This spot for your company
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
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
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
1. Brandon Bernstein 4.489@ 328.86
1 213 A/AP David Eaton, Merritt Island FL, '32 Bantam
6.912 7.53 -0.618
1 3122 GT/EA Joey Wilkes, Zanesville OH, '92 Camaro 9.773 10.95 -1.177
1 3059 B/SA John Foxbower, Franklin OH, '68 Mustang 10.433 11.55