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Schumacher, Beckman, Enders and Arana Sr. Qualify On Top at NHRA Brainerd

Tony Schumacher raced to the No. 1 qualifying position in Top Fuel competition Saturday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock, above) and Hector Arana Sr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also will lead their respective categories into Sunday’s 11 a.m. eliminations at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.

No one was able to improve on Schumacher’s Friday performance, where he powered his U.S. Army dragster with the cockpit canopy to a performance of 3.791 seconds at a track record speed of 323.97 mph. It is his third top qualifying position of the season and 70th of his career. This is his sixth No. 1 qualifying position at Brainerd International Raceway.

Tony Schumacher

“The best part is a godsend. Twice, we went out and ran the same number as my teammate (Antron Brown) who doesn’t have a canopy,” said Schumacher, who will face Terry McMillen in the opening round. “I’m already hearing people talking about how it’s all in the canopy, but the driver in the other lane doesn’t have one and run the exact same time.”

Brown was second in his Matco Tools dragster with a 3.791 at 323.74, while series points leader Spencer Massey was third with a 3.794 at 323.12 in the FRAM/Prestone dragster.

In Funny Car, Beckman earned his second No. 1 of the season and sixth of his career with a track record time of 4.018 at 314.61 in his Valvoline NextGen Dodge Charger.  He will meet Dale Creasy Jr. in the first round.

“It cleared the finish line, and I could hear them yell ‘4.0-something, No. 1’ on the radio,” said Beckman. “I said, ‘I could’ve told you guys at 300 feet that that was the run.’ It didn’t do anything but accelerate. It was a beast from the time it took off and never laid down.”

Tim Wilkerson was second overall in his DYS Mustang with a 4.049 at 307.16 and Cruz Pedregon was third in his Snap-on Tools Toyota Camry, with a 4.051 at 311.85. Johnny Gray, who qualified fourth in his Service Central Charger, posted a track record speed of 316.75 mph.

Erica Enders

Enders claimed her first No. 1 starting position of the season and the fourth of her career in Pro Stock with a time of 6.550 at 210.37 in a Chevrolet Cobalt sponsored by GK Motorsports.  She will face Shane Gray in the opening round.

“Today, we just wanted to keep the top spot,” Enders said. “It really doesn’t matter as long as you’re in the top half of the field, but it was nice for us to keep it. We did get the [K&N Horsepower Challenge] points so that’s an extra bonus.”

Greg Anderson, a native of Minnesota, qualified fifth in his Summit Racing Chevy Camaro with a 6.582 at 210.54 while points leader Allen Johnson landed second in his Team Mopar Dodge Avenger with a 6.560 at 210.87.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Arana Sr. claimed his fourth No. 1 qualifying position of the season and 21st of his career, powering his Lucas Oil Buell to a category-best effort of 6.884 at 192.63.  Arana Sr. will race veteran rider Michael Phillips in the first round.

“Today, we struggled a little bit. Our clutch tune-up is off,” Arana Sr. said. “We tried some different things and we fixed one end of the problem, but found another. We are going to go back to [yesterday’s tune-up] for tomorrow. Still, I’m pleased with the outcome.”

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Hector Arana Jr. qualified third on his Lucas Oil Buell while the Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley Davidson duo of Eddie Kraweic and Andrew Hines were fourth and second.

(Photos courtesy NHRA/National Dragster; Click to enlarge)


BRAINERD, Minn. — Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the 31st annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, the 16th of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.  Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.

Top Fuel

1. Tony Schumacher, 3.791 seconds, 326.16 mph  vs. 16. Terry McMillen, 3.907, 316.97; 2. Antron Brown, 3.791, 323.74  vs. 15. Bob Vandergriff, 3.900, 316.67; 3. Spencer Massey, 3.794, 323.12  vs. 14. Bruce Litton, 3.899, 310.91; 4. Morgan Lucas, 3.800, 322.81  vs. 13. Steve Torrence, 3.896, 308.99; 5. Shawn Langdon, 3.808, 321.88  vs. 12. Cory McClenathan, 3.895, 309.20; 6. Doug Kalitta, 3.811, 320.97  vs. 11. Keith Murt, 3.889, 301.47; 7. David Grubnic, 3.827, 318.92 vs. 10. Clay Millican, 3.858, 317.94; 8. Brandon Bernstein, 3.833, 317.64  vs. 9. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.854, 309.49.  Did Not Qualify: 17. Scott Palmer, 3.923, 310.20; 18. Chris Karamesines, 3.941, 302.89; 19. Dom Lagana, 3.952, 311.77; 20. Tim Cullinan, 3.959, 305.01; 21. Luigi Novelli, 3.997, 284.93.


Funny Car

1. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.018, 314.61  vs. 16. Dale Creasy Jr., Chevy Impala, 4.201, 292.84; 2. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.049, 307.16  vs. 15. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.132, 308.21; 3. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.051, 311.85  vs. 14. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.131, 304.25; 4. Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.055, 316.75  vs. 13. Jim Head, Toyota Solara, 4.119, 306.19; 5. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.062, 311.92  vs. 12. Courtney Force, Mustang, 4.100, 310.41; 6. John Force, Mustang, 4.067, 311.85  vs. 11. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.090, 308.92; 7. Mike Neff, Mustang, 4.072, 313.15  vs. 10. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.090, 310.98; 8. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.087, 304.94  vs. 9. Jeff Arend, Camry, 4.089, 305.15.  Did Not Qualify: 17. Bob Bode, 4.233, 297.61; 18. Todd Lesenko, 5.267, 285.95.


Pro Stock

1. Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.550, 210.50  vs. 16. Shane Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.645, 207.82; 2. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 6.560, 210.87  vs. 15. Chris McGaha, Avenger, 6.637, 208.20; 3. Mike Edwards, Pontiac GXP, 6.573, 210.41  vs. 14. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.633, 208.55; 4. Vincent Nobile, Avenger, 6.576, 209.56  vs. 13. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.630, 208.65; 5. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.582, 210.54  vs. 12. Mark Martino, GXP, 6.602, 209.56; 6. Ron Krisher, GXP, 6.583, 209.43  vs. 11. Warren Johnson, GXP, 6.601, 209.20; 7. V. Gaines, Avenger, 6.584, 209.75  vs. 10. Jeg Coughlin, Avenger, 6.597, 209.79; 8. Ronnie Humphrey, GXP, 6.585, 209.30  vs. 9. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.590, 209.07.  Did Not Qualify: 17. Kurt Johnson, 6.652, 207.88; 18. Mark Hogan, 6.791, 205.07.

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Pro Stock Motorcycle

1. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.884, 192.82  vs. 16. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 7.213, 190.65; 2. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.887, 193.96  vs. 15. Chip Ellis, Buell, 7.144, 189.18; 3. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.894, 193.13  vs. 14. Mike Berry, Buell, 7.029, 190.59; 4. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.909, 192.85  vs. 13. Shawn Gann, Buell, 7.018, 191.76; 5. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.918, 192.30  vs. 12. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.981, 192.25; 6. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.948, 192.08  vs. 11. Matt Smith, Buell, 6.976, 190.30; 7. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.952, 189.90  vs. 10. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.968, 192.08; 8. John Hall, Buell, 6.964, 190.86 vs. 9. Michael Ray, Buell, 6.966, 190.03.  Did Not Qualify: 17. Buddy Robinson, 7.470, 177.14.

This story was originally published on August 19, 2012. Drag Illustrated

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