Schumacher, John Force take nitro wins at Gatornationals
Tony Schumacher raced to Top Fuel victory at the 48th Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, with John Force (Funny Car), Shane Gray (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also claiming Wally Trophies.
Eight-time Top Fuel champion Schumacher, piloted his U.S. Army dragster to a 3.703-second pass at 329.26 mph for the 83rd victory of his career, defeating reigning champion Antron Brown who ran a 3.764 at 322.65 in his Matco Tools dragster. With the win, Schumacher becomes the winningest Top Fuel driver at the facility with five after previously being in a four-way tie.
“We have great, great people working together. I’m loving driving the car,” Schumacher said. “We’re in the fight every day, every race. It’s going to be a fun year, man.
“I’m comfortable driving the car. It’s running right down the middle. It’s running extremely fast. It’s doing everything that a driver dreams about sitting in a Top Fuel car.”
Schumacher defeated Smax Smith, Clay Millican and Steve Torrence en route to the victory. Brown was able to get past Chris Karamasines, rookie Troy Coughlin Jr. and Doug Kalitta before falling to Schumacher in the finals.
Force, a 16-time champion and the winningest driver in NHRA history, ran a 3.928 at 328.14 in his PEAK Chevy Camaro Funny Car for the 148th victory of his career, to defeat rookie Jonnie Lindberg’s 3.971 at 314.83 in his Head Racing Toyota Camry.
“I made a lot of changes coming here,” said Force. “Don’t know if I’m smart or just lucky. I surround myself with great people. They’re the ones who make it happen, then the sponsors and then the cheer of the crowd.
“You always feel somebody up there likes ya. I believe in hard work, dedication and what we went through… I’m not accepting that I’m done. I’ve been real lucky.”
Force raced past Del Worsham, Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr. on his way to the finals. Lindberg defeated Dave Richards in the first round and upset Robert Hight and Matt Hagan to get to the final.
Gray picked up the sixth victory of his career and first at Gainesville Raceway when he ran a 6.535 at 212.96 in his Gray Motorsports Chevy Camaro to defeat four-time champion Greg Anderson and his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro’s 6.560 at 213.43 in the final.
“I wasn’t supposed to win,” Gray said. “When you’re testing parts you’re just not supposed to win which is basically what we’re doing with my car. We had a lucky day today. There were some round wins when the car pulled me out of the hole and there were a couple rounds where I pulled the car out of the hole. It was a complete team effort today.”
Gray turned on win lights against Allen Johnson, Erica Enders and Chris McGaha on his way to the final.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
In this first round of PSM in 2017, reigning champion Eddie Krawiec defeated teammate Andrew Hines for his 37th career victory, second consecutive and fifth total at Gainesville Raceway. Krawiec rode his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a 6.763 pass at 199.76 bettering Hines’ 6.802 at 197.10.
“This helps set the pace for the year,” Krawiec said. “Get that first win off your back, keep that momentum rolling, get the points. You know once you win one or two races you kind of solidify your spot. With the extra competitive class we have this year, it definitely helps. There’s a lot of great motorcycles. My Harley-Davidson this weekend has been really fast, we just haven’t been able to harness that power and get it sorted out. I think as the year goes on we’re going to get better.”
Krawiec rode past Mike Berry, Matt Smith and Joey Gladstone before racing Hines in the finals.
Final finish order at the 48th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway
TOP FUEL: 1. Tony Schumacher; 2. Antron Brown; 3. Doug Kalitta; 4. Steve Torrence; 5. Leah Pritchett; 6. Clay Millican; 7. Brittany Force; 8. Troy Coughlin Jr.; 9. Ike Maier; 10. Chris Karamesines; 11. Terry McMillen; 12. Shawn Reed; 13. Smax Smith; 14. Pat Dakin; 15. Scott Palmer; 16. Larry Dixon.
Final: Tony Schumacher, 3.703 seconds, 329.26 mph def. Antron Brown, 3.764 seconds, 322.65 mph.
FUNNY CAR: 1. John Force; 2. Jonnie Lindberg; 3. Matt Hagan; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 5. Robert Hight; 6. Jack Beckman; 7. Jim Campbell; 8. Ron Capps; 9. Tim Wilkerson; 10. Alexis DeJoria; 11. Bob Tasca III; 12. Dave Richards; 13. Courtney Force; 14. J.R. Todd; 15. Del Worsham; 16. Cruz Pedregon.
Final: John Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.928, 328.14 def. Jonnie Lindberg, Toyota Camry, 3.971, 314.83.
PRO STOCK: 1. Shane Gray; 2. Greg Anderson; 3. Jason Line; 4. Chris McGaha; 5. Bo Butner; 6. Jeg Coughlin; 7. Erica Enders; 8. Tanner Gray; 9. Vincent Nobile; 10. Drew Skillman; 11. Matt Hartford; 12. Allen Johnson; 13. Alan Prusiensky; 14. Kenny Delco; 15. John Gaydosh Jr.
Final: Shane Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.535, 212.96 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.560, 213.43.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Eddie Krawiec; 2. Andrew Hines; 3. Joey Gladstone; 4. Steve Johnson; 5. Jerry Savoie; 6. LE Tonglet; 7. Scotty Pollacheck; 8. Matt Smith; 9. Hector Arana; 10. Cory Reed; 11. Angie Smith; 12. Melissa Surber; 13. Mike Berry; 14. Angelle Sampey; 15. Karen Stoffer; 16. Hector Arana Jr.
Final: Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.763, 199.76 def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.802, 197.10
Point standings after 3 of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
TOP FUEL: 1. Leah Pritchett, 300; 2. Tony Schumacher, 279; 3. Antron Brown, 243; 4. Doug Kalitta, 220; 5. Brittany Force, 202; 6. Steve Torrence, 185; 7. Troy Coughlin Jr., 143; 8. Shawn Reed, 136; 9. Clay Millican, 133; 10. Scott Palmer, 116.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Matt Hagan, 308; 2. John Force, 238; 3. Ron Capps, 235; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr., 209; 5. Courtney Force, 177; 6. Robert Hight, 150; 7. Jim Campbell, 148; 8. Jack Beckman, 144; 9. J.R. Todd, 138; 10. Tim Wilkerson, 117.
PRO STOCK: 1. Greg Anderson, 319; 2. Jason Line, 281; 3. Shane Gray, 226; 4. Bo Butner, 198; 5. Jeg Coughlin, 187; 6. Tanner Gray, 181; 7. Erica Enders, 167; 8. Drew Skillman, 157; 9. Vincent Nobile, 149; 10. Chris McGaha, 139.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Eddie Krawiec, 120; 2. Andrew Hines, 97; 3. Joey Gladstone, 81; 4. Steve Johnson, 74; 5. Jerry Savoie, 63; 6. LE Tonglet, 58; 7. (tie) Scotty Pollacheck, 52; Matt Smith, 52; 9. Hector Arana, 36; 10. Hector Arana Jr, 35.
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