Denver: Post-race notes

POST RACE NOTES: 24th ANNUAL MOPAR MILE-HIGH NHRA NATIONALS JULY 18-20, BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY, MORRISON, COLO. TOP FUEL * Larry Dixon, from Indianapolis, won his sixth event of the 2003 season by defeating Doug Kalitta in the final round. Dixon...



* Larry Dixon, from Indianapolis, won his sixth event of the 2003 season by defeating Doug Kalitta in the final round. Dixon powered his Miller Lite dragster to the finish line in 4.737-seconds at 313.15 mph to beat Kalitta's Mac Tools dragster, which smoked the tires early and slowed to 5.135 at 228.69. It was the 31st career win for Dixon, moving him four wins shy of joining Don Garlits and Kenny Bernstein for No. 2 on the all-time Top Fuel win list.

* With the victory, Dixon remained No. 1 in the POWERade Top Fuel point standings, extending his lead over Kalitta to 229 points.

* Dixon was also the No. 1 qualifier at Bandimere Speedway driving to a time of 4.790 at 308.64 to pace the 16-car field in qualifying.

* Hometown favorite Melanie Troxel, formerly from Littleton, Colo., advanced to the semifinals before falling to Kalitta. Troxel beat Mike Strasburg and Cory McClenathan in the Western Rock dragster en route to her best finish in 2003.

* Over the last two seasons, Dixon has owned the Top Fuel points lead following 35 of 36 races.


* John Force, from Yorba Linda, Calif., earned his first win of the year in his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang. Force's 107th career victory came with a 5.044 pass at 289.45, beating Cruz Pedregon's 5.060 at 302.55 in his Advance Auto Parts Pontiac Firebird. The win breaks the longest losing streak for Force since 1989 when he started the season winless for 14 races.

* With the victory, Force moved up two spots to the No. 4 position in the Funny Car standings, behind leader and teammate Tony Pedregon, second place Whit Bazemore and third place Del Worsham.

* Force advanced to his third consecutive final round before winning at the 13th race of the season. Force was the runner-up in Columbus, Ohio and St. Louis in the two previous events before posting the victory at Bandimere Speedway.

* Tim Wilkerson earned the No. 1 qualifying position for the second time this season and sixth time of his career. He drove his Levi, Ray & Shoup Pontiac Firebird to a run of 5.007 at 297.16 to take the top spot. It is the second time Wilkerson has qualified No. 1 at Bandimere Speedway, the last time coming in 1999.

* For the first time in a calendar year, Tony Pedregon was defeated in the first round. Scotty Cannon pulled off the upset from the 15th qualifying position for his third round win of the season. Pedregon lost traction early and could not catch Cannon's run of 5.207 at 291.32. Pedregon's previous first round loss came at the 2002 Sears Craftsman Nationals in St. Louis.

* Tony Pedregon still holds the top spot in the Funny Car standings. Pedregon has been No. 1 following 11 of the 13 NHRA events this season. Bazemore occupies the No. 2 spot, 124 points out of first. Worsham is third, 311 points from Pedregon.


* Warren Johnson, from Buford, Ga., scored his third victory of the season and 91st of his career by beating Jeg Coughlin in the final round. Johnson drove his GM Performance Parts Pontiac Grand Am to a run of 7.225 at 191.05 to beat Coughlin's 7.250 at 190.75 in his Jeg's Mail Order Chevy Cavalier.

* Greg Anderson earned the No. 1 qualifying position for the seventh time this season. He drove his Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am to pace the field at 7.205 at 191.38 for the No. 1 spot setting the track record for elapsed time.

* Mike Edwards earned a $1,000 bonus by earning the Motel 6 'Who Got the Light' award when he defeated V. Gaines by 0.0026 of-a-second margin of victory in the first round of Pro Stock eliminations.

* With the win, Johnson remained in the No. 3 spot in the POWERade Pro Stock standings.

* Anderson has the lead in the POWERade standings. He leads Kurt Johnson by 71 points, and he has a 250-point lead over Warren Johnson.

* Notable DNQ's: Scott Geoffrion, Barry Grant, Mark Whisnant, Gene Wilson, and Mark Pawuk.


* Blaine Hale, from Midland, Texas, scored his first career victory by beating local Colorado native Mike Berry in the final round. Hale rode his Cornwell Tools Suzuki to a run of 7.623 at 176.03 to beat Berry's 7.591 at 176.24 on his MB Precision Suzuki. Hale qualified in the No. 16 slot and became just the second Pro Stock Bike rider to win an event from the No. 16 position since the 1987 Baton Rouge national event.

* Geno Scali remained in the No. 1 spot in the POWERade point standings holding a 109-point advantage over second place Angelle Savoie. Scali extended his points lead with help from a first-round loss by Savoie. Scali advanced to the semifinals, losing to Hale while Savoie lost to Michael Phillips. Since 1997, Savoie has earned six first round losses prior to the start of the 2003 NHRA POWERade season.

* GT Tonglet made history earned the No. 1 qualifying position for the first time for a Harley-Davidson. Tonglet established the Bandimere Speedway elapsed time track record with pass of 7.534 at 178.33 aboard his Vance & Hines Screamin' Eagle Harley Davidson V-Rod. Teammate and fellow Harley rider Andrew Hines qualified No. 2 also on board a V-Rod.


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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , John Force , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson , Mike Berry , Blaine Hale , Scotty Cannon , Gene Wilson , Cruz Pedregon , Don Garlits , Cory McClenathan , Geno Scali , Tim Wilkerson , Scott Geoffrion , Melanie Troxel , Barry Grant , Mike Strasburg , Andrew Hines , Mark Whisnant , Michael Phillips , GT Tonglet , Mike Edwards