MOHNTON, Pa. -Joe Amato climbed into second place in the NHRA Winston Top Fuel points chase Sunday at the 15th annual True Value NHRA Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. Tommy Johnson Jr., Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Matt Hines...
MOHNTON, Pa. -Joe Amato climbed into second place in the NHRA Winston Top Fuel points chase Sunday at the 15th annual True Value NHRA Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. Tommy Johnson Jr., Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Matt Hines also won in their respective categories at the $1.6 million race, the 17th of 22 events in the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Exeter, Pa.'s Amato won in his home state for the first time when he sped down the track in 4.677 seconds at 303.95 mph. That was more than enough to capture his fifth victory of the year and defeat the current points leader Tony Schumacher who lost traction and finished with a 12.195 at 72.94. It was also Amato's 50th career national event victory. "This was good for the fans," said Amato. "We have been doing this a long time here and every year I come here I tell the fans we're going to try and win this year and we finally did it. They have supported me through thick and thin and you can't say enough about the people. That's what makes NHRA Winston Drag Racing the best motorsport on the planet as far as I'm concerned. I would have hated to hang up my driving suit without ever winning here. Now we can say we did it." In the tightest Top Fuel points battle in the history of the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series every pass down the track can make or break a season. "We got lucky today," said Amato. "Everything has to come together. I guess God was on my shoulder this weekend. We blew up a lot of parts and motors and struggled, but it was all at the finish line and we got the win. It was an expensive weekend but this is definitely helping us with momentum. In my mind we should be the points leader, but everybody could say the same thing. It's just crazy. I think it's going to come right down to the end and I just hope we're one of the cars there. It's very competitive out there and everybody is playing hardball." Johnson, from Ottumwa, Iowa, earned his first career victory in his eighth race behind the wheel of the Joe Gibbs-owned Funny Car. His run of 5.108 at 281.51 topped Ron Capps who ran a 5.363 at 251.82. "We didn't make stellar runs today but we ran consistent all weekend," said Johnson. "We didn't smoke the tires a lot. We got a little loose down there but we didn't spin the tires like everybody else was. Not winning was getting a little bit frustrating. We should have won Indy and this gets a load off my shoulders. We should have won some other races and didn't, so this kind of make up for it a little bit. This was a great day and I'm sure my team now has a lot more confidence in me. Things should go easier from here on out. I don't see us slowing down at all and I think this is the big hurdle we needed to get over and now we're headed straight forward." Johnson had never drove a nitro-powered Funny Car until joining the Gibbs team. He made five final round appearances in a Top Fuel dragster and won twice. He had competed at Maple Grove Raceway in a dragster prior to this event. "Up until today I didn't care for this place much," said Johnson. "I think the second round was the farthest I ever got here in a Top Fuel car...I don't know what happened, but when things are going your way you can't do too much wrong and today we just kind of did everything right. Nothing really fell in our favor, things were just working." Pro Stock driver Coughlin, from Columbus, Ohio, covered the quarter-mile with a 6.936 at 198.80 and outlasted Mark Pawuk and his run of 7.004 at 196.03 to earn his fourth victory of the season. "Our team did a heck of job today," said Coughlin. "We just went out there and ran pretty good. It got a little rough in the middle of the track but luckily we were able to drive through it and get around Mark." Coughlin is a distant third in the Pro Stock points chase following the father-son team of Warren and Kurt Johnson. "Right now we have the second best team out there," said Coughlin. "But there are runs when we have the best team out there. (Warren and Kurt) know we're on their heels and to have another win along the way is great. We couldn't have asked for a better weekend. We know that it would take a miracle to stop Warren from winning it all but we're still building and we want to make a strong run for the championship in the year 2000." Matt Hines, from Trinidad, Colo., took over the Winston points standings this weekend and visited the Pro Stock Motorcycle winner's circle for the third time this year. His run of 7.255 at 188.71 held off upstart Dave Schultz and his run of 7.298 at 183.03. "I want to end the year at that podium on stage at the awards ceremony," said Hines. "It would be a hard fought win for sure. We just ran down the track smooth all weekend long and didn't want to mess with the combination. My bike has just been getting better and better." Hines was able to take over the points lead with the 20 bonus points he received for lowering the national elapsed time record to 7.188 seconds during Saturday's qualifying rounds. Coming into Maple Grove Raceway Angelle Seeling had been the points leader all season but was eliminated in the quarterfinals when she fouled against Tony Mullen. "It all depended on the weather," said Hines. "We ran pretty fast in Indianapolis and then we were coming here and Maple Grove Raceway is known for being fast. The points really help...I'm going to try and do the best I can and whoever makes the most mistakes towards the end of the season is going to lose the Winston championship. And (Angelle Seeling) made one today." The next race on the NHRA's 22-event schedule is the 11th annual Advance Auto Parts Nationals, Sept. 30-Oct. 3, at Heartland Park Topeka, Topeka, Kan.
MOHNTON, Pa. -- Sunday's final results from the 15th Annual True Value Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. The $1.6-million race is the 17th of 22 events in the $40-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:
Top Fuel - Joe Amato, Exeter, Pa., 4.677 seconds, 303.95 mph def. Tony Schumacher, Park Ridge, Ill., 12.195 seconds, 72.94 mph.
Funny Car - Tommy Johnson Jr., Ottumwa, Iowa, Firebird, 5.108, 281.51 def. Ron Capps, San Diego, Camaro, 5.363, 251.88.
Pro Stock - Jeg Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, Cutlass, 6.936, 198.80 def. Mark Pawuk, Bath, Ohio, Firebird, 7.004, 196.03.
Pro Stock Motorcycle - Matt Hines, Trinidad, Colo., Suzuki, 7.255, 188.71 def. David Schultz, Fort Myers, Fla., Suzuki, 7.298, 183.03.
Federal-Mogul Dragster - Mike Kosky, Cuddy, Pa., 6.580, 143.76 def. Doug Foley, Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., broke.
Federal-Mogul Funny Car - Paul Gill, Brockton, Mass., '96 Avenger, 5.808, 249.30 def. Tony Bartone, Manhasset, N.Y., '99 Camaro, 10.236, 72.24.
Comp Eliminator - Santo Volpe, Allentown, Pa., '34 Chevrolet, 8.032, 163.39 def. Al Ackerman, Saddle Brook, N.J., Dragster, 8.303, 156.73.
Super Stock - Peter Biondo, Clarksburg, N.J., '99 Firebird, 10.215, 126.92 def. Pat Toomey, Cayuga, N.Y., '83 Camaro, 10.448, 126.92.
Stock - Gregory Gay, Westminster, Vt., '69 Dodge, 10.944, 114.37 def. Bud Rowe, Bridgeton, N.C., '90 Camaro, 10.970, 109.21.
Super Comp - Brian Sorce, Orangeville, Pa., Dragster, 8.938, 161.00 def. Doug Doll, Ephrata, Pa., Dragster, 8.910, 162.07.
Super Gas - Rod Fuller, Rogers, Ark., '27 T, 13.846, 68.21 def. Jeff Szilagyi, Bethlehem, Pa., '27 T, foul.
MOHNTON, Pa. -- Final round-by-round results from the 15TH Annual True Value Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, the 17th of 22 events in the $40-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:
TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE -- Bob Vandergriff, Cumming, Ga., 5.465, 250.69 def. Jim Head, Columbus, Ohio, 9.730, 72.86; Joe Amato, Exeter, Pa., 4.638, 311.20 def. Doug Herbert, Cherryville, N.C., 6.070, 160.31; Mike Dunn, Wrightsville, Pa., 4.659, 294.69 def. Doug Kalitta, Ann Arbor, Mich., 4.643, 308.11; Tim Gibson, Irvine, Calif., 5.655, 246.44 def. Eddie Hill, Wichita Falls, Texas, 5.563, 242.58; Gary Scelzi, Fresno, Calif., 4.529, 311.95 def. Randy Parks, Lombard, Ill., 10.024, 76.60; Scott Kalitta, Ypsilanti, Mich., 4.583, 306.53 def. Clay Millican, Drummond, Tenn., 8.039, 90.77; Tony Schumacher, Park Ridge, Ill., 4.665, 307.69 def. Cory McClenathan, Anaheim, Calif., 4.712, 295.08; Kenny Bernstein, Lake Forest, Calif., 4.673, 307.58 def. Larry Dixon, San Diego, 8.441, 84.59; QUARTERFINALS -- Schumacher, 4.644, 308.00 def. Bernstein, 4.704, 291.54; Amato, 4.624, 307.58 def. Gibson, No Show; S. Kalitta, 4.639, 273.72 def. Dunn, 4.783, 282.75; Scelzi, 4.572, 304.98 def. Vandergriff, 4.724, 269.29; SEMIFINALS-- Amato, 4.621, 307.58 def. S. Kalitta, 6.360, 127.75; Schumacher, 4.621, 305.60 def. Scelzi, 6.644, 143.49; FINAL-- Amato, 4.677, 303.95 def. Schumacher, 12.195, 72.94.
FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE -- Jerry Toliver, Huntington Beach, Calif., Chevrolet Corvette, 5.361, 280.54 def. Scott Weis, Ashland, Va., Ford Mustang, 7.300, 140.62; Ron Capps, San Diego, Chevrolt Camaro, 5.052, 255.02 def. Bob Gilbertson, Gastonia, N.C., Pontiac Firebird, 5.100, 290.51; Cory Lee, Rancho St. Margarita, Calif., Dodge Avenger, 5.167, 259.66 def. John Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Mustang, 5.432, 204.35; Tony Pedregon, Gardena, Calif., Mustang, 5.848, 246.64 def. Del Worsham, Costa Mesa, Calif., Firebird, 12.798, 75.95; Jim Epler, Phoenix, Firebird, 5.009, 297.02 def. Scotty Cannon, Lyman, S.C., Corvette, 5.285, 213.06; Frank Pedregon, Alta Loma, Calif., Firebird, 5.067, 289.20 def. Al Hofmann, Umatilla, Fla., Firebird, 8.052, 96.01; Dean Skuza, Brecksville, Ohio, Avenger, 5.047, 280.11 def. Whit Bazemore, Indianapolis, Camaro, 5.080, 291.73; Tommy Johnson Jr., Ottumwa, Iowa, Firebird, 5.174, 285.62 def. Gary Densham, Bellflower, Calif., Firebird, 10.103, 79.16; QUARTERFINALS -- Capps, 6.751, 159.74 def. F. Pedregon, 8.222, 92.39; Lee, 5.162, 278.46 def. Skuza, 5.215, 264.08; Epler, 5.131, 281.60 def. Toliver, 5.367, 281.69; Johnson Jr., 5.144, 275.06 def. T. Pedregon, 5.677, 212.31; SEMIFINALS -- Capps, 5.201, 271.65 def. Lee, 10.526, 85.17; Johnson Jr., 5.182, 266.74 def. Epler, 6.624, 137.82; FINAL -- Johnson Jr., 5.108, 281.51 def. Capps, 5.363, 251.88.
PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE -- John Nobile, Melville, N.Y., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 6.980, 197.32 def. Allen Johnson, Greeneville, Tenn., Dodge Avenger, 7.010, 197.36; Darrell Alderman, Morehead, Ky., Avenger, 6.940, 197.54 def. Tom Martino, Farmingdale, N.J., Pontiac Firebird, 6.934, 199.64; Jim Yates, Alexandria, Va., Firebird, 6.934, 198.36 def. Mike Edwards, Broken Arrow, Okla., Chevrolet Camaro, 6.912, 199.20; Mark Pawuk, Bath, Ohio, Firebird, 6.907, 198.32 def. Mike Trumble, Pasadena, Texas, Firebird, 6.954, 187.41; Richie Stevens, New Orleans, Firebird, 7.022, 195.69 def. Bruce Allen, Arlington, Texas, Firebird, 13.271, 64.35; Warren Johnson, Buford, Ga., Firebird, 6.906, 199.77 def. Greg Anderson, Jacksonville, N.C., Firebird, 6.978, 197.93; Jeg Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, Cutlass, 6.891, 199.82 def. Ron Krisher, Warren, Ohio, Firebird, 6.962, 198.15; Kurt Johnson, Lawrenceville, Ga., Camaro, 6.941, 199.42 def. Mike Thomas, Knoxville, Tenn., Firebird, 6.938, 198.19; QUARTERFINALS -- Alderman, 6.984, 196.16 def. K. Johnson, 6.995, 197.10; Pawuk, 6.951, 197.67 def. Stevens, 6.983, 196.63; W. Johnson, 6.906, 200.17 def. Nobile, 7.004, 197.23; Coughlin, 6.954, 199.29 def. Yates, foul; SEMIFINALS -- Coughlin, 6.930, 198.85 def. Alderman, 10.951, 81.01; Pawuk, 6.951, 197.32 def. W. Johnson, 6.918, 198.80; FINAL -- Coughlin, 6.936, 198.80 def. Pawuk, 7.004, 196.03.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: ROUND ONE -- Angelle Seeling, New Orleans, Suzuki GSXR, 7.289, 181.01 def. Hector Arana, Miami, Suzuki, 7.586, 181.15; Craig Treble, Chandler, Ariz., Suzuki, 7.332, 185.87 def. Greg Underdahl, Minneapolis, Suzuki, broke; Gary Tonglet, Metairie, La., Suzuki, 7.455, 175.37 def. Chris Reuter, Gretna, Neb., Suzuki, 7.443, 180.32; Matt Hines, Trinidad, Colo., Suzuki, 7.262, 184.95 def. Blaine Hale, Midland, Texas, Kawasaki, 10.033, 101.45; John Smith, Minneapolis, Suzuki, 7.305, 183.22 def. Ron Ayers, Greenville, N.C., Suzuki, 7.477, 171.10; Steve Johnson, Chatsworth, Calif., Suzuki, 7.392, 186.37 def. Fred Camarena, Placentia, Calif., Suzuki, 7.484, 181.81; David Schultz, Fort Myers, Fla., Suzuki, 7.279, 183.78 def. Brian Ayers, Greenville, N.C., Suzuki, 7.461, 177.93; Tony Mullen, Bradenton, Fla., Suzuki, 7.335, 184.57 def. Antron Brown, Chesterfield, N.J., Suzuki, 7.408, 182.18; QUARTERFINALS -- Mullen, 7.358, 183.63 def. Seeling, foul; Johnson, 7.358, 183.63 def. Smith, 7.348, 183.26; Schultz, 7.316, 18.37 def. Tonglet, 7.523, 176.29; Hines, 7.225, 188.24 def. Treble, 7.379, 177.79; SEMIFINALS -- Schultz, 7.316, 183.48 def. Mullen, 7.402, 180.18; Hines, 7.246, 185.49 def. Johnson, 7.384, 185.68; FINAL -- Hines, 7.255, 188.71 def. Schultz, 7.298, 183.03.
TOP FUEL: 1. Tony Schumacher, 1,090; 2. Joe Amato, 1,054; 3. Gary Scelzi, 1,044; 4. Mike Dunn, 1,035; 5. (tie) Doug Kalitta, 996; Kenny Bernstein, 996; 7. Cory McClenathan, 964; 8. Larry Dixon, 946; 9. Bob Vandergriff, 929; 10. Doug Herbert, 922. FUNNY CAR: 1. John Force, 1,549; 2. Tony Pedregon, 1,269; 3. Whit Bazemore, 1,156; 4. Frank Pedregon, 868; 5. Dean Skuza, 813; 6. Del Worsham, 768; 7. Tim Wilkerson, 675; 8. Cory Lee, 674; 9. Jim Epler, 669; 10. Ron Capps, 665.
PRO STOCK: 1. Warren Johnson, 1,417; 2. Kurt Johnson, 1,187; 3. Jeg Coughlin Jr., 1,091; 4. Jim Yates, 1,023; 5. Richie Stevens, 872; 6. Mark Pawuk, 821; 7. Troy Coughlin, 734; 8. Allen Johnson, 733; 9. Mike Edwards, 725; 10. Greg Anderson, 723.
PRO STOCK TRUCK: 1. Mark Osborne, 796; 2.Bob Panella, 776; 3. Brad Jeter,722; 4.Mike Coughlin, 624; 5. Randy Daniels, 558; 6.Tim Freeman, 525; 7. Todd Patterson, 484; 8. Craig Eaton, 438; 9. Jerry Haas, 415. 10.Larry Kopp, 411.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Matt Hines, 954; 2. Angelle Seeling, 950; 3. Antron Brown, 805; 4. David Schultz, 733; 5. John Smith, 641; 6. Tony Mullen, 627; 7. Greg Underdahl, 607; 8. Craig Treble, 581; 9. Steve Johnson, 542; 10. Gary Tonglet, 496.