MOHNTON, Pa. -- The 21st annual Toyo Tires Nationals post race notes, Sept. 15-18, Maple Grove Raceway, Mohnton, Pa.
In a finals rematch from the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, POWERade Series points leader Tony Schumacher and his U.S. Army team turned the tables on Larry Dixon's Miller Lite crew with a 4.498-second pass at 323.74 mph (against Dixon's 4.575 at 322.11) to win for the fifth time in eight final-round appearances in 2005.
The defending POWERade Series champion, Schumacher, entered the final round with an 80-point lead over Dixon that he extended to 100 points following the victory.
The win was the third in a row at Maple Grove for Schumacher, who set the still-standing NHRA elapsed time record of 4.441 seconds there in 2003.
With his third final round appearance in the last four events, Dixon moved past Doug Kalitta and into second place in the POWERade Series standings.
The win was the 26th of Schumacher's career. Schumacher's three wins at Maple Grove are the most ever by a Top Fuel driver there.
Doug Kalitta lost in the second round to Dixon and slipped into third place, 105 points behind Schumacher.
Schumacher's U.S. Army crew earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.
Tony Pedregon ended a nearly two-year absence from the winner's circle with his victory over former team owner John Force, pedaling to a 6.349 at 191.02 against Force's 8.339 at 125.82.
Pedregon and his Q Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo skidded and twisted down the track, but kept it between the guard wall and the center line to take the win light over a tire-spinning Force, who drives the Castrol Syntec GTX Ford Mustang.
Pedregon last won at Las Vegas II during the 2003 season which saw him win the POWERade Series championship as a member of Team Force. He started his own race team the following year and the Toyo Tires Nationals marked his second final round and his first victory as a team owner.
Pedregon's victory was the 28th of his career.
Force, meanwhile, pulled to within 31 points of Gary Scelzi in the POWERade Series standings as the NHRA icon stalks his 14th world championship.
Scelzi was ousted in the semifinals by Pedregon, but by virtue of his second-round win over Robert Hight and the Automobile Club of Southern California Ford Mustang, the driver of the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus extended his lead in the points standings from a single point to 26 over Hight. Rounding out the top five are Eric Medlen (76 points back) and Ron Capps (82 points back).
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
Scelzi's Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus crew earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.
Greg Anderson, of Concord, N.C., extended his points lead to 176 over Kurt Johnson with his first victory at Maple Grove Raceway. He turned in a 6.721 pass at 205.19 in his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO to nip Jim Yates (6.771 at 204.57).
It was Anderson's second consecutive win and his seventh in nine final round appearances in 2005.
The win for Anderson leaves just one track on the circuit that has kept the 2004 Driver of the Year out of the winner's circle, Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. Anderson will get another crack at Route 66 when the NHRA returns to Chicago for the Ameriquest Nationals Sept. 29-Oct. 2.
Anderson's Summit Racing teammate Jason Line earned his third career No. 1 qualifier and first of 2005. He was beaten in the quarterfinals by Larry Morgan.
The victory was Anderson's seventh of the season and the 38th of his career.
Anderson's Summit Racing Pontiac GTO crew earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.
Dave Howard earned the Motel 6 "Who Got the Light" award by defeating Ron Krisher by a .0022-second margin of victory in the first round of eliminations.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
The winningest woman in NHRA POWERade Series racing extended her career win total to 37 with a 7.139 pass at 191.84 in her U.S. Army Suzuki to speed by Ryan Schnitz (7.459 at 181.13).
Top qualifier Andrew Hines retained his series points lead over his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammate GT Tonglet despite being trailered by the eventual winner in the semifinals. Hines beat Tonglet in the quarterfinal round and extended what was a 17-point lead entering the week to 42.
Sampey moved into third place, 149 points back of Hines.
Hines qualified at No. 1 for the ninth time this season and the 17th time in his career. With two more No. 1 qualifiers in the final two Pro Stock Motorcycle events (Las Vegas II and Pomona II), Hines would match the NHRA POWERade Series single-season record of 11 (in Pro Stock Motorcycle) set by his brother, Matt.
Hines' Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson's crew earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship.