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Warren Johnson Busts Slump

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, May 2 2010

Warren Johnson refused to act his age at Gateway. (Photo courtesy of the NHRA)

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Pro Stock driver Warren Johnson, the second-winningest driver in NHRA Full Throttle Series history, ended a four-year drought with his 97th career win Sunday at the 14th annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway.

The other winners at the seventh event in the 23-race NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series were Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Michael Phillips (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

Johnson’s improbable win in his K&N Filters Pontiac GXP – points leader Mike Edwards (in the semis) and third-place Jeg Coughlin (in the finals) each failed to get off the starting line – gave the 66-year old driver and six-time NHRA Full Throttle Series champion his first victory since the NHRA Arizona Nationals in February 2006.

“I guess I woke up on the right side of the bed this morning … everybody I raced did something wrong,” said Johnson, who moved to within five points of Shane Gray for the 10th and final playoff berth in Pro Stock. “I had to rely on luck and other people’s mistakes (but) we’ll still take it. There is no such thing as a bad win.”

“I still realize that we’re not where we want to be, performance-wise,” Johnson continued. “We’re down four or five hundredths, but we can fix that. Other racers have stepped up, but sooner or later we’ll get back on top.”

In Top Fuel, U.S. Army driver Tony Schumacher won for the second time this season and 63rd time in his career with a 3.849 at 317.87 to the 4.041 at 313.07 from the Rocky Boots team and driver Doug Kalitta, who is now 0-for-4 in final rounds this season.

“This was a great win. We outperformed everybody we raced and got a lucky break against Pat (Dakin, against whom he hazed the tires),” said Schumacher, who moved to within six wins of Kenny Bernstein (69) for fourth place on the NHRA Full Throttle Series’ all-time wins list.

“I was talking with (crew chief) Mike (Green) and he said, ‘Every time we back it down, we get in trouble.’ He went for it and made some nice runs. If you look back, a lot of these races are won in the second round and semifinals by putting up a stout run and keeping lane choice in the late rounds.”

In Funny Car, 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Series champion Robert Hight collected his first win of the 2010 season in the Auto Club Ford Mustang with a 4.149 at 304.25 to runner-up Jack Beckman’s 4.204 at 296.44 mph in his Valvoline/MTS Dodge Charger. Hight improved from ninth place to sixth place, though he still trails points leader John Force by 189 points.

“We’re starting to turn it around. We’re not that far off,” said Hight, who threw out the first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals game on Wednesday on behalf of AAA Insurance of Missouri before proceeding to win the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals on Sunday. “It’s been an unbelievable week. The timing for this was perfect. I wanted to come here and win and give a trophy to the folks at AAA of Missouri.”

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, 20-year old LE Tonglet (7.002 at 189.47) had a nearly perfect reaction time (.001) in his quest for his first career win in just his eighth career start, but Michael Phillips (6.926 at 193.99) had more than enough power to catch and pass him for his first win of the season.

“That kid didn’t cut me any slack. He’s a good rider and he’s gonna be tough,” said Phillips, who improved to fourth place and is just 91 points behind first-place Hector Arana. “Now that the Suzuki guys have bigger engines, it’s going to be real competitive this year. It’s not just going to be the V-Rods and the Buell’s. Now, we can all make a statement.”

The NHRA Full Throttle Series resumes racing May 14-16 with the 30th annual Summit Racing NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

Final finish order (1-16) for professional categories at the 14th annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway.  The race is the seventh of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

1.  Tony Schumacher; 2.  Doug Kalitta; 3.  Larry Dixon; 4.  Brandon Bernstein; 5.  Morgan Lucas; 6. Antron Brown; 7.  Terry Haddock; 8.  Pat Dakin; 9.  Steve Torrence; 10.  Terry McMillen; 11.  Luigi Novelli; 12.  Shawn Langdon; 13.  Cory McClenathan; 14.  Scott Palmer; 15.  Troy Buff; 16.  David Grubnic.

FUNNY CAR:

1.  Robert Hight; 2.  Jack Beckman; 3.  Ron Capps; 4.  Bob Tasca III; 5.  John Force; 6.  Ashley Force Hood; 7.  Tim Wilkerson; 8.  Del Worsham; 9.  Dale Creasy Jr.; 10.  Cruz Pedregon; 11.  Paul Lee; 12.  Jeff Arend; 13.  Matt Hagan; 14.  Tony Pedregon; 15.  Jeff Diehl; 16.  Justin Schriefer.

PRO STOCK:

1.  Warren Johnson; 2.  Jeg Coughlin; 3.  Greg Stanfield; 4.  Mike Edwards; 5.  Greg Anderson; 6. Johnny Gray; 7.  Justin Humphreys; 8.  Allen Johnson; 9.  Kurt Johnson; 10.  Ron Krisher; 11. Rickie Jones; 12.  V. Gaines; 13.  Shane Gray; 14.  Ronnie Humphrey; 15.  Erica Enders; 16.  Rodger Brogdon.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

1.  Michael Phillips; 2.  LE Tonglet; 3.  Hector Arana; 4.  Eddie Krawiec; 5.  Matt Smith; 6. Shawn Gann; 7.  Craig Treble; 8.  Douglas Horne; 9.  Andrew Hines; 10.  David Hope; 11.  Jim Underdahl; 12.  Steve Johnson; 13.  Junior Pippin; 14.  Angie Smith; 15.  Wesley Wells; 16.  Karen Stoffer.

MADISON, Ill. — Sunday’s final results from the 14th annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. The race is the seventh of 23 in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Tony Schumacher, 3.849 seconds, 317.87 mph  def. Doug Kalitta, 4.041 seconds, 313.07 mph.

Funny Car — Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 4.149, 304.25  def. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.204, 296.44.

Pro Stock — Warren Johnson, Pontiac GXP, 6.670, 207.75  def. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Cobalt, broke.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 6.926, 193.99  def. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 7.002, 189.47.

MADISON, Ill. — Final round-by-round results from the 14th annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, the seventh of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE — Doug Kalitta, 3.885, 305.84 def. Steve Torrence, 3.966, 302.28; Pat Dakin, 3.954, 307.79 def. Terry McMillen, 4.006, 269.56; Morgan Lucas, 3.932, 308.71 def. Troy Buff, 8.716, 77.20; Brandon Bernstein, 4.082, 265.90 def. Shawn Langdon, 4.243, 243.50; Tony Schumacher, 3.859, 317.72 def. Scott Palmer, 7.198, 97.63; Antron Brown, 4.510, 245.99 def. Cory McClenathan, 5.357, 158.19; Larry Dixon, 3.835, 317.57 def. Luigi Novelli, 4.209, 259.91; Terry Haddock, 9.852, 83.51 def. David Grubnic, broke; QUARTERFINALS — Bernstein, 3.941, 305.42 def. Haddock, 4.253, 247.75; Kalitta, 3.932, 294.50 def. Brown, 4.157, 256.75; Schumacher, 4.209, 252.47 def. Dakin, 4.994, 194.66; Dixon, 3.878, 313.44 def. Lucas, 3.966, 290.38; SEMIFINALS — Kalitta, 3.928, 303.64 def. Bernstein, 8.985, 83.40; Schumacher, 3.863, 305.29 def. Dixon, 3.936, 292.52; FINAL — Schumacher, 3.849, 317.87 def. Kalitta, 4.041, 313.07.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE — Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.236, 295.59 def. Paul Lee, Chevy Impala SS, 4.757, 180.21; Del Worsham, Toyota Solara, 5.202, 205.16 def. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 6.539, 122.40; John Force, Mustang, 4.215, 299.26 def. Justin Schriefer, Chevy Camaro, 8.382, 72.10; Ashley Force Hood, Mustang, 4.168, 298.01 def. Jeff Diehl, Chevy Monte Carlo, 7.379, 106.74; Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.254, 290.63 def. Tony Pedregon, Impala, 7.114, 88.15; Ron Capps, Charger, 4.157, 300.26 def. Jeff Arend, Solara, 5.114, 196.07; Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.202, 295.85 def. Cruz Pedregon, Solara, 4.327, 282.01; Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.235, 289.57 def. Dale Creasy Jr., Impala, 4.307, 288.27; QUARTERFINALS — Beckman, 4.243, 294.56 def. Wilkerson, 4.304, 290.07; Capps, 4.181, 286.50 def. Worsham, 8.731, 92.84; Tasca III, 4.218, 293.47 def. Force Hood, 4.222, 294.63; Hight, 4.165, 297.42 def. Force, 4.221, 294.50; SEMIFINALS — Beckman, 4.215, 297.29 def. Tasca III, 4.224, 291.76; Hight, 4.159, 297.48 def. Capps, 4.182, 293.73; FINAL — Hight, 4.149, 304.25 def. Beckman, 4.204, 296.44.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE — Johnny Gray, Pontiac GXP, 6.687, 205.29 def. Rickie Jones, GXP, foul; Greg Stanfield, GXP, 6.649, 206.76 def. Shane Gray, GXP, foul; Greg Anderson, GXP, 6.645, 207.85 def. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Cobalt, 6.656, 207.18; Warren Johnson, GXP, 6.685, 207.08 def. Ron Krisher, Cobalt, 6.666, 206.86; Mike Edwards, GXP, 6.628, 208.42 def. V. Gaines, Dodge Avenger, 6.685, 206.89; Justin Humphreys, GXP, 6.679, 205.44 def. Rodger Brogdon, GXP, DQ; Jeg Coughlin, Cobalt, 6.669, 207.46 def. Erica Enders, Ford Mustang, 6.767, 186.12; Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.659, 207.82 def. Ronnie Humphrey, GXP, 6.711, 207.05; QUARTERFINALS — W. Johnson, 6.692, 207.11 def. A. Johnson, 12.696, 69.60; Stanfield, 6.655, 207.34 def. Humphreys, 6.701, 206.07; Coughlin, 6.632, 207.66 def. Anderson, 6.635, 208.62; Edwards, 6.631, 208.30 def. J. Gray, 6.681, 207.18; SEMIFINALS — Coughlin, 6.607, 208.17 def. Stanfield, 6.634, 207.40; W. Johnson, 6.668, 207.56 def.

Edwards, broke; FINAL — W. Johnson, 6.670, 207.75 def. Coughlin, broke.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

ROUND ONE — Shawn Gann, Buell, 6.996, 189.42 def. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 7.023, 191.00; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.960, 192.47 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, foul; Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 6.980, 193.90 def. David Hope, Buell, 6.959, 192.06; Douglas Horne, Buell, 7.009, 191.29 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, foul; LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 7.029, 186.05 def. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, foul; Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.010, 190.81 def. Wesley Wells, Suzuki, foul; Matt Smith, Buell, 6.919, 192.77 def. Junior Pippin, Buell, 7.099, 188.17; Hector Arana, Buell, 6.929, 191.32 def. Angie Smith, Buell, 7.165, 169.57; QUARTERFINALS — Tonglet, 7.022, 186.82 def. Horne, 7.234, 187.60; Krawiec, 6.979, 190.83 def. Treble, 7.058, 189.39; Arana, 6.975, 190.48 def. Gann, foul; Phillips, 6.972, 192.93 def. M. Smith, 6.984, 191.35; SEMIFINALS — Tonglet, 6.977, 189.76 def. Arana, 6.927, 192.74; Phillips, 6.944, 194.88 def. Krawiec, 6.958, 193.40; FINAL — Phillips, 6.926, 193.99 def. Tonglet, 7.002, 189.47.

Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional categories following the 14th annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, the seventh of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series -

Top Fuel

1.  Larry Dixon, 637; 2.  Cory McClenathan, 596; 3.  Doug Kalitta, 551; 4.  Tony Schumacher, 545; 5.  Antron Brown, 492; 6.  Brandon Bernstein, 368; 7.  Shawn Langdon, 360; 8.  Morgan Lucas, 355; 9.  David Grubnic, 274; 10.  Steve Torrence, 270.

Funny Car

1.  John Force, 616; 2.  Matt Hagan, 465; 3.  Jack Beckman, 464; 4.  Ron Capps, 459; 5.  Ashley Force Hood, 455; 6.  Robert Hight, 427; 7.  Tony Pedregon, 405; 8.  Tim Wilkerson, 387; 9.  Del Worsham, 378; 10.  Bob Tasca III, 377.

Pro Stock

1.  Mike Edwards, 785; 2.  Allen Johnson, 499; 3.  Jeg Coughlin, 449; 4.  Greg Anderson, 441; 5. Greg Stanfield, 432; 6.  Jason Line, 380; 7.  Ron Krisher, 373; 8.  Rodger Brogdon, 350; 9.  Bob Yonke, 283; 10.  Shane Gray, 264.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

1.  Hector Arana, 366; 2.  Eddie Krawiec, 318; 3.  Matt Smith, 296; 4.  Michael Phillips, 275; 5. Andrew Hines, 252; 6.  Craig Treble, 227; 7.  LE Tonglet, 208; 8.  Karen Stoffer, 202; 9.  Steve Johnson, 190; 10.  Shawn Gann, 181.

OTHER NHRA DRAG RACING SERIES RESULTS

MADISON, Ill. — Sunday’s final Get Screened America Series and Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series results from the 14th annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway.

LUCAS OIL DRAG RACING SERIES

Super Stock — Jeff Taylor, Chevy Cobalt, 8.962, 149.22  def. Jimbo Fields, Cobalt, 9.104, 144.63.

Stock Eliminator — Bobby Brannon, Pontiac Firebird, 10.507, 125.29  def. Kevin Cradduck, Chevy Camaro, 10.257, 128.35.

Super Comp — Bob Fuller, Dragster, 8.927, 177.39  def. Tommy Phillips, Dragster, 8.949, 164.47.

Super Gas — Jerry Duke, Chevy Beretta, 9.885, 159.36  def. Scott Vandewalker, Dodge Viper, 9.864, 153.25.

Top Sportsman — Marco Abruzzi, Chevy Camaro, 6.936, 185.00  def. Rich Smith, Chevy Cavalier, 7.203, 193.77.

Top Dragster — Jeg Coughlin, Dragster, 6.600, 201.85  def. Mallori McCullar-Rodgers, Dragster, 6.658, 203.00.

GET SCREENED AMERICA PRO MODIFIED SERIES

Pro Modified — Von Smith, Chevy Camaro, 5.933, 243.81  def. Dennis Radford, Plymouth Duster, 6.088, 233.44.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, May 2 2010
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