Volume III, Issue 7, Page 1

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Wilkerson Takes Fourth Wally of 2008 Season

Jul 13, 08 | 8:08 pm

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In the Final round of Funny Car, Tim Wilkerson drove his Levi Ray & Shoup Chevy Impala SS to a 4.398 at 262.23 knocking-off the defending event winner “Fast” Jack Beckman racing the Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T.  Both drivers started hazing the tires just before the 660-foot mark.  Wilk picked up his third win in the last five races, fourth win of the season, ninth of his career and first victory at Bandimere Speedway’s Thunder Mountain outside of Denver.

“We had a good car all weekend and went down the track every run,” said Wilkerson. “I’m pretty proud of my guys. They’re doing a great job. It was good racing all weekend.  I feel the car is coming around, it’s responding and the new chassis is going nice and straight, and that’s what makes us happy.”

Wilkerson added, “That was pretty exciting run all of those Force cars, and they were all good runs too.  Those guys are always tough.  You know anytime you race anything that says Force on it, it’s going to be tough.  But today the Mustangs went 1-2-3 to the Impala and that’s what we like to hear.  Hopefully it will continue to be a good Western Swing for us.  It’s a good start for us, and we’re real excited about going the rest of the way.”

Here are the Top Ten NHRA POWERade point standings for the Nitro Funny Car class following the 29th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

1. Tim Wilkerson, 978; 2.  Robert Hight, 763; 3.  Tony Pedregon, 750; 4.  Ashley Force, 739; 5. Cruz Pedregon, 720; 6.  John Force, 695; 7.  (tie) Ron Capps, 632; Gary Densham, 632; 9.  Mike Neff, 600; 10.  Jack Beckman, 530.

Ron Lewis Photography

Allen Johnson -vs- Greg Anderson in the Pro Stock Final

Jul 13, 08 | 7:59 pm

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Anderson’s 56th career win, and second in Denver.

Defending event Pro Stock champion and Team Mopar® driver Allen Johnson met Greg Anderson in the Thunder Mountain Pro Stock Final round.  Anderson was first off the starting line drove his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to his third straight National Event win and fifth overall win for the season, posting a time of 7.024 at 196.39, which proved strong enough to get past runner-up Johnson’s Mopar. It is Anderson’s 56th career win, and second in Denver.

“This track is so different than everything we do all year long,” said Anderson. “We just ended up having a great weekend. We adapted great and I’ve probably learned more this year than I’ve ever learned out here.”

Anderson joined a long list of drivers praising Bandimere Speedway’s all-new concrete surface and the cooling system installed under the track surface for the first 150 feet.

The Summit Racing-sponsored driver added, “I can’t possibly say enough about the job that the Bandimere family has done with this racetrack in the last year.  All of the changes and improvements that they have made is absolutely the wave of the future.  With the cooling system at the starting line and the all-concrete surface, it’s made this track so much better than it used to be.  It was never bad, but it’s absolutely a super track right now.  You didn’t see any problems at all out there with any of the classes.  You just don’t see that at any track we go to.  My hat’s off to them; they did a great job,” Anderson said.

Here are the Top Ten NHRA POWERade Pro Stock point standings following the 29th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

1.  Greg Anderson, 996; 2.  Kurt Johnson, 900; 3.  Jason Line, 828; 4.  Jeg Coughlin, 819; 5. Allen Johnson, 711; 6.  Mike Edwards, 671; 7.  Ron Krisher, 662; 8.  V. Gaines, 657; 9.  Greg Stanfield, 627; 10.  Warren Johnson, 565.

Jeff Burk Photography

“My car ran flawlessly all day"

Jul 13, 08 | 7:53 pm

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The 'Sarge' disposed of Steve Chrisman in Round one

U.S. Army Top Fuel driver, Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher, banked his sixth win of the season here Sunday in the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.  Schumacher took out his former U.S. Army Racing teammate, Antron Brown, in the finals with 4.007-second pass at 304.05 mph.

“What a great day this was for the U.S. Army and our Soldiers,” said the five-time NHRA POWERade world champion. “It’s always so gratifying to be able to deliver wins to our brave men and women.”

The Chicago-area resident disposed of Steve Chrisman, Doug Herbert and Larry Dixon prior to his dismantling of Brown in the final round.  “My car ran flawlessly all day,” added Schumacher. “We went straight down a very hot track every time and there wasn’t a hint of tire smoke. That’s a credit to Alan Johnson (his crew chief) and the entire U.S. Army team. As usual, they rose to the occasion.”

This was the first race that the Top Fuel cars ran to the 1,000 foot mark instead of the traditional quarter-mile.  “I certainly didn’t view that as an issue all weekend,” he said. “In fact, it may have played into our hands a little bit since my car would always hit the rev limiter when we were making full runs. Now, we’re not hitting it and putting out cylinders in the process.”

With his 47th career win, Schumacher moved to within five wins of tying Joe Amato for the most career victories in Top Fuel. Additionally, he’s now 275 points up on Brown in the standings.  “I guess we’ve managed to put together the best start ever for this team,” he said. “It’s pretty amazing, to be honest. We just want to ride this wave as long as we can.”

Schumacher’s win at on Thunder Mountain at Bandimere Speedway was also the 110th national event win for the Don Schumacher Racing organization.

Runner-up Antron Brown commented, “Man, that was a tough one to lose, but it was a great weekend for our Matco Tools team.  It’s tough racing up here on the mountain, but Bandimere Speedway is an awesome facility. We wanted to win this one for Lee Beard being his hometown race track and we came close. Tony (Schumacher) and that Army team are awesome. They motivate us to keep working harder and that’s what we’re going to do. It was a great start to the Western Swing and we’re going to try and get one round further at Seattle next Sunday.”

Here are the Top Ten point standings for the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel Dragster class following the 29th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

1.  Tony Schumacher, 1,179; 2.  Antron Brown, 904; 3.  Larry Dixon, 867; 4.  Cory McClenathan, 788; 5.  Rod Fuller, 777; 6.  Brandon Bernstein, 737; 7.  Hillary Will, 719; 8.  Doug Herbert, 666; 9. Doug Kalitta, 566; 10.  David Grubnic, 564.

Ron Lewis Photography

The Boss goes out early

Jul 13, 08 | 7:28 pm

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John Force qualified seventh, but met teammate Mike Neff in Round one of Sunday’s Eliminations.  In a close side by side match Neff’s 4.390 defeated John’s 4.412, Neff’s margin of victory at 1,000 feet was just eighteen inches. 

Neff went on to defeat in Round two to Tim Wilkerson.  “Tim Wilkerson and his team have been running great. They have been on a roll. I’ve been on rolls like that too. I am excited that our Ford Mustangs are coming around. Robert has moved up to No. 2 and Neff has moved up a little in points. We all start from scratch when you come to the hill (Bandimere Speedway),” said John Force.

Ron Lewis Photography

Wilkerson Takes on and Trailers Three Force Funny Cars

Jul 13, 08 | 7:13 pm

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Semi Finals against Robert Hight

POWERade Funny Car Points leader Tim Wilkerson piloted the Levi Ray & Shoup Chevy Impala SS to this semi-final round win over Robert Hight in the AAA of SoCal Mustang.  After his match with Hight, on the way to his final round match with Jack Beckman’s Mopar, Wilk defeated the best Team Force could muster putting away Ashley Force in Round one of eliminations and Mike Neff in Round two.

Ron Lewis Photography

ON TO SEATTLE FOR KB RACING TOP FUELER

Jul 13, 08 | 6:43 pm

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Hillary Will and the KB Racing, LLC team upset in round one in Denver

During Sunday’s final eliminations of the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo., just a few miles from Denver, Hillary Will, driver of the 8,000-horsepower KB Racing, LLC Top Fuel dragster, was turned away from an NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event win on “the mountain” after being upset in round one.

Will, the No. 5 qualifier (4.018 sec., 302.21 mph), raced against the No. 12 qualifier Bob Vandergriff Jr. (4.048 sec., 289.20 mph) in the opener. The drivers put on a great side-by-side race for the fans at Bandimere, but it was Vandergriff Jr. and his entry that got to the 1,000-ft. finish line first to get the upset win with his best run of the weekend, 4.182 sec., 291.19 mph to 4.046 sec., 306.67 mph.

Beginning with the event in Denver, the NHRA instituted a new racing distance for the nitro-fueled classes of Funny Car and Top Fuel dragster to 1,000 ft., as opposed to the traditional distance of 1,320 ft., or a quarter of a mile. The unprecedented action is intended to be a temporary safety solution to help the drivers of the world’s quickest and fastest racing safely bring their cars to a stop more efficiently.

Will remains in 7th place in POWERade championship points.

Ron Lewis Photography

CAPPS NAPA MOPAR

Jul 13, 08 | 6:38 pm

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Capps moves into tie for seventh place with quarterfinal finish in Denver

Ron Capps drove the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car into the quarterfinals today at at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway and moved into a tie for seventh place in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series point standings with Gary Densham.

Racing for the first time in NHRA pro nitro history to the 1000-ft. mark instead of to a 1320-ft. finish line, Capps dismissed Bob Tasca III in the opening round of eliminations in a close contest. Without lane choice, No. 11 qualifier Capps outran Tasca by five feet to take the victory with a 4.525-second pass at 241.41 mph.

He then met up with Cruz Pedregon in the quarterfinal. Again without lane choice, he was defeated after striking the tires and slowing to a 5.330/143.69 lap to Pedregon’s winning 4.388/276.18.

“It’s all a product of yesterday’s final qualifying session when I shut the NAPA Dodge off early,” said Capps. “Basically everything that happened today I have to take the blame for. Had I not shut it off early yesterday it would have moved us up well near the top, if not the top, of the qualifying order, and we would have had lane choice first round.

“Throughout the weekend lane choice didn’t seem like it was that big of a deal. There were a couple of really small bumps in the right lane and that’s why you saw a lot of cars pulling the tires loose and we did the same.  Had we had lane choice first round it would have been a much better deal and we might have run better to earn lane choice for the second round. I’ll take the blame for this one. We got lucky in the first round. It’s just a part of it.”

Capps responded to questions about the new 1,000 foot finish line, “I already talked to a few drivers who had a hard time finding the actual finish line at 1000 feet. In the nighttime I did, but during the day the clutch just starts coming in and it’s really hard to find the finish line. So I’m hoping they’ll put some lines across the track. There’s a small reflector that they put on the guardrail, but it’s so hard to catch that during the day.  But, I have to tell you, 1000-ft. racing, all in all, was great, more than anything for the fans. The lack of oildowns and the super-quick sessions that allowed the fans to get back to the pit area and see their drivers was great.”

Ron Lewis Photography

Ficco's Chevrolet Takes Comp Eliminator

Jul 13, 08 | 5:54 pm

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All Colorado Competition Eliminator Final

Lou Ficco Jr. from Wheat Ridge CO drove his 2005 Chevy Cavalier to a #1 slot leading all qualifiers on Thunder Mountain in front of a capacity crowd with a -0.666 under 7.824 on a 8.49 index. 

Ficco took the stripe in the Round 5 Final over Steve Holloway’s A/Altered Automatic from Lakewood, CO.  The B/AP Cavalier carded a 7.722 elapsed time at 173.72 miles per hour over Holloway’s 7.030 ET charge at 197.77 miles per hour in the all-Colorado Final Round.

Ron Lewis Photography

Doug Kalitta takes out Team Mate David Grubnic in First Round of Eliminations

Jul 13, 08 | 5:40 pm

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Dave Grubnic, driver of the DHL/Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragster, qualified No. 8

Kalitta and the Mac Tools team raced to the quarterfinals in Denver after defeating teammate Grubnic

During Sunday’s final eliminations of the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo., just a few miles from Denver, Doug Kalitta, driver of the 8,000-horsepower “Big Red” Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, became the first elimination-round winner in the new era of 1,000 ft. drag racing in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

In the opening round, Kalitta, the No. 9 qualifier (4.027 sec., 291.01 mph), faced off against his Kalitta Motorsports teammate and No. 8 qualifier (4.026 sec., 294.37 mph) Dave Grubnic, driver of the DHL Top Fueler, as the pair of racing vets began the day of eliminations for the pro classes. Both drivers had their “hands full” as both of their respective charges struggled to maintain traction on the tricky drag strip at Bandimere, but Kalitta’s rail was able to “stay stuck” just a little better than Grubnic’s bright yellow racer to get the win, 4.455 sec., 259.76 mph to 4.878 sec., 199.76 mph.

In the quarterfinals, Kalitta rolled to the mile-high starting line to race against Cory McClenathan. Kalitta’s Mac Tools machine again had problems with traction after the race started, while McClenathan was able to “go the grand” with fewer troubles and get the win over Kalitta, 4.403 sec., 237.38 mph to 4.197 sec., 270.59 mph.

Ron Lewis Photography

YEAH, IT'S GOT A HEMI!

Jul 13, 08 | 4:48 pm

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Competition Eliminator Action

In Competition Eliminator the wild ‘70 Plymouth Barracuda of Raymond Vettel Jr, who hails from Phillips NE qualified in the #23 position with a high altitude 6.723 on a 7.06 index.

Vettel’s Cuda Pro Mod went out in the second round of Sunday Eliminations to Joe Mozeris in his B/Econo Dragster.  Vettel’s Mopar ran 6.615 elapsed time at 213.87 miles per hour in his second round loss.

Ron Lewis Photography

"This was a good rebound weekend for us,"

Jul 13, 08 | 4:40 pm

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Coughlin out-drives opponents en route to quarterfinal showing in Denver

DENVER (July 13)—Pro Stock veteran Jeg Coughlin Jr. looked as sharp as ever in his JEGS.com Chevrolet Cobalt, racing to an elite eight finish at Denver’s Bandimere Speedway with some great driving. Coughlin beat both of his Sunday foes off the launch pad but was caught and passed by Greg Anderson three-quarters of the way down the track to end the day fifth out of 16 hungry competitors.

“This was a good rebound weekend for us,” Coughlin said. “I felt great and completely rejuvenated behind the wheel. I’m a little disappointed we didn’t win that second race and get into the semis but overall I’m excited about the day and the weekend as a whole. We’re certainly ready to get to Seattle and keep on building on this.”

After qualifying with identical elapsed times of 7.040 seconds, Coughlin knew his first-round race against good buddy Justin Humphreys would likely come down to the drivers. As usual, the four-time world champ delivered with a stellar .021 to .031-second reaction time advantage that he stretched by a few more thousandths to win with another 7.040 at 194.32 mph to Humphrey’s 7.044 at 194.77 mph.

The quarterfinals would require even more concentration from Coughlin as he was matched with Greg Anderson, who had run slightly quicker in the opening stanza and therefore had lane choice. Once again, Coughlin did his job, reacting to the Christmas Tree with a cosmic .007 light. But Anderson was close behind with a .014-second start and was able to track down Coughlin and pass him just before the 1,000-foot mark, winning with a 7.046 at 195.70 mph to Coughlin’s 7.065 at 194.07 mph.

“We just couldn’t keep it out front,” Coughlin said. “I felt like I needed a hundredth (of a second) to have a chance and we did leave first, but Greg was right there and it just didn’t happen for us. He came around down there and there right at the end.  We did hurt our motor in Round 1 and had a thrash between sessions getting a new piece in there but the guys did a great job making the switch. I’m proud of the effort.”

Ron Lewis Photography

SPORTSMAN REPORT

Jul 13, 08 | 3:47 pm

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Brighton, Colorado racer Dwayne Scheitlin's 440 inch wedge-powered '71 Cuda qualified with a 11.461 on a 12.45 index.

In Stock Eliminator competition Mopar racers James Findell and Steve Wann squared off in a fourth round F/SA battle royal. Wann was driving his ‘74 Dart/360 and Findell was in a 73 Duster wquipped with 340 power. Findell put a 11.883 lap on Wann’s game 12.953 to advance. Ronnie ‘West and his ‘70 Hemi powered GTX took out the AA/SA Pontiac wheeled of Ryan McClanahan.

No Mopars made it to the fourth round of Super Stock.  In Comp Eliminator the only Mopar left went out in the third round when Arizona racer Joe Mozeris and his 360 wedge powered B/ED lost to number one qualifier Lou Ficco B/AP.

Jeff Burk Photography

PRO STOCK REPORTAGE

Jul 13, 08 | 2:40 pm

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Greg Anderson dominates at Denver

Greg Anderson driving his Pontiac GXP set the Bandimere Pro Stock Track record yesterday at 7.010 in 70 degree weather and then came out today in much, much hotter conditions and put a 7.020 down that was better by and hundredth than the next closest pass which was Alan Johnson’s 7.030 in his hemi-powered ‘06 Stratus.

His first round match was an all Johnson affair as Warren Johnson was in the other lane. Warren had a .040 light to Allen’s .073 and very nearly made it stand up but his 7.073 just could hold off Johnson’s 7.03. Warren did have top speed of the round in losing with a 195.90 clocking.

Other Mopar powered cars advancing included Larry Morgan and Johnny Gray.

Jeff Burk Photography

FUNNY CAR FIRST ROUND

Jul 13, 08 | 2:01 pm

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Capps and Wilkerson move on to second round

Ron Capps ran his Mopar through the lights in a power-slide to beat Bob Tasca’s Mustang in a thrilling race that saw both drivers get crossed up but Capps refusing to lift. “ It is a short track (1000ft) so I just decided to stay in it. It was kind of like driving the nostalgia cars that I drive....”

Capps was a wee late on the lights and his 4.525 to Tasca’s 4.560 got him to the finish line just a hundredth of second Tim Wilkerson continues to accumulate points and extend his lead by winning his first round race against Ashley Force who got her car so out of shape we saw both sides of the car before she gathered it up. Mopar drivers Gary Scelzi and “Fast” Jack Beckman also advanced.

TOP FUEL ROUND ONE,

Jul 13, 08 | 1:49 pm

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Lucas and Schumacher advance to second round,

Both Morgan Lucas and Tony Schumacher advanced to the second round of Top Fuel but they hot performers were Rob Vancergriff who advanced using a 4.046/306 pass to trailer Hillery Will and set Top Speed of the round. Lee Beard tuned Antron Brown’s ride to the only three-second lap of the first round when A. Brown used a 3.995 to drive around the hole-shot lead that Rod Fuller had and advance to the second round.

SUNDAY MORNING PRE-RACE NOTES

Jul 13, 08 | 12:51 pm

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Gene Mosbek from Minnesota brought his 64 AA/SA Savoy to the mountain. He ran a 10.93 on an 11.66 index. Jeff Burk photo

Revoluntionary is the only way to describe the track.

John Bandimere installed a cooling system under his new track when he resurfaced it.  It has performed beyound anyone’s expectations. In years past the Saturday afternoon session have been less than stellar with plenty of tire-smoking runs. That not the case this year when both the fuel cars and the Pro Stocks ran very well during both the third and forth qualifying session and the track record for Pro Stock was reset. The cooling system starts 40 feet behind the start line and extends 160ft beyond that point for a total of 200ft or cooled track.  The difference in track temp between the cooled portion and the non-cooled was measured at the hottest portion of the day as being 15 degrees. The difference in the car’s performance was much more.

Ray Alley coming back?

Look for an announcement soon from the NHRA that Ray Alley has returned to the NHRA in a technicl position. The word I heard was that he would work with the PRO organization as a conduit between that organization the NHRA management in an effort to speed up the implimentation of new safety and competition rules.

Cory Mac gets bye into second round


Low Qualifier Cory Mac for only the second time in his career got a bye run in the first round on the basis of being the low qualifier and because their are just 15 cars in Top Fuel at this race.



Beard advocates using MSD’s NHRA mandated rev-limiter to control speed .


Lee Beard who has won over 50 races and a couple of World Championships has strong feelings that the obvious answer to controlling the speed issue. His opinion is that NHRA could have solved the speed issue at Norwalk by simply setting the rev-limiter and a lower rpm than the current number which is 8250 and activates four-seconds into the run. “We have the tools on the cars right now to slow the cars down to whatever speed they want and it wouldn’t cost any of the teams a dime.”



1,000 ft tracks mean better tire milage

I talked to the Goodyear folks and they confirmed that based upon what they have seen thus far concerning tire wear of their new Top Fuel tires that teams should be able to get more laps on a set of tires than they have in the past. The tire problem that has plaqued the sport for nearly a decade could be solved by a combination of the Goodyear engineers designing and building a new tire and the 1000ft track. I was told that the Top Fuel tires are basically built by hand and not on an assembly line.

Cory Mac Takes Top Spot on Thunder Mountain; T-PED, Anderson, Krawiec Also #1

Jul 13, 08 | 12:24 am

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Greg Anderson drove his Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GXP to the top spot and new track records!

McCLENATHAN TAKES TOP SPOT IN DENVER; PEDREGON, ANDERSON, KRAWIEC ALSO NO. 1 AT MILE-HIGH NATIONALS

MORRISON, Colo. – Cory McClenathan raced to the No. 1 qualifying position in Top Fuel as qualifying came to an end Saturday at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway Tony Pedregon, Greg Anderson and Eddie Krawiec were also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 13th of 24 events on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

McClenathan’s run of 3.929-seconds at 308.07 mph from Friday night was fast enough to keep him and his FRAM dragster in the top spot. It’s McClenathan’s second No. 1 qualifier of the season, 32nd of his career and third in Denver.

“It’s always the way it should be, team cars going one and two,” said McClenathan, referring to teammate Tony Schumacher taking the second spot in the field. “Now if we can just make the plan work out tomorrow and go the rounds we need to go and be able to go to the final that would be tremendous.”

Defending event winner Rod Fuller qualified 13th and two-time Bandimere Speedway winner Larry Dixon qualified third.

Funny Car driver Tony Pedregon also stayed in the No. 1 spot thanks to his Friday night run. Pedregon powered his Q Horsepower Chevy Impala SS to a 4.212 at 286.50. It’s Pedregon’s second No. 1 qualifier of the season, 33rd of his career, and first at Bandimere Speedway.

“The conditions really stayed good today,” said Pedregon. “Overall I think the track was better than average and some of it is due to that first 150 (feet) and the track cooling system.”

Defending event winner Jack Beckman qualified 10th while Denver native Melanie Troxel will start second in the field.

In Pro Stock, Greg Anderson drove his Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GXP to the top spot and new track records with a run of 7.010 at 196.10. It’s Anderson’s third No. 1 qualifier of the season, 65th of his career, and fourth at Bandimere Speedway.

“The track is just so much better than it’s ever been,” said Anderson. “It just amazes me. We come out here and have completely different (racing) conditions than we do anywhere else. Still you have four or five hundredths between the field. The competition in the field is just amazing.”

Defending event winner Allen Johnson sits third while defending POWERade world champion Jeg Coughlin sits ninth.

Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Eddie Krawiec rode his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a 7.328 at 181.74 to take his second consecutive No. 1 qualifier and a new track record for time.

“To come here and get No. 1, for me mentally, really helps my confidence,” said Krawiec. “Anytime you have a track record, it’s good, especially here. When you’re up here on the mountain in the thin air it’s hard to make horsepower, so it’s pretty special.”

Points leader Andrew Hines will start fourth while defending event winner Matt Smith will start third.

Sunday’s eliminations begin at noon.

MORRISON, Colo.—First-round pairings for professional eliminations Sunday for the 29th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, the 13th of 24 events in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.  Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.

Top Fuel—1. Cory McClenathan, 3.929 seconds, 308.07 mph vs. Bye; 2. Tony Schumacher, 3.943, 307.16 vs. 15. Steven Chrisman, 10.103, 237.71; 3. Larry Dixon, 3.946, 299.60 vs. 14. Steve Torrence, 4.715, 287.72; 4. Antron Brown, 3.998, 287.11 vs. 13. Rod Fuller, 4.050, 292.90; 5. Hillary Will, 4.018, 302.21 vs. 12. Bob Vandergriff, 4.048, 289.20; 6. J.R. Todd, 4.021, 304.60 vs. 11. Morgan Lucas, 4.039, 295.85; 7. Doug Herbert, 4.025, 298.60 vs. 10. Brandon Bernstein, 4.037, 299.33; 8. David Grubnic, 4.026, 294.37 vs. 9. Doug Kalitta, 4.027, 291.01.

Funny Car—1. Tony Pedregon, Chevy Impala, 4.212, 287.90 vs. 16. Gary Scelzi, Dodge Charger, 4.326, 282.30; 2. Melanie Troxel, Charger, 4.226, 297.42 vs. 15. Gary Densham, Impala, 4.298, 287.23; 3. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Solara, 4.227, 296.50 vs. 14. Jerry Toliver, Charger, 4.287, 289.63; 4. Tim Wilkerson, Impala, 4.229, 290.88 vs. 13. Ashley Force, Ford Mustang, 4.282, 290.76; 5. John Force, Mustang, 4.233, 294.82 vs. 12. Mike Neff, Mustang, 4.275, 292.33; 6. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.238, 292.27 vs. 11. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.253, 285.17; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.242, 294.95 vs. 10. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.252, 293.35; 8. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.243, 288.70 vs. 9. Del Worsham, Impala, 4.248, 288.77.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Tony Bartone, 5.671, 127.34.

Pro Stock—1. Greg Anderson, Pontiac GXP, 7.010, 196.30 vs. 16. V. Gaines, Dodge Stratus, 7.063, 194.07; 2. Mike Edwards, GXP, 7.021, 195.62 vs. 15. Johnny Gray, Stratus, 7.059, 194.38; 3. Allen Johnson, Stratus, 7.025, 195.99 vs. 14. Warren Johnson, GXP, 7.058, 195.79; 4. Greg Stanfield, GXP, 7.031, 195.31 vs. 13. Jason Line, GXP, 7.048, 196.04; 5. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Cobalt, 7.032, 196.22 vs. 12. Rickie Jones, Stratus, 7.044, 195.00; 6. Larry Morgan, Stratus, 7.032, 195.70 vs. 11. Dave Connolly, Cobalt, 7.043, 195.00; 7. Ron Krisher, Cobalt, 7.037, 194.97 vs. 10. Jim Yates, GXP, 7.043, 195.11; 8. Justin Humphreys, Stratus, 7.040, 195.39 vs. 9. Jeg Coughlin, Cobalt, 7.040, 194.97.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Vinnie Deceglie, 7.081, 194.66; 18. Danny Gruninger, 7.131, 191.92; 19. Ben Watson, 7.140, 192.25; 20. Max Naylor, 7.144, 192.22.

Pro Stock Motorcycle—1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 7.328, 181.74 vs. 16. Ryan Schnitz, Kawasaki, 7.884, 168.64; 2. Chip Ellis, Suzuki, 7.328, 181.28 vs. 15. Peggy Llewellyn, Buell, 7.509, 178.42; 3. Matt Smith, Buell, 7.331, 181.67 vs. 14. Hector Arana, Buell, 7.465, 177.42; 4. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.332, 182.23 vs. 13. David Hope, Buell, 7.438, 179.83; 5. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.332, 179.59 vs. 12. Junior Pippin, Buell, 7.434, 176.49; 6. Matt Guidera, Buell, 7.339, 181.30 vs. 11. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.431, 177.49; 7. Chris Rivas, Buell, 7.350, 180.72 vs. 10. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 7.418, 180.12; 8. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.354, 182.23 vs. 9. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.371, 181.89.

PIT NOTES ON SATURDAY MORNING

Jul 12, 08 | 1:45 pm

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Jeff Burk Photography

MANY DRIVERS AND TUNERS FIND BENEFITS TO 1,OOOFT FUEL RACING

If the nitro fans who jammed into Bandimere Speedway for Friday night’s Top Fuel and Funny Car qualifying were disappointed by 1000ft racing you couldn’t tell it. Although no Funny Cars cracked the Three-second, 300mph barrier, Four Top Fuel drivers lead by Cory McClenathan’s 3.929/208.07 blast late in the last session made laps either in the three-second range or over 300mph. So much for the 300mph barrier for 1000ft racing.

So the worry that many fans seem to have about the fuel cars not going fast enough to satisfy their “Jones” for death defying racing was put to rest Friday night.  Getting a car to a full stop in about 2500ft is still a major accomplshment for any driver or car. They’re still risking their lives driving these cars folks.

So after the first two sessions of 1000ft nitro racing I went over to see my old pal Rahn Tobler the head tuner on Cruz Pedregon’s Fuel Coupe and asked him to discuss with me what he thought about running the 1000ft versus a quarter-mile. The information he gave me is well worth passing on.

The first thing we talked about was how the 1000 ft affected his car tune-up and his engine.
“Well one of the best things is that we no longer hit the rev-limiter. The limiter is designed to activate after four-seconds and above 8400 engine rpm. My engine doesn’t get much over 7600 rpm at a 1000 ft and we should be running in the three second zone so the rev-limiter should be a factor any more.” he said. “ Most engine explosions come after a 1000 ft.”

Less engine rpm will mean less stress on the engine components and that could mean that Top Fuel racing could become a much less expensive and marginally safer sport. Another area that Tobler and I talked about was the tires. Much of the damage and stress to the tires can and has been attributed to the excess speeds and heat generated by the tires in the last 300ft. Could it be that teams will know get many more laps out of set of tires and possibly tire chunking, delaminating and tire failure will become much more of a rare thing.

Another benefit to 1000 ft racing is fuel economy. Tobler told me that his engine will burn on average two fewer gallons per lap than if it ran for the entire 1320 feet.

So at least one tuner is seeing some verifiable advantages to racing his nitro car a thousand feet instead of 1320 feet. In terms of parts attrition, tire attrition, and savings of nitro And the cars are still going well over 300mph.

I asked Tobler if his tune-up would or could change for 1000ft racing and he looke at me and said. “ Jeff we have been running these cars as hard as we can for the eighth-mile already. There anything we could really do to run them any harder for the 1000ft.”

LARRY FRAZIER SIGHTING IN THE PITS

I ran into Larry Frazier in the pits and he told me that for the last two or three years he has been fishing moistly but is looking to get back into the Nitro Wars.”

NO TIRE SMOKERS IN FIRST TWO ROUNDS OF FUEL COUPE QUALS

For the first time that I can remember not a single Fuel Funny car in two full rounds of qualifying smoked the tires and aborted a run. Blame it on the new Bandimere “Cool Track” feature of 1000ft racing. I don’t care what caused it as long as it keeps happening.

SPORTSMAN RACING NOTES

For those of you keeping score at home in Comp Eliminator the number one qualifier is Lou Ficco’s B/AP Cavalier but for the Mopar faithful Montana racer Clint Sallee is carrying the Mopar colors an is currently second with a .631 under in his Mopar powered B/D.

In Super Stock Eliminator Mopar rules with Steve Wann’s SS/IA 383 wedge powered ‘Cuda setting on the pole with a 10.421 on a 11.86 dial and is 1.439 under the index.

The quickest Mopar in Stock Eliminator belongs to Jim Hale whose F/SA ‘67 Cuda with a 383 under the hood ran a 11.911 which is 1.189 under the index but was only good for third on the qualifying sheet.

Bud King dragster sits number eight after two Friday sessions

Jul 12, 08 | 10:48 am

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Ron Lewis Photography

With an adjusted altitude at over 9,000 feet, Bud King driver Brandon Bernstein slowed on his second run in Friday Qualifying, but still sits 8th on his previous 4.037 elapsed time at 299.33 miles per hour at the 29th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals in Denver.

The Top Fuelers of Cory Mac, Tony Schumacher, JR Todd and Hillary Will managed to put up mile per hour numbers over 300 MPH in Friday’s two sessions on the shortened 1,000 foot Bandemere Speedway track.  Larry Dixon, in the Don Prudhomme Racing Skoal-sponsored Top Fuel Dragster sits #3 at 3.946/299.33 miles per hour.  Both Bernstein and Dixon are knocking on that 300 mph door, too.

Scelzi's Mopar sits 15th

Jul 12, 08 | 10:39 am

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Ron Lewis Photography

Former Funny Car and Top Fuel Champion Gary Scelzi from Fresno CA drove his Don Schumacher Racing, Mopar-sponsored Dodge Charger to an off pace 4.341 elapsed time at 250.64 miles per hour on the 1,000 foot track at the Mile High Nationals.

Troxel back home at Bandimere Speedway

Jul 12, 08 | 10:32 am

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Ron Lewis Photography

The irony of it was not lost on Melanie Troxel Thursday night following the opening day of qualifying for the Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, her hometown track.

On NHRA’s first day of the 1000-foot finish line for Top Fuel and Funny Cars, Troxel was on a very good run when she shut off the engine early, slowing the Roger Burgess Racing Dodge Charger R/T to 4.322 seconds at 232.91 mph. It put her 14th overall with two more runs slated Saturday.

“I’ve been saying all week the 1000-foot track was really not difficult at all,” Troxel said. “And it’s funny that now I’m one of a few people who had trouble with it. There was nothing wrong with the run. The car was on a good run and I made a mistake. I do feel good about our potential in tomorrow’s qualifying runs. The guys felt we had a good chance of qualifying first or second.”

They will be aiming for one of the top spots during Saturday’s two qualifying sessions. The top 16 square off in Sunday’s eliminations.

Rod Fuller sits 12th

Jul 12, 08 | 10:16 am

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Ron Lewis Photography

Rod Fuller raced his David Powers-owned Wagner Equipment dragster to the provisional No. 12 qualifying position Friday evening at Bandimere with a pass of 4.050-seconds.

Racing to just 1,000-feet, rather than the traditional quarter mile distance, for the first time, Fuller clocked the eighth quickest pass of the opening qualifying session. The defending Denver winner drove the Caterpillar car to a pass of 4.154 seconds at 248.39 mph. Friday evening under the lights at the scenic Morrison, Colo. facility, Fuller clocked a performance of 4.050 at 292.90 in the Wagner car.

“We’re learning this new 1,000-foot racing,” Fuller said. “We were a little slow today, but it’s always tricky racing at this high altitude. The night racing is great for the fans, but it won’t have any outcome on how we race on Sunday. Tomorrow we’ll get to see how we run in the heat and that’s important.”

Bob Tasca III sits 16th

Jul 12, 08 | 10:08 am

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Jeff Burk Photography

Bob Tasca III’s first day of qualifying at Bandimere Speedway wasn’t exactly what the rookie driver had hoped for.  After sitting second heading into the second qualifying run of the day, Tasca experienced issues with his Shelby Mustang Funny Car and ended the night as one of five drivers currently not qualified for Sunday’s race.

“We’ve run so well this season during the night sessions, that the run really caught me off guard,” said Tasca following his second run on Friday. “We dropped a cylinder and it put a hole out. It picked the hole back up, but knocked the tires off. When the motor is that weak that early, the clutch is just too aggressive.”

The Rookie-of-the-Year candidate put together a 4.372-second, 283.19 mph run during his the first qualifying run of the weekend.

Dropping the Laundry on Thunder Mountain

Jul 12, 08 | 10:02 am

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Ron Lewis Photography

FRAM Top Fuel dragster driver Cory McClenathan (left) grabbed the provisional pole position at Bandimere Speedway on Friday. Racing to the 1000-ft. mark (instead of 1320 ft.) for the first time in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series history, McClenathan was the last car down the track, recording a 3.929-second elapsed time at 308.07 mph. If he holds on to No. 1 through two more qualifying rounds, he will collect the 32nd pole position of his career and second of the season.

“We all kind of had some numbers in our mind coming in here,” said McClenathan. “We wanted to run in the high 3.80-second range at 310 mph. So to go out and run what did earlier (4.023/298.27) put us in a position to kind of get after it knowing that we were going to be the last pair, that the track was going to get better and our teammate Tony Schumacher was in front of us.

“When Tony (Schumacher) ran his 3.943/307.16, I’m sure Alan Johnson (crew chief on the U.S. Army dragster) came back and told Mike Green (FRAM crew chief) and he turned the nozzles a little bit and the FRAM car did exactly what it was supposed to do. Team cars follow each other. We just kind of went out there and followed their lead.”

“You start getting these new situations like racing to a 1000 feet and in my eyes right now it’s the right thing to do. It might not be later - they may do something different - but, for right now, it’s the right thing to do.”

Tony Pedregon Leads Funny Car

Jul 12, 08 | 9:51 am

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Ron Lewis Photography

Tony Pedregon driving his Herzog-sponsored Chevy Impala SS-bodied funny car raced to Friday’s No. 1 position at the 29th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals in Denver.

Pedregon drove his Q Horsepower flopper to a 4.212-second pass at 286.50 mph to become the provisional top qualifier. It would be Pedregon’s second No. 1 qualifier of the season, 33rd of his career, and first in here at Bandemere.

Steve Johnson Pro Stock Bike

Jul 12, 08 | 9:37 am

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Ron Lewis Photography

Steve Johnson sits atop the list of Pro Stock Motorcycle competitors after the first two of four scheduled qualifying sessions at the NHRA Mopar Mile-High Nationals. Johnson rode his Snap-on Tools/ WyoTech Technical Schools Suzuki to an impressive elapsed time of 7.367 seconds at 178.00 mph to take the Number 1 spot.

“There’s obviously a long way to go,” said Johnson after his nearest competitor recorded an elapsed time of 7.400 seconds. “This is a very tough field of motorcycles up here ‘on the mountain,’ and there are two more qualifying attempts coming tomorrow (Saturday). Anything can happen, but we’re certainly pleased about where we’re sitting right now.”

Force Racing

Jul 12, 08 | 9:21 am

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Ron Lewis Photography

Robert Hight from Yorba Linda CA put his ‘08 Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang into the #9 slot with his 1,000’ 4.285 elapsed time at 281.13 miles per hour on Thunder Mountain.  Hight remarked, “We went back to ‘05 technology here because that was when we dominated this mountain.”

Humphreys Mopar Moves up

Jul 12, 08 | 9:16 am

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Ron Lewis Photography

Justin Humphreys in his flamed Dodge Stratus moved into the #9 qualifying position in Friday evening’s second session running 7.085 elapsed time at 193.29 miles per hour

Johnson Racing Leads Pro Stock Qualifying

Jul 12, 08 | 9:10 am

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Ron Lewis Photography

Mopar®/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T driver Allen Johnson captured the provisional No. 1 spot after two rounds of qualifying today during the 29th Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo. The veteran Team Mopar driver will look to hold his position tomorrow and claim the No. 1 Qualifier award at the Mopar Mile-Highs for the second-straight year

Johnson, the defending Mopar Mile-Highs Pro Stock champion, was No. 1 after the first qualifying session on the strength of a pass of 7.081/194.32. He watched a number of drivers better his mark in the night qualifying session before reclaiming the top spot with a mark of 7.037/195.17.

“The first run on the track was pretty hot,” said the HEMI®-powered Johnson. “Everyone was trying to get from A to B to get some info for tomorrow. Tonight’s run, the track was awesome. It really cooled down, and you can really get at it when the track get likes that.”

Johnson had the strongest car during testing at Bandimere leading up to the Mopar Mile-Highs, leading many to believe he has the car to beat this weekend.

“We’ve tested probably more than anybody here the last two or three years,” Johnson said. “Mark [Ingersoll, Johnson’s crew chief] hit on some stuff last year testing and it really works, and that’s what we stuck with. Dad’s [Roy Johnson, Allen’s engine builder and father] engines really perform well here for some reason. Dad shipped in an engine this morning. He tweaked it a little bit just for up here [in the Mile-High altitude]. It’s not a lot different, but it is a brand-new engine.”

Johnson’s top qualifying run today comes on the heels of his victory in the race-within-a-race $50,000 K&N Horsepower Challenge at the NHRA Norwalk event. Johnson also posted a quarterfinals run and low ET at Norwalk. His recent performances have the Greeneville, Tenn. native feeling good for this weekend and beyond.

“We’ve felt momentum coming our way the last couple of races,” Johnson remarked. “We’ve had a top five car every race this year and not won any races. I would have thought that we would have won two or three races by now. So, yeah, I really feel the momentum shifting and we’re going to use this race and the Western swing to really amplify that.”

Friday Night Qualifying Recap from the 29th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals in Denver

Jul 12, 08 | 1:04 am

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Courtesy of NHRA Communications

PEDREGON TAKES PROVISIONAL TOP SPOT IN FUNNY CAR; McCLENATHAN, JOHNSON, JOHNSON ALSO PROVISIONAL NO. 1 QUALIFIERS IN DENVER

MORRISON, Colo. – Tony Pedregon raced to the provisional No. 1 qualifier at the 29th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals in Denver.

Cory McClenathan, Allen Johnson and Steve Johnson were also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 13th of 24 events on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

This was the first time in NHRA history that Top Fuel and Funny Car ran at the interim distance of 1,000 feet.

Pedregon drove his Q Horsepower Chevy Impala SS to a 4.212-second pass at 286.50 mph to become the provisional top qualifier. It would be Pedregon’s second No. 1 qualifier of the season, 33rd of his career, and first in Denver.

“The track surface itself is in excellent condition and that’s some of the feedback that I got,” said Pedregon. “As well as we’ve been doing recently, we haven’t been able to qualify in the top three and that’s something that we’ve lacked. I hope that if we can hold on to the position that it will be even more encouraging.”

Funny Car points leader Tim Wilkerson sits fifth after two rounds of qualifying, while defending event winner Jack Beckman is just below him in the sixth spot.

Top Fuel pilot Cory McClenathan drove his FRAM dragster to the provisional No. 1 spot with a 3.929 at 308.07. It would be McClenathan’s second No. 1 qualifier of the season, 32nd of his career and third at Bandimere Speedway.

“This is the right thing to do right now,” said McClenathan, referring to the change of the racing surface from 1,320 feet to 1,000 feet. “This is one of those tracks that I’ve been able to see grow. (The Bandimere’s) just care about the racers and it’s great to come to a place like this.”

Defending world champion and current points leader Tony Schumacher sits in the second spot while defending event winner Rod Fuller sits 12th.

Defending event winner in Pro Stock, Allen Johnson, picked up where he left off last year in Denver when he drove his Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus to the provisional top spot with a 7.037 run at 195.17. It would be his second of the season, fifth of his career, and second consecutive No. 1 qualifier at Bandimere Speedway.

“We’ve tested probably more than anyone else here over the past few years,” said Johnson. “We’ve felt momentum really coming our way the past couple races. We’re going to use this race and the Western Swing to really amplify that.”

Points leader Greg Anderson just missed the top spot of the day, coming in second.

Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Steve Johnson drove his Snap-On Tools/Wyotech Suzuki to a 7.367 at 178.00 to sit in the provisional No. 1 spot. It would be only Johnson’s second No. 1 qualifier of his career—his last coming in 1995 in Atlanta.

“I’ve never been a No. 1 qualifier as a team owner,’” said Johnson. “The crew did their job, they made the right decisions. They changed that motorcycle 1,000 percent from what it has been and what did we get? Numero Uno!”

Points leader Andrew Hines sits second while defending event winner Matt Smith is sixth.

Qualifying continues Saturday with sessions at 1:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. Sunday’s eliminations begin at noon.


MORRISON, Colo. --
Results Friday after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 29th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, 13th of 24 events in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.  Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel -- 1. Cory McClenathan, 3.929 seconds, 308.07 mph; 2. Tony Schumacher, 3.943, 307.16; 3. Larry Dixon, 3.946, 299.33; 4. Antron Brown, 3.998, 287.11; 5. Hillary Will, 4.018, 302.21; 6. J.R. Todd, 4.021, 304.60; 7. Doug Herbert, 4.025, 298.60; 8. Brandon Bernstein, 4.037, 299.33; 9. David Grubnic, 4.037, 293.35; 10. Morgan Lucas, 4.039, 295.85; 11. Bob Vandergriff, 4.048, 289.20; 12. Rod Fuller, 4.050, 292.90.  Not Qualified: 13. Steve Torrence, 4.067, 287.72; 14. Doug Kalitta, 4.144, 289.57; 15. Steven Chrisman, 4.541, 237.71.

Funny Car -- 1. Tony Pedregon, Chevy Impala, 4.212, 286.50; 2. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.233, 294.82; 3. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Solara, 4.237, 290.76; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 4.242, 294.95; 5. Tim Wilkerson, Impala, 4.250, 282.13; 6. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.260, 293.35; 7. Mike Neff, Mustang, 4.275, 292.33; 8. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.285, 285.17; 9. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.285, 281.13; 10. Jerry Toliver, Charger, 4.287, 288.33; 11. Del Worsham, Impala, 4.287, 284.33; 12. Gary Densham, Impala, 4.298, 287.23.  Not Qualified: 13. Ashley Force, 4.320, 286.13; 14. Melanie Troxel, 4.322, 232.91; 15. Gary Scelzi, 4.341, 250.64; 16. Bob Tasca III, 4.372, 283.19; 17. Tony Bartone, 6.506, 99.07.

Pro Stock—1. Allen Johnson, Dodge Stratus, 7.037, 195.17; 2. Greg Anderson, Pontiac GXP, 7.046, 195.11; 3. Greg Stanfield, GXP, 7.051, 194.49; 4. Jason Line, GXP, 7.075, 194.72; 5. Kurt Johnson, Chevy Cobalt, 7.080, 194.80; 6. Jim Yates, GXP, 7.081, 193.49; 7. Ron Krisher, Cobalt, 7.085, 194.04; 8. Larry Morgan, Stratus, 7.085, 193.88; 9. Justin Humphreys, Stratus, 7.085, 193.29; 10. V. Gaines, Stratus, 7.086, 193.43; 11. Mike Edwards, GXP, 7.091, 194.27; 12. Rickie Jones, Stratus, 7.099, 193.18.  Not Qualified: 13. Vinnie Deceglie, 7.102, 193.43; 14. Dave Connolly, 7.102, 193.40; 15. Jeg Coughlin, 7.107, 193.79; 16. Johnny Gray, 7.107, 193.27; 17. Warren Johnson, 7.127, 194.55; 18. Danny Gruninger, 7.161, 191.08; 19. Max Naylor, 7.168, 190.57; 20. Ben Watson, 7.235, 190.00.

Pro Stock Motorcycle—1. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.367, 178.00; 2. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 7.400, 178.24; 3. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 7.422, 177.70; 4. Chris Rivas, Buell, 7.431, 177.98; 5. Matt Guidera, Buell, 7.442, 176.49; 6. Matt Smith, Buell, 7.450, 177.23; 7. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.476, 178.31; 8. Chip Ellis, Suzuki, 7.485, 177.56; 9. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.498, 176.70; 10. Hector Arana, Buell, 7.543, 173.67; 11. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.556, 174.41; 12. David Hope, Buell, 7.564, 173.18.  Not Qualified: 13. Angelle Sampey, 7.569, 175.59; 14. Junior Pippin, 7.654, 170.67; 15. Peggy Llewellyn, 7.881, 171.60; 16. Ryan Schnitz, 8.076, 163.61.

Bold type indicates - MOPAR

First Round Fuel Coupes 1000ft

Jul 11, 08 | 8:08 pm

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Jack Beckman and his 2007 Dodge Charger right now hold the Bandimere speed and ET record for Fuel Funny Car with a 4.265/291.76 pass that is also the first leg of a potential provisional new “National Record” for speed and ET, although the NHRA has decided at least for the time being to not recognize 1,000 ft records.

The nitro tuners had expressed some concern that their cars might spin the tires when they crossed the 300 ft mark and went to a track that was 20 degrees higher. That didn’t appear to be an issue at least in the first session.

The tuners at the event in the Funny Car class are trying to cope with three big changes in their cars; They are racing to a 1,000 ft. They have to run the new chassis mandated for them beginning at this race and they must run the new Goodyear tire. That is a lot of variables for any tuner to deal with.

RICKIE JONES

Jul 11, 08 | 7:56 pm

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Rickie Jones heats up the Goodyears as dad Rick dances out of the way.

Rickie Jones is making a strong bid to win NHRA’s Rookie of the Year honors with his strong performances this year on the NHRA circuit. The Galesburg, Illinois rookie is the son of former IHRA Pro Stock driver and professional race car builder Rick Jones.

MAS MOPAR

Jul 11, 08 | 7:50 pm

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Vinnie Deceglie (near lane) and Max Naylor couldn’t make the quick 12 for a provisional qualifying spot after the first round.

JOHNSON LEADS QUALIFYING

Jul 11, 08 | 7:25 pm

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Allen Johnson’s quarter-mile timing of 7.081/194.32 leads all qualifiers in Pro Stock.They only qualify 12 of the 16 cars provisionally today and and four drivers made the filed with Justin Humprhies, Colorado racer V Gaines, and second generation driver Rickie Jones all making the top 12 qualifiers. This is the first time for almost all of these cars to race on the unique racing surface at Bandimere where the first 300 ft of the track is water-cooled to be 20 degrees less than the track temp after that point. Many of the drivers I talked to in the lanes including Warren Johnson simply had no idea how their chassis tune-up would react to the track.  Johnson had the worst timing of the 19 cars that made passes and reportedly had the run disqualified no reason for that is known at this time.

PRO STOCK INCREMENTALS

Jul 11, 08 | 7:17 pm

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MOPAR LEADS P/S QUALIFYING AFTER ROUND 1

Jul 11, 08 | 7:10 pm

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BUILT FOR SPEED

Jul 11, 08 | 1:47 pm

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This "Vipe" built for speed and probably some unintentional drifting.

BUILT FOR DRIFTING

Jul 11, 08 | 1:41 pm

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Samuel Hübinette brought his drift car to Golden.

LARGE AND IN CHARGE

Jul 11, 08 | 1:31 pm

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Team Mopar PR Darren Jacobs from J.R. Thompson and MoparMax editor Jeff Burk. Great party Darren, now about the free beer.

BEACH PARTY?!

Jul 11, 08 | 1:26 pm

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A CRUEL JOKE

Jul 11, 08 | 1:21 pm

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Burk and Lewis had to get real close to this sign before their hopes of FREE BEER were dashed. This kind of cruel joke drove Burk and Lewis to drink....TEA!

NEW DESIGN INJECTED HEMI OLD SCHOOL TUBES

Jul 11, 08 | 12:52 pm

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A brand new "fuelie" Cuda

Of all the cool Cuda’s we have seen recently, this custom job thqt was on hand at Golden is by far the best we’ve ever seen. We especially like this late model 6.1 Liter Hemi with injector stacks. We liked all of the chrome on this custom powerplant and the orange painted block was a nice sanitary touch. Contact the mag whomever owns this we would like to talk to you. 

MoparMax Senior photographer Ron Lewis shot the photos

'NEW AGE' HEMI-CUDA

Jul 11, 08 | 12:44 pm

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A plateless and probably priceless custom '70 or '71 Sublime Green Plymounth Cuda.

SUPERCHARGED!!!!!

Jul 11, 08 | 12:35 pm

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A red Charger R/T with a supercharger.

This is just one of the really cool cars that displayed on Golden Colorado’s Main street. They didn’t have any info cards with the cars and we couldn’t find the owner( he will probably email us when he sees this) but we really liked his or is it her’s car.

Mopar takes it to Main Street

Jul 11, 08 | 12:25 pm

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Welcome! And they meant it

Mile-High Nationals

Jul 09, 08 | 1:55 pm

The 29th Annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals, the longest-running NHRA sponsorship, will rock Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo., on July 11-13. 

A vast lineup of NHRA Funny Car, Pro Stock and sportsman racers will represent Team Mopar. Allen Johnson, Mopar’s factory-backed Pro Stock pilot, will defend his 2007 win. Jack Beckman, who claimed the 2007 Funny Car class win, will defend his title as well.

Mopar will recognize two legendary drag racers at the Mile-High Nationals. Don “Big Daddy” Garlits will serve as Grand Marshal. Judy “Miss Mighty Mopar” Lilly will serve as Honorary Starter. Both competed with Mopar power to build the brand’s storied motorsports heritage.

Mopar Max will bring you special coverage of the racing action and other events that are a part of this really big weekend. And for all things Mopar, check out our new issue of www.MoparMax.com