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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

NHRA St. Louis Wins to Scelzi, Toliver, Krisher

By motorsport.com

MADISON, Ill. - Gary Scelzi won his fifth Top Fuel race of the season Saturday at the fourth annual Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. Jerry Toliver, Ron Krisher, Matt Hines and John Coughlin were also the winners in their respective categories at the $1.9 million race, the 12th of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. 

Scelzi, from Fresno, Calif., won his third straight event at Gateway despite losing traction in the final round. Scelzi still managed to speed down the track in 5.892 seconds at 284.99 mph in his Team Winston dragster to hold off the Budweiser King dragster and Kenny Bernstein, who also lost traction, and slowed to a pass of 6.010 at 307.09. Scelzi has appeared in every final round of the Sears Craftsman Nationals, winning three of them. 

"This has got to be my new favorite racetrack," said Scelzi. "We don't care about low elapsed time, we don't care about tire smoke, we don't care about anything. We just care about win lights. When I saw both Funny Cars in front of me go up in smoke I knew I had to be ready. I didn't see Kenny near me so I knew he must have had trouble too but I went through the finish line and pulled the chutes and my win light went on. Then Kenny went right by me and I thought to myself that he was a little too late. Kenny is a good friend of mine and he's taught me a lot, butI knew it was going to a tough battle tonight when those two big red cars met in the final. Three out of four here though, it's a great feeling." 

Scelzi defeated Luigi Novelli, Bob Vandergriff, Doug Herbert and Bernstein for his 19th career victory. He now leads Tony Schumacher by 95 points in the NHRA Winston standings.

Toliver, of Huntington Beach, Calif., won his third Funny Car event of the year defeating Dean Skuza in the finale. Toliver's pass of 6.771 at 186.69 in his WWF Racing Pontiac Firebird was enough to hold off Skuza and his run of 9.652 at 88.33 as both cars lost traction. Toliver drove past Scott Weiss, Del Worsham and John Force before meeting Skuza in the final round. 

"Anytime you beat John it's good because you have just beat the best in the business," Toliver said of the nine-time series champ. "You have to really know what it means to beat John Force. On the other hand, every Funny Car out here has a chance of winning. Every race I had today was a tough one. That kid (Weis) in the first round could have beat me and then in the second round against Del I had a blower belt come loose. Against John, I was rolling through the lights and I probably should have smoked the tires."

Toliver regained the points lead last week with his runner-up finish in Ohio. With this win he extended his points lead to 54 over Force at the midway point of the season. "That was like a 100-plus point swing and to do that to John Force, that's tough," said Toliver. "The window of opportunity opens, and if you don't take advantage of it, it closes very quickly. I have a great team and a great crew chief in Dale Armstrong. I owe it all to him and this team has got some courage."

Krisher, from Warren, Ohio, won his second Pro Stock race of the season as he posted a final round run of 6.900 at 198.44 in his Eagle One Pontiac Firebird to hold off Greg Anderson and his pass of 6.985 at 196.96. Krisher defeated Terry Adams, Kenny Koretsky, Rickie Smith and Anderson for the win. Krisher has now been to three straight final rounds and has won two of them. This victory moves Krisher into second place in the standings, 210 points behind Jeg Coughlin. 

"What a day," said Krisher. "I have the best team out there in my opinion. I have all the best guys and they have made me a better driver. I have a lot of confidence in myself. It's a terrific group of people and obviously on race day they're awesome. We hope we can close the points gap some more, but Jeg is an awesome driver and they had a pretty good head start. They'll have their off days just like the rest of us, but maybe, we can squeeze it down a little bit in the next three or four races."

Three-time NHRA Winston Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Hines, from Trinidad, Colo., covered the distance in 7.294 at 184.37 atop his Eagle One Suzuki for his second win of the year. His opponent, Angelle Seeling, slowed to a 7.390 at 156.72 as her motorcycle experienced mechanical problems. Hines beat Clarence Markham, Craig Treble, Geno Scali and Seeling for his 25th career victory. He now trails Seeling by 79 points in the standings. "I wanted that win bad," said Hines. "Right now (Seeling) is the cream-of-the-crop. Her bike is working awesome but I have the best motors out here. I did my job today. We're 79 points back, but I think that is better than we were doing last year at this point."

Columbus, Ohio's, John Coughlin used a holeshot to win his first Pro Stock Truck race of the year. He drove his Chevy S-10 to a pass of 7.614 at 176.35 to hold off the defending Winston champ Bob Panella and his run of 7.548 at 177.44. En route to the victory, Coughlin defeated Jeff Naiser, Randy Daniels, Brian Self and Panella. "We were real fortunate today," said Coughlin. "I just can't say enough about my dad and my team, they did an excellent job. My job is easy. They did a great job of stringing four runs together today, and we finished it up with a big win. It was going to be hard to beat me today because I had the whole JEGS team behind me."

The next event in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series is the second annual Winston Showdown, the NHRA's all-star event, at Bristol Dragway, July 7-9.

MADISON, Ill. -- Final finish order (1-16) for professional categories at the fourth annual Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. The $1.9 million race is the 12th of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

1. Gary Scelzi; 2. Kenny Bernstein; 3. Larry Dixon; 4. Doug Herbert; 5. Bob Vandergriff; 6. Tony Schumacher; 7. Joe Hartley; 8. Rhonda Hartman-Smith; 9. Don Lampus; 10. Steve Smith; 11. Luigi Novelli; 12. Joe Amato; 13. Cory McClenathan; 14. Doug Kalitta; 15. Bruce Litton; 16. David Grubnic.

FUNNY CAR:

1. Jerry Toliver, Pontiac Firebired; 2. Dean Skuza, Dodge Avenger; 3. John Force, Ford Mustang; 4. Al Hofmann, Firebird; 5. Jim Epler, Chevy Camaro; 6. Del Worsham, Firebird; 7. Bob Gilbertson, Camaro; 8. Bruce Sarver, Firebird; 9. Ron Capps, Camaro; 10. Scotty Cannon, Camaro; 11. Tony Pedregon, Mustang; 12. Frank Pedregon, Firebird; 13. John Lawson, Firebird; 14. Whit Bazemore, Camaro; 15. Cory Lee, Avenger; 16. Scott Weis, Chevy Corvette.

PRO STOCK:

1. Ron Krisher, Pontiac Firebird; 2. Greg Anderson, Firebird; 3. Rickie Smith, Chevy Camaro; 4. Warren Johnson, Firebird; 5. Tom Martino, Firebird; 6. Kenny Koretsky, Firebird; 7. Mark Pawuk, Firebird; 8. Kurt Johnson, Camaro; 9. Jeg Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass; 10. Brad Jeter, Firebird; 11. Bruce Allen, Firebird; 12. Terry Adams, Cutlass; 13. Richie Stevens, Firebird; 14. V. Gaines, Camaro; 15. Mark Osborne, Firebird; 16. Troy Coughlin, Cutlass.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

1. Matt Hines, Suzuki; 2. Angelle Seeling, Suzuki; 3. Geno Scali, Suzuki; 4. Tony Mullen, Suzuki; 5. Antron Brown, Suzuki; 6. David Schultz, Suzuki; 7. Craig Treble, Suzuki; 8. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki; 9. Blaine Hale, Kawasaki; 10. Ron Ayers, Suzuki; 11. Brian DeLong, Suzuki; 12. Clarence Markham, Suzuki; 13. Steve Johnson, Suzuki; 14. Reggie Showers, Suzuki; 15. Shawn Gann, Suzuki; 16. Hector Arana, Suzuki.

PRO STOCK TRUCK:

1. John Coughlin, Chevy S-10; 2. Bob Panella Jr, S-10; 3. Brian Self, S-10; 4. Mark Whisnant, S-10; 5. Randy Daniels, S-10; 6. Steve Johns, S-10; 7. Rick Jones, GMC Sonoma; 8. John Lingenfelter, Sonoma; 9. Steven Farr, S-10; 10. Jeff Gracia, S-10; 11. David Spitzer, Sonoma; 12. Greg Stanfield, S-10; 13. Rob Slavinski, S-10; 14. Bart Price, S-10; 15. Todd Patterson, Dodge Dakota; 16. Jeff Naiser, S-10.

MADISON, Ill. -- Saturday's final round results from the fourth annual Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. The $1.9-million race is the 12th of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel -- Gary Scelzi, 5.892 seconds, 284.99 mph def. Kenny Bernstein, 6.010 seconds, 307.09 mph.

Funny Car -- Jerry Toliver, Pontiac Firebired, 6.771, 186.69 def. Dean Skuza, Dodge Avenger, 9.652, 88.33.

Pro Stock -- Ron Krisher, Pontiac Firebird, 6.900, 198.44 def. Greg Anderson, Pontiac Firebird, 6.985, 196.96.

Pro Stock Bike -- Matt Hines, Suzuki, 7.294, 184.37 def. Angelle Seeling, Suzuki, 7.390, 156.72.

Pro Stock Truck -- John Coughlin, Chevy S-10, 7.614, 176.35 def. Bob Panella Jr, Chevy S-10, 7.548, 177.44.

Federal-Mogul Dragster -- Dave Hirata, 5.421, 266.90 def. Marty Thacker, foul.

Federal-Mogul Funny Car -- Chuck Cheeseman, '98 Firebird, 5.821, 248.25 def. Steve Addleman, '97 Firebird, 6.632, 156.12.

Comp Eliminator -- Frank Aragona, 8.502, 144.60 def. Ed Bennett, 9.776, 87.27.

Super Stock -- Jeff Dona, '69 Camaro, 10.446, 120.08 def. Ernie Penner, '99 Firebird, 10.851, 115.83.

Stock -- Ed Wallace, '72 Demon, 11.743, 110.84 def. Jeff Hefler, '97 Trans Am, 11.351, 109.86.

Super Comp -- Steve Cohen, 8.897, 159.64 def. Warren Bays, 8.887, 165.46.

Super Gas -- Brian Folk, '90 Cavalier, 9.878, 142.57 def. Tom Small, '68 Camaro, 9.836, 149.71.

MADISON, Ill. -- Round-by-round results from the fourth annual Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, the 12th of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE -- Doug Herbert, 6.270, 135.85 def. David Grubnic, 6.634, 124.81; Larry Dixon, 4.734, 304.19 def. Don Lampus, 4.826, 305.01; Tony Schumacher, 4.767, 307.86 def. Doug Kalitta, 6.236, 138.87; Joe Hartley, 4.809, 294.95 def. Cory McClenathan, 5.884, 175.94; Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.795, 292.46 def. Joe Amato, 5.078, 259.16; Kenny Bernstein, 4.795, 289.94 def. Steve Smith, 4.958, 295.66; Gary Scelzi, 4.738, 306.19 def. Luigi Novelli, 5.075, 292.65; Bob Vandergriff, 4.744, 304.60 def. Bruce Litton, 6.388, 135.52;

QUARTERFINALS -- Herbert, 4.850, 248.75 def. Hartman-Smith, 12.687, 81.10; Bernstein, 4.663, 316.15 def. Schumacher, 4.822, 306.67; Dixon, 4.678, 312.06 def. Hartley, 5.241, 219.61; Scelzi, 4.647, 309.20 def. Vandergriff, 4.683, 278.40;

SEMIFINALS -- Bernstein, 4.661, 313.00 def. Dixon, 4.666, 310.98; Scelzi, 4.641, 316.23 def. Herbert, 5.094, 213.43;

FINAL -- Scelzi, 5.892, 284.99 def. Bernstein, 6.010, 307.09.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE -- Al Hofmann, Pontiac Firebird, 4.998, 297.02 def. Ron Capps, Chevy Camaro, 4.995, 301.54; Jim Epler, Camaro, 4.973, 301.27 def. John Lawson, Firebird, 5.118, 296.76; Jerry Toliver, Pontiac Firebired, 5.034, 297.88 def. Scott Weis, Chevy Corvette, 6.423, 145.42; Dean Skuza, Dodge Avenger, 4.971, 302.69 def. Tony Pedregon, Ford Mustang, 5.081, 258.96; John Force, Mustang, 5.022, 291.26 def. Cory Lee, Avenger, 5.750, 245.63; Bruce Sarver, Firebird, 4.930, 306.46 def. Whit Bazemore, Camaro, 5.131, 275.84; Bob Gilbertson, Camaro, 5.110, 298.27 def. Frank Pedregon, Firebird, 5.100, 253.56; Del Worsham, Firebird, 5.070, 295.98 def. Scotty Cannon, Camaro, 5.036, 297.35;

QUARTERFINALS -- Skuza, 4.964, 299.86 def. Gilbertson, 8.540, 98.55; Force, 4.935, 315.27 def. Sarver, 8.602, 87.14; Hofmann, 4.946, 298.47 def. Epler, 4.971, 301.20; Toliver, 5.410, 220.51 def. Worsham, 6.306, 130.72;

SEMIFINALS -- Skuza, 4.887, 307.93 def. Hofmann, 11.697, 80.09; Toliver, 4.961, 304.05 def. Force, 8.352, 104.52;

FINAL -- Toliver, 6.771, 186.69 def. Skuza, 9.652, 88.33.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE -- Kenny Koretsky, Pontiac Firebird, 7.063, 195.00 def. Bruce Allen, Firebird, 7.083, 195.51; Warren Johnson, Firebird, 6.969, 197.71 def. Brad Jeter, Firebird, 7.068, 195.93; Greg Anderson, Firebird, 7.029, 195.65 def. Richie Stevens, Firebird, 7.094, 194.97; Mark Pawuk, Firebird, 7.025, 196.50 def. V. Gaines, Chevy Camaro, 7.094, 195.17; Rickie Smith, Camaro, 7.006, 198.67 def. Troy Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass, no show; Tom Martino, Firebird, 7.031, 196.02 def. Jeg Coughlin, Cutlass, 6.982, 196.87; Kurt Johnson, Camaro, 7.086, 195.82 def. Mark Osborne, Firebird, 8.362, 111.23; Ron Krisher, Firebird, 6.968, 197.65 def. Terry Adams, Cutlass, 7.093,
194.60;

QUARTERFINALS -- Anderson, 7.015, 196.93 def. Martino, 6.986, 197.08; Smith, 7.008, 199.20 def. Pawuk, 7.632, 141.36; W. Johnson, 6.981, 197.77 def. K. Johnson, 10.179, 89.35; Krisher, 6.932, 197.83 def. Koretsky, 7.017, 196.10;

SEMIFINALS -- Anderson, 7.020, 196.33 def. W. Johnson, 8.918, 108.02; Krisher, 6.911, 198.41 def. Smith, 6.990, 196.30;

FINAL -- Krisher, 6.900, 198.44 def. Anderson, 6.985, 196.96.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

ROUND ONE -- Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 7.778, 141.15 def. Hector Arana, Suzuki, no show; Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.395, 176.58 def. Shawn Gann, Suzuki, 13.171, 58.78; Geno Scali, Suzuki, 7.372, 177.72 def. Ron Ayers, Suzuki, 7.485, 176.60; Matt Hines, Suzuki, 7.318, 183.42 def. Clarence Markham, Suzuki, 7.623, 171.84; Angelle Seeling, Suzuki, 7.317, 180.72 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.653, 173.21; Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.353, 180.67 def. Reggie Showers, Suzuki, 8.097, 126.38; David Schultz, Suzuki, 7.408, 176.40 def. Brian DeLong, Suzuki, 7.554, 174.32; Tony Mullen, Suzuki, 7.381, 180.19 def. Blaine Hale, Kawasaki, 7.450, 176.07;

QUARTERFINALS -- Mullen, 7.352, 178.19 def. Schultz, foul; Scali, 7.306, 182.16 def. Brown, 7.315, 179.76; Hines, 7.300, 184.27 def. Treble, foul; Seeling, 7.277, 181.03 def. DeSantis, 7.455, 176.01;

SEMIFINALS -- Hines, 7.274, 184.50 def. Scali, 7.387, 178.71; Seeling, 7.312, 180.40 def. Mullen, 7.474, 181.54;

FINAL -- Hines, 7.294, 184.37 def. Seeling, 7.390, 156.72.

PRO STOCK TRUCK:

ROUND ONE -- John Coughlin, Chevy S-10, 7.700, 176.28 def. Jeff Naiser, S-10, 9.419, 102.11; Rick Jones, GMC Sonoma, 7.701, 174.98 def. Bart Price, S-10, 8.025, 148.18; Mark Whisnant, S-10, 7.670, 175.34 def. Steven Farr, S-10, 7.662, 175.94; Steve Johns, S-10, 7.674, 176.03 def. Todd Patterson, Dodge Dakota, 8.052, 145.75; Brian Self, S-10, 7.654, 175.80 def. David Spitzer, Sonoma, 7.689, 175.52; Bob Panella Jr, S-10, 7.594, 176.95 def. Rob Slavinski, S-10, 7.709, 175.23; Randy Daniels, S-10, 7.606, 177.93 def. Jeff Gracia, S-10, 7.665, 176.90; John Lingenfelter, Sonoma, 7.648, 175.41 def. Greg Stanfield, S-10, 7.705, 174.68;

QUARTERFINALS -- Self, 7.640, 176.17 def. Johns, 7.657, 175.64; Whisnant, 7.692, 175.41 def. Lingenfelter, foul; Panella Jr, 7.591, 176.67 def. Jones, 7.685, 174.84; J. Coughlin, 7.629, 176.56 def. Daniels, 7.627, 177.70;

SEMIFINALS -- J. Coughlin, 7.596, 176.74 def. Self, 7.637, 176.19; Panella Jr, 7.584, 176.86 def. Whisnant, foul;

FINAL -- J. Coughlin, 7.614, 176.35 def. Panella Jr, 7.548, 177.44.

MADISON, Ill. -- Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional categories following the 4th annual Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, the 12th of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

1. Gary Scelzi, 991; 2. Tony Schumacher, 896; 3. Larry Dixon, 864; 4. Kenny Bernstein, 772; 5. Joe Amato, 689; 6. Doug Kalitta, 553; 7. Cory McClenathan, 538; 8. Doug Herbert, 472; 9. David Grubnic, 413; 10. Don Lampus, 410.

FUNNY CAR:

1. Jerry Toliver, 955; 2. John Force, 901; 3. Ron Capps, 765; 4. Tony Pedregon, 760; 5. Jim Epler, 611; 6. Dean Skuza, 537; 7. Scotty Cannon, 491; 8. Del Worsham, 468; 9. Al Hofmann, 453; 10. Bob Gilbertson, 441.

PRO STOCK:

1. Jeg Coughlin, 973; 2. Ron Krisher, 763; 3. Warren Johnson, 726; 4. Mark Pawuk, 634; 5. Troy Coughlin, 614; 6. Kurt Johnson, 583; 7. Richie Stevens, 539; 8. Jim Yates, 532; 9. Tom Martino, 503; 10. Bruce Allen, 500.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

1. Angelle Seeling, 675; 2. Matt Hines, 596; 3. David Schultz, 553; 4. Tony Mullen, 528; 5. Antron Brown, 465; 6. Craig Treble, 414; 7. Geno Scali, 354; 8. Shawn Gann, 225; 9. (tie) Blaine Hale, 221; Ron Ayers, 221.

PRO STOCK TRUCK:

1. Bob Panella Jr, 899; 2. Randy Daniels, 846; 3. Greg Stanfield, 545; 4. John Coughlin, 538; 5. Brian Self, 473; 6. Steve Johns, 461; 7. Rick Jones, 434; 8. John Lingenfelter, 376; 9. Jeff Gracia, 370; 10. Mike Coughlin, 353.

 

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