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June 14, 2004 (photos by Guy Van Syckle)

Top Fuel........Top Fuel like Funny Car proved to be much better than expected at Columbus, especially with a newly resurfaced 1/4 mile that has not seen alot of rubber on it. The teams adjusted very well and the fans saw a 330 mph lap and a 4.40 pass, neither of which has ever happened before. Six guys went faster this year than ever before at this event and Brandon Bernstein's 4.489 shattered the old record set by Doug Kalitta last year. His effort went for naught though, when he lost in round one to Mitch King. His #1 spot in the standings also ended with that 1st round loss. Tony Schumacher re-took the lead by virtue of his r/u finish. Darrell Russell got his first win of the year and first in a few years, giving team owner Joe Amato a nice birthday present. His 4.56 - 4.60 victory over Schmacher moved him up to 4th from 7th in the standings. The biggest point loser on the weekend was Cory Mac who failed to qualify for the first time three years and for only the fifth time in his career he has not raced on Sunday. He dropped from 4th to 6th in the standings. The next race is this weekend at Englishtown, where big numbers are expected to be put up on the scoreboards.

Funny Car...........Cruz Pedregon took the "Pedregon Bros." team to the next level in performance with his first #1 qualifying effort in like four or five years, a feat he probably could not have imagined without his brother Tony and the tuning of Dickie Venables. His effort went unrewarded though as he was taken out in the first round by #16 qualifier (sound like Top Fuel?) Jerry Toliver. Whit Bazemore's three race winning streak ended and the second three race winner emerged as Del Worsham won for the first time since the third race of the year (Gainesville) to move ahead of team Force just one round back of Bazemore. Gary Scelzi was the r/u and moved up to 5th place in the standings. Eric Medlen is slowly showing his consistency with another late round finish. His efforts have put him in 3rd place 25 points ahead of the 'Boss', and 137 points in front of Tony 'P'.

Pro Stock....... Not much to say other than Greg Anderson qualified #1 and won the race. The Vegas Construction Grand Am ran a track record 6.790 (the only guy to run in the 70's). He was only testing once in elimination's and that was in the second round against friend and rival Kurt Johnson. Kurt was only slower by .009 but red lit away his chances. In the final round, he took out Dave Connolly who was in his second final round of the year but a 6.854 to 6.937 in Pro Stock is too much of a horsepower advantage when most lights are sub .050. The win was his 8th in 9 final rounds out of 10 events. His point lead is a mind boggling 378 points when in the other pro classes there is not that many points between the top ten. Very impressive, and very disturbing at the same time.

Final elimination's: Pro Stock Bike.........The reign of dominance by the Japanese Bikes in the class looks to be over. While the four cylinders brothers are not out of the picture, the new age in the class is the best possible change for a class that was on the verge of becoming stale and possibly extinct will the fans. An American bike in an American racing series... What a novel concept! And now there is a second American bike.......The Buell! Star Racing introduced the Buell to NHRA Drag racing this past weekend at Columbus and it was a start that almost did not happen. The transporter for George Bryce and the "Star Racing Team" apparently had mechanical problems on the way to the race and they had to scramble to make it. It's debut was very impressive though, as Fred Collis qualified "America's Latest Creation" in the # 2 spot with a 7.127 @ 183.72. That effort awarded the team with the "Best Engineered" award. The teams awesome weekend ended in the first round with Collis having problems at the start of his first round match-up with Keith Dennis. The other American bike, the V-twin Harley's ridden by Vance and Hines team members Andrew Hines and GT Tonglet ended up with the Hard ware. Hine's won his second event of the year from the #1 qualifying spot as he defeated Steve Johnson who was in his first final of the year. The win extends his point lead to more than one full race in front of second place rider and team mate GT Tonglet. The other big bike news of the weekend was Karen Stoffer's wild ride after coming off her bike just past the finish line. She skidded to a stop on her belly but did not suffer any serious injuries and actually tried to qualify on Antron Brown's back-up bike.

June 11, 2004

The weather played a big part in Fridays scheduling, with the racing delayed until late in the afternoon. That meant that the Alcohol classes got the shaft as usual and only Comp got a hit in on Friday. The four pro class all made their scheduled two runs on Friday with qualifying ended late in the evening.

Pro Stock Bike: Andrew Hines leads after the first two rounds of qualifying at Columbus Ohio. The Harley rider ran a 7.140 best to sit just ahead of Geno Scali who sits #2 with a 7.152. Angelle is looking to get the past weeks personal problems behind her and here #3 7.185 is a good Start. Of note, Karen Stoffer took a bit of a ride just past the finish line at here front wheel locked up and she flew over the front of the bike sliding on here stomach for a couple hundred feet before coming to a halt . She did not suffer any real injuries and is hoping to contract another bike to finish qualifying Saturday.

1. Andrew Hines Screamin' Eagle Harley 7.140 189.39
2. Geno Scali Trim-Tex Suzuki 7.152 185.31
3. Angelle Savoie US Army Suzuki 7.185 183.77
4. GT Tonglet Screamin' Eagle Harley 7.206 184.77
5. Antron Brown US Army Suzuki 7.207 183.17

Pro Stock is much the same as the first nine events of 2004, with the Vegas Construction team and driver Greg Anderson leading, with a track record 6.822/201.10 best. Larry Morgan is right at his heels after posting a 6.828 in the final Friday session.

1. Greg Anderson 6.822 201.10
2. Larry Morgan 6.828 201.49
3. Rickie Smith 6.838 201.37
4. Kurt Johnson 6.849 201.37
5. Dave Connolly 6.851 201.16

Funny Car saw Whit Bazemore rip off a new track record 4.774/325.92. Both marks are well under the old records at the newly resurfaced aging facility. Burkart sits #2 with a 4.826 and Tim Wilkerson is #3 with a 4.858. John Force and team mate Gary Densham have both struggled in qualifying, but at in the field. Only 17 cars have made qualifying attempts.

1. Whit Bazemore 4.774 325.92
2. Phil Burkart 4.826 319.82
3. Tim Wilkerson 4.858 315.86
4. Del Worsham 4.867 312.64
5. Bob Gilbertson 4.869 316.82
6. Eric Medlen 4.886 316.90
7. Gary Scelzi 4.907 309.27
8. Ron Capps 4.913 299.73

Top Fuel qualifying did not seem to be too drastically affected by the new surface at National Trail Raceways; at least the top half were not affected. Leading the pack is Brandon Bernstein running the first ever 4.4 second lap at the Pontiac Excitement Nationals. He ripped off a 4.489 in the final session under the lights. Tony Schumacher could not improve on his first round 4.511 Doug Herbert seems to have found a solid tune-up in the last few events as he went 4.540 and then 4.520 in the night run to sit #3. Doug Kalitta is at the back of the pack, as he struggled on both his attempts. Hopefully two more rounds get in the books today.


1. Brandon Bernstein 4.489@ 328.86
2. Tony Schumacher 4.511 327.03
3. Doug Herbert 4.520 323.58
4. Scott Kalitta 4.530 330.39
5. Bob Vandergriff Dragster 4.549 322.58
6. Rhonda Hartman-Smith 4.649 317.87
7. Scott Weis 4.651 320.13
8. John Smith 4.664 310.48

Sportsman qualifying:


1 213 A/AP David Eaton, Merritt Island FL, '32 Bantam 6.912 7.53 -0.618
2 38 B/A Ed Bennett III, Carleton MI, '99 Neon 7.197 7.78 -0.583
3 15 F/D Al Ackerman, Saddle Brook NJ, ProStart-Che 8.190 8.77 -0.580
4 21 E/EA Glen Treadwell, Sorrento FL, '23-T Ford 8.524 9.07 -0.546
5 1890 A/AA Michael Hanratty, Cromwell CT, '32 Bantam 6.877 7.41 -0.533
6 2125 E/AA Tony Stephenson, Willow Sprg NC, '02 Chevy 7.976 8.50 -0.524
7 106 A/SR Vinny Barone, Dix Hills NY, '34 Chevy 8.109 8.63 -0.521
8 4 A/EA David Rampy, Piedmont AL, '32 Bantam 7.475 7.99 -0.515
9 3535 A/ND David Dupps, Germantown OH, Dragster-Chevy 7.146 7.65 -0.504
10 3151 F/A Ian Landies Jr, Chardon OH, '02 Cavalier 8.301 8.80 -0.499

Super Stock:

1 3122 GT/EA Joey Wilkes, Zanesville OH, '92 Camaro 9.773 10.95 -1.177
2 361 SS/BM Bo Butner III, Floyds Knobs IN, '02 Grand 8.549 9.70 -1.151
3 10 SS/CM John Coughlin, Delaware OH, '04 Cavalier 8.824 9.95 -1.126
4 3018 GT/MA Ken Sharp, Middletown OH, '90 Eldorado 10.934 12.05 -1.116
5 5517 GT/G Justin Jenkins, Marysville KS, '02 Cavalier 9.980 11.05 -1.070
6 312 SS/GA Mike Smith, Mineral Wells WV, '68 Camaro 9.780 10.85 -1.070
7 3154 GT/K Gary Russell, E. Sparta OH, '98 Camaro 10.336 11.40 -1.064
8 3176 GT/HA Dave Layer, Dayton OH, '87 Camaro 10.292 11.35 -1.058
9 1707 GT/EA Jim Boburka, Coraopolis PA, '99 Firebird 9.896 10.95 -1.054
10 3028 GT/HA Jerry Silveus, Van Buren OH, '00 Firebird 10.301 11.35 -1.049

Stock :

1 3059 B/SA John Foxbower, Franklin OH, '68 Mustang 10.433 11.55 -1.117
2 1967 H/SA Jim Marshall, Scottsville NY, '80 Corvette 11.346 12.45 -1.104
3 31 G/FIA Steve Sullivan, West Chester OH, '88 Musta 12.049 13.15 -1.101
4 3340 G/SA Chuck Beach, Delaware OH, '69 Barracuda 11.220 12.30 -1.080
5 2808 A/FI Bobby Warren, Clinton NC, '97 Firebird 10.170 11.25 -1.080
6 3651 L/SA Bob Gere, Salem WI, '71 Gran Sport 11.935 13.00 -1.065
7 3852 I/SA Dave Edwards, Washington Ct Hs OH, '78 Tra 11.543 12.60 -1.057
8 3125 A/FIA Joey Wilkes, Zanesville OH, '02 Firebird 10.265 11.30 -1.035
9 3850 G/FI Lewis Conkey, London OH, '88 Camaro 12.134 13.15 -1.016
10 3656 E/FIA Bruce Witherspoon, Lansing MI, '90 Corvette11.595 12.60 -1.005


Columbus Professional winners. Click on any picture to get to the Pro photo gallery




















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