Special to Motorsport.com by Bill King After two days of goofy weather, the fronts cleared Bristol Dragway early Saturday morning. But "goofy" stuck around on a crisp and sunny Appalachian Sunday, shaking the Top Fuel ladder in the early rounds...
Special to Motorsport.com by Bill King
After two days of goofy weather, the fronts cleared Bristol Dragway early Saturday morning. But "goofy" stuck around on a crisp and sunny Appalachian Sunday, shaking the Top Fuel ladder in the early rounds of the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals.
Off tumbled two-time and defending Top Fuel champ Tony Schumacher (the then point's leader) in the opening round, plus two-time POWERade champ Scott Kalitta, four-time runner-up Cory McClenathan and young number-two qualifier Morgan Lucas. The quarter-finals bit top-qualifier Brandon Bernstein and two-time Top Fuel Champion Larry Dixon.
Then Scott Weis' red light put Rod Fuller into a final round match-up with Doug Kalitta, who pasted Scott Palmer in the Semis, after skating through the first two rounds when his opponents - Bruce Litton and David Grubnic - both jumped the tree.
Ironically, it took a 0.010sec hole-shot advantage by Kalitta to knock off ex-sportsman ace Fuller in an exciting side-by-side drag race, punctuated with Fuller motored into the sand-trap at top end when the chutes failed to open. It was a good day's work for the Mac Tools shoe, as Kalitta scored his second straight victory and moved past Schumacher into the Top Fuel points' lead.
Top Fuel Results:
. Brandon Bernstein, McKinney/TFX (Q1) 4.512sec/331.04mph (RT/.120sec) def. David Baca, McKinney/BAE (Q16) 11.794/81.19 (.101)
. Scott Weis, Attac/TFX (Q8) 5.239/195.08 (.091) def. Cory McClenathan, Hadman/BAE (Q9) 9.014/98.98 (.097)
. John Smith, McKinney/BAE (Q13) 4.583/319.67 (.086) def. Scott Kalitta, Attac/TFX (Q4) 4.627/321.42 (.089)
. Rod Fuller, Hadman/TFX (Q5) 4.548/323.97 (.107) def. Mitch King, Hadman/BAE (Q12) 4.801/301.87 (.133)
. Scott Palmer, McKinney/BAE (Q15) 4.679/325.69 (.061) def. Morgan Lucas, Hadman/TFX (Q2) 13.416/67.29 (.098)
. Larry Dixon, McKinney/TFX (Q7) 4.557/327.43 (.067) def. Doug Herbert, McKinney/BAE (Q10) 4.604/321.42 (.070)
. David Grubnic, McKinney/TFX (Q3) 5.248/260.26 (.055) def. Tony Schumacher, Hadman/TFX (Q14) 6.488/179.18 (.060)
. Doug Kalitta, Attac/TFX (Q6) 6.873/148.05 (.088) def. Bruce Litton, Hadman/TFX (Q11) 7.845/95.24 (-.052)
. Weis, 4.668/302.28 (.108) def. Bernstein, 4.993/274.05 (.089)
. Fuller, 4.687/310.04 (.099) def. Smith, No-Time/Speed (.056)
. Palmer, 4.661/317.42 (.059) def. Dixon, 4.678/304.39 (.090)
. Kalitta, 4.678/302.14 (.055) def. Grubnic, 5.258/299.70 (-.162)
. Fuller, 4.607/324.75 (.097) def. Weis, 5.874/156.17 (-.089)
. Kalitta, 4.567/322.88 (.079) def. Palmer, 7.194/122.97 (.071)
. Kalitta, 4.593/322.50 (.072) def. Fuller, 4.588/327.35 (.082)
Updated Points: D. Kalitta 474; Schumacher 451; Dixon 405; Lucas 370; Grubnic 366; McClanathan 343; S. Kalitta 323; Herbert 321; Bernstein 304; Fuller 244.