Post Race Notes: 17th Annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals Presented By Pennzoil April 15-18, 2004, Houston Raceway Park, Baytown, Texas TOP FUEL * Brandon Bernstein, from Lake Forest, Calif., remained undefeated in final round appearances in...
Post Race Notes:
17th Annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals Presented By Pennzoil
April 15-18, 2004, Houston Raceway Park, Baytown, Texas
* Brandon Bernstein, from Lake Forest, Calif., remained undefeated in final round appearances in his young career when he outran first-time finalist Clay Millican for his fifth career victory and second of the season. Bernstein powered the Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster to the finish line in 4.695 seconds at 271.79 mph, driving past Millican's 104+ Octane Boost dragster, which lost traction and slowed to pass of 5.032 at 238.81. Bernstein has five victories in 13 career Top Fuel starts.
* Bernstein also earned his first No. 1 qualifying position of the season and the third of his career, recording low E.T. of the event with his pass of 4.516 at 320.58 to lead the Top Fuel field .
* With the victory, Bernstein moved within 38 points of current POWERade point leader Tony Schumacher, who was eliminated in the second round by defending NHRA POWERade champion Larry Dixon.
* Tim Wilkerson, from Springfield, Ill., notched his fourth career victory in the Levi, Ray & Shoup Chevy Monte Carlo when he covered the quarter-mile in 4.896 seconds at 303.30 mph, outrunning Jerry Toliver's Schick Quattro Toyota Celica, which clocked a slower run of 5.081 at 277.03. Wilkerson's first victory of the season catapulted him from ninth to third in the NHRA POWERade standings, two points behind second-place Gary Densham. Toliver, who won the season-opener at Pomona, Calif., then failed to qualify at the following event at Phoenix, moved into fifth in the standings with his 10th career final round appearance.
* Densham drove his Auto Club Ford Mustang to the top of the Funny Car qualifying order for the second time this season and for the eighth time in his career with his effort of 4.846 at 311.20.
* With his semifinal finish, Checker Schuck's Kragen Monte Carlo driver Del Worsham maintained his position atop the NHRA POWERade Funny Car standings, 85 points ahead of Densham.
* Rookie Eric Medlen collected the Motel 6 "Who Got the Light" $1,000 bonus check for his narrow .0014-second victory over Cruz Pedregon in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations.
* Greg Anderson, from Charlotte, N.C., continued to dominate Pro Stock and distance himself in the standings from the rest of the field following his fourth victory in five races this season. Anderson steered the Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am down the quarter-mile in 6.738 seconds at 205.57 mph, well ahead of teammate and first-time finalist Jason Line. It was Anderson's 20th career victory. Line's KB Framers Grand Am came out of the groove and began to shake, forcing the rookie to shut the engine off early and coast through the timers at 9.466 at 98.16. Anderson now has an 18-1 record in eliminations this season, 30-1 over the last eight events, and is 154-67 for his career for a .697 winning percentage.
* Anderson earned the No. 1 qualifying position for the fifth straight event and for the 10th consecutive time dating back to 2003 (Chicago 2). Anderson drove his Grand Am to both ends of the track record when he shut the clocks off at 6.693 at 205.72. The record for most consecutive Pro Stock top qualifying positions is 23, held by Bob Glidden (1986-'88). Dating back to the 2003 season-opener, Anderson has been the top qualifier at 19 of the last 28 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events.
* Anderson has established nine of 10 possible track records at the first five events this season with his only omission being the speed record at Gainesville, Fla., which was set by Kurt Johnson.
* Anderson's victory increased his lead in the standings to a 156-point margin over Johnson. Jeg Coughlin and Larry Morgan are tied for third, 238 points behind Anderson and 82 points behind Johnson.
* Notable DNQ's: Troy Coughlin and Mark Pawuk.
PRO STOCK BIKE
* Karen Stoffer made NHRA history, becoming the seventh female winner in a professional category when she rode her Geico Suzuki past Antron Brown for the victory. Stoffer, who was the runner-up to Angelle Savoie at Reading, Pa. in the first all-female final round in Pro Stock Bike history, covered the distance in 7.159 seconds at 186.38 mph. Brown's U.S. Army Suzuki, which qualified No. 2, posted losing numbers of 7.176 at 186.05. Stoffer's first-ever NHRA victory came in her third career final round appearance, which moved her into a career-best position of No. 2 in the point standings, six points out of first.
* Andrew Hines secured the No. 1 qualifying spot for the second straight event and for the second time in his career, riding the Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to the top of the qualifying order with his track record time of 7.072 at 190.03.
* The O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals was the second of 15 national events for the two-wheel category.
* Savoie, the three-time defending Pro Stock Bike champion, qualified in the No. 11 spot atop her U.S. Army Suzuki. It was the second time in her career that she has qualified in the bottom half of the field, both occurrences coming at the first two events of the 2004 season.
* With his semifinal finish, Hines remained atop the Pro Stock Bike standings, six points ahead of Stoffer and 43 points in front of defending NHRA POWERade champion Geno Scali.