The Vegas AC Delco race report is here

Oct. 30, 2004 Big Bud Shootout .......................(Wilson reporting and Wilson and King photos)

With tight timelines dictated by ESPN2's television schedule, the Big Bud Shootout for Top Fuel is being run on a 90-minute between rounds format, instead of the normal two or three hours between qualifying
sessions. Hence, we're ready for the second round of the shootout an hour before the rest of the fuel cars return to the staging lanes.

The first round of the shootout saw only one side by side race (Bernstein vs McClenathan) and lots of tire smoke, but with four of the smartest tuners in drag racing butting heads (and budgets) in this semifinal round (Tim Richards, Alan Johnson, Dick Lahaie and the collective Kalitta braintrust), the performances could be spectacular.





First up in round two is the umpteenth "Battle of the Beers", with Bernstein holding lane choice over the luckiest man in Vegas, Larry Dixon. After a season of mediocre reaction times, young Bernstein leaves first for the second
time today, but fails to convert the holeshot into victory, losing by 12 thousandths of a second to Dixon's very strong and consistent 4.554 pass. And the fairytale continues for the Miller Lite entry.

In the other matchup, Aussie Dave keeps the car hooked up for the full 1320 and converts a solid 4.550 into a final round ticket and lane choice, which has not really been an issue all weekend. After losing two of his three shootout entries in the first round, Connie Kalitta must be smiling broadly now.

the final segment of the Shooutout broadcast scheduled between 3:30 and 4:00, we'll be back during the final session of Top Fuel qualifying with the Dixon vs. Grubnic "Brawl for it all" details. The early betting line has Dixon favoured, for the calm, consistent demeanor of Lahaie over the "rotate the earth... twice" philosophy of Kamp Kalitta.

How wrong were we? After my brave pronouncement about the respective tuning philosphies of the competitors and the cinderella story of Larry Dixon overcoming all the hurdles and very long odds to make the final, all we need is the story to finish the way all good fairy tales do. Not!

Two hundred feet into his run, Dixon blazes the tires and Grubnic booms out his best numbers of the weekend (so far) with an excellent 4.50 at 328 mph to win the Shootout, the glory, the $100,000 and finally see an NHRA winner's circle from the inside looking out. Good on ya' Dave; you've made all Australians proud and perked up the spirits in the Kalitta Kompound, as it appears the top three spots on tomorrow's
eliminations ladder are held by Kalitta cars.

Oct. 28, 2004 Thursday night Bud shootout Wildcard and seedings draw..........

Here are the pairings for the "Shootout at the 'Strip".

#1 Doug Kalitta vs 'Wildcard' Larry Dixon

#2 Tony Schumacher vs #7 Doug Herbert

#3 Scott Kalitta vs #6 David Grubnic

#4 Cory Mac vs #5 Brandon Bernstein

There was a little controversy on the selection of Dixon as well, since it was reported in a Vegas daily, that Dixon would not be allowed to compete, since he as the driver (supposed to be mandatory) would not be present at the draw held at the "Rock". He and his team were at another function in Vegas.

This is from Bob Wilson who was at the event Thursday night

Ted Yerzyk - PR manager for Snake Racing sat up
on stage in Larry's place. According to him, "An accomodation was made earlier in the day by NHRA to allow a representative to take Dixon's place on stage" No politics there for sure. But even after Dixon's name was drawn, Brandon B. was still smiling; not sure about Kenny, and Cheryl and Susie Arnold and all the Anheuser-Busch people though. There is some history between those brands/teams isn't there?

Larry Dixon beat out 7 other drivers for the right to take on #1 Doug Kalitta in round one of the Budweiser Shootout. Doug was the only driver guaranteed a seeding in the new format. The other wild card participants included: Scott Weis, Rhonda Hartman-Smith, Darrell Russell, John Smith, David Baca, Brady Kalivoda and Clay Millican. Dixon was actually in the #8 spot in qualifying, so he got his spot back in making the field.

Tony and Doug Herbert stayed in the same spot as their qualifying position's. Grubnic got dropped down to the #6 spot, Scott Kalitta moved up to #3 from #5, Cory moved from #6 to #4 and Brandon moved down from #4 to #5.

Here was the placings for the chance at the Shootout

01 Doug Kalitta 3395

Shootout seedings (Drivers #2 through 7 will be drawn for position in field)

02 Tony Schumacher 3325
03 David Grubnic 3180
04 Brandon Bernstein 3150
05 Scott Kalitta 3105
06 Cory McClenathan 2775
07 Doug Herbert 2765

Wild Card drivers (one entry from #'s 8-15)

08 Larry Dixon
09 Scott Weis
10 Rhonda Hartman-Smith
11 John Smith
12 David Baca
13 Brady Kalivoda
14 Morgan Lucas
15 Mike Strasberg

Bud Shootout Thursday night: Hard Rock Cafe bash

Left, Hubba Hubba. Right,Chris, you're looking way too serious



Left, the drawees. Right, Brandon and Mr. Frey

Left, Scott smozzin THE bud girl. Right, What I say


Brandon the boyz











































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