Brainerd final wrapup

John Force wins his 89th, Tony Schumacher wins one last one for Exide BRAINERD, Minn. - Tony Schumacher claimed his third Top Fuel victory of the season and the fourth of his career, at the 19th annual Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals...

John Force wins his 89th, Tony Schumacher wins one last one for Exide

BRAINERD, Minn. - Tony Schumacher claimed his third Top Fuel victory of the season and the fourth of his career, at the 19th annual Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals at the Colonel's Brainerd Internationals Raceway.

John Force, Kurt Johnson and Antron Brown also were winners at the $1.8 million race, the 16th of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

Schumacher, from Park Ridge, Ill., edged Doug Kalitta in the final round with a run of 4.585 seconds at 318.69 mph. The win allowed Schumacher to jump over Larry Dixon into second place in the NHRA Winston points standings, 24 points behind leader Gary Scelzi. Schumacher left Brainerd last season in almost the same position in the NHRA Winston points as he does this season. In 1999, Schumacher trailed then leader, Mike Dunn, but just 30 points. Following his win, Schumacher became sentimental about his sponsor..

"This was my last ride with Exide." Schumacher said, alluding to stepping out of his dragster and bringing Melanie Troxell on as his teammate. "To be able to turn it over to Melanie is awesome. It's still our team, but I won't be driving it. To be able to give this win to them (Exide), that means a lot. That was the first team to put me in a sponsored car." Schumacher will run a two car team starting at the US Nationals. Troxell will step into the Exide dragster and Schumacher is scheduled to announce his new sponsor on September 1st.

Although this is Schumacher's first win at CBIR, he said his crew chief, Dan Olson is no stranger to Brainerd.

"This track is good to Dan." Schumacher said. "He ran good here with Eddie (Hill). We were running as good as anybody last year, and I red lit. We didn't get a chance to prove anything. Who knows what would have happened because we had a great running race car."

Schumacher defeated Chris Karamesines, Kenny Bernstein and Andrew Cowin before meeting Kalitta in the finals. Despite tearing through the competition, Schumacher said his car had too much horsepower for the opposition.

"I really didn't feel that I was all on my game today." Schumacher said. "My reaction times weren't great, but I just had a dynamite race car. When that happens, you don't want to make a mistake. I may have overdone it and spent a little time making sure it (the Christmas tree) was yellow. I'm a human being and I didn't want to give it away."

Force, from Yorba Linda, Calif., extended his NHRA Winston points lead over Jerry Toliver, recording 4.935 at 309.34 to defeat Jim Epler in the Funny Car category. Force's Castrol GTX Ford Mustang had no problems negotiating the quarter-mile while Epler's WWF Racing Chevrolet Camaro lost traction just past the starting line. Force has won the Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals back-to-back and this was his ninth win at CBIR, the most for Force than at any other racetrack.

"You've got the air here and (crew chief) Austin Coil likes to make horsepower." Force said, the nine-time NHRA Winston Funny Car champion. "We struggled with the 90% rule, as good as we run, we couldn't get her down there too far because she was running out of motor. That one (semi-final) run against (Del) Worsham, it drove her right over there into the wall. The track has a lot of bite with the air like this."

Force leaves Brainerd with a 160 point lead over Toliver and has made up 212 NHRA Winston points since the Prolong Superlubricants Northwest Nationals in Seattle. Even though Force leaves with a triple digit lead over Toliver, he isn't planning on letting up.

"All I have to do like him (Toliver) and not qualify and he is right back in the lead again." said Force, referring to Toliver's DNQ at the Fram/Autolite Nationals in Sonoma. "In 1992 against Cruz (Pedregon), we had a 1,200 point lead. We went into test mode and Cruz won five races in a row. He won Seattle, Sonoma, Brainerd, Indy, Reading and I couldn't get past the first round without tipping over onto my roof." Pedregon went on to win the 1992 Winston Funny Car championship, the only Funny Car championship in the 1990's to not belong to Force.

Force had to beat Tommy Johnson Jr., Bob Gilbertson, and Del Worsham before defeating Epler in the finals.

Johnson, from Lawrenceville, Ga., used a 6.986 at 196.59 run to edge NHRA Winston Pro Stock points leader Jeg Coughlin. The win was Johnson's third in the last four races this season in his AC Delco Chevrolet Camaro. "Things have been going great lately" Johnson said. "It's been coming on with that new car, keeping track of notes and knowing what to do when the track changes."

Johnson said that the NHRA Winston Pro Stock points race is tight and the competition is even tighter.

"It's tough especially when you've got to run guys like (Darrell) Alderman and Jeggie (Coughlin). (Jim) Yates was real tough today and everyone was on top of their game. The level of competition is within thousands and the Dodge's are coming on real strong. It's a nightmare out there."

With the win, Johnson moved past Ron Krisher for second place in the NHRA Winston Pro Stock points standings. Johnson still trails Jeg Coughlin by 280 NHRA Winston points. And what about Johnson's prospects of catching Coughlin?

"280 points point is pretty tough to make up." Johnson said. "Who knows? If he (Coughlin) goes out in the first round and I win another race, that's 80 points right there. We won't know until the end, but we're going to give them hell though."

Johnson held off Warren Johnson, Rickie Smith and Jim Yates before eliminating Coughlin for his third win of the season.

Brown, from Chesterfield, N.J., defeated teammate Tony Mullen with a run of 7.304 at 178.99 in an all Team 23, all Suzuki final. Mullen's Team 23 Suzuki's gear box broke just off the starting line, giving Brown the win. Brown enjoyed the win but said it was bittersweet.

"That was great, especially with me and Tony." Brown said. "We always talk and we have bragging rights. He had the bragging rights for a little bit because he got me there in Gainesville. My bike broke against him in Gainesville, isn't that crazy?"

Brown will enter the Holley Pro Stock Motorcycle Dominator Duel in the fourth spot since he qualified in third spot in Brainerd. Brown said that this win in Brainerd will be a great springboard for the US Nationals.

"We are just out there working as hard as we can." Said Brown, currently fifth in the NHRA Winston Pro Stock Motorcycle points. "We are trying to get this bike consistent enough to win drag races like this. We are going to carry this momentum to Indy and just try to go out there and do the best we can and maybe bring that home.

Brown defeated Greg Underdahl, Craig Treble, David Schultz and Mullen to earn his fifth career victory.

The next NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series event is the 46th annual U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Clermont, Ind., August 30 - September 4.

BRAINERD, Minn. -- Final finish order (1-16) for professional categories at the 19th annual Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals at Colonel's Brainerd Int'l Raceway. The $1.7 million race is the 16th of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.


1. Tony Schumacher; 2. Doug Kalitta; 3. Bob Vandergriff; 4. Andrew Cowin; 5. Larry Dixon; 6. Doug Herbert; 7. Joe Amato; 8. Kenny Bernstein; 9. Gary Scelzi; 10. David Grubnic; 11. Cory McClenathan; 12. Luigi Novelli; 13. Rhonda Hartman-Smith; 14. Don Lampus; 15. Chris Karamesines; 16. Jim Cavalieri.


1. John Force, Ford Mustang; 2. Jim Epler, Chevy Camaro; 3. Del Worsham, Pontiac Firebird; 4. Dean Skuza, Dodge Avenger; 5. Bruce Sarver, Firebird; 6. Bob Gilbertson, Camaro; 7. Ron Capps, Camaro; 8. Al Hofmann, Firebird; 9. Tommy Johnson Jr., Firebird; 10. Frank Pedregon, Firebird; 11. Jerry Toliver, Firebird; 12. Cory Lee, Avenger; 13. Scotty Cannon, Camaro; 14. Tony Pedregon, Mustang; 15. Whit Bazemore, Camaro; 16. Gary Densham, Firebird.


1. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Camaro; 2. Jeg Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass; 3. Darrell Alderman, Dodge Avenger; 4. Jim Yates, Pontiac Firebird; 5. Ron Krisher, Firebird; 6. Rickie Smith, Camaro; 7. Mark Osborne, Firebird; 8. V. Gaines, Camaro; 9. Bruce Allen, Firebird; 10. Allen Johnson, Avenger; 11. Warren Johnson, Firebird; 12. Richie Stevens, Firebird; 13. Larry Morgan, Avenger; 14. Bob Benza, Firebird; 15. Mark Pawuk, Firebird; 16. Troy Coughlin, Cutlass.


1. Antron Brown, Suzuki; 2. Tony Mullen, Suzuki; 3. Shawn Gann, Suzuki; 4. David Schultz, Suzuki; 5. Matt Hines, Suzuki; 6. Craig Treble, Suzuki; 7. Michael Phillips, Suzuki; 8. Angelle Seeling, Suzuki; 9. Geno Scali, Suzuki; 10. John Smith, Suzuki; 11. Blaine Hale, Kawasaki; 12. Greg Underdahl, Suzuki; 13. Reggie Showers, Suzuki; 14. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki; 15. C.J. Smith, Kawasaki; 16. Steve Johnson, Suzuki.

BRAINERD, Minn. -- Sunday's final results from the 19th annual Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals at Colonel's Brainerd Int'l Raceway. The $1.6-million race is the 16th of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel -- Tony Schumacher, 4.585 seconds, 318.69 mph def. Doug Kalitta, 4.655 seconds, 306.81 mph.

Funny Car -- John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.935, 309.34 def. Jim Epler, Chevy Camaro, 8.889, 91.75.

Pro Stock -- Kurt Johnson, Chevy Camaro, 6.986, 196.59 def. Jeg Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 6.995, 195.85.

Pro Stock Motorcycle -- Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.304, 178.99 def. Tony Mullen, Suzuki, 18.686, 34.86.

Federal-Mogul Dragster -- David Wells, 5.512, 254.81 def. Mark Hentges, 5.523, 255.82.

Federal-Mogul Funny Car -- Cy Chesterman, Pontiac Firebird, 5.739, 248.61 def. Sam Blue, Firebird, foul.

Comp Eliminator -- Doug Engels, Dragster, 7.582, 172.65 def. Clint Neff, Dragster, 7.360, 157.43.

Super Stock -- Scott Pearson, American Motors AMX, 11.020, 118.93 def. Dennis Nelson, Chevrolet Malibu, 11.025, 118.22.

Stock -- Nick Folk, Chevy Camaro, 11.799, 110.06 def. Kevin Borgstrom, Chevelle, 10.987, 118.20.

Super Comp -- Gary Wamboldt, 8.973, 159.25 def. Henry Wiebusch Jr, 8.958, 156.41.

Super Gas -- Vern Laurin, Dodge Daytona, 9.981, 144.67 def. Michael Freischel, 1927-T Ford, 9.945, 139.33.

BRAINERD, Minn. -- Final round-by-round results from the 19th annual Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals at Colonel's Brainerd Int'l Raceway, the 16th of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:


ROUND ONE -- Kenny Bernstein, 4.709, 306.81 def. David Grubnic, 4.714, 305.91; Larry Dixon, 4.685, 311.63 def. Gary Scelzi, 4.711, 312.06; Andrew Cowin, 4.713, 311.77 def. Don Lampus, 4.813, 306.60; Doug Herbert, 4.783, 315.86 def. Luigi Novelli, 4.776, 307.23; Tony Schumacher, 4.597, 319.60 def. Chris Karamesines, 11.129, 77.19; Joe Amato, 4.659, 316.52 def. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.801, 307.09; Doug Kalitta, 4.689, 305.84 def. Jim Cavalieri, 12.972, 63.25; Bob Vandergriff, 4.746, 308.43 def. Cory McClenathan, 4.723, 313.88; QUARTERFINALS -- Cowin, 4.859, 278.63 def. Herbert, 5.025, 226.16; Kalitta, 4.643, 309.98 def. Dixon, 4.642, 314.75; Schumacher, 4.611, 319.14 def. Bernstein, 5.546, 167.95; Vandergriff, 4.698, 313.37 def. Amato, 5.039, 237.17; SEMIFINALS -- Kalitta, 4.649, 307.16 def. Vandergriff, 4.742, 306.95; Schumacher, 6.086, 291.32 def. Cowin, 6.126, 287.41; FINAL -- Schumacher, 4.585, 318.69 def. Kalitta, 4.655, 306.81.


ROUND ONE -- Al Hofmann, Pontiac Firebird, 4.986, 302.96 def. Cory Lee, Dodge Avenger, 5.431, 201.43; Ron Capps, Chevy Camaro, 9.961, 81.58 def. Gary Densham, Firebird, broke; Del Worsham, Firebird, 4.932, 310.13 def. Jerry Toliver, Firebird, 5.001, 308.35; John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.958, 299.26 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Firebird, 4.986, 299.06; Dean Skuza, Avenger, 5.194, 277.37 def. Tony Pedregon, Mustang, foul; Bob Gilbertson, Camaro, 4.973, 304.87 def. Whit Bazemore, Camaro, 6.752, 131.05; Bruce Sarver, Firebird, 4.986, 303.43 def. Frank Pedregon, Firebird, 4.995, 307.09; Jim Epler, Camaro, 4.985, 303.16 def. Scotty Cannon, Camaro, 5.584, 197.13; QUARTERFINALS -- Epler, 6.394, 215.75 def. Capps, 7.015, 146.04; Worsham, 4.934, no speed def. Sarver, 5.034, 242.54; Force, 4.954, 299.00 def. Gilbertson, 5.072, 302.69; Skuza, 5.362, 210.28 def. Hofmann, 9.593, 79.03; SEMIFINALS -- Epler, 4.979, 306.88 def. Skuza, 5.443, 194.72; Force, 4.953, 299.73 def. Worsham, 4.939, 309.42; FINAL -- Force, 4.935, 309.34 def. Epler, 8.889, 91.75.


ROUND ONE -- V. Gaines, Chevy Camaro, 7.030, 194.58 def. Troy Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass, broke; Rickie Smith, Camaro, 7.034, 194.97 def. Bob Benza, Pontiac Firebird, 7.056, 194.94; Jim Yates, Firebird, 7.006, 196.30 def. Mark Pawuk, Firebird, 7.386, 149.23; Ron Krisher, Firebird, 6.973, 196.73 def. Richie Stevens, Firebird, 7.025, 194.74; Mark Osborne, Firebird, 7.019, 195.42 def. Larry Morgan, Dodge Avenger, 7.050, 195.00; Jeg Coughlin, Cutlass, 6.969, 196.04 def. Allen Johnson, Avenger, 7.001, 194.58; Kurt Johnson, Camaro, 6.982, 196.82 def. Warren Johnson, Firebird, 7.017, 196.44; Darrell Alderman, Avenger, 6.980, 195.59 def. Bruce Allen, Firebird, 6.989, 195.17; QUARTERFINALS -- Yates, 7.016, 195.68 def. Osborne, 7.063, 195.05; K. Johnson, 6.996, 196.36 def. Smith, 7.004, 195.99; Alderman, 6.978, 195.53 def. Gaines, 7.538, 146.70; J. Coughlin, 6.977, 195.76 def. Krisher, 6.970, 196.59; SEMIFINALS -- K. Johnson, 6.994, 196.44 def. Yates, 7.003, 196.36; J. Coughlin, 6.980, 195.82 def. Alderman, 6.986, 195.62; FINAL -- K. Johnson, 6.986, 196.59 def. J. Coughlin, 6.995, 195.85.


ROUND ONE -- Shawn Gann, Suzuki, 7.452, 177.39 def. Blaine Hale, Kawasaki, foul; David Schultz, Suzuki, 7.365, 176.77 def. John Smith, Suzuki, 7.445, 179.02; Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.387, 183.29 def. Reggie Showers, Suzuki, 7.481, 178.71; Matt Hines, Suzuki, 7.346, 182.16 def. C.J. Smith, Kawasaki, 7.648, 168.24; Angelle Seeling, Suzuki, 7.293, 178.21 def. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 7.590, 170.69; Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.302, 185.64 def. Greg Underdahl, Suzuki, 7.468, 177.46; Tony Mullen, Suzuki, 7.377, 178.57 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.657, 172.36; Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 7.716, 171.18 def. Geno Scali, Suzuki, foul; QUARTERFINALS -- Mullen, 7.370, 179.21 def. Phillips, 7.523, 171.75; Gann, 7.498, 171.23 def. Hines, foul; Schultz, 7.432, 176.03 def. Seeling, 12.173, 61.95; Brown, 7.332, 179.49 def. Treble, 7.383, 177.37; SEMIFINALS -- Mullen, 7.374, 177.02 def. Gann, 7.479, 176.07; Brown, 7.322, 181.96 def. Schultz, foul; FINAL -- Brown, 7.304, 178.99 def. Mullen, 18.686, 34.86.

BRAINERD, Minn. -- Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional categories following the 19th annual Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals at Colonel's Brainerd Int'l Raceway, the 16th of 23 events in the $45-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series:


1. Gary Scelzi, 1,218; 2. Tony Schumacher, 1,194; 3. Larry Dixon, 1,140; 4. Kenny Bernstein, 962; 5. Joe Amato, 948; 6. Doug Kalitta, 895; 7. Cory McClenathan, 736; 8. Bob Vandergriff, 660; 9. Doug Herbert, 626; 10. Don Lampus, 602.


1. John Force, 1,285; 2. Jerry Toliver, 1,125; 3. Tony Pedregon, 975; 4. Ron Capps, 939; 5. Jim Epler, 865; 6. Dean Skuza, 751; 7. Scotty Cannon, 711; 8. Del Worsham, 703; 9. Whit Bazemore, 684; 10. Al Hofmann, 624.


1. Jeg Coughlin, 1,290; 2. Kurt Johnson, 1,010; 3. Ron Krisher, 1,007; 4. Warren Johnson, 927; 5. Troy Coughlin, 805; 6. Mark Pawuk, 783; 7. Jim Yates, 720; 8. Richie Stevens, 705; 9. Tom Martino, 610; 10. Bruce Allen, 590.


1. Angelle Seeling, 850; 2. Matt Hines, 751; 3. David Schultz, 701; 4. Tony Mullen, 698; 5. Antron Brown, 635; 6. Craig Treble, 501; 7. Geno Scali, 443; 8. Shawn Gann, 350; 9. Blaine Hale, 285; 10. Reggie Showers, 283.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Antron Brown , Bob Benza , Frank Pedregon , Matt Hines , Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Darrell Alderman , Kenny Bernstein , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Bob Gilbertson , Jim Epler , Tony Pedregon , Al Hofmann , Dean Skuza , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Rhonda Hartman-Smith , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Chris Karamesines , Andrew Cowin , Ron Krisher , Larry Morgan , Reggie Showers , Shawn Gann , Blaine Hale , David Grubnic , Gary Densham , Scotty Cannon , Craig Treble , Cory McClenathan , Bruce Allen , Geno Scali , Tom Martino , Melanie Troxel , Greg Underdahl , Allen Johnson , Luigi Novelli , Don Lampus , David Wells , Rickie Smith , Cory Lee , Michael Phillips , Jerry Toliver , Bob Vandergriff , Steve Johnson , Austin Coil , Tommy Johnson Jr.