POST RACE NOTES: 18th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals July 22-24, Pacific Raceways, Kent, Wash. TOP FUEL * 2003 Auto Club Road to the Future award winner Brandon Bernstein avenged a ...
POST RACE NOTES:
18th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals
July 22-24, Pacific Raceways, Kent, Wash.
* 2003 Auto Club Road to the Future award winner Brandon Bernstein avenged a disappointing finish in Denver a week earlier with his second win in the last three events (St. Louis), turning in a final-round pass of 4.527 seconds at 329.99 mph to defeat Tony Schumacher (6.021 seconds at 154.35).
* Bernstein, driver of the Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster, qualified No. 1 in Denver and carried the Low E.T. of the event (4.596) into race day, but was eliminated after a malfunction on the starting line prevented him from taking the light. Bernstein would have advanced automatically on a bye if he would have completed the pass.
* Larry Dixon, driver of the Miller Lite dragster, set both ends of the track record on his Saturday morning pass of 4.490 seconds at 331.36 mph.
* Schumacher advanced to the finals in his U.S. Army dragster with a sensational win over Morgan Lucas. Schumacher spun his wheels, but recovered and when Lucas's engine failed him at three-quarters track Schumacher went flying past him for the win. It was the second consecutive week Lucas was trailered by Schumacher.
* Schumacher, the defending POWERade Series points champion, extended his 2005 points lead over Doug Kalitta to 43 points. Schumacher has 1,062 points and the driver of the Mac Tools dragster has 1,019.
* Larry Dixon's Miller Lite/Ameriquest crew earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.
* Eric Medlen's Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang was the best Funny Car all weekend and he was justly rewarded on Sunday when he held off John Force Racing teammate Robert Hight for his first victory of the year. Medlen's 4.887-second pass at 310.48 mph was just good enough to nose out the 4.933/305.63 of Hight in his Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang.
* Hight has made four final-round appearances in his rookie season and has qualified No. 1 five times. He has also won twice.
* Ideal weather conditions contributed to track records being set in qualifying by Medlen (4.735) and Gary Scelzi (325.85).
* Hight (989) extended his points lead to 84 points over his father-in-law, team owner and 13-time and defending Funny Car world champion, John Force (905).
* Force, meanwhile, was knocked out in the first round for the seventh time in 2005, matching the most first-round exits of his career with still nine events remaining. Force was beaten on a holeshot by Cruz Pedregon.
* Third-place Scelzi (894 points) was also knocked out in the first round of eliminations (Whit Bazemore).
* Medlen's Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang crew earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.
* Kurt Johnson won an uncontested final in his ACDelco Chevy Cobalt, cruising down the track in 16.320 seconds at 75.14 mph.
* Ron Krisher, the winner of the other semifinal, didn't have a car to oppose Johnson following a fiery crash immediately after he crossed the finish line in his semifinal win over Jeg Coughlin. His car turned left into the wall, righted itself, then burst into flames. Krisher was unhurt save for a minor burn on his left hand.
* It was the second win of the season for Johnson (St. Louis) and the 30th of his career.
* Johnson opened Sunday eliminations the same way his father, Warren, ended Sunday eliminations a week earlier in Denver: With a win over Dave Connolly after a lengthy staging session.
* As with the fuel classes, ideal weather conditions contributed to track records being set in qualifying by Mike Thomas (6.661) and Greg Anderson (207.24).
* Warren Johnson (1,063), of Sugar Hill, Ga., remained atop the point standings, 29 points clear of Anderson.
* Mike Thomas's Nitro Fish Gear Dodge Stratus crew earned the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship award.