Post Race Notes: 46th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals Feb. 9-12, Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Pomona, Calif. TOP FUEL * Melanie Troxel became the eighth woman to win an NHRA national event in a professional category, and the...
Post Race Notes:
46th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals
Feb. 9-12, Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Pomona, Calif.
* Melanie Troxel became the eighth woman to win an NHRA national event in a professional category, and the sixth woman to win in Top Fuel. She is the fourth woman to win a Top Fuel title at the CARQUEST Winternationals (Shelly Anderson, '94; Lori Johns, '90; and Shirley Muldowney, '83 and '80). She defeated David Baca in the final round. Troxel drove her Skull Gear dragster to a 4.582 at 321.65 to take the win over Baca, whose Mach 1 dragster lost traction and crossed the finish line in 8.677 at 91.43.
* Troxel, one of 39 women to win a national event in NHRA history in all categories, is the first woman to win in Top Fuel since Cristen Powell won at Englishtown, N.J. in 1997. Troxel had two prior final round appearances in Top Fuel (2000 Dallas and 2005 Pomona 2).
* Tony Schumacher extended his streak for consecutive elimination round wins to 21, however he failed to advance NHRA record streaks for wins and final rounds when he lost to teammate Troxel in the second round.
* Schumacher drove his U.S. Army dragster to the No. 1 qualifying position with a performance of 4.490 seconds at 317.34 mph. It was Schumacher's 23rd No. 1 qualifying effort of his career and second No. 1 effort at this event. It was his fourth No. 1 qualifying position at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
* Auto Club Road to the Future rookie of the year candidates J.R. Todd (third, 4.508 seconds) and Hillary Will (fourth, 4.515 seconds) qualified in the top half of the field. Both drivers were upset in the first round during eliminations. Will lost to No. 13 qualifier Morgan Lucas, while Todd lost to No. 14 qualifier Doug Herbert.
* Will's KB Racing team won the Full Throttle Pit Crew challenge award.
* Robert Hight claimed his third career victory and first ever win at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. He outran Ron Capps in the final round. Hight clocked a 4.763 at 317.94 in his Auto Club Ford Mustang to hold off Capps' Brut Dodge Stratus, which trailed at 4.775 at 323.50.
* John Force clocked the quickest Funny Car run in NHRA history, powering his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to a 4.664 second run. He failed to back-up the run within the required 1 percent and did not certify the run as an NHRA national record. Force was upset in the second round by longtime nemesis Phil Burkart, who holds an 8-7 head-to-head record against Force during his career.
* Force raced to his 126th No. 1 qualifying performance. It was his ninth No. 1 effort at the Winternationals and the 14th of his career at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
* Defending POWERade Series world champion Gary Scelzi, who was upset in the second round by Bob Gilbertson, clocked a track record speed in his Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus at 332.51 mph.
* Cruz Pedregon anchored the quickest 16-car field in Funny Car history, by clocking a 4.807 second run in his Advance Auto Parts Chevy Monte Carlo. It is the fourth consecutive race where the Funny Car quickest field has been set.
* Defending Winternationals Top Fuel winner Scott Kalitta, who switched to Funny Car during the off-season, failed to qualify for the 16-car field.
* Force's Castrol GTX team won the Full Throttle Pit Crew challenge award.
* Greg Anderson raced to his 40th career victory, his second at this event and his fourth at this track. He defeated Mike Edwards in the final round. Anderson powered to a 6.665 at 207.75 in his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO to hold off Edwards' charging Young Life GTO, which posted a 6.726 at 206.48.
* Anderson raced to the 41st No. 1 qualifying effort of his career, his second at the Winternationals and his fourth at this track.
* Anderson's low elapsed time of 6.665 seconds and top speed of 207.75 mph are track records.
* Mark Pawuk earned the Motel 6 Who Got the Light Award, defeating Richie Stevens in the first round of eliminations with a margin of victory of .0025-second.
* Jason Line's Summit Racing team won the Full Throttle Pit Crew challenge award.
POWERADE FAN NATIONALS
* Ramiro Valderrama, 15, of Pomona, Calif., a 10th grade student at Diamond Ranch High School, won the season-opening round of the NHRA POWERade Fan Nationals. Valderrama defeated hundreds of area fans to claim the victory, driving realistic POWERade Funny Car simulators. He 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.