BAYTOWN, Texas --
Bob Vandergriff Jr. (Top Fuel), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event near Houston.
Two-time Funny Car world champion Pedregon powered his Snap-on Tools Toyota Camry to the win over Tim Wilkerson to take his 32nd career victory.
Pedregon, who serves as the driver and crew chief for his team, covered the distance in 4.246 seconds at 296.96 mph to defeat Wilkerson's trailing Levi Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang, which lost traction in the finals and ran 6.914 at 102.28. With the win, Pedregon moves into the series points lead, 37 in front of Matt Hagan.
This is the second career victory at Royal Purple Raceway (also 1992) and he knows that the success they are having this season wouldn't be possible without a full team effort.
"I had to whack my crew chief just once because he went over-center a bit on the tune-up for the first round, but after that everything was good," said a smiling Pedregon, who beat Terry Haddock, Bob Tasca and Alexis DeJoria in earlier rounds. "It takes a totally different mindset to run a 4.18 and a pair of 4.20s like we did today, and we did some things to the car that we've never done before. It was a great weekend all around."
"After qualifying, winning this race was the farthest thing from my mind," said Vandergriff, who outran defending world champ Antron Brown, Larry Dixon and Morgan Lucas to advance to his 16th career final round. "We just started picking away and got to the point where we made a great run in the final. We had 700 people here with our sponsor, C&J Energy Services, and they were all cheering us on. We couldn't have written a better script for this. It was a total team effort. I have a lot of faith in my crew chiefs, Rob Flynn, Kurt Elliott, and Mike Guger; we have great leadership here."
Points leader Tony Schumacher suffered a rare first round loss, but retains the points lead and Langdon moves to third in points on the strength of his runner-up finish.
In Pro Stock, Line raced his Summit Racing Chevy Camaro to his second win at Royal Purple Raceway and his first of the year with a holeshot victory over Shane Gray. Both drivers covered the distance at 6.589 seconds, but the .007 reaction time of Line gave him an advantage over the .055 reaction time of Gray, who drove his Gray Motorsports Camaro.
This is his 30th win of his career and was his first win of the season and the first since the second Charlotte race in 2012. He defeated Matt Hartford, local favorite Erica Enders-Stevens and Jeg Coughlin in the first three rounds. With the win he moves to fifth in points.
"The big difference this weekend is that we made six good runs in a row, and the car responded well to the changes in our tune-up," Line said. "That's the first time we've been able to do that in a while."
Arana Jr. recorded his third straight win of the year in Pro Stock Motorcycle with a final round performance of 6.912 at 194.74 on his Lucas Oil Buell to defeat Scotty Pollacheck, who was in his first final round and ran 6.985 at 188.54 on his Sovereign Star Buell. Arana Jr. becomes just the third racer in Pro Stock Motorcycle history to win the first three events of the season, joining Matt Hines and Dave Schultz as the only drivers to accomplish the feat.
The Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues with the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, May 3-5 at Atlanta Dragway.
Sunday's final results from the 26th annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Royal Purple Raceway. The race is the sixth of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series-
Top Fuel -- Bob Vandergriff, 3.904 seconds, 316.38 mph def. Shawn Langdon, 8.485 seconds, 74.90 mph.
Funny Car -- Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.246, 296.96 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 6.914, 102.08.
Pro Stock -- Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.589, 211.99 def. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.589, 211.26.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.912, 194.74 def. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.985, 188.54.
Top Alcohol Dragster -- Randy Meyer, 5.366, 271.90 def. Jim Whiteley, 5.466, 221.27.
Top Alcohol Funny Car -- Tony Bartone, Ford Mustang, 5.591, 263.56 def. John Lombardo Jr., Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.629, 261.52.
Pro Modified -- Clint Satterfield, Chevy Camaro, 6.015, 246.75 def. Kenny Lang, Chevy Corvette, foul.
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