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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Dixon, Densham, Krisher Claim Victories
at NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals

By NHRA Communications

LAS VEGAS -- Larry Dixon continued to set a dominating pace in NHRA Top Fuel competition Sunday by scoring his third victory of the young season at the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals.

Gary Densham and Ron Krisher also were winners at the $1.9 million race, the fourth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Dixon was consistently quick in his special edition Elvis Presley-tribute Miller Lite dragster throughout the day and outran Cory McClenathan in the final round to claim his 19th career victory, and first-ever at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Dixon covered the quarter-mile in 4.639 seconds at 319.29 mph to cross the finish line in front of McClenathan, who posted a 4.728 at 313.88 in his first final round appearance since the 2000 season. Dixon knocked off Scott Weis, David Grubnic, and Tony Schumacher to advance to his fourth final of the season.

"What a great day," said Dixon, who earned more than $40,000 for the win. "I'm really happy. We had a few problems early but we figured them out and got it done. This team is awesome and we are really clicking right now. To run the quickest pass of the day in the final round... all I can say is wow."

With the win, he increased his series points lead to 147 over defending champion Kenny Bernstein.

"I know I need to keep this pace up for seven more months if we are going to win the championship," said Dixon. "We can't get over-confident at this point because we've got 19 races to go. We're going to celebrate tonight and start preparing for Houston."

Densham earned his third career Funny Car victory, taking a photo-finish win over Tommy Johnson Jr. Densham, who defeated Frank Pedregon, John Lawson and Del Worsham in early rounds, powered his Auto Club/Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to a final-round 5.409 at 205.13 to edge Johnson's Skoal Chevy Camaro, which clocked a 5.447 at 272.61.

"This is absolutely dynamite," said Densham, who after 30 years of racing without a victory, has claimed three of the last 10 races dating back to last season. "Once you get that first one, it seems like they just keep falling into place. In all the years I've been racing, I have put in a lot of luck deposits and have never got anything back. Today it was different. To win here, what a dream."

Densham's $40,000 victory gave some solace to team owner John Force, who was denied once again in his bid to earn his 100th career Funny Car victory. Force, who leads the series standings by 20, was upset in the second round by Worsham, who anchors the second spot in the season standings.

"It would've been great to win the 100th here at Las Vegas with Elvis riding with me," said Force, who also featured a special Elvis Presley-tribute design on his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang. "It wasn't our day. We'll go on to Houston and see if we can get it done there."

Krisher took his first victory of the season and fourth of his career, beating Darrell Alderman in a classic Chevy vs. Dodge match-up. Krisher covered the distance in 7.016 at 197.83 in his Eagle One Cavalier, while Alderman trailed in his Team Mopar Neon R/T at 7.026 at 197.54.

Krisher defeated JR Carr, Jeg Coughlin, and Jim Yates to advance to the final.

"That first round was the biggest win I've had in my career," said a relieved Krisher, whose consistently quick car has been plagued by a variety of problems on race day all season. "Once I got that first round under my belt, I knew we were going to be OK. You need a little confidence to win races, and I think we found some today."

Hometown favorite George Marnell posted a semifinal finish to maintain the points lead, 15 in front of Yates. Krisher moved to fifth overall in the standings, 45 points behind the leader.

"We have the quickest and fastest car out here and I think everybody realizes that," said Krisher, who earned $25,000 for the victory. "I think we can make a run for the championship and we've got as good a shot at it as anyone."

The Next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the O'Reilly Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park, April 11-14.

LAS VEGAS -- Final finish order (1-16) for professional categories at the Third annual NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The $1.9 million race is the fourth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

1. Larry Dixon; 2. Cory McClenathan; 3. Kenny Bernstein; 4. Tony Schumacher; 5. David Grubnic; 6. Melanie Troxel; 7. Darrell Russell; 8. Rhonda Hartman-Smith; 9. Doug Kalitta; 10. Chris Karamesines; 11. Yuichi Oyama; 12. Doug Herbert; 13. Andrew Cowin; 14. Scott Weis; 15. Gary Clapshaw; 16. Ken Zeal.

FUNNY CAR:

1. Gary Densham, Ford Mustang; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr., Chevy Camaro; 3. Del Worsham, Pontiac Firebird; 4. Tim Wilkerson, Firebird; 5. John Force, Mustang; 6. John Lawson, Firebird; 7. Ron Capps, Camaro; 8. Gary Scelzi, Toyota Celica; 9. Whit Bazemore, Firebird; 10. Todd Paton, Chevrolet Camaro; 11. Bob Gilbertson, Firebird; 12. Tony Pedregon, Mustang; 13. Frank Pedregon, Firebird; 14. Scotty Cannon, Firebird; 15. Dean Skuza, Dodge Stratus R/T; 16. Jerry Toliver, Firebird.

PRO STOCK:

1. Ron Krisher, Chevy Cavalier; 2. Darrell Alderman, Dodge Neon R/T; 3. George Marnell, Pontiac Grand Am; 4. Jim Yates, Grand Am; 5. Warren Johnson, Grand Am; 6. Jeg Coughlin, Cavalier; 7. Tom Hammonds, Cavalier; 8. Mike Edwards, Cavalier; 9. Bruce Allen, Grand Am; 10. JR Carr, Pontiac Firebird; 11. Tom Martino, Grand Am; 12. V. Gaines, Cavalier; 13. Troy Coughlin, Cavalier; 14. Greg Anderson, Cavalier; 15. John Geyer, Neon R/T; 16. Mark Pawuk, Grand Am.

LAS VEGAS -- Sunday's final results from the Third annual NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The $1.9 million race is the fourth of 23 in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel -- Larry Dixon, 4.639 seconds, 319.29 mph def. Cory McClenathan, 4.728 seconds, 313.88 mph.

Funny Car -- Gary Densham, Ford Mustang, 5.409, 205.13 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Chevy Camaro, 5.447, 272.61.

Pro Stock -- Ron Krisher, Chevy Cavalier, 7.016, 197.83 def. Darrell Alderman, Dodge Neon R/T, 7.026, 197.54.

Top Alcohol Dragster -- Darren Nicholson, 5.544, 256.65 def. Mark Hentges, 5.556, 257.63.

Top Alcohol Funny Car -- Larry Miner, Chevy Camaro, 5.809, 246.12 def. Ron August Jr, Camaro, foul.

Competition Eliminator -- Brett Brown, Roadster, 8.748, 148.15 def. Wayne Ramay, Dragster, 7.335, 167.59.

Super Stock -- Tony De Frank, Pontiac Grand Am, 10.471, 126.45 def. Scott Graham, Plymouth Barracuda, 9.519, 140.62.

Stock Eliminator -- Jim Hughes, Chevy Nova, 11.149, 119.04 def. Brad Plourd, Chevy Camaro, 12.415, 104.00.

Super Comp -- Bart Hiatt, Dragster, 9.069, 160.92 def. Ashley Jeffery, Dragster, 9.032, 162.22.

Super Gas -- Jim Hughes, Chevy Corvette, 10.049, 138.29 def. William Boxold, Roadster, 10.018, 148.85.

LAS VEGAS -- Final round-by-round results from the Third annual NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the fourth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE -- David Grubnic, 5.703, 236.17 def. Andrew Cowin, 6.253, 193.40; Melanie Troxel, 5.730, 167.43 def. Doug Herbert, 5.964, 147.13; Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.787, 286.01 def. Chris Karamesines, 4.799, 302.62; Darrell Russell, 4.730, 311.49 def. Yuichi Oyama, foul; Kenny Bernstein, 4.707, 318.69 def. Gary Clapshaw, 9.831, 82.87; Tony Schumacher, 4.750, 313.88 def. Ken Zeal, 12.970, 73.10; Cory McClenathan, 4.732, 318.77 def. Doug Kalitta, 4.791, 311.05; Larry Dixon, 4.733, 320.51 def. Scott Weis, 6.825, 131.24;

QUARTERFINALS -- Dixon, 4.887, 293.66 def. Grubnic, 5.230, 265.48; Bernstein, 4.918, 289.45 def. Hartman-Smith, 8.360, 92.49; Schumacher, 4.758, 312.21 def. Russell, 8.174, 95.60; McClenathan, 4.769, 303.78 def. Troxel, 6.822, 147.26;

SEMIFINALS -- McClenathan, 4.701, 313.80 def. Bernstein, 4.793, 313.66; Dixon, 4.702, 313.29 def. Schumacher, 5.695, 182.30;

FINAL -- Dixon, 4.639, 319.29 def. McClenathan, 4.728, 313.88.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE -- Gary Densham, Ford Mustang, 5.972, 226.92 def. Frank Pedregon, Pontiac Firebird, 6.218, 207.40; Tim Wilkerson, Firebird, 5.015, 301.67 def. Bob Gilbertson, Firebird, 5.120, 302.08; John Force, Mustang, 4.919, 318.54 def. Dean Skuza, Dodge Stratus R/T, 6.749, 139.66; Tommy Johnson Jr., Chevy Camaro, 4.969, 303.91 def. Whit Bazemore, Firebird, 4.984, 304.67; John Lawson, Firebird, 4.945, 302.01 def. Scotty Cannon, Firebird, 6.489, 141.67; Gary Scelzi, Toyota Celica, 4.891, 313.00 def. Todd Paton, Chevrolet Camaro, 5.080, 279.90; Ron Capps, Camaro, 5.937, 161.23 def. Jerry Toliver, Firebird, DQ; Del Worsham, Firebird, 5.239, 294.63 def. Tony Pedregon, Mustang, 5.459, 214.31;

QUARTERFINALS -- Wilkerson, 4.982, 300.26 def. Capps, 5.838, 185.26; Johnson Jr., 5.209, 248.25 def. Scelzi, 7.902, 106.03; Worsham, 4.984, 307.79 def. Force, 4.977, 308.07; Densham, 5.018, 308.21 def. Lawson, 5.009, 296.76;

SEMIFINALS -- Johnson Jr., 5.137, 282.07 def. Wilkerson, 5.504, 262.90; Densham, 5.040, 290.88 def. Worsham, 5.068, 304.74;

FINAL -- Densham, 5.409, 205.13 def. Johnson Jr., 5.447, 272.61.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE -- Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Cavalier, 7.009, 197.36 def. Troy Coughlin, Cavalier, 7.036, 196.79; Mike Edwards, Cavalier, 7.008, 197.02 def. V. Gaines, Cavalier, 7.029, 197.74; Warren Johnson, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.996, 197.80 def. Bruce Allen, Grand Am, 7.006, 197.59; Tom Hammonds, Cavalier, 7.040, 196.70 def. Mark Pawuk, Grand Am, 7.079, 195.87; Jim Yates, Grand Am, 7.013, 197.33 def. Greg Anderson, Cavalier, 7.041, 197.83; Darrell Alderman, Dodge Neon R/T, 7.021, 197.16 def. Tom Martino, Grand Am, 7.026, 197.45; George Marnell, Grand Am, 7.024, 197.08 def. John Geyer, Neon R/T, 7.050, 196.73; Ron Krisher, Cavalier, 6.990, 198.15 def. JR Carr, Pontiac Firebird, 7.013, 196.90;

QUARTERFINALS -- Jim Yates, 7.018, 196.87 def. Hammonds, 7.083, 195.48; Marnell, 7.034, 196.85 def. Edwards, 8.555, 110.76; Alderman, 7.038, 197.05 def. W. Johnson, 7.024, 197.48; Krisher, 6.998, 197.68 def. J. Coughlin, 7.052, 190.30;

SEMIFINALS -- Alderman, 7.030, 197.33 def. Marnell, 7.028, 197.25; Krisher, 6.979, 198.00 def. Jim Yates, 7.032, 197.05;

FINAL -- Krisher, 7.016, 197.83 def. Alderman, 7.026, 197.54.

LAS VEGAS -- Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional categories following the Third annual NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the fourth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel

1. Larry Dixon, 451; 2. Kenny Bernstein, 304; 3. Tony Schumacher, 281; 4. Cory McClenathan, 279; 5. Doug Kalitta, 214; 6. Clay Millican, 179; 7. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 172; 8. David Grubnic, 170; 9. Doug Herbert, 149; 10. Darrell Russell, 146.

Funny Car

1. John Force, 308; 2. Del Worsham, 288; 3. Gary Densham, 286; 4. Ron Capps, 252; 5. Tony Pedregon, 235; 6. (tie) Tommy Johnson Jr., 229; Gary Scelzi, 229; 8. Scotty Cannon, 198; 9. Johnny Gray, 184; 10. John Lawson, 167.

Pro Stock

1. George Marnell, 297; 2. Jim Yates, 282; 3. Warren Johnson, 273; 4. Darrell Alderman, 267; 5. Ron Krisher, 252; 6. Tom Hammonds, 241; 7. Bruce Allen, 234; 8. (tie) Kurt Johnson, 189; Mike Edwards, 189; 10. Jeg Coughlin, 188.

NHRA Communications

 

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