Memphis: Post race report

TOP FUEL Doug Kalitta claimed his 29th career victory and his class-leading fifth of 2006 by powering his Mac Tools dragster to a narrow win over Hillary Will's KB Racing dragster. Kalitta ran a 4.604 at 313.95 mph to Will's 4.644 at 312.13 and...


Doug Kalitta claimed his 29th career victory and his class-leading fifth of 2006 by powering his Mac Tools dragster to a narrow win over Hillary Will's KB Racing dragster. Kalitta ran a 4.604 at 313.95 mph to Will's 4.644 at 312.13 and is now a perfect five-for-five in final rounds this year.

While Will was making her first career final round appearance, it was the 52nd career final-round appearance for Doug Kalitta.

Doug Kalitta eliminated two of his closest pursuers -- Tony Schumacher in the quarters and Brandon Bernstein in the semis -- to extend his lead in the POWERade Series point standings to 136 over Schumacher and 152 over Bernstein.

Schumacher's streak of consecutive final rounds in his U.S. Army dragster was snapped at five, two short of his record of seven that he set at the final seven events of the 2005 season.

Defending event champion Rod Fuller earned his second career No. 1 qualifier in his Valvoline/David Powers Homes dragster with a 4.575-second pass at 318.54 mph.

Fuller didn't get off the starting line in the first round against Bob Vandergriff and that, combined with Funny Car No. 1 qualifier Robert Hight's semifinal loss, kept intact the 2006 jinx for No. 1 qualifiers: No Nitro No. 1 qualifier has gone on to win a race in 2006.

Melanie Troxel, who led the POWERade Series points through the first 12 events, slipped back into fourth place following her first-round loss to Will. Troxel now trails Kalitta by 158 points.

Tony Schumacher's U.S. Army team won the Full Throttle Pit Crew challenge award.


John Force moved into first place for the first time this season with his second win of 2006 and the NHRA-record 121st win of his career. Force blew Pedregon away with a track record elapsed time of 4.786 seconds (at 318.24 mph) in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to Pedregon's 5.048 at 238.72 in his Q Racing Chevy Monte Carlo.

Force moved 17 points ahead of Ron Capps, who had led the POWERade Series standings since the second event of the season. Force is a 13-time POWERade Series champion while Capps is seeking his first championship.

Capps, who qualified No. 13 in his Brut Dodge Charger and didn't get into the field until the final qualifying pass on Saturday, was clipped in the quarterfinals by Tony Pedregon.

Robert Hight was the No. 1 qualifier in his Auto Club Ford Mustang with his 4.849-second pass at 297.75 mph. It was Hight's seventh No. 1 qualifier this season and the 13th of his career.

The Team Force triumvirate of Hight, Eric Medlen, and John Force qualified 1-2-3 and all three advanced through to the semifinals. This race marked the first time the team brought home the win while qualified 1-2-3.

With Hight's elimination by Tony Pedregon in the semifinals, there still has not been a No. 1 qualifier this season in either nitro class who has gone on to win the event.

With six events remaining in the 23-event POWERade Series season beginning with the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis Labor Day Weekend, Force has 1,243 points and Capps has 1,226. Tony Pedregon (1,079), Eric Medlen (1,050), and Robert Hight (1,024) also remain in contention.

John Force's Castrol GTX Ford Mustang team won the Full Throttle Pit Crew challenge award.


Kurt Johnson earned his third win of 2006 and 35th of his career with a holeshot victory in his ACDelco Chevy Cobalt over POWERade Series points leader Jason Line, who drives the Summit Racing Pontiac GTO. Kurt Johnson ran a 6.718 at 204.42 to Line's 6.703 at 205.38, winning with a .013 reaction time against Line's .043 reaction time.

Mike Edwards hit a perfect .000 light in his quarterfinal win over Warren Johnson.

Line set both ends of the track record in his quarterfinal win over V Gaines with a 6.694 at 205.10.

Line extended his POWERade Series lead to 121 over Anderson and 171 over Connolly, who was eliminated in the first round on a holeshot by Warren Johnson.

Greg Anderson claimed his first career No. 1 qualifier at Memphis Motorsports Park with his 6.742-second pass at 203.86 mph. It was his ninth No. 1 qualifier this season and the 49th of his career.

Anderson, however, remains shut out on Sunday since his season-opening win at the Winternationals in Pomona. He skittered to a 9.844 in a quarterfinal loss to Allen Johnson.

Warren Johnson defeated Dave Connolly by .0011-second margin in the first round of Pro Stock eliminations to earn the Motel 6 "Who Got the Light" award.

Jason Line's Summit Racing team won the Full Throttle Pit Crew challenge award.


Andrew Hines regained the POWERade Series points lead with his final-round win over Antron Brown, who red-lighted on his U.S. Army Suzuki. Hines took a victory lap in his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson, crossing the finish line in 9.085 seconds at 96.61 mph for his second victory of the year.

Hines (830 points) edged ahead of Brown (827) by three points with 11 of 15 Pro Stock Motorcycle events complete. Hines helped out his own cause by beating Chip Ellis (739 points) and Brown en route to the win.

It was Hines's first career win as a defending champion -- he won at Memphis last year as well. It was his seventh career win and 14th career final round.

Matt Smith claimed the No. 1 qualifying spot atop his Torco Race Fuels Buell with his then-track record (for e.t.) 7.060-second pass at 188.02 mph.

Antron Brown reset the track record in final eliminations with a 7.048 in his semifinal win over Karen Stoffer. Michael Phillips set the track speed record at 189.04 mph.

Angelle Sampey's U.S. Army Suzuki team won the Full Throttle Pit Crew challenge award.


Nick Tapp, 25, of Luka, Miss., became the second repeat winner of the POWERade Fan Nationals Series when he won the 17th round of the event designed for fans. Tapp defeated hundreds of area fans to claim the POWERade Fan Nationals victory, driving realistic POWERade Funny Car simulators. With the victory, Tapp will have the opportunity to race for the ultimate title of 2006 POWERade Fan Nationals Series champion in November at the 42nd Annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals.

-credit: nhra

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Ron Capps , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson , Karen Stoffer , Melanie Troxel , Brandon Bernstein , Allen Johnson , Jason Line , Andrew Hines , Matthew Smith , Michael Phillips , Eric Medlen , Bob Vandergriff , Chip Ellis , David Powers , Robert Hight , Rod Fuller , Hillary Will , Angelle Sampey , Dave Connolly , Mike Edwards