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Wed, 5 Sep 2007, 07:58 AM

Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Post-Race Notes
Courtesy of NHRA Communications

CLERMONT, Ind. -- Post-race notes from the 53rd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Aug. 29 - Sept. 3, O'Reilly Raceway Park.


Tony Schumacher, of Chicago, claimed his 40th career victory by powering his U.S. Army dragster to a commanding win over Larry Dixon's Skytel dragster. Schumacher posted a winning performance of 4.575 seconds at 331.94 mph to Dixon's 4.748 at 268.44.

The win was the 40th in Schumacher's career, tying him interestingly enough with Larry Dixon for 10th on the NHRA POWERade Series' all-time wins list.

This was Schumacher's sixth win in the last eight years at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals

With the victory, Schumacher moved past Rod Fuller into first place in the POWERade Series standings. Dixon ends the day in second place, three points ahead of Fuller and 55 points ahead of fourth-place Brandon Bernstein.

Cory McClenathan's FRAM dragster team team claimed the Motel 6 "Who Got the Light" award on the strength of their .0056-second win over Morgan Lucas in the first round of Top Fuel eliminations.

Tony Schumacher earned the 43rd No. 1 qualifying position of his career - and eighth of this season - with his 4.477-second pass at 333.66 mph on Friday night.

Rod Fuller's Caterpillar dragster team won the Full Throttle Pit Crew challenge award.


Mike Ashley ran a 4.894 at 323.74 in his Torco Dodge Charger to defeat Robert Hight (8.072 at 104.28) and the Auto Club Ford Mustang, which stalled at half track.

Hight was looking for his second straight Mac Tools U.S. Nationals win.

Hight jumped from second to first place and Ashley jumped all the way from sixth place up to second place. In the race for the top four spots, Ashley exits with a 30-point margin over fourth-place Ron Capps and Hight is plus-51.

John Force suffered only his third DNQ at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals and first since 1984 (the other was in 1979). His best pass of 4.856 came in the heat of the day in Sunday's fifth and final qualifying session, but it came up .03 short of No. 16 qualifier Jon Capps (4.826).

The DNQ dropped Force from third in points all the way down to sixth in points.

Jeff Arend earned his first career No. 1 qualifying position with his 4.754-second pass at 327.51 mph.

Jack Beckman won the $100,000 Skoal Showdown in his first appearance in the race-within-a-race bonus for Funny Car drivers. He defeated Ron Capps in the all-Don Schumacher Racing final.

Jack Beckman's MTS Dodge Charger team won the Full Throttle Pit Crew challenge award.


Dave Connolly defeated Greg Anderson in a battle of the top two Pro Stock cars; Anderson had the better reaction time, but Connolly's 6.710 at 206.32 was too much for Anderson's 6.729 at 205.79.

Anderson was looking for his fourth straight win at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, but he came up one round win short and in the process he had his streak of round wins at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals snapped at 19.

Connolly won for the fifth time in 2007 and the 14th time in his career.

Connolly passed Anderson for first place in Pro Stock, finishing the day with 2,176 points to Anderson's 2,162.

Kurt Johnson made the biggest move, jumping up from sixth to fourth place, supplanting first-round loser Jeg Coughlin, who dropped from third to fifth.

Max Naylor earned his first career No. 1 qualifier with his 6.655-second pass at 206.39 mph.

Dave Connolly's Torco Chevy Cobalt crew won the Full Throttle Pit Crew challenge award.


Craig Treble (7.037 at 190.83 mph) defeated Matt Smith, who red-lighted by three-thousandths of a second, to win for the second time this season and the 11th time in his career.

Treble hung on to eighth place at the 17th and final regular season race only when outsider Matt Guidera defeated ninth-place Chris Rivas in the semifinals with Rivas within a round win of passing Treble for the last playoff spot.

With the win, Treble vaulted all the way up to second place.

Smith entered the first race of the playoffs in first place and he will go to Memphis still in first place.

Chip Ellis earned his ninth career No. 1 qualifier - and second this season - with his 6.948-second pass at 192.00 mph.

Andrew Hines defeated Chip Ellis in the $25,000 Ringers Gloves Pro Bike Battle. It was the third win in four years for Hines in the race-within-a-race for the Pro Stock Motorcycles and the fourth in a row for the Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team.

Chip Ellis's Drag Specialties S&S Buell crew won the Full Throttle Pit Crew challenge award.


Chris Shaffer, 19, of Grove City, Ohio, won the 18th round of the NHRA POWERade Series Fan Nationals. Shaffer defeated hundreds of area fans to claim the POWERade Fan Nationals victory, driving realistic POWERade Funny Car simulators. With the victory, Shaffer will have the opportunity to race for the ultimate title of 2007 POWERade Fan Nationals Series champion in November at the 43nd Annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals.

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