POMONA, Calif. - Gary Scelzi earned $100,000 for winning the Budweiser Shootout Saturday at the 41st annual AutoZone Winternationals at Pomona Raceway, NHRA's 50th Anniversary season-opener. Doug Kalitta, Tommy Johnson Jr., Bruce...
POMONA, Calif. - Gary Scelzi earned $100,000 for winning the Budweiser Shootout Saturday at the 41st annual AutoZone Winternationals at Pomona Raceway, NHRA's 50th Anniversary season-opener. Doug Kalitta, Tommy Johnson Jr., Bruce Allen and Randy Daniels were the No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the $1.9 million race, the first of 24 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Scelzi blasted down the track in 4.672 seconds at 299.53 mph in his Team Winston dragster to defeat rookie driver Darrell Russell, whose car lost traction and limped to a 6.775 at 119.93. Russell replaced Joe Amato in the weather-delayed special event following the five-time Top Fuel champion's retirement last November. "When I saw Darrell take out Tony, I got a little worried," said Scelzi. "I thought, 'now watch him step in and beat the champ (Scelzi),' but it didn't happen. I was a little late off the starting line and Darrell got a little ahead of me. Fortunately his belt came off, because we dropped a cylinder." It was Scelzi's third victory in the lucrative bonus program. Should he win tomorrow's 11 a.m. eliminations he will earn a $50,000 'double-up' bonus from the NHRA. "It's really exciting to win the Budweiser Shootout, no matter how many times you win it," said Scelzi. "Our mission is to win everything we can because you never know if it's going to be your last one. Our new race car works really well. We know we can go low 60s. Tomorrow we are going to try and just go down the race track" Kalitta, covered the distance in 4.576 at 318.09 in his Mac Tools dragster to lead all Top Fuel competitors for the fourth time in his career. Johnson sped down the quarter-mile in 4.838 at 310.98 in his new Don Prudhomme-owned Skoal Chevy Camaro for his fifth career No. 1 qualifying spot. Allen earned his 11th career No. 1 qualifying spot in Pro Stock when he raced down the dragstrip in 6.828 at 201.16 in his Reher Morrison Pontiac Grand Am Daniels drove his Bailey Trucking Chevy S-10 to the top of the Pro Stock Truck order with his pass of 7.461 at 180.67 for his third career No. 1 qualifying spot.
BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT RESULTS
POMONA, Calif. -- Final round-by-round results from the 16th annual $100,000 Budweiser Shootout at Pomona Raceway.
ROUND ONE -- Kenny Bernstein, 4.744, 295.46 def. Larry Dixon, 4.769, 292.08; Tony Schumacher, 7.148, 229.35 def. Cory McClenathan, 7.326, 231.00; Joe Amato, 4.655, 307.65 def. Doug Kalitta, 4.759, 284.03; Gary Scelzi, 4.637, 309.84 def. Doug Herbert, 5.065, 209.23;
SEMIFINALS -- Darrell Russell (replacing Amato), 4.663, 313.15 def. Schumacher, 4.706, 309.98; Scelzi, 4.627, 314.68 def. Bernstein, 5.000, 242.54;
FINALS -- Scelzi, 4.762, 299.53 def. Russell, 6.775, 199.93.