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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Force, Hartman-Smith and Marnell
Lead NHRA Testing Sunday at Tucson 

By NHRA Communications

TUCSON, Ariz. -- John Force, Rhonda Hartman-Smith, and George Marnell were quickest Sunday during the final day of testing at the PRO Warmup at Southwestern International Raceway.

NHRA teams used the pre-season test in preparation for the 2003 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season, which begins Feb. 6-9 at the K&N Filters Winternationals, Pomona (Calif.) Raceway, near Los Angeles. The $2 million race, which will be televised on ESPN2, is the first of 23 events in the $50 million series.

John Force took at shot at Johnny Gray's low E.T., but came up just short when his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang covered the quarter-mile distance in 4.899 at 316.08. Gray held on to the quick Funny Car run of the weekend with his 4.879 second run from Saturday. Gray's quickest effort on Sunday was a 4.922 at 303.57 in the Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird. 

Cruz Pedregon posted his best run of the weekend, driving his Advance Auto Parts Firebird to a 5.207 at 253.33. Del Worsham ran over the top-end timing cones on his only pass of the day in his Checker Schuck's Kragen Firebird, running a 5.016 at 257.24.

Hartman-Smith powered her FRAM dragster to the quickest Top Fuel run of the day, logging an impressive 4.639 second run with an unofficial career best speed of 319.14 mph. Her POWERade Series career-best speed is 318.92 mph, set last season at Englishtown, N.J.

Schumacher posted another run in the 4.60s, driving his U.S. Army dragster to a performance of 4.675 at 290.69. Schumacher's 4.610-second effort from Saturday was the quickest for the weekend in Top Fuel.

Doug Herbert was a tick off his 4.60-pace from Saturday, recording a 4.723 at 267.64 in his Snap-on Tools dragster.

Brandon Bernstein's Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster suffered a minor engine explosion near mid-track before the scoreboards revealed a 5.680 at 155.88 on his only run of the day.

Clay Millican posted his best run of the weekend in the Werner dragster, a 4.903-second effort at 256.70 mph. 
Marnell unleashed the quickest Pro Stock run of the weekend in his Matco Tools Pontiac Grand Am, crossing the finish line in 7.070 seconds at 194.07 mph. The run came just after Marnell had problems on the burnout during a previous run, when the car went out of control and slid across the centerline into the opposite lane. He backed up and attempted a pass, but was forced to shut off when the car got loose just after the launch. 

Mark Pawuk posted a 7.122 at 194.32 in his Summit Grand Am, well off the pace of his best for the weekend, a 7.078 at 194.83.

NHRA pre-season testing will conclude next weekend (Jan. 31-Feb. 2) in Las Vegas and Houston. Many NHRA Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock teams will test at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, while the majority of Pro Stock and Pro Stock Bike teams will participate in the annual Pro Stock Super Bowl at Houston Raceway Park. 

The following lists each driver's performance from Sunday: 

Brandon Bernstein 5.680 155.88 
Rhonda Hartman-Smith 4.639 319.14 
Doug Herbert 4.723 267.64 
John Smith 6.761 122.93
Clay Millican 11.187 72.77 
Tony Schumacher 5.357 182.62 
Tony Pedregon 5.745 167.30 
Del Worsham 5.016 257.24 (ran over timing cones) 
Johnny Gray no time, speed recorded (Worsham hit timing cones)
Dean Skuza 13.027 74.38 
Cruz Pedregon 5.211 208.42 
Gary Densham 5.576 179.95 
John Force 4.899 316.08 
George Marnell 13.387 68.77 
Mark Pawuk 7.143 193.57 
George Marnell 7.070 194.07 
Mark Pawuk 9.669 90.13 
Doug Herbert 9.999 81.12 
Tony Schumacher 4.675 290.69 
Johnny Gray 4.922 303.57 
Clay Millican 4.903 256.70 
Dean Skuza 5.260 209.30 
Cruz Pedregon 5.207 253.33 
Mark Pawuk 7.122 194.32 
Doug Herbert 4.754 305.56 
Clay Millican 5.179 195.85 

The following lists each driver's best performance for the weekend: 

Tony Schumacher 4.610 305.22 
Rhonda Hartman-Smith 4.639 319.14 
Doug Herbert 4.648 310.48
Brandon Bernstein 4.730 313.95 
Clay Millican 4.903 256.70
John Smith 5.891 154.33 

Johnny Gray 4.879 315.27 
John Force 4.899 316.08
Gary Densham 4.920 298.60
Del Worsham 4.936 306.33 
Dean Skuza 5.036 261.67 
Tony Pedregon 5.071 231.20
Cruz Pedregon 5.207 253.33 

George Marnell 7.070 194.07 
Mark Pawuk 7.078 194.83 

NHRA Communications


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