May 3-6

Eliminations

MADISON, Ill. --


Female superstar Top Fuel pilot Melanie Troxel won her first race of the 2007 season and the third of her career Sunday at the 11th annual O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis. Troxel outlasted veteran Cory McClenathan, 4.741 to 5.355, in the money round to become just the second female winner in track history.
Ron Capps extended his lead in the POWERade Funny Car points to 121 with his third victory of the year, this one over Del Worsham. Dave Connolly topped teammate Jeg Coughlin by .016 seconds to move into second place overall in Pro Stock, while Matt Smith used a stunning national record elapsed time of 6.901 seconds to earn the Pro stock Motorcycle hardware over three-time Gateway winner Angelle Sampey.


This was the first victory for Troxel's new Vietnam Veterans/POW-MIA team, which came together in the off-season under the guidance of Evan Knoll. It was also the first for the popular pro in more than a year, as she last visited the trophy stand in Las Vegas in April of last year.

"We knew it would take a little time to get a new team together and get to a point where we were running well," Troxel said. "It's certainly took us a few races and even when we started running a little better we didn't get any breaks. Today we weren't the best car and we definitely got little breaks here and there along the way so it was nice to see things fall our way."

Troxel powered from ninth to fifth in the rankings, while McClenathan solidified the 10th-place perch for the FRAM team. Top qualifier "Hot Rod" Fuller raced to the semifinals in his Fabick Caterpillar rail, which moved him back into the points lead he handed over to Brandon Bernstein at the last event. He is now 23 points up on the Bud Prince, who went out in the first round.


Capps looked exhausted when he climbed out of his Brut Revolution Dodge Charger R/T after dispatching Checker, Schuck's, Kragen racer Worsham in the trophy round. His 4.882 at 305.98 mph was just enough to beat Worsham's 4.918 at 308.50 mph and his 25th career win obviously took a lot out of him.

"I don't know if the people watching on TV at home have any idea at all how brutal it was this weekend," Capps said. "This is one of the toughest races I've ever been in and I can feel it now."


The party was on in the Victor Cagnazzi Racing camp with Connolly catching and passing a slightly out-of-shape Coughlin to win the Pro Stock crown with a 6.663 at 206.99 mph in his Torco/Slammers Chevrolet Cobalt over Coughlin's 6.695 at 206.64 mph. Both drivers passed reigning series champion Jason Line in the points with Connolly second overall and Coughlin third.

"Victor has been working this program for so long and he's put so much effort, time, and money into this deal," Connolly said. "To give him his first win feels great, and the fact both his cars were in the final made it perfect. I was so happy to beat Jeg because he's a guy I really respect and I knew I would have to earn it to get it."


This was Smith's third Pro Stock Motorcycle final of the year and the third time he raced a female competitor for the race title. This time he finally got the win, using an otherworldly national record 6.901 at 191.78 mph on his Torco Buell V-Twin to conquer Sampey, who slowed well before the finish line and coasted through with a 7.132 at 162.67 mph on her Suzuki.

"I finally beat the girls and it feels so good," Smith said. "I beat two of them today. It was in my head a little, I have to admit. Credit this team with giving me a bike that has been running so sweet all year. We've worked very hard for this win so to go out and get it done is very satisfying."

Smith's third career win and the 20-point bonus he earned for setting a national record vaulted him to a 53-point lead over Karen Stoffer. Sampey is five points back in third.

Sunday's final results from the 11th annual O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals presented by Castrol at Gateway International Raceway. The race is the seventh of 23 in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series-

Top Fuel -- Melanie Troxel, 4.741 seconds, 274.33 mph def. Cory McClenathan, 5.355 seconds, 254.52 mph.

Funny Car -- Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.882, 305.98 def. Del Worsham, Chevy Impala, 4.918, 308.50.

Pro Stock -- Dave Connolly, Chevy Cobalt, 6.663, 206.99 def. Jeg Coughlin, Cobalt, 6.695, 206.64.

Pro Stock Motorcycle -- Matt Smith, Buell, 6.901, 191.78 def. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 7.132, 162.67.

Competition Eliminator -- David Rampy, Bantam Roadster, 7.685, 136.97 def. Sean Dodd, Chevy Cobalt, 9.580, 95.75.

Stock Eliminator -- Gary Stinnett, Chevy Camaro, 10.607, 121.90 def. Kevin Helms, Camaro, 10.553, 124.00.

Super Comp -- T.J. Tracey, Dragster, 8.849, 163.57 def. Jeffrey Strickland, Dragster, 8.847, 156.94.

Super Gas -- Ray Connolly, Chevy Corvette, 9.908, 157.69 def. Steven Hoyt, Corvette, 9.864, 154.16.

Saturday final qualifying

MADISON, Ill. --


"Hot Rod" Fuller wants to break a perplexing streak Sunday when he attempts to win his first elimination round out of the No. 1 qualifying position, a slot he's earned four times in his brief career, including this weekend's 11th annual O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals presented by Castrol at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis.
With two of four professional time trials lost to rain, there was a premium on Saturday's final two qualifying runs and Fuller, Funny Car leader Mike Ashley, Pro Stock dominator Greg Anderson, and Pro Stock Motorcycle hot shot Matt Smith all managed to rise to the occasion.

Sporting Fabick Caterpillar livery this weekend, Fuller is the No. 1 qualifier in Top Fuel for the second race in a row after zipping to a 4.596 at 313.37 mph. Fuller gains two points on No. 3 qualifier Brandon Bernstein, who passed him in the rankings by 19 markers with his second straight win in Atlanta last weekend.

"We've talked about getting past this deal where we qualify No. 1 and then lose in Round 1," Fuller said. "When you're No. 1 it means you have lane choice and it means you're running the guy that's had the hardest time getting down the track. Instead of burying everyone, maybe we should just back it down enough to make sure we get down the track."

Points leader Bernstein is third in the Budweiser rail with a 4.612 at 326.87.

Ashley made it three low qualifiers in a row in Funny Car by placing his Torco Race Fuels Dodge Charger R/T at the front of the class once again with a 4.799 at 331.77 mph. The Melville, N.Y., racer set a GIR track speed mark with his crowd-pleasing run, which came in the afternoon session.

"It's important to qualify No. 1 for positioning purposes but it's much more important to go rounds," Ashley said. "We've found something between the chassis and the clutch that has made us so consistent. That's really exciting to me. Not only have we been No. 1 qualifier three times in a row, we've also had top speed of the meet at the last four races. We have a racecar here."

Hard-charging Robert Hight is second, leading the John Force Racing contingent with a 4.819 at 319.07 mph in his Auto Club Ford Mustang. Despite missing a race after the death of teammate Eric Medlen, Hight is just 40 points out of first place.

Hight's sister-in-law Ashley is third, muscling her way down the track in 4.853 seconds at 309.70 mph in her Castrol GTX Ford. Her father John is a solid fifth with a 4.856 at 317.57 in his Castrol GTX High-Mileage Ford Mustang.


Runaway points leader Anderson has a slight jump on a fourth victory after qualifying his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO on top for the 55th time in his career. Anderson got the job done with a double-track-record pass of 6.676 at 207.69 mph in Saturday's slightly cooler morning session.

"We only had two shots to get in and that's always a little nerve wracking," Anderson said. "You don't ever want that to happen but you can't control the weather. At least I know I have a team behind me that can totally handle that kind of pressure."

Anderson teammate and reigning champion Jason Line was second with a 6.680 at 207.05 mph. The two men closest to Anderson and Line in the POWERade points -- Dave Connolly and Jeg Coughlin -- are third and fourth here with Connolly posting a 6.692 in his Torco Cobalt and Coughlin a 6.703 in his Slammers machine.


Smith was confident his track-record Friday night run of 6.970 at 188.96 mph would hold through Saturday's daytime sessions and he was right as the Torco Buell V-Twin rider collected his second No. 1 qualifier award of the season. The bikes were the only class to complete a qualifying session Friday.

"The strategy now is to win the race," said Smith, who has two runner-up finishes this year, both to points leader Karen Stoffer. "We've proven we have a fast bike and we're No. 2 in the points. It's time to get a trophy. I always try to just shut out whose in the other lane and just execute the best pass I can and that's what I'll do tomorrow."

Currently 42 points behind Stoffer at the top of the standings, Smith could make a big run at the lead spot in the POWERade rankings Sunday with a potential second-round match-up with Stoffer. She qualified eighth on her Geico Suzuki with a 7.062 at 190.81 mph.

Friday qualifying was washed out for the pros except for half the first session of Pro Stock. Qualifying will be down to two rounds on Saturday only

TF

1 5 Rod Fuller, Las Vegas NV, Hadman-TFX 4.596 313.37 313.37
2 12 Bob Vandergriff, Alpharetta GA, McKinney-BAE 4.610 321.19 321.19
3 3 Brandon Bernstein, Lake Forest CA, McKinney-TFX 4.612 326.87 326.87
4 9 Cory McClenathan, Lake Havasu City AZ, Hadman- 4.616 326.08 326.08
5 6 David Grubnic, Ypsilanti MI, Attac-TFX 4.620 326.71 326.71
6 394 Luigi Novelli, Crete IL, McKinney-TFX 4.646 326.32 326.32
7 8 J.R. Todd, Avon IN, Hadman-TFX 4.650 316.82 316.82
8 1 Tony Schumacher, Long Grove IL, Hadman-TFX 4.652 321.19 321.19
9 255 Clay Millican, Drummonds TN, Hadman-BAE 4.681 315.78 315.78
10 91 Larry Dixon, Indianapolis IN, McKinney-TFX 4.682 317.64 317.64
11 4 Melanie Troxel, Avon IN, Hadman-TFX 4.693 311.41 311.41
12 5050 Scott Palmer, Highlandville MO, McKinney-BAE 4.697 308.57 308.57
13 10 Hillary Will, Ypsilanti MI, Attac-TFX 4.711 320.43 320.43
14 345 Bruce Litton, Indianapolis IN, Hadman-TFX 4.723 288.39 288.39
15 2 Doug Kalitta, Ypsilanti MI, Attac-TFX 4.751 301.00 301.00
16 11 Doug Herbert, Lincolnton NC, Spitzer-BAE 4.782 318.99 318.99

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

17 743 Morgan Lucas, Brownsburg IN, Hadman-TFX 4.915 246.89 253.56
18 36 Scott Weis, Ashland VA, McKinney-TFX 4.942 242.58 242.58
19 72 Mike Strasburg, Lindon UT, Hadman-TFX 6.039 256.36 256.36
20 73 Whit Bazemore, Eugene OR, Hadman-TFX 6.250 149.10 149.10
21 530 Alan Bradshaw, Odessa TX, Don Long-BAE 7.433 117.61 117.61

FC

1 180 Mike Ashley, Melville NY, '07 Charger 4.799@ 331.77 331.77
2 2 Robert Hight, Yorba Linda CA, '05 Mustang 4.819 319.07 319.07
3 7321 Ashley Force, Anaheim Hills CA, '06 Mustang 4.853 309.70 309.70
4 5 Tony Pedregon, Brownsburg IN, '05 Monte Carlo 4.855 318.39 318.39
5 1 John Force, Yorba Linda CA, '05 Mustang 4.856 317.57 317.57
6 503 Tommy Johnson Jr., Avon IN, '07 Impala 4.869 316.45 316.45
7 28 Ron Capps, Carlsbad CA, '07 Charger 4.873 314.02 314.02
8 7 Gary Scelzi, Fresno CA, '06 Charger 4.891 314.02 314.02
9 319 Scott Kalitta, Ypsilanti MI, '07 Solara 4.894 315.12 315.12
10 782 Gary Densham, Bellflower CA, '07 Impala 4.904 309.84 309.84
11 427 Tony Bartone, Long Island City NY, '05 Monte C 4.910 307.16 307.16
12 170 Jeff Arend, San Dimas CA, '05 Monte Carlo 4.911 313.73 313.73
13 750 Del Worsham, Chino Hills CA, '07 Impala 4.918 318.02 318.02
14 729 Jerry Toliver, Temecula CA, '07 Solara 4.966 300.80 303.98
15 10 Cruz Pedregon, Camarillo CA, '05 Monte Carlo 4.969 314.02 314.02
16 347 Tim Wilkerson, Springfield IL, '07 Impala 5.111 282.66 282.66

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

17 388 Jim Head, Galena OH, '07 Solara 5.200 233.68 233.68
18 711 Jack Beckman, Brownsburg IN, '07 Charger 5.307 302.48 302.48
19 404 Kenny Bernstein, Lake Forest CA, '07 Charger 5.423 206.26 206.26

PS

1 2 Greg Anderson, Mooresville NC, '06 GTO 6.676 207.69 207.69
2 1 Jason Line, Mooresville NC, '06 GTO 6.680 207.05 207.05
3 3 Dave Connolly, Elyria OH, '07 Cobalt 6.692 205.91 205.91
4 25 Jeg Coughlin, Delaware OH, '07 Cobalt 6.703 206.61 206.61
5 5 Kurt Johnson, Sugar Hill GA, '07 Cobalt 6.709 205.32 205.66
6 6 Allen Johnson, Greeneville TN, '07 Stratus 6.716 205.26 205.26
7 208 Warren Johnson, Sugar Hill GA, '06 GTO 6.717 205.98 205.98
8 7 Jim Yates, Occoquan VA, '06 GTO 6.725 205.69 205.69
9 10 V. Gaines, Lakewood CO, '07 Stratus 6.725 205.66 205.79
10 20 Tom Hammonds, Crestview FL, '07 Cobalt 6.731 205.94 205.94
11 357 Larry Morgan, Newark OH, '07 Stratus 6.732 205.19 205.47
12 103 Max Naylor, New Buffalo PA, '07 Stratus 6.734 205.22 205.22
13 4 Mike Edwards, Coweta OK, '06 GTO 6.737 205.04 205.04
14 107 Kenny Koretsky, Richboro PA, '07 Cobalt 6.738 205.26 205.26
15 1568 Justin Humphreys, Monrovia MD, '06 GTO 6.739 205.69 205.69
16 430 Erica Enders, Houston TX, '07 Stratus 6.740 204.14 204.48

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

17 9 Richie Stevens, Metairie LA, '06 Stratus 6.750 204.05 204.45
18 8 Greg Stanfield, Bossier City LA, '06 GTO 6.751 204.11 204.73
19 351 Ron Krisher, Warren OH, '07 Cobalt 6.756 203.89 203.89
20 41 Roger Brogdon, Houston TX, '06 Stratus 6.763 203.89 203.89
21 30 Steve Schmidt, Indianapolis IN, '07 Cobalt 6.765 204.63 204.63
22 1186 Dave Northrop, Perkasie PA, '04 Stratus 6.779 204.94 204.94
23 376 Kevin Lawrence, Palos Hills IL, '02 Cavalier 6.781 203.37 203.37
24 772 Tony Rizzo, Tucson AZ, '07 Cobalt 6.799 202.24 202.24
25 7111 Bill Windham, Eldorado Hills CA, '07 Cobalt 6.835 204.48 204.48
26 381 Jerry Haas, Fenton MO, '07 Mustang 6.855 198.99 198.99
27 117 Bill Shorts, Erie PA, '02 Cavalier 7.322 191.43 191.43

PSM

1 5 Matt Smith, King NC, Buell 6.970 188.96 190.27
2 4 Chip Ellis, Plains GA, Buell 6.989 190.54 190.54
3 3 Angelle Sampey, Mathews LA, Suzuki GSXR 6.989 190.00 190.00
4 2 Antron Brown, Indianapolis IN, Suzuki GSXR 7.029 188.54 189.71
5 10 Craig Treble, Hensley AR, Suzuki GSXR 7.042 189.12 192.03
6 1 Andrew Hines, Brownsburg IN, Harley V-Rod 7.052 190.65 190.65
7 748 Chris Rivas, Fresno CA, Buell 7.053 187.57 187.57
8 6 Karen Stoffer, Smith NV, Suzuki 7.062 190.81 190.81
9 499 Peggy Llewellyn, San Antonio TX, Buell 7.064 187.57 187.57
10 8 Tom Bradford, Eagle WI, Buell 7.066 188.25 188.25
11 751 Steve Johnson, Irondale AL, Suzuki 7.070 188.65 188.65
12 88 Eddie Krawiec, Brownsburg IN, Harley V-Rod 7.080 186.28 188.15
13 235 Hector Arana, Milltown IN, Buell 7.110 186.72 188.31
14 778 Scott Lewis, Orangevale CA, Suzuki GSXR 7.121 187.65 187.65
15 371 Wes Wells, Greenwood IN, Suzuki 7.134 188.04 188.04
16 412 Michael Phillips, Baton Rouge LA, Suzuki GSXR 7.148 188.31 188.31

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

17 1000 Marco Andreano, Monroe Twp NJ, Buell 7.155 186.48 186.48
18 25 Matt Guidera, Loomis CA, Buell 7.163 183.15 183.15
19 9 Geno Scali, Crystal Lake IL, Suzuki 7.164 187.83 188.25
20 302 Barry Henson, Nicholasville KY, Suzuki 7.166 185.26 185.51
21 573 Mike Berry, Littleton CO, Suzuki 7.185 184.62 184.67
22 77 Angie McBride, Winston Salem NC, Suzuki 7.242 183.57 183.57
23 310 Joe DeSantis, Rootstown OH, Suzuki 7.249 181.79 187.70
24 322 Brian DeLong, Circleville OH, Suzuki 7.481 176.49 176.49

PM

1 1010 Troy Critchley, Wylie TX, '70 Barracuda 6.154 235.76 235.76
2 1152 Tony Pontieri, Toronto ON, *'57 Bel Air 6.182 230.84 231.83
3 1 Jay Payne, Ontario CA, *'05 Stratus 6.183 233.88 233.88
4 2814 Matt Hagan, Christiansburg VA, *'68 Camaro 6.188 234.86 234.86
5 3 Josh Hernandez, Conroe TX, '68 Camaro 6.191 234.09 234.09
6 1090 Raymond Commisso, Toronto ON, *'67 Camaro 6.205 235.64 235.64
7 1212 Scott Ray, Greenville OH, *'63 Corvette 6.220 227.15 227.15
8 7 Rick Stivers, Lexington KY, '67 Camaro 6.252 233.32 233.32
9 217 Tim Tindle, Santa Rosa FL, *'67 Mustang 6.274 233.48 233.48
10 320 Steve Engel, Shandon OH, *'63 Corvette 6.281 232.47 232.47
11 501 Mike Knowles, Grand Junction CO, '63 Corvette 6.311 226.85 226.85
12 30 Mike Janis, Lancaster NY, *'06 Cobalt 6.368 235.15 235.15
13 5082 Zach Barklage, Lake Ozark MO, '57 Bel Air 6.498 215.20 216.06
14 5973 Andy McCoy, High Ridge MO, '57 Bel Air 6.587 199.79 206.10
15 5083 Cody Barklage, Lake Ozark MO, '05 GTO 6.632 228.54 228.54
16 5835 Raymond Vettel, Phillips NE, '70 Barracuda 6.638 213.27 213.27

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

17 4302 Doug Palmer, Prairieville LA, *'63 Corvette 6.674 225.00 225.00
18 531 John Deflorian, Arnold MO, '06 Corvette 6.847 210.54 210.54
19 49 Dan Saitz, Fenton MO, '07 Mustang 6.930 188.75 188.75
20 2805 Bryan Seward, Naples FL, *'04 Mustang 7.036 151.46 151.46
21 4 Shelly Payne, Ontario CA, '05 Stratus 7.043 149.20 211.66



MADISON, Ill. --

The 11th annual O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals presented by Castrol, the seventh of 23 events in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Professional competitors in four categories earn points leading to 2007 NHRA POWERade Series world championships.
Sportsman competitors in four categories earn points leading to 2007 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series world championships.

WHERE: Gateway International Raceway, Madison, Ill. Gateway International Raceway is located five minutes from downtown St. Louis at the intersection of Interstates 55/70 and Ill. Route 203 (Exit 4).

Track Elevation: 455 feet

WHEN: Friday through Sunday, May 4-6.

PURSE: Cash and contingency awards of more than $1.3 million.

SCHEDULE:
FRIDAY, May 4 - Sportsman qualifying and eliminations, begin at 8:30 a.m.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.


SATURDAY, May 5 - Sportsman eliminations begin at 8:30 a.m.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFYING SESSIONS at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.


SUNDAY, May 6 - Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.
FINAL ELIMINATIONS begin at 11 a.m.


TELEVISION:
Saturday, May 5, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will televise two hours of qualifying coverage at 5 p.m. (ET).
Sunday May 6, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will air NHRA Race Day, at 11 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, May 6, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will televise three hours of final round eliminations at 7 p.m. (ET).


2006 EVENT WINNERS: Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel; Tony Pedregon, Funny Car; Mike Edwards, Pro Stock; Chip Ellis, Pro Stock Motorcycle.

TRACK RECORDS:
Top Fuel - 4.511 seconds by Darrell Russell, June '04; 330.55 mph by Doug Kalitta, June '06
Funny Car - 4.724 seconds by Gary Scelzi, June '04; 330.23 mph by Scelzi, June '04
Pro Stock - 6.692 seconds by Greg Anderson, June '06; 206.23 mph by Anderson, June '06
PS Motorcycle - 7.083 seconds by Tom Bradford, June '06; 192.71 mph by Andrew Hines, June '05


NATIONAL RECORDS:
Top Fuel - 4.428 seconds (Nov. '06, Pomona, Calif.) and 336.15 mph (May '05, Columbus, Ohio) by Tony Schumacher
Funny Car - 4.659 seconds (Feb. '07, Phoenix) by Tony Pedregon; 333.66 mph (Nov. '06, Pomona, Calif.) by Jack Beckman
Pro Stock - 6.536 seconds (March '07, Gainesville, Fla.) and 211.69 mph (March '07, Gainesville, Fla.) by Jason Line
PS Motorcycle - 6.911 sec. (March '07, Gainesville, Fla.) by Angelle Sampey; 197.45 mph (March '05, Gainesville, Fla.) by Andrew Hines


Archives

2006 National events

Winterational's coverage is here (Pomona)
CSK National's coverage is here (Phoenix)
Gatornational's coverage is here (Gainesville)
O'Reilly National's coverage is here (Houston)
Summit National's coverage is here (Las Vegas)
Thunder Valley National's coverage is here (Bristol)
Southern National's coverage is here (Atlanta)
Pontiac Performance National's coverage is here (Columbus)
O'Reilly Summer National's coverage is here (Topeka)

CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Chicago)
K&N Filters SuperNationals coverage is here (Englishtown)
O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals coverage is here (St.Louis)
Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Denver)
Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Seattle)
Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Sonoma)
Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Brainerd)
O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals coverage is here (Memphis)
Mac Tools U.S. Nationals coverage is here (Indy)
O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals coverage is here (Dallas)
Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Reading)
Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Virginia)
ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Las Vegas)
Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals coverage is here (Pomona)

 

2005 Archives

2004
February 2003 NHRA Zone
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May archives are here
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Sept Archives are here
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Nov/Dec archives are here

 

 

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