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‘Sarge’ In Command In Topeka

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, May 21 2011

Top Fueler Tony Schumacher on top in Topeka. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)

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Seven-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher ended the first of two rounds of qualifying at the NHRA Summer Nationals Friday with a 3.798-second blast at a track-record 324.12 mph to earn the provisional No. 1 qualifying position.

The other provisional No. 1 qualifiers at the seventh of 22 races in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season were Jack Beckman (Funny Car) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock).

The No. 1 would be the 64th of Schumacher’s career, pulling him within two of NHRA Legend Kenny Bernstein for fifth place on NHRA’s all-time No. 1 qualifier’s list.

“We know how run down this race track, same crew chief, same guys,” said the driver of the U.S. Army dragster who had been shut out at Heartland Park Topeka before winning in 2010. “In reality, it’s Topeka, it’s a great place, the air was perfect and, uh…we’re No. 1.”

Beckman, coming off of a win at last week’s Summit Racing NHRA Southern Nationals, left with the overnight qualifying lead after a 4.054 at 313.66 in his Aaron’s Dodge Charger.

“We are pretty good on cool race tracks. I was pretty confident,” Beckman said. “That (cool conditions) is what puts us in our comfort zone … when there are wicked quick conditions.”

In Pro Stock, 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Series champion Edwards, from nearby Broken Arrow, Okla., earned the provisional No. 1 with a 6.640-second pass at 207.05 mph in his Penhall/Interstate Batteries Pontiac.

It would be his third straight No. 1 at Heartland Park Topeka where he’s also been to consecutive final rounds, winning in 2010.

“I don’t know (why we’re on such a good run at this track), I guess it’s close to Oklahoma,” Edwards said. “Some of the tracks you go to, you just feel really comfortable, you have a really good handle on it.

“We made just a phenomenal run tonight. Hat’s off to my guys,” Edwards said.

Qualifying at the NHRA Summer Nationals concludes with the third and fourth sessions on Saturday when the fields will be set for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Friday’s results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 23rd annual Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka, seventh of 22 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel — 1. Tony Schumacher, 3.798 seconds, 324.12 mph; 2. Larry Dixon, 3.817, 320.43; 3. Spencer Massey, 3.829, 321.65; 4. Doug Kalitta, 3.841, 320.36; 5. Brandon Bernstein, 3.841, 316.08; 6. Del Worsham, 3.845, 317.19; 7. Antron Brown, 3.864, 319.22; 8. Shawn Langdon, 3.865, 315.49; 9. Cory McClenathan, 3.898, 308.99; 10. Morgan Lucas, 3.908, 308.21; 11. Luigi Novelli, 3.946, 298.21; 12. Bob Vandergriff, 3.963, 269.56. Not Qualified: 13. David Grubnic, 4.007, 296.70; 14. Terry McMillen, 4.026, 299.93; 15. Terry Sainty, 4.146, 270.32; 16. Steven Chrisman, 9.622, 68.25.

Funny Car — 1. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.054, 313.66; 2. Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.058, 307.23; 3. Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 4.067, 312.21; 4. Mike Neff, Mustang, 4.070, 310.98; 5. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Solara, 4.080, 310.20; 6. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.081, 305.15; 7. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.090, 296.83; 8. Jim Head, Solara, 4.093, 306.60; 9. John Force, Mustang, 4.095, 310.41; 10. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.100, 308.64; 11. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.102, 306.95; 12. Melanie Troxel, Solara, 4.133, 304.74. Not Qualified: 13. Jeff Arend, 4.150, 305.42; 14. Tony Pedregon, 4.217, 298.93; 15. Paul Lee, 4.328, 294.18; 16. Dale Creasy Jr., 7.333, 93.51.

Pro Stock — 1. Mike Edwards, Pontiac GXP, 6.640, 207.05; 2. Rodger Brogdon, GXP, 6.651, 206.67; 3. Ron Krisher, GXP, 6.658, 206.48; 4. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 6.660, 207.24; 5. Greg Stanfield, GXP, 6.676, 205.76; 6. Ronnie Humphrey, GXP, 6.683, 206.42; 7. Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.687, 206.54; 8. Greg Anderson, GXP, 6.687, 205.98; 9. Warren Johnson, Cobalt, 6.688, 206.01; 10. Shane Gray, GXP, 6.690, 205.66; 11. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.692, 205.91; 12. Vincent Nobile, Avenger, 6.693, 206.39. Not Qualified: 13. V. Gaines, 6.695, 205.69; 14. Kurt Johnson, 6.712, 205.29; 15. Richard Freeman, 6.717, 204.98; 16. Jason Line, 6.719, 205.85; 17. Bob Yonke, 6.751, 203.55; 18. Jim Yates, 6.767, 204.26; 19. Mark Hogan, 6.873, 195.22; 20. Steve Kalkowski, 6.938, 196.85; 21. Dave River, 7.036, 198.90.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, May 21 2011
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