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Mon, Nov 9, 06:44 AM

Gray Clinches Pacific Division Championship
Courtesy of NHRA Marketing

FIREBIRD INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, CHANDLER, AZ -- Johnny Gray held on to the Pacific Division Federal-Mogul Funny Car points lead and locked up the 1998 Championship when John Weaver kicked the rods out of his motor and lost to Bucky Austin in a semi-final match up. Gray went on to meet up with Austin in the Funny Car final with Austin taking the win with a pass of 5.814 seconds at 243.85 mph.

"We had a good day," said Gray of the championship. "It could have been a little better if we'd taken the win, but the championship is what's important."

Austin ran quicker and faster throughout the day but still felt as though the car had more to give. "We were looking for a high number in the miles per hour. We'll take the win, though," said Austin after the win. This was Austin's first divisional win this year to go along with his three national event wins (Seattle, Sonoma, and Brainerd) earlier this year.

Rick Henkelman recorded runs of 5.53, 5.51 and 5.51 seconds in going from the number one qualifying position to the Winner's Circle for the win in Federal-Mogul Dragster. Henkelman's 5.514 second pass at 253.95 miles per hour held off a starting line advantage from number two qualifier Mark Woods Jr. Woods had a 0.479 reaction time with a 5.742 at 233.68 mph run. Henkelman finishes the year in seconds in the Pacific Division and is currently fourth in national points going into Pomona for the final race of the year.

Tim Landis of Glendale, Ariz., clinched the Pacific Division Championship in the Super Street category while Luke Shumard of Santa Clara, Calif. and Chuck Rayburn of Castro Valley, Calif. took the Championships in Super Comp. and Stock Eliminator respectively.

The Super Stock National Championship came down to the final where Dan Fletcher faced off against Jimmy DeFrank. Fletcher took the win and the Federal-Mogul Championship by one one-thousandth of a second. Gary Stinett clinched the national championship in Super Comp., while Jimmy Lewis took home the trophy in the Super Gas category.

Final results Sunday from the final event in the 1998 NHRA Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series listing driver, hometown, state, vehicle, elapsed time in seconds, and speed in mile per hour:

FEDERAL-MOGUL DRAGSTER -- Rick Henkelman, San Jose, CA, 5.811 seconds, 221.18 mph def. Mark Woods Jr., Kingsburg, CA, 5.742 e.t., 233.68 mph.

FEDERAL-MOGUL FUNNY CAR -- Bucky Austin, Fife, WA, '97 Firebird, 5.814 e.t., 243.85 mph def. Johnny Gray, Carlsbad, NM, '98 Firebird, 5.820 e.t., 248.02 mph.

COMPETITION -- Santo Volpe, Ecuclid, OH, '34 Roadster, 8.220 e.t., 144.78 mph def. David Rampy, Piedmont, Al, '34 Roadster, 11.232 e.t., 76.18 mph

SUPER STOCK -- Dan Fletcher, Roadchester, NY, '69 Chevy, 10.626 e.t., 122.83 mph def. Jimmy DeFrank, Tarzana, CA, '89 Camaro, 10.459 e.t., 122.47.

STOCK -- Darin Grossi, Soulsbyville, CA, '71 Barracuda, 10.612 e.t., 123.69 mph def. Scotty Richardson, Goodlettsville, TN, '69 Camaro, 11.449 e.t., 108.59 mph.

SUPER COMP -- Bob Fuller, Rodgers, AR, '97 Undercover, 9.001 e.t., 155.90 mph def. Damon Dabbs, Garland, TX, '98 Dragster, 9.024 e.t., 146.85 mph.

SUPER GAS -- Ed DeStaute, Rosemead, CA, '77 Vega, 9.984 e.t., 134.86 mph def. Jim Huges, Phoenix, AZ, '98 Corvette, 9.958 e.t., 139.65 mph.

SUPER STREET -- Jeff Taylor, Evans, CO, '66 Nova, 10.995 e.t., 130.99 mph def. Kevin May, Phoenix, AZ, '70 Mustang, 10.956 e.t., 123.67 mph.

SUPER ELIMINATOR -- Larry Winte, Garden Grove, CA, '88 Weddle, 8.249 e.t., 127.35 mph def. Clydell J. Bowen, Preston, AZ, '93 Dragster, 8.446 e.t., 156.86 mph.

MOTORCYCLE ET -- Sean Conner, Boulder City, NV, Kawasaki, 9.361 e.t. 123.17 mph def. Steve Kleinberg, Scottsdale, AZ, '85 Suzuki, 10.404 e.t., 127.22 mph.

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