POST RACE NOTES: EIGHTH ANNUAL CARQUEST AUTO PARTS NHRA NATIONALS JUNE 10-12, ROUTE 66 RACEWAY, JOLIET, ILL. TOP FUEL Scott Kalitta, from Snead Island, Fla., earned his 18th career victory (17 in Top Fuel, 1 in Funny Car) and second of...
POST RACE NOTES:
EIGHTH ANNUAL CARQUEST AUTO PARTS NHRA NATIONALS JUNE 10-12, ROUTE 66 RACEWAY, JOLIET, ILL.
Scott Kalitta, from Snead Island, Fla., earned his 18th career victory (17 in Top Fuel, 1 in Funny Car) and second of the season. Kalitta drove his Jesse James/Mac Tools dragster to a 4.518 at 330.15 to outrun Rod Fuller's David Powers Homes dragster, which posted a 4.602 at 329.58. It was Kalitta's first victory at Route 66 Raceway. It was Fuller's second final round appearance this season.
Local favorite Tony Schumacher raced to his 14th No. 1 qualifying performance and fourth of the season, powering his U.S. Army dragster to a 4.508 at 329.59.
With his victory, Kalitta moved to sixth in points. His cousin, Doug Kalitta, maintained the series lead over Tony Schumacher by 25 points.
Doug Kalitta's Mac Tools crew won the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge award. D. Kalitta also leads the overall standings in the crew challenge program.
Gary Scelzi, from Fresno, Calif., raced to his 31st career victory (sixth in Funny Car, 25 in Top Fuel) and second of the season in his Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus. Scelzi outran final round opponent Eric Medlen, who drove a Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang. With the victory, Scelzi became the first NHRA driver to win in both Funny Car and Top Fuel at Route 66 Raceway. Scelzi is one of 13 drivers in NHRA history to win in both Top Fuel and Funny Car.
Rookie driver Robert Hight raced to his fourth No. 1 qualifying award of the season behind the wheel of his Auto Club Ford Mustang. Hight posted a 4.726 at 328.86 to claim the top spot in the 16-car order. His teammates, John Force and Medlen, qualified second and third respectively. It was the second time this season that the teammates have qualified 1-2-3. It is the fifth time since Force added two cars to his team that the trio has taken the top three spots. The team has never produced a winner when they qualify in that order.
Tim Wilkerson's Levi Ray & Shoup crew claimed the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge award. Force leads the overall standings in the crew challenge program.
With the victory, Scelzi moved into second place in the standings and cut Force's POWERade Series lead to 64 points.
* Whit Bazemore, a two-time winner this season who has also led the POWERade point standings, failed to qualify.
Jason Line, from Terrell, N.C., earned his second victory of the season and sixth of his career by racing to victory over Jeg Coughlin. Line powered his Summit Racing Pontiac to a 6.783 at 203.09 to hold off Coughlin's Jeg's Mail Order Dodge Stratus, which posted a 6.800 at 202.48.
Warren Johnson raced to his fifth No. 1 qualifying performance of the season and the 135th of his career, also an NHRA record for all pro categories. Johnson drove his GM Performance Parts Pontiac to a qualifying best effort of 6.762 at 204.08.
Greg Anderson's Summit Racing Pontiac team earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge award. Warren Johnson leads the overall standings in the crew challenge program.
Dave Connolly earned $50,000 for winning the King Demon Crown for qualified Pro Stock competitors. It was Connolly's first victory in the lucrative bonus program in only his second start. Connolly's Torco Gear Chevy Cobalt covered the quarter-mile distance in 6.823 at 202.55 to outrun final round opponent Line, who clocked a 6.775 at 203.22 in his Summit Pontiac.
With a semifinal finish, two-time defending world champion Anderson moved into the series points lead for the first time this season, 25 ahead of Warren Johnson, who was upset in the opening round by No. 16 qualifier Bruce Allen. Line moved to third with the win, 49 behind Anderson.
Line won the Motel 6 Who Got the Light award for his .0015-second margin of victory in the final round.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
Chip Ellis, from Americus, Ga., rode his G-Squared S&S Buell to his second career victory. It was his first win of the season and first-ever at Route 66 Raceway. Ellis posted a 7.203 at 180.79 to defeat Scali, who rode a Suzuki to a final round effort of 7.343 at 179.30.
Andrew Hines claimed his third No. 1 effort of the season and the 11th of his career aboard his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson.
With his victory, Ellis moved into second in the points order, 28 behind leader GT Tonglet, who was upset in the first round by eventual runner-up Scali.
Hines' Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines crew won the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge award and also leads the season standings in the program.