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Mon, 17 Sep 2007, 09:48 AM

20th annual O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals Post Race Notes
Courtesy of NHRA Communications





MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- Post race notes from the 20th annual O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals, Sept. 14-16, Memphis Motorsports Park.

TOP FUEL

Melanie Troxel won her second event of the season in her third final round appearance of 2007, driving her Vietnam Veterans/POW-MIA dragster to a 4.728-second finish at 313.22 mph. It is Troxel's fourth career victory.

Doug Herbert finished second in his fourth final round appearance this in his Snap-On Tools dragster, moving him to fifth in the POWERade point standings, one spot below the cutoff spot for the Countdown to Four.

Top Fuel pilot Luigi Novelli was the only driver who failed to qualify for the 16 racer show.

It was a tough 1st round for many drivers in the Countdown to the Championship as Larry Dixon, Bob Vandergriff, and No.1 qualifier and No.1 in the points heading into Memphis Tony Schumacher all fell.

Other notable first round losses include: Cory McClenathan, Memphis native Clay Millican, Doug Kalitta, Hillary Will, and Morgan Lucas.

Even with his first round loss, Schumacher remained 1st in the POWERade point standings leaving Memphis.

Countdown to the Champion contenders Rod Fuller and J.R. Todd both fell in the second round.

Tony Schumacher earned the Technicoat Top Fuel Shootout award for qualifying No. 1 in his U.S. Army dragster with a performance of 4.548 at 328.54. It is Schumacher's ninth No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 44th of his career.

Schumacher and his U.S. Army dragster crew also earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.

FUNNY CAR

Gary Scelzi drove his Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger to his third season win and 36th career win in Funny Car.

Scelzi piloted his machine to a 4.886 at 314.61 run over teammate Jack Beckman, narrowly defeating Beckman by .001 seconds, moving Scelzi to the fourth and cut off spot in the POWERade point standings in the Countdown to the Championship.

With his runner-up finish, Beckman moved from fifth to second in the point standings, only 53 points behind first place Robert Hight.

Hight kept himself in the No.1 spot in the Countdown with a semifinal finish.

A tough first round hurt Countdown contender Tony Pedregon, as he fell to third place point leader heading into the event Ron Capps. Other first round losses include: Jeff Arend, Scott Kalitta, Cruz Pedregon, Jerry Toliver, Ashley Force, Gary Densham, and Kenny Bernstein.

Second round action was rough for a few other Countdown contenders with both John Force and Ron Capps failing to reach the semifinals.

It was a tough week for many drivers in the Countdown to the Championship, as both Mike Ashley and Jim Head failed to qualify for the field. Tim Wilkerson was also unable to make the show.

Robert Hight drove his Auto Club Ford Mustang to the No.1 qualifying position, with a 4.762 sec. 320.36 mph run. It was Hight's seventh No.1 qualifier of the season, 22nd of his career, and third straight at Memphis Motorsports Park.

Hight and his Auto Club Ford Mustang crew also earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.

PRO STOCK

Dave Connolly earned his third win in a row with a 6.648-second run at 207.59 mph over Greg Anderson. The win helped secure Connolly's No.1 spot in the POWERade point standings.

Anderson collected his third runner-up finish of the season in his 10th final round appearance.

First round was tough on many Countdown contenders, with Kurt Johnson, Jason Line, and Allen Johnson all losing. Other first round losses include: Greg Stanfield, Curt Hankinson, V Gaines, Mike Edwards, and Ron Krisher.

Second round was tough for two Countdown contenders, as both Larry Morgan and Warren Johnson failed to make the semis.

It was a big day for Max Naylor and his Jagermeister Dodge Stratus, as a run of 6.594 sec. at 207.37 not only gave him the track record for time, but also the No.1 qualifying position. It's Naylors second of the season and his career.

Greg Anderson and his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO crew earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE

Andrew Hines grabbed his fourth win of the season in his fifth final round appearance and third consecutive win at Memphis Motorsports Park with a 6.917-second run at 192.91 mph over Steve Johnson.

With his victory, Hines moved ahead of Matt Smith to the No.1 spot in the POWERade point standings.

Many drivers in the Countdown to the Championship fell in the first round, including points leader Matt Smith, Karen Stoffer, and Angelle Sampey. Other first round losses include: Berry Henson, Geno Scali, Chris Rivas, Mike Berry, and Antron Brown.

Second round saw two Countdown drivers fall as both Eddie Krawiec and No.1 qualifier Chip Ellis fell.

Notable DNQs included: Michael Phillips, Shawn Gann, Joe DeSantis, Jim Randolph, and Michael Ray.

Chip Ellis and his Drag Specialties S&S Buell were fast all week, setting a track record for speed and time with a run of 6.892 sec. at 193.21 mph, collecting his third No.1 qualifier of the season and 10th of his career.

Ellis and his Drag Specialties S&S Buell crew also earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.





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