Schumacher, Hight And Anderson Race To Victories At NHRA Winternationals

POMONA, Calif. – Defending Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher
raced to his 42nd career victory Sunday at the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA

Robert Hight and Greg Anderson also were winners in their respective
categories at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event, the first of
24 races in 2008.

Schumacher, who with the victory moved to second on the Top Fuel
all-time wins list behind legend Joe Amato (52 wins), covered the Auto
Club Raceway at Pomona quarter-mile dragstrip in 4.499 seconds at 331.28
mph in his U.S. Army dragster, while final round opponent Cory
McClenathan trailed in his FRAM dragster at 4.536 at 329.26.

“It has been an outstanding week,” said Schumacher of his second
Winternationals victory and sixth at the historic track. “The car was so
consistent all weekend. It’s always great to win at Pomona and this is
our second Winternationals win. I’ve loved being in California this
week. I’m going home to 13-inches of snow tomorrow (in Chicago).”

Schumacher dedicated his trophy to fellow competitor Doug Herbert, whose
two young sons were killed in a traffic accident in North Carolina two
weeks ago.

“We’re all part of a family when something like that happens,”
Schumacher said. “I really wanted Doug to have this trophy. It was
bittersweet having to race him in the second round. We were able to go
on and get the win so this trophy is going to Doug.”

Hight raced to his ninth career Funny Car victory and second at this
race, powering his Auto Club Ford Mustang to a 4.861 at 284.39, just
edging Cruz Pedregon at the finish line, who ran 4.879 at 322.50 in his
Advance Auto Parts Chevy Impala SS.

Hight earned a first round victory when Ron Capps crossed the
centerline, then raced to wins over veterans Gary Densham and John Force
in the next two rounds, before defeating Pedregon in the final. He says
days like this that feature a lineup of very tough opponents is going to
be very common this season.

“It’s going to be a tough year,” said Hight, who finished second in the
POWERade Series standings in 2007. “There are an awful lot of really
good cars out there. It’s going to be hard to win the championship this
year, but it’s going to be exciting.”

Defending Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon received burns to his right
hand but was otherwise OK after taking a wild ride in a first round loss
to John Force. The engine on Pedregon’s Q Horsepower Chevy Impala
exploded in a spectacular fireball near the finish line, sending chunks
of the carbon-fiber body that covers his chassis flying into the air.

“There was no warning,” said Pedregon, who was transported to a local
hospital for evaluation and was later released and returned to the track
to cheer on brother Cruz.

“A lot of times when something happens to your car, like when you drop a
cylinder, you feel it, and I would have reacted,” Pedregon continued.
“But it blew up, and I had instant flames, like a flame-thrower in my
face and the scary part was I didn’t know where I was. I hit the wall
very hard and I feel very lucky. This is a little bit of a glitch for
us, but this is why we have depth. We have good people and I feel fine –
I feel great. I’m anxious to get back in the seat at Phoenix, and hey,
if this is what it takes to get to the top, these are unfortunate
things, but in terms of safety, to have a high-speed wreck like that,
blow a motor and go into the wall a couple of times at close to 300 mph,
I think it proves a lot about the safety features we’ve added to these

Anderson claimed his 52nd career Pro Stock victory by outrunning rival
Jeg Coughlin in the final round. Anderson, who is now tied for fifth
place in all-time POWERade Series wins with Top Fuel legend Joe Amato,
drove his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to a track record time of 6.616 at
209.23 to hold off defending series champ Coughlin, who posted a 6.638
at 208.42 in his Chevy Cobalt.

“Anytime you match up against Jeg you better bring everything you’ve
got,” said Anderson, a three-time series champ who finished second to
Coughlin in last year’s Countdown to the Championship. “I knew no matter
what we ran, he’d be right there and he was. We’re going to try to win
every race this year, but it’s going to be the toughest year in the
class because these guys out here aren’t going to give an inch.”

The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series continues with the 24th annual
Checker Schuck’s Kragen NHRA Nationals, Feb. 22-24 at Firebird
International Raceway near Phoenix.

POMONA, Calif. — Final finish order (1-16) for professional categories
at the 48th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals at Auto Club
Raceway at Pomona. The race is the first of 24 events in the NHRA
POWERade Drag Racing Series.

1. Tony Schumacher; 2. Cory McClenathan; 3. Larry Dixon; 4. Morgan
Lucas; 5. Hillary Will; 6. Doug Herbert; 7. Rod Fuller; 8. Antron
Brown; 9. Urs Erbacher; 10. Brandon Bernstein; 11. Troy Buff; 12.
David Grubnic; 13. J.R. Todd; 14. Bob Vandergriff; 15. Alan Bradshaw;
16. Doug Kalitta.

1. Robert Hight, Ford Mustang; 2. Cruz Pedregon, Chevy Impala; 3.
Ashley Force, Mustang; 4. John Force, Mustang; 5. Bob Tasca, Mustang;
6. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger; 7. Gary Densham, Chevy Monte Carlo; 8.
Gary Scelzi, Charger; 9. Tony Pedregon, Impala; 10. Tim Wilkerson,
Impala; 11. Mike Neff, Mustang; 12. Bob Bode, Monte Carlo; 13.
Melanie Troxel, Dodge Dodge RT; 14. Jerry Toliver, Charger; 15. Scott
Kalitta, Toyota Solara; 16. Ron Capps, Charger.

1. Greg Anderson, Pontiac GXP; 2. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Cobalt; 3. Kurt
Johnson, Cobalt; 4. Allen Johnson, Dodge Stratus; 5. Jason Line,
Pontiac GTO; 6. Greg Stanfield, GXP; 7. Justin Humphreys, GTO; 8.
Warren Johnson, GTO; 9. Max Naylor, Stratus; 10. V. Gaines, Stratus;
11. Mike Edwards, GTO; 12. Matt Hartford, Stratus; 13. Bill Glidden,
GTO; 14. Ron Krisher, Cobalt; 15. Kenny Koretsky, Cobalt; 16. Johnny
Gray, Stratus.

POMONA, Calif. — Sunday’s final results from the 48th annual CARQUEST
Auto Parts Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. The race is
the first of 24 in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:
Top Fuel — Tony Schumacher, 4.499 seconds, 331.28 mph def. Cory
McClenathan, 4.536 seconds, 329.26 mph.
Funny Car — Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 4.861, 284.39 def. Cruz
Pedregon, Chevy Impala, 4.879, 322.50.
Pro Stock — Greg Anderson, Pontiac GXP, 6.616, 209.23 def. Jeg
Coughlin, Chevy Cobalt, 6.638, 208.42.
Top Alcohol Dragster — Duane Shields, 5.377, 270.00 def. Joey
Severance, foul.
Top Alcohol Funny Car — Frank Manzo, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.558, 260.26
def. Brian Hough, Monte Carlo, 5.779, 250.27.
Competition Eliminator — Jim Cowan, Chevy Cobalt, 8.188, 148.67 def.
Dan Fletcher, Cobalt, 9.196, 109.60.
Super Stock — Dan Fletcher, Chevy Camaro, 9.352, 134.56 def. Brad
Rounds, Chevy S-10, 9.335, 142.60.
Stock Eliminator — Toby Lang, Chevelle, 11.630, 108.76 def. Jimmy
DeFrank, Chevy Camaro, 10.502, 125.71.
Super Comp — Kyle Seipel, Dragster, 8.924, 166.64 def. Rick Beckstrom,
Dragster, foul.

POMONA, Calif. — Final round-by-round results from the 48th annual
CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the
first of 24 events in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:

ROUND ONE — Cory McClenathan, 4.518, 329.34 def. Brandon Bernstein,
4.576, 322.81; Rod Fuller, 4.494, 326.24 def. David Grubnic, 5.420,
212.49; Doug Herbert, 4.644, 325.06 def. Alan Bradshaw, 11.776, 80.75;
Morgan Lucas, 4.546, 331.77 def. Bob Vandergriff, 8.210, 96.24; Antron
Brown, 4.522, 329.26 def. Urs Erbacher, 4.571, 324.98; Larry Dixon,
4.512, 331.61 def. Troy Buff, 4.686, 286.25; Tony Schumacher, 4.508,
328.30 def. Doug Kalitta, 30.838, 52.32; Hillary Will, 5.992, 168.89
def. J.R. Todd, 7.014, 175.73;
QUARTERFINALS — Lucas, 4.564, 322.73 def. Will, 4.594, 325.85;
McClenathan, 4.530, 329.34 def. Brown, 16.894, 47.41; Dixon, 4.551,
310.05 def. Fuller, 4.691, 297.75; Schumacher, 4.511, 331.45 def.
Herbert, 4.678, 315.42;
SEMIFINALS — McClenathan, 4.555, 329.34 def. Lucas, 4.612, 278.98;
Schumacher, 4.510, 329.75 def. Dixon, 4.573, 317.27;
FINAL — Schumacher, 4.499, 331.28 def. McClenathan, 4.536, 329.26.

ROUND ONE — Gary Densham, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.862, 312.86 def. Tim
Wilkerson, Chevy Impala, 5.099, 270.86; Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger,
4.959, 309.63 def. Jerry Toliver, Charger, 8.035, 91.62; Gary Scelzi,
Charger, 4.911, 317.94 def. Scott Kalitta, Toyota Solara, 10.639, 78.11;
Bob Tasca, Ford Mustang, 5.235, 225.97 def. Melanie Troxel, Dodge Dodge
RT, 6.968, 130.07; John Force, Mustang, 4.805, 327.66 def. Tony
Pedregon, Impala, foul; Ashley Force, Mustang, 5.959, 300.00 def. Bob
Bode, Monte Carlo, 6.854, 161.27; Cruz Pedregon, Impala, 4.927, 311.85
def. Mike Neff, Mustang, 5.374, 205.72; Robert Hight, Mustang, 5.521,
280.37 def. Ron Capps, Charger, broke;
QUARTERFINALS — Hight, 5.291, 295.46 def. Densham, 9.088, 97.12; A.
Force, 4.873, 318.62 def. Tasca III, 4.955, 310.63; J. Force, 4.871,
312.42 def. Scelzi, broke; C. Pedregon, 5.010, 303.84 def. Beckman,
5.122, 295.21;
SEMIFINALS — C. Pedregon, 4.850, 325.06 def. A. Force, 4.996, 246.75;
Hight, 4.842, 313.73 def. J. Force, 11.266, 84.45;
FINAL — Hight, 4.861, 284.39 def. C. Pedregon, 4.879, 322.50.

ROUND ONE — Greg Stanfield, Pontiac GXP, 6.672, 206.99 def. Max Naylor,
Dodge Stratus, foul; Justin Humphreys, Pontiac GTO, 6.657, 207.56 def.
V. Gaines, Stratus, 6.701, 206.80; Jason Line, GTO, 6.671, 208.20 def.
Bill Glidden, GTO, 6.792, 206.16; Allen Johnson, Stratus, 6.645, 207.85
def. Matt Hartford, Stratus, 6.712, 206.01; Warren Johnson, GTO, 6.661,
208.46 def. Kenny Koretsky, Chevy Cobalt, 6.873, 205.01; Kurt Johnson,
Cobalt, 6.648, 208.30 def. Mike Edwards, GTO, 6.707, 206.32; Greg
Anderson, GXP, 6.627, 208.94 def. Johnny Gray, Stratus, 6.910, 195.22;
Jeg Coughlin, Cobalt, 6.670, 207.59 def. Ron Krisher, Cobalt, 6.854,
QUARTERFINALS — Coughlin, 6.685, 207.27 def. Humphreys, 6.724, 207.15;
K. Johnson, 6.675, 207.78 def. Line, 6.653, 208.65; A. Johnson, 6.702,
205.54 def. W. Johnson, 6.736, 206.57; Anderson, 6.637, 208.36 def.
Stanfield, 6.678, 206.89;
SEMIFINALS — Coughlin, 6.666, 207.46 def. K. Johnson, 6.651, 208.01;
Anderson, 6.643, 208.62 def. A. Johnson, 6.654, 207.85;
FINAL — Anderson, 6.616, 209.23 def. Coughlin, 6.638, 208.42.

POMONA, Calif. — Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional
categories following the 48th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals
at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the first of 24 events in the NHRA
POWERade Drag Racing Series –
Top Fuel
1. Tony Schumacher, 116; 2. Cory McClenathan, 93; 3. Larry Dixon, 77;
4. Morgan Lucas, 75; 5. Antron Brown, 58; 6. Hillary Will, 54; 7.
(tie) Rod Fuller, 52; Doug Herbert, 52; 9. Alan Bradshaw, 34; 10.
David Grubnic, 33.

Funny Car
1. Robert Hight, 112; 2. Cruz Pedregon, 93; 3. (tie) John Force, 74;
Ashley Force, 74; 5. (tie) Jack Beckman, 51; Gary Densham, 51; Gary
Scelzi, 51; Bob Tasca, 51; 9. Tim Wilkerson, 38; 10. Jerry Toliver, 37

Pro Stock
1. Greg Anderson, 118; 2. Jeg Coughlin, 97; 3. Kurt Johnson, 76; 4.
Allen Johnson, 74; 5. Warren Johnson, 55; 6. Jason Line, 54; 7. (tie)
Justin Humphreys, 53; Greg Stanfield, 53; 9. (tie) V. Gaines, 32; Bill
Glidden, 32; Matt Hartford, 32; Max Naylor, 32.

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