Post Race Notes: 19th annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals March 31-April 2, 2006 Houston Raceway Park, Baytown, Texas TOP FUEL * Brandon Bernstein went from outhouse to penthouse by driving...
Post Race Notes:
19th annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals
March 31-April 2, 2006
Houston Raceway Park, Baytown, Texas
* Brandon Bernstein went from outhouse to penthouse by driving to his first victory of the 2006 after having failed to win a single round through the first three events of the 2006 season.
* Bernstein had the best dragster on Sunday and it showed in a good final as he clipped Melanie Troxel with a 4.534 at 329.83 (to Troxel's 4.580 at 323.35).
* Bernstein is building quite a reputation as a closer as he improved his record in final rounds to 9-1.
* As for Troxel, she appeared in her fifth consecutive final round, an all-time NHRA POWERade Series record for consecutive final rounds (regardless of class) by a woman in NHRA history.
* Cory McClenathan earned his first No. 1 qualifier in 30 events Fram Boost2 dragster with a final qualifying session pass at 4.531 seconds at 329.42 mph. It was the 30th No. 1 qualifying effort of his career. McClenathan was eliminated in the semifinals by Bernstein.
* Two-time defending POWERade Series world champ Tony Schumacher extended his early-season final-elimination struggles with a first-round tire-spinning loss to Morgan Lucas.
* Doug Herbert's Snap-on Tools crew won the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge award.
* POWERade Series points leader Ron Capps powered his Brut Dodge Stratus to a 5.005 at 293.47 to earn his second consecutive win and extend his lead over John Force.
* Capps' opponent in the final was Bob Gilbertson, who emerged from the No. 15 qualifying position to reach the final in his Autolite XP Dodge Stratus (22.001 at 72.65).
* The win was the 18th of Capps' career in a Funny Car and it pulled him even with his crew chief, Ace McCulloch, on the all-time NHRA Funny Car wins list. Capps has 18 career Funny Car wins and one in Top Fuel. McCulloch has 18 Funny Car wins and four Top Fuel wins.
* Force earned his 128th career No. 1 qualifying position and his third of the season and he reset both ends of the Houston Raceway Park track record in the process with a 4.695 at 328.06 in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang. It was his seventh No. 1 qualifier at Gainesville.
* Force was eliminated by Capps for the second straight week when his hot rod blew up at about half track in the semifinals. Force emerged from the escape hatch uninjured.
* Robert Hight, the defending event champion and the No. 2 qualifier, was upset in his AAA Ford Mustang in the first round by Gilbertson in the first round. He was in control at half-track when he lost a blower belt and was passed by Gilbertson.
* Force's Castrol GTX crew won the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge award.
* Mike Edwards drove his Young Life Pontiac GTO to a holeshot win over Jim Yates, running a 6.731 at 206.01 to stay ahead of Jim Yates' 6.726 at 205.63. The final margin of victory after accounting for the reaction time was .0098 seconds.
* It was Edwards' first win in four years (Denver 2002) and it moved him into second place in the 2006 POWERade Series standings.
* Houston's Erica Enders was seeking her first career victory at her home track but came up two rounds short when Yates tripped her up in the semifinals.
* Jason Line earned his fifth career No. 1 qualifier and first of 2006 when he drove his Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GTO to a track record 6.686 seconds at 206.29 mph.
* Edwards set a track record for speed when he hit 206.45 mph on the radar in his Young Life Pontiac GTO. Edwards qualified fourth.
* Line's Summit Racing Equipment crew won the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge award.
* Mike Edwards defeated Jim Yates by a .0098-second margin of victory in the final round of Pro Stock eliminations to earn the Motel 6 "Who Got the Light" award.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
* Angelle Sampey, the winningest female in NHRA history, notched her 39th career victory and second straight to open the 2006 POWERade Series season.
* Sampey recorded a 7.144 at 190.11 on her U.S. Army Suzuki to take the win over the defending POWERade Series world champion, Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson rider Andrew Hines (7.200 at 188.04).
* Angelle Sampey earned her 38th career No. 1 qualifying position when she rode her U.S. Army Suzuki to a track record 7.038 seconds at 190.59.
* Craig Treble's crew won the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge award.