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Wed, 9 Nov 2005, 12:37 AM

2005 NHRA POWERade World Champions Crowned in the Desert
Courtesy of NHRA Communications
Photo copyright 2005 Auto Imagery, Inc.


Hines, Anderson, Schumacher, and Scelzi
Tony Schumacher headlined four world-championship-winning drivers crowned Monday evening during the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series awards ceremony at the spectacular Westin Mission Hills Resort near Palm Springs.

The three other NHRA POWERade world champions - Gary Scelzi, Greg Anderson and Andrew Hines -- also were presented checks and trophies for their achievements in their respective pro categories as the NHRA closed the curtain on the 2005 season.

Schumacher, who had a record-setting season behind the wheel of his U.S. Army dragster, received a check for $400,000 from NHRA and POWERade for his second consecutive and third overall Top Fuel world championship.

Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus driver Scelzi, who held off Ron Capps and John Force in the closest Funny Car world championship chase in NHRA history, also received a check from NHRA and POWERade for $400,000. Scelzi, a three-time Top Fuel champ, joins legendary driver Kenny Bernstein as the only drivers to win season titles in both nitro categories.

Anderson earned $200,000 for earning his third consecutive NHRA POWERade Pro Stock title in his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO. Hines, rider of the Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson, was presented a $50,000 check from NHRA and POWERade for claiming his second consecutive Pro Stock Motorcycle world championship.

Robert Hight
Funny Car driver Robert Hight won the $20,000 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award, which recognizes NHRA's rookie of the year. A distinguished panel of auto racing journalists selected Hight, who won two races in four final-round appearances and claimed six No. 1 qualifying positions en route to a fourth-place finish in the POWERade Funny Car point standings behind the wheel of his Auto Club Ford Mustang. Other nominees included Jack Beckman in Top Fuel, Chip Ellis in Pro Stock Motorcycle and Erica Enders in Pro Stock.

Pontiac earned the NHRA Manufacturer's Cup for the ninth time. Don Schumacher was presented Pro Owner's Cups for being the winning team owner in both the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories, while Ken Black was awarded the Pro Owner's Cup for the Pro Stock championship.

The future stars of the sport, drivers in seven categories in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, also were recognized as 2005 champions: Steve Torrence (Top Alcohol Dragster); Bob Newberry (Top Alcohol Funny Car); Jeff Taylor (Competition Eliminator); Hugh Meeks III (Super Stock); Peter Biondo (Stock Eliminator); Gary Stinnett (Super Comp) and Ray Sawyer (Super Gas).

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