Englishtown: Pro Stock chase for bonus begins led by Yates

Yates to lead Pro Stock drivers in chase for bonus cash in NHRA Pro Stock Challenge. ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. - Jim Yates will lead the top Pro Stock drivers in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series in search of a lucrative payday during the 18th annual...

Yates to lead Pro Stock drivers in chase for bonus cash in NHRA Pro Stock Challenge.

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. - Jim Yates will lead the top Pro Stock drivers in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series in search of a lucrative payday during the 18th annual NHRA Pro Stock Challenge, a bonus event held during the 33rd annual Matco Tools SuperNationals, May 18, at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

The $76,000 NHRA Pro Stock Challenge is a special race-within-a-race event that will feature an elimination bracket for the eight Pro Stock drivers who have earned the most points in qualifying during the past 23 events in the Challenge series.

The winner of the NHRA Pro Stock Challenge will earn $50,000, and the runner-up will earn $10,000. The two semifinalists will receive $3,000 each and the four first-round losers will receive $2,500 apiece. Should a driver win the NHRA Pro Stock Challenge and the Matco Tools SuperNationals, he will earn a $25,000 bonus from the NHRA, bringing his total weekend earnings to more than $100,000 -- the single richest payday in Pro Stock racing. Only four drivers have earned the "Double-Up" bonus in Pro Stock, including Warren Johnson (1993) most recently. Darrell Alderman (1991), Larry Morgan (1989) and Bob Glidden (1988, 1987) have also accomplished the feat.

Yates earned the No. 1 seed for the event by qualifying No. 1 at four NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events during the Challenge series, which began at last season's Matco Tools SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park and concluded with the recent Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals presented by Pontiac at Atlanta Dragway. Yates qualified in the top five for 19 of the 23 events in the NHRA Pro Stock Challenge series and will face No. 8 qualifier Mark Osborne in the first round.

Other first round pairings include No. 2 qualifier Warren Johnson against son Kurt, the No. 7 qualifier. Ron Krisher, who made a strong surge for the top seed with a flurry of No. 1 efforts to start the 2002 season, will face No. 6 seed George Marnell. Bruce Allen will face Mike Edwards in the other first round pairing.

Yates, who is making his 10th appearance in the special event, is the defending winner, as he defeated Mark Pawuk in the final round last year. Yates also won the Challenge in 1997. Other past winners include Jeg Coughlin (2000, 1999); K. Johnson (1998, 1994); Glidden (1996, 1988, 1987); W. Johnson (1995, 1993); Morgan (1992, 1990, 1989); Alderman (1991); and Allen (1986, 1985).

The NHRA Pro Stock Challenge is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m., with semifinals at 2:45 p.m. and the final round at 4:40 p.m. The NHRA Pro Stock Challenge will be televised on ESPN2.

<pre> 2002 NHRA PRO STOCK CHALLENGE FINAL STANDINGS: 1. Jim Yates, Alexandria, Va., Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Grand Am 3,620 2. Warren Johnson, Buford, Ga., GM Performance Pontiac Grand Am 3,395 3. Ron Krisher, Warren, Ohio, Eagle One Chevy Cavalier 3,365 4. Bruce Allen, Arlington, Texas, Reher-Morrison Pontiac Grand Am 3,065 5. Mike Edwards, Broken Arrow, Okla., Young Life Chevy Cavalier 3,050 6. George Marnell, Las Vegas, Matco Tools Pontiac Grand Am 2,825 7. Kurt Johnson, Lawrenceville, Ga., ACDelco Chevy Cavalier 2,630 8. Mark Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Schmidt Automotive Pontiac Grand Am 2,480

FIRST-ROUND PARINGS: Yates vs. Osborne W. Johnson vs. K. Johnson Krisher vs. Marnell Allen vs. Edwards

SEMIFINAL PAIRINGS: Yates-Osborne winner vs. Allen-Edwards winner W. Johnson-K. Johnson winner vs. Krisher-Marnell winner

FINAL: 4:40 p.m.

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Darrell Alderman , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Ron Krisher , Larry Morgan , Bob Glidden , Bruce Allen , George Marnell , Mike Edwards