Dixon, Worsham, Allen and Savoie visit winner's circle at Chicagoland Dodge Dealers NHRA Nationals. JOLIET, Ill. - Larry Dixon continued to dominate the Top Fuel category winning Sunday at the fifth annual Chicagoland Dodge Dealers NHRA...
Dixon, Worsham, Allen and Savoie visit winner's circle at Chicagoland Dodge Dealers NHRA Nationals.
JOLIET, Ill. - Larry Dixon continued to dominate the Top Fuel category winning Sunday at the fifth annual Chicagoland Dodge Dealers NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway for his sixth victory of the season.
Del Worsham, Bruce Allen, and Angelle Savoie also won their respective categories at the $1.9 million race, the 10th of 23 races in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
Dixon blasted his Miller Lite dragster down the quarter-mile in 4.580 seconds at 319.37 mph to hold off rival Kenny Bernstein and his slower pass of 4.620 at 317.72 in the Budweiser King dragster. Dixon defeated Yuichi Oyama, Darrell Russell and Doug Herbert en route to his third final round showdown with Bernstein.
"What a great weekend, how it turned out," said the 35-year-old Dixon. "The new Goodyear tire seemed to make all the difference, at least to us. Our car was getting to the 60-foot mark quicker and we picked up a hundredth-of-a-second right there. (Racing Bernstein) kind of throws you right next to the fire and either you get burned or they get burned. There's no consolation in second place when you're racing your chief rival beer sponsor. We had a lot of heroes from Miller here this weekend and being able to win while they were here, and especially beating Kenny, was very gratifying."
Dixon, who had six wins in nine final rounds all of last season, has matched that performance in the first 10 races this season. With the win the 35-year-old Dixon increased his points lead to 203 over Bernstein.
"I wanted to win here because I hadn't before, but I want to win everywhere I go," said Dixon. "(My lead in the points) isn't enough. It's nice, and I'd rather be out in front than behind, but it's not enough to where you can just kick back and relax. If we were at the next to last race of the year we'd be OK, but we're nowhere near there. There are 13 races left and there are a lot of points that can be made up and a lot of things that can happen. I'm going to enjoy this win today and tomorrow then myself and the team will start preparing for the next race at Columbus (Ohio)."
Worsham won for the second time this season as he powered his Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird down the drag strip in 4.878 at 312.21 to outrun Scotty Cannon who lost traction in his Oakley Pontiac Firebird and rolled to the finish line in 11.208 at 78.21. Worsham beat Tommy Johnson Jr., John Force, and Gary Densham before facing Cannon in the finale.
"My Dad (Chuck) is doing a great job tuning the car," said Worsham. "We had a good car today and we had a good car last week, but I just screwed up as a driver last week with the red-light (foul) start. I'm confident with every run because the crew is good and nothing falls off or leaks."
Worsham beat two of the Force Racing cars Sunday, the same thing he did in his first win of the season at Phoenix. No driver has ever defeated all three Funny Cars from Force Racing in one day of eliminations. During the matchup with Force Worsham's parachute came out near the 1000-foot mark and he still managed to drive past the 11-time NHRA POWERade champion.
"I've been racing just about as long as I've been alive and I've seen a lot of things, but these cars never cease to amaze me," said Worsham. "He was barely ahead and I just started to come by him and then my car slowed down and his car darted out there. His car then stopped and as I slowed down and I drove around John Force with a slow car. That's an oxymoron."
It was the first time this season that one of the Force Racing cars wasn't in the final and at least one of them didn't record the top speed of the event. Densham leads Force by 23 points in the standings with the third Force Racing member, Tony Pedregon, in the third spot. Worsham moved into fourth in run for the championship, 33 points behind Pedregon.
Allen became the first repeat winner in Pro Stock when he left the starting line first to record a 6.888 at 199.55 pass in his Reher-Morrison Pontiac Grand Am to beat the quicker Tom Hammonds and his Chevy Cavalier's numbers of 6.869 at 199.61. Allen drove past Mark Pawuk, Greg Anderson, V Gaines and Hammonds for the crown.
"At the last race somebody told me I was the only one left in the field that can be a repeat winner, and that was after the first round," said Allen. "This field is so tough. There are 24 to 25 cars that can qualify. They don't have to get lucky to qualify either. If they make a good run and you don't, they're in and your not. Once you get into the field that is that close, everybody is a player. That's the good part about it because you have a chance to win. Now qualifying on Friday and Saturday are just as tense as racing on Sunday. You're just sweating every run hoping you can stay in"
Savoie rode her CVEC Racing Suzuki to a pass of 7.139 at 185.33 to defeat Antron Brown's slower numbers of 7.202 at 183.72 for her second Pro Stock Motorcycle win of the year. The win increases Savoie's lead in the standings to 74 points over Craig Treble.
"I'm almost embarrassed about how excited I get (after a win)," said Savoie, the defending champ of the two-wheel category. "You think I would be use to it by now, but every win feels like the first and that's the way it should be. These races are not easy to win. I knew I had a fast bike but it doesn't really matter. It's all up to the rider in this field. If I get up there and make a mistake, short-shift or red light, I just can't handle losing that way. I can handle if the bike breaks or it doesn't go fast enough, but I really can't emotionally handle it for something I did wrong. But this weekend I just managed to think positive and stay focused."
The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series continues with the 38th annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals, June 13-16, at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio.