Three titles remain on the line after Las Vegas

Tony Schumacher closed out the Top Fuel competition on The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway by not only clinching the championship on Saturday but also by taking the win, his 15th of the season. "The Sarge" took his 56th NHRA POWERade Series ...

Tony Schumacher closed out the Top Fuel competition on The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway by not only clinching the championship on Saturday but also by taking the win, his 15th of the season.

"The Sarge" took his 56th NHRA POWERade Series career victory by beating Rod Fuller in the final round with a 3.806 run of 314.53 mph. Fuller knocked off Antron Brown to make it to the finals while Schumacher laid Larry Dixon to rest.

"Every race we have won it's getting harder and harder to do it because the bar is so high," said Schumacher. "I had a good car and we won. It was perfect, just perfect. Its how it's been all year long."

Brown and Hillary Will head to California in a fight for second with their Top Fuel dragsters.

Funny Car has a real battle on its plate for the season finale. When the teams and drivers packed up after Sunday's show in the penultimate round, shuffling the overall standings.

Cruz Pedregon defeated Jack Beckman, Gary Densham and John Force before coming to the line to meet Robert Hight. Pedregon took it from the lights to hit a 4.100 (304.67 mph) run in his Toyota Solara with Hight's Ford Mustang at a 4.111 (304.67 mph) to jump from third to first in the Funny Car points lead.

"I didn't hardly sleep at all last night," said Pedregon. "I went up there and just tried to maintain my emotions. It seems like every round was like a championship round. We got the win the against Robert. It was a good race. I was afraid I might see the Dodger Blue of his (Hight) fender. I was praying for the win light to come on because that was a tough race."

Tim Wilkerson lost to Mike Neff in the first round, dropping him to second in the points while Hight jumped fifth to third. Beckman's loss in round one also saw him slide down to fifth in points. Force moved up one slot from eighth to seventh. Staying fourth in the top five was Tony Pedregon. Pomona will be the scene of the final hot Funny Car title fight.

Jeg Coughlin Jr. is close to wrapping up the Pro Stock title, like Schumacher coming into Vegas, Coughlin heads to the finals at Pomona with a cushion and could wrap it up before the final elimination round. With 2492 points in the book, his nearest challenger is Greg Anderson at 2369. Kurt Johnson sits third with 2354.

Coughlin had a freebie in today's final round when Greg Stanfield had a red light at the start. Coughlin ran a 6.708 (205.07 mph) to land the win as he now aims for his second consecutive title. Prior to meeting Stanfield, Coughlin raced his Chevy Cobalt in three rounds, defeating Rickie Jones, Dave Connolly and Allen Johnson.

"It (the win) definitely took a ton of pressure of our shoulders," said Coughlin. "Nearly a four round lead is awesome. With the likes that are behind us, like Dave Connolly my teammate, we knew certainly he was capable of winning. We couldn't take anything for granted."

Chris Rivas came closer to his goal of earning his first Pro Stock Motorcycle championship with a victory today on his Buell. He still has to overtake Matt Smith in Pomona with 39 points separating the two.

"This feels pretty incredible," said Rivas. "I honestly didn't expect it (To be in contention for a championship). The team is so strong."

Smith finished third but with the title on the line, the defending champion knows what it will take at Pomona. The duo did not meet today but the picture can change depending on qualifying in two weeks.

Rivas had one pass today in the semifinal round when Andrew Hines has a foul at the start. In the opening run, Rivas took on Michael Phillips before moving to the quarterfinals and getting past Chil Ellis. In the final round, he clocked off a 7.052 (185.79 mph) to beat Eddie Krawiec.

Pomona is the host site for the annual finals, the four days of action Pomona at Raceway starts on November 13th.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Jeg Coughlin , Larry Dixon , Kurt Johnson , Tony Pedregon , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Greg Anderson , Gary Densham , Cruz Pedregon , Greg Stanfield , Tim Wilkerson , Jack Beckman , Allen Johnson , Chris Rivas , Andrew Hines , Matthew Smith , Michael Phillips , Robert Hight , Rod Fuller , Hillary Will , Dave Connolly , Rickie Jones , Eddie Krawiec , Mike Neff