Tucson Testing Sunday Report

FORCE, SCHUMACHER STRONG IN FINAL DAY OF NHRA PRE-SEASON TESTING AT TUCSON TUCSON, Ariz. - Defending Winston champion Tony Schumacher closed out NHRA pre-season testing Sunday at Southwestern International Raceway in strong fashion, recording...

FORCE, SCHUMACHER STRONG IN FINAL DAY OF NHRA PRE-SEASON TESTING AT TUCSON

TUCSON, Ariz. - Defending Winston champion Tony Schumacher closed out NHRA pre-season testing Sunday at Southwestern International Raceway in strong fashion, recording the quickest Top Fuel run of the day, while nine-time Winston champ John Force continued to amaze in Funny Car.

Force unleashed a powerful 4.890 second burst at 317.79 mph in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang, solidifying his position as driver of the weekend's quickest and fastest Funny Car. On a previous run, Force shut off early, but still posted a 4.932 at 287.96. He opened Sunday's testing with a baseline run of 5.051 at 301.40.

Schumacher recorded a blistering 4.666 at 314.53 behind the wheel of his Exide Batteries dragster, ending a consistent weekend for the second-generation driver from Park Ridge, Ill.

Schumacher and Gary Scelzi, who logged the weekend's quickest (4.611 seconds) and fastest (321.35 mph) Top Fuel numbers, should be strong 2000 season favorites based on testing results. The 2000 NHRA schedule kicks-off with the 40th annual AutoZone Winternationals, Feb. 3-6 at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway. The $1.7 million race is the first of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

Tommy Johnson Jr. posted a Sunday-best 4.706 at 309.20 while subbing for Kenny Bernstein in the Budweiser King dragster.

NHRA newcomers Don Lampus (4.790 at 303.91) and Joe Hartley (4.809 at 306.40) posted their best efforts of the weekend in their respective dragsters. Hartley's career-best run was bittersweet, however, when his family-owned dragster went out of control just past the finish line. Hartley was not injured in the crash.

Dean Skuza was Force's closest challenger for top testing honors in Funny Car, posting his best run of the weekend in his Matco Tools Dodge Avenger, a smooth 4.941 at 305.63. Bruce Sarver entered the four-second zone for the first time in a Funny Car with a 4.967 at 305.98 in his Alan Johnson-owned E-Moola.Com Pontiac Firebird.

Del Worsham's best run of the weekend in his Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird was cut short when he lost a blower belt near half track. His machine jumped to a quick .907 60-foot time before losing power and coasting across the finish line at 6.206 at 124.76.

Tony Pedregon's best effort of the day was a 5.029 at 283.43, keeping his foot on the gas just past the 1000-foot mark. Pedregon also pedaled his Castrol Syntec Mustang to a 5.162 at 276.80.

-NHRA-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Kenny Bernstein , Tony Pedregon , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Don Lampus , Joe Hartley , Tommy Johnson Jr.