Houston Saturday Recap

Baytown, Texas - SUMMIT FastNews - If ever there was a perfect day for drag racing, today was the day. Track and national record fell before the determined attack of the NHRA teams assembled for the 11th annual NHRA Pennzoil Nationals at Houston...

Baytown, Texas - SUMMIT FastNews - If ever there was a perfect day for drag racing, today was the day. Track and national record fell before the determined attack of the NHRA teams assembled for the 11th annual NHRA Pennzoil Nationals at Houston Raceway Park. And for dessert, the first-ever Pro Stock Truck competition was run to completion.

David Nickens faced off against the other twelve competitors today and emerged the winner, defeating Randy Daniels in the final round when Daniels' engine, weakened in the semifinals, gave up at half track. Nickens posted a 7.747 second elapsed time at a speed of 170.81 mph for the win, and the set his sights on a loftier goal, "If you don't win the first one, you can't win them all."

The record-smashing included new national ET records in Top Fuel and Funny Car. Joe Amato lowered the national ET record for Top Fuel to 4.539 seconds after earlier resetting the track speed record to 319.82 mph. Cruz Pedregon and John Force traded the national ET record back and forth, Force resetting it at 4.853 seconds at a track record speed of 317.46 mph, but then saw Pedregon take it back with a stunning 4.819 second rocket shot moments later.

Amato and Jim Head are atop the Top Fuel ladder, with Kenny Bernstein barely salvaging the sixteenth spot with a final-round 4.764. Shelly Anderson kept her streak alive, failing to qualify for the fourth time this year.

Pedregon and Force head the Funny car field, with points leader Ron Capps also in the 4.80s. Tim Wilkerson anchors the sixteen-car ladder with a 5.355.

In Pro Stock the excellent conditions saw 28 of the 38 contenders record six-second runs, with Warren Johnson's 6.874 at 200.80 leading the way and anchoring both ends of the track record. Jim Yates is second, with Mike Thomas, Ray Franks, and Jeg Coughlin all in the 6.80s. Larry Morgan threw a "Hail Mary" on his final qualifying attempt and anchors the quickest field ever at 6.940 seconds. Both of last year's final round competitors failed to make the field this year, Tom Martino missing with a 6.965 and Bruce Allen with a 6.952.

Final eliminations are scheduled to start at 11:00 AM CST Sunday.

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

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Mike Thomas , Jeg Coughlin , Kenny Bernstein , Warren Johnson , John Force , Joe Amato , Larry Morgan , Randy Daniels , Bruce Allen , Tom Martino , Tim Wilkerson