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NHRA Point Standings
Through Charlotte

Pos. Driver Points

1 Tony Schumacher 2170
2 Spencer Massey 2160
3 Shawn Langdon 2151
4 Antron Brown 2142
5 Doug Kalitta 2105
6 Morgan Lucas 2099
7 Brandon Bernstein 2095
8 Steve Torrence 2093
9 Bob Vandergriff Jr. 2053
10 Dave Grubnic 2043
11 Clay Millican 718
12 Khalid Albalooshi 698
13 Terry McMillen 587
14 Hillary Will 316
15 Cory McClenathan 279
Funny Car
Pos. Driver Points

1 Ron Capps 2230
2 Mike Neff 2157
3 Jack Beckman 2152
4 Robert Hight 2113
5 Cruz Pedregon 2087
6 Johnny Gray 2081
7 Courtney Force 2074
8 John Force 2072
9 Jeff Arend 2064
9 Tim Wilkerson 2064
11 Matt Hagan 885
12 Bob Tasca III 833
13 Alexis De Joria 687
14 Tony Pedregon 524
15 Bob Bode 388
Pro Stock
Pos. Driver Points

1 Allen Johnson 2209
2 Jason Line 2206
3 Vincent Nobile 2138
4 Greg Anderson 2107
5 Mike Edwards 2094
5 Erica Enders 2094
7 Ron Krisher 2063
8 Larry Morgan 2062
9 V. Gaines 2052
10 Jeg Coughlin 2031
11 Shane Gray 684
12 Ronnie Humphrey 625
13 Rodger Brogdon 575
14 Kurt Johnson 544
15 Warren Johnson 491
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Pos. Driver Points

1 Ed Krawiec 2215
2 Andrew Hines 2205
3 Hector Arana Jr 2151
4 Hector Arana 2139
5 Scott Pollacheck 2092
6 Karen Stoffer 2083
7 Paul Ray Jr 2074
8 Shawn Gann 2062
9 Louis Tonglet 2061
10 Matt Smith 2054
Dixon, Pedregon, Connolly, Hines Win at Reading

by Pete McCole
Monday, October 11, 2010


Larry Dixon
Larry Dixon and Andrew Hines spread out their points lead while Cruz Pedregon and Dave Connolly surprised the championship contenders with final round victories on Sunday at the NHRA Full Throttle Toyo Tire Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, PA.

Dixon and Hines stayed atop the standings in the Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle divisions, while the Funny Car and Pro Stock leaders fell in the fourth of six races in the Countdown to the Championship. 

Dixon kept a stranglehold on the Top Fuel lead with his 12th-straight final round victory in a come-from-behind run against second-place points driver Cory McClenathan.

Coming in as the no. 1 qualifier, Dixon bested Terry McMillen, Doug Foley and David Grubnic to move onto his 104th career final round and his fifth of the season facing McClenathan.

In the final run, Dixon smoked his tires right off the line as McClenathan pulled out to an early lead, only to smoke the tires himself at the 300-foot mark, allowing Dixon to make up the ground and ultimately speed past for his 12th-straight victory and 60th of his career with a run of 4.906 over McClenathan’s 5.103.

More importantly, he extended his points lead to 89 points over McClenathan with just two events remaining.

“I can hardly wait to watch (the final) on TV,” said Dixon. “I stepped on the throttle and immediately spun the tires, and you’re coming off the throttle, and as you’re rolling back on, it’s like, ‘OK.’ Then, you look over in the other lane, and he shot way out there and he kept going, and then, all of a sudden, I could see him start to spin the tires. I was like, ‘Hell, I might as well go for it and try to chase him down.’

“Our car just hooked up. I had such a run on him, and I blew by him so fast. When I saw the win light come on, I was laughing and couldn’t believe it all at the same time because that’s a race you shouldn’t win, and we just won.”

Cruz Pedregon
In Funny Car, Cruz Pedregon once again played the role of the spoiler with his second final round win of the season, taking out new points leader Matt Hagan.

Pedregon, who failed to qualify for this year’s Countdown field, made his way to the finals through a tough field that included Ashley Force Hood and his brother Tony, and beating out Del Worsham in the semi-finals on a holeshot to advance to just his second final round of the year and the 62nd of his career.

After vaulting past John Force in the point standings thanks in part to 20 bonus points he scored in qualifying, including a new national record run of 4.011, Hagan was looking to extend his lead even more making it to the finals with wins over Phil Burkart Jr., Tim Wilkerson, and Jim Head.

Hagan came out strong in the final round but began to lose traction forcing Hagan to back out of the throttle, giving Pedregon a narrow victory of 4.130 to Hagan’s 4.242 for his 28th career victory.

“It’s an equally as satisfying as winning a race,” said Pedregon of playing the spoiler role. “My number one goal after Brainerd was ‘let see how many points we can count’, I felt we had a car that could compete for a championship and I really feel like this is our own little mini-championship. We’re keeping score I think we’d be second in points right now, so that really means a lot to me, it says a lot about our team, it says a lot about what we’ve been able to accomplish.”

In Pro Stock is was a similar story as non-Countdown driver Dave Connolly made a triumphant return to the winner’s circle with his first final-round win since 2008, topping new points leader Greg Anderson with a holeshot win, 6.57 to 6.59.

After an absence of more than a year and a half from the Pro Stock ranks, Connolly notched his 22nd-career victory is just his second start of the season, knocking off Ron Krisher, Larry Morgan, and rookie Shane Gray to face Anderson.

“Our goal was to kind of make it interesting, and we definitely have,” said Connolly. “It was just an incredible weekend all together. Just to be back out here is a lot of fun.

“It was a good race , two (thousandths) apart when we left the starting line, we both had decent lights, the cars ran great. It was just a close final, could have gone either way, it was just our turn to win this time.”

Anderson had already claimed the points lead after Mike Edwards red-lighted in the opening round, giving him a 36-point edge in the standings.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, it was again Hines and L.E. Tonglet meeting head to head for the fourth straight time, only this time it was Hines getting the best of the rookie in a wire-to-wire run to maintain his slim lead in the points standings.

Hines defeated Neil Jacobs, Angie Smith and teammate Eddie Krawiec to advance to his seventh straight final round of the season and the 40th of his career, taking on Tonglet, who had an easier run to the finals, getting red-light victories over Karen Stoffer and top qualifier Hector Arana before beating Matt Smith to reach the finals.

The final run came down to a holeshot as Hines’ .020 light at 6.916 gave him the edge to Tonglet’s 6.916 and a 72-point advantage.

“The bike left perfect, just like it needed to,” said Hines. “That finish line couldn’t come fast enough, “When I saw that win light, that was one of the prettiest win lights I’ve seen in a long time.
“It’s been tough with that little blue bike (Tonglet) beating us the last few races. We were wondering what it was going to take to get it done. I’m trying to rely on some of the other competitors out there to take LE out early, but we keep matching up in the final round.”

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