Chicago FRAM Route 66 Nationals Story

DUNN, WILKERSON, JOHNSON, HINES AND PANELLA EARN FRAM ROUTE 66 VICTORIES JOLIET, Ill. -- Mike Dunn claimed his third Top Fuel victory of the season and in the process increased his Winston points lead by winning Sunday's FRAM Route 66...

DUNN, WILKERSON, JOHNSON, HINES AND PANELLA EARN FRAM ROUTE 66 VICTORIES

JOLIET, Ill. -- Mike Dunn claimed his third Top Fuel victory of the season and in the process increased his Winston points lead by winning Sunday's FRAM Route 66 Nationals. Dunn, from Wrightsville, Pa., powered his Team Mopar dragster down Route 66 Raceway's quarter-mile, posting a winning run of 4.702 seconds at 316.67 mph, to defeat defending event champion Kenny Bernstein, who lost traction at the start in his Budweiser King dragster. Tim Wilkerson, Warren Johnson, Matt Hines and Bob Panella were also winners in their respective pro categories at the $1.8 million race, the ninth of 22 events in the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Illinois native Wilkerson, from nearby Springfield, claimed a popular Funny Car victory by upsetting season-long dominator John Force. Force's Ford Mustang smoked the tires at the start, giving way to first-time winner Wilkerson's Pontiac Firebird, which also lost traction but managed to cross the finish line under power at 5.970 at 239.06. Johnson, from Buford, Ga., took his fourth Pro Stock victory of the season, winning a close final round contest with Troy Coughlin. Coughlin got the holeshot start in an Oldsmobile Cutlass, but Johnson's Pontiac Firebird was too strong, posting a winning run of 6.987 at 198.06. Trinidad, Colo.'s Hines scored his first Pro Stock Motorcycle victory of the season and 20th of his career on his Eagle One Suzuki, denying Steve Johnson a first career NHRA win. Hines covered the distance in 7.365 at 182.75, while Johnson's Suzuki was a tick slower, running 7.530 at 175.39. Panella, from Stockton, Calif., earned his first Pro Stock Truck victory of the season and in the process won a special $10,000 NHRA 'double-up' bonus for winning the race and Saturday's $20,000 Holley Pro Stock Dominator Duel, bringing his weekend payday to over $40,000. Panella drove his Panella Trucking Chevrolet S-10 to a 7.670 at 175.84 to defeat first-time finalist Dale Eaton, who ran 7.864 at 173.01 in a Dodge Dakota. The next NHRA event is the 35th annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing, June 10-13 at National Trail Raceway near Columbus, Ohio.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hines , Troy Coughlin , Bob Panella , Mike Dunn , Kenny Bernstein , Warren Johnson , John Force , Tim Wilkerson , Steve Johnson