontiac GTO, broke.


Pro Stock Motorcycle -- Peggy Llewellyn, Buell, 7.020, 190.00 def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.007, 191.16.


Top Alcohol Dragster -- Thomas Bayer, 5.407, 263.41 def. Darvin Martinets, 5.798, 190.00.


Top Alcohol Funny Car -- Von Smith, Chevy Camaro, 5.647, 256.36 def. Cy Chesterman, Ford Mustang, 5.702, 255.97.


Competition Eliminator -- Danny Gruninger, Chevy Cobalt, 7.061, 195.45 def. David Rampy, Bantam Roadster, 7.298, 180.86.


Super Stock -- Terry Pearson, Chevy Cavalier, 9.405, 139.23 def. Marcus Allen, Chevy Camaro, 10.672, 124.14.


Stock Eliminator -- Mark Faul, Chevy Chevelle, 12.035, 83.00 def. Dave Workman, Ford Mustang, foul.


Super Gas -- Shawn Carter, Chevy Cavalier, 9.887, 163.77 def. Terry Sullivan, Ford Mustang, 9.863, 151.87.


Super Street -- Chucky Wier, Chevy Camaro, 10.906, 137.43 def. Mike Frederick, Chevy Corvette, 10.926, 146.50.



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toddDSB_3229.JPG Funny Car points leader Robert Hight entered this weekend's 22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec hoping to lock-up a spot in the Countdown to Four championship field. Now the John Force Racing professional is hoping to remain relevant after a shocking failure to qualify on the hottest racetrack the series has encountered all season.

Top Fuel's Cinderella story Doug Herbert also suffered a DNQ, all but extinguishing his title hopes outright.

Three of Friday's four qualifying leaders remained intact with J.R. Todd leading Top Fuel with a 4.541 seconds, Tim Wilkerson topping Funny Car with a 4.787 seconds, and Greg Anderson fronting Pro Stock with a 6.668 seconds. The only change among the frontrunners was Chip Ellis sneaking around Andrew Hines in Pro Stock Motorcycle with a double-track-record pass of 6.976 seconds at 191.32 mph

wilkersonDSB_3326.JPG Despite his DNQ, Hight remains in the points lead for the time being, but could certainly suffer if "Fast Jack" Beckman, Ron Capps, or Gary Scelzi have big Sundays. Second in the points, Beckman could do the most damage. He starts qualifying in the No. 7 spot. Scelzi is 10th, while Capps is 12th.

The happiest guy in the class was top qualifier Wilkerson, who reeled off his 4.787 at 318.17 mph in the second qualifying session to pace the field for the second time this year in his Chevrolet Impala SS.

"I was at the top end when they were interviewing John Force and he was noticeably upset about Robert not qualifying, and he should be because that's the best car out here right now," Wilkerson said. "It's hard to make a fast car slow. We all know Jimmy [Prock, Hight's crew chief]. He don't go up there to be second or third and I truly believe that's what got them, this weekend.

andersonDSB_3121.JPG "We probably run a little more conservatively than most teams because we have to and that probably helped us here. We ended up No. 1 and I'm pretty proud of that."

Needing to make a move on the top four, John Force is third on the grid in his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang with a 4.801. Fellow championship hopefuls Tony Pedregon (10th place with a 4.866), Mike Ashley (11th, 4.868), and Jim Head (13th, 4.884) also have designs on moving into the top four Sunday.

Todd held on for his second low qualifier award of the year on the strength of Friday night's 4.541 at 318.47 mph. Entering the weekend seventh in the points, the Torco racer has a great chance to make up some ground in the points as fifth-place Herbert failed to qualify his dragster.

"I'm sure tomorrow will be a lot like today with the sun beating down on the track and the real hot temperatures," Todd said. "We'll need to get down the track and make decent runs and hopefully we can come out of here with a win. If we can run low 4.60s and high 4.50s we should be good."

TellisDSA_3829.JPGhe monster match-up of the first round will pit No. 4 qualifier "Hot Rod" Fuller against No. 13 qualifier Tony Schumacher. Fuller posted a 4.552 to Schumacher's best of 4.608. The two are first and second in the points with Schumacher 15 points ahead of Fuller.

Little changed at the top of the Pro Stock ladder with Anderson easily staying on top in his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO. His 6.668 at 207.05 mph from Friday night was unchallenged in the heat and awarded him his 11th pole of the season.

"We have a happy hot rod so far this weekend," Anderson said. "We have to hope we don't have a big swing in weather or track conditions because it seems this Pontiac GTO likes it just as it is. There's a long way to go though. You have four tough rounds if you hope to race Dave Connolly in the finals and we know what he's been doing lately."

Connolly, the current points leader, stayed second with a best of 6.677 at 206.73 mph in his Torco Chevrolet Cobalt. Mopar teammates Richie Stevens (6.687) and Allen Johnson (6.690) rounded out the top four.

The biggest mover of the day was Jeg Coughlin, who went from out of the field to the No. 9 spot with a 6.699 in his JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt. Coughlin is third in the Countdown to Four points.

Ellis has done it again in Pro Stock Motorcycle, racking up his third low qualifying effort in a row and his fourth in the last five races. The Drag Specialties S&S Buell took advantage of the slightly cooler morning session to steal the top spot away from Friday low qualifier and current points leader Andrew Hines. Ellis' double track record 6.976 at 191.32 mph was a hundredth better than Hines' improved 6.986, which left him in second place.

By out-qualifying Angelle Sampey and others, Ellis is in a much more comfortable spot in the Countdown to Four. He's still fourth overall, the bump spot for the Countdown's next phase, but Sampey now needs to make up three rounds instead of two.

"We're making good power and the track was hooking pretty good so we just rode it on down through there," Ellis said. "It's just another day at the office.

"I don't know anyone out there in NHRA that's ever won a race without winning the first round so that's what I'm going to concentrate on. I'm just gonna chill out, have some fun, and let it happen. I'll let y'all (media) worry about the points stuff. I really don't care; I just want to ride."

By qualifying second, Hines becomes the first NHRA racer to clinch a spot in the Countdown to One. The Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson V-Rod rider now is assured of running for a fourth consecutive championship over the last two races.

The other two riders in the top four, Matt Smith and Craig Treble are third and 10th on the elimination ladder. Smith's Torco Buell posted a 6.996, while Treble's unsponsored Suzuki clocked a 7.077 at 191.13 mph.

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toddDSB_2776.JPGReigning Rookie of the Year J.R. Todd knows he needs a big weekend to keep his championship hopes alive and he responded with a top-qualifying effort of 4.541 seconds at 318.47 mph Friday night at the 22nd annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec.

The Top Fuel racer joined surprise Funny Car leader Tim Wilkerson, Pro Stock stalwart Greg Anderson, and Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader Andrew Hines on the provisional low qualifier's podium.

Currently 77 points behind the fourth and final spot in the Countdown to Four, Todd has two races to make up the deficit. He's off to a good start with a quick 4.541 seconds at 318.47 mph in his Skull Gear dragster.

"Last week we missed a perfect opportunity to make up some ground on the guys in front of us but, it is what it is, and now we've got our work cut out for us this weekend," Todd said. "Hopefully now can go some rounds, pick up some points, and go into Richmond and get in that top four. This is a good morale booster for us because we've all been down in the dumps. Right now everyone is pumped up."

Points leader Tony Schumacher had to surrender his second pass after smoking his tires a few hundred feet into the run. His earlier pass of 4.608 at 322.19 mph left his U.S. Army dragster 13th on the ladder. Countdown participant Doug Herbert is not qualified with two rounds on time trials remaining.

wilkersonDSA_3562.JPGHe's not in the Countdown to the Championship field, but independent Funny Car racer Wilkerson showed he can still match-up well with those teams by posting a 4.787 seconds at 318.17 mph in his Levi, Ray & Shoup Chevrolet Impala SS.

"We really feel like we have nothing to lose," Wilkerson said. "We're not in the Countdown or chasing points. But we do need to qualify because that money is important. That's what helps pay the guys. They're back in the pits doing handstands right now. I feel more for them than I do for me. I got the best job in the world."

Countdown participant Mike Ashley is 10th with a 4.868 in his Torco Dodge Charger R/T. The devout Jew will not race Saturday in observance of Yom Kipper, so he'll have to hope his qualifying time holds.

Points leader Robert Hight will have a sleepless night as his Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang has yet to crack the top 16.

andersonDSB_2643.JPGThe top two racers in the Pro Stock points are first and second on the qualifying sheets with No. 2 points earner Anderson edging current No. 1 ranked racer Dave Connolly by two-hundredths of a second. Anderson's 6.668 seconds at 206.92 mph in the second session put his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO in the lead with Connolly close behind with a 6.686 seconds at 205.72 mph in his Torco Chevrolet Cobalt.

"Dave definitely isn't going away and I don't expect him too," Anderson said. "He's running strong and basically mistake-free and that's what we're gonna have to do. And let's not forget about some of these other cats. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see some of these other teams step up in the next few weeks. We're gonna have to be perfect for the rest of the year or we're not gonna win this thing."

Surprisingly, Jason Line is all the way down on the bump with a 6.729 at 206.29 mph in his summit Pontiac. Line had to abort his first round when his car got lose halfway down the track. Fellow Countdown racer Jeg Coughlin failed to qualify Friday.

hinesDSA_3428.JPGHines took over the POWERade points lead in Pro Stock Bikes for the first time this season with his win last weekend in Memphis. Now he's trying to stretch his advantage with a top qualifying effort here. Hines' 7.015 at 190.62 mph crushed an eight-year-old elapsed time record by two and a half tenths of a second and put his Harley-Davidson V-Rod on top at the midway point of qualifying. The Pro Stock Motorcycle class last ran in Dallas in 2000.

"This is the time of the year when we usually do well, at least that's been our track record," Hines said. "The team's done a great job and stuck with it through the highs and the lows. I'm really proud of them. To be No. 1 at a track I've never run at is special. My brother [Matt] is defending champion of this race and he showed me the fast way down the strip."

Chip Ellis, who is grasping to the fourth and final spot in the Countdown to Four, has out-qualified his closest pursuers with a second-best 7.017 seconds at 190.75 mph, a track speed record. Ellis' effort is noteworthy because he entered the race exactly 40 points ahead of Angelle Sampey. By out-qualifying her, it will force Sampey to go at least three rounds further than him on Sunday. Sampey is sixth with a 7.075 seconds at 189.02 mph.

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Results Friday after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec at Texas Motorplex, 19th of 23 events in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.  Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.

Top Fuel --
1. J.R. Todd, 4.541 seconds, 321.96 mph; 2. Melanie Troxel, 4.545, 331.94; 3.Doug Kalitta, 4.546, 328.70; 4. Rod Fuller, 4.552, 324.83; 5. Larry Dixon, 4.553, 323.89; 6. Joe Hartley, 4.557, 329.58; 7. Alan Bradshaw, 4.577, 323.81; 8. Morgan Lucas, 4.581, 325.14; 9. Brandon Bernstein, 4.585, 324.05; 10. Bob Vandergriff, 4.589, 328.14; 11. Whit Bazemore, 4.595, 319.52; 12. David Grubnic, 4.603, 283.01; 13. Tony Schumacher, 4.608, 322.19; 14. Hillary Will, 4.630, 323.27; 15. Cory McClenathan, 4.645, 286.13; 16. Clay Millican, 4.648, 318.02.  Not Qualified: 17. Doug Herbert, 4.659, 293.22; 18. Scott Palmer, 4.881, 247.79; 19. Mike Strasburg, 4.934, 252.90; 20. Doug Foley, 5.564, 166.64.

Funny Car --
1. Tim Wilkerson, Chevy Impala, 4.787, 318.17; 2. Jeff Arend, Impala, 4.788, 320.36; 3. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.801, 321.35; 4. Del Worsham, Impala, 4.808, 313.37; 5. Ashley Force, Mustang, 4.818, 314.53; 6. Kenny Bernstein, Dodge Charger, 4.840, 314.31; 7. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.851, 317.79; 8. Gary Scelzi, Charger, 4.863, 307.72; 9. Tony Pedregon, Impala, 4.866, 295.72; 10. Mike Ashley, Charger, 4.868, 322.11; 11. Cruz Pedregon, Impala, 4.882, 303.09; 12. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.884, 316.82; 13. Jim Head, Toypta Solara, 4.884, 291.63; 14. Tony Bartone, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.888, 308.85; 15. Jerry Toliver, Toyota Solara, 4.911, 311.41; 16. Scott Kalitta, Solara, 5.326, 200.41.  Not Qualified: 17. Gary Densham, 5.648, 198.00; 18. Tommy Johnson Jr., 5.673, 185.38; 19. Robert Hight, 5.935, 158.73.

Pro Stock --
1. Greg Anderson, Pontiac GTO, 6.668, 206.92; 2. Dave Connolly, Chevy Cobalt, 6.686, 205.72; 3. Richie Stevens, Dodge Stratus, 6.687, 205.79; 4. Allen Johnson, Stratus, 6.690, 205.69; 5. Justin Humphreys, GTO, 6.692, 205.94; 6. Ron Krisher, Cobalt, 6.696, 205.63; 7. Larry Morgan, Stratus, 6.698, 205.38; 8. Warren Johnson, GTO, 6.705, 206.20; 9. Kurt Johnson, Cobalt, 6.711, 206.04; 10. V. Gaines, Stratus, 6.717, 205.35; 11. Jim Yates, GTO, 6.718, 205.69; 12. Max Naylor, Stratus, 6.721, 204.76; 13. Kenny Koretsky, Cobalt, 6.724, 205.16; 14. Steve Schmidt, Cobalt, 6.725, 205.04; 15. Craig Hankinson, GTO, 6.725, 204.91; 16. Jason Line, GTO, 6.729, 206.29. Not Qualified: 17. Mike Edwards, 6.731, 205.19; 18. Jeg Coughlin, 6.738, 205.51; 19. Tom Hammonds, 6.745, 204.85; 20. Greg Stanfield, 6.759, 205.26; 21. Ben Watson, 6.768, 202.94; 22. Todd Hoerner, 6.779, 203.83; 23. Dave Northrop, 6.798, 203.31.

Pro Stock Motorcycle --
1. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.015, 190.62; 2. Chip Ellis, Buell, 7.017, 190.75; 3. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.045, 190.16; 4. Peggy Llewellyn, Buell, 7.045, 188.41; 5. Hector Arana, Buell, 7.053, 189.18; 6. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 7.075, 189.02; 7. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 7.076, 188.10; 8. Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.126, 184.98; 9. Matt Smith, Buell, 7.128, 186.87; 10. Matt Guidera, Buell, 7.132, 186.02; 11. Geno Scali, Suzuki, 7.137, 188.25; 12. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.144, 190.06; 13. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.153, 186.74; 14. Tom Bradford, Buell, 7.161, 183.59; 15. Chris Rivas, Buell, 7.175, 182.03; 16. Mike Berry, Suzuki, 7.184, 185.49.  Not Qualified: 17. Michael Phillips, 7.215, 189.63; 18. Blaine Hale, 7.237, 186.15; 19. Joe DeSantis, 7.249, 186.28; 20. Michael Ray, 7.271, 183.10; 21. Shawn Gann, 7.291, 186.64; 22. Jim Randolph, 17.885, 39.23.


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Robert Hight, in his Auto Club Ford Mustang, has been quietly moving through the Funny Car category, but that is the way he likes it.

For most of the season Hight has been lurking near the top of the Funny Car points, but he has not been the driver getting the most attention on his John Force Racing team.  He attributes that to his quiet demeanor, which he thinks is more like his teammate Ashley Force rather than his boss John Force and late teammate Eric Medlen.

“People have said I am the quiet one, but that is compared to John (Force) and Eric (Medlen),” said Hight.  “Ashley is a lot like me.  That creates a good balance on our team.”

While Hight and Force have been battling it out in the POWERade Series Countdown to the Championship, Ashley has been deflecting a lot of the media attention in part due to her rookie season in the POWERade Series and her recently being voted AOL’s Hottest Athlete by online users.

“Ashley has been getting all the attention while John and I are in the Countdown,” said Hight.  “So, she is taking care of the media, like Jay Leno and the interviews so we can concentrate on the Countdown.”

Coming into the 22nd annual O’Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec, Sept. 20-23 at Texas Motorplex, Hight is looking to defend his win in 2006 and maintain his position atop the Top 4 of the playoff section of the Countdown to the Championship. The $1.5 million race, which will be televised in high definition on ESPN2, is the 20th of 23 events in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.  It is also the third of four races in the Countdown to Four of the Countdown to the Championship.

His approach to the races and the Countdown to the Championship have changed now that the playoff section has commenced.  At the beginning of the season he kept saying that he needed to go to every race and try to win.  Now things are different.

“Now with two races left (Dallas, and Richmond) we don’t need to be testing,” said Hight.  “We need to race smart.  We don’t need to be the quickest.  After that (In the Countdown to One) we need to pull out all the stops and be the quickest we can.”

If the season comes down to a final round between he and Force, and a win decides who claims the championship, Hight knows what he wants to happen.  After a slight pause he answered very definitively.

“I hope it’s me that wins,” said Hight.  “But, either way we can’t lose because the sponsors have been taken care of.  It is a situation I hope to have.  It would be my first championship or John’s 15th.”

Texas Motorplex, with its all concrete track surface, has always been a favorite of John Force Racing and Hight.  Last year Hight defeated Mike Ashley for his first win at the track to make it a combined eight races that Hight and Force have won at this racer-favorite track.  He looks forward to coming here every year.

“I love that place,” said Hight.  “John Force Racing has had a lot of success at the track.  It should be what all tracks are held up to.  I wish there were more like it.  In fact, John thought of putting a shop there at one time.  Billy (Meyer – owner) always puts on a great race.  There is always something going on.”

Defending race winners include Brandon Bernstein (Top Fuel); Hight (Funny Car); and Richie Stevens Jr. (Pro Stock).

After the O’Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec concludes, there will be just one race remaining in the Countdown to Four playoff segment: the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals near Richmond, Va., Oct. 5-7.

Bernstein will try to defend his Top Fuel event win from last season, but there will be other drivers looking to gain points in the Countdown to Four.  Tony Schumacher, Larry Dixon and Rod Fuller will be looking to maintain their points position in the Top Four while other drivers seek to move up including Bob Vandergriff Jr., J.R. Todd, Doug Herbert and Whit Bazemore.

Battling Hight in Funny Car will be Ashley, Tony Pedregon, and Ron Capps, who all have a Top 4 position.  Others looking to gain those valuable Countdown points will be Jack Beckman, John Force, Gary Sclezi and the season’s surprise: Jim Head.  The spoilers could include those outside the Countdown like Kenny Bernstein, Del Worsham or Hight’s fellow teammate Ashley Force.

In Pro Stock, last year’s winner, Stevens, may be outside the Countdown, but he will still be trying for a victory.  Those in the Top Four looking to make it to the next round are Dave Connolly, Greg Anderson, Allen Johnson and Kurt Johnson.

The Pro Stock Motorcycle riders will be going all out in Texas because this race is their last one to make it to the Countdown to One.  Sitting somewhat comfortably at the top is Matt Smith, but lurking behind him are a host of riders including reigning world champion Andrew Hines and three time world champion Angelle Sampey.

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