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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

NHRA Prolong Northwest Nats Recap

by motorsport.com

KENT, Wash. - Gary Scelzi tied the NHRA single-season win record in Top Fuel, outrunning Doug Kalitta in Sunday's final of the 6,000 horsepower category at the Prolong Super Lubricants Northwest Nationals presented by NAPA Auto Parts. John Force and Richie Stevens also were winners of the $1.6 million race, the 14th of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

Scelzi, from Fresno, Calif., covered the Seattle International Raceway quarter-mile in 4.711 seconds at 303.98 mph in his Team Winston dragster to record his sixth victory of the season, edging Kalitta's MGM Grand dragster at the finish, which recorded a slower 4.789 at 291.19. Scelzi, who claimed his first SIR victory and 20th career win with the performance, tied the win record that he already co-owned with eight other drivers. Scelzi was also a six-time winner in 1998.

"The key to the race today was having lane choice," said Scelzi. "I didn't have to run in the left lane all day and that helped us. There's a real narrow groove here and I think the best lane for this weekend was the right lane. We had our work cut out. We had to beat Rhonda Hartman-Smith, Kenny Bernstein and Larry Dixon and Kalitta. There were no easy rounds out there." 

Scelzi increased his Winston points lead to 123 over defending series champ Tony Schumacher, who lost in the first round after an uncharacteristic red-light. "When Schumacher went out early it gave us an opportunity," Scelzi said. "In the past we haven't been able to capitalize on those situations, but today we scored big."

Force, from Yorba Linda, Calif., claimed his sixth Funny Car victory of the season and in the process cut into Jerry Toliver's Winston points lead with a win over Frank Pedregon. It was Force's fifth victory at SIR and 87th overall. Force drove his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to the win with a run of 4.973 at 299.60, while Pedregon's machine lost traction and covered the distance in 6.530 at 140.69. "We had a good old hot rod today," said Force, who also defeated Frank's brothers - Cruz and Tony - in earlier elimination rounds. 

"We started out hot at the beginning of the year but got lost at Columbus when we brought out the new body. We've been working on it and I think we've got it back." Force cut Toliver's Winston points lead to 32, after defeating his new rival in a head-to-head meeting in the semifinals. "They've got a smart team over there at WWF," Force said. "They proved that today by beating Ron Capps when they didn't have lane choice. They're consistent. Fortunately, we were able to beat 'em today. It's going to be a real dog fight for the championship."

Stevens, from New Orleans, posted his third career victory and first win at SIR, defeating Jeg Coughlin in Pro Stock. Stevens drove his Valspar Refinish Pontiac Firebird to a 7.018 at 195.70, crossing the finish line in front of Coughlin, who posted a slower 7.498 at 146.00 in his Jeg's Mail Order Oldsmobile Cutlass. Stevens defeated Bruce Allen, Warren Johnson and Troy Coughlin before eliminating six-time season winner Jeg in the final. 

"We brought the old car out and went straight to the winner's circle," said an excited Stevens, who last won at Englishtown, N.J. in 1999. "We went from a zero to a hero after our DNQ (did not qualify) at Denver." With the runner-up finish, Coughlin increased his Winston points lead to 227 over Ron Krisher. Stevens moved to seventh in the order with the victory.

The next NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series event is the 13th annual FRAM Autolite Nationals, Aug. 4-6, at Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma, Calif.

KENT, Wash. -- Final finish order (1-16) for professional categories at the 13th annual Prolong Super Lubricants Northwest Nationals Presented by NAPA at Seattle International Raceway. The $1.6 million race is the 14th of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL: 1. Gary Scelzi; 2. Doug Kalitta; 3. Larry Dixon; 4. David Grubnic; 5. Cory McClenathan; 6. Bob Vandergriff; 7. Kenny Bernstein; 8. Joe Amato; 9. Gary Clapshaw; 10. Don Lampus; 11. Paul Romine; 12. Doug Herbert; 13. Craig Smith; 14. Bobby Lagana; 15. Rhonda Hartman-Smith; 16. Tony Schumacher.

FUNNY CAR: 1. John Force, Ford Mustang; 2. Frank Pedregon, Pontiac Firebird; 3. Jim Epler, Chevy Camaro; 4. Jerry Toliver, Firebird; 5. Del Worsham, Firebird; 6. Tommy Johnson Jr., Firebird; 7. Ron Capps, Camaro; 8. Tony Pedregon, Mustang; 9. Al Hofmann, Firebird; 10. Bruce Sarver, Firebird; 11. Cruz Pedregon, Firebird; 12. Scotty Cannon, Camaro; 13. Cory Lee, Dodge Avenger; 14. Whit Bazemore, Camaro; 15. Louis Sweet, Avenger; 16. Dean Skuza, Avenger.

PRO STOCK: 1. Richie Stevens, Pontiac Firebird; 2. Jeg Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass; 3. Troy Coughlin, Cutlass; 4. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Camaro; 5. Jim Yates, Firebird; 6. Ron Krisher, Firebird; 7. Warren Johnson, Firebird; 8. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger; 9. Darrell Alderman, Avenger; 10. Scott Geoffrion, Avenger; 11. Robert Patrick, Ford Mustang; 12. V. Gaines, Camaro; 13. Rickie Smith, Camaro; 14. Bruce Allen, Firebird; 15. Tom Martino, Firebird; 16. Mark Pawuk, Firebird.

KENT, Wash. -- Sunday's final results from the 13th annual Prolong Super Lubricants Northwest Nationals Presented by NAPA at Seattle International Raceway. The $1.6 million race is the 14th of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel -- Gary Scelzi, 4.711 seconds, 303.98 mph def. Doug Kalitta, 4.789 seconds, 291.19 mph.

Funny Car -- John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.973, 299.60 def. Frank Pedregon, Pontiac Firebird, 6.530, 140.69.

Pro Stock -- Richie Stevens, Pontiac Firebird, 7.018, 195.70 def. Jeg Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 7.498, 146.00.

Federal-Mogul Dragster -- Rick Santos, 5.492, 254.81 def. Steve Federlin, 5.614, 249.30.

Federal-Mogul Funny Car -- Bucky Austin, Chevy Camaro, 5.818, 243.55 def. Steve Gasparrelli, Pontiac Firebird, 5.925, 243.99.

Comp Eliminator -- David Rampy, '32 Roadster, 7.579, 150.53 def. Alan Freese, Pontiac Grand Prix, 8.299, 144.44.

Super Stock -- John Schiess, Oldsmobile Calais, 9.770, 133.91 def. Pete Kost, Calais, 10.207, 130.77.

Stock -- Gary Waldo, Chevy Nova, 11.782, 110.03 def. Toby Lang, Chevelle, 12.090, 110.85.

Super Comp -- Jim Hughes, 8.969, 138.88 def. Troy Moyle, 8.933, 158.04.

Super Gas -- Mike Blodgett, Chevy Vega, 9.901, 136.68 def. Mike Henderson, Chevy Camaro, 9.872, 149.98.

Super Street -- Paul Nero, Ford Mustang, 10.915, 126.06 def. Jim Glenn, Pontiac Firebird, 10.934, 118.74.

KENT, Wash. -- Final round-by-round results from the 13th annual Prolong Super Lubricants Northwest Nationals Presented by NAPA at Seattle International Raceway, the 14th of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE -- Kenny Bernstein, 4.739, 303.37 def. Doug Herbert, 5.966, 155.49; Joe Amato, 4.799, 295.14 def. Don Lampus, 4.857, 276.97; David Grubnic, 6.496, 229.98 def. Tony Schumacher, (foul; Bob Vandergriff, 4.765, 307.51 def. Craig Smith, 8.003, 92.45; Gary Scelzi, 4.702, 306.40 def. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 11.153, 88.27; Cory McClenathan, 7.487, 149.61 def. Bobby Lagana, 10.068, 100.96; Larry Dixon, 4.638, 312.64 def. Gary Clapshaw, 4.831, 284.03; Doug Kalitta, 4.780, 296.24 def. Paul Romine, 5.015, 281.07; 

QUARTERFINALS -- Grubnic, 4.940, 283.79 def. McClenathan, foul; Kalitta, 4.756, 300.13 def. Amato, foul; Scelzi, 4.688, 307.44 def. Bernstein, 4.847, 282.24; Dixon, 4.706, 306.26 def. Vandergriff, 4.743, 281.36; SEMIFINALS -- Kalitta, 4.677, 302.35 def. Grubnic, 5.442, 219.12; Scelzi, 4.677, 305.22 def. Dixon, 5.164, 240.72; FINAL -- Scelzi, 4.711, 303.98 def. Kalitta, 4.789, 291.19.

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE -- Jim Epler, Chevy Camaro, 5.060, 291.19 def. Bruce Sarver, Pontiac Firebird, 5.313, 287.53; Jerry Toliver, Firebird, 5.094, 284.03 def. Cory Lee, Dodge Avenger, 5.591, 211.46; Tommy Johnson Jr., Firebird, 5.060, 286.07 def. Whit Bazemore, Camaro, 5.980, 215.89; John Force, Ford Mustang, 5.001, 299.26 def. Cruz Pedregon, Firebird, 5.451, 199.85; Del Worsham, Firebird, 5.007, 296.89 def. Scotty Cannon, Camaro, 5.459, 192.60; Ron Capps, Camaro, 5.049, 291.01 def. Louis Sweet, Avenger, 6.232, 155.96; Tony Pedregon, Mustang, 5.089, 285.11 def. Al Hofmann, Firebird, 5.156, 256.21; Frank Pedregon, Firebird, 5.112, 284.62 def. Dean Skuza, Avenger, 6.337, 156.23; 

QUARTERFINALS -- F. Pedregon, 5.076, 281.13 def. Johnson Jr., 6.192, 171.08; Toliver, 5.120, 291.45 def. Capps, 8.636, 94.97; Force, 5.072, 287.41 def. T. Pedregon, 10.484, 82.74; Epler, 5.121, 293.92 def. Worsham, 5.190, 279.61; SEMIFINALS -- F. Pedregon, 5.129, 285.41 def. Epler, 5.140, 284.62; Force, 5.042, 290.26 def. Toliver, 5.156, 288.46; FINAL -- Force, 4.973, 299.60 def. F. Pedregon, 6.530, 140.69.

PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE -- Troy Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 6.985, 196.90 def. Darrell Alderman, Dodge Avenger, 6.977, 196.04; Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.990, 195.59 def. V. Gaines, Chevy Camaro, 7.026, 195.99; Jim Yates, Pontiac Firebird, 6.948, 197.39 def. Robert Patrick, Ford Mustang, 7.013, 195.90; Richie Stevens, Firebird, 6.963, 196.47 def. Bruce Allen, Firebird, 8.189, 123.75; Warren Johnson, Firebird, 6.948, 198.15 def. Mark Pawuk, Firebird, 11.727, 70.28; Jeg Coughlin, Cutlass, 6.933, 197.83 def. Tom Martino, Firebird, 8.999, 105.41; Kurt Johnson, Camaro, 6.936, 198.82 def. Scott Geoffrion, Avenger, 6.988, 196.10; Ron Krisher, Firebird, 6.965, 197.45 def. Rickie Smith, Camaro, 7.031, 195.99;

QUARTERFINALS -- T. Coughlin, 6.996, 196.59 def. Krisher, 6.974, 196.59; Stevens, 7.015, 195.28 def. W. Johnson, 7.012, 196.22; K. Johnson, 6.945, 198.26 def. A. Johnson, 7.017, 195.87; J. Coughlin, 6.984, 197.83 def. Yates, 6.971, 197.65; SEMIFINALS -- Stevens, 7.019, 195.51 def. T. Coughlin, 8.158, 106.31; J. Coughlin, 8.076, 124.96 def. K. Johnson, 10.756, 81.28; FINAL -- Stevens, 7.018, 195.70 def. J. Coughlin, 7.498, 146.00.

KENT, Wash. -- Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional categories following the 13th annual Prolong Super Lubricants Northwest Nationals Presented by NAPA at Seattle International Raceway, the 14th of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL: 1. Gary Scelzi, 1,147; 2. Tony Schumacher, 1,024; 3. Larry Dixon, 994; 4. Joe Amato, 859; 5. Kenny Bernstein, 857; 6. Doug Kalitta, 681; 7. Cory McClenathan, 670; 8. Doug Herbert, 537; 9. David Grubnic, 517; 10. Don Lampus, 515.

FUNNY CAR: 1. Jerry Toliver, 1,084; 2. John Force, 1,052; 3. Tony Pedregon, 848; 4. Ron Capps, 839; 5. Jim Epler, 738; 6. Scotty Cannon, 615; 7. Dean Skuza, 604; 8. Del Worsham, 593; 9. Whit Bazemore, 592; 10. Al Hofmann, 538.

PRO STOCK: 1. Jeg Coughlin, 1,123; 2. Ron Krisher, 896; 3. Warren Johnson, 838; 4. Kurt Johnson, 778; 5. Troy Coughlin, 740; 6. Mark Pawuk, 697; 7. Richie Stevens, 663; 8. Jim Yates, 617; 9. Tom Martino, 566; 10. Bruce Allen, 542.

 

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