Englishtown: SuperNationals final report

Dixon, Densham, Line and Hines Earn Wins at K&N Filters SuperNationals ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. - Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon broke a losing streak that lasted 18 races by winning Sunday at the 35th annual K&N Filters NHRA ...

Dixon, Densham, Line and Hines Earn Wins at K&N Filters SuperNationals

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. - Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon broke a losing streak that lasted 18 races by winning Sunday at the 35th annual K&N Filters NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

Gary Densham (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Bike) also earned victories in their respective categories at the $2.1 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event.

Dixon used a 4.657-second pass at 318.92 mph to earn his first win of the season in the Miller Lite dragster. He beat Cory McClenathan's 4.703 at 304.39 in the Berryman/Carrier Boyz dragster.

It was Dixon's first win since the August 2003 event in Sonoma, Calif. and the 34th victory of his career.

"It's a great feeling because a lot of people have been questioning our abilities," Dixon said. "At least for the moment, we have an answer for them."

Dixon moved up two places to the No. 6 spot in the POWERade Top Fuel point standings. It was even more special with son, Donovan (3 years old) and daughter, year-old Alanna, by his side in winner's circle.

Dixon won the NHRA event on Father's Day in 2003 too.

"If I had known that I was gonna win every Father's Day I would have started having kids when I was a teenager," Dixon said. "I don't know why it happened this way, but I love it.

"The TV guys asked if Larry was back. I don't know about that but we did win this race so we're gonna enjoy this day."

Dixon won 23 of his 34 career victories between 2001-'03. But he started racing in 1995 and has been through dry spells before. Dixon failed to win a race in 1997 - the only full season he's been without a victory.

"I was pretty excited at the top end," Dixon said. "That's a lot of pent up energy I had to let out. I hadn't won in almost a year. When you're on a streak like we were for the last few years you think it'll never end. Then it does and before long, it seems like forever since you've won.

"The car got better and better every round and so did my driving. It might sound cheesy but it was team deal today."

Densham beat his teammate John Force to earn his first win this season and seventh career victory. Densham used a 5.004 pass at 311.70 to beat Force's 5.902 at 175.57 in a battle between Ford Mustangs. Densham got the win in the Auto Club Mustang, but the ending wasn't pretty. The parachute cord wrapped around the wheelie bar, causing the chutes to stay intact and preventing the car from slowing down. The sandtrap and the rope fence at the far end of the race track stopped Densham's car.

"I beat the boss and ruined his car at the same time," Densham said. "How dumb am I? I don't know what happened. Maybe I drove it too far to make sure I'd turned on the win light, I don't know. I've been racing for 40 years and that's the first time I've ever played in the sand."

Densham said the most consoling words came from the losing lane - Force. Force has earned two victories and two runner-up finishes in the Castrol GTX Start Up Mustang this season.

"I'm embarrassed, to be honest, but John was right there to tell me, 'You're fired'," Densham said. "Seriously, he is a great boss and he told me not to worry about it. He just came over to congratulate me and make sure I was OK.

"We went up there to race. Maybe down the stretch, if John needed 20 points to win it all, the outcome would have been different. But right now, we're going all out. I'm still trying to talk him into letting me win it all this year."

Line didn't get consoling words from his boss. He earned his second career win with a 6.761 at 203.58 in his KB Framers Pontiac Grand Am to beat Kurt Johnson's 6.771 at 204. 29 in his ACDelco Chevy Cavalier. Johnson is second in the Pro Stock point standings - just behind Line's boss, Greg Anderson. Anderson lost in the first round for the first time this season, but still maintains a stout 322-point lead over Johnson.

"The biggest surprise of the day is Greg losing in the first round, not so much me winning," Line said. "Although I am stunned the second one came this quickly. My first win (against Anderson at Chicago 1) was a little bittersweet because I beat Greg in the final and it ended his quest to win six in a row. That would have been quite an accomplishment. This time I didn't need to worry about it.

"Greg was right there rooting me on and he helped prepare the car all day."

During Line's first win, his parents were there to witness the big event. This time, however, Father's Day had to be celebrated via cell phone.

"My folks were at home this time," Line said. "I did get to tell dad 'Happy Father's Day' on TV, so that was very cool. He'll definitely be the first phone call I make."

Hines had two wins in one weekend. Not only did he turn in a 7.016 at 192.28 on his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to set the elapsed time national record, but he got the win too. Hines earned his third victory of the season and of his career. He also lowered the year-old E.T. record twice this weekend. He beat Craig Treble's 7.138 at 186.59 on his Matco Tools Suzuki in the final round.

"To run a bunch of 7.0s all day, let alone a national record, in the final, no less, is just awesome," Hines said. "If we stayed until it got dark and made one more run, I guarantee you we'd be in the sixes (six-second range) but under the conditions we had, the 7.01 was the best we could do."

The first rider to make a pass in the 6-second range will earn a $10,000 cash bonus from the Mickey Thompson 6-Second Club.

"Sixes or not, we're still happy as ever," Hines said. "We got the win and collected the most points you can get at one event (138), so we're really happy with the weekend. The Harley is so quick that it's hard to have a slow pass. I just pop the clutch and hit the shift points and the bike does the rest of the work."

The next NHRA POWERade series event is the eighth annual Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis, June 25-27.

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Kurt Johnson , John Force , Greg Anderson , Gary Densham , Craig Treble , Cory McClenathan , Jason Line , Andrew Hines