Columbus: Post race notes

TOP FUEL Larry Dixon, from Indianapolis, became the first Top Fuel driver in NHRA history to win three consecutive times at National Trail Raceway. Dixon scored his fifth victory of the season in his eighth final round appearance (fifth straight)...

TOP FUEL Larry Dixon, from Indianapolis, became the first Top Fuel driver in NHRA history to win three consecutive times at National Trail Raceway. Dixon scored his fifth victory of the season in his eighth final round appearance (fifth straight) when he powered his Miller Lite dragster to the finish line in 4.655 seconds at 313.58 mph. Dixon easily outran Darrell Russell, who lost traction almost immediately in the Bilstein Engine Flush dragster and rolled to a pass of 11.250 at 91.96. In his first round win over Bruce Litton, Dixon established the track record for speed at 326.32. It was Dixon's 30th career victory, leaving five wins behind "Big Daddy" Don Garlits and Kenny Bernstein for second on the all-time Top Fuel win list. Joe Amato is the category leader with 52 career victories. Doug Kalitta earned his seventh No. 1 qualifying position of the season in the Mac Tools dragster when he shut off the clocks in a track record time of 4.508 at 325.69. Kalitta's time also broke the oldest E.T. record on the NHRA POWERade circuit. The previous E.T. record at National Trail Raceway was 4.572, established in 1998 by Amato. With the victory, Dixon extended his lead in the POWERade standings over Kalitta to 268 points. Russell moved into third place with his runner-up finish, 139 points behind Kalitta. Kalitta Motorsports announced that two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Scott Kalitta is coming out of retirement and will drive a second dragster for the team. The 41-year-old Kalitta will drive the Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster, which will debut at the 49th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals over Labor Day weekend and will compete the remainder of the 2003 season.

FUNNY CAR Tony Pedregon, from Chino Hills, Calif., earned his sixth victory of the year in his Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang in a wild final round showdown with team owner John Force. Pedregon lost traction near the starting line as 12-time POWERade champion Forced blasted down the track to what appeared to be his first victory of the season. As Force neared the finish line, his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang lost traction and crossed the center-line, earning a disqualification and giving Pedregon his 25th career victory. Pedregon rolled through the lights in 8.449 at 134.81 to Force's performance of 7.263 at 124.76. It was Force's first final round appearance of the season. He hasn't won since the season-finale of 2002. Pedregon scored his sixth No. 1 qualifying position of the season and the 23rd of his career with a track record time of 4.780 at 318.02 to lead the 16-car field. No. 2 qualifier Force established the track record for speed when he reached 323.66 during qualifying.

PRO STOCK Greg Anderson, from Charlotte, N.C., posted another dominant weekend in the Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am. Anderson scored his fifth victory of the season and ninth of his career by beating Scott Geoffrion in the final. Anderson had a near-perfect reaction time (.003) and drove down the track in his Pontiac Grand Am in 6.883 at 199.88 to hold off Geffrion's NitroFish Ford Escort, which recorded a slower run of 6.911 at 198.70. Anderson also was the No. 1 qualifier for the fifth consecutive time this season and sixth overall in 2003. His ninth career top qualifying spot was earned with his pass of 6.875 at 200.53 to lead the 36 Pro Stock competitors vying for a spot in the 16-car field. Anderson's victory moved him back into the points lead. Anderson now leads Kurt Johnson, whom Anderson defeated in the second round, in the POWERade standings by 64 points.

Notable DNQ's: Mark Pawuk, Troy Coughlin, Mike Edwards, Bruce Allen, and George Marnell. Jason Line, from Mooresville, N.C., debuted the KB Racing Pontiac Grand Am, joining Anderson as the other driver of the two-car team owned by Ken Black. Line qualified in the No. 14 spot, setting up a first round matchup with Terry Adams. Line's Grand Am went out of control near the finish line, sliding to a stop while on its roof. Line walked away uninjured but the vehicle was destroyed. Taylor Lastor was uninjured following a wreck in the first round. Lastor, from Austin, Texas, crossed the finish line in his first round loss to Ron Krisher when his DART Chevy Cavalier went out of control and crashed near the top end. Greg Anderson earned a $1,000 bonus by winning the Motel 6 'Who Got the Light' award when he defeated Kurt Johnson by 0.0026 of-a-second margin of victory in the second round of Pro Stock eliminations.

PRO STOCK BIKE Fred Collis, from Americus, Ga., earned his first career victory on the NHRA circuit. The two-time AMA ProStar champion shut the clocks off atop his Area 51 Motorsports Suzuki in 7.238 at 183.62 to beat Karen Stoffer, who left the starting line early and fouled out atop her Jonco Motorsports Suzuki. Collis was riding the bike that three-time champion Angelle Savoie rode to the title last season and Savoie's former crew chief, George Bryce, is a consultant for Collis' team. Collis' other final round appearance was a runner-up finish to Savoie in 1999 at Memphis, Tenn. Collis also earned his first career No. 1 qualifying spot, covering the distance in 7.193 at 184.07 to pace the two-wheel category. Angelle Savoie and Geno Scali, both eliminated in the semifinals, remained one-two in the POWERade standings respectively, with Savoie holding a 13-point advantage.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Litton , Troy Coughlin , Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Tony Pedregon , John Force , Joe Amato , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Don Garlits , Scott Kalitta , Bruce Allen , Geno Scali , George Bryce , Karen Stoffer , Scott Geoffrion , George Marnell , Terry Adams , Fred Collis , Jason Line , Ken Black , Mike Edwards , Jesse James