SCHUMACHER, FORCE AND ANDERSON WIN NHRA VICTORIES AT LAS VEGAS LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Oct. 31. 2010) -- They played drag racing's version of the old card game 52-Card Pickup at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway over the weekend. By the time...
SCHUMACHER, FORCE AND ANDERSON WIN NHRA VICTORIES AT LAS VEGAS
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Oct. 31. 2010) -- They played drag racing's version of the old card game 52-Card Pickup at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway over the weekend. By the time the cards were scooped up off the floor, three kings were at the top of the deck.
Former NHRA world champions Tony Schumacher, John Force and Greg Anderson raced to victory on Goodyear tires Sunday, setting up a dramatic season finale Nov. 11-14 in Pomona, Calif.
The NHRA Las Vegas Nationals were fast and wildly unpredictable. Records were set and reset. And the championship standings in the Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock categories look very different from how they looked before the weekend in Vegas started.
"This was a challenging weekend for our Goodyear Eagles," said Bryce Jones, Goodyear's sales account manager for drag racing. "The teams had an exceptional number of engine problems Saturday, which forced the professional racing program to last into the evening hours and the cool track temperatures, along with the tremendous traction characteristics this facility is known for, gave the cars a great deal of grip. We had that same level of traction Sunday. Two professional categories set track or national records over the weekend."
Schumacher set the Top Fuel speed record twice, finally leaving it at 325.61 mph. He gained ground on Top Fuel championship leader Larry Dixon, who was knocked out in the second round by Dominick Lagana's improbable run to the finals. Schumacher, the defending series champion, started the weekend third in points. He now trails Dixon by 85 points with only the race at Pomona remaining.
Schumacher beat Lagana in the final round. Lagana had never won a round of Top Fuel competition before the race at Las Vegas but he beat points leader Larry Dixon and Antron Brown on his way to the final against Schumacher. Dixon went out in the second round.
Force, 61, started the weekend second in the Funny Car standings, 64 points behind 27-year-old Matt Hagan. Force cut the difference to 37 points at Las Vegas, beating Hagan in a dramatic final round. Force is 37 points behind the championship leader as they brace for the Pomona showdown.
"I'm holding my own against these young kids," Force said.
Anderson, whose come-from-behind struggle to catch championship leader Mike Edwards and then take the lead in the chase for the Pro Stock title has been thrilling, earned a berth in the final round in the fourth straight event. Anderson raced teammate Jason Line in the final round.
"I don't have a clue," Anderson said when asked why he was so successful over the weekend. "It's just my lucky day. I love Las Vegas." It was an emotional weekend for Anderson. Team owner Ken Black attended his first race since falling ill early in the season.
Allen Johnson set a new track speed record for the Pro Stock category. Johnson was clocked at 207.82 mph.
-source: goodyear racing