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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

NHRA Fram Autolite Nationals Results

By motorsport.com

SONOMA, Calif. -- John Force reclaimed the Winston points lead in Funny Car Sunday by recording his seventh victory of the season at the FRAM Autolite Nationals at Sears Point Raceway.

Doug Kalitta and Kurt Johnson also were winners in their respective categories at the $1.8 million race, the 15th of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

Force, from Yorba Linda, Calif., earned his 88th career victory when teammate Tony Pedregon fouled at the start in the all-Team Castrol Ford Mustang final round. Force, who last won at Sears Point in 1994, moved 75 points ahead of WWF Racing's Jerry Toliver with the victory.

"We had a great running hot rod right up until the final," said Force, who is seeking a record 10th NHRA Winston championship this season. "The fans wanted a race, but he redlit and mine smoked the tires. Tony was really upset too. I don't feel like I won. If the fans don't get a race, I don't feel like I did my job."

It was Force's 10th win over Pedregon in 14 final round meetings, but the veteran driver says despite what the public might think, there was no team meeting to decide the outcome. Force said that it was just an ugly drag race where one car jumped the start and the other one immediately lost traction after the start.

"We've got a two car team so we can win," Force said. "We've been fighting this old plague ever since I came up with this two-car team. You can't win and you can't lose. One half will say that you threw it, and the other half will say it went the other way. So when it's over, you don't know what you did."

However, Force does know that he accomplished one very important thing over the weekend: he moved back to his familiar perch atop the Funny Car standings. With the victory, Force dashed 75 points ahead of Winston championship challenger Jerry Toliver, who failed to qualify for the event.

"Our game plan is to whip the WWF team," said Force, who earned $40,000 for the victory, his fifth at Sears Point Raceway. "I love Jerry and I felt real bad for him when he didn't qualify, but we want to beat 'em this year for the Winston championship. That's what we're after."

Kalitta, from Ypsilanti, Mich., won for the third straight year at this event in Top Fuel, defeating Larry Dixon. It was Kalitta's second win of the season, worth $40,000.

"I don't know what it is about this track," said Kalitta, the only repeat Top Fuel winner in the history of the event. "I just told the guys to go back to whatever has worked here in the past. I guess they did that and it worked out for us."

Kalitta's machine emerged from a side-by-side, tire-smoking battle to edge Dixon's dragster at the finish by about eight feet. Kalitta covered the quarter-mile distance in 5.247 at 274.33 in his MGM Grand dragster, while Dixon posted a quicker, but losing, 5.234 at 265.33 in the Miller Lite dragster.

"We made great runs all day except the last one," said Kalitta, who defeated Craig Smith, Don Lampus and Bob Vandergriff to advance to the final round. "About half way down the track (against Dixon) I just pumped (the throttle) once and held on for whatever it was worth and we snuck by and got the win, so we're real happy."

The runner-up finish vaulted Dixon into second overall in the Winston standings, 97 behind leader Gary Scelzi, who lost in the opening round to upset expert Jim Cavalieri. It is the second time this season that Scelzi has lost in the opening round to Cavalieri.

Johnson, from Lawrenceville, Ga., earned his second Pro Stock win of the season and the 17th of his career, defeating Allen Johnson in the final. The winning Johnson posted a 6.974 at 198.61 in his AC Delco Chevrolet Camaro, defeating the Greeneville, Tenn. native's slower Amoco Dodge Avenger, which covered the same distance in 7.024 at 196.67.

"It was a battle all day," said Kurt, who earned round wins over Tom Hammonds, Mark Pawuk and Winston points leader Jeg Coughlin. "We changed clutches, changed transmissions and changed suspensions to get down this track. My hat's off to the AC Delco team."

Despite losing in the semifinals to the eventual winner, Coughlin increased his Winston lead to 242 over Ron Krisher.

The next NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series event is the 19th annual Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals, Aug. 17-20, at The Colonel's Brainerd International Raceway, Brainerd, Minn.

Final finish order (1-16) for professional categories at the 13th annual FRAM Autolite Nationals at Sears Point Raceway. The $1.8 million race is the 15th of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.


1. Doug Kalitta; 2. Larry Dixon; 3. Bob Vandergriff; 4. Jim Cavalieri; 5. Kenny Bernstein; 6. Don Lampus; 7. Tony Schumacher; 8. Tim Gibson; 9. Gary Clapshaw; 10. Cory McClenathan; 11. Gary Scelzi; 12. David Grubnic; 13. Doug Herbert; 14. Joe Amato; 15. Craig Smith; 16. Bobby Baldwin.


1. John Force, Ford Mustang; 2. Tony Pedregon, Mustang; 3. Dean Skuza, Dodge Avenger; 4. Scotty Cannon, Chevy Camaro; 5. Ron Capps, Camaro; 6. Gary Densham, Pontiac Firebird; 7. Whit Bazemore, Camaro; 8. Bruce Sarver, Firebird; 9. Del Worsham, Firebird; 10. Jim Epler, Camaro; 11. Louis Sweet, Avenger; 12. Dale Creasy Jr., Firebird; 13. Cruz Pedregon, Firebird; 14. Tommy Johnson Jr., Firebird; 15. Bob Gilbertson, Camaro; 16. Al Hofmann, Firebird.


1. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Camaro; 2. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger; 3. Jeg Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass; 4. Darrell Alderman, Avenger; 5. Warren Johnson, Pontiac Firebird; 6. John Geyer, Avenger; 7. Mark Pawuk, Firebird; 8. Ron Krisher, Firebird; 9. Larry Morgan, Avenger; 10. Jim Yates, Firebird; 11. Troy Coughlin, Cutlass; 12. Tony Gillig, Cutlass; 13. Gordie Rivera, Cutlass; 14. Rickie Smith, Camaro; 15. Tom Martino, Firebird; 16. Tom Hammonds, Camaro.

Sunday's final results from the 13th annual FRAM Autolite Nationals at Sears Point Raceway. The $1.8 million race is the 15th of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel -- Doug Kalitta, 5.247 seconds, 274.33 mph def. Larry Dixon, 5.234 seconds, 265.33 mph.

Funny Car -- John Force, Ford Mustang, 9.055, 101.81 def. Tony Pedregon, Mustang, foul.

Pro Stock -- Kurt Johnson, Chevy Camaro, 6.974, 198.61 def. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 7.024, 196.67.

Federal-Mogul Dragster -- Steve Faria, 5.577, 249.21 def. Gary Ormsby Jr., 5.607, 251.06.

Federal-Mogul Funny Car -- Larry Miner, Dodge Avenger, 5.844, 250.55 def. Jimmy Bartoli, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 5.819, 238.38.

Comp Eliminator -- Craig Schuck, Dragster, 7.474, 178.10 def. Jeff Lane, Roadster, 8.206, 158.41.

Super Stock -- Dan Fletcher, Chevy Camaro, 10.191, 127.71 def. Terry Sherrill, Chevrolet Corvette, 8.711, 154.58.

Stock -- Jody Lang, Chevrolet Malibu Wagon, 12.912, 98.73 def. Toby Lang, Chevelle, 12.061, 106.09.

Super Comp -- Sheldon Gecker, 8.946, 162.08 def. Mike Henderson, 8.962, 161.21.

Super Gas -- Kevin Mc Clelland, Roadster, 10.055, 120.04 def. John Peterson, Pontiac Grand Am, 10.453, 135.33.

Sunday's final round-by-round results from the 13th annual FRAM Autolite Nationals at Sears Point Raceway, the 15th of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:


ROUND ONE -- Tim Gibson, 5.190, 260.86 def. David Grubnic, 5.587, 217.63; Don Lampus, 4.875, 295.79 def. Cory McClenathan, 4.889, 304.46; Kenny Bernstein, 4.782, 310.48 def. Doug Herbert, 5.666, 164.97; Larry Dixon,
5.372, 268.33 def. Bobby Baldwin, 11.147, 91.04; Jim Cavalieri, 4.898, 303.98 def. Gary Scelzi, 5.432, 262.33; Bob Vandergriff, 4.757, 307.72 def. Gary Clapshaw, 4.880, 302.55; Doug Kalitta, 4.661, 311.77 def. Craig Smith, 9.115, 79.55; Tony Schumacher, 4.824, 312.71 def. Joe Amato, 6.842, 131.61;

QUARTERFINALS -- Dixon, 5.031, 278.92 def. Gibson, 12.483, 83.83; Cavalieri, 4.812, 313.15 def. Schumacher, 6.413, 143.70; Vandergriff, 4.769, 310.13 def. Bernstein, 4.819, 303.78; Kalitta, 4.713, 308.64 def. Lampus, 6.271,
SEMIFINALS -- Dixon, 4.784, 308.85 def. Cavalieri, 4.888, 272.23; Kalitta, 4.765, 302.35 def. Vandergriff, 4.834, 299.66;
FINAL -- Kalitta, 5.247, 274.33 def. Dixon, 5.234, 265.33.


ROUND ONE -- Tony Pedregon, Ford Mustang, 4.989, 306.74 def. Louis Sweet, Dodge Avenger, 5.350, 276.01; Bruce Sarver, Pontiac Firebird, 5.511, 235.68 def. Al Hofmann, Firebird, 8.697, 96.16; John Force, Mustang, 4.999, 307.16 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Firebird, 7.420, 114.10; Whit Bazemore, Chevy Camaro, 6.095, 206.07 def. Dale Creasy Jr., Firebird, 6.353, 172.08; Gary Densham, Firebird, 5.206, 285.47 def. Jim Epler, Camaro, 5.315, 276.24; Scotty Cannon, Camaro, 5.133, 297.68 def. Cruz Pedregon, Firebird, 6.894, 132.59; Ron Capps, Camaro, 5.075, 303.64 def. Del Worsham, Firebird, 5.116, 303.50; Dean Skuza, Avenger, 5.154, 292.27 def. Bob Gilbertson, Camaro, 8.179, 95.17;
QUARTERFINALS -- Cannon, 5.122, 288.58 def. Sarver, 7.564, 106.52; T. Pedregon, 5.113, 269.73 def. Densham, 5.810, 178.85; Force, 5.038, 303.98 def. Capps, 5.156, 296.31; Skuza, 5.212, 289.88 def. Bazemore, 6.135,
SEMIFINALS -- T. Pedregon, 5.210, 226.66 def. Skuza, foul; Force, 5.091, 304.80 def. Cannon, 14.476, 40.35;
FINAL -- Force, 9.055, 101.81 def. T. Pedregon, foul.


ROUND ONE -- Jeg Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 6.926, 199.35 def. Larry Morgan, Dodge Avenger, 6.927, 199.76; Darrell Alderman, Avenger, 6.913, 199.46 def. Troy Coughlin, Cutlass, 6.977, 197.97; John Geyer, Avenger, 6.983, 198.03 def. Rickie Smith, Chevy Camaro, 7.160, 183.17; Mark Pawuk, Pontiac Firebird, 7.203, 191.43 def. Tom Martino, Firebird, 8.654, 114.63; Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.946, 198.29 def. Jim Yates, Firebird, 6.971, 198.90; Warren Johnson, Firebird, 6.921, 201.16 def. Tony Gillig, Cutlass, 7.004, 196.85; Ron Krisher, Firebird, 6.958, 199.76 def. Gordie Rivera, Cutlass, 7.029, 196.50; Kurt Johnson, Camaro, 6.947, 200.74 def. Tom Hammonds, Camaro, foul;

QUARTERFINALS -- K. Johnson, 6.994, 199.49 def. Pawuk, 8.826, 102.80; A. Johnson, 6.989, 197.86 def. Geyer, 7.038, 197.62; Alderman, 9.956, 112.58 def. Krisher, foul; J. Coughlin, 6.946, 199.52 def. W. Johnson, 6.992,
SEMIFINALS -- A. Johnson, 6.993, 197.16 def. Alderman, 11.599, 76.36; K. Johnson, 6.963, 199.55 def. J. Coughlin, 6.971, 198.76; 
FINAL -- K. Johnson, 6.974, 198.61 def. A. Johnson, 7.024, 196.67.

Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional categories following the 13th annual FRAM Autolite Nationals at Sears Point Raceway, the 15th of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:


1. Gary Scelzi, 1,185; 2. Larry Dixon, 1,088; 3. Tony Schumacher, 1,076; 4. Kenny Bernstein, 909; 5. Joe Amato, 892; 6. Doug Kalitta, 798; 7. Cory McClenathan, 702; 8. Bob Vandergriff, 588; 9. Doug Herbert, 571; 10. Don Lampus, 568.


1. John Force, 1,169; 2. Jerry Toliver, 1,094; 3. Tony Pedregon, 943; 4. Ron Capps, 891; 5. Jim Epler, 772; 6. Scotty Cannon, 689; 7. Dean Skuza, 677; 8. Whit Bazemore, 650; 9. Del Worsham, 626; 10. Al Hofmann, 569.


1. Jeg Coughlin, 1,195; 2. Ron Krisher, 953; 3. Warren Johnson, 896; 4. Kurt Johnson, 893; 5. Troy Coughlin, 772; 6. Mark Pawuk, 749; 7. Richie Stevens, 673; 8. Jim Yates, 648; 9. Tom Martino, 600; 10. Bruce Allen, 552.


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