U.S. Nationals Wednesday test notes 2006-08-23

SCHUMACHER, FORCE QUICKEST DURING WEDNESDAY MAC TOOLS U.S. NATIONALS TESTING AT ORP CLERMONT, Ind. -- Tony Schumacher clocked the quickest Top Fuel run and posted the first 330 mph run Wednesday to close testing for the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals,...

SCHUMACHER, FORCE QUICKEST DURING WEDNESDAY MAC TOOLS U.S. NATIONALS TESTING AT ORP

CLERMONT, Ind. -- Tony Schumacher clocked the quickest Top Fuel run and posted the first 330 mph run Wednesday to close testing for the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the world's most prestigious drag race.

John Force, Dave Howard and Andrew Hines were quickest in their respective categories as teams continued to prepare for the historic event at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, Aug. 30-Sept. 4, which will be televised on ESPN2 HD with more than 10 hours of coverage.

Schumacher continued to impress and improved on his performance from Tuesday, as he posted a run of 4.468 seconds at 327.66 mph in the U.S. Army dragster. Earlier in the day he posted a top speed of 330.07 mph, the first unofficial 330 mph run at ORP. Schumacher set the current track Top Fuel speed record last year at 329.18 mph. Track records can only be set during official NHRA national event competition.

"He (Alan Johnson, crew chief) was trying to see what (the track) wouldn't take and that is what he did every time," said Schumacher, a four-time U.S. Nationals winner and currently second in the POWERade Series standings. "He was trying to smoke the tires. Watching the car go out and run 53, yeah, we know it can do that; but what won't it take? We wanted to see what can we do with different parts on it and make it smoke the tires and he got the handle on that during some of the runs, but he also got it to run a 46 with the rods out so all and all it has been a great week man. I look forward to coming back next weekend."

Brandon Bernstein was second again in the Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster with a 4.541 second run. Defending winner Larry Dixon was third in the Miller Lite dragster with a 4.571 at 322.19, while current POWERade Series points leader Doug Kalitta drove his Mac Tools dragster to a 4.573 at 325.53.

Force led Funny Car on Wednesday, powering his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to a 4.751 at 324.38, while his teammates were right behind as Eric Medlen posted a 4.769 at 318.92 in the Castrol Syntec Mustang and Robert Hight's best effort for the day was a 4.778 at 322.73 in the Auto Club Mustang. Force's daughter, Ashley, also posted a quick lap of 4.897 at 314.39 as she continues to gain more experience in the 7,000 horsepower machine. Tony Pedregon had the quickest time for the two day test session, posting a 4.747 at 324.75 in his Q Racing Chevy Monte Carlo.

"Let's be honest, Pedregon ran 74 last night so he is the quickest of the week, but this is testing," said Force, the current POWERade Series points leader and four-time U.S. Nationals winner. "We're excited about Indy. I'm most excited that my daughter (Ashley) ran an 89 today. That is her quickest run ever. Hell that might qualify her for Indy, you never know. But she won't be running Indy, she's just getting a lot of seat time. All three teams were good. I want to thank all of my guys, (Ashley's) car was rotated today and she has more crew and crew chiefs than anybody in the stadium, so she had fun and was very excited about it.

"We did all the stuff (crew chief Austin) Coil was wanting to try. We ran some good numbers and we were shutting it off early trying to save her. We're pretty confident going into Indy and coming off the win in Memphis. We didn't hurt anything too bad so we will see if we can come out here and win the Skoal Showdown, win Indy and win them both. May the best man win."

Gary Scelzi and Tommy Johnson Jr., who will meet in the first round of the Skoal Showdown, both posted testing bests of 4.810 seconds. Second place points challenger Ron Capps, who had led the Series standings since Phoenix before Force took over last weekend in Memphis, posted a testing best of 4.825 at 311.49 in his Brut Dodge Charger.

Howard was again the quickest in Pro Stock, driving his Chevy Cobalt to a 6.717 at 205.16. Four-time U.S. Nationals winner Greg Anderson was second overall with a 6.747 at 204.66 in his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO.

Two-time defending POWERade world champ Hines rode his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a Pro Stock Motorcycle best performance of 7.060 at 188.20. His time was better than the current track record (7.081) that he set last year.

* * *

Below is each driver's best performance for Wednesday. Performance listed also is the driver's best of the two day test session unless noted:

TOP FUEL
Tony Schumacher, 4.468, 327.66
Brandon Bernstein, 4.514, 328.86
Larry Dixon, 4.571, 322.19
Doug Kalitta, 4.573, 325.53
Rod Fuller, 4.588, 324.98 (4.536, 329.75)
Melanie Troxel, 4.614, 324.36
Cory McClenathan, 4.638, 325.61
Hillary Will, 4.683, 313.37
David Grubnic, 4.837, 226.92
Morgan Lucas, 5.036, 210.34
Bruce Litton, 8.452, 101.61 (8.289, 102.88)
Joe Hartley, 9.043, 97.78

FUNNY CAR
John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.751, 324.28
Eric Medlen, Mustang, 4.769, 318.92
Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.778, 322.73
Mike Ashley, Dodge Stratus, 4.799, 324.28 (4.792, 323.12)
Gary Scelzi, Dodge Charger, 4.810, 324.05
Tommy Johnson Jr., Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.810, 319.29
Phil Burkart, Monte Carlo, 4.822, 311.77
Cruz Pedregon, Monte Carlo, 4.825, 324.20
Ron Capps, Charger, 4.825, 311.49
Del Worsham, Monte Carlo, 4.858, 276.86
Ashley Force, Mustang, 4.897, 314.39
Johnny Gray, Monte Carlo, 4.974, 262.54 (4.895, 279.15)
Tony Pedregon, Monte Carlo, 5.064, 246.75 (4.747, 324.75)
Whit Bazemore, Charger, 5.188, 216.62 (5.156, 212.93)
Jack Beckman, Stratus, 5.352, 201.85
Scott Kalitta, Monte Carlo, 7.351, 117.95 (5.408, 198.03)

PRO STOCK
Dave Howard, Chevy Cobalt, 6.717, 205.16
Greg Anderson, Pontiac GTO, 6.747, 204.66
Tommy Lee, Cobalt, 6.751, 204.17 (6.748, 204.29)
Steve Schmidt, GTO, 6.769, 203.80
Terry Adams, Dodge Stratus, 6.780, 203.12 (6.765, 203.98)
Mark Pawuk, GTO, 6.784, 203.37 (6.770, 203.92)
Kevin Lawrence, Cobalt, 6.828, 200.92
Tommy Brown, GTO, 6.865, 202.97 (6.797, 202.82)
Jose Maldonado, GTO, 6.920, 198.61

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.060, 188.20
Tom Bradford, Buell, 7.103, 187.34 (did not run Wednesday)
Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.108, 189.34
Matt Guidera, Buell, 7.138, 184.94 (did not run Wednesday)
Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.144, 187.26
Geno Scali, Suzuki, 7.202, 187.31
Wesley Wells, Suzuki, 7.208, 183.84
Connie Cohen, Buell, 7.317, 181.98

-credit: nhra

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Litton , Larry Dixon , Mark Pawuk , Tony Pedregon , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson , David Grubnic , Tommy Lee , Cruz Pedregon , Craig Treble , Cory McClenathan , Scott Kalitta , Geno Scali , Jack Beckman , Connie Cohen , Karen Stoffer , Ashley Force , Phil Burkart , Melanie Troxel , Brandon Bernstein , Terry Adams , Johnny Gray , Morgan Lucas , Steve Schmidt , Mike Ashley , Joe Hartley , Andrew Hines , Eric Medlen , Wesley Wells , Robert Hight , Kevin Lawrence , Dave Howard , Rod Fuller , Matt Guidera , Tom Bradford , Hillary Will , Jose Maldonado , Tommy Johnson Jr.