BAYTOWN, Texas - Bob Gilbertson won his first career Funny Car race
Sunday at the O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway
Park. The upstart Gilbertson, from Gastonia, N.C., covered the quarter mile
in his Trick Tank Pontiac Firebird in 5.067 seconds at 304.25 mph to defeat
Jerry Toliver, who left the line early and fouled, in the Funny Car
Gilbertson had a bit of luck working for him on his way to his first win
in his first final round appearance. The No. 16 qualifier Gilbertson drove
past John Force, Jim Epler had a red light in the second round and Ron Capps
hit the center line and was disqualified in the semifinals prior to
Toliver's foul at the line in the final. "Unbelievable, that's the only
word I got," said Gilbertson. "Everybody did a good job and the
crew worked hard all day. We just had some Lady Luck going for us as John
Force would say, and we were glad to be here to beat him. When you got it
going it doesn't matter who is over (in the other lane). I did see Capps
come over in to my lane but I didn't want to rear end him. I thought I saw
him touch the center but I just took my chances and kept driving. If we can
take a win this way we will do it every race if we have to."
Toliver's runner-up finish in his WWF Racing Chevrolet Camaro increased
his points lead to 56 over Tony Pedregon. With the win Gilbertson jumped to
sixth in the NHRA Winston championship points standings. Gilbertson has been
the No. 16 qualifier at each event this year and had not advanced past the
first round prior to Sunday's action. "I'm thinking we're going to kick
some butt here the rest of the year," said Gilbertson. "We are
going to go to Richmond (Va.) next. Maybe we can go up there and be the No.
16 qualifier again and do the same thing all over. That's all we can hope
for. Take a round at a time and just give it everything we got."
Larry Dixon, Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Randy Daniels were also winners in
their respective categories at the $1.8 million race, the fifth of 23 events
in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.
Dixon, from Indianapolis, won his first event of the year as he blasted
his Don "The Snake" Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite dragster to a pass
of 4.665 at 316.90 to hold off Tony Schumacher and his run of 4.761 at
309.98. It was the fifth different Top Fuel winner in as many races this
season and the second straight victory for Dixon at HRP, the same track
where he ran the first sub 4.5 second pass in NHRA history when he recorded
a 4.486 pass. It was also quite a reward for the legendary Prudhomme who
earlier in the week was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of
"It's anybody's ballgame," said Prudhomme. "The trick is
to have a tune up that lets you get up and down the track and put some good
numbers on the board. Just keep running consistent. The name of the game is
consistency. This will be a battle right to the end. Everybody has pretty
much the same stuff now. It's just he who has the right setup at the right
given time. Being consistent."
Dixon defeated Bruce Litton, Don Lampus, and Doug Herbert on his way to
his final round showdown with Schumacher and the Exide Batteries dragster.
The victory moved Dixon into third place in the Winston Top Fuel points
standings, 86 behind Schumacher. Schumacher increased his points lead over
Gary Scelzi to 66.
"This (trophy) is going to Snake," said Dixon. "It has
been a great week all the way around for our racing team. With Snake going
to the Hall of Fame and I got to go to it. That was a real special deal. I
grew up on The Snake. Our car hauled all weekend long. The slowest we ran
was a 4.67 and the quickest we ran was a 4.62. We also ran 320 mph this
week. (Crew chief) Dick LaHaie should be up here. He won this race a year
ago when he was tuning for Doug Herbert and then he came to our team and we
won here in October. Now we come back here again and win. It helped us out
points-wise too. It was a great, great weekend."
Columbus, Ohio's, Coughlin continued his dominant season as he sped down
the track in his JEG's Mail Order Oldsmobile Cutlass in 6.905 at 199.29 for
his fourth Pro Stock victory of the season. Coughlin defeated Jim Yates in
the final who ran a 6.926 at 199.55 in his Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Firebird.
Coughlin was able to defeat Mike Thomas, Kurt Johnson, Darrel Alderman and
Yates on his road to the winner's circle. Coughlin has been nothing but
impressive in his early season performance.
"This is all certainly flattering," said Coughlin. "Our
group has been working real hard. We just have great harmony right now and
we are reading the track and air really well. We are extremely optimistic
and we are obviously realistic too. We will take everything home and prepare
everything as best as we can again and go to Richmond for the next race and
hopefully we will be prepared. Our goal is turn the win light on and that is
Daniels, from Grantsboro, N.C., made a pass of 7.538 at 179.59 but earned
his second victory of the season behind the wheel of his Daniels
Racing/Bailey Trucking Chevy S-10 when final round opponent Bob Panella
fouled at the line. Daniels drove past Larry Seay, Rick Jones, Tim Freeman
and Panella on his way to the win. Daniels also set a national record for
speed at 180.02. He is the first Pro Stock Truck driver to eclipse the 180
mph barrier. "This was quite a surprise," said Daniels. "We
didn't think we had the truck to win. We were fast but not quite fast enough
to win the race. I saw my win light as soon as we left the line. Man, I
couldn't believe he really did it, but we'll take it. That little Chevy S-10
was really dynamite."
The next event in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series is the
sixth annual Moto1.net NHRA Nationals, April 27-30, at Virginia Motorsports
BAYTOWN, Texas -- Final finish order (1-16) for professional categories at
the 13th annual O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway
Park. The $1.8 million race is the fifth of 23 events in the $45-million
NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.
TOP FUEL: 1. Larry Dixon; 2. Tony Schumacher; 3. Doug Kalitta; 4. Doug
Herbert; 5. Mike Smith; 6. Don Lampus; 7. Kenny Bernstein; 8. Joe Hartley;
9. Bruce Litton; 10. ; 11. Bob Vandergriff; 12. Gary Scelzi; 13. David
Grubnic; 14. Joe Amato; 15. Cory McClenathan; 16. Rhonda Hartman-Smith.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Bob Gilbertson, Firebird; 2. Jerry Toliver, Chevrolet Camaro;
3. Tony Pedregon, Ford Mustang; 4. Ron Capps, Camaro; 5. Scotty Cannon,
Camaro; 6. Whit Bazemore, Camaro; 7. Dean Skuza, Dodge Avenger; 8. Jim Epler,
Chevy Camaro; 9. Frank Pedregon, Pontiac Firebird; 10. Gary Densham,
Firebird; 11. Al Hofmann, Firebird; 12. Cristen Powell, Firebird; 13. Todd
Paton, Firebird; 14. John Force, Mustang; 15. Bob Weickgenannt, Camaro; 16.
Ron Capps, Camaro.
PRO STOCK: 1. Jeg Coughlin, Cutlass; 2. Jim Yates, Pontiac Firebird; 3. Mark
Pawuk, Firebird; 4. Darrell Alderman, Dodge Avenger; 5. Ron Krisher,
Firebird; 6. Rickie Smith, Chevy Camaro; 7. Richie Stevens, Firebird; 8.
Kurt Johnson, Camaro; 9. Jamie Yates, Firebird; 10. Bruce Allen, Firebird;
11. Brad Jeter, Firebird; 12. Robert Patrick, Ford Mustang; 13. Warren
Johnson, Firebird; 14. Tom Martino, Firebird; 15. Troy Coughlin, Oldsmobile
Cutlass; 16. Mike Thomas, Firebird.
PRO STOCK TRUCK: 1. Randy Daniels, S-10; 2. Bob Panella Jr, Chevrolet S-10;
3. Brian Self, S-10; 4. Tim Freeman, S-10; 5. Taylor Lastor, S-10; 6. Rick
Jones, GMC Sonoma; 7. Scott Perin, S-10; 8. Greg Stanfield, S-10; 9. Jeff
Gracia, S-10; 10. Steve Johns, S-10; 11. Larry Seay, S-10; 12. John
Lingenfelter, Sonoma; 13. Scott Tidwell, S-10; 14. Lou Ficco, S-10; 15.
Vinny Barone, S-10; 16. Rob Slavinski, S-10.
BAYTOWN, Texas -- Sunday's final results from the 13th annual O'Reilly
Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park. The $1.8-million
race is the fifth of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing
Top Fuel -- Larry Dixon, Indianapolis, 4.665 seconds, 316.90 mph def. Tony
Schumacher, Park Ridge, Ill., 4.761 seconds, 309.98 mph.
Funny Car -- Bob Gilbertson, Gastonia, N.C., Pontiac Firebird, 5.067,
304.25 def. Jerry Toliver, Huntington Beach, Calif., Chevrolet Camaro, foul.
Pro Stock -- Jeg Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 6.905, 199.29
def. Jim Yates, Alexandria, Va., Pontiac Firebird, 6.926, 199.55.
Pro Stock Truck -- Randy Daniels, Grantsboro, N.C., Chevrolet S-10, 7.538,
179.59 def. Bob Panella Jr, Stockton, Calif., Chevrolet S-10, foul.
Federal-Mogul Dragster -- Jeff Wilson, Winfield, Mo., 5.481, 260.06 def.
Troy Buff, Spring, Texas, 5.562, 257.14.
Federal-Mogul Funny Car -- Cy Chesterman, Sioux City, Iowa, Pontiac Trans
Am, 5.670, 257.78 def. Tony Bartone, Manhasset, N.Y., Chevrolet Camaro,
Comp Eliminator -- Don Stratton, Beloit, Ohio, '34 Chevrolet, 8.153, 162.10
def. Bill Kent, Midland, Texas, 7.376, 150.48.
Super Stock -- Jeff Taylor, Lumberton, N.C., Pontiac Grand Am, 8.919, 154.44
def. Tim Boudreau, Wilmington, Mass., Oldsmobile Achieva, 9.503, 142.16.
Stock -- Jeff Hefler, Mansfield, Texas, Pontiac Trans Am, 11.120, 115.08
def. Jimmie Hutto, Houston, Chevrolet Camaro, 10.716, 123.23.
Super Comp -- Jimmy Lewis, Mesquite, Texas, 8.910, 165.60 def. Erica Enders,
Houston, 8.920, 168.62.
Super Gas -- Mike Ferderer, Buckley, Wash., Pontiac Firebird, 9.930, 149.96
def. Mark Buehring, Houston, Chevrolet Camaro, 9.908, 149.56.
BAYTOWN, Texas - Sunday's round-by-round results from the 13th annual
O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park, the fifth
of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:
TOP FUEL : ROUND ONE -- Doug Herbert, Cherryville, N.C., 4.692, 318.39 def.
Rhonda Hartman-Smith, Williamston, S.C., 10.188, 81.74; Doug Kalitta,
Ypsilanti, Mich., 4.673, 309.77 def. Bob Vandergriff, Cumming, Ga., 4.812,
306.12; Tony Schumacher, Park Ridge, Ill., 4.619, 315.34 def. David Grubnic,
Ennis, Mont., 5.274, 191.57; Mike Smith, Fish Creek, Wis., 4.805, 292.52
def. Cory McClenathan, Anaheim, Calif., 7.308, 109.21; Kenny Bernstein, Lake
Forest, Calif., 4.959, 212.83 was unopposed; Joe Hartley, Omaha, Neb.,
5.114, 244.87 def. Gary Scelzi, Fresno, Calif., 5.231, 224.58; Larry Dixon,
Indianapolis, 4.655, 319.67 def. Bruce Litton, Indianapolis, 4.745, 314.09;
Don Lampus, Garland, Texas, 4.719, 314.02 def. Joe Amato, Exeter, Pa.,
QUARTERFINALS -- Herbert, 4.749, 314.61 def. Bernstein, 4.928, 268.60;
Kalitta, 5.530, 263.92 def. Hartley, 14.580, 61.21; Schumacher, 4.638,
314.02 def. Smith, 4.699, 318.17; Dixon, 4.669, 313.07 def. Lampus, 4.719,
SEMIFINALS -- Dixon, 4.627, 320.58 def. Herbert, 7.735, 110.98;
Schumacher, 4.708, 311.85 def. Kalitta, 7.361, 108.36;
FINAL -- Dixon, 4.665, 316.90 def. Schumacher, 4.761, 309.98.
ROUND ONE -- Ron Capps, Carlsbad, Calif., Chevrolet Camaro, 4.970, 305.70
def. Del Worsham, Laguna Hills, Calif., Pontiac Firebird,8.945, 92.01; Whit
Bazemore, Indianapolis, Camaro, 5.040, 307.37 def. Bob Weickgenannt,
Columbia, Md., Camaro, 8.722, 97.43; Bob Gilbertson, Gastonia, N.C.,
Firebird, 5.023, 308.07 def. John Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Ford Mustang,
6.422, 151.44; Jerry Toliver, Huntington Beach, Calif., Camaro, 4.899,
318.39 def. Cristen Powell, Portland, Ore., Firebird, 5.127, 272.12; Dean
Skuza, Brecksville, Ohio, Dodge Avenger, 4.911, 290.57 def. Gary Densham,
Bellflower, Calif., Firebird, 5.065, 288.15; Tony Pedregon, Chino Hills,
Calif., Mustang, 5.045, 309.84 def. Al Hofmann, Umatilla, Fla., Firebird,
5.078, 277.83; Scotty Cannon, Lyman, S.C., Camaro, 4.945, 306.74 def. Frank
Pedregon, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Firebird, 5.036, 305.70; Jim Epler,
Phoenix, Camaro, 4.950, 313.22 def. Todd Paton, Paris, Ont., Firebird,
QUARTERFINALS -- T. Pedregon, 5.001, 312.93 def. Bazemore, 5.005, 305.08;
Toliver, 4.936, 313.58 def. Cannon, 5.004, 313.00; Capps, 4.954, 304.39 def.
Skuza, 7.872, 111.12; Gilbertson, 5.094, 293.73 def. Epler, foul;
SEMIFINALS -- Gilbertson, 7.486, 142.73 def. Capps, DQ; Toliver, 4.937,
314.02 def. T. Pedregon, 5.057, 284.90;
FINAL -- Gilbertson, 5.067, 304.25 def. Toliver, foul.
ROUND ONE -- Ron Krisher, Warren, Ohio, Pontiac Firebird, 6.965, 190.78 def.
Robert Patrick, Fredricksburg, Va., Ford Mustang, 6.980, 198.50; Kurt
Johnson, Lawrenceville, Ga., Chevy Camaro, 6.901, 200.23 def. Bruce Allen,
Arlington, Texas, Firebird, 6.937, 198.35; Darrell Alderman, Morehead, Ky.,
Dodge Avenger, 6.932, 198.58 def. Troy Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, Oldsmobile
Cutlass, 7.494, 144.91; Mark Pawuk, Akron, Ohio, Firebird, 6.936, 198.64
def. Tom Martino, Farmingdale, N.J., Firebird, 7.295, 156.25; Richie
Stevens, New Orleans, Firebird, 6.974, 196.59 def. Warren Johnson, Buford,
Ga., Firebird, 6.981, 197.94; Rickie Smith, King, N.C., Camaro, 6.938,
198.32 def. Brad Jeter, Greenville, S.C., Firebird, 6.960, 197.45; Jeg
Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, Cutlass, 6.901, 199.70 def. Mike Thomas,
Knoxville, Tenn., Firebird, 11.528, 77.04; Jim Yates, Alexandria, Va.,
Firebird, 6.918, 199.43 def. Jamie Yates, Alexandria, Va., Firebird, 6.930,
QUARTERFINALS -- Pawuk, 6.934, 198.67 def. Stevens, 6.967, 196.90;
Alderman, 6.968, 197.77 def. Smith, 6.932, 198.00; Jim Yates, 6.922, 199.35
def. Krisher, 6.913, 199.49; J. Coughlin, 6.919, 199.49 def. K. Johnson,
SEMIFINALS -- Jim Yates, 6.922, 199.37 def. Pawuk, 6.939, 198.12; J.
Coughlin, 6.927, 198.85 def. Alderman, 6.952, 198.23;
FINAL -- J. Coughlin, 6.905, 199.29 def. Ji. Yates, 6.926, 199.55.
PRO STOCK TRUCK:
ROUND ONE -- Taylor Lastor, Austin, Texas, Chevrolet S-10, 7.575, 179.02
def. Vinny Barone, Dix Hill, N.Y., S-10, 7.818, 127.85; Rick Jones,
Galesburg, Ill., GMC Sonoma, 7.590, 178.40 def. Scott Tidwell, Pinson, Ala.,
S-10, 7.621, 177.51; Tim Freeman, Roan Mountain, Tenn., S-10, 7.567, 177.67
def. Jeff Gracia, Ontario, Calif., S-10, 7.557, 178.68; Brian Self, Houston,
S-10, 7.552, 178.97 def. Rob Slavinski, Newark, Ohio, S-10, 8.480, 118.95;
Bob Panella Jr, Stockton, Calif., S-10, 7.523, 179.42 def. Lou Ficco,
Wheatridge, Colo., S-10, 7.622, 176.95; Scott Perin, Pen Argyl, Pa., S-10,
7.588, 176.88 def. Steve Johns, Lancaster, Pa., S-10, 7.564, 179.23; Greg
Stanfield, Bossier City, La., S-10, 7.566, 178.02 def. John Lingenfelter,
Decatur, Ind., Sonoma, 7.605, 176.93; Randy Daniels, Grantsboro, N.C., S-10,
7.529, 179.52 def. Larry Seay, Mayfield, Ky., S-10, 7.578, 177.39;
QUARTERFINALS -- Freeman, 7.571, 178.02 def. Stanfield, foul; Self,
7.571, 178.17 def. Perin, 8.062, 131.88; Daniels, 7.527, 179.88 def. Jones,
7.575, 178.40; Panella Jr, 7.497, 179.06 def. Lastor, 7.570, 178.45;
SEMIFINALS -- Daniels, 7.533, 179.54 def. Freeman, 7.603, 177.65; Panella
Jr, 7.499, 179.49 def. Self, 7.552, 178.57;
FINAL -- Daniels, 7.538, 179.59 def. Panella Jr, foul.
BAYTOWN, Texas -- Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional categories
following the 13th annual O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil at
Houston Raceway Park, the fifth of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston
Drag Racing Series:
1. Tony Schumacher, 451; 2. Gary Scelzi, 385; 3. Larry Dixon, 365; 4. Kenny
Bernstein, 359; 5. Joe Amato, 321; 6. Doug Kalitta, 296; 7. Cory McClenathan,
230; 8. Doug Herbert, 225; 9. Don Lampus, 197; 10. Bob Vandergriff, 188.
1. Jerry Toliver, 435; 2. Tony Pedregon, 379; 3. Ron Capps, 342; 4. John
Force, 325; 5. Jim Epler, 279; 6. Bob Gilbertson, 235; 7. Del Worsham, 225;
8. Dean Skuza, 221; 9. Scotty Cannon, 219; 10. Whit Bazemore, 210.
1. Jeg Coughlin, 523; 2. Warren Johnson, 390; 3. Mark Pawuk, 313; 4. Ron
Krisher, 291; 5. Jim Yates, 277; 6. Troy Coughlin, 270; 7. Richie Stevens,
265; 8. Kurt Johnson, 227; 9. Bruce Allen, 206; 10. Tom Martino, 204.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:
1. Tony Mullen, 193; 2. Angelle Seeling, 191; 3. David Schultz, 173; 4. Matt
Hines, 155; 5. Craig Treble, 127; 6. Antron Brown, 107; 7. Geno Scali, 87;
8. Blaine Hale, 85; 9. (tie) Steve Johnson, 64; Brian Ayers, 64.
PRO STOCK TRUCK:
1. Bob Panella Jr, 390; 2. Randy Daniels, 342; 3. Greg Stanfield, 297; 4.
Rick Jones, 214; 5. Steve Johns, 197; 6. Jeff Gracia, 190; 7. (tie) Brian
Self, 188; John Lingenfelter, 188; 9. Taylor Lastor, 173; 10. John Coughlin,