Tony Schumacher creates history at Indy
Tony Schumacher has created history by winning his ninth US Nationals Top Fuel Championship, whilst Mike Neff has taken the fourth consecutive Funny Car victory for the John Force Racing Castrol GTX team.
Dave Connolly took out Pro Stock in a rare appearance and Andrew Hines Pro Stock Motorcycle.
The Funny Car spoils saw Neff enjoy his second straight Nationals crown – picking up where Ashley Force-Hood left off the two years previous for the JFR Ford outfit.
Neff defeated Tony Pedregon, Todd Lesenko and Matt Hagan on his way to the final, whilst Wilkerson accounted for Bob Tasca III, Jeff Arend and Johnny Gray. Top qualifier, Courtney Force was bundled out in the second round by Gray.
In the final, Neff tripped the win light at 4.079 seconds to Wilkerson’s 4.152.
Despite bowing out early, Ron Capps continues to lead the Full Throttle Funny Car Championship Standings.
In Top Fuel, Tony Schumacher took a holeshot win over Spencer Massey to take out the Nationals crown and move himself into third placing on points heading into the Countdown. He moved past ‘Big Daddy’ Don Garlits with the most Indianapolis Top Fuel Nationals wins – his personal tally now numbering nine.
Massey maintained second spot in the Title race despite going down with a 3.828 at 513.98kph (319.37mph) to Schumacher’s 3.806 at 507.49kph (315.34mph).
Schumacher found himself in the winner’s circle after accounting for Hillary Will, Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon.
Meanwhile Massey saw off challenges from Clay Millican, Khaled Al Balooshi and points leader, Antron Brown.
After qualifying 12th, Australian Dave Grubnic was seen off by Lucas in the first round, whilst Cory McClenathan in the Rapisarda Racing machine qualified 24th and didn’t make the field after a troubled pair of qualifying runs.
A special feature of the Saturday at the event was the Traxxas Nitro Shootout, a $100,000 race within a race. Spencer Massey took the victory in the final, over Steve Torrence.
Dave Connolly took out his 23rd career professional win defeating team-mate and Pro Stock leading lady, Erica Enders.
Connolly – who is ordinarily the tuner on Enders car – is running a limited schedule and this was his third US Nationals win.
“Erica drives incredibly consistent; she’s hard to rattle. She had a .026 [reaction] in the final, and that should have been enough for sure. I can’t explain what happened to her. I feel for her. You know, like I said, there was no reason why she shouldn’t have run a 6.55 again and turned on the win light.”
Connolly accounted for Mike Edwards, Ron Krisher and Vincent Nobile – who red lighted in the Semi. Enders – who set the qualifying pace – saw off Kurt Johnson, Rodger Brogdon and V. Gaines as her charge into Championship contention continues unabated.
It was superior reaction time – 0.015 to 0.026 – that granted Connolly the win light, crossing the line slower and with a deeper time than that of Enders – Connolly setting a 6.589 pass at 338.04kph (210.05mph) to Enders’ 6.580 at 338.46kph (210.31mph).
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
Hector Arana ended the outstanding run that Eddie Kraewic has been enjoying in 2012, however fell short of taking the Nationals win.
Andrew Hines was able to get around Arana Senior to record the victory in a 6.937 pass to Arana’s 7.456.
Hines deposited Dawn Minturn, Karen Stoffer and Hector Arana Junior on his way to the final, whilst Arana Senior got past Jim Underdahl, Shawn Gann and Kraewic – who red lighted in the semis.
Through taking the win, he has closed the points gap to Kraewic to 30 points.