Teams test at IRP 2003-08-19

CLERMONT, Ind. -- Two-time and defending Mac Tools U.S. Nationals winner Tony Schumacher clocked the quickest Top Fuel run Tuesday at Indianapolis Raceway Park during the opening day of testing for the world's most prestigious drag race. NHRA...

CLERMONT, Ind. -- Two-time and defending Mac Tools U.S. Nationals winner Tony Schumacher clocked the quickest Top Fuel run Tuesday at Indianapolis Raceway Park during the opening day of testing for the world's most prestigious drag race. NHRA teams are utilizing the two-day test session in preparation for the 49th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Aug. 27-Sept. 1, at the multi-purpose motorsports complex located just west of downtown Indianapolis. The $2.2 million race, the 17th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, will be televised on ESPN and ESPN2 with 13 hours of coverage during the weekend.

Schumacher drove his U.S. Army dragster to a time of 4.519 seconds at 324.20 mph. Both ends of his performance were just short of the track performance bests of 4.505 seconds, held by Kenny Bernstein, and 327.82 mph, held by Mike Dunn. Bernstein, meanwhile, posted the second best effort of the day, logging a 4.622 at 319.37 in the Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster.

POWERade series points leader Larry Dixon, an eight-time winner this season and two-time Indy winner, shut his Miller Lite dragster off near the 1,000-foot mark and posted a 4.649 at 275.06.

In Funny Car, recent race winner Gary Densham led his counterparts with a 4.807 second run at 320.43 mph in his Auto Club Ford Mustang. Two-time U.S. Nationals winner Whit Bazemore recorded a 4.858 at 320.36 in his Matco Tools Dodge Stratus.

Densham teammates Tony Pedregon, the POWERade Series points leader with six victories, clocked a 4.896 at 284.51 in his Castrol Syntec Mustang, while 12-time series champ John Force, a four-time Indy winner, drove his Castrol GTX High-Mileage Mustang to a performance of 4.873 at 305.77.

Scotty Cannon raced to a 4.882 at 315.49 in his Oakley Pontiac Firebird, while three-time Indy winner Cruz Pedregon shut the clocks off with a 4.881 at 308.50 in his Advance Auto Parts Firebird. Sonoma winner Gary Scelzi, who won the U.S. Nationals in 1998 in Top Fuel, powered his Oakley Stratus to a 4.910 at 314.46.

Greg Anderson, a winner of this event in 2001, continued to set the pace in Pro Stock with the quickest run of the day, driving his Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am to a 6.822 at 202.36. Anderson, who leads the POWERade standings in the 200 mph category, has won seven races this season, including last weekend's Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at his home track in Brainerd, Minn.

Warren Johnson, a six-time winner at Indy, drove his GM Performance Grand Am to a performance of 6.837 at 201.94 early in the day.

Rookie Sean Conner rode the quickest Pro Stock Bike attending testing, posting a 7.251 at 181.84 on his Suzuki.

Testing continues Wednesday, starting at 10 a.m. The test session is closed to the public.

Best runs, by category and driver, for the Tuesday test session at Indianapolis Raceway Park Tuesday, 8/19/2003:

TOP FUEL --

Kenny Bernstein 4.622/319.37

Larry Dixon 4.649/275.06 (shut off around 1,100 feet)

Doug Herbert 4.923/239.36 (shut off at 1,000 feet)

K.C. Spurlock 0.848 60-foot time (shut off with tire smoke about 200 feet out)

Tony Schumacher 4.519/324.20

FUNNY CAR --

Whit Bazemore 4.858/320.36

Scotty Cannon 4.882/315.49

Ron Capps 4.366 seconds at 1,000 feet

Gary Densham 4.807/320.43

Grant Downing 5.485/221.71 (shut off around 1,000 feet)

John Force 4.873/305.77

Bob Gilbertson 5.093/295.46

Tommy Johnson Jr. (in a new car) 5.066/250.60 (shut off around 1,000 feet)

Cruz Pedregon 4.881/308.50

Tony Pedregon 4.896/284.51

Gary Scelzi 4.910/314.46

PRO STOCK --

Terry Adams 6.878/200.59

Greg Anderson 6.822/202.36

Dave Connolly 6.888/199.70

Randy Daniels 6.924/198.32

Arturo Delgado 6.933/198.93

Frank DePhillips 7.039/196.33

Jeff Dickey 7.028/196.16

V. Gaines 6.942/199.40

Scott Geoffrion 6.860/200.68

Steve Johns 6.862/201.61

Warren Johnson 6.837/201.94

Ron Krisher 6.874/200.80

Kevin Lawrence 6.996/198.90

Tom Martino 6.867/200.05

Larry Morgan 6.39 PM (driving '03 Dodge Stratus) 6.911/199.64; (driving '99 Neon R/T) 6.841/200.59

Robert Patrick 6.915/199.29

Mark Pawuk 6.859/199.97

Steve Schmidt 6.861/200.77

Richie Stevens (in Mike Thomas' '03 Cavalier) 6:13 PM 6.999/195.62 (following the run in the shutdown area the car's parachute didn't deploy properly and the car went out of control and hit the left guardwall, rolled once and then hit the right guardwall before coming to rest on its roof in the middle of the track. The driver was not injured.

Ben Watson 6.929/199.40

Mark Whisnant 6.873/199.94

Gene Wilson 6.860/201.46

Louis Worden (in George Marnell's car) 6.891/199.26

Jim Yates 6.856/200.35

Bob Yonke 6.941/198.90

PRO STOCK BIKE --

Antron Brown 7.342/180.72

Sean Conner 7.251/183.84

Steve Johnson 7.275/183.77

Michael Phillips (on Redell Harris' bike) 1.154 3.430 (shut off, lost engine)

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Antron Brown , Mike Thomas , Robert Patrick , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Kenny Bernstein , Mark Pawuk , Warren Johnson , Bob Gilbertson , Tony Pedregon , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Larry Morgan , Randy Daniels , Gary Densham , Scotty Cannon , Gene Wilson , Cruz Pedregon , Redell Harris , Ben Watson , Tom Martino , Scott Geoffrion , George Marnell , Terry Adams , Bob Yonke , Steve Schmidt , Mark Whisnant , Arturo Delgado , Michael Phillips , Steve Johnson , Grant Downing , Kevin Lawrence , Dave Connolly , Steve J , Tommy Johnson Jr.