NHRA Series Joliet Final Eliminations Report

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NHRA Series  Joliet Final Eliminations Report

Route 66 Raceway

Neff, Worsham, Anderson And Tonglet Win O'reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals

Mike Neff raced to his fourth Funny Car victory of the season Sunday at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago.

Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.

You get in a groove and now, everybody is feeling good.

Mike Neff

With the win, Neff gave Ford its milestone 200th NHRA Funny Car victory as he powered his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to a performance of 4.246 seconds at 293.22 mph to defeat Jeff Arend, who posted a 5.168 at 186.54 in his DHL Funny Car.

“The heat is what was hard for everyone out there today,” Neff said. “It was a challenge. With the conditions it was one of those races where you have to get your car down the racetrack if you want to win. It’s a tribute to our Ford Mustang body. It’s a great car and we have great preparation by the team because the car is so consistent right now.”

Top qualifier Neff defeated Justin Schriefer, Bob Tasca and Jack Beckman in the first three rounds with a string of consistent 4.20-second performances.

“I’m feeling pretty good right now,” said Neff, who increased his series lead to 172 points over second-place Beckman. “We’ve been going to a lot of finals, and that’s like training. You get in a groove and now, everybody is feeling good.”

Worsham raced to his fifth victory of the season in Top Fuel, powering his Al-Anabi Racing dragster past David Grubnic in the final round. A three-time Funny Car winner here, Worsham joined Gary Scelzi as the only drivers to win in both nitro categories at Route 66 Raceway when he posted a 3.978 at 299.40 to hold off Grubnic’s Kalitta Motorsports machine, which trailed with a 4.055 at 294.50.

“What a day we had here,” said Worsham of his 30th career victory. “It started off not so good. We went down the track only one time out of four in qualifying, but when you have a guy like Alan Johnson (team manager) in your corner, you’re never out of it. It showed the depth of our team. To win for the fifth time this year is like a dream come true. When the whole [switch from Funny Car to Top Fuel] was announced I had mixed emotions. It was (team owner) Sheikh Khalid’s call and now he looks like a genius. I just feel very lucky to be in this spot. I never expected that we’d be able to do so much so soon this year.”

Anderson earned his second victory of the season and 67th of his career, denying Erica Enders her first win in her fourth career final round. Anderson took his first Route 66 Raceway victory with a holeshot victory as he drove his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to a 6.670 at 207.18 to cross the finish line in front of Enders, who had a quicker, but losing, 6.659 at 206.89 in her ZaZa Energy Chevy Cobalt.

“When the track temperature is 135 there is not a lot of traction and it becomes a crew chief’s race," Anderson said. "The driver has to find a way to make it happen too. I don’t know how it worked out, but it did. This was the last track I hadn’t won at and now I have, so that’s cool at least until we go to someplace new.”

Anderson beat Steve Spiess, Rodger Brogdon and Shane Gray to advance to the final round from the No. 1 qualifying position.

“My boys saved me all day and then I got lucky and did something as a driver,” said Anderson, who moved into second place in the series standings, 54 points behind leader Jason Line. “At least for one weekend I held the girl [Enders] off. I was scared to death racing her in the final. Don’t get me wrong; it is going to happen this year. She is the real deal and she’s going to win many races. I just didn’t go in the record books as being the first one to lose a final to her.”

Mike Neff, Castrol GTX
Mike Neff, Castrol GTX

Photo by: Ted Rossino

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Tonglet rebounded from a DNQ at the last event to claim his second victory of the season and pick up his second consecutive win at this event. He pulled away from Chip Ellis in the final with a 7.047 at 188.46 on his Nitro Fish Suzuki. Ellis, whose last final round was in 2008 at Englishtown, N.J., finished in 7.153 at 185.49 on his Kuryakyn/Lartigue Racing Buell.

“We are back to our old motor from the end of last year,” said Tonglet, the defending Full Throttle Series world champ. “We had a bad race in Englishtown and blew up all of our motors so we had to get Vance and Hines to fix them all. We were just hoping to qualify after Norwalk. We were confident here after qualifying number three. For the final it stepped up and almost made a perfect run.”

Tonglet, who raced past Angie Smith, David Hope and Matt Smith in earlier rounds, said he had a lot of support from the Route 66 Raceway spectators.

“It means a lot to win here again,” said Tonglet, who earned his first career victory here one year ago. “Chicago is awesome. The fans are coming by the trailer now more often and they all know we are the world champs. To win here two years in a row is awesome.”

Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader Eddie Krawiec lost in the second round and now leads Karen Stoffer by six points. Tonglet moved into a tie for fourth with three-time world champ Andrew Hines.

While the warm summertime conditions provided a bit of a challenge for crew chiefs and drivers to make the correct tune-up decisions for their hot rods, the climate proved to be a great atmosphere for the thousands of Chicagoland fans who flocked to the track over the race weekend. New Route 66 Raceway track president Scott Paddock enjoyed his first NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series experience.

"We couldn't be more excited about the four days of racing we saw this weekend at the O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals,” Paddock said. “Today's gorgeous weather was the perfect backdrop for Greg Anderson's first-ever win at Route 66 Raceway, as well as the other outstanding winners: Del Worsham, Mike Neff and LE Tonglet. A big thank you to the city of Joliet and to our fans for their tremendous support along with the NHRA, who continues to be a terrific partner to work with. We look forward to bringing back all the excitement of the NHRA Nationals in 2012."

The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series continues July 22-24 at Bandimere Speedway near Denver with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.

***

Final finish order (1-16) for professional categories at the 14th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. The race is the 11th of 22 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:
1. Del Worsham; 2. David Grubnic; 3. Antron Brown; 4. Shawn Langdon; 5. Larry Dixon; 6. Brandon Bernstein; 7. Doug Kalitta; 8. T.J. Zizzo; 9. Dom Lagana; 10. Luigi Novelli; 11. Spencer Massey; 12. Tony Schumacher; 13. Morgan Lucas; 14. Troy Buff; 15. Terry McMillen; 16. Rod Fuller.

FUNNY CAR:
1. Mike Neff; 2. Jeff Arend; 3. Jack Beckman; 4. Tony Pedregon; 5. Bob Tasca III; 6. Melanie Troxel; 7. Ron Capps; 8. Dale Creasy Jr.; 9. Tim Wilkerson; 10. John Force; 11. Robert Hight; 12. Cruz Pedregon; 13. Matt Hagan; 14. Terry Haddock; 15. Justin Schriefer; 16. Bob Bode.

PRO STOCK:
1. Greg Anderson; 2. Erica Enders; 3. Jason Line; 4. Shane Gray; 5. Rodger Brogdon; 6. Vincent Nobile; 7. Mike Edwards; 8. Ron Krisher; 9. Richard Freeman; 10. Greg Stanfield; 11. Kurt Johnson; 12. Ronnie Humphrey; 13. Warren Johnson; 14. Steve Spiess; 15. Larry Morgan; 16. Allen Johnson.

Greg Anderson celebrates winning the Pro Stock catagory
Greg Anderson celebrates winning the Pro Stock catagory

Photo by: Ted Rossino

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:
1. LE Tonglet; 2. Chip Ellis; 3. Jim Underdahl; 4. Matt Smith; 5. Eddie Krawiec; 6. David Hope; 7. Hector Arana Jr; 8. Karen Stoffer; 9. Andrew Hines; 10. Mike Berry; 11. Jerry Savoie; 12. GT Tonglet; 13. Justin Finley; 14. Angie Smith; 15. Hector Arana; 16. Steve Johnson.

***

Final round-by-round results from the 14th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, the 11th of 22 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE -- David Grubnic, 4.262, 206.83 def. Rod Fuller, broke; Doug Kalitta, 3.975, 282.60 def. Terry McMillen, 5.829, 121.40; Brandon Bernstein, 3.979, 305.01 def. Morgan Lucas, 4.920, 165.03; Shawn Langdon, 3.969, 308.00 def. Tony Schumacher, 4.503, 200.08; Larry Dixon, 3.936, 305.49 def. Luigi Novelli, 4.204, 269.35; Del Worsham, 3.971, 289.51 def. Dom Lagana, 4.058, 288.09; T.J. Zizzo, 4.088, 294.56 def. Spencer Massey, 4.254, 213.91; Antron Brown, 3.987, 305.29 def. Troy Buff, 5.727, 111.57;

QUARTERFINALS -- Grubnic, 4.042, 289.63 def. Zizzo, 5.046, 162.35; Brown, 4.011, 298.27 def. Bernstein, 4.221, 249.39; Worsham, 4.003, 285.65 def. Kalitta, 4.431, 255.00; Langdon, 3.969, 297.55 def. Dixon, 3.950, 298.21;

SEMIFINALS -- Worsham, 3.988, 295.66 def. Brown, 4.095, 268.87; Grubnic, 4.109, 271.52 def. Langdon, 4.927, 161.34;

FINAL -- Worsham, 3.978, 299.40 def. Grubnic, 4.055, 294.50.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE -- Melanie Troxel, Toyota Solara, 5.732, 174.08 def. Bob Bode, Solara, 16.680, 30.89; Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.476, 243.24 def. Terry Haddock, Solara, 7.431, 94.51; Dale Creasy Jr., Chevy Impala SS, 4.396, 268.06 def. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.620, 259.91; Mike Neff, Ford Mustang, 4.257, 289.32 def. Justin Schriefer, Chevy Camaro, foul; Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.300, 282.48 def. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.448, 279.90; Jeff Arend, Solara, 4.331, 280.02 def. John Force, Mustang, 4.362, 283.07; Tony Pedregon, Impala SS, 4.353, 279.09 def. Cruz Pedregon, Solara, 4.603, 278.00; Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.277, 292.96 def. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.270, 286.13;

QUARTERFINALS -- T. Pedregon, 4.318, 288.33 def. Creasy Jr., 10.366, 81.42; Arend, 4.361, 281.42 def. Capps, 4.598, 266.16; Neff, 4.223, 295.08 def. Tasca III, 4.234, 294.11; Beckman, 4.278, 287.53 def. Troxel, 4.340, 248.93;

SEMIFINALS -- Arend, 4.671, 228.34 def. T. Pedregon, 8.259, 95.84; Neff, 4.252, 296.05 def. Beckman, 4.314, 285.53;

FINAL -- Neff, 4.246, 293.22 def. Arend, 5.168, 186.54.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE -- Rodger Brogdon, Pontiac GXP, 6.674, 207.24 def. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 7.878, 125.24; Vincent Nobile, Avenger, 6.669, 207.08 def. Greg Stanfield, GXP, 6.674, 206.04; Mike Edwards, GXP, 6.669, 207.21 def. Kurt Johnson, GXP, 6.689, 206.45; Jason Line, GXP, 6.667, 205.91 def. Richard Freeman, GXP, 6.673, 207.24; Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.638, 207.53 def. Warren Johnson, Cobalt, 6.713, 206.42; Greg Anderson, GXP, 6.655, 207.24 def. Steve Spiess, Cobalt, 6.722, 204.17; Shane Gray, GXP, 6.678, 206.83 def. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.841, 177.79; Ron Krisher, GXP, 6.713, 207.40 def. Ronnie Humphrey, GXP, 6.703, 204.79;

QUARTERFINALS -- Gray, 7.245, 202.33 def. Krisher, 18.831, 41.13; Line, 6.660, 205.79 def. Nobile, 6.688, 206.45; Anderson, 6.659, 206.23 def. Brogdon, 6.684, 207.02; Enders, 6.647, 203.31 def. Edwards, 15.212, 44.89;

SEMIFINALS -- Anderson, 6.659, 207.11 def. Gray, 12.526, 68.65; Enders, 6.665, 206.76 def. Line, 6.673, 205.98;

FINAL -- Anderson, 6.670, 207.18 def. Enders, 6.659, 206.89.

LE Tonglet finishs top of the pack in prostock motorcycle
LE Tonglet finishs top of the pack in prostock motorcycle

Photo by: Glenn F. Katauskas

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

ROUND ONE -- David Hope, Buell, 7.040, 187.16 def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.099, 188.12; Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 7.017, 189.20 def. Hector Arana, Buell, 8.848, 102.48; Matt Smith, Buell, 7.019, 184.88 def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 7.140, 186.61; Chip Ellis, Buell, 7.067, 186.92 def. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.121, 182.13; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 7.014, 189.52 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, broke; LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.994, 190.08 def. Angie Smith, Buell, 8.097, 123.25; Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.075, 186.20 def. Justin Finley, Suzuki, 7.237, 183.24; Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.977, 191.67 def. GT Tonglet, Suzuki, 7.157, 183.97;

QUARTERFINALS -- M. Smith, 7.144, 181.45 def. Stoffer, broke; Ellis, 7.065, 185.79 def. Krawiec, 7.094, 185.36; L. Tonglet, 7.087, 185.87 def. Hope, 7.115, 183.97; Underdahl, 7.139, 184.83 def. Arana Jr, 9.866, 83.46;

SEMIFINALS -- L. Tonglet, 7.107, 186.02 def. M. Smith, 7.141, 182.01; Ellis, 7.165, 183.57 def. Underdahl, 7.138, 185.38;

FINAL -- L. Tonglet, 7.047, 188.46 def. Ellis, 7.153, 185.49.

***

Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional categories following the 14th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, the 11th of 22 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series -

Top Fuel

1. Del Worsham, 1,003; 2. Spencer Massey, 872; 3. Larry Dixon, 867; 4. Antron Brown, 809; 5. Tony Schumacher, 764; 6. Doug Kalitta, 589; 7. Brandon Bernstein, 575; 8. Morgan Lucas, 532; 9. Shawn Langdon, 523; 10. David Grubnic, 429.

Funny Car

1. Mike Neff, 1,005; 2. Jack Beckman, 833; 3. Robert Hight, 786; 4. Cruz Pedregon, 742; 5. Matt Hagan, 642; 6. Jeff Arend, 612; 7. Ron Capps, 599; 8. John Force, 564; 9. Bob Tasca III, 548; 10. Johnny Gray, 451.

Pro Stock

1. Jason Line, 858; 2. Greg Anderson, 804; 3. Mike Edwards, 781; 4. Vincent Nobile, 765; 5. Greg Stanfield, 721; 6. Rodger Brogdon, 684; 7. Erica Enders, 663; 8. Allen Johnson, 643; 9. Shane Gray, 543; 10. Ron Krisher, 501.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

1. Eddie Krawiec, 485; 2. Karen Stoffer, 479; 3. Matt Smith, 424; 4. (tie) Andrew Hines, 401; LE Tonglet, 401; 6. Hector Arana, 345; 7. (tie) Jerry Savoie, 309; Jim Underdahl, 309; 9. Hector Arana Jr, 257; 10. Michael Phillips, 255.

By: nhra

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