EDWARDS CLOSES OUT RAIN-DELAYED SOUTHERN NATIONALS WITH FIRST WIN OF 2009 COMMERCE, Ga. -- The wait was worth it for Mike Edwards, who dropped the curtain on the rain-delayed Summit Racing NHRA Southern Nationals Monday morning with a clean...
EDWARDS CLOSES OUT RAIN-DELAYED SOUTHERN NATIONALS WITH FIRST WIN OF 2009
COMMERCE, Ga. -- The wait was worth it for Mike Edwards, who dropped the curtain on the rain-delayed Summit Racing NHRA Southern Nationals Monday morning with a clean 6.645-second pass to easily outrun Pro Stock points-leader Jeg Coughlin.
It was the first win of 2009 for Edwards, who solidified his third-place position in the Pro Stock standings; Coughlin, who slowed to a 7.190 in the final round, remained in first place after six of 24 races in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season have been completed.
"It doesn't matter if you win on Sunday or Monday ... it's an unbelievable challenge to win (a Pro Stock race). You can't make a mistake and win in this class," Edwards said.
The other three categories were decided late Sunday night and the winners were: Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle).
For Edwards, the win was a bit of personal vindication as his A.R.T./Young Life Pontiac GXP has been at the head of the ultra-competitive Pro Stock category with a class-best three No. 1 qualifiers, but no wins before Monday.
"Our performance has been good all year, as good as anybody's in (Pro Stock). We've just had a little bit of trouble on Sunday (raceday)," Edwards said. "If that's what it takes to win (racing on Monday instead of Sunday), we'll come back on Monday every race."
RECAPPING LATE SUNDAY RESULTS
It took Lucas five years and five final-round appearances to get his first win so waiting out the five hours of rain delays was only a minor hurdle. The 26-year old Lucas pedaled his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster to a 5.231 at 162.86 to narrowly beat the 27-year old Massey's tire-spinning 5.418 at 145.25 in his U.S. Smokeless dragster.
"I've had five years to think about this ... this is probably one of the most exciting moments of my life, if not the most exciting moment. I don't even know how to talk right now I'm so excited," said Lucas, who was competing in his 107th career race. "This is what I've dreamt about for years."
Beckman ran a 4.128 at 303.43 in his Valvoline/MTS Dodge Charger to defeat the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang team and driver Ashley Force Hood, who lost power near the finish line and slowed to 4.157 at 248.39.
"On paper, Ashley's car had us whupped," said Beckman, who lost to Force Hood two races earlier in final round in Houston. "That car's been the class of the field for eight, nine months. That's why we race, though. Anything can happen when you have 8,000 horsepower of nitro in the tank. It is such an awesome feeling ... we got whupped by Ashley (in Houston) and to get back in there and (beat her) is awesome."
Beckman defeated a quartet of Ford Mustangs -- Robert Hight, John Force and Tim Wilkerson -- en route to his first win of the year and seventh of his career. And by day's end Beckman moved up from seventh to second place and Force Hood remained in third place.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Eddie Krawiec earned his first career win aboard his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson with a fleet 6.902 at 192.91 to defeat rookie Douglas Horne (6.949, 191.13).
"This is something I was waiting for ... to get my first Wally and be able to put it up on my mantle next to my (2008 NHRA Full Throttle Series) championship trophy is just awesome," Krawiec said.