Reading: Final rounds delayed to Tuesday

DRIVERS KEEP PLAYOFF HOPES ALIVE AS FINAL ELIMINATIONS POSTPONED MOHNTON, Pa. - The new Countdown to the Championship playoff-style system to decide the 2007 POWERade champions is already delivering the big-time thrills NHRA ...

DRIVERS KEEP PLAYOFF HOPES ALIVE AS FINAL ELIMINATIONS POSTPONED

MOHNTON, Pa. - The new Countdown to the Championship playoff-style system to decide the 2007 POWERade champions is already delivering the big-time thrills NHRA officials were hoping for when they instituted the plan at the start of the season.

The first phase, which will end Tuesday at the conclusion of the rain-plagued 23rd annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals, has trimmed each Pro class down to eight racers that will fight for their respective titles. Remarkably, all four Pro categories have been pushed to the very end with eight racers still alive for the last four Countdown spots.

After squeezing in two rounds of racing Monday before the rain returned, the ladders of the race are down to the final in Top Fuel and the semifinals in Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle. Action resumes Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. at Maple Grove Raceway.

Top Fuel pits points leader "Hot Rod" Fuller against Cinderella pro Doug Herbert, who has risen from the ashes to challenge for the final Countdown spot. If Herbert beats Fuller in the final, he supplants Dave Grubnic for the last slot by a mere two points.

Funny Car racer Del Worsham needs to beat Tony Pedregon in the semifinals and the winner of the John Force/Tim Wilkerson tilt on the other side of the ladder to secure the last Countdown berth in his class. Any other result, or even an oildown penalty against Worsham, would allow Jim Head to advance to the playoffs instead.

Vieri Gaines needs to beat Dave Connolly in their semifinal race to add his name to the Pro Stock Countdown roster. Should Gaines pull off the feat he'll erase Larry Morgan from consideration. Morgan supplies engines to Gaines. Greg Anderson and Kurt Johnson, who have already secured Countdown spots, are racing for the chance to face Gaines or Connolly in the final of this event.

Chris Rivas must win his Round 3 race against Matt Guidera to push his way into the Pro Stock Motorcycle chase, which would knock Craig Treble out of the eighth and final spot. Angelle Sampey and Eddie Krawiec, two more confirmed Countdown racers, face off on the other side of the ladder.

-credit: nhra

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Doug Herbert , Kurt Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Del Worsham , John Force , Greg Anderson , Larry Morgan , Tim Wilkerson , Vieri Gaines , Chris Rivas , Matt Guidera , Angelle Sampey , Dave Connolly