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Schumacher Back To Top In Bristol

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, May 17 2009
Tony Schumacher is tops in Top Fuel at Bristol.

Tony Schumacher is tops in Top Fuel at Bristol.


Tony Schumacher won his second-straight NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals title on Sunday, defeating Doug Kalitta in the Top Fuel final at Bristol Dragway. Joining “the Sarge” in the winner’s circle were Funny Car’s Del Worsham, who won his second straight, and Pro Stock’s Mike Edwards, who won his second of ’09.

One race after giving up the points lead to Antron Brown, Schumacher took it back by getting his third win of the season and 59th of his career. The win was  Schumacher’s third at Bristol Dragway, which ties him with final-round foe Kalitta for the most wins by a Full Throttle Series driver at Thunder Valley. Appearing in his 91st career final, Schumacher got the jump at the Tree, .068 to .074, and never looked back, winning on a 3.857 to 3.879 count.

“It was just a great run,” said Schumacher. “First round, we blew it up pretty good, and I was a bit nervous going into the second round. You know, ‘Are we off? Is the engine program off?’ And then we went out and ran real good and Morgan [Lucas] red-lighted. Running Bernstein, that was such a big round. If he would have beaten us, he could have taken over the points lead. To get through that was huge. Kalitta in the final, I cannot stress enough how great it is to race him. We have so much history of battling amongst ourselves. He’s a true champion.

“All of the runs today were big, and to get through that, you’ve got to be confident. You’ve gotta have faith in the guys that work on the car and know that they’re giving you an outstanding race car and you have a chance to win. That’s all you can ask. The team is working well and they’re loving life. I’m not sure there’s a guy on that team that would rather be anywhere else. That’s what it’s about. They get up in the morning and they look forward to racing with the Army car. And we’re having a blast.”Schumacher powered to a 3.876, the second quickest time of round two, to defeat a red-lighting Morgan Lucas, then clocked the second quickest time of the weekend, a 3.836, to get past Brandon Bernstein in the semi’s.

Though he came up short in the final, this was a much needed get-well weekend for Kalitta, who had a DNQ and just two round-wins since his win at the season-opener in Pomona. Kalitta opened eliminations with a thrilling 3.889 to 3.889 win over Doug Herbert and followed it win defeats of No. 1 qualifier Cory McClenathan and Shawn Langdon to advance to the 57th final of his career, four of which have been at Bristol Dragway.

“Aaron Brooks and Alan Johnson, that was their win,” said Worsham of his crew chief and team owner. “In the semifinals [the engine] blew up on us, it kicked the rods out, and we kind of coasted across with a 4.12. But we went back and put a new engine in it, and when we came to the final Aaron and A.J. told me the run was going to be at least a 4.08. A 4.07 was pretty close.

“I saw both sides of a team come together today, the Top Fuel and the Funny Car guys, to put this car back together and basically change every part on it for the final round. That shows you what kind of team this is; they all work together. Aaron Brooks leading this team, it’s basically his first full season working as a crew chief.”

Edwards looked unbeatable in Pro Stock with his Young Life/Penhall GXP, qualifying No. 1 and running low e.t. of every round of eliminations, including his 6.633 in the final that gave him the win over Greg Anderson’s 6.658. Edwards, who also won in Atlanta, now has 17 Pro Stock wins to his credit.

Edwards began the day with a quick 6.647 to oust David Beckley and just got better from there. In round two, Edwards was the picture of perfection with a .000 light and 6.639 that ended Kurt Johnson’s day. Edwards followed it up with a 6.643 to defeat a red-lighting Jason Line and earn a spot in his 32nd final.


Final finish order (1-16) for professional categories at the Ninth annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. The race is the eighth of 24 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.


1.  Tony Schumacher; 2.  Doug Kalitta; 3.  Brandon Bernstein; 4.  Shawn

Langdon; 5.  Larry Dixon; 6.  Antron Brown; 7.  Morgan Lucas; 8.  Cory

McClenathan; 9.  Doug Herbert; 10.  Troy Buff; 11. Michael Gunderson;

12.  Terry Haddock; 13.  Joe Hartley; 14.  Clay Millican; 15.  Pat

Dakin; 16. Dom Lagana.



1.  Del Worsham, Toyota Solara; 2.  Tony Pedregon; 3.  Tim Wilkerson; 4.

Ashley Force Hood; 5. Cruz Pedregon; 6.  Jack Beckman; 7.  Ron Capps; 8.

Jim Head; 9.  Bob Tasca III; 10.  Bob Tasca III; 11.  Jeff Arend; 12.

Jeff Arend; 13.  Mike Neff; 14.  Mike Neff; 15.  Bob Bode; 16.  Bob




1.  Mike Edwards, Pontiac GXP; 2.  Greg Anderson; 3.  Jason Line; 4.

Jeg Coughlin; 5.  Johnny Gray; 6.  Kurt Johnson; 7.  Ron Krisher; 8.

Allen Johnson; 9.  Greg Stanfield; 10.  Rodger Brogdon; 11.  Larry

Morgan; 12.  Warren Johnson; 13.  Justin Humphreys; 14.  David Beckley;

15. Rickie Jones; 16.  Ronnie Humphrey.


Sunday’s final results from the Ninth annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. The race is the eighth of 24 in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Tony Schumacher, 3.857 seconds, 310.91 mph  def. Doug Kalitta, 3.879 seconds, 303.43 mph.

Funny Car — Del Worsham, Toyota Solara, 4.075, 304.67  def. Tony Pedregon, Chevy Impala, 4.152, 293.22.

Pro Stock — Mike Edwards, Pontiac GXP, 6.633, 207.72  def. Greg Anderson, GXP, 6.658, 207.94.

Final round-by-round results from the Ninth annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, the eighth of 24 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series:


ROUND ONE — Doug Kalitta, 3.889, 309.49 def. Doug Herbert, 3.889,

310.84; Antron Brown, 3.838, 319.75 def. Troy Buff, 3.902, 295.98;

Morgan Lucas, 3.839, 312.28 def. Clay Millican, 6.778, 87.35; Shawn

Langdon, 3.990, 305.42 def. Dom Lagana, broke; Larry Dixon, 4.329,

269.56 def. Pat Dakin, 8.310, 82.27; Brandon Bernstein, 3.980, 298.93

def. Joe Hartley, 6.243, 100.97; Cory McClenathan, 3.886, 286.01 def.

Michael Gunderson, 3.990, no speed; Tony Schumacher, 3.880, 303.30 def.

Terry Haddock, 4.034, 275.28;


QUARTERFINALS — Langdon, 3.887, 291.45 def. Dixon, 3.835, 310.13;

Kalitta, 3.900, 305.36 def. McClenathan, 3.956, 261.32; Schumacher,

3.876, 308.43 def. Lucas, foul; Bernstein, 3.862, 304.25 def. Brown,

3.873, 315.86;


SEMIFINALS — Kalitta, 3.865, 305.01 def. Langdon, 7.320, 85.00;

Schumacher, 3.836, 314.61 def. Bernstein, 3.884, 313.29;

FINAL — Schumacher, 3.857, 310.91 def. Kalitta, 3.879, 303.43.


ROUND ONE — Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.165, 291.57 def. Jerry

Toliver, Chevy Monte Carlo, 7.289, 87.10; Del Worsham, Toyota Solara,

4.378, 254.57 def. Jeff Arend, Solara, 5.321, 179.04; Ashley Force Hood,

Mustang, 4.361, 236.59 def. Andy Kelley, Dodge Stratus, 7.047, 98.95;

Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.217, 251.16 def. Bob Bode, Chevy Impala SS,

6.594, 102.15; Cruz Pedregon, Solara, 5.149, 205.44 def. Mike Neff,

Mustang, 5.501, 183.59; Tony Pedregon, Impala, 4.195, 296.89 def. Matt

Hagan, Charger, broke; Jack Beckman, Charger, 5.138, 180.84 def. John

Force, Mustang, DQ; Jim Head, Solara, 4.732, 244.16 def. Bob Tasca III,

Mustang, 4.964, 242.32;

QUARTERFINALS — Wilkerson, 4.187, 295.27 def. Beckman, 4.233, 297.48;

T. Pedregon, 4.143, 300.26 def. Capps, 4.503, 262.90; Force Hood, 4.171,

298.73 def. Head, 6.216, 106.35; Worsham, 4.105, 298.27 def. C.

Pedregon, 4.170, 296.57;

SEMIFINALS — T. Pedregon, 4.119, 302.28 def. Force Hood, 4.130, 304.94;

Worsham, 4.121, 286.44 def. Wilkerson, 4.127, 301.60;

FINAL — Worsham, 4.075, 304.67 def. T. Pedregon, 4.152, 293.22.


ROUND ONE — Kurt Johnson, Chevy Cobalt, 6.675, 206.26 def. Rodger

Brogdon, Pontiac GXP, 6.699, 206.80; Ron Krisher, Cobalt, 6.758, 202.03

def. Warren Johnson, GXP, 6.711, 206.95; Allen Johnson, Dodge Stratus,

6.689, 206.70 def. Larry Morgan, Stratus, 6.707, 206.04; Jason Line,

GXP, 6.674, 206.89 def. Rickie Jones, Stratus, 6.719, 205.76; Johnny Gray, Stratus,

6.682, 206.13 def. Greg Stanfield, GXP, 6.664, 206.73; Mike Edwards,

GXP, 6.647, 207.24 def. David Beckley, Stratus, 6.715, 206.01; Greg

Anderson, GXP, 6.655, 207.50 def. Justin Humphreys, GXP, 6.714, 205.69;

Jeg Coughlin, Cobalt, 6.672, 207.30 def. Ronnie Humphrey, Stratus,

6.720, 205.98;


QUARTERFINALS — Line, 6.658, 206.89 def. Gray, 6.675, 206.54; Coughlin,

6.663, 207.40 def. Krisher, foul; Anderson, 6.648, 207.78 def. A.

Johnson, 6.735, 206.95; Edwards, 6.639, 207.40 def. K. Johnson, 6.685,



SEMIFINALS — Anderson, 6.661, 207.50 def. Coughlin, 6.941, 166.60;

Edwards, 6.643, 207.34 def. Line, foul;

FINAL — Edwards, 6.633, 207.72 def. Anderson, 6.658, 207.94.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, May 17 2009
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