POST RACE NOTES: Fifth annual O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals April 29-May 1, Bristol Dragway, Bristol, Tenn. TOP FUEL * Doug Kalitta, of Ann Arbor, Mich. earned his 21st career victory ...
POST RACE NOTES:
Fifth annual O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
April 29-May 1, Bristol Dragway, Bristol, Tenn.
* Doug Kalitta, of Ann Arbor, Mich. earned his 21st career victory behind the wheel of his Mac Tools dragster on a holeshot over Rod Fuller. It was Kalitta's second win of the season and his second at Bristol Dragway.
* Kalitta's victory put him at the top of the POWERade standings, 23 ahead of two-time and defending world champion Tony Schumacher, and 69 ahead of Larry Dixon, also a two-time world champion of the category.
* Kalitta powered his dragster to a 4.593 second finish in 322.50 to Fuller's quicker and faster run of 4.588 in 327.35 in his David Powers Homes dragster. It was Fuller's first final-round appearance.
* Schumacher made an uncharacteristic first-round exit at the hands of David Grubnic, who lost to the eventual winner in the second round.
* Brandon Bernstein nabbed the $4,000 Budweiser Shootout award for qualifying No. 1 in his Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster, while Bernstein's crew picked up the $3,000 Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.
* Gary Scelzi, of Fresno, Calif., notched his 30th career victory (fifth in Funny Car) with a win over Jeff Arend. Scelzi turned in a 4.815-second run in 329.26 in his Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus for his first win at Thunder Valley. His final round speed was a track record.
* Arend made his first final-round appearance in nearly a decade in his CMKXtreme Chevy Monte Carlo.
* Scelzi is now fourth in the POWERade standings, 63 points behind leader Whit Bazemore, the only Funny Car driver to earn two victories so far this season.
* Bazemore and 13-time Funny Car world champion John Force, who is second in the point standings, were both defeated in the first round.
* Medlen earned a $4,000 Skoal Showdown award for his No. 1 qualifying effort of 4.806 seconds at 326.63 mph in his Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang. Medlen's crew claimed the $3,000 Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.
* Frank Pedregon was bumped from Sunday's eliminations in favor of Ron Capps after rain cancellations caused the final 16-car field to be determined by Saturday's lone qualifying effort and the point standings.
* Warren Johnson, of Buford, Ga. set a track E.T. record of 6.715 seconds in the second round en route to his 94th Pro Stock victory and second of the 2005 season in his GM Performance Parts Pontiac.
* Johnson regained the top spot in the point standings after Dave Connolly, the former series leader, exited in round two with a loss to Richie Stevens. Connolly is second in the point standings.
* Johnson, a six-time Pro Stock world champion, earned his 800th round win in the final.
* Stevens, driver of the Team Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus, made his first final-round appearance since rejoining the sport this year. Stevens sat out 2004 to focus on running the family business.
* Larry Morgan was replaced in the eliminations lineup by top 10 points driver Ron Krisher, because the field was set with only one qualifying session.
* Connolly won the $3,000 NHRA King Demon Crown award for qualifying No. 1 in his Bullet Motorsports Chevrolet.
* Stevens grabbed the $1,000 Motel 6 "Who Got the Light" award for defeating Connolly by .0011-second margin of victory in the quarterfinal round of eliminations.
* Connolly's crew won the $1,500 Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.
* The $1,000 Hedman Hedders Best Engineered Vehicle award went to the ACDelco Chevrolet Cobalt entry driven by Kurt Johnson.
* Dave Howard's Indicom Electric Company Chevrolet Cobalt Pro Stock ride was named the Best Appearing Car.