ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- Larry Dixon continued his impressive performance
in Top Fuel by earning the No. 1 qualifying position at the Matco Tools
SuperNationals, while Pro Stock legend Warren Johnson put himself in
position to earn a $100,000 payday Sunday at Old Bridge Township Raceway
Tony Pedregon, Jim Yates and Angelle Savoie also will lead their
categories into eliminations at the $2 million race, the eighth of 23
events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
In racing completed on Saturday, Johnson earned $50,000 for winning the
NHRA Pro Stock Challenge, a special bonus race for Pro Stock competitors.
Johnson could earn more than $100,000 for the weekend should he win
tomorrow's eliminations, which begin at 11 a.m.
"We'll go out there tomorrow with the same game plan we had today,
trying to figure out the race track," Johnson said. "Given the
conditions we had today, everybody was kind of searching. We knew the
performance was there, but because the air was so good and the track was
pretty good, but if you missed (the setup) you'd be like Edwards in the
final and just shake the tires because you were too aggressive."
Dixon claimed his fifth No. 1 qualifying effort of the season and 17th
of his career, driving his Miller Lite dragster to the top of the lineup
with a 4.561 second run at 323.35 mph. Kenny Bernstein was second, just a
tick off the leading pace, posting a 4.565 at 323.74 in the Budweiser
"We were pleasantly surprised to hold on to the top spot,"
Dixon said. "The conditions were there for someone to go after a
national record and there are a few cars here that could have done it. But
we ended up on top and we're happy about that. That was a good run for us.
It yanked the wheels up and held them there for a couple hundred feet. I
was looking off to the side to see where I was for a long time."
Dixon will face No. 16 qualifier Don Sosenka, an upset specialist who
surprised Tony Schumacher in the opening round at Atlanta, and advanced to
the semifinals where he lost to Doug Herbert.
"We sure aren't taking them lightly," Dixon said. "Sosenka's
team is a good example that anything can happen on race day. Those guys
went three rounds at the last race. Look at us in Houston when we lost to
Mitch King. We're here to win the race, but you have to win every round to
Pedregon scored his 11th top qualifying effort of his career and second
of the season with a track record time of 4.777 seconds at 316.45 in a
"The performance of our car has been there for the last couple of
races," Pedregon said. "I learned a few weeks ago when we
qualified No. 1 at Bristol we don't want to get ahead of ourselves. It
does give you a little more confidence putting a couple of 70s together. I
think our chances are as good as they've ever been."
Yates also posted a track record, covering the distance in 6.774 at
202.39 in a Pontiac Grand Am to lead the 16-car Pro Stock order. It is the
23rd No. 1 effort of Yates' career, and his second of the season.
"The track is in such great shape that a national record is
definitely there for the taking tomorrow," said Yates, who will face
defending event winner Richie Stevens in the first round. "If you had
any horsepower at all today you were running in the 6.70s. It was just
incredible out there. You look at the qualifying sheets and see the guys
that didn't make it and you'll start to realize just how tough it is out
in this class. Being No. 1 doesn't help that much either. It just puts a
target on your back."
Savoie claimed her 26th career No. 1 qualifying effort by setting the
national record for Pro Stock Motorcycle on a Suzuki, running 7.049 at
"It's good to get the record, but I'm not sure it's going to stay
there because there are several teams, including us, who have the power to
go even quicker tomorrow under the right conditions. Hopefully it will be
sunny and warm, with a headwind on the track. If it says cool and overcast
like it was today, I think a six-second run is possible. My run today
wasn't quite perfect, so there's some more left in it."
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- First-round pairings for professional eliminations
Sunday for the 33rd annual Matco Tools SuperNationals presented by Racing
Champions at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, the eighth of 23 events in
the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on
results in qualifying, which ended Saturday.
Top Fuel -- 1. Larry Dixon, 4.561 seconds, 323.35 mph vs. 16. Don
Sosenka, 5.307, 250.32; 2. Kenny Bernstein, 4.565, 323.74 vs. 15. Jim
Head, 4.995, 289.20; 3. Tony Schumacher, 4.594, 326.56 vs. 14. Doug
Herbert, 4.879, 303.84; 4. Darrell Russell, 4.595, 318.77 vs. 13. Scott
Weis, 4.877, 276.58; 5. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.633, 318.92 vs. 12. Chris
Karamesines, 4.801, 278.06; 6. Andrew Cowin, 4.638, 327.90 vs. 11. John
Smith, 4.795, 310.70; 7. Doug Kalitta, 4.668, 318.17 vs. 10. David
Grubnic, 4.726, 311.13; 8. Cory McClenathan, 4.713, 318.24 vs. 9. Mark
Kinsella, 4.715, 310.48.
Funny Car -- 1. Tony Pedregon, Ford Mustang, 4.777, 316.45 vs. 16. Dale
Creasy Jr., Pontiac Firebird, 5.075, 248.98; 2. Tim Wilkerson, Firebird,
4.841, 283.49 vs. 15. John Force, Mustang, 5.045, 292.39; 3. Cruz
Pedregon, Firebird, 4.847, 316.23 vs. 14. Tommy Johnson Jr., Chevy Camaro,
5.039, 304.60; 4. Dean Skuza, Dodge Stratus R/T, 4.849, 311.20 vs. 13.
Johnny Gray, Firebird, 5.028, 298.80; 5. Gary Densham, Mustang, 4.864,
320.13 vs. 12. Todd Paton, Camaro, 5.009, 292.33; 6. Frank Pedregon,
Firebird, 4.909, 310.91 vs. 11. Bob Gilbertson, Firebird, 4.992, 304.25;
7. Del Worsham, Firebird, 4.922, 295.27 vs. 10. Bruce Sarver, Toyota
Celica, 4.963, 264.86; 8. Scotty Cannon, Firebird, 4.932, 313.80 vs. 9.
Whit Bazemore, Firebird, 4.932, 311.05.
Pro Stock -- 1. Jim Yates, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.774, 202.39 vs. 16.
Richie Stevens, Grand Am, 6.815, 201.28; 2. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Cavalier,
6.778, 202.52 vs. 15. Ron Krisher, Cavalier, 6.812, 202.30; 3. Warren
Johnson, Grand Am, 6.783, 203.09 vs. 14. Mark Osborne, Grand Am, 6.807,
202.06; 4. Greg Anderson, Cavalier, 6.788, 202.67 vs. 13. Mike Edwards,
Cavalier, 6.804, 201.31; 5. Allen Johnson, Dodge Neon R/T, 6.791, 202.24
vs. 12. Larry Morgan, Neon R/T, 6.800, 202.76; 6. Arturo Delgado, Grand
Am, 6.793, 201.73 vs. 11. Gene Wilson, Neon R/T, 6.799, 202.91; 7. Troy
Coughlin, Cavalier, 6.794, 203.03 vs. 10. Kurt Johnson, Cavalier, 6.799,
202.91; 8. Mark Whisnant, Cavalier, 6.795, 202.73 vs. 9. Mark Pawuk, Grand
Am, 6.798, 201.58.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Angelle Savoie, Suzuki, 7.049, 189.15 vs.
16. Fred Camarena, Suzuki, 7.270, 183.99; 2. Matt Hines, Suzuki, 7.094,
189.52 vs. 15. Thomas Miceli, Suzuki, 7.263, 185.33; 3. Craig Treble,
Suzuki, 7.098, 189.50 vs. 14. Scott Lewis, Suzuki, 7.260, 188.23; 4.
Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.122, 191.89 vs. 13. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 7.255,
183.94; 5. Shawn Gann, Suzuki, 7.122, 188.12 vs. 12. Mike Berry, Suzuki,
7.235, 185.74; 6. Geno Scali, Kawasaki, 7.143, 187.63 vs. 11. Chris
Reuter, Suzuki, 7.233, 186.54; 7. Reggie Showers, Suzuki, 7.153, 188.83
vs. 10. Sam Hurwitz, Suzuki, 7.223, 188.49; 8. John Smith, Suzuki, 7.193,
187.96 vs. 9. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.219, 186.38.
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- Final round-by-round results from the 18th annual
NHRA Pro Stock Challenge at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, a special
event for Pro Stock competitors in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag
ROUND ONE -- Mike Edwards, Chevy Cavalier, 6.819, 200.26 def. Bruce
Allen, Pontiac Grand Am, foul; George Marnell, Grand Am, 6.829, 202.33
def. Ron Krisher, Cavalier, foul; Warren Johnson, Grand Am, 6.796, 203.28
def. Kurt Johnson, Cavalier, 6.850, 202.52; Jim Yates, Grand Am, 6.776,
202.61 def. Mark Osborne, Grand Am, 6.936, 181.47;
SEMIFINALS -- W. Johnson, 6.797, 203.09 def. Marnell, 6.844, 201.88;
Edwards, 6.804, 201.31 def. Yates, 6.786, 202.39;
FINALS -- W. Johnson, 6.827, 203.43 def. Edwards, 8.981, 99.55.