JOLIET, Ill. -- Larry Dixon tied Kenny Bernstein with his
39th career Top Fuel title Sunday, beating points leader Rod Fuller
to win the Torco Race Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals.
Also winning titles Sunday were: Gary Scelzi in Funny Car, Pro
Stock champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. and reigning Pro Stock Motorcycle
champ Andrew Hines.
It had been 37 races since Dixon last won, a streak that dated
to September 2005 in Indianapolis. He won with a run of 4.579
seconds at 322.11 mph
Scelzi became the fourth racer in history to win double-digit
titles in both nitro categories (Top Fuel and Funny Car).
Fuller got a great jump in the final, leaving Dixon with a
.029-second reaction time to Dixon's .063, but that was the last
thing to go right for Fuller as his dragster lost traction almost
immediately, allowing Dixon to pull away. Fuller's runner-up finish
did move him back into the points lead.
Scelzi faced teammate Ron Capps, who had beaten him in two out
of their three previous final-round meetings. Capps entered the
final as a favorite and enjoyed the choice of lanes, but Scelzi's
Charger was up to the task, winning with a 4.838 at 321.42 mph to
Capps' 4.850 at 318.39 mph.
This was Scelzi's 35th career win and 10th in Funny Car, which
placed him next to Don Prudhomme, Bernstein and Mike Dunn as the
only drivers with double-digit wins in both nitro categories.
Coughlin delivered a near-perfect .002-second launch, his best
of the day, to beat reigning series leader Jason Line. He crossed
in 6.658 at 207.37 mph to Line's 6.656 at 208.07 mph.
Hines shot off the line with a .008-second light to Matt Smith's
.024, but his Harley-Davidson V-Rod made a move at halftrack and
Hines was able to pass Smith and win with a 6.959 at 192.11 mph to
Smith's 7.014 at 187.18 mph.