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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Force, Scelzi, J. Coughlin, Seeling,
and Daniels All Winners In Commerce

By Motorsport.com

COMMERCE, Ga. - John Force won his 84th career national event Sunday at the 20th annual Advance Auto Parts NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. Force, from Yorba Linda, Calif., blasted his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang down the track in 4.929 seconds at 289.14 mph to defeat Ron Capps in his U.S. Tobacco Chevrolet Camaro in the Funny Car final for the second straight event. Capps' pass of 5.023 at 291.70 just wasn't enough to catch the nine-time NHRA Winston series champion who won in Georgia for the second year in a row and for the sixth time in his career. With the win Force inched closer to Bob Glidden's all-time national event win record of 85.

Forced achieved the victory by driving past Bob Gilbertson, and both WWF drivers, Jim Epler and rival Jerry Toliver before his meeting with Capps. Force is in second place in the points standings, 30 behind Toliver. "It was good racing today," said Force. "(Toliver) is doing the talk of the WWF. It's a gimmick to create excitement. In the WWF they yell and scream, throw each other off stages and beat up their mom and dads. It's just what they do, but this is drag racing. Sometimes if you hype too much it can bite you. I do think Toliver has brought some real excitement to the NHRA. Hey, I can't beat him up, he's bigger than me."

Gary Scelzi, Jeg Coughlin, Angelle Seeling and Randy Daniels were also the winners in their respective categories at the $1.7 million race, the seventh of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Scelzi, from Fresno, Calif., won his second event of the year when he covered the distance in his Team Winston Top Fuel dragster in 4.629 at 310.70 to hold Tony Schumacher's Exide Batteries dragster and his time of 4.697 at 307.44 in the finale. Scelzi won his second event in a row at Atlanta Dragway and it was the second straight year Team Winston has won in both the Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle categories. 

Scelzi is now 5-0 versus Schumacher in final round competition. He defeated him earlier in this year at the season-opening AutoZone Winternationals. The victory didn't come easy because Scelzi had to defeat Doug Herbert, Kenny Bernstein and Joe Amato before facing the defending NHRA Winston champion in the final. "We didn't have a duck all day," said Scelzi. "We took out all the hitters today. When you win like that and you took out every big dog there is, what's left?

Tony is a good kid and he won the championship. I want it back. We work really hard at it and I know they go down the track every time but they have had some breaks. If they win it again I'm going to drink beer with him and I'll have a party because I like his team and I like Tony. Tony didn't win the race today. Team Winston, (Crew chief) Allan Johnson and Gary Scelzi did so let's leave it at that."

Coughlin, from Columbus, Ohio, continued his season of dominance as he won his sixth Pro Stock race of the year. His pass of 6.957 at 198.12 was more than enough to hold off Bruce Allen who went 7.099 at 199.85. Coughlin outlasted Richie Stevens, V. Gaines, and his brother Troy before meeting Allen in the final. J. Coughlin had not qualified the two other times he competed in Pro Stock at Atlanta Dragway. 

"It was a spectacular weekend for us," said Coughlin. "We put a new engine in it and called it 'Little man' after my little boy. It just rose to the occasion and never missed a beat. I was in a great racecar and it couldn't be more fun than to experience what we have experienced this year. To be as dominant as we have it is amazing. You have Warren Johnsons', Jim Yates' and Mike Thomas' and the whole group of Pro Stock is within five, six, seven or eight hundredths every week. To do as well as we have, we have just made the right calls on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We have missed (the No. one qualifying spot) so far and hopefully that's next."

Seeling, of New Orleans, won her second straight Pro Stock Motorcycle final round when her opponent Dave Schultz left the line early and fouled. It was Seeling's second straight win in Commerce and it moved her into the points lead. Seeling defeated Blain Hale, Fred Collis, Matt Hines and Schultz en route to the title. Her 12th career victory puts her six behind Shirley Muldowney as the winningest female in NHRA history. 

"We are having a lot of fun," said Seeling. "Instead of letting the pressure get to us. We are just going out there and having a good time and staying consistent. Just because we won Las Vegas and this one does not mean it is getting any easier...In the final I saw the red light come on and I immediately looked up to the scoreboards and saw my win light on and the rest was history. I couldn't think and I didn't care. I just wanted to get to the end of the track and get my trophy." 

It was quite a weekend for Seeling who was surprised by the arrival of her boyfriend on Saturday night who asked her to marry him. She said yes. "He wanted to hold out until the winner's circle today but he was a little scared that we may not make it there because it's so tough," said Seeling. "I mean we weren't even qualified on Friday night and then we come out and qualify and win the race. It was an awesome weekend."

Grantsboro, N.C.'s Daniels drove his Daniels Racing Bailey's Trucking Chevy S-10 down the track in 7.661 at 177.93 to defeat the defending Pro Stock Truck Winston champion Bob Panella and his Panella Trucking Chevy S-10 for his fourth win of the year and third in a row. Daniels defeated Todd Patterson, Greg Stanfield, Rick Jones and Panella for the win. "We have been working real hard and the truck is fast," said Daniels. "After two years of making mistakes maybe our turn to win is finally coming to us. Mistakes are not bad as long as you learn from them."

The NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series next event is the 31st annual Matco Tools Spring Supernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway in Englishtown, N.J., May 18-21.

COMMERCE, Ga. -- Final finish order (1-16) for professional categories at the 20th annual Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. The $1.7 million race is the seventh of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

1. Gary Scelzi; 2. Tony Schumacher; 3. Larry Dixon; 4. Joe Amato; 5. Cory McClenathan; 6. Doug Kalitta; 7. David Grubnic; 8. Kenny Bernstein; 9. Doug Herbert; 10. Jim Bailey; 11. Terry Mullins; 12. Bob Vandergriff; 13. Robert Reehl; 14. Rhonda Hartman-Smith; 15. Paul Romine; 16. Don Lampus.

FUNNY CAR:

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

PRO STOCK:

1. Jeg Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass; 2. Bruce Allen, Pontiac Firebird; 3. Tom Martino, Firebird; 4. Troy Coughlin, Cutlass; 5. Jim Yates, Firebird; 6. V. Gaines, Chevy Camaro; 7. Kurt Johnson, Camaro; 8. Ron Krisher, Firebird; 9. Warren Johnson, Firebird; 10. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger; 11. Jamie Yates, Firebird; 12. Terry Adams, Cutlass; 13. Richie Stevens, Firebird; 14. Don Beverley, Firebird; 15. Mark Pawuk, Firebird; 16. Greg Anderson, Firebird.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

1. Angelle Seeling, Suzuki; 2. David Schultz, Suzuki; 3. Rob Short, Kawasaki; 4. Matt Hines, Suzuki; 5. Tony Mullen, Suzuki; 6. Geno Scali, Suzuki; 7. Fred Collis, Suzuki; 8. Shawn Gann, Suzuki; 9. Mike Berry, Suzuki; 10. Craig Treble, Suzuki; 11. Ron Ayers, Suzuki; 12. Brian DeLong, Suzuki; 13. Blaine Hale, Kawasaki; 14. Steve Johnson, Suzuki; 15. Antron Brown, Suzuki; 16. Brian Ayers, Suzuki.

PRO STOCK TRUCK:

1. Randy Daniels, Chevy S-10; 2. Bob Panella Jr, S-10; 3. John Coughlin, S-10; 4. Rick Jones, GMC Sonoma; 5. Greg Stanfield, S-10; 6. Mike Coughlin, S-10; 7. Brian Self, S-10; 8. Steve Johns, S-10; 9. Mark Whisnant, S-10; 10. John Lingenfelter, Sonoma; 11. Scott Tidwell, S-10; 12. Larry Seay, S-10; 13. Tim Freeman, S-10; 14. Todd Patterson, Dodge Dakota; 15. Jeff Gracia, S-10; 16. Steven Farr, S-10.

COMMERCE, Ga. -- Sunday's final results from the 20th annual Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. The $1.7-million race is the seventh of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel -- Gary Scelzi, 4.629 seconds, 310.70 mph def. Tony Schumacher, 4.697 seconds, 307.44 mph.

Funny Car -- John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.929, 289.14 def. Ron Capps, Chevy Camaro, 5.023, 291.70.

Pro Stock -- Jeg Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 6.957, 198.12 def. Bruce Allen, Pontiac Firebird, 7.099, 195.85.

Pro Stock Bike -- Angelle Seeling, Suzuki, 7.311, 176.96 def. David Schultz, Suzuki, foul.

Pro Stock Truck -- Randy Daniels, Chevy S-10, 7.661, 177.93 def. Bob Panella Jr, S-10, 7.628, 177.07.

Federal-Mogul Dragster -- Dave Hirata, Dragster , 5.913, 242.50 def. Douglas Foley, Dragster, 6.301, 183.24.

Federal-Mogul Funny Car -- Frank Manzo, Dodge Avenger, 5.672, 254.52 def. Chuck Cheeseman, Firebird, 6.495, 160.50.

Comp Eliminator -- Brian Browell, Dragster, 7.467, 177.63 def. Charlie Westcott, Pontiac Grand Am, 9.288, 145.31.

Super Stock -- Peter Biondo, Pontiac Firebird, 10.277, 125.89 def. Randy Running, Chevy Camaro, 10.510, 127.71.

Stock -- Tom Dauber, Chevy II, 11.894, 110.15 def. Mickey Whaley, Chevy Camaro, 12.512, 102.78.

Super Comp -- Rod Fuller, Dragster, 8.901, 166.81 def. Sherman Adcock Jr, Dragster, 8.895, 158.84.

Super Gas -- Steve Drummond, Ford Mustang, 9.915, 151.80 def. Bob Bielaszka, Pontiac Grand Prix, 9.890, 143.72.

Super Street -- Johnny Nolin, Chevy Camaro, 10.831, 123.71 def. John Berberich, Chevy Camaro, 10.805, 131.92.

COMMERCE, Ga. -- Final round-by-round results from the 20th annual Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, the seventh of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE -- Larry Dixon, 4.692, 307.37 def. Bob Vandergriff, 6.778, 128.51; David Grubnic, 4.693, 313.80 def. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 7.311, 108.31; Gary Scelzi, 4.626, 317.34 def. Doug Herbert, 4.740, 309.77; Tony Schumacher, 4.615, 309.63 def. Terry Mullins, 5.165, 210.01; Cory McClenathan, 4.642, 317.12 def. Robert Reehl, 6.985, 126.96; Kenny Bernstein, 4.681, 314.75 def. Paul Romine, 9.629, 89.41; Joe Amato, 4.637, 313.51 def. Jim Bailey, 4.785, 302.69; Doug Kalitta, 6.022, 145.75 def. Don Lampus, 10.752, 83.60;

QUARTERFINALS -- Dixon, 4.657, 315.12 def. McClenathan, 4.760, 252.19; Amato, 4.664, 303.03 def. Grubnic, 6.992, 117.91; Schumacher, 4.673, 302.69 def. Kalitta, 5.128, 282.95; Scelzi, 4.655, 310.55 def. Bernstein, 12.419,
77.96;

SEMIFINALS -- Schumacher, 4.658, 313.29 def. Dixon, 4.672, 314.61; Scelzi, 4.565, 314.61 def. Amato, 4.672, 305.49;

FINAL -- Scelzi, 4.629, 310.70 def. Schumacher, 4.697, 307.44.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE -- Dean Skuza, Dodge Avenger, 6.211, 192.91 def. Gary Densham, Pontiac Firebird, 11.896, 77.24; Jerry Toliver, Firebird, 4.928, 306.33 def. Al Hofmann, Firebird, 11.731, 82.32; John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.926, 299.33 def. Bob Gilbertson, Firebird, 5.054, 301.60; Whit Bazemore, Chevy Camaro, 5.011, 304.32 def. Scotty Cannon, Camaro, 5.027, 307.58; Todd Paton, Firebird, 4.980, 303.57 def. Del Worsham, Firebird, 5.150, 290.76; Jim Epler, Camaro, 5.029, 305.01 def. Frank Pedregon, Firebird, 5.029, 302.62; Tony Pedregon, Mustang, 4.918, 312.13 def. Scott Weis, Chevy Corvette, 5.038, 277.43; Ron Capps, Camaro, 5.023, 291.70 def. Bruce Sarver, Firebird, 8.064, 101.71;

QUARTERFINALS -- Capps, 4.975, 296.18 def. Skuza, 5.011, 295.79; Toliver, 4.937, 306.88 def. T. Pedregon, 5.128, 266.42; Force, 4.930, 303.03 def. Epler, 4.995, 307.02; Paton, 5.016, 283.85 def. Bazemore, 5.046, 300.40;

SEMIFINALS -- Capps, 4.947, 296.24 def. Paton, 6.772, 130.12; Force, 4.918, 309.20 def. Toliver, 5.691, 198.61;

FINAL -- Force, 4.929, 289.14 def. Capps, 5.023, 291.70.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE -- Bruce Allen, Pontiac Firebird, 7.004, 196.33 def. Terry Adams, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 7.066, 196.39; Troy Coughlin, Cutlass, 7.009, 197.51 def. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 7.037, 196.13; V. Gaines, Chevy Camaro, 7.103, 194.80 def. Mark Pawuk, Firebird, 7.463, 147.04; Tom Martino, Firebird, 7.001, 197.42 def. Jamie Yates, Firebird, 7.045, 196.70; Jim Yates, Firebird, 6.962, 197.74 def. Don Beverley, Firebird, 7.418, 148.76; Ron Krisher, Firebird, 7.033, 195.90 def. Warren Johnson, Firebird, 6.947, 198.58; Jeg Coughlin, Cutlass, 6.941, 197.71 def. Richie Stevens, Firebird, 7.135, 170.36; Kurt Johnson, Camaro, 7.162, 189.84 def. Greg Anderson,
Firebird, 9.015, 106.66;

QUARTERFINALS -- T. Coughlin, 6.998, 197.25 def. K. Johnson, 7.080, 196.22; Allen, 7.040, 196.53 def. Krisher, 7.638, 137.33; Martino, 7.008, 197.57 def. Jim Yates, 7.006, 197.45; J. Coughlin, 6.945, 198.09 def. Gaines, 7.056, 196.56;

SEMIFINALS -- Allen, 7.042, 195.34 def. Martino, 7.029, 197.51; J. Coughlin, 6.960, 197.48 def. T. Coughlin, 7.833, 131.83;

FINAL -- J. Coughlin, 6.957, 198.12 def. Allen, 7.099, 195.85.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

ROUND ONE -- Fred Collis, Suzuki, 7.410, 177.65 def. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.439, 175.75; Geno Scali, Suzuki, 7.384, 179.35 def. Brian Ayers, Suzuki, 10.729, 75.10; Shawn Gann, Suzuki, 7.354, 176.81 def. Ron Ayers, Suzuki, 7.473, 172.92; Rob Short, Kawasaki, 7.519, 170.23 def. Antron Brown, Suzuki, 9.413, 91.77; Angelle Seeling, Suzuki, 7.248, 182.23 def. Blaine Hale, Kawasaki, 7.489, 172.21; Matt Hines, Suzuki, 7.268, 188.04 def. Brian DeLong, Suzuki, 7.485, 174.82; David Schultz, Suzuki, 7.275, 184.12 def. Mike Berry, Suzuki, 7.437, 175.80; Tony Mullen, Suzuki, 7.383, 180.40 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.611, 175.98;

QUARTERFINALS -- Short, 7.571, 176.12 def. Gann, broke; Schultz, 7.271, 183.42 def. Scali, 7.381, 181.74; Hines, 7.217, 189.02 def. Mullen, 7.339, 182.35; Seeling, 7.253, 178.99 def. Collis, foul;

SEMIFINALS -- Schultz, 7.284, 182.50 def. Short, 7.467, 174.46; Seeling, 7.237, 183.12 def. Hines, 7.560, 150.13;

FINAL -- Seeling, 7.311, 176.42 def. Schultz, foul.

PRO STOCK TRUCK:

ROUND ONE -- Steve Johns, Chevy S-10, 7.627, 176.74 def. Scott Tidwell, S-10, 7.669, 175.91; Rick Jones, GMC Sonoma, 7.676, 175.16 def. Larry Seay, S-10, 7.677, 175.84; Greg Stanfield, S-10, 7.603, 177.18 def. Jeff Gracia, S-10, 8.149, 131.79; John Coughlin, S-10, 7.635, 176.74 def. Tim Freeman, S-10, 7.706, 175.82; Brian Self, S-10, 7.688, 172.52 def. John Lingenfelter, Sonoma, 7.649, 176.10; Bob Panella Jr, S-10, 7.542, 178.40 def. Mark Whisnant, S-10, 7.648, 176.53; Randy Daniels, S-10, 7.572, 178.05 def. Todd Patterson, Dodge Dakota, 7.734, 175.32; Mike Coughlin, S-10, 7.628, 176.30 def. Steven Farr, Chevy S-10, 9.988, 92.70;

QUARTERFINALS -- Jones, 7.681, 175.34 def. Self, 7.714, 172.50; J. Coughlin, 7.665, 173.74 def. M. Coughlin, 7.646, 176.19; Daniels, 7.611, 177.72 def. Stanfield, 7.631, no speed; Panella Jr, 7.555, 177.91 def. Johns, 9.066,
109.15;

SEMIFINALS -- Daniels, 7.616, 177.49 def. Jones, 7.700, 175.02; Panella Jr, 7.587, 178.10 def. J. Coughlin, 7.670, 174.14;

FINAL -- Daniels, 7.661, 177.93 def. Panella Jr, 7.628, 177.07.

COMMERCE, Ga. -- Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional categories following the 20th annual Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, the seventh of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

1. Tony Schumacher, 599; 2. Gary Scelzi, 574; 3. Larry Dixon, 552; 4. Kenny Bernstein, 513; 5. Joe Amato, 455; 6. Doug Kalitta, 394; 7. Cory McClenathan, 332; 8. Doug Herbert, 329; 9. David Grubnic, 264; 10. Don Lampus, 262.

FUNNY CAR:

1. Jerry Toliver, 589; 2. John Force, 559; 3. Ron Capps, 528; 4. Tony Pedregon, 465; 5. Jim Epler, 389; 6. Scotty Cannon, 324; 7. Dean Skuza, 310; 8. Whit Bazemore, 300; 9. Bob Gilbertson, 297; 10. Del Worsham, 288.

PRO STOCK:

1. Jeg Coughlin, 755; 2. Warren Johnson, 466; 3. Jim Yates, 427; 4. Mark Pawuk, 380; 5. Troy Coughlin, 377; 6. Ron Krisher, 374; 7. Richie Stevens, 368; 8. Kurt Johnson, 361; 9. Bruce Allen, 351; 10. Tom Martino, 331.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

1. Angelle Seeling, 309; 2. David Schultz, 270; 3. Tony Mullen, 248; 4. Matt Hines, 229; 5. Craig Treble, 160; 6. Antron Brown, 143; 7. Geno Scali, 140; 8. Blaine Hale, 116; 9. (tie) Fred Collis, 106; Shawn Gann, 106.

PRO STOCK TRUCK:

1. Bob Panella Jr, 586; 2. Randy Daniels, 575; 3. Greg Stanfield, 407; 4. (tie) Rick Jones, 318; John Coughlin, 318; 6. Steve Johns, 305; 7. Brian Self, 270; 8. John Lingenfelter, 256; 9. Jeff Gracia, 254; 10. Taylor Lastor, 215

 

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