POST RACE NOTES: 45TH ANNUAL CARQUEST AUTO PARTS NHRA NATIONALS FEB. 10-13, POMONA RACEWAY, POMONA, CALIF. TOP FUEL * Scott Kalitta, from Snead Island, Fla., earned his 17th career victory and ...
POST RACE NOTES:
45TH ANNUAL CARQUEST AUTO PARTS NHRA NATIONALS
FEB. 10-13, POMONA RACEWAY, POMONA, CALIF.
* Scott Kalitta, from Snead Island, Fla., earned his 17th career victory and first-ever at Pomona Raceway when he outran Doug Herbert in the final round. Kalitta powered his Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster to the finish line in 4.487 seconds at 328.46 mph to defeat Herbert's Snap-on Tools dragster, which suffered an engine misfire and slowed to a time of 5.371 at 181.84.
* Defending series and event champion Tony Schumacher, from Long Grove, Ill., was the No. 1 qualifier with a 4.447 run at 334.65 in his U.S. Army dragster. It was Schumacher's 12th career No. 1 qualifying position and second at Pomona Raceway.
* Schumacher set the national record for speed with his qualifying pass of 334.65. The record was backed-up within the required 1 percent with his speed of 331.77, which he recorded in his first round win over Andrew Cowin.
* Cowin, the No. 16 qualifier, anchored the quickest field in NHRA history with a 4.597 second time.
* Tommy Johnson Jr., from Avon, Ind., earned his first win since the 2001 season, a span of 89 races, by blasting to the finish line in 4.741 seconds at 327.59 mph in his Skoal Chevy Monte Carlo ahead of runner-up Phil Burkart, who clocked a 7.069 at 123.34 in his Checker Schuck's Kragen Monte Carlo. The run was the quickest and fastest of Johnson's career. With the win, Johnson sits atop the POWERade point standings for the first time in his career.
* The win for Johnson gave team owner Don "The Snake" Prudhomme his 99th career victory as a team owner (50) and driver (49).
* Tony Pedregon earned the 29th No. 1 qualifying award of his career and recorded the second-quickest Funny Car run in NHRA history when he blasted down the track at 4.681 at 323.35 in his Q-Racing Chevy Monte Carlo. At the end of the run, Pedregon's parachutes were slow to deploy and his car plowed into the sand trap at the end of the shut down area. Pedregon was not injured. Despite the spectacular crash, he managed to return for eliminations the following day.
* Burkart earned a $1,000 bonus for earning the Motel 6 'Who Got the Light' award when he defeated Gary Scelzi by 0.0061 of-a-second margin in the first round of Funny Car eliminations.
* Dave Connolly, from Elyria, Ohio, collected his fourth career victory, moving him into the No. 1 spot in the POWERade point standings for the first time in his career. Connolly powered the Bullet Motorsports Chevy Cavalier to a run of 6.711 seconds at 204.98 mph, defeating Warren Johnson, who ran a 6.802 at 203.31 mph in his GM Performance Parts Pontiac Grand Am.
* Jim Yates, from Alexandria, Va., took home the 29th No. 1 qualifying award of his career, and first since 2002, by running a track record 6.669 at 205.16 in his Yates Racing Pontiac Grand Am. Yates won back-to-back NHRA world championships in 1996-'97.
* This was the first final round appearance for Johnson since the Winternationals in 2004, and the first event of his 'The Professor's School's Out' retirement tour.
* This is the first time that a driver other than Greg Anderson has led the POWERade Pro Stock point standings following an event since Chicago 1 2003. Anderson assumed the lead at Columbus, Ohio, and led the standings after 36 consecutive events en route to back-to-back world championships.