With four races already complete in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag racing Series and points starting to add up toward the 2010 championships, NHRA drivers are ready to hit the track once again this weekend for the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park. Defending event winners Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Ashley Force Hood (Funny Car), Ron Krisher (Pro Stock) and Craig Treble (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are all battling to grab that top spot in the point standings in each of their respective categories. For all teams, Houston is a chance to secure a spot in the top 10 of the point standings early in the regular season of the Countdown to the Championship.
“We're four races into the season, and our Al-Anabi team is fourth in the points,” said Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon. “We're in pretty good shape, but I think we could be in a better position than we are. We've lost some close races, but I know we have a great package when we roll into every event.”
Dixon is only 77 points behind current leader Cory McClenathan. A win in Houston would give Dixon his second of the season and tie him with Kenny Bernstein for the most wins in the Top Fuel category at Houston Raceway Park. It would also give the two-time champion his 50th win of his career, making him only the eighth driver in NHRA history to do so.
Pro Stock driver Jeg Coughlin is another driver hoping for some Houston success. Currently ninth in the standings, a win would help the four-time champion move to a more secure spot in the points.
“I have a lot of great memories of (Houston Raceway Park),” said Coughlin. “Of course, that first Pro Stock win was a highlight. We were just getting our feet wet in the class, prepping for the '98 season, and we ended up winning. It really was unexpected, but very exciting.”
Coughlin will have his work cut out for him, as defending Pro Stock champion Mike Edwards will enter the race with three wins out of the first four races and a 181-point lead over second-place Jason Line.