Wins Saturday's rain-delayed Top Fuel final, and Sunday's Texas Fall Nationals race.
ENNIS, Texas – Tony Schumacher made it two for two this weekend, taking the rain-delayed NHRA Top Fuel win from the Carolina Nationals Saturday, then backing it up with a win on Sunday at the AAA Texas Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, south of Dallas.
The Carolina Nationals finals were rained out last weekend in Charlotte, and were run Saturday at the Motorplex, with Schumacher being the only driver in the four Pro categories that was able to score wins on both days.
Schumacher now lives in Austin, and in his first race here since becoming a Texan, "I've won two races in less than 24 hours," he said. "Let's run all of them here!"
In Sunday’s race the sixth-fastest qualifier Schumacher, now the points leader, dispatched J.R. Todd’s Kalitta Motorsports car in the final, but it took some luck: Todd got the better start, but he spun his tires slightly at mid-track, just enough for Schumacher to drive by with a 3.891-second run at 318 mph.
In Funny Car, Courtney Force, the fastest qualifier, was the only John Force Racing car to make it to the finals, as she lined up her Ford against Del Worsham’s Toyota. In the very close final, Worsham ran a losing 4.309-second run to Force’s winning 4.227-second, 301.07 mph run, as Worsham dropped a cylinder late in the race. It was her third win of the year, the 11th win this season for a pro NHRA female racer, and the 106th female pro win in NHRA history.
Force, in the company of her boyfriend, IndyCar driver Graham Rahal, said that most of the attention has been on her father, John Force, and teammate Robert Hight, first and second in points. "I'm glad we were able to get some of the spotlight back on our Traxxas team today," she said.
Pro Stock finals saw two Gray Motorsports Chevrolet Camaros face off, after a third team car, Jonathan Gray, lost to teammate Dave Connolly. That put Connolly against Jonathan’s brother, Shane Gray, the fast qualifier. Connolly edged out Gray at the line with a 6.616-second pass, compared to Gray’s 6.617 run. Jason Line, who went out in the quarterfinals, remains the points leader, but the Gray cars are second, third and fourth.
It was his 25th Pro Stock win. "I've been very blessed," he said. "I work with a great bunch of people who support each other."
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Pro Stock Motorcycle was a heartbreaker, pitting the well-financed 2014 Harley-Davidson of Andrew Hines against the 2003 Suzuki-riding privateer team of Steve Johnson, who was plagued with problems all day. Hines showed up at the starting line, and after a brief wait, made his solo run as Johnson couldn’t make the call. Turns out Johnson was changing engines and made it to the line literally 30 seconds after Hines made his run.
Adding insult to injury, Hines’ transmission failed. He started in first gear, "and when I pushed the button, it went straight to fifth," he said, ending up with a miserable 7.571-second solo run, compared to the 6.909-second pass he made earlier. Johnson said he could have beat Hines with his old engine, but that’s hindsight. “I’ve never broken as many parts as I have this weekend,” Johnson said.
The NHRA Mello Yello series has four races remaining, and moves to St. Louis next weekend.