Brainerd: Saturday recap

BRAINERD, Minn. - Tony Schumacher captured his first career number one qualifying position in Top Fuel at the 19th annual Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals Saturday. Ron Capps, Bruce Allen and Matt Hines also will lead their ...

BRAINERD, Minn. - Tony Schumacher captured his first career number one qualifying position in Top Fuel at the 19th annual Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals Saturday.

Ron Capps, Bruce Allen and Matt Hines also will lead their respective categories into tomorrow's eliminations at the Colonel's Brainerd International Raceway for the $1.8 million race, the 16th of 23 events in the $45 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

Schumacher, from Park Ridge, Ill. blasted the quarter-mile in 4.587 seconds at 319.14 mph to take the top spot in his Exide Batteries dragster. Schumacher's day was doubly sweet. He earned his first top qualifier award of his career and enjoyed the prospect of NHRA Winston Points leader Gary Scelzi facing number two driver Larry Dixon in Sunday's first round of eliminations.

"What you need to remember is that one of those guys is going to lose, but one has to win." said Schumacher. "I can't let either one of those guys get any points. We have an awful lot of races left. Whoever wins that race, I believe, has to go run (Doug) Kalitta or Jim Cavalieri next round." Schumacher gave high praise to his crew chief Dan Olson and crew for tuning his dragster to his first career top qualifying position.

"I'm just happy for my guys." Schumacher said. "They really have earned it. They earned it last year"

Capps, from Carlsbad, Calif., gained his second top qualifying position of 2000 and sixth of his career with a track record pass of 4.901 at 306.81 mph in his U.S. Tobacco Chevrolet Camaro Funny Car. Capps has reached finals rounds this season but has failed to win.

"We need a win." Capps said. "This team is so overdue. We need to get into the winners circle. It's easy to get excited about number one and it's great breaking a track record and it's great to run good. Usually I'd be very, very excited and I am a little excited. I want to win and I'd trade a win for anything else."

Capps said the track record final run of 4.901 sent a message to the other Funny Car teams to watch out for the Don Prudhomme owned Camaro. "It was sort of a free shot for us because we already had the number one spot." said Capps. "At the same time, (crew chief Ed McCulloch) Ace wanted to see if we get into the final round tomorrow, this could be the same conditions. We wanted to know what the track could take."

Allen, from Arlington, Texas, held off the competition in Pro Stock for the top position, covering the distance at a track record 6.948 at 197.45 in his Reher-Morrison Pontiac Firebird. Allen's last top qualifying spot came in Houston at the 1999 O'Reilly Nationals.

Allen said earning number one is nice, but it's not everything. "It gives you an advantage on race day because you have lane choice and theoretically you should be running the slowest car that qualified." Allen said. "Other than that, it doesn't get you much because this is a tough, tight field."

Regarding his victory drought since winning in 1992, Allen said it's not for a lack of effort.

"When you win a bunch of races and then you don't for a while, everyone wants to know what's wrong." Allen said. "Obviously if you knew what was wrong, you would have fixed it eight years ago when we quit winning." Warren Johnson also set a track record in speed, powering his GM Goodwrench Service Plus Pontiac Firebird down the quarter-mile at 197.62 mph. Matt Hines, from Trinidad, Colo., will start from the top of the Pro Stock Motorcycle order on Sunday with a track record run of 7.275 at 183.29 aboard his Eagle One Suzuki. Despite qualifying number one, Hines still has his eyes on current Winston points leader Angelle Seeling.

"We only came in here 100 points behind her." Hines said. "Angelle qualified number two, so I only pulled out a point on her in qualifying."

Team 23 rider Antron Brown stole the CBIR track record away from Hines with a pass at 186.38 mph. Hines established the former record at last year's Colonel's Truck Accessories Nationals.

Final eliminations begin at 10 am Sunday.

BRAINERD, Minn. -- First-round pairings for professional eliminations Sunday for 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. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday.

Top Fuel -- 1. Tony Schumacher, 4.587 seconds, 319.14 mph vs. 16. Chris Karamesines, 5.130, 284.56; 2. Doug Kalitta, 4.627, 311.41 vs. 15. Jim Cavalieri, 4.901, 305.15; 3. Joe Amato, 4.659, 314.31 vs. 14. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.816, 309.77; 4. Doug Herbert, 4.661, 297.35 vs. 13. Luigi Novelli, 4.795, 305.08; 5. Don Lampus, 4.662, 313.80 vs. 12. Andrew Cowin, 4.746, 301.94; 6. Cory McClenathan, 4.682, 314.17 vs. 11. Bob Vandergriff, 4.719, 311.49; 7. Gary Scelzi, 4.688, 312.35 vs. 10. Larry Dixon, 4.711, 314.02; 8. Kenny Bernstein, 4.702, 311.92 vs. 9. David Grubnic, 4.702, 308.28.

Funny Car -- 1. Ron Capps, Chevy Camaro, 4.862, 310.91 vs. 16. Gary Densham, Pontiac Firebird, 5.204, 287.84; 2. Del Worsham, Firebird, 4.911, 307.02 vs. 15. Jerry Toliver, Firebird, 5.128, 246.30; 3. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.919, 308.57 vs. 14. Tommy Johnson Jr., Firebird, 5.121, 292.96; 4. Al Hofmann, Firebird, 4.940, 305.22 vs. 13. Cory Lee, Dodge Avenger, 5.121, 308.43; 5. Dean Skuza, Avenger, 4.945, 312.50 vs. 12. Tony Pedregon, Mustang, 5.050, 254.52; 6. Whit Bazemore, Camaro, 4.949, 308.21 vs. 11. Bob Gilbertson, Camaro, 5.046, 298.73; 7. Frank Pedregon, Firebird, 4.966, 307.65 vs. 10. Bruce Sarver, Firebird, 5.033, 307.44; 8. Jim Epler, Camaro, 4.994, 304.80 vs. 9. Scotty Cannon, Camaro, 5.016, 300.66.

Pro Stock -- 1. Bruce Allen, Pontiac Firebird, 6.948, 197.45 vs. 16. Darrell Alderman, Dodge Avenger, 7.004, 196.64; 2. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Camaro, 6.951, 197.57 vs. 15. Warren Johnson, Firebird, 7.004, 197.62; 3. Larry Morgan, Avenger, 6.965, 196.79 vs. 14. Mark Osborne, Firebird, 7.003, 196.02; 4. Jeg Coughlin, Oldsmobile Cutlass, 6.966, 196.96 vs. 13. Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.998, 195.96; 5. Ron Krisher, Firebird, 6.969, 197.54 vs. 12. Richie Stevens, Firebird, 6.998, 196.02; 6. Mark Pawuk, Firebird, 6.983, 196.62 vs. 11. Jim Yates, Firebird, 6.996, 196.76; 7. Rickie Smith, Camaro, 6.988, 196.62 vs. 10. Bob Benza, Firebird, 6.993, 196.47; 8. Troy Coughlin, Cutlass, 6.990, 196.47 vs. 9. V. Gaines, Camaro, 6.990, 196.73.

Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Matt Hines, Suzuki, 7.275, 183.29 vs. 16. C.J. Smith, Kawasaki, 7.490, 178.28; 2. Angelle Seeling, Suzuki, 7.305, 180.04 vs. 15. Joe DeSantis, Suzuki, 7.457, 181.45; 3. Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.313, 186.38 vs. 14. Greg Underdahl, Suzuki, 7.448, 181.20; 4. Geno Scali, Suzuki, 7.332, 181.62 vs. 13. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 7.440, 176.21; 5. Tony Mullen, Suzuki, 7.348, 181.89 vs. 12. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.431, 179.66; 6. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.358, 179.97 vs. 11. Reggie Showers, Suzuki, 7.427, 182.03; 7. David Schultz, Suzuki, 7.360, 185.28 vs. 10. John Smith, Suzuki, 7.406, 179.11; 8. Blaine Hale, Kawasaki, 7.360, 183.32 vs. 9. Shawn Gann, Suzuki, 7.395, 177.86.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Antron Brown , Bruce Sarver , Bob Benza , Matt Hines , Jeg Coughlin , Troy Coughlin , Larry Dixon , 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 , 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 , Don Prudhomme , Bruce Allen , Geno Scali , Greg Underdahl , Allen Johnson , Don Lampus , Rickie Smith , Cory Lee , Michael Phillips , Jerry Toliver , Bob Vandergriff , Joe DeSantis , Tommy Johnson Jr.