Las Vegas: Post-race notes

NHRA POWERADE SERIES POST RACE NOTES: Seventh annual NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals April 6-9, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas TOP FUEL * Melanie Troxel raced to her second victory...

NHRA POWERADE SERIES POST RACE NOTES:
Seventh annual NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals
April 6-9, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas

TOP FUEL

* Melanie Troxel raced to her second victory of the season and her fifth consecutive final round of the season. It is her first victory at The Strip at LVMS. She defeated native Australian Dave Grubnic for the victory. Troxel's Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels dragster posted a 4.837 second run at 285.65 to hold off Grubnic's StriVectin-SD dragster, which posted a 4.987 at 319.60 for the runner-up finish.

* Troxel became the first Top Fuel driver to open an NHRA season with five consecutive final round appearances. It is Troxel's sixth consecutive final, dating back to the 2005 NHRA Finals at Pomona, Calif. She is one final short of the NHRA record for most consecutive finals in Top Fuel, set by Tony Schumacher last season.

* With Troxel's final round appearance, that is the 12th Top Fuel final in a row for a car from Don Schumacher Racing. Her teammate, Tony Schumacher, closed the 2005 season by advancing to the last seven finals, and Troxel has advanced to the first five finals in 2006.

* Tony Schumacher drove his U.S. Army dragster to the No. 1 qualifying position with an elapsed time of 4.501 seconds at 329.91 mph. It was Schumacher's 26th No. 1 qualifying effort of his career and his fourth No. 1 effort of the season.

* Three-time and defending POWERade Series world champion Schumacher was upset in the first round and fell to ninth in the point standings.

* Troxel extended her POWERade Series points lead to 156 points over Grubnic.

* Hillary Will's KB Racing team won the Full Throttle Pit Crew challenge award.

FUNNY CAR

* Cruz Pedregon earned his first victory in more than five years (Englishtown, N.J. 2000) and the 23rd win of his career. It was his first victory at The Strip at LVMS.

* Pedregon defeated Ron Capps, who was making his fourth final round appearance of the season in his Brut Dodge Stratus. Pedregon won a tire-smoking battle, as his Advance Auto Parts Chevy Monte Carlo crossed the finish line in 5.417 at 266.16, while Capps' machine finished in 6.474 at 229.31.

* Robert Hight raced to his seventh No. 1 qualifying position of his career with a track record performance of 4.702 at 327.11 in his Auto Club Ford Mustang. It was his first No. 1 effort of the season and his first at The Strip at LVMS.

* With the runner-up finish, Capps increased his POWERade Series lead to 105 over second place driver John Force.

* Tony Pedregon failed to qualify for the 16-car starting order. It was the first time Pedregon had failed to qualify in 114 races (since Bristol 2001). Following Friday's second session Pedregon posted a performance (4.799 seconds) that would've put his car in the starting lineup, however his team failed to stop at the scales to weigh his car following the run -- which is required per NHRA rules -- so that performance was disallowed by NHRA officials. The miscue was costly for Pedregon, who dropped out of the POWERade Series Top 10, Skoal Showdown Top 8 and the Full Throttle Crew Challenge Top 5.

* John Force's Castrol GTX team won the Full Throttle Pit Crew challenge award.

PRO STOCK

* Kurt Johnson earned his first victory of the season and 33rd of his career, powering his ACDelco Chevy Cobalt to the victory over Dave Connolly, defending winner of this race, who clocked a 6.874 at 202.00 in his Skull Gear Cobalt. It was Johnson's second victory at this track in five finals. The victory also extended a personal record for Johnson, who has now won at least one race in 12 consecutive seasons.

* Greg Anderson raced to the 44th No. 1 qualifying effort of his career, his fourth of the season and the fifth at this track. He clocked a track record time of 6.787 seconds in his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO to earn the top position.

* Warren Johnson clocked a track record speed of 203.49 mph in his GM Performance Parts Pontiac GTO.

* Despite his first round exit, Anderson leads Mike Edwards by 40 points in the POWERade Series standings.

* Kurt Johnson defeated Dave Connolly by .0031-second margin of victory in the final-round of eliminations to claim the $1,000 Motel 6 Who Got the Light award.

* Greg Anderson's Summit Racing team won the Full Throttle Pit Crew challenge award.

GENERAL NOTES

* No. 1 qualifiers in Top Fuel (Tony Schumacher), Funny Car (Robert Hight) and Pro Stock (Greg Anderson) all lost in the first round of eliminations. The last time that happened was 2004 at Englishtown, N.J.

* All three defending NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series world champions -- Tony Schumacher (TF), Gary Scelzi (FC) and Greg Anderson (PS) -- lost in the first round of eliminations.

POWERADE FAN NATIONALS

* Joseph Bilodeau, 18, of Las Cruces, N.M, won the fifth round of the NHRA POWERade Fan Nationals. Bilodeau, a high school senior at Mayfield (N.M.) High, defeated hundreds of area fans to claim the victory, driving realistic POWERade Funny Car simulators. He will have the opportunity to race for the ultimate title of 2006 POWERade Fan Nationals Series champion in November at the 42nd Annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals.

-nhra-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Ron Capps , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Greg Anderson , Cruz Pedregon , Melanie Troxel , Don Schumacher , Robert Hight , Hillary Will , Dave Connolly , Mike Edwards