Columbus: Sunday final summary

Dixon, Pedregon, Anderson and Collis race to victories at National Trail Raceway HEBRON, Ohio - Larry Dixon raced to his third consecutive victory at the Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing at National Trail Raceway becoming...

Dixon, Pedregon, Anderson and Collis race to victories at National Trail Raceway

HEBRON, Ohio - Larry Dixon raced to his third consecutive victory at the Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing at National Trail Raceway becoming the first Top Fuel driver in the 39-year history of the event to accomplish the feat.

Tony Pedregon, Greg Anderson and Fred Collis also claimed victories in their respective categories at the $2 million race, the 11th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Dixon used a run of 4.655 seconds at 313.58 mph in his Miller Lite dragster to take the easy victory over Darrell Russell, whose Bilstein Engine Flush dragster lost traction early in the run and slowed to a pass of 11.250 at 91.96. The victory was the 30th of Dixon's career.

"It was a great day," said Dixon. "I think we got lucky a couple rounds today. We got four win lights and that's the most important part. My crew chief Dick LaHaie is just strong here. He's won here driving himself and he's won as crew chief for Doug Herbert and Scott Kalitta. I feel fortunate to be on the winning side."

Dixon defeated Bruce Litton, Cory McClenathan and Tony Schumacher before outdistancing Russell in the final round. Dixon's victory extends his lead in the POWERade points standings to 268 points over Doug Kalitta.

Pedregon earned his sixth Funny Car victory of the season and 25th of his career when teamowner John Force was disqualified for crossing the centerline in the final round. Pedregon's Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang immediately lost traction at the start and slowed to a pass of 8.449 at 134.81, while Force looked to cruise to the easy victory until he lost traction and crossed the centerline in his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang handing the victory to Pedregon.

"What was more surprising was when I hit the throttle and our car smoked the tires," said Pedregon. "I wanted to focus on getting my car to recover. I did see the white haze on John's car and when I got my car to recover and I saw him come over into my lane. It was real odd, I had never been in that situation. I could see the win light in John's lane, but I knew when he crossed the centerline that we had won."

Pedregon took the win over Dale Creasy Jr., who fouled at the start in round one. He then defeated teammate Gary Densham in round two, before besting older brother Frank Pedregon in the semifinals. Pedregon now leads Whit Bazemore, who fell to Force in round two, by 101 points in the POWERade standings.

Anderson drove his Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am to his fifth Pro Stock victory in five final round appearances this season and ninth of his career when he used a starting-line advantage and superior performance to take the victory over Scott Geoffrion. Anderson, who qualified No. 1 for the fifth consecutive race, clocked a performance of 6.883 at 199.88, while Geoffrion's NitroFish Ford Escort ZX2 recorded a run of 6.911 at 198.70.

"I just don't know how to describe it," said Anderson. "I ran the whole gamut of emotions today, especially after my buddy Jason (Line) crashed. I was never so scared to make a run in my life. We found a way to get it done though. There are so many great cars out here. It's going to be a tough battle."

Anderson edged V. Gaines, rival Kurt Johnson and Allen Johnson before knocking off Geoffrion. With the win, Anderson regained the POWERade points lead for the third time this season. He leads Kurt Johnson by 62 points.

Collis captured his first career NHRA Pro Stock Bike victory when Karen Stoffer fouled at the start. Collis used a performance of 7.249 at 182.40 on his Area 51 Motorsports Suzuki to take the win in his first final round appearance since 1999.

"On paper we were supposed to win the race," said Collis. "The key was making good laps each run in qualifying and eliminations. We stuck to the game plan and it worked out in our favor."

Collis rode to victories over Joe DeSantis, Craig Treble and Geno Scali prior to the victory over Stoffer. Collis' victory vaulted him to seventh place in the points chase. Angelle Savoie continues to lead the Pro Stock Bike points chase, 13 ahead of Scali.

The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the seventh annual Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals, June 27-29, at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill.

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Bruce Litton , Frank Pedregon , Larry Dixon , Kurt Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Whit Bazemore , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson , Dale Creasy Jr. , Gary Densham , Craig Treble , Cory McClenathan , Scott Kalitta , Dick LaHaie , Geno Scali , Scott Geoffrion , Allen Johnson , Fred Collis , Joe DeSantis