Gateway Race Recap

PEDREGON, JOHNSON WIN (But Not the Ones You Think) Scelzi Ends Slump, Beats Local Favorite by Ed Dykes MADISON, Ill. - SUMMIT FastNews - It's not unusual to have ...

PEDREGON, JOHNSON WIN (But Not the Ones You Think)

Scelzi Ends Slump, Beats Local Favorite

by Ed Dykes

MADISON, Ill. - SUMMIT FastNews - It's not unusual to have a Pedregon win Funny Car and a Johnson take Pro Stock honors, and that's exactly what happened today at the second annual NHRA Sears Craftsman Nationals. But it was not the ones you'd expect -- second-generation drivers Frank Pedregon and Kurt Johnson took the wins, along with Gary Scelzi, Matt Hines, and Tim Freeman in the five professional categories.

Scelzi ended his eleven-race slump when he drove the Team Winston Top Fuel Dragster to a final round win over Kenny Bernstein in the Bud King, a rematch of the final round last month in Chicago. The Fresno, Calif. driver had not won since last October, the longest winless streak of his short career. Scelzi's dragster covered the quarter-mile in 4.711 seconds at 300.60 mph, while Bernstein's machine smoked the tires near the finish line and ran 4.858 at 288.73.

Alta Loma, Calif.'s Pedregon captured his second straight Funny Car victory. Pedregon drove his Johnny Lightning-sponsored Dodge Avenger to a final round 5.295 at 232.07, crossing the finish line just in front of the Kendall-backed Chuck Etchells, who ran 5.354 at 259.06 in a Chevrolet Camaro.

Johnson, from Lawrenceville, Ga., claimed his first Pro Stock victory of the season. Johnson's AC Delco Chevrolet Camaro covered the distance in 7.056 at 195.31 to defeat Jeg Coughlin Jr., who ran a slower 7.169 at 194.25 in an Jeg's Mail Order Oldsmobile Cutlass.

Hines, of Trinidad, Colo., scored his sixth Pro Stock Motorcycle victory of the season. Hines ran 7.411 at 182.03 on a Suzuki to defeat a slower Dave Schultz, who ran 7.563 at 176.81.

Freeman took Pro Stock Truck honors yesterday when he defeated Jerry Haas from nearby Fenton, Mo. The Roan Mountain, Tenn. racer drove his Chevy S-10 to a 7.877 at 171.59, defeating Haas' quicker 7.810 at 173.07 with a holeshot.

The four-day, estimated attendance at Gateway International Raceway was 97,600. The event was completed under clear skies and exceptionally hot temperatures, making tuning decision especially difficult for the crew chiefs.

Results provided by the FastNews Network, courtesy of Summit Racing Equipment ** http://www.summitracing.com/ **

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Frank Pedregon , Matt Hines , Jeg Coughlin , Kenny Bernstein , Kurt Johnson , Chuck Etchells , Tim Freeman