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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

NHRA Las Vegas Notes, Quotes, and Facts

By NHRA Communications

Third annual NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals, April 4-7, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

* In 2001 Kenny Bernstein and his son Brandon became the first father-son duo to win at an NHRA national event on the same weekend. The elder Bernstein defeated Andrew Cowin for the Top Fuel victory while Brandon drove past Mark Hentges for the Top Alcohol Dragster victory.

"There are two achievements that stand above all the rest in the past 23 years," said the 57-year-old Bernstein. "I like to call them 1a and 1b. The first is breaking the 300 miles-per-hour barrier in Gainesville (Fla.) in 1992, and the second was sharing victory circle last year in Las Vegas with my son Brandon. To add a little more foam to a great Bud day, my father happened to be at the race, so three generations of Bernsteins celebrated that day." At the 2002 SummitRacing.com Nationals a similar scenario is possible with a slight gender variation. Defending NHRA POWERade Funny Car champion John Force will be making his familiar appearance in the Funny Car field, while his 18-year-old daughter Ashley is tentatively scheduled to compete in her first NHRA national event behind the wheel of a Super Comp dragster. Ashley competed in the divisional event held in Phoenix and, assuming she races at Tucson, Ariz. The week prior to the Las Vegas race, she will earn the right to race at The Strip for the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals.

* Top Fuel standout Larry Dixon and Funny Car icon Force will be bringing the King of Rock and Roll back to Las Vegas. Both Dixon and Force will have their respective vehicles adorned with the likeness of Elvis Presley as part of the Elvis Presley 25th Anniversary program. Force, already with one of his Funny Cars on display in the museum at Graceland, is an avid fan and collector of Presley memorabilia and has been known to tape a picture of Presley to the dashboard of his race car. One of his most memorable accidents happened in Memphis, Tenn., when Force's Funny Car lost control and slid down the track on its roof before becoming engulfed in flames and sliding to a stop in the sand trap at the end of the track. Following the incident Force was quoted as saying that while the car was upside down careening down the quarter-mile, he 'saw Elvis at 1000 feet,' referring to the distance marker on the drag strip.

* Jeg Coughlin Jr., the 2000 NHRA POWERade Pro Stock champion, has been unbeatable at the SummitRacing.com Nationals. The Columbus, Ohio, driver has visited the winner's circle on both occasions at the spring event going 8-0 during elimination rounds. Coughlin needs the momentum to continue after his runner-up finish at Gainesville, Fla., which followed a DNQ (did not qualify) and a first round loss to open the season. "Our team has had a lot of success at high altitude tracks and coming to a first class facility brings the excitement level higher for everyone on Team Jeg's," said Coughlin. "Our program has gained some positive momentum lately and we have been a competitive threat on race day. There are 20 to 25 Pro Stock cars at each event that our capable of winning. You have to be consistent and limit mistakes if you are going to win. Our races are won and lost by thousandths of a second and there is no room for error."

* 2001 NHRA Rookie of the Year Darrell Russell seems to be experiencing what is commonly referred to as a sophomore slump. Last year Russell became the third driver in NHRA history to win his professional debut and finished the season sixth in the standings. After three events this year the Hockley, Texas driver has three first round losses and has not qualified higher than the No. 12 spot. "We'll be up to speed soon, I'm convinced of that," said the 33-year-old Russell. "We have an extensive test session scheduled before the race in Las Vegas and I'm optimistic that we'll find and fix our problems before then. We won at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway late last year so we have to keep our lucky streak alive there."


(Certification based on a required back up run within 1 percent of the record during the course of the same event)


E.T. - 4.477 seconds by Kenny Bernstein, June 2001, Joliet, Ill.

MPH - 332.18 mph by Bernstein, Oct. 2001, Mohnton, Pa.


E.T. - 4.731 seconds by John Force, Oct. 2001, Mohnton, Pa.

MPH - 326.87 mph by Gary Densham, Feb. 2002, Pomona, Calif.


E.T. - 6.750 seconds Jeg Coughlin, Oct. 2001, Mohnton, Pa.

MPH - 204.35 mph by Mark Osborne, Oct. 2001, Mohnton, Pa.


E.T. - 7.092 seconds by Matt Hines, Oct. 2001, Mohnton, Pa.

MPH - 194.10 mph by Hines, May 2001, Englishtown, Pa.



E.T. - 4.509 seconds by Larry Dixon, Oct. 2001

MPH - 326.08 mph by Kenny Bernstein, Oct. 2001


E.T. - 4.748 seconds by Whit Bazemore, Oct. 2001

MPH - 323.04 mph by Bazemore, Oct. 2001


E.T. - 6.933 seconds by Jim Yates, April 2001

MPH - 198.41 mph by Mike Edwards, Oct. 2001


(Following the third of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERADE Drag Racing Series) 


Place Driver Points

(Victories in Parentheses)

1. Larry Dixon, Indianapolis, Miller Lite Dragster (2) 333

2. Kenny Bernstein, Lake Forest, Calif., Budweiser King Dragster 228

3. Tony Schumacher, Park Ridge, Ill., U.S. Army Dragster (1) 206

4. Doug Kalitta, Ypsilanti, Mich., Mac Tools Dragster 183

5. Cory McClenathan, Anaheim, Calif., MBNA Dragster 182

6. Clay Millican, Millington, Tenn., Werner Enterprises Dragster 179

7. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, Anderson, S.C., FRAM Racing Dragster 118

David Grubnic, Ennis, Mont., Montana Express Dragster 118

9. Doug Herbert, Cherryville, N.C., Snap-on Tools Dragster 117

10. John Smith, Anderson, S.C., FRAM Racing Dragster 113


1. John Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Castrol GTX Ford Mustang (1) 250

2. Del Worsham, Chino Hills, Calif., Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird (1) 216

3. Tony Pedregon, Chino Hills, Calif., Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang (1) 202

4. Ron Capps, Carlsbad, Calif., Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro 199

5. Gary Scelzi, Fresno, Calif., White Cap Toyota Celica 175

6. Johnny Gray, Carlsbad, N.M., Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird 174

7. Gary Densham, Bellflower, Calif., Auto Club / Castrol Ford Mustang 171

8. Scotty Cannon, Lyman, S.C., Oakley Pontiac Firebird 164

9. Tommy Johnson Jr., Avon, Ind., Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro 138

10. Whit Bazemore, Indianapolis, Matco Tools Pontiac Firebird 125


1. George Marnell, Las Vegas, GM Motorsports Pontiac Grand Am (1) 220

2. Warren Johnson, Buford, Ga., GM Performance Parts Pontiac Grand Am 219

3. Jim Yates, Alexandria, Va., Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Grand Am 207

4. Bruce Allen, Arlington, Texas, Reher-Morrison Pontiac Grand Am (1) 202

5. Tom Hammonds, Crestview, Fla., Winnebago Chevrolet Cavalier 187

6. Kurt Johnson, Lawrenceville, Ga., ACDelco Chevrolet Cavalier 179

7. Darrell Alderman, Morehead, Ky., Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T (1) 176

8. Mike Edwards, Broken Arrow, Okla., Young Life Chevrolet Cavalier 137

9. Jeg Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, Team Jeg's Chevrolet Cavalier 136

10. Ron Krisher, Warren, Ohio, Eagle One Chevrolet Cavalier 134


1. Craig Treble, Chandler, Ariz., Matco Tools Suzuki (1) 115

2. Angelle Savoie, New Orleans, Star Racing Suzuki 97

3. Shawn Gann, Stoneville, N.C., Mac Tools/Gann Speed Suzuki 76

4. Reggie Showers, Philadelphia, PDI/DampRid Suzuki 73

5. Matt Hines, Trinidad, Colo., Vance & Hines Eagle One Suzuki 58

6. Antron Brown, Indianapolis, Team 23 Suzuki 54

7. Mike Berry, Littleton, Colo., MB Precision Machine Suzuki 53

8. Steve Johnson, Birmingham, Ala., K&N Filters Suzuki 52

9. Chris Bostic, Winter Springs, Fla. Bostic Racing Suzuki 34

10. Geno Scali, Palentine, Ill., Scali Racing Kawasaki 32

Terry Kizer, Humble, Texas, Lartigue Racing Suzuki 32

John Smith, Minneapolis, Anoka-Ramsey Suzuki 32


WHAT: Third annual NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals, the fourth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Professional competitors in three categories earn points leading to 2002 NHRA POWERade championships. Sportsman competitors in seven categories earn points leading to 2002 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series championships.

WHERE: The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Nevada. From the Las Vegas Strip or McCarran International Airport, take I-15 north approximately 15 miles to Speedway Blvd. Turn right.

WHEN: Thursday through Sunday, April 4-7.

PURSE: Cash and contingency awards of more than $1.9 million.

SCHEDULE: THURSDAY, April 4 -- Gates open at 7 a.m. Qualifying and sportsman time trials, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

FRIDAY, April 5 -- Gates open at 7 a.m. Qualifying and sportsman eliminations, 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.


SATURDAY, April 6 -- Gates open at 7 a.m. Qualifying and sportsman time trials, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.


SUNDAY, April 7 -- Gates open at 7 a.m. Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m. FINAL ELIMINATIONS begin at 11 a.m.

TELEVISION: Saturday, April 6, ESPN2 will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 8 p.m. (ET).

Sunday, April 7, ESPN2 will televise two hours of eliminations at 10 p.m. (ET).

SATELLITE: Friday, April 5, 9-9:30 p.m. (ET) - Galaxy 11 (ku)/Transponder 14 (11980MHz, vertical)

Saturday, April 6, 8:30- 9 p.m. (ET) - Galaxy 11 (ku)/Transponder 13 (11960MHz, vertical)

Sunday, April 7, 9-9:30 p.m. (ET) - Galaxy 11 (ku)/Transponder 14 (11980MHz, vertical)

Feeds include action with natural sound of Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock, plus interviews with qualifying leaders on Saturday and winners on Sunday.

2001 CHAMPIONS: Kenny Bernstein, Top Fuel; Tommy Johnson Jr., Funny Car; Jeg Coughlin, Pro Stock.

TICKETS: For tickets call The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, (702) 644-4444. Tickets also available at Ticketmaster.

GENERAL ADMISSION (includes pit pass) - Thursday: Adult, $10; Junior (6-12 years), free. Friday: Adult, $20; Junior (6-12 years), $10. Saturday: Adult, $40; Junior (6-12 years), $10. Sunday: Adult, $50; Junior (6-12 years) $15; Child (5 years and under), free with paying adult in general admission and pit access areas each day.

RESERVED SEATS (includes pit pass) - Saturday: Adult, $50; Junior (6-12 years), $20; Child (5 years and under), $10. Sunday: Adult, $60; Junior (6-12 years), $25; Child (5 years and under), $10.

NHRA Communications


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