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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Dixon, Force, W. Johnson and Hale Score Victories in Denver

By NHRA Communications

John Force ended his longest draught since 1989 with a win at Denver. Photo by Lee Craker
John Force ended his longest draught since 1989 with a win at Denver. Photo by Lee Craker

MORRISON, Colo. - Larry Dixon raced to his sixth victory of the season and increased his Top Fuel points lead Sunday at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

John Force, Warren Johnson and Blaine Hale also were winners in their respective categories at the $1.8 million race, the 13th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Dixon used a consistent 4.7-second tune-up to earn his 31st career NHRA Top Fuel victory when he clocked a pass of 4.737 seconds at 313.15 mph in his Miller Lite dragster to defeat Doug Kalitta, whose Mac Tools dragster lost traction and slowed to a run of 5.135 at 228.69.

"I think that this year we have a great setup," said Dixon. "We slowly worked on the tune-up this weekend and the guys found it last night. We ran 4.70s up here all day long, I don't think anybody's done that. (Crew Chief) Dick LaHaie and the guys did a great job."

Dixon defeated Mitch King, Tony Schumacher and rival Kenny Bernstein, before besting Kalitta in the final round. With the victory, Dixon extends his POWERade points lead to 229 points over Kalitta.

Force captured his first victory of the season and 107th of his career by defeating rival Cruz Pedregon in the final round of Funny Car. Force drove his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang to a pass of 5.044 at 289.45 to score his first victory since the final race of the 2002 season. It marks the 17th consecutive season that Force has earned an NHRA victory and ends his longest winless drought since 1989.

"It's a good feeling," said Force. "It's been a long time. It feels good to finally win. It keeps me in the ball game mentally; it was just a good day. I did my job against (Whit) Bazemore in the second round. It's good for Tony (Pedregon) because he's got a good shot to win his first NHRA title."

Force knocked off Johnny Gray, Whit Bazemore, and Frank Pedregon, prior to edging C. Pedregon for the win. Force's victory moved him to fourth place in the Funny Car points standings. Force's teammate Tony Pedregon, who was defeated in the first round of eliminations for the first time since June 2002, remains atop the points standings and leads Whit Bazemore by 124 POWERade points.

Johnson drove his GM Performance Parts Pontiac Grand Am to his 91st career NHRA Pro Stock victory when he defeated Jeg Coughlin in the final round. Johnson, the second winningest driver in NHRA history, used a pass of 7.222 at 191.05 to earn the win, while Coughlin clocked a run of 7.250 at 190.75.

"It helped both Kurt (Johnson) and myself when I was able to beat Greg (Anderson)," said Johnson. "We're definitely not out of it yet, that's for sure. There's no such thing as a bad win or a good loss."

Johnson, who won from the No. 9 qualifying position, beat George Marnell, Pro Stock points leader Greg Anderson and defending event champion Mike Edwards, before outdistancing Coughlin in the final round. Anderson continues to lead the POWERade points chase and has a 71-point advantage over K. Johnson.

Hale stunned the Pro Stock Bike field by winning from the No. 16 qualifying position. He used a significant starting-line advantage and a run of 7.623 at 176.03 aboard his Cornwell Tools Suzuki to defeat Mike Berry, who clocked a run of 7.591 at 176.24, to score his first career NHRA victory. It marks the first race since the national event at Baton Rouge, La. in 1987 that the No. 16 qualifier has won in Pro Stock Bike.

"This is really something," said Hale. "This is our first year on a Suzuki, we're just trying to figure stuff out for next season. I never would have guessed in a million years this would happen to me. My mother always told me it's better to be lucky than good."

Hale advanced to round two when No. 1 qualifier GT Tonglet fouled at the start. Hale then defeated Karen Stoffer, who suffered mechanical problems, and Pro Stock Bike points leader Geno Scali, who also fouled at the start, before scoring his first career win over Berry. Scali extended his points lead over Angelle Savoie, who fell in round one to Michael Phillips, to 109 points.

The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 16th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, July 25-27, at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash.

MORRISON, Colo. -- Final finish order (1-16) for professional categories at the 24th annual Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. The $1.8 million race is the 13th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:
1. Larry Dixon; 2. Doug Kalitta; 3. Kenny Bernstein; 4. Melanie Troxel; 5. Cory McClenathan; 6. David Baca; 7. Darrell Russell; 8. Tony Schumacher; 9. John Smith; 10. Doug Herbert; 11. Mike Strasburg; 12. Don Sosenka; 13. Paul Romine; 14. Rhonda Hartman-Smith; 15. Mitch King; 16. Scott Weis. 

FUNNY CAR:
1. John Force, Ford Mustang; 2. Cruz Pedregon, Pontiac Firebird; 3. Frank Pedregon, Firebird; 4. Dean Skuza, Firebird; 5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Chevy Camaro; 6. Whit Bazemore, Dodge Stratus; 7. Tim Wilkerson, Firebird; 8. Scotty Cannon, Firebird; 9. Gary Scelzi, Stratus; 10. Gary Densham, Mustang; 11. Johnny Gray, Firebird; 12. Ron Capps, Camaro; 13. Del Worsham, Firebird; 14. Dale Creasy Jr., Firebird; 15. Tony Pedregon, Mustang; 16. Terry Haddock, Camaro. 

PRO STOCK:
1. Warren Johnson, Pontiac Grand Am; 2. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Cavalier; 3. Mike Edwards, Grand Am; 4. Troy Coughlin, Cavalier; 5. Kurt Johnson, Cavalier; 6. Greg Anderson, Grand Am; 7. Jim Yates, Grand Am; 8. Ron Krisher, Cavalier; 9. Bruce Allen, Grand Am; 10. V. Gaines, Cavalier; 11. Taylor Lastor, Cavalier; 12. Greg Stanfield, Dodge Neon; 13. George Marnell, Grand Am; 14. Allen Johnson, Dodge Stratus R/T; 15. Terry Adams, Cavalier; 16. Darrell Alderman, Stratus R/T. 

PRO STOCK BIKE:
1. Blaine Hale, Suzuki; 2. Mike Berry, Suzuki; 3. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson; 4. Geno Scali, Suzuki; 5. Shawn Gann, Suzuki; 6. Michael Phillips, Suzuki; 7. Fred Collis, Suzuki; 8. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki; 9. GT Tonglet, Harley-Davidson; 10. Sean Conner, Suzuki; 11. Reggie Showers, Suzuki; 12. Steve Johnson, Suzuki; 13. Angelle Savoie, Suzuki; 14. Antron Brown, Suzuki; 15. Fred Camarena, Suzuki; 16. Craig Treble, Suzuki. 

MORRISON, Colo. -- Sunday's final results from the 24th annual Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. The $1.8 million race is the 13th of 23 in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series: 

Top Fuel -- Larry Dixon, 4.737 seconds, 313.15 mph def. Doug Kalitta, 5.135 seconds, 228.69 mph. 

Funny Car -- John Force, Ford Mustang, 5.044, 289.45 def. Cruz Pedregon, Pontiac Firebird, 5.060, 302.55. 

Pro Stock -- Warren Johnson, Pontiac Grand Am, 7.225, 191.05 def. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Cavalier, 7.250, 190.75. 

Pro Stock Bike -- Blaine Hale, Suzuki, 7.623, 176.03 def. Mike Berry, Suzuki, 7.591, 176.24. 

Competition Eliminator -- David Rampy, Roadster, 7.922, 168.03 def. Mike De Palma Jr, Dodge Neon, 7.606, 179.23. 

Super Stock -- Dan Fletcher, Chevy Camaro, 11.073, 117.10 def. Kevin Nicks, Plymouth Barracuda, 10.662, 125.97. 

Stock Eliminator -- Toby Lang, Chevelle, 12.732, 101.78 def. Stephanie Wong, Plymouth Volare, 12.949, 102.85. 

Super Comp -- Gary Stinnett, Dragster, 9.467, 157.03 def. Max Tafoya Jr, Dragster, 9.450, 145.03. 

Super Gas -- Craig Anderson, Chevy Corvette, 10.525, 154.74 def. Butch Kleewein, Chevy Camaro, 10.501, 146.30. 

Super Street -- John Tripp, Plymouth Satellite, 11.589, 122.73 def. Frank Nichols Jr., Chevy Camaro, 11.569, 128.77. 

MORRISON, Colo. -- Final round-by-round results from the 24th annual Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, the 13th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series - 

TOP FUEL: 

ROUND ONE -- Tony Schumacher, 5.156, 239.48 def. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 7.394, 111.93; Melanie Troxel, 4.925, 293.03 def. Mike Strasburg, 5.494, 206.51; Cory McClenathan, 5.077, 277.77 def. Don Sosenka, 6.332, 170.88; Kenny Bernstein, 4.905, 298.14 def. John Smith, 4.991, 287.84; Darrell Russell, 4.846, 305.36 def. Paul Romine, 6.497, 138.34; David Baca, 4.881, 298.47 def. Doug Herbert, 5.169, 255.97; Doug Kalitta, 4.814, 306.40 def. Scott Weis, foul; Larry Dixon, 4.729, 311.99 def. Mitch King, 7.837, 96.69; 
QUARTERFINALS -- Troxel, 4.962, 278.29 def. McClenathan, 4.931, 294.37; Bernstein, 4.918, 303.09 def. Baca, 4.965, 292.71; Kalitta, 4.907, 298.40 def. Russell, 5.268, 235.10; Dixon, 4.778, 309.98 def. Schumacher, 5.466, 207.15; 
SEMIFINALS -- Kalitta, 4.765, 307.79 def. Troxel, 4.976, 280.72; Dixon, 4.730, 313.66 def. Bernstein, 4.815, 307.23; 
FINAL -- Dixon, 4.737, 313.15 def. Kalitta, 5.135, 228.69. 

FUNNY CAR: 

ROUND ONE -- Frank Pedregon, Pontiac Firebird, 5.284, 278.52 def. Ron Capps, Chevy Camaro, 5.352, 275.79; Tim Wilkerson, Firebird, 5.102, 287.35 def. Gary Scelzi, Dodge Stratus, 5.130, 296.11; Scotty Cannon, Firebird, 5.207, 291.32 def. Tony Pedregon, Ford Mustang, 6.109, 191.02; Whit Bazemore, Stratus, 5.118, 290.94 def. Terry Haddock, Camaro, 7.228, 128.04; Dean Skuza, Firebird, 5.270, 288.77 def. Del Worsham, Firebird, 5.468, 268.54; Tommy Johnson Jr., Camaro, 5.420, 232.31 def. Dale Creasy Jr., Firebird, 5.542, 235.35; John Force, Mustang, 5.108, 301.81 def. Johnny Gray, Firebird, 5.171, 292.71; Cruz Pedregon, Firebird, 5.109, 303.03 def. Gary Densham, Mustang, 5.165, 266.90; 
QUARTERFINALS -- C. Pedregon, 5.098, 292.71 def. Wilkerson, 5.299, 271.08; F. Pedregon, 5.506, 256.89 def. Cannon, 14.946, 77.25; Force, 5.131, 290.69 def. Bazemore, 5.202, 278.23; Skuza, 5.153, 284.56 def. Johnson Jr., 5.164, 289.63; 
SEMIFINALS -- Force, 5.038, 303.78 def. F. Pedregon, 5.266, 262.03; C. Pedregon, 7.245, 120.92 def. Skuza, foul; 
FINAL -- Force, 5.044, 289.45 def. C. Pedregon, 5.060, 302.55. 


PRO STOCK: 

ROUND ONE -- Warren Johnson, Pontiac Grand Am, 7.247, 190.46 def. George Marnell, Grand Am, 7.290, 189.31; Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Cavalier, 7.255, 190.70 def. Greg Stanfield, Dodge Neon, 7.287, 189.82; Troy Coughlin, Cavalier, 7.297, 189.90 def. Bruce Allen, Grand Am, 7.277, 189.87; Mike Edwards, Grand Am, 7.298, 189.84 def. V. Gaines, Cavalier, 7.281, 190.38; Jim Yates, Grand Am, 7.257, 190.06 def. Allen Johnson, Dodge Stratus R/T, 7.309, 189.31; Kurt Johnson, Cavalier, 7.238, 190.38 def. Taylor Lastor, Cavalier, 7.286, 189.73; Greg Anderson, Grand Am, 7.220, 191.46 def. Terry Adams, Cavalier, foul; Ron Krisher, Cavalier, 7.276, 189.60 def. Darrell Alderman, Stratus R/T, 7.314, 188.91; 
QUARTERFINALS -- T. Coughlin, 7.308, 189.90 def. Krisher, foul; Edwards, 7.295, 189.39 def. Yates, 7.274, 189.71; J. Coughlin, 7.262, 190.19 def. K. Johnson, 7.242, 190.24; W. Johnson, 7.245, 190.48 def. Anderson, 7.246, 190.94; 
SEMIFINALS -- J. Coughlin, 7.244, 190.46 def. T. Coughlin, 7.254, 190.89; W. Johnson, 7.229, 190.48 def. Edwards, 7.253, 189.90; 
FINAL -- W. Johnson, 7.225, 191.05 def. J. Coughlin, 7.250, 190.75. 


PRO STOCK BIKE: 

ROUND ONE -- Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.602, 175.39 def. Reggie Showers, Suzuki, 7.632, 176.35; Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 7.622, 176.03 def. Angelle Savoie, Suzuki, 7.642, 179.97; Mike Berry, Suzuki, 7.629, 175.50 def. Sean Conner, Suzuki, foul; Blaine Hale, Suzuki, 7.696, 174.10 def. GT Tonglet, Harley-Davidson, foul; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.568, 174.17 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.639, 174.48; Fred Collis, Suzuki, 7.614, 173.85 def. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.682, 175.14; Geno Scali, Suzuki, 7.573, 176.79 def. Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.643, 172.10; Shawn Gann, Suzuki, 7.585, 176.10 def. Fred Camarena, Suzuki, 7.644, 174.77; 
QUARTERFINALS -- Berry, 7.691, 173.03 def. Collis, foul; Hale, 7.736, 173.09 def. Stoffer, broke; Scali, 7.603, 175.43 def. Gann, foul; Hines, 7.583, 175.59 def. Phillips, 7.627, 179.02; 
SEMIFINALS -- Hale, 7.712, 177.04 def. Scali, foul; Berry, 7.603, 174.50 def. Hines, 7.554, 175.82; 
FINAL -- Hale, 7.623, 176.03 def. Berry, 7.591, 176.24. 

MORRISON, Colo. -- Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional categories following the 24th annual Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, the 13th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series - 

Top Fuel

1. Larry Dixon, 1,227; 2. Doug Kalitta, 998; 3. Darrell Russell, 774; 4. Cory McClenathan, 714; 5. Tony Schumacher, 646; 6. Brandon Bernstein, 629; 7. John Smith, 621; 8. Doug Herbert, 618; 9. David Baca, 584; 10. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 514.

Funny Car

1. Tony Pedregon, 1,143; 2. Whit Bazemore, 1,019; 3. Del Worsham, 832; 4. John Force, 817; 5. Gary Densham, 794; 6. Ron Capps, 766; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr., 673; 8. Frank Pedregon, 598; 9. Johnny Gray, 583; 10. Cruz Pedregon, 557.

Pro Stock

1. Greg Anderson, 1,121; 2. Kurt Johnson, 1,050; 3. Warren Johnson, 871; 4. Jeg Coughlin, 810; 5. Ron Krisher, 629; 6. Allen Johnson, 579; 7. Mike Edwards, 562; 8. Scott Geoffrion, 552; 9. Bruce Allen, 537; 10. (tie) Darrell Alderman, 495 
Jim Yates, 495.

Pro Stock Bike

1. Geno Scali, 670; 2. Angelle Savoie, 561; 3. Shawn Gann, 530; 4. Antron Brown, 449; 5. Reggie Showers, 446; 6. Craig Treble, 425; 7. Mike Berry, 421; 8. Fred Collis, 419; 9. Karen Stoffer, 383; 10. Andrew Hines, 362.

NHRA Communications

 

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