SEMA eNews Vol. 13, No. 26, July 1, 2010

NHRA: Greg Anderson Wins First Race of Season, Takes $25K in K&N Horsepower Challenge

  Greg Anderson
  Greg Anderson

NEWS NUGGETS

ANDERSON DOUBLES-UP FOR $75K; SMITH GETS SECOND WIN OF SEASON IN NORWALK: Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson grabbed his first win of the season and won the special K&N Horsepower Challenge to collect $50k Sunday at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. After banking $50,000 Saturday by winning the special race-within-a-race bonus event and his third K&N Horsepower Challenge title, Anderson drove past Johnny Gray, Jeg Coughlin, Jason Line and Allen Johnson to earn his first win of the season and pick up the bonus $25,000 check from NHRA for sweeping the event.

“This is beyond a dream weekend,” said Anderson. “I couldn’t have even dreamed anything this big before we came here this week. I just hoped and prayed that we came here with a good performance and functioned properly throughout the weekend and just had a slight chance of sneaking a few round-wins and maybe a lucky victory away, and we ended up sweeping the weekend and taking every doggone nickel they had to give. It’s been a long time since we’ve had weekends like this. I guess I’ve got to go back three or four years for when we had a car that could do these things.”

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, former world champion Matt Smith held off points leader and defending world champion Hector Arana to pick up his second win of the season and 12th career win. The win also moved Smith up one place in the point standings to the second spot just behind Arana.

“Our goal is to try and be in the top five come Indy, and that just helped our progress to be in the top five,” said Smith. “The other thing I’m working on is I’m trying to get my wife (Angie Smith) in the top 10. She won a round today, and we’ve got three more races to try and get her in.”

For more results from the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, visit www.NHRA.com.

Wilkerson  
Tim Wilkerson  

DIXON GETS IMPRESSIVE SEVENTH WIN OF THE SEASON; WILKERSON GRABS SECOND WIN OF SEASON IN NORWALK: Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon bounced back from his first-round loss in Bristol one week previous to grab his seventh win of the season, the most of any driver in the category, at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Sunday in Norwalk, Ohio. Dixon raced to the No. 1 qualifier on Saturday—his fourth for the year—then drove past Top Fuel pilots Troy Buff, Doug Foley, Tony Schumacher and Antron Brown en route to his 55th career win. His matchup with defending world champion and Top Fuel rival Tony Schumacher in the semifinals was the sixth time the pair have met in the semifinals this season. Dixon holds the lead in semifinal matchups over Schumacher with four wins. His seventh win of the season was also his seventh final round appearance for the year.

“Seven for seven, I feel fortunate,” said Dixon. “There have been a lot of tight races. That one there was real tight. You could race that one again and get different outcomes. I heard Antron (Brown) at the start and saw him for a bit, and then he kind of faded. I kept looking for some win light, and it came on in our lane. That was just a great drag race, and it’s nice to be on the right side of a tight drag race.”

In Funny Car, Tim Wilkerson drove his Levi Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang past points leader John Force to grab his second win of the season and move him from ninth to seventh in the point standings. It was Wilkerson’s 15th career win and the third time in five final-round matchups that he has beat NHRA legend John Force. “It was great to win over John because he’s so good, and he’s coming into his own again,” said Wilkerson.

“After one bad year, he’s making us all look like we don’t know what we’re doing again, so we’re happy to have that win over John. We need to do our deal and keep going down the track run after run after run. There are still four races left (in the regular season), so we have to keep on our game.”

For more results from the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, visit www.NHRA.com.

SCHUMACHER IN MIX FOR ESPY BEST DRIVER AWARD:
For the fourth straight year, U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony “the Sarge” Schumacher has been nominated for the ESPY Best Driver award. The ESPY Awards, distributed for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly, were created by ESPN in 1993. Fans can vote for Schumacher on ESPN's website or the ESPN Facebook page.

The ESPYs will be hosted by Saturday Night Live “Weekend Update” anchor Seth Meyers Wednesday, July 14, at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. The awards show will be televised live by ESPN at 9 p.m. ET. Joining Schumacher on the Best Driver ballot are NASCAR drivers Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Ron Hornaday as well as open-wheel standout Dario Franchitti.

Schumacher will be looking to become the first drag racer to win the ESPY Best Driver award. Other NHRA drivers who have been nominated in the past include John Force, Tony Pedregon, Greg Anderson and Melanie Troxel.

  Antron Brown
  Antron Brown


COMING ATTRACTIONS


NHRA NORTHWEST NATIONALS, PACIFIC RACEWAYS, July 9–11:
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to the Pacific Northwest for the 14th of 17 races in the NHRA Countdown to 10 and the first of the grueling three-races-in-three-weeks Western Swing. Defending event winners include Antron Brown (Top Fuel); Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car); and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock).

FRAM AUTOLITE NHRA NATIONALS, INFINEON RACEWAY, July 16–18: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to Northern California for the 15th of 17 races in the NHRA Countdown to 10 and the second race of the three-race Western Swing. Defending event winners include Antron Brown (Top Fuel); Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car); Jason Line (Pro Stock); and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

MOPAR MILE-HIGH NHRA NATIONALS, BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY, July 23–25: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to the Rocky Mountains for the 16th of 17 races in the NHRA Countdown to 10 and the third and final race of the grueling three-races-in-three-weeks Western Swing. Defending event winners include Antron Brown (Top Fuel); Ron Capps (Funny Car); Allen Johnson (Pro Stock); and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Greg Anderson  
Greg Anderson took his first win of the season and won the special K&N Horsepower
Challenge to collect $50k at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA
Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.
 

HE SAID, SHE SAID

GETTING THE MONKEY OFF YOUR BACK: Top Fuel pilot Antron Brown on losing in the final round to Larry Dixon: “What a close race that was. We got beat for the pole and in the final round by Dixon. We have that Al-Anabi monkey on our backs. No matter what we do, we can’t beat those guys. We lost by a few feet. It’ll happen though.”

INSIDE THE NUMBERS


10:
Greg Anderson’s win at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals extended his streak of consecutive seasons with at least one win to 10, the longest such currently active streak in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Tony Schumacher (9) is second on the list.

DID YOU KNOW…

…that after a week off, the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will begin the infamous and grueling Western Swing, a three-races-in-three weeks stretch beginning July 9 in Seattle and ending July 25 in Denver. After the stretch, only one race remains in the regular season, the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota. Drivers have only four more opportunities to secure their spot in the Top-10 point standings if they want a chance to compete for the world championship in the Countdown to 1 playoffs.

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