Joliet II: Post-race notes

TOP FUEL * Doug Herbert earned his first victory in more than two years, driving his Snap-on Tools dragster to the finish line ahead of hometown favorite Tony Schumacher in the U.S. Army dragster.


* Doug Herbert earned his first victory in more than two years, driving his Snap-on Tools dragster to the finish line ahead of hometown favorite Tony Schumacher in the U.S. Army dragster. Herbert recorded a career-best time and speed in the final round when he shut the clocks off in 4.516 seconds at 329.75 mph, outrunning the favored Schumacher, who made it down the quarter-mile in 4.527 at 329.18. It was Herbert's first victory since Aug. 2002, at Sonoma, Calif., and the eighth of his career.

* With eight victories this year and three events remaining in the 2004 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing season, Schumacher can tie or break the NHRA Top Fuel record for victories in one season (nine), held by former Top Fuel driver and three-time champion Gary Scelzi (2000) and two-time reigning POWERade champion Larry Dixon (2002).

* Cory McClenathan, in the specially-painted CARQUEST dragster, captured the No. 1 qualifying position for the second time this season and for the 29th time of his career. McClenathan blasted down the track in 4.490 at 328.62, earning him the $4,000 Budweiser Shootout bonus.

* Dixon failed to qualify for eliminations behind the wheel of the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite dragster for the first time since St. Louis 2002, a 53-race span. His DNQ ended the second longest active Top Fuel qualifying streak (Doug Kalitta, 110).

* Schumacher and David Grubnic made the quickest side-by-side Top Fuel runs in NHRA history during their first round match-up in eliminations. Schumacher narrowly earned the victory with his U.S. Army dragster covering the distance in 4.477 at 331.04 holding off Grubnic's Red Line Oil dragster, which posted a time of 4.497 at 333.58 in a losing effort. Grubnic's mile-per-hour established a track record for speed but not a national record since he failed to record a speed within the required 1 percent required by the NHRA.


* Del Worsham drove the red Checker Schuck's Kragen Chevy Monte Carlo to the winner's circle for a category-leading fifth time this season and for the second consecutive week following his win at Dallas. Worsham's 19th career win came when 12-time champion and current points leader John Force lost traction in his Castrol GTX Start Up Ford Mustang and could only watch as Worsham's Monte Carlo recorded a winning pass of 4.809 at a career-best speed of 329.75. Force shut the clocks off in 6.854 at 131.11 in his 177th career final round.

* Force made the then-quickest pass in NHRA Funny Car history when his Mustang powered down the drag strip in 4.697 at 332.75 to earn his sixth No. 1 qualifying position of the season and the 123rd of his career.

* Force earned an additional 20 POWERade championship points for establishing a national record for elapsed time, which he set during his first-round victory over Tony Bartone, lowering the Funny Car E.T. record to 4.665. The record was 'backed up' within the required 1 percent mandated by NHRA with his qualifying run of 4.697.

* Force also established a national record for speed during his first round win when he was clocked at 333.58. There are no bonus points awarded for national speed records.

* Led by Force's No. 1 qualifying time of 4.697 and anchored by the 4.862 time of No. 16 qualifier Bartone, the 16-vehicle Funny Car field was the quickest in NHRA history.

* Ron Capps, driver of the Skoal Racing Chevy Monte Carlo, has competed full-time in Funny Car since 1997 and has never finished lower than the No. 8 position of the final NHRA POWERade Funny Car standings. With three events remaining this season, Capps is 13th in the standings, 313 points behind 10thplace Tony Pedregon. Pedregon never finished lower than sixth place in the standings, and won the 2004 POWERade championship, during his eight-year career at John Force Racing (1996-2003).


* Dave Connolly collected his third victory of his career when final round opponent and already-crowned Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson left the starting line too early in his Summit Racing Pontiac Grand Am. Connolly, whose Bullet Motorsports Chevy Cavalier broke at the starting line and had no time or speed recorded, has been in the final round at six of the last seven events and has moved into the No. 2 spot in the POWERade point standings, 41-points ahead of Anderson's rookie teammate Jason Line.

* By advancing to his 16th final round of the season, Anderson established an NHRA Pro Stock record for final round appearances in a season. Anderson held the previous record of 15 which he set last year en route to the 2003 NHRA POWERade championship.

* Anderson was the No. 1 qualifier for the 14th time this season and for the 31st time of his career and he did it in record-setting fashion. Anderson's Grand Am sped down the track in 6.661 at 207.75, establishing records for both time and speed. He backed up the performance with his first round victory over JR Carr, with a time of 6.690 at 206.32. He was awarded an additional 20 POWERade championship points for the E.T. record despite having already clinched the 2004 POWERade championship.

* The NHRA Pro Stock record for most No. 1 qualifying positions in a season is 15, set by Warren Johnson in 1999.

* Rookie standout Line has suffered three straight first round losses, with all three of his opponents defeating him on a holeshot. Line's other three first round losses in 2004 occurred at the first three races of the season.

* Each of the 16 drivers who qualified for eliminations used a career-best E.T. to do so. The field was anchored by No. 16 JR Carr and his 6.718 up to Anderson's 6.661, making it the quickest Pro Stock field in NHRA history.

* Steve Johns earned a $1,000 bonus by winning the Motel 6 'Who Got The Light' award when he defeated Mark Whisnant by 0.0008 of-a-second margin of victory in the first round of Pro Stock eliminations.

* Notable DNQs: Kurt Johnson, W. Johnson, Jim Yates, and Mark Pawuk


* A total of 46 different drivers in the three professional classes lowered their personal best in either E.T., speed, or both at the fourth annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. There were five drivers in Top Fuel, 10 in Funny Car, and 31 of the 34 Pro Stock racers established personal bests.


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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Tony Bartone , Del Worsham , Ron Capps , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson , David Grubnic , Cory McClenathan , Don Prudhomme , Jason Line , Mark Whisnant , Dave Connolly , Steve J