July 14-15, 2006

Mile High Nationals

Denver CO

 

Weekend wrap-up

Rookie J.R. Todd upset Tony Schumacher Sunday afternoon at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals to score his first NHRA POWERade Series Top Fuel victory in just his ninth career start.
Todd, who with the victory becomes the first African-American to win an NHRA Top Fuel title, never trailed in the race at Bandimere Speedway, dismissing the three-time series champion with a performance of 4.906 at 291.63 mph in his Skull Shine/Torco Race Fuels dragster to Schumacher's 4.966 at 306.33 mph in the U.S. Army dragster.


"You never expect to get your first NHRA win by outrunning Tony Schumacher in the final," Todd said. "I didn't even know how to act down there. I was stunned. To beat that team straight up is almost unbelievable. They were talking about me being the first African-American to win in Top Fuel but out here it's all equal, especially when the helmet goes on."

Gary Scelzi scored his first Funny Car win of the season to join Todd in the winner's circle of the $1.5 million race, the 13th of 23 in the 2006 season. Pro Stock winner Dave Connolly and Pro Stock Motorcycle victor Andrew Hines also won in their categories to close out a weekend that ended with three new POWERade points leaders.


Ron Capps was the only POWERade points leader to retain his top ranking through the weekend although his first-round loss to Bob Gilbertson allowed second-place runner John Force, who lost in the quarterfinals, to gain a round on him. Doug Kalitta took the Top Fuel points lead from Melanie Troxel, Line emerged with the Pro Stock lead and Hines moved in front of Angelle Sampey to regain the series lead in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Prior to this weekend, four-time champion Gary Scelzi had never even reached the final round at this event. Now Bandimere becomes the 19th different racetrack where he's won a race as he took care of Cruz Pedregon with 5.132 at 301.94 mph in his Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger to Pedregon's 5.820 at 202.82 mph in his Advance Auto Parts Chevy Monte Carlo.

"This is a tough place to race," said Scelzi of his 33rd career victory. "This weekend was the hardest we've ever had. The track temperatures were higher than anywhere we've ever been, including last year in St. Louis. To get through all that and win my first race here, especially with it being a Mopar race, it's pretty special.

"It's been a long time since I've won. You get that feeling like you're the weak link, and that's not a good feeling to have. Mike Neff (crew chief) and Jim Jannard (Oakley founder) stayed behind me and kept me pumped up. I got to the final and I just decided I wasn't going to let Cruz take it away from me."


Connolly became the first three-time winner this season in the Pro Stock class and he's moved to within 51 points of the POWERade lead. Since a DNQ in Bristol, Connolly has won three times in four finals and gone from 12th to third overall.

Top qualifier Line had the better car in this final, but Connolly's .008-second reaction time delivered a .05-second holeshot win. Connolly's 7.173 at 193.07 mph in his Skull Shine Chevy Cobalt was more than enough to hold off Line's 7.141 at 194.13 mph in his Summit Pontiac GTO, which was made irrelevant by his .093-second late start.

"If you had told me six races ago that we'd be a couple rounds out of the lead I wouldn't have believed it," Connolly said. "But ever since Atlanta when Tommy Utt came on board we've just taken it to a different level. Plus, Greg [Anderson] has stumbled a little and that's given us all a chance to catch up."


Defending back-to-back series Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Hines finally recorded a win this season in his third final-round appearance. Hines gave up a .058-second head start to Guidera, but his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson made up the gap by mid-track and he cruised away for the win in 7.435 seconds at 179.97 mph to Guidera's 7.566 at 176.63 on his Rocklin Motorsports Buell.

"We had an absolutely dismal qualifying effort but what a Sunday," Hines said. "The team did such a great job making the adjustments and my V-Rod went right down the track every pass today like it was on a rail. I was hoping this race would be the turning point of our season and it's looking like it really might be."

The NHRA POWERade Series continues with the Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals presented by Lucas Oil, July 21-23 at scenic Pacific Raceways near Seattle.

Sunday's final results from the 27th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. The $1.5 million race is the 13th of 23 in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series -

Top Fuel -- J.R. Todd, 4.906 seconds, 291.63 mph def. Tony Schumacher, 4.966 seconds, 306.33 mph.

Funny Car -- Gary Scelzi, Dodge Charger, 5.132, 301.94 def. Cruz Pedregon, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.820, 202.82.

Pro Stock -- Dave Connolly, Chevy Cobalt, 7.173, 193.07 def. Jason Line, Pontiac GTO, 7.141, 194.13.

Pro Stock Motorcycle -- Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.435, 179.97 def. Matt Guidera, Buell, 7.566, 176.63.

Competition Eliminator -- Dean Carter, Dragster, 7.412, 179.21 def. Richard Freeman, Pontiac GTO, 10.365, 84.73.

Stock Eliminator -- Ryan McClanahan, Pontiac Firebird, 11.061, 124.27 def. Scott Burton, Firebird, 11.471, 115.50.

Super Comp -- Gary Wamboldt, Dragster, 9.460, 159.02 def. Steve Johnson, Dragster, 9.452, 161.81.

Super Gas -- Duane Kohl, Chevy Corvette, 10.548, 146.97 def. Tim Landis, Corvette, 10.542, 144.47.


(results courtesy NHRA and DRC)

Final qualifying

Top Fuel

1 3 Doug Kalitta, Ypsilanti MI, Attac-TFX 4.631 319.60 319.60
2 373 J.R. Todd, Lawrenceburg IN, Hadman-TFX 4.638 316.45 316.45
3 7 Brandon Bernstein, Lake Forest CA, McKinney-TFX 4.640 324.28 324.28
4 1 Tony Schumacher, Long Grove IL, Hadman-TFX 4.642 321.96 321.96
5 4 David Grubnic, Ypsilanti MI, Attac-TFX 4.643 327.82 327.82
6 91 Larry Dixon, Indianapolis IN, McKinney-TFX 4.654 314.90 314.90
7 763 Hillary Will, Ypsilanti MI, Attac-TFX 4.662 318.69 318.69
8 10 Rod Fuller, Las Vegas NV, Hadman-TFX 4.673 316.60 316.60
9 13 David Baca, Brentwood CA, McKinney-BAE 4.703 308.71 308.71
10 12 Bob Vandergriff, Alpharetta GA, McKinney-BAE 4.704 311.41 311.41
11 6 Doug Herbert, Lincolnton NC, McKinney-BAE 4.739 305.29 305.29
12 507 Melanie Troxel, Avon IN, Hadman-BAE 4.785 312.42 312.42
13 5 Morgan Lucas, Brownsburg IN, Hadman-TFX 4.854 288.15 288.15
14 72 Mike Strasburg, Lindon UT, Hadman-TFX 4.902 254.38 254.38
15 9 Cory McClenathan, Anaheim CA, Hadman-BAE 5.140 302.28 302.28
16 5050 Scott Palmer, Highlandville MO, McKinney-BAE 5.563 176.47 176.47

------------ Not Qualified ------------

17 723 Rob Passey, Salt Lake City UT, McKinney-TFX 9.935 78.25 78.34


Funny Car

1 782 Gary Densham, Bellflower CA, '05 Monte Carlo 4.893 292.20 292.20
2 1 Gary Scelzi, Fresno CA, '06 Charger 4.896 310.20 310.20
3 503 Tommy Johnson Jr., Avon IN, '05 Monte Carlo 4.907 307.37 307.37
4 5 Robert Hight, Yorba Linda CA, '05 Mustang 4.916 301.87 311.41
5 28 Ron Capps, Carlsbad CA, '06 Charger 4.941 307.37 307.37
6 156 Phil Burkart, Yorkville NY, '05 Monte Carlo 4.952 313.37 313.37
7 9 Whit Bazemore, Indianapolis IN, '06 Charger 4.952 302.35 311.70
8 7 Tony Pedregon, Chino Hills CA, '05 Monte Carlo 4.956 308.28 309.91
9 8 Del Worsham, Chino Hills CA, '05 Monte Carlo 4.983 317.64 317.64
10 3 John Force, Yorba Linda CA, '05 Mustang 4.984 314.31 314.31
11 4 Eric Medlen, Yorba Linda CA, '05 Mustang 5.019 309.42 309.42
12 206 Bob Gilbertson, Gastonia NC, '05 Stratus 5.107 298.14 298.14
13 427 Tony Bartone, Long Island City NY, '05 Monte C 5.118 293.15 293.15
14 180 Mike Ashley, Melville NY, '05 Stratus 5.138 299.80 299.80
15 319 Scott Kalitta, Ypsilanti MI, '05 Monte Carlo 5.172 254.66 274.50
16 10 Cruz Pedregon, Camarillo CA, '05 Monte Carlo 5.177 286.32 286.32

------------ Not Qualified ------------

17 347 Tim Wilkerson, Springfield IL, '05 Monte Carlo 5.440 210.54 210.54
18 121 Terry Haddock, Lynnwood WA, '05 Monte Carlo 8.103 110.92 110.92

Pro Stock

1 3 Jason Line, Terrell NC, '06 GTO 7.062@ 195.65& 195.65
2 93 Allen Johnson, Greeneville TN, '06 Stratus 7.064 194.60 194.60
3 5 Dave Connolly, Elyria OH, '06 Cobalt 7.079 194.88 194.88
4 9 Ron Krisher, Warren OH, '06 Cobalt 7.082 193.68 194.13
5 1 Greg Anderson, Concord NC, '06 GTO 7.094 194.60 195.14
6 2 Kurt Johnson, Sugar Hill GA, '06 Cobalt 7.098 194.24 194.77
7 357 Larry Morgan, Newark OH, '06 Stratus 7.100 194.49 194.49
8 44 Mike Edwards, Coweta OK, '06 GTO 7.104 194.30 194.30
9 8 Richie Stevens, New Orleans LA, '06 Stratus 7.105 193.07 193.74
10 10 Jim Yates, Occoquan VA, '06 GTO 7.108 193.63 193.63
11 55 V. Gaines, Lakewood CO, '06 Stratus 7.113 193.54 194.21
12 203 Tom Lee, Mooresville NC, '06 Cobalt 7.116 194.27 194.60
13 430 Erica Enders, Houston TX, '06 Stratus 7.127 192.96 193.05
14 103 Max Naylor, New Buffalo PA, '06 Stratus 7.140 193.82 193.82
15 7 Greg Stanfield, Bossier City LA, '06 GTO 7.143 193.52 193.77
16 207 Mike Thomas, Knoxville TN, '05 Stratus 7.147 192.28 192.85

------------ Not Qualified ------------

17 261 Gene Wilson, Adairsville GA, '04 Stratus RT 7.153 192.33 192.80
18 713 Shaun Carlson, Indianapolis IN, '06 Stratus 7.155 192.88 192.88
19 701 Ben Watson, Concord CA, '06 GTO 7.166 192.49 192.49
20 4 Warren Johnson, Sugar Hill GA, '06 GTO 7.174 193.82 193.82
21 772 Tony Rizzo, Tucson AZ, '06 Cobalt 7.202 191.19 191.32

Pro Stock Bike

1 5 Chip Ellis, Americus GA, Buell 7.332@ 180.26 180.26
2 303 Tom Bradford, Eagle WI, Buell 7.399 180.55 180.55
3 3 Angelle Sampey, Mathews LA, Suzuki GSXR 7.427 177.91 179.14
4 204 Matt Smith, King NC, Buell 7.429 177.16 177.53
5 4 Ryan Schnitz, Decatur IN, Buell 7.435 179.80 179.80
6 6 Antron Brown, Indianapolis IN, Suzuki GSXR 7.436 179.90 180.60
7 205 Shawn Gann, Stoneville NC, Suzuki 7.448 180.26 180.26
8 10 Karen Stoffer, Smith NV, Suzuki 7.449 180.69 180.69
9 1 Andrew Hines, Brownsburg IN, Harley V-Rod 7.450 178.17 180.21
10 731 Matt Guidera, Rocklin CA, Buell 7.467 178.85 178.85
11 7 Craig Treble, Hensley AR, Suzuki GSXR 7.472 179.49 179.61
12 2 GT Tonglet, Metairie LA, Harley V-Rod 7.474 179.64 179.64
13 8 Geno Scali, Palatine IL, Suzuki 7.500 177.23 178.28
14 1000 Marco Andreano, Monroe Twp NJ, Buell 7.507 176.79 177.46
15 412 Michael Phillips, Baton Rouge LA, Suzuki GSXR 7.507 176.70 177.65
16 9 Steve Johnson, Irondale AL, Suzuki 7.521 178.47 178.47

------------ Not Qualified ------------

17 7487 Chris Rivas, Fresno CA, Buell 7.521 177.84 177.84
18 573 Mike Berry, Littleton CO, Suzuki 7.537 176.72 176.88
19 500 Buddy Robinson, Princeton MN, Suzuki 7.588 175.43 175.43
20 405 Blaine Hale, Midland TX, Suzuki GSXR 7.704 174.37 174.37
21 778 Scott Lewis, Orangevale CA, Suzuki GSXR DQ

 

 


(results courtesy NHRA and DRC)

 

 

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