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Hot Hight Wins Funny Car In Concord; Lucas Tops In Top Fuel

Deb Williams | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, September 15 2013

Robert Hight won his second straight race in Funny Car on Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Tami Kelly Pope)

CONCORD, N.C. – Funny Car driver Robert Hight repeated history Sunday at zMAX Dragway in the Carlyle Tools Carolina Nationals while Top Fuel’s Morgan Lucas secured his first-ever victory at the 6-year-old track as the Mello Yello NHRA Countdown to the Championship began with some interesting

scenarios.

In the other two professional categories, Jeg Coughlin claimed his third win this year in Pro Stock and Andrew Hines obtained Harley-Davidson’s first victory this season in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Hines was the only competitor not in the title battle to earn a victory in the first of six race weekends comprising the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship.

“I said I wanted to be a nightmare (to everybody in the top 10),” Hines said. “Today, we took out four of them (riders in the title battle).”

Hight may not have been someone’s nightmare over the weekend, but he probably raised some eyebrows as his performance mimicked his 2009 semifinal and final rounds at zMAX Dragway. Four years ago Hight defeated Matt Hagan in the final after beating a John Force Racing teammate in his semifinal round at zMAX Dragway. That year Hight defeated sister-in-law Ashley Force. This year he defeated her younger sister Courtney. The president of John Force Racing Inc. also entered the Countdown to the Championship 10th in the standings in 2009 and left in third, eventually capturing the championship. This year he entered in ninth and, once again, left in third.

“The standings don’t really show how good we’ve been,” said Hight, who now has back-to-back victories thanks to his win at the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis two weeks ago. “We had a lot of goofy things happen. I lost on a holeshot in Sonoma. On that same run, the fire bottles went off. We were blowing spark plugs out. We were better than this. Luckily, we just pulled it all together.”

Hight’s 29th career victory was his third at zMAX Dragway and left him tied with Pro Stock’s Greg

Morgan Lucas kicked off the Countdown with a win in Funny Car. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Tami Kelly Pope)

Anderson for the most in a pro class at the facility. He defeated Courtney Force when she encountered problems in the semifinal round. Hagan moved into the final round by defeating Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman with an ET of 4.084. The final round was a classic battle between John Force Racing and DSR. Hagan posted the best ET – 4.066 – and the quickest speed – 313.58 mph – but it was Hight’s reaction time that made the difference — .055 to .074. That gave Hight two-thousandths of a second victory. Hight’s ET of 4.083 was coupled with a speed of 312.64 mph.

“Not many people beat Matt Hagan on holeshots,” Hight commented. “I’m not going to count on doing it again, either.”

Lucas made it clear early in the weekend that anyone who wanted a Top Fuel victory would have to defeat him. Lucas claimed the No. 1 position in the second qualifying round and never relinquished it. Using a car constructed in-house, Lucas downed Terry McMillen in the first round and teammate Brandon Bernstein, who smoked his tires, in the second round. That round, however, wasn’t clear sailing for Lucas.

“It broke a piston at some point around 300 feet,” said Lucas, who headed to the second race in the Countdown third in the standings. “I could feel it. I knew something was wrong. I just had to keep my foot in it and hoped everything panned out. When it let go it wasn’t pretty. When I got back one of the guys on the team said, ‘That was a lucky round. We’ll be fine from here on out.’”

The crewman’s statement proved prophetic. In the semifinal round, Doug Kalitta’s speed of 325.61 mph wasn’t enough to defeat Lucas in the 37th meeting between the two. Lucas produced an ET of 3.796 to Kalitta’s 3.818 to advance to the finals against Spencer Massey, who entered the weekend second in the standings. In the final round, Lucas’ and Massey’s reaction times were virtually identical. Lucas’ was .049 and Massey’s .050. Massey’s speed of 319.60 mph was faster than Lucas’ 317.49. However, Lucas possessed the ET edge, 3.788 to 3.816.

In Pro Stock, Erica Enders-Stevens time out of her Cagnazzi Racing Chevrolet Camaro this year due to sponsorship woes apparently affected her adversely in the semifinal round as she had a .031 reaction time to Jason Line’s .020. That left Line with a 6.579 ET to Enders-Stevens’ 6.597. Line, however, lost to four-time Pro Stock champion Coughlin in the final round. Coughlin’s third victory this season and 55th of his career allowed him to climb to second in the standings.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Hines had the lights on his side throughout the day. His opponents red lighted in the first, semifinal and final rounds. He won the second round on a holeshot with a 0.36 reaction time to Matt Smith’s .053.

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Final finish order (1-16) at the Sixth annual Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals presented by NAPA Auto Parts at zMax Dragway. The race is the 19th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

1. Morgan Lucas; 2. Spencer Massey; 3. Doug Kalitta; 4. Clay Millican; 5. Bob Vandergriff; 6. Leah Pruett; 7. Brandon Bernstein; 8. Pat Dakin; 9. Shawn Langdon; 10. Brittany Force; 11. Terry McMillen; 12. Khalid alBalooshi; 13. David Grubnic; 14. Billy Torrence; 15. Tony Schumacher; 16. Steve Torrence.

FUNNY CAR:

1. Robert Hight; 2. Matt Hagan; 3. Jack Beckman; 4. Courtney Force; 5. John Force; 6. Cruz Pedregon; 7. Ron Capps; 8. Tony Pedregon; 9. Jeff Arend; 10. Bob Tasca III; 11. Johnny Gray; 12. Chad Head; 13. Tim Wilkerson; 14. Del Worsham; 15. Alexis DeJoria; 16. Bob Gilbertson.

PRO STOCK:

1. Jeg Coughlin; 2. Jason Line; 3. Mike Edwards; 4. Erica Enders-Stevens; 5. Allen Johnson; 6. Shane Gray; 7. Greg Anderson; 8. V. Gaines; 9. Kurt Johnson; 10. Warren Johnson; 11. Greg Stanfield; 12. Rodger Brogdon; 13. Steve Kent; 14. Larry Morgan; 15. Buddy Perkinson; 16. Vincent Nobile.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

1. Andrew Hines; 2. Hector Arana; 3. LE Tonglet; 4. Hector Arana Jr; 5. Michael Ray; 6. Eddie Krawiec; 7. Matt Smith; 8. Scotty Pollacheck; 9. Adam Arana; 10. Steve Johnson; 11. Jerry Savoie; 12. Mike Berry; 13. Jim Underdahl; 14. Shawn Gann; 15. John Hall; 16. Angie Smith.

Sunday’s final results from the Sixth annual Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals presented by NAPA Auto Parts at zMax Dragway. The race is the 19th of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Morgan Lucas, 3.788 seconds, 317.49 mph def. Spencer Massey, 3.816 seconds, 319.60 mph.

Funny Car — Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 4.083, 312.64 def. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.066, 313.58.

Pro Stock — Jeg Coughlin, Dodge Avenger, 6.583, 210.05 def. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.578, 210.97.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.966, 190.97 def. Hector Arana, Buell, foul.

Pro Modified — Von Smith, Chevy Camaro, 5.968, 240.47 def. Pete Farber, Dodge Daytona, 6.259, 221.63.

Top Alcohol Dragster — Brandon Booher, 5.357, 266.16 def. Rich McPhillips, 5.399, 265.38.

Top Alcohol Funny Car — Frank Manzo, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.593, 263.41 def. Mickey Ferro, Monte Carlo, 5.704, 260.26.

Competition Eliminator — Glen Treadwell, ‘23-T Ford, 8.894, 110.61 def. Steve Szupka, Ken Keir, broke.

Super Stock — Bryan Worner, Chevy Camaro, 9.883, 131.13 def. Anthony Bertozzi, Pontiac Grand Am, foul.

Stock Eliminator — Anthony Fetch, Chevy Nova, 11.447, 110.42 def. Bo Butner, Ford Mustang, 8.873, 156.01.

Super Comp — Jack Sepanek, Dragster, 8.937, 156.73 def. Brian Guthrie, Dragster, 8.871, 167.05.

Super Gas — Sherman Adcock, Pontiac Trans Am, 9.891, 162.55 def. Ralph Musi, Olds Ciera, 9.877, 160.06.

Final round-by-round results from the Sixth annual Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals presented by NAPA Auto Parts at zMax Dragway, the 19th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE — Spencer Massey, 3.822, 288.21 def. Brittany Force, 3.834, 300.73; Morgan Lucas, 3.769, 319.37 def. Terry McMillen, 3.857, 322.04; Bob Vandergriff, 3.835, 323.19 def. Shawn Langdon, 3.795, 325.45; Leah Pruett, 3.854, 316.52 def. Tony Schumacher, 7.458, 85.94; Doug Kalitta, 3.795, 326.32 def. Khalid alBalooshi, 4.210, 248.20; Pat Dakin, 3.833, 317.34 def. Steve Torrence, 8.450, 71.10; Clay Millican, 4.288, 249.16 def. Billy Torrence, 6.838, 101.20; Brandon Bernstein, 4.324, 233.92 def. David Grubnic, 4.281, 246.30;

QUARTERFINALS — Millican, 3.827, 321.27 def. Vandergriff, 3.825, 321.73; Massey, 3.834, 316.23 def. Pruett, 3.860, 317.49; Kalitta, 3.843, 323.04 def. Dakin, 6.410, 92.25; Lucas, 3.886, 288.70 def. Bernstein, 5.946, 103.86;

SEMIFINALS — Lucas, 3.796, 320.13 def. Kalitta, 3.818, 325.61; Massey, 3.830, 321.35 def. Millican, 3.827, 319.14;

FINAL — Lucas, 3.788, 317.49 def. Massey, 3.816, 319.60.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE — Tony Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.083, 308.78 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 5.204, 142.34; Courtney Force, Mustang, 4.094, 313.95 def. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.119, 312.42; Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.087, 308.07 def. Bob Gilbertson, Chevy Monte Carlo, broke; Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.107, 311.56 def. Jeff Arend, Charger, 4.117, 309.70; Ron Capps, Charger, 4.103, 311.92 def. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 11.066, 78.26; Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.100, 310.77 def. Del Worsham, Camry, 5.358, 154.02; John Force, Mustang, 4.076, 315.93 def. Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.144, 309.42; Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.075, 310.77 def. Chad Head, Camry, 4.863, 169.13;

QUARTERFINALS — Beckman, 4.075, 311.70 def. T. Pedregon, 4.312, 244.96; C. Force, 4.107, 311.77 def. Capps, 4.112, 309.20; Hight, 4.055, 316.97 def. C. Pedregon, 4.103, 310.84; Hagan, 4.063, 314.17 def. J. Force, 4.098, 314.31;

SEMIFINALS — Hagan, 4.084, 312.57 def. Beckman, 4.116, 311.70; Hight, 4.057, 311.41 def. C. Force, 7.585, 83.80;

FINAL — Hight, 4.083, 312.64 def. Hagan, 4.066, 313.58.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE — V. Gaines, Dodge Avenger, 6.566, 211.30 def. Buddy Perkinson, Chevy Camaro, foul; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.596, 209.75 def. Vincent Nobile, Avenger, 12.600, 69.61; Jeg Coughlin, Avenger, 6.572, 209.75 def. Greg Stanfield, Camaro, 6.619, 208.07; Erica Enders-Stevens, Camaro, 6.578, 210.28 def. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.636, 208.71; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.563, 210.70 def. Warren Johnson, Pontiac GXP, 6.614, 208.97; Mike Edwards, Camaro, 6.581, 210.80 def. Steve Kent, Camaro, 6.640, 208.78; Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.579, 209.92 def. Kurt Johnson, GXP, 6.613, 209.43; Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.558, 210.67 def. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.646, 208.52;

QUARTERFINALS — Edwards, 6.564, 211.20 def. Anderson, 12.987, 54.57; Coughlin, 6.562, 210.28 def. Gray, 7.019, 153.77; Line, 6.546, 211.49 def. Gaines, 16.145, 22.34; Enders-Stevens, 6.586, 209.36 def. A. Johnson, 6.567, 211.16;

SEMIFINALS — Coughlin, 6.576, 210.24 def. Edwards, 6.581, 210.18; Line, 6.579, 210.73 def. Enders-Stevens, 6.597, 210.05;

FINAL — Coughlin, 6.583, 210.05 def. Line, 6.578, 210.97.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE:

ROUND ONE — Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.931, 191.76 def. John Hall, Buell, foul; Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.902, 195.42 def. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.943, 192.14; Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.892, 191.59 def. Mike Berry, Buell, 6.957, 192.22; Michael Ray, Buell, 6.864, 193.68 def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.955, 192.44; LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.930, 188.94 def. Adam Arana, Buell, 6.922, 193.18; Hector Arana, Buell, 6.955, 194.55 def. Angie Smith, Buell, broke; Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.919, 189.71 def. Shawn Gann, Buell, 6.970, 191.51; Matt Smith, Buell, 6.897, 193.82 def. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.958, 192.06;

QUARTERFINALS — Tonglet, 6.928, 191.73 def. Pollacheck, foul; Hines, 6.936, 191.70 def. M. Smith, 6.934, 193.46; H. Arana, 6.907, 195.17 def. Krawiec, 6.918, 192.82; Arana Jr, 6.891, 193.71 def. Ray, 6.894, 193.77;

SEMIFINALS — Hines, 6.968, 190.94 def. Tonglet, foul; H. Arana, 6.971, 192.80 def. Arana Jr, foul;

FINAL — Hines, 6.966, 190.97 def. H. Arana, foul.

Point standings (top 10) following the Sixth annual Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals presented by NAPA Auto Parts at zMax Dragway, the 19th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series -

Top Fuel

1. Spencer Massey, 2,174; 2. Shawn Langdon, 2,150; 3. Morgan Lucas, 2,144; 4. Doug Kalitta, 2,131; 5. Tony Schumacher, 2,112; 6. Clay Millican, 2,104; 7. Khalid alBalooshi, 2,087; 8. Bob Vandergriff, 2,051; 9. Antron Brown, 2,050; 10. Steve Torrence, 2,044.

Funny Car

1. Matt Hagan, 2,214; 2. Ron Capps, 2,132; 3. Robert Hight, 2,128; 4. Jack Beckman, 2,122; 5. John Force, 2,116; 6. Courtney Force, 2,106; 7. Johnny Gray, 2,102; 8. Cruz Pedregon, 2,101; 9. Tim Wilkerson, 2,057; 10. Del Worsham, 2,037.

Pro Stock

1. Mike Edwards, 2,194; 2. Jeg Coughlin, 2,184; 3. Jason Line, 2,147; 4. Allen Johnson, 2,134; 5. Shane Gray, 2,110; 6. Vincent Nobile, 2,095; 7. Erica Enders-Stevens, 2,085; 8. Greg Anderson, 2,083; 9. V. Gaines, 2,074; 10. Rodger Brogdon, 2,031.

Pro Stock Motorcycle

1. Hector Arana Jr, 2,183; 2. Matt Smith, 2,150; 3. Hector Arana, 2,147; 4. Michael Ray, 2,135; 5. Scotty Pollacheck, 2,095; 6. John Hall, 2,094; 7. Eddie Krawiec, 2,085; 8. LE Tonglet, 2,082; 9. Adam Arana, 2,054; 10. Shawn Gann, 2,031.

(This story will be updated shortly)

Deb Williams | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, September 15 2013
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