Topeka: Post-race notes

NHRA POWERADE SERIES POST RACE NOTES: 18th annual O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals presented by Castrol GTX May 25-28, Heartland Park Topeka, Topeka, Kan. TOP FUEL * Doug Kalitta, of Ann Arbor,...

NHRA POWERADE SERIES POST RACE NOTES:
18th annual O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals presented by Castrol GTX
May 25-28, Heartland Park Topeka, Topeka, Kan.

TOP FUEL

* Doug Kalitta, of Ann Arbor, Mich., claimed his 27th career victory in 50 career final rounds, by powering his Mac Tools dragster to the win over Brandon Bernstein's Budweiser dragster. Kalitta posted a winning performance of 4.675 seconds at 310.98 to Bernstein's 4.691 at 307.09.

* With the victory, Kalitta pulled to within 96 points of Melanie Troxel for first place in the POWERade Series point standings.

* Troxel suffered a second-round loss to Bernstein and her points lead was trimmed to 96 over Doug Kalitta and 140 over Bernstein heading into the Carquest Auto Parts NHRA Nationals June 8-11 in Chicago.

* Troxel became the ninth consecutive No. 1 qualifier in Top Fuel to fail to emerge victorious on Sunday. She No. 1 qualified with a 4.567 elapsed time at 321.50 in her Skull Shine dragster in Friday night qualifying.

* Troxel's was joined on the No. 1 qualifying podium by Pro Stocker Erica Enders, marking the first time in NHRA POWERade Series history that two women have earned No. 1 qualifiers at the same event.

* Troxel, who earlier this month was named the first quarter winner of the prestigious Driver of the Year award, has advanced out of the first round at every race this season and she has made it into six of nine final rounds with two wins.

* Dave Grubnic's .0033-second win over J.R. Todd in the first-round of final eliminations was good enough for the Motel 6 Who Got the Light Award.

* Doug Kalitta's Mac Tools team won the Full Throttle Pit Crew challenge award.

FUNNY CAR

* Ron Capps, of Carlsbad, Calif., earned his fourth victory of the season by driving his Brut Dodge Charger to the win with a 4.992-second pass at 293.54 mph over John Force's tire-spinning 6.162 at 150.53 in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang.

* Capps extended his POWERade Series points lead over Force to 109 points.

* It was Capps' 21st career victory and his first career victory at Heartland Park Topeka.

* It was Capps' sixth victory in the last 14 POWERade Series events.

* Tony Pedregon was beaten in the semifinals by Force, ending his streak of two consecutive POWERade Series event wins and 10 consecutive round wins.

* Robert Hight earned the No. 1 qualifying position with his 4.824-second pass at 315.19 mph. It was the ninth No. 1 qualifier for the 2005 Rookie of the Year in 32 career races.

* A Team Force driver has earned the No. 1 qualifying position in Funny Car at all nine NHRA POWERade Series races (Force 4, Hight 3, Medlen 2).

* Hight was eliminated by eventual winner Capps in the semifinals, extending the jinx of No. 1 qualfiers. No nitro No. 1 qualifier has won yet in 2006.

* Eric Medlen, whose Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang lit up at the finish line in his narrow second-round loss to Tony Pedregon, was fined $1,000 and 10 points when he dropped oil onto the racing surface.

* Capps' Brut Dodge team won the Full Throttle Pit Crew challenge award.

PRO STOCK

* Dave Connolly, of Elyria, Ohio, became the first repeat winner in the 200 mph category when he defeated Kurt Johnson in the final. Connolly drove his Skull Gear Chevy Cobalt to holeshot win with a 6.844 at 201.34 over Johnson's 6.836 at 201.70.

* Connolly had a five-hundredths advantage over Johnson at the start (.020 for Connolly to .070 for Johnson).

* Connolly became the first repeat winner in the Pro Stock class. The record for consecutive races without a repeat winner in Pro Stock remains nine (2002).

* The same pair met in the final round at Las Vegas 1 with KJ winning that event.

* Anderson's streak of three straight wins and 14 straight round wins at Heartland Park Topeka was snapped with a semifinal loss to Kurt Johnson.

* Erica Enders' 6.785-second pass on Friday night was good enough to earn her the first No. 1 qualifying award in her 32-race NHRA POWERade Series career. It was also the first-ever No. 1 qualifying award in Pro Stock by a female in NHRA POWERade Series history.

* Anderson extended his POWERade Series points lead over teammate Jason Line to 73 points.

* Connolly's Skull Gear team won the Full Throttle Pit Crew challenge award.

POWERADE FAN NATIONALS

* Steven Walker, 18, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, won the ninth round of the NHRA POWERade Series Fan Nationals. Walker defeated hundreds of area fans to claim the POWERade Fan Nationals victory, driving realistic POWERade Funny Car simulators. With the victory, Walker will have the opportunity to race for the ultimate title of 2006 POWERade Fan Nationals Series champion in November at the 42nd Annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals.

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Ron Capps , John Force , Doug Kalitta , Brandon Bernstein , Jason Line , Eric Medlen , Robert Hight , J.R. Todd , Dave Connolly