Pomona Saturday Finals

POMONA, Calif. - Tony Schumacher and Bob Panella clinched Winston championships in their respective pro categories while Gary Scelzi earned his second Big Bud Shootout victory and eighth top qualifying position of the season to highlight...

POMONA, Calif. - Tony Schumacher and Bob Panella clinched Winston championships in their respective pro categories while Gary Scelzi earned his second Big Bud Shootout victory and eighth top qualifying position of the season to highlight Saturday's racing at the 35th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway. Ron Capps, Troy Coughlin and Matt Hines also claimed top qualifying honors in their respective pro categories at the $1.7 million race, the final of 22 events in the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. By qualifying for Sunday's 11 a.m. eliminations, Schumacher, from Park Ridge, Ill., clinched his first Winston Top Fuel championship and accompanying $200,000 payday, officially closing the books on the most competitive Top Fuel season in NHRA history. "It's a relief to finally get this one in the books," said Exide Batteries dragster driver Schumacher, son of Funny Car pioneer Don Schumacher. "It was really a tough year. Now we can focus on winning the race tomorrow. It's been a great season and that's just a tribute to our team and Dan (Olson, crew chief). They've just been fantastic this season and my dad gave them enough parts to work with. Winning the championship was a total team effort." Panella, from Stockton, Calif., secured his first Winston championship by advancing to the semifinals in Pro Stock Truck. "I can't even describe the feeling," said second-year truck driver Panella, a former Comp Eliminator racer. "I've spent many sleepless nights for the last month or so. This is just unbelievable. I'm just happy to finally get it done." Scelzi, from Fresno, Calif., became $100,000 richer when he drove his Team Winston dragster to the victory in the special event for the season's eight-quickest Top Fuel drivers. Scelzi, also the category's top qualifier with a 4.570 at 322.11, posted a winning run of 4.595 seconds at 320.43 mph, running away from defending Big Bud Shootout winner Doug Kalitta's Kitty Hawk entry, which lost traction and ran 10.176 at 77.35. "This is a great way to start a great weekend," Scelzi said. "It's great for me as a driver to get back in the winner's circle. It's great for Alan (crew chief) because he's tuning the car and it's not blowing up. The car's going down the racetrack and that's what's important. My confidence is back and I'm feeling good. The team really needed this." If Scelzi can win tomorrow's eliminations, he stands to earn over $204,000 for the weekend, which includes a $50,000 'double-up' bonus from the NHRA. Joe Amato is the only Top Fuel driver in NHRA history to earn the 'double-up' bonus (1990). Capps, from San Diego, held on to the top spot in Funny Car, earning his first No. 1 qualifying effort of the season with a career-best time of 4.853 at 309.34 in his Copenhagen Camaro. Coughlin, from Columbus, Ohio, earned his first No. 1 qualifying position of the season, driving his Jeg's Mail Order Oldsmobile Cutlass to a 6.901 at 198.99 to lead the 16-car order. Trinidad, Colo.'s Hines earned his 10th No. 1 qualifying award of the season, riding his Eagle One Suzuki to a track record time of 7.198 at 185.33. He and Winston points leader Angelle Seeling will decide the Pro Stock Motorcycle points championship during Sunday's eliminations. Seeling leads Hines by 12 points. Four Chevy S-10s will square off in tomorrow's Pro Stock Truck semifinals. Panella will face Greg Stanfield, while Mark Osborne will race Stevie Johns.

POMONA, Calif. - Sunday's first round pairings for professional category eliminations at the 35th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway. The $1.7 million race is the final of 22 events in the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday.

Top Fuel -- 1. Gary Scelzi, Fresno, Calif., 4.570 seconds, 322.11 mph vs. 16. Randy Parks, Lombard, Ill., 4.735, 303.91; 2. Tony Schumacher, Park Ridge, Ill., 4.574, 327.03 vs. 15. Andrew Cowin, Huntington Beach, Calif., 4.722, 303.78; 3. Mike Dunn, Wrightsville, Pa., 4.580, 311.70 vs. 14. Larry Dixon, San Diego, 4.718, 297.48; 4. Doug Kalitta, Ann Arbor, Mich., 4.586, 307.16 vs. 13. Terry Mullins, Oak Ridge, Tenn., 4.694, 309.56; 5. Joe Amato, Exeter, Pa., 4.587, 322.58 vs. 12. Tim Gibson, Irvine, Calif., 4.693, 304.39; 6. Cory McClenathan, Anaheim, Calif., 4.597, 317.34 vs. 11. Jim Head, Columbus, Ohio, 4.693, 305.63; 7. Kenny Bernstein, Lake Forest, Calif., 4.610, 320.05 vs. 10. Bob Vandergriff, Cumming, Ga., 4.675, 310.98; 8. Don Lampus, Garland, Texas, 4.632, 312.06 vs. 9. Scott Kalitta, Ypsilanti, Mich., 4.632, 307.93.

Funny Car -- 1. Ron Capps, La Costa, Calif., Chevrolet Camaro, 4.853, 309.34 vs. 16. Al Hofmann, Umatilla, Fla., Pontiac Firebird, 5.251, 288.27; 2. Jim Epler, Phoenix, Firebird, 4.908, 312.93 vs. 15. Cory Lee, Sierra Del Oro, Calif., Dodge Avenger, 5.248, 295.72; 3. John Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Ford Mustang, 4.923, 300.46 vs. 14. Tim Wilkerson, Springfield, Ill., Firebird, 5.237, 262.33; 4. Tony Pedregon, Gardena, Calif., Mustang, 4.955, 314.31 vs. 13. Tommy Johnson Jr., Ottumwa, Iowa, Firebird, 5.227, 293.79; 5. Jerry Toliver, Huntington Beach, Calif., Chevrolet Corvette, 5.000, 303.64 vs. 12. Del Worsham, Costa Mesa, Calif., Firebird, 5.220, 267.85; 6. Whit Bazemore, Indianapolis, Camaro, 5.032, 304.25 vs. 11. Scotty Cannon, Lyman, S.C., Camaro, 5.188, 294.56; 7. Dean Skuza, Brecksville, Ohio, Avenger, 5.034, 308.85 vs. 10. Bob Gilbertson, Gastonia, N.C., Firebird, 5.178, 244.16; 8. Frank Pedregon, Alta Loma, Calif., Firebird, 5.055, 291.70 vs. 9. Dale Creasy Jr., Lansing, Ill., Firebird, 5.071, 300.13.

Pro Stock -- 1. Troy Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 6.901, 198.99 vs. 16. Mike Trumble, Pasadena, Texas, Pontiac Firebird, 6.963, 198.67; 2. Tom Martino, Farmingdale, N.J., Firebird, 6.904, 199.82 vs. 15. Arturo Delgado, McAllen, Texas, Firebird, 6.958, 198.20; 3. Warren Johnson, Buford, Ga., Firebird, 6.908, 201.07 vs. 14. Darrell Alderman, Morehead, Ky., Dodge Avenger, 6.951, 197.80; 4. Jim Yates, Alexandria, Va., Firebird, 6.910, 198.55 vs. 13. Allen Johnson, Greeneville, Tenn., Avenger, 6.947, 198.12; 5. Jeg Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, Cutlass, 6.912, 199.55 vs. 12. V. Gaines, Lakewood, Colo., Chevrolet Camaro, 6.945, 199.37; 6. Mark Pawuk, Bath, Ohio, Firebird, 6.920, 198.70 vs. 11. Steve Schmidt, Indianapolis, Firebird, 6.943, 197.83; 7. Kurt Johnson, Lawrenceville, Ga., Camaro, 6.926, 199.49 vs. 10. Bruce Allen, Arlington, Texas, Firebird, 6.937, 198.79; 8. Richie Stevens, New Orleans, Firebird, 6.928, 198.00 vs. 9. Mike Thomas, Knoxville, Tenn., Firebird, 6.932, 198.03.

Pro Stock Bike -- 1. Matt Hines, Trinidad, Colo., Suzuki GSXR, 7.198, 185.33 vs. 16. Brian DeLong, Circleville, Ohio, Suzuki, 7.526, 175.82; 2. Antron Brown, Chesterfield, N.J., Suzuki, 7.237, 185.23 vs. 15. Chris Reuter, Gretna, Neb., Suzuki, 7.490, 177.32; 3. Angelle Seeling, New Orleans, Suzuki, 7.247, 182.92 vs. 14. Fred Camarena, Placentia, Calif., Suzuki, 7.476, 176.40; 4. David Schultz, Fort Myers, Fla., Suzuki, 7.286, 184.12 vs. 13. Brian Ayers, Greenville, N.C., Suzuki, 7.443, 176.93; 5. Craig Treble, Chandler, Ariz., Suzuki, 7.295, 180.48 vs. 12. Gary Tonglet, Metairie, La., Suzuki, 7.412, 178.59; 6. Greg Underdahl, Minneapolis, Suzuki, 7.332, 185.82 vs. 11. Ron Ayers, Greenville, N.C., Suzuki, 7.398, 179.09; 7. Steve Johnson, Chatsworth, Calif., Suzuki, 7.383, 181.94 vs. 10. Joe DeSantis, Rootstown, Ohio, Suzuki, 7.393, 180.74; 8. Tony Mullen, Bradenton, Fla., Suzuki, 7.383, 182.18 vs. 9. Larry Cook, West Linn, Ore., Suzuki, 7.390, 181.11.

Pro Stock Truck -- 1. Bob Panella Jr, Stockton, Calif., S-10, 7.491, 178.92 vs. 16. Mark Whisnant, Stockbridge, Ga., S-10, 7.620, 176.77; 2. Steve Johns, Mountville, Va., S-10, 7.539, 178.85 vs. 15. Scott Perin, Pen Argyl, Pa., S-10, 7.620, 177.14; 3. Mark Osborne, Abingdon, Va., S-10, 7.552, 178.78 vs. 14. Craig Eaton, Glendale, Ariz., Dakota, 7.618, 176.07; 4. Greg Stanfield, Bossier City, La., S-10, 7.570, 178.94 vs. 13. Mike Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, S-10, 7.614, 177.04; 5. Jerry Haas, St. Louis, S-10, 7.574, 178.26 vs. 12. Todd Patterson, Augusta, Kan., Dakota, 7.611, 175.68; 6. Don Smith, Keller, Texas, S-10, 7.584, 178.02 vs. 11. John Lingenfelte, Decatur, Ind., S-10, 7.605, 178.07; 7. Brad Jeter, Greenville, S.C., S-10, 7.588, 177.63 vs. 10. John Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, S-10, 7.593, 177.18; 8. Randy Daniels, Grantsboro, N.C., S-10, 7.590, 178.52 vs. 9. Brian Self, Houston, S-10, 7.592, 178.00.

POMONA, Calif. -- Final round-by-round results from the 15th annual Big Bud Shootout at Pomona Raceway, a special event for the eight-quickest Top Fuel qualifiers for the 1999 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE -- Tony Schumacher, Park Ridge, Ill., 4.636, 314.90 def. Larry Dixon, San Diego, 4.799, 288.46; Doug Kalitta, Ann Arbor, Mich., 4.645, 299.33 def. Cory McClenathan, Anaheim, Calif., 4.700, 299.60; Joe Amato, Exeter, Pa., 4.654, 314.97 def. Mike Dunn, Wrightsville, Pa., 4.748, 286.32; Gary Scelzi, Fresno, Calif., 4.701, 292.46 def. Kenny Bernstein, Lake Forest, Calif., 4.720, 297.35; SEMIFINALS -- Kalitta, 5.018, 226.62 def. Amato, 10.563, 90.65; Scelzi, 4.626, 317.19 def. Schumacher, 4.670, 313.95; FINAL -- Scelzi, 4.595, 320.43 def. Kalitta, 10.176, 77.35.

POMONA, Calif. - Round-by-round results through the quarterfinals for Pro Stock Truck competitors at the 35th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals.

PRO STOCK TRUCK:

ROUND ONE -- Randy Daniels, Grantsboro, N.C., S-10, 7.641, 177.74 def. Brian Self, Houston, S-10, 7.617, 175.02; Brad Jeter, Greenville, S.C., S-10, 7.599, 177.93 def. John Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, S-10, 7.620, 176.81; John Lingenfelter, Decatur, Ind., S-10, 7.674, 177.37 def. Don Smith, Keller, Texas, S-10, 7.674, 177.28; Mark Osborne, Abingdon, Va., S-10, 7.568, 178.33 def. Craig Eaton, Glendale, Ariz., Dakota, 7.647, 176.19; Todd Patterson, Augusta, Kan., Dakota, 7.639, 175.82 def. Jerry Haas, St. Louis, S-10, 7.558, 178.71; Steve Johns, Mountville, Va., S-10, 7.559, 178.26 def. Scott Perin, Pen Argyl, Pa., S-10, 7.633, 177.14; Bob Panella Jr, Stockton, Calif., S-10, 7.532, 178.50 def. Mark Whisnant, Stockbridge, Ga., S-10, 7.681, 175.89; Greg Stanfield, Bossier City, La., S-10, 7.565, 177.49 def. Mike Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, S-10, 7.640, 176.93;

QUARTERFINALS -- Osborne, 7.588, 178.24 def. Lingenfelter, 7.647, 177.04; Stanfield, 7.576, 176.84 def. Patterson, 7.667, 175.62; Johns, 7.569, 178.52 def. Jeter, 7.604, 177.74; Panella Jr, 7.530, 178.26 def. Daniels, 7.677, 177.35.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Antron Brown , Frank Pedregon , Mike Thomas , Matt Hines , Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin , Bob Panella , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Darrell Alderman , Kenny Bernstein , Brad Jeter , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Bob Gilbertson , Jim Epler , Tony Pedregon , Al Hofmann , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Andrew Cowin , Ron Ayers , Todd Patterson , Randy Daniels , Mike Coughlin , John Lingenfelter , Dale Creasy Jr. , Scotty Cannon , Craig Treble , Cory McClenathan , Scott Kalitta , Greg Stanfield , Bruce Allen , Tom Martino , Tim Wilkerson , Fred Camarena , Greg Underdahl , Allen Johnson , Don Lampus , Chris Reuter , Tim Gibson , Mark Whisnant , Cory Lee , Brian Self , Mike Trumble , Jerry Haas , Arturo Delgado , Jerry Toliver , Bob Vandergriff , Steve Johnson , Joe DeSantis , Steve J , Tommy Johnson Jr.