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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Dixon, T. Pedregon And J. Coughlin Visit Winner's
Circle At O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals

By NHRA Communications

        MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Larry Dixon earned his eighth win of the season and the 24th of his career Sunday at the 15th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park.

        Dixon sped his Miller Lite dragster down the quarter-mile drag strip in 4.600 seconds at 318.69 mph to outlast Tony Schumacher who ran a slower 4.798 at 286.64 in the U.S. Army dragster. Dixon made four consecutive runs in the 4.60s over the course of the day en route to the win. Dixon drove past Chris Karamesines, Bruce Litton, and Kenny Bernstein before his meeting with Schumacher.

        "For us to both make it to the final was cool since we both are remembered for our huge crashes here in 2000," said the 35-year-old Dixon. "For our team to get the win is great because we extended our points lead with four races to go."

        Dixon's second round win over Litton set up a key matchup with rival and POWERade championship contenders Bernstein in the semifinal with Dixon getting lane choice. With lane choice being a priority for eliminations, Dixon selected the left lane and sped to a 4.637 pass at 315.19 while Bernstein lost traction almost immediately and rolled to a pass of 11.579 at 73.04. Dixon's win stretched his lead in the standings to 104 points over Bernstein.

        "We're running out of races," said Dixon. "If I lose that round, there isn't that much time to get those points back. That was a huge round (win) for the team. Going head-to-head up against him is in our favor this year and that's how (Bernstein) won last year. He crushed us last year when he faced us. This year we have the winning margin (6-2). In the end, when it's tallied out, I hope that makes the difference."

        Pedregon scored his career high fifth win of the year and the 18th of his career as he powered his Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang to the finish line in 4.909 at 315.12 to defeat Del Worsham. Worsham lost traction briefly in his Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird and recorded a 5.144 at 263.15 for the runner-up finish. It was Pedregons second consecutive win in as many weeks as he inched closer to team-owner John Force in the POWERade Funny Car standings. Pedregon now trails Force by 80 points.

        "Well that was a good day in the office," said Pedregon, who also was the No. 1 qualifier at the event. "My car was running pretty steady and we knew Worsham was capable of running quick. I didn't realize he got out in front of me by so much so early, but that's drag racing right now. The competition is there.

        "The key to success in drag racing is be able to string the wins together like that. We have been fortunate to do that the last couple of weeks and we have closed the gap on John a little bit. Nothing personal against John, but I think he finds it interesting. But he thrives on pressure, so I want to keep it as mild as I can. But I want to be realistic and the clock is ticking on how much time we have left.

        Pedregon score his win by running past Todd Paton, Dean Skuza, teammate Gary Densham and Worsham. Force Racing still occupies the top three spots in the standings but Worsham has moved within 29 points of the third place Densham.

        Coughlin's Chevy Cavalier clocked a 6.849 at 200.80 pass, which was just enough to outrun rookie Gene Wilson and his pass of 6.877 at 200.20 for Coughlin's fifth win of the year. Coughlin had a significant first round victory when he eliminated Greg Anderson in the first round. Following Anderson, Coughlin eliminated Kurt Johnson, Kenny Koretsky and Wilson.

        "When we started the day off we knew we were going to have our hands full with Greg," said Coughlin. "One of us was going to go on and make up some points. Then (current points leader) Jim (Yates) when out in the second round, our goal was to try and pace ourselves round by round. To pick up a couple of rounds on Jim today was big for us. It's made the points race tighter and more interesting.

"We have high expectations of ourselves to remain at this level where we are at, and with four races to go we need to make up some rounds if we are going to contend for the championship. It's going to be a power-packed finale."

It was Coughlin's 28th career victory in 39 final round appearances, tying him with Darrell Alderman for third place all-time for most Pro Stock wins.

The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series continues at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., with the second annual Craftsman 75th Anniversary Nationals, Sept. 26-29.

MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- Final finish order (1-16) for professional categories at the 15th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Memphis Motorsports Park.  The $1.8 million race is the 19th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

1.  Larry Dixon; 2.  Tony Schumacher; 3.  Doug Herbert; 4.  Kenny Bernstein; 5.  Andrew Cowin; 6.  Cory McClenathan; 7.  John Smith; 8.  Bruce Litton; 9.  Mike Smith; 10.  Darrell Russell; 11.  Rhonda Hartman-Smith; 12.  Chris Karamesines; 13.  Mitch King; 14.  Scott Weis; 15.  Doug Kalitta; 16.  Paul Romine.

1.  Tony Pedregon, Ford Mustang; 2.  Del Worsham, Pontiac Firebird; 3.  John Force, Mustang; 4.  Gary Densham, Mustang; 5.  Dean Skuza, Dodge Stratus R/T; 6.  Tommy Johnson Jr., Chevy Camaro; 7.  Dale Creasy Jr., Firebird; 8.  Bruce Sarver, Toyota Celica; 9.  Ron Capps, Camaro; 10.  Tim Wilkerson, Firebird; 11.  Bob Gilbertson, Firebird; 12.  Cruz Pedregon, Firebird; 13.  Todd Paton, Camaro; 14.  Bob Bode, Firebird; 15.  Johnny Gray, Firebird; 16.  Scotty Cannon, Firebird.

1.  Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Cavalier; 2.  Gene Wilson, Dodge Neon R/T; 3.  Mike Edwards, Cavalier; 4.  Kenny Koretsky, Cavalier; 5.  Warren Johnson, Pontiac Grand Am; 6.  Bruce Allen, Grand Am; 7.  Kurt Johnson, Cavalier; 8.  Jim Yates, Grand Am; 9.  Greg Stanfield, Neon R/T; 10.  Greg Stanfield, Neon R/T; 11.  Allen Johnson, Neon R/T; 12.  Greg Anderson, Cavalier; 13.  Allen Johnson, Neon R/T; 14.  Greg Anderson, Cavalier; 15.  Ron Krisher, Cavalier; 16.  Ron Krisher, Cavalier.

MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- Sunday's final round results from the 15th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Memphis Motorsports Park.  The $1.8 million race is the 19th of 23 in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel -- Larry Dixon, 4.600 seconds, 318.69 mph  def. Tony Schumacher, 4.798 seconds, 286.44 mph.

Funny Car -- Tony Pedregon, Ford Mustang, 4.909, 315.12  def. Del Worsham, Pontiac Firebird, 5.144, 263.15.

Pro Stock -- Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Cavalier, 6.849, 200.80  def. Gene Wilson, Dodge Neon R/T, 6.877, 200.20.

Competition Eliminator -- Mike Saye, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 8.656, 154.28  def. Keith Mawhee, Chevy Cavalier, 8.370, 161.05.

Super Stock -- Harvey Emmons III, Chevy Camaro, broke  def. Teresa Butner, Oldsmobile Achieva, foul.

Stock Eliminator -- Toby Lang, Chevelle, 11.781, 109.82  def. Lee Bannister, Pontiac Formula, 11.757, 108.91.

Super Comp -- Jeff Strickland, Dragster, 8.920, 154.33  def. BillyJoe Torrence, Dragster, 8.939, 175.02.

Super Gas -- David Hubbard, Pontiac Firebird, 9.910, 153.88  def. Joe Harper, Dodge Avenger, 9.908, 155.54.

MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- Final round-by-round results from the 15th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Memphis Motorsports Park, the 19th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series -


ROUND ONE -- Doug Herbert, 4.729, 306.53 def. Scott Weis, 6.428, 131.31; John Smith, 5.413, 252.57 def. Doug Kalitta, 8.700, 75.27; Bruce Litton, 4.785, 306.12 def. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.810, 300.93; Tony Schumacher, 4.656, 317.87 def. Darrell Russell, 4.791, 302.82; Andrew Cowin, 4.959, 273.61 def. Paul Romine, 10.936, 87.19; Kenny Bernstein, 4.666, 315.19 def. Mitch King, 4.876, 294.75; Cory McClenathan, 4.717, 300.40 def. Mike Smith, 4.784, 306.95; Larry Dixon, 4.622, 317.42 def. Chris Karamesines, foul;

QUARTERFINALS -- Herbert, 4.651, 316.38 def. Cowin, 4.709, 303.64; Bernstein, 4.659, 313.29 def. J. Smith, 7.835, 115.19; Schumacher, 4.640, 318.92 def. McClenathan, 4.757, 297.29; Dixon, 4.645, 313.00 def. Litton, 13.257, 63.61;

SEMIFINALS -- Dixon, 4.637, 315.19 def. Bernstein, 11.579, 73.04; Schumacher, 4.706, 311.56 def. Herbert, 4.773, 297.35;

FINAL -- Dixon, 4.600, 318.69 def. Schumacher, 4.798, 286.44.


ROUND ONE -- Gary Densham, Ford Mustang, 4.984, 298.40 def. Bob Gilbertson, Pontiac Firebird, 5.071, 302.14; John Force, Mustang, 4.921, 302.55 def. Cruz Pedregon, Firebird, 5.656, 181.45; Tony Pedregon, Mustang, 4.933, 294.37 def. Todd Paton, Chevy Camaro, 6.703, 130.52; Del Worsham, Firebird, 4.908, 309.91 def. Scotty Cannon, Firebird, 11.235, 71.90; Bruce Sarver, Toyota Celica, 4.962, 300.00 def. Tim Wilkerson, Firebird, 5.034, 287.05; Dale Creasy Jr., Firebird, 4.938, 304.05 def. Ron Capps, Camaro, 4.967, 278.98; Tommy Johnson Jr., Camaro, 4.976, 303.84 def. Johnny Gray, Firebird, 8.993, 91.14; Dean Skuza, Dodge Stratus R/T, 4.968, 300.06 def. Bob Bode, Firebird, 6.867, 129.45;

QUARTERFINALS -- T. Pedregon, 4.923, 313.95 def. Skuza, 4.962, 305.84; Worsham, 4.932, 305.77 def. Johnson Jr., 7.483, 111.07; Force, 4.855, 315.19 def. Creasy Jr., 9.601, 85.11; Densham, 5.095, 246.80 def. Sarver, 11.292, 76.57;

SEMIFINALS -- T. Pedregon, 4.936, 311.05 def. Densham, foul; Worsham, 4.981, 305.22 def. Force, 5.011, 304.74;
FINAL -- T. Pedregon, 4.909, 315.12 def. Worsham, 5.144, 263.15.


ROUND ONE -- Mike Edwards, Chevy Cavalier, 6.869, 200.56 def. Tom Hammonds, Cavalier, 17.192, 46.18; Kurt Johnson, Cavalier, 6.851, 200.98 def. Mark Whisnant, Cavalier, 7.022, 193.49; Kenny Koretsky, Cavalier, 6.858, 200.38 def. Troy Coughlin, Cavalier, 6.922, 196.56; Gene Wilson, Dodge Neon R/T, 6.827, 200.50 def. Robert Patrick, Ford Mustang, 6.874, 199.88; Jim Yates, Grand Am, 6.838, 200.00 def. Ron Krisher, Cavalier, 6.871, 201.37; Bruce Allen, Grand Am, 6.844, 199.91 def. Greg Stanfield, Neon R/T, 6.833, 200.95; Warren Johnson, Grand Am, 6.810, 201.73 def. Allen Johnson, Neon R/T, 6.851, 201.76; Jeg Coughlin, Cavalier, 6.820, 201.46 def. Greg Anderson, Cavalier, foul;

QUARTERFINALS -- Koretsky, 6.873, 199.17 def. Allen, 6.861, 200.50; Wilson, 6.873, 200.26 def. Yates, 6.893, 199.52; J. Coughlin, 6.857, 200.59 def. K. Johnson, 6.879, 200.17; Edwards, 6.877, 199.88 def. W. Johnson, 6.851, 200.77;

SEMIFINALS -- Wilson, 6.858, 200.29 def. Edwards, 6.892, 199.70; J. Coughlin, 6.845, 200.41 def. Koretsky, 7.985, 124.05;

FINAL -- J. Coughlin, 6.849, 200.80 def. Wilson, 6.877, 200.20.

        MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional categories following the 15th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Memphis Motorsports Park, the 19th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series -

Top Fuel

1.  Larry Dixon, 1,685; 2.  Kenny Bernstein, 1,581; 3.  Tony Schumacher, 1,238; 4.  Cory McClenathan, 1,122; 5.  Darrell Russell, 1,104; 6.  Doug Kalitta, 1,085; 7.  Doug Herbert, 1,047; 8.  Andrew Cowin, 894; 9.  Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 763; 10.  John Smith, 719.

Funny Car

1.  John Force, 1,434; 2.  Tony Pedregon, 1,354; 3.  Gary Densham, 1,215; 4.  Del Worsham, 1,186; 5.  Whit Bazemore, 1,036; 6.  Scotty Cannon, 950; 7.  Ron Capps, 905; 8.  Dean Skuza, 877; 9.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 861; 10.  Johnny Gray, 816.

Pro Stock

1.  Jim Yates, 1,261; 2.  Jeg Coughlin, 1,249; 3.  Greg Anderson, 1,178; 4.  Warren Johnson, 1,051; 5.  Ron Krisher, 949; 6.  Mike Edwards, 860; 7.  Kurt Johnson, 836; 8.  Allen Johnson, 796; 9.  Mark Whisnant, 778; 10.  Darrell Alderman, 774.


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