MORRISON, Colo. - Joe Amato won for the sixth time in his career at
Bandimere Speedway Sunday at the 22nd annual Mopar Parts Mile-High
Amato, from Exeter, Pa., sped down the quarter-mile in his Dynomax
Dragster in 4.837 seconds at 300.53 mph to edge the defending NHRA Winston
Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher and his run of 4.913 at 281.36. Before
meeting Schumacher, Amato defeated Gary Clapshaw, Bob Vandergriff, and
Cory McClenathan en route to his 51st career victory. With the win Amato
climbed to fourth in the standings.
"We were really the underdog today," said Amato. "Tony
had been running strong all day. He was running 70s and we were running
80s. We just wanted to be steady and not beat ourselves and hopefully they
would make a mistake. I don't know what happened to their car but they
slowed up enough that we got the win. We have a new mission. We just want
to be steady and get down the track. We want to make a move in this
Winston points chase."
Amato is still recovering from the laser surgery he had on his right
eye nearly three weeks ago. The surgery prevented Amato from driving in
last week's Winston Showdown, the NHRA's all-star event. "I was
nursing my eye," said Amato. "But it's feeling good. To bounce
back from eye surgery is a great comeback. To me this is one of my better
wins because three weeks ago I was sitting in the doctor's office and they
told me that I might not be able to drive again. Then to come back and win
the next race, to me that's the comeback of my career. Someday I'll write
my memoirs and that will be a special chapter in the book.."
No. 1 qualifier and current NHRA Winston Top Fuel points leader Gary
Scelzi lost in the first round to the newly licensed Jim Cavalieri. Scelzi
has never really had any success at the track known as Thunder Mountain.
It was the second time in his career that Scelzi has lost to the No. 16
qualifier. He lost to Doug Herbert in 1999 in Richmond, Va. Whit Bazemore,
Kurt Johnson and Angelle Seeling were also winners in their respective
categories at the $1.8 million race, the 13th of 23 events on the $45
million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Indianapolis' Bazemore made the
quickest pass ever at Bandimere Speedway to earn his first Funny Car
victory of the season. His pass at 4.990 at 301.20 in his Kendall Oil
Chevrolet Camaro was better than fellow Chevy-competitor Scotty Cannon who
slowed to a 5.447 at 273.83. Bazemore's pass was the first four-second run
ever at Bandimere Speedway. He was the winner of this event in 1997 and
was the runner-up last season. Bazemore was not qualified after the first
three qualifying passes. He then took over the top qualifying spot and ran
strong the rest of the weekend. He drove past Tim Wilkerson, Al Hofmann
and Del Worsham before beating Cannon in the final.
"We came out an we qualified on the pole," said Bazemore.
"Today Manzer proved that (qualifying) wasn't a fluke. It was just a
tremendous effort by the entire team. My driving came around and I'm just
real excited about the rest of the season. It is still a long season to go
and we have struggled all year. We are not where we want to be. We want to
be leading the championship. That's a long ways away but I think if we
just work and work and work we can salvage the season. When you're doing
well it's easy to be good. You don't find out how good you are until
you're at the very bottom. The good teams will shine and come to the
front. And these guys on my team proved they had it today."
This was the first win for the Kendall team with new crew chief Terry
Manzer who was brought on a few weeks ago by team owner Chuck Etchells.
Manzer had was tuning the WWF car earlier this year for Jim Epler who won
the inaugural SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas. "Chuck
made a very difficult decision about a month ago," said Bazemore.
"It has been an emotional time. We are very tight with (former crew
chiefs) Tim and Kim Richards. But life goes on and Terry came over from
the WWF team when they let him go. We had something to prove today and I
think we all proved it as a team. They worked so good together today and
nothing went wrong."
Johnson, from Lawrenceville, Ga., won his first Pro Stock event of the
year with his run of 7.356 at 188.04 behind the wheel of his AC Delco
Chevrolet Camaro. That was enough to hold off Darrell Alderman and his run
of 7.375 at 186.28.This is the first victory for Johnson in nearly a year.
After finishing third in the point standings last season, Johnson has had
some difficult races this year.
"It's been a struggle," said Johnson. "The first part of
the year we were really inconsistent. Our power was off a little bit. The
car was fast on occasion but not consistent. This time the car was just
consistent all weekend. We ran well enough today to keep lane choice today
and I think that was a big factor out here. . Nobody wanted the right
lane. I didn't want it. I just tried to make perfect runs and let the
clutch out on time."
Team Winston Suzuki rider Seeling, from New Orleans, won her fourth Pro
Stock Motorcycle race of the year when her opponent, hometown favorite
Matt Hines, left the line early. This was Seeling's 14th career victory,
four behind Shirley Muldowney as the all-time winningest female racer in
the history of the NHRA. Seeling rode past Michael Pryor, Reggie Showers,
David Schultz and Hines for the win. Seeling now leads Hines by 100 points
in the standings. It is the exact lead she had last year after this event
before losing the championship to Hines by eight points. "Man, this
is awesome," said Seeling. "When I left home, we had no idea
that we were going to win this race. Our expectations were to just come
out here and hang in there. We didn't want to get slaughtered by the
six-speeds and the Vance & Hines motors that are dyno-tested out here.
I think we proved there's not even a chance of us getting slaughtered at
any track. The difference between last year and this year is I have a
whole different attitude. This has got to be the most optimistic I have
ever been at any race. Last year I think we were going down hill when we
left here and this year we are going up hill. I want to win the Winston
championship as bad as ever but I have a whole new feeling about it and it
has helped on the track."
The NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series continues July 28-30 at Seattle
International Raceway with the 13th annual Prolong Super Lubricants
MORRISON, Colo. -- Final finish order (1-16) for professional
categories at the 22nd annual Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere
Speedway. The $1.8 million race is the 13th of 23 events in the
$45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.
TOP FUEL: 1. Joe Amato; 2. Tony Schumacher; 3. Don Lampus; 4. Cory
McClenathan; 5. Bob Vandergriff; 6. Rhonda Hartman-Smith; 7. Jim Cavalieri;
8. Larry Dixon; 9. Doug Kalitta; 10. Gary Clapshaw; 11. Doug Herbert; 12.
Kenny Bernstein; 13. Bobby Lagana; 14. David Grubnic; 15. Joe Hartley; 16.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Whit Bazemore, Chevy Camaro; 2. Scotty Cannon, Camaro; 3.
Del Worsham, Pontiac Firebird; 4. Bruce Sarver, Firebird; 5. Jerry Toliver,
Firebird; 6. Jim Epler, Camaro; 7. Bob Gilbertson, Camaro; 8. Al Hofmann,
Firebird; 9. John Force, Ford Mustang; 10. Frank Pedregon, Firebird; 11.
Dean Skuza, Dodge Avenger; 12. Gary Densham, Firebird; 13. Tony Pedregon,
Mustang; 14. Ron Capps, Camaro; 15. Tim Wilkerson, Firebird; 16. Johnny
PRO STOCK: 1. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Camaro; 2. Darrell Alderman, Dodge
Avenger; 3. Ron Krisher, Pontiac Firebird; 4. Brad Jeter, Firebird; 5.
Warren Johnson, Firebird; 6. Jeg Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass; 7. Troy
Coughlin, Cutlass; 8. Larry Morgan, Avenger; 9. V. Gaines, Camaro; 10. Jim
Yates, Firebird; 11. Mark Pawuk, Firebird; 12. Tom Martino, Firebird; 13.
Allen Johnson, Avenger; 14. John Fairleigh, Firebird; 15. Scott Geoffrion,
Avenger; 16. Rickie Smith, Camaro.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Angelle Seeling, Suzuki; 2. Matt Hines,
Suzuki; 3. David Schultz, Suzuki; 4. Tony Mullen, Suzuki; 5. Geno Scali,
Suzuki; 6. Antron Brown, Suzuki; 7. Shawn Gann, Suzuki; 8. Reggie Showers,
Suzuki; 9. Craig Treble, Suzuki; 10. Steve Johnson, Suzuki; 11. Brian
Ayers, Suzuki; 12. Ron Ayers, Suzuki; 13. Blaine Hale, Kawasaki; 14. Brian
DeLong, Suzuki; 15. Michael Pryor; 16. Clarence Markham, Suzuki.
MORRISON, Colo. -- Sunday's final results from the 22nd annual Mopar
Parts Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. The $1.6-million race is
the 13 of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:
Top Fuel -- Joe Amato, 4.837 seconds, 300.53 mph def. Tony Schumacher,
4.913 seconds, 281.36 mph.
Funny Car -- Whit Bazemore, Chevy Camaro, 4.990, 301.20 def. Scotty
Cannon, Camaro, 5.447, 273.83.
Pro Stock -- Kurt Johnson, Chevy Camaro, 7.356, 188.04 def. Darrell
Alderman, Dodge Avenger, 7.375, 186.28.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- Angelle Seeling, Suzuki, 7.732, 173.21 def.
Matt Hines, Suzuki, foul.
Federal-Mogul Dragster -- Rick Santos, Santos, 5.686, 252.99 def.
Darren Nicholson, 5.793, 242.89.
Federal-Mogul Funny Car -- Vern Moats, Pontiac Firebird, 5.896, 240.29
def. Tony Bartone, Chevrolet Camaro, 5.925, 240.64.
Comp Eliminator -- David Rampy, Roadster, 8.025, 155.63 def. David
Cook, Dragster, 7.321, 185.18.
Super Stock -- Rick Ryan, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 12.373, 106.50 def. Joe
LoCicero, Chevy Camaro, 10.598, 126.10.
Stock -- Ken Maroney, Chevrolet Wagon, 13.728, 96.64 def. Arnold
Greene, Chevy Camaro, 11.089, 120.51.
Super Comp -- Frank Kohutek, Dragster, 9.484, 149.31 def. Jason
Covington, Oldsmobile Ciera, 9.469, 146.89.
Super Gas -- Gary Stinnett, Chevrolet Corvette, 10.532, 143.29 def.
Frank Kohutek, Pontiac Grand Prix, 10.491, 132.57.
MORRISON, Colo. -- Final round-by-round results from the 22nd annual
Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, the 13 of 23 events
in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:
TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE -- Don Lampus, 4.778, 312.35 def. David Grubnic,
5.187, 205.57; Bob Vandergriff, 4.882, 300.00 def. Kenny Bernstein, 4.962,
298.87; Tony Schumacher, 4.755, 304.87 def. Doug Herbert, 4.898, 282.66;
Larry Dixon, 4.943, 256.41 def. Joe Hartley, 7.663, 103.99; Jim Cavalieri,
5.133, 276.29 def. Gary Scelzi, 11.599, 61.21; Joe Amato, 4.800, 309.84
def. Gary Clapshaw, 4.849, 296.11; Cory McClenathan, 4.795, 303.78 def.
Doug Kalitta, 4.839, 292.01; Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 5.029, 248.57 def.
Bobby Lagana, 5.001, 254.76; QUARTERFINALS -- Amato, 4.815, 307.93 def.
Vandergriff, 4.881, 300.53; McClenathan, 4.817, 308.71 def. Hartman-Smith,
4.884, 294.75; Schumacher, 4.736, 307.37 def. Dixon, 6.742, 132.52; Lampus,
4.837, 308.00 def. Cavalieri, 5.149, 273.16; SEMIFINALS -- Amato, 4.839,
297.68 def. McClenathan, 4.981, 24.00; Schumacher, 4.761, 298.14 def.
Lampus, 4.959, 268.12; FINAL -- Amato, 4.837, 300.53 def. Schumacher,
FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE -- Whit Bazemore, Chevy Camaro, 5.041, 298.60 def.
Tim Wilkerson, Pontiac Firebird, 7.361, 127.45; Jim Epler, Camaro, 5.237,
287.72 def. Gary Densham, Firebird, 5.327, 285.65; Bruce Sarver, Firebird,
5.045, 298.40 def. Johnny Gray, Dodge Avenger, broke; Del Worsham,
Firebird, 5.097, 298.93 def. Tony Pedregon, Ford Mustang, 5.565, 194.63;
Bob Gilbertson, Camaro, 5.125, 295.53 def. Dean Skuza, Avenger, 5.113,
305.56; Scotty Cannon, Camaro, 5.022, 289.88 def. John Force, Mustang,
5.028, 306.26; Jerry Toliver, Firebird, 5.073, 301.47 def. Frank Pedregon,
Firebird, 5.094, 291.07; Al Hofmann, Firebird, 5.153, 295.27 def. Ron
Capps, Camaro, 7.018, 129.52; QUARTERFINALS -- Cannon, 5.188, 289.57 def.
Epler, 5.205, 291.26; Worsham, 5.141, 297.75 def. Gilbertson, 5.402,
216.10; Bazemore, 5.023, 304.19 def. Hofmann, foul; Sarver, 5.015, 304.05
def. Toliver, 5.115, 295.08; SEMIFINALS -- Bazemore, 5.089, 298.27 def.
Worsham, 5.143, 284.03; Cannon, 6.087, 171.40 def. Sarver, 6.877, 165.09;
FINAL -- Bazemore, 4.990, 301.20 def. Cannon, 5.447, 273.83.
PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE -- Troy Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 7.319,
187.29 def. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 7.399, 184.70; Darrell Alderman,
Avenger, 7.329, 187.16 def. Mark Pawuk, Pontiac Firebird, 7.377, 186.82;
Brad Jeter, Firebird, 7.400, 185.64 def. V. Gaines, Chevy Camaro, 7.330,
186.64; Jeg Coughlin, Cutlass, 7.332, 187.29 def. Tom Martino, Firebird,
7.377, 186.48; Ron Krisher, Firebird, 7.306, 187.99 def. John Fairleigh,
Firebird, 7.421, 186.15; Warren Johnson, Firebird, 7.302, 189.20 def. Jim
Yates, Firebird, 7.365, 186.56; Larry Morgan, Avenger, 7.356, 186.90 def.
Rickie Smith, Camaro, 7.475, 181.91; Kurt Johnson, Camaro, 7.284, 189.07
def. Scott Geoffrion, Avenger, 7.427, 185.77; QUARTERFINALS -- Jeter,
7.410, 185.54 def. Morgan, 7.366, 187.00; Krisher, 7.319, 187.78 def. J.
Coughlin, 7.336, 186.48; Alderman, 7.325, 186.85 def. W. Johnson, 7.300,
188.86; K. Johnson, 7.314, 188.44 def. T. Coughlin, 7.349, 186.69;
SEMIFINALS -- Alderman, 7.354, 186.43 def. Jeter, 7.408, 185.36; K.
Johnson, 7.337, 188.23 def. Krisher, foul; FINAL -- K. Johnson, 7.356,
188.04 def. Alderman, 7.375, 186.28.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: ROUND ONE -- Reggie Showers, Suzuki, 7.852,
170.30 def. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.861, 172.14; Shawn Gann, Suzuki,
7.825, 171.53 def. Brian DeLong, Suzuki, 8.174, 168.03; Geno Scali,
Suzuki, 7.713, 173.32 def. Clarence Markham, Suzuki, broke; Matt Hines,
Suzuki, 7.671, 176.97 def. Blaine Hale, Kawasaki, 8.085, 162.14; Angelle
Seeling, Suzuki, 7.589, 177.56 def. Michael Pryor, 8.396, 156.59; David
Schultz, Suzuki, 7.705, 170.90 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.891, 169.06;
Tony Mullen, Suzuki, 7.745, 177.28 def. Brian Ayers, Suzuki, 7.972,
162.65; Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.797, 171.75 def. Ron Ayers, Suzuki, 7.975,
168.09; QUARTERFINALS -- Mullen, 7.763, 168.43 def. Scali, 7.699, 174.46;
Schultz, 7.706, 173.94 def. Brown, foul; Seeling, 7.714, 176.86 def.
Showers, 7.858, 169.87; Hines, 7.811, 176.84 def. Gann, foul; SEMIFINALS
-- Hines, 7.683, 172.63 def. Mullen, 7.761, 171.82; Seeling, 7.727, 171.97
def. Schultz, 7.751, 172.78; FINAL -- Seeling, 7.732, 173.21 def. Hines,
MORRISON, Colo. -- Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional
categories following the 22nd annual Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at
Bandimere Speedway, the 13 of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston
Drag Racing Series:
TOP FUEL: 1. Gary Scelzi, 1,029; 2. Tony Schumacher, 990; 3. Larry
Dixon, 919; 4. Joe Amato, 806; 5. Kenny Bernstein, 805; 6. Cory
McClenathan, 614; 7. Doug Kalitta, 584; 8. Doug Herbert, 504; 9. Don
Lampus, 483; 10. Bob Vandergriff, 458.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Jerry Toliver, 1,008; 2. John Force, 935; 3. Tony
Pedregon, 795; 4. Ron Capps, 787; 5. Jim Epler, 667; 6. Scotty Cannon,
583; 7. Dean Skuza, 571; 8. Whit Bazemore, 554; 9. Del Worsham, 539; 10.
Al Hofmann, 506.
PRO STOCK: 1. Jeg Coughlin, 1,027; 2. Ron Krisher, 838; 3. Warren
Johnson, 783; 4. Kurt Johnson, 701; 5. Troy Coughlin, 667; 6. Mark Pawuk,
666; 7. Jim Yates, 563; 8. Richie Stevens, 549; 9. Tom Martino, 535; 10.
Bruce Allen, 510.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Angelle Seeling, 793; 2. Matt Hines, 693; 3.
David Schultz, 628; 4. Tony Mullen, 604; 5. Antron Brown, 519; 6. Craig
Treble, 447; 7. Geno Scali, 408; 8. Shawn Gann, 278; 9. Ron Ayers, 253;
10. Blaine Hale, 252.