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Fri, 9 Sep 2005, 07:51 PM

Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Post Race Notes
Courtesy of NHRA Communications





CLERMONT, Ind. -- Post race notes from the 51st annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Aug. 31-Sept. 5, Indianapolis Raceway Park.

TOP FUEL

Larry Dixon ended Tony Schumacher's three-year domination of drag racing's most prestigious event when he topped the defending world champion at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

Dixon, of Indianapolis, recorded a 4.521-second effort at 326.71 mph in his Miller Lite dragster. Schumacher, the No. 1 qualifier, coasted to the finish when his U.S. Army dragster lost traction.

The win was Dixon's third of the season and 38th of his career. Dixon also won the event in 2001 and 1995.

Schumacher's runner-up finish was enough to claim the POWERade Series lead by a 40-point margin after trailing Doug Kalitta by four points before the event. Dixon is third in the standings, 79 points behind the leader.

Schumacher's U.S. Army crew earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.

FUNNY CAR

Del Worsham, of Chino Hills, Calif., earned more than $225,000 for winning both the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals title and Skoal Showdown bonus event for the NHRA's top Funny Car drivers. Worsham brought home $75,000 for winning the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, $100,000 for the Skoal Showdown win and a $50,000 'double-up' bonus from NHRA for winning both events.

Worsham is the sixth driver to 'double-up' by winning both titles.

Worsham drove his Checker Schuck's Kragen Chevy Monte Carlo to a 4.874 at 320.05 for his first Mac Tools U.S. Nationals win.

Worsham's victory was his second of the season and 21st of his career.

Frank Pedregon finished second behind the wheel of his Toyo Tires Dodge Stratus in his best performance since Atlanta 2001. Pedregon has competed in 11 events in 2005 after sitting out last season.

Although Gary Scelzi lost in the semifinals, he claimed the series points lead with a 1-point edge over former frontrunner Robert Hight. Hight, the third rookie to ever start in the Skoal Showdown, lost in the first round of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.

Scelzi is the fourth driver in NHRA history to lead the series points in both nitro categories. Others to reach that mark include Kenny Bernstein, Don "the Snake" Prudhomme and Ed McCulloch

Four-time event winner John Force also lost in the first round after qualifying No. 1 for the first time this season. The 13-time category champion is fourth in the point standings. It was his 125th No. 1 qualifying position.

Two crew members of Tony Pedregon's Q-Racing team sustained minor injuries after Pedregon's Chevrolet Monte Carlo went out of control and struck the center island of the starting-line area of the dragstrip. The team was trying to get the car to perform a burnout when it suddenly lurched forward. Both were transported to the track medical center and returned to the team pit area after their release.

Robert Hight's Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang crew earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.

Frank Pedregon earned the Motel 6 "Who Got the Light" award by defeating Eric Medlen by a .0012-second margin of victory in the quarterfinal round of eliminations.

PRO STOCK

Greg Anderson, of Concord, N.C., earned his third consecutive win at the event, increasing his series points lead to 135 over Kurt Johnson. Anderson also won the event in 2001 and finished second in 1999.

Anderson drove his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO to a 6.718 at 205.26 after qualifying No. 1. Richie Stevens finished second behind the wheel of his Team Mopar Dodge Stratus in his second final-round appearance of 2005. It was Anderson's 37th No. 1 qualifying effort of his career and the fourth of the season.

The victory was Anderson's sixth of the season and 37th of his career.

Six-time Pro Stock world champion Warren Johnson lost in the first round to Mark Pawuk, is third in the point standings after Anderson and Warren's son, Kurt Johnson. Anderson's Summit Racing Pontiac GTO crew earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE

Matt Smith's victory was overturned by NHRA officials less than 24 hours after the race and awarded to Steve Johnson. NHRA officials announced that while the win light showed Smith the winner in the final round, video replays showed Johnson's motorcycle crossed the finish line just before Smith's ride. NHRA officials reviewed the timing system data, multiple video replays, data from previous runs and consulted with industry experts before granting Johnson the win.

Top qualifier Andrew Hines retained his series points lead over his Screamin' Eagle Vance and Hines Harley-Davidson teammate GT Tonglet after a foul start in the first round ended Hines' bid for his first win at IRP. Hines holds a 17-point lead over Tonglet and 107 over defending event winner Antron Brown. Brown lost in the first round to Geno Scali, who recorded a second-round exit.

Hines qualified at No. 1 for the eighth time this season and the 16th of his career.

Tonglet earned $15,000 for his victory over Chip Ellis in the 15th annual Ringers Gloves Pro Bike Battle, a race-within-a-race bonus event for the category's top competitors. Tonglet clocked a 7.288 at 176.60 while Ellis drove his G-Squared S&S Buell to a 7.345 finish at 177.04.

Hines' Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson's crew earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship.





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