ENNIS, Texas -- Post race notes from the 20th annual O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec, Oct. 6-9, Texas Motorplex.
Tony Schumacher, of Long Grove, Ill. moved into position to clinch a second consecutive POWERade world championship title when he raced down the Texas quarter-mile in his U.S. Army dragster to a winning performance of 4.523 seconds at 331.77 mph. Larry Dixon and Doug Kalitta, Schumacher's closest competitors in the championship chase, posted second-round exits and remain second and third, respectively.
The defending event winner defeated No. 1 qualifier Doug Herbert, who piloted his Snap-on Tools dragster to a run of 4.629 at 320.05. It was Herbert's third No. 1 qualifying position of his career. Herbert also posted a track-record ET run of 4.441 during the weekend.
The victory was Schumacher's seventh of the season and the 28th of his career, placing him fifth on the list of all-time Top Fuel wins. He needs only to make a qualifying attempt at the next event, in Las Vegas, to win his third crown. Schumacher also won the Series' championship in 1999.
It was Schumacher's third consecutive win and fifth consecutive final-round appearance. He can tie two long-standing NHRA Top Fuel records by reaching the final round and winning in Las Vegas.
Herbert's Snap-on Tools crew earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.
Thirteen-time world champion John Force, of Yorba Linda, Calif., reclaimed the lead in the tightest Funny Car points chase in NHRA history with his 119th career win, his seventh at the Motorplex.
Force raced to a solo pass of 4.797 at 324.05 in his Castrol GTX Start Up Ford Mustang to officially defeat the resurgent Frank Pedregon, whose Toyo Tires Dodge Stratus R/T broke on the starting line.
Force now holds a 36-point advantage over former frontrunner Gary Scelzi, who fouled out for only the second time in his nine-year career in the first round of eliminations.
Ron Capps, who broke a five-year drought by qualifying No. 1 for the seventh time in his career, was defeated by the eventual runner-up finisher in the second round.
Capps is now third in the standings, 57 points behind the leader.
Tony Pedregon's Q-Racing Chevy Monte Carlo crew earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.
Greg Anderson, of Concord, N.C., solidified his bid for a third consecutive Pro Stock world championship title when he cruised to a 6.690 at 206.61 behind the wheel of his Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GTO to earn his eighth win of the season and the 39th of his career.
After a lengthy burndown, Anderson defeated teammate Jason Line, who stopped the clocks at 6.713 at 206.48 in his own Summit Racing Equipment GTO.
Anderson holds a 244-point lead over Kurt Johnson. Line is third, 285 points behind Anderson. To clinch his third consecutive world championship, Anderson needs to qualify eighth or better at Las Vegas.
In addition to Dallas, Anderson has chalked up victories at Memphis, Indianapolis and Reading. Line won at Chicago.
Anderson was the No. 1 qualifier for the sixth time of 2005 and the 39th of his career.
Bruce Allen and Kenny Koretsky escaped major injuries after a spectacular crash during the second round of qualifying on Friday. Allen's Reher-Morrison Pontiac went out of control and veered into the path of Koretsky's Nitro Fish Dodge Stratus in the left lane, where the two cars collided. Both drivers were conscious and alert following the accident, were transported to a Dallas hospital as a precaution and later released.
Jeg Coughlin defeated Richie Stevens by a .0043-second margin of victory in the first round of Pro Stock eliminations to claim the Motel 6 "Who Got the Light" award.
Anderson's Summit Racing Equipment GTO crew earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.