Schumacher, Densham, Anderson and Brown Take Wins at 50th Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals CLERMONT, Ind. - Gary Densham turned the 50th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals into the biggest payday of his career, winning the national event Monday...
Schumacher, Densham, Anderson and Brown Take Wins at 50th Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
CLERMONT, Ind. - Gary Densham turned the 50th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals into the biggest payday of his career, winning the national event Monday after winning the Skoal Showdown bonus event on Sunday.
By winning both events, NHRA will pay Densham a $50,000 double-up bonus on top of the nearly $200,000 he pockets for the two victories.
Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Antron Brown (Pro Stock Bike) also earned victories in their respective categories at the $2.6 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event.
Densham used a 4.890-second pass at 317.64 mph to earn his second win of the season and eighth of his career in the Auto Club Ford Mustang. He beat Cruz Pedregon's Advance Auto Parts Chevy Monte Carlo, which smoked the tires before halftrack and slowed to a run of 6.479 at 147.15.
Densham beat his teammate John Force in the final of the Skoal Showdown on Sunday.
"To be able to win both the race and the Skoal Showdown is just incredible," Densham said. "I'll probably get thrown out of the NHRA for picking their pocket, but it was worth it. I came to the 25th U.S. Nationals without a lot of money, but I just had to be here. It was the biggest race and now it's even bigger."
The double victory weekend was made even more special for Densham because of his family.
"My son Steven has never seen me win a race before and now he comes out this weekend and sees me win two times," Densham said. "He's gonna think it's easy. Believe me, it's anything but easy. You know, the fact it's taken me so long to get it though probably makes it all the more sweeter. If this is a dream and I'm sleeping, please don't wake me up."
Schumacher beat Doug Kalitta to earn his seventh victory this season, 18th of his career in the U.S. Army dragster. Schumacher went 4.597 at 323.66 to beat Kalitta's 4.621 at 316.45 in the Mac Tools dragster.
Schumacher is only the second Top Fuel driver in NHRA history to win the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals three consecutive seasons (Don Garlits, 1984-'86). He has four career wins at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
"This is a huge win. Garlits won Indy eight times and we've won it four times now," Schumacher said. "Of course, he did it back when there were 100 cars in the field. Now we race every pass and the margin of victory is measured in thousandths of a second. I don't know how you compare the two eras but I know Don Garlits was my hero and to even be mentioned with him is something. I'm in shock, to be honest."
Anderson earned the 13th win of season and 29th of his career by beating Kenny Korestsky in the final. Anderson leads the Pro Stock points and is inching toward his second consecutive NHRA POWERade championship. He turned in a 6.839 pass at 202.09 in his Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac Grand Am to cover Koretsky's 6.870 at 201.37 in his Nitro Fish Dodge Stratus.
"This is where I wanted to get this win," Anderson said. "We just tied John Force's record with our 13th win of the year. That's history baby. Our Pontiac beat that Mopar's butt and we did it at the 50th anniversary of our biggest race. It's awesome.
"To be next to John Force in the record books is mind-boggling. To actually have five chances to go ahead of him is too hard to get my arms around. This is one of the major records in our sport and we've got a shot at it. This team of mine gets all the credit. From top to bottom we've got the best guys in the business and that's why I'm able to go out and win 13 races. It's unbelievable."
Brown went 7.213 at 185.77 on his U.S. Army Suzuki to earn his second victory of the season. He beat Shawn Gann's 7.238 at 185.74 on his Mac Tools Suzuki.
"All those troops doing all that hard work overseas, this one is for you," Brown said. "If this has given us some momentum to win more races and maybe even get us closer to the championship then I'm all for it. We're not looking that far ahead. We're just gonna keep racing with this awesome team we have put together and not look up until they tell us the season's over."
The 2004 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series continues Sept. 16-19, with the 20th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa.