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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
Worsham, Neff, Line, Krawiec Top Gatornationals

by Pete McCole
Sunday, March 13, 2011

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Jason Line
Rhonda McCole/AR1.com
Del Worsham, Mike Neff, Jason Line, and Eddie Krawiec picked up the victories on Sunday to close out a record-setting weekend at the 42nd annual NHRA Tire Kingdom Gatornationals at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway in the second event of the season of the 60th Anniversary season for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

All four divisions topped the record books with new top speed records in Top Fuel, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle and a new low ET record in Funny Car.

Del Worsham notched his first ever Top Fuel victory in his second start since returning to the division after a 16-year absence, beating out no.1 qualifier “The Sarge” Tony Schumacher, 3.858 at 318.99 mph over Schumacher’s 3.866.

Schumacher, who came in sporting a new top speed track record, clicked off easy victories over David Grubnic, Dave Foley and defending Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon to reach his 104th final round, was faster off the line with a .040 reaction time but Worsham quickly closed the distance and inched ahead at about the 300 foot mark and held on to beat the seven-time champion by .0041 seconds.

Del Worsham won Top Fuel in his Toyota
Rhonda McCole/AR1.com
“It definitely can’t get any better,” said Worsham. “To have someone like (team owner) Sheik Khalid to dream of a plan like this and have a guy like (crew chief) Alan Johnson who can execute that plan, I’m just a lucky guy to be driving it

“It’s almost surreal, but I’m driving Larry (Dixon)’s car from last year, the thing’s won 12 races, now it’s won 13. The fact that I won shouldn’t surprise anyone but it surprises me.”

Worsham, who knocked off Brandon Bernstein and Antron Brown before limping past Spencer Massey to reach the finals, became the 15th driver in NHRA history to score victories in both Top Fuel and Funny Car, marking his 26th national event victory.

“I actually had a chance (to win Top Fuel) back in 1993 at the U.S. Nationals, it was lined up where I could have won Top Fuel, but I made a huge mistake in the semi-finals. I had a red light against Kenny Bernstein and that’s kind of weighed on me now for nearly 20 years, and to get another chance to do this is great.”

Mike Neff
Rhonda McCole/AR1.com
Mike Neff picked up his second career Funny Car victory and his first since returning the Funny Car ranks this season, topping Cruz Pedregon with a 4.092 at 310.48 mph after Pedregon smoked the tires right off the start.

Doing double duty as driver and crew chief in the John Force Racing Ford Mustang, Neff defeated Jim Head, Bob Tasca III and “Fast Jack” Beckman to reach his seventh-career final round and his first ever against Pedregon, who bested Ron Capps, Johnny Gray and Matt Hagan to advance to his 63rd final round.

“It hard to get both jobs working at the same time, the mental draining kind of wears you down” said Neff. “Right now, the hardest part for me is just getting my mind right when it’s time to drive and not over think it.”

“We needed this win to keep the Force win streak going, that’s four straight for Team Force. It feels good. Fortunately, I got a great car, it’s the car that John (Force) drove last year, I just got in it. Now it’s just a matter of trying not to mess it up as a driver is the hardest part for me.”

Pro Stock driver Jason Line won his second straight final round, knocking off Summit Racing teammate Greg Anderson on a holeshot in for his third straight Gatornationals win.

Line faced two tough opening rounds, beating out Vincent Nobile and Erica Enders with a 6.520 and 6.530 and before cruising past top qualifier Rodger Brogdon to make his 50th final-round appearance against Anderson, who faced Larry Morgan, Shane Gray and Ron Krisher to reach the finals for the 96th time.

In the final, Line was first off the start with a .058 light but started to get a little loose before dialing his Pontiac back in and beating Anderson to the line with a 6.554 holeshot to Anderson’s 6.545 to grab his 21st national event victory.

It was a short day for NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kurt Busch, who qualified for his first Pro Stock event only to get beat in the first round by Erica Enders, 6.538 to 6.541.

“It was a great experience, the whole weekend,” said Busch. “To be competitive like we were, the words Roger Penske always gave to me - just put yourself in a position to win and good things will follow. It was the best run we’ve ever put together, we just came up short. It’s just three-hundredths of a second, but in this game of drag racing, that’s enough to put you back on the trailer.

“I feel we can hang our heads high, it was a fantastic enjoyment all weekend, and to have the opportunity to be out here and make the field….we put together a solid run.”

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Eddie Krawiec added his second straight Gatornationals victory to go along with his new national top speed record, scoring his eighth Wally of his career with a win over Karen Stoffer, who fouled out after red-lighting at the start.

Krawiec, who posted a 199.26 mph run in qualifying to set the national record, bested Katie Sullivan, Gerald Savoie and defending champion LE Tonglet to reach his 19th career final round and his first against Stoffer, who was appearing in her 12th money round after beating Michael Ray, Matt Smith and top qualifier Hector Arana.

“The caliber of bikes out here right now is just incredible,” said Krawiec. “There’s no ‘gimme’ rounds in racing, you gotta have everything – you gotta be on your tree, you gotta be riding well, you also have to have a good tune up and a good motorcycle, and I had everything this weekend.”

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