SEMA eNews Vol. 13, No. 23, June 10, 2010

NHRA: Larry Dixon Moves to Second in All-Time Top Fuel Wins

Larry Dixon
Larry Dixon

NEWS NUGGETS

DIXON WINS FIFTH OF THE SEASON; HAGAN WINS SECOND OF CAREER IN CHICAGO: In what has become one of the biggest rivalries in Drag Racing, Larry Dixon was able to power his Al-Anabi Racing dragster past defending world champion Tony Schumacher to grab his fifth win of the season and 53rd of his career Sunday at the United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway just outside of Chicago. Dixon had the dragster to beat all weekend, grabbing the No. 1 qualifier late Friday night and never looking back. It was the sixth time that Dixon and Schumacher have met this season on Eliminations day and the round win/loss record is tied at three a piece. The win also moved Dixon to the second spot on the all-time Top Fuel wins list, one ahead of NHRA Top Fuel legend Joe Amato and 11 behind first-place driver Schumacher.

“Obviously this is big,” said Dixon. “Any time you win it is huge. The last couple of times we ran in the final, [Schumacher] has got the best of us. It was a long day, at the same time, not as long as Friday and it was definitely worth the wait.”

With his final round appearance, Schumacher was able to move around teammate Cory McClenathan to take the second-place spot in the point standings.

Matt Hagan
Matt Hagan

In Funny Car, Matt Hagan was able to do something that no driver has been able to do for the past three races—beat defending world champion Robert Hight in the final round.

Hagan drove his DieHard Dodge Charger R/T past Hight en route to only his second career win in Funny Car. Hagan also set the national record in the process, posting a 4.035 in the final round to back up his 4.022 in the semifinals and grab the extra 20 points for doing so.

“This was [crew chief] Tommy DeLago and John Medlen’s race,” said Hagan. “In the first race we won in Houston, I had to pedal the car but not here. This weekend, I had a great race car. It’s great to have that confidence and great to set the record and win the race.”

With his win, Hagan is tied with Ashley Force Hood for the third-place spot in the point standings, while runner-up Robert Hight moved past team owner John Force to take the top spot in Funny Car.

For more results from this past weekend’s United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals, visit www.NHRA.com.

 

  Mike Edwards
  Mike Edwards

EDWARDS GETS SIXTH WIN OF SEASON; TONGLET GRABS FIRST OF HIS CAREER IN CHICAGO: Mike Edwards once again proved his dominance in the Pro Stock class, grabbing his eighth No. 1 qualifier of the season Saturday night and his sixth win of the season Sunday at the United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois.

Edwards held off former world champion Jason Line in the final round to put his Penhall/Interstate Batteries Pontiac GXP in the winner’s circle for the 26th time in his career. The win and No. 1 qualifier in Chicago is the fifth time this season that Edwards has earned the No. 1 qualifier and won at the same race. It also made Edwards the first driver to clinch a spot in the Countdown to 1 playoffs, giving him a 337-point lead over second-place Allen Johnson.

“That’s what Pro Stock is all about,” said Edwards. “The first thing Jason said to me was ‘Man, you were late.’ What a great way to finish the day. We weren’t at our best today, but we managed to pull off another win. It just feels great.”

LE Tonglet  
LE Tonglet  

While Edwards was earning his 26th career win, Pro Stock Motorcycle rider LE Tonglet was racing to his first. Tonglet rode his GT Motorsports Suzuki past Steve Johnson to grab his first career win in the two-wheel class.

“My emotions are so high right now,” said Tonglet. “I’ve been waiting for this day all my life. GT [Tonglet, brother] won a few times, but to have one of my own is awesome. We’re on a tight budget, and this might get us through New Jersey and maybe even Norwalk.”

Tonglet’s win also propelled the young driver from 10th to sixth in the Pro Stock Motorcycle point standings.

For more results from this past weekend’s United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals, visit www.NHRA.com.

DIVISION 1 REGAINS TOP SPOT IN JEGS ALLSTARS: For the third time in the last four years, the team from Bob Lang’s Northeast Division (division 1) claimed the overall team title at the JEGS Allstars held during the United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. Following a heated battle, the teams from divisions 1 and 5 finished in a dead heat with 1,300 points each. Using the tiebreaker method, the win went to the division 1 squad, which has now won seven championships in the 26-year history of the JEGS Allstars competition.

The division 6 team finished third with 1,000 points. Leading the way for division 1 was the incomparable Frank Manzo, who collected his record eighth Top Alcohol Funny Car win at the Allstars race; Joe Santangelo, who scored in Super Stock; and Jason Kenny, who earned the Super Gas title. The stars for the division 5 team were Michael Miller, who won the Super Comp title over division 3 racer Josh Gnandt, and Steve Domingues, who was the victor in Super Street after topping Ray Todd of division 4. Jim Whiteley claimed the lone victory for the division 7 team in Top Alcohol Dragster.

For more results from the JEGS Allstars, visit www.NHRA.com.

COMING ATTRACTIONS

NHRA SUPERNATIONALS, OLD BRIDGE TOWNSHIP RACEWAY PARK, June 10–13: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to the East Coast just outside of New York City for the 11th stop on the 2010 schedule. Defending event winners include Larry Dixon (Top Fuel); Tony Pedregon (Funny Car); Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock); and Craig Treble (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS, BRISTOL DRAGWAY, June 18–20: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns to the Thunder Valley of north Tennessee. Defending event winners include Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); Del Worsham (Funny Car); and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock).

SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT NHRA NATIONALS, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT MOTORSPORTS PARK, June 24–27: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to Norwalk, Ohio, for the 13th stop on the series schedule. This is also the home of the K&N Horsepower Challenge for the Pro Stock Class. Defending event winners include Larry Dixon (Top Fuel); Jack Beckman (Funny Car); Jason Line (Pro Stock); and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

 

  Steve Johnson
  Steve Johnson

HE SAID, SHE SAID

ON THE STRENGTH OF THE SPONSOR: Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Steve Johnson on sponsors in the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series: “At the start of the year we considered coming to races in a pickup truck, hoping to get qualifying and first-round money. We are so fortunate to have sponsors that support our efforts both on and off the track. Pulling into the races with a rig full of tools and a team is really essential in having a first-class team that can win races even if the funding is not totally set. At the end of the day, we are six races into the season and we’ve been to two final rounds.”

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

11: The number of full-time drivers who had at least two wins during the 2009 season that are currently winless heading into the 11th race of the 2010 season (seventh for PSM). Below is a list of those drivers and the number of wins they had in 2009:

Top Fuel

  • Antron Brown (6)
  • Morgan Lucas (3)

Funny Car

  • Ron Capps (5)
  • Ashley Force Hood (2)
  • Tony Pedregon (3)
  • Bob Tasca (2)
  • Del Worsham (3)

Pro Stock

  • Greg Anderson (3 – holds active streak of seasons with at least one win, started in 2001)
  • Allen Johnson (2)

Pro Stock Motorcycle

  • Hector Arana (5)
  • Craig Treble (2)

DID YOU KNOW…

…that television personalities Steve Watson of HGTV’s "Don’t Sweat it," and Sarah Karges of Cartoon Network's "Brain Rush" will serve as co-hosts of "NHRA Unleashed," which will be featured nationwide on Fox Sports Net in November and December 2010.

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