K&N Filters NHRA SuperNationals
National Pro Stock record holder Greg Anderson completed his dream weekend by lowering his newfound elapsed time and top speed marks to 6.670 seconds at 207.18 mph en route to victory at the 34th annual K&N Filters SuperNationals presented by Pep Boys. Red-hot runners Doug Kalitta, who swept Top Fuel honors this weekend, Whit Bazemore, who logged his first victory of the year, and Shawn Gann joined Anderson in the winner's circle of historic Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
Kalitta and Gann rolled from the No. 1 position in their respective categories to collect wins, while Bazemore took out the only man ahead of him in the points, Tony Pedregon, before dismissing Ron Capps in the final.
Kalitta erased points leader Larry Dixon with his second consecutive 4.4-second pass in the final, catching and passing the reigning series champion, who had left the starting line with a slight lead, and posting a winning 4.494 at 328.54 mph ahead of Dixon's 4.554 at 326.40 mph.
Without question, Kalitta's car was the one to beat all weekend as he posted the quickest run in qualifying as well as the quickest pass in three of four elimination rounds today. This was his second win of the season and lucky No. 13 of his career.
"The Mac Tools crew really had this car running well today," Kalitta said. "Really, we've been strong all weekend. The tune-up really seems to like these cool conditions. I told the guys I wish we could run here every weekend. The track is smooth and the conditions were obviously the best we've seen in quite awhile.
"I'd give us at least an A-minus this race. The only reason it's not an A-plus is because we didn't set the national record and get those extra 20 points. We need to take advantage of the times we have to gain ground on the guys ahead of us in the points. Our goal is still the championship so we needed to beat Dixon because he's up on us in the standings.
"I'm sorry to hear that Brandon [Bernstein] will be out for a few months even though he's one of the guys we're chasing. You don't want to catch a guy like this. That's a great team and they were off to a great start. I hope he comes back soon."
After a remarkable qualifying effort, Kalitta turned up the wick even higher Sunday in his Mac Tools rail, resetting the Old Bridge Township Raceway Park speed record to 330.63 mph in a Round 1 win over Rit Pustari, and the facility's e.t. mark in the semi's when he posted a career-best 4.481 versus Paul Romine. The 4.481 is the third-quickest pass ever. Kalitta also beat Darrell Russell in the quarterfinals, while reaching his 27th money round.
Current POWERade champion Dixon found himself in the unlikely role of underdog as he lined up for his fifth final of the season and 52nd of his professional life. The Miller Lite pro caught an early break when Cory McClenathan red-lighted in Round 1 before running a 4.55 to Dixon's shut-off 11-second pass. He then rebounded with a 4.53 against Clay Millican and had a smooth 4.55 against Jim Head before losing to Kalitta.
Brandon Bernstein crashed in the first round and suffered some damage to his lower back and will be out for two to three months. Brandon's father, Kenny, the six-time champ who retired last season, will take over driving duties. Top Fuel results
After finishing with runner-up honors two times earlier this season, Bazemore's extremely consistent Dodge, which has raced to at least the semifinals of the last seven national events, finally carried Bazemore to his first victory of the season and 13th of his career.
His 4.869-second win over an up-in-smoke Ron Capps marked the first time a Dodge has claimed Funny Car glory since Dean Skuza won the Reading event in 1998. It also pulled Bazemore to within 72 points of Funny Car points leader Tony Pedregon.
"To win here at Englishtown, a place with so much history, especially for Funny Cars, is tremendous," Bazemore said. "This trophy is special. It means more than the others because this is such a big race to win. You have to put this trophy on a pedestal or the top shelf of the case.
"I don't think we have the best Funny Car, but we're close behind and we're working real hard to close the gap even more. Performance-wise, we're just not quite there yet. Look at today; we didn't beat Tony Pedregon, he beat himself with a red light.
"We really want to win the championship over here and we feel like we're in a position to do that this year, especially with [John] Force struggling. He doesn't stumble much and when he does you have to put as much ground between yourself and him as you can. The other guys running well right now aren't John Force and he's the guy that I think will ultimately be the one to beat at the end of the year."
This was Bazemore's 31st career final round. He got there by beating former series champion Cruz Pedregon, a broken Del Worsham, and current POWERade points leader and this event's No. 1 qualifier, Tony Pedregon, who deep-staged and then red-lighted away his chance for victory at the starting line.
With executives from U.S. Tobacco looking on, Capps piloted his Skoal Camaro past Johnny Gray, 12-time champion John Force, who red-lighted, and his Snake Racing teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. This was Capps' second final of the year and the 30th of his illustrious career.
Of note, this is the first time that Force and Tony Pedregon both red-lighted at the same event.
Oakley driver Gary Scelzi posted the fastest Funny Car pass of all-time in Round 1 when he powered through the timing traps at a top speed of 326.95 mph. The pass is not an official record as he failed to run within one percent of the mark this weekend. Funny Car results
The driver with the best car won in Pro Stock as Anderson finished his near-perfect weekend with a 6.724-second, 205.98-mph victory over Darrell Alderman, who ran a game, but slower, 7.747 at 205.38 mph in the finale.
Anderson maxed-out at this event, earning the most points a competitor can collect at one event by winning the race, claiming low qualifier honors, and setting a national elapsed time record. With his win and the 20-point bonus he got for setting the national elapsed time record for his class, Anderson regains the POWERade points lead he held for three consecutive races earlier this season. He now leads second-place points earner Kurt Johnson by 10 points.
"I love Englishtown," said Anderson, the defending event champion. "This place has been very good to me. We make a lot of horsepower and this place rewards the guys that have big power. Obviously we have a great engine program right now. To set the national e.t. record and the national speed record at the same time is unbelievable.
"I've never had my name in the record books for anything and now it'll be there forever. That's pretty doggone cool. I would think those numbers will probably hold the top spot for awhile also. I'm sure it'll grind on K.J. and W.J. [Warren and Kurt Johnson] to open up National Dragster and see my name up there at the top but that's okay because they've been grinding on me for some time now.
"It's so fun going head to head every weekend with those guys. Kurt's like my brother and I worked for Warren for all those years. He taught me how to do this. I never would have dreamed I'd be out here running with them. I'm having the time of my life."
Anderson lowered both the national record elapsed time and top speed he posted in qualifying with a 6.670 at 207.18 mph against quarterfinal opponent Terry Adams. The Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am driver began the day with a 6.69 versus Greg Stanfield, and had a swerving 6.82 win against semifinal foe Kurt Johnson before getting past final-round foe Alderman with a 6.72.
Savvy veteran Alderman drove his Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T past Mark Pawuk, Jim Yates, and reigning series champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. top reach his 49th career final round. He remains with 28 national event wins. Pro Stock results
It was a battle of the tool-sponsored machines in the Pro Stock Bike final with Mac Tools runner Gann bettering Matco Tools ace Treble for his second career win. The victory pushed Gann up to second place in the POWERade points, 24 markers behind Geno Scali.
The money round had an interesting flow with Treble leaving the starting line with a slow .048 reaction time and Gann following with a terrible .126-second launch. But Treble enjoyed his seemingly huge lead for just a few seconds before his bike began to spin its rear tire wildly, which allowed Gann by for an easy victory. The final numbers had Gann carding a 7.100 at 188.49 mph to Treble's resigned 7.752 at 130.32 mph.
"I wanted that Wally like a fat kid wants cake," Gann said. "We put together one of the best combinationas of our racing career today. My daddy can make a ton of horsepower and it showed because we walked away with the Wally."
Low qualifier Gann rode roughshod over Chris Reuter, Sean Conner, and Antron Brown to reach his first final round of the season and seventh of his career. His best pass of the day was a 7.070 at 190.08 mph.
Rebounding nicely from his first career DNQ (did-not-qualify) at the last race in Atlanta, Treble came to life on race day, climbing from the No. 11 starting slot and blazing past reigning three-time series champion Angelle Savoie, who has recorded two first-round losses in a row, points leader Geno Scali, who red-lighted by -.001, and Reggie Showers. This is Treble's second final of the season and 12th overall. Pro Stock Bike results
Saturday's home page
Friday's home page