Pedregon, Dixon, Coughlin lead Englishtown NHRA winners
Tony Pedregon picked up his second consecutive win of the season in Funny Car at the 40th annual United Association NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
Larry Dixon picked up his fifth win in Englishtown, while Jeg Coughlin and Craig Treble also win in their respective categories.
Pedregon powered his Q Horsepower Chevy Impala SS to a 4.246-second run at 260.56 to grab the win. It's Pedregon's second consecutive win of the season, 42nd of his career and second win in Englishtown. Pedregon also moved past points leader Ron Capps to take the top spot in the Funny Car points standings with the win.
"I never thought I'd be afraid of a girl," said Pedregon, who faced Ashley Force Hood in the final round. "Fear of losing was in the back of my head. I knew we had a good race car. It ran good in the heat, and it ran good with cloud cover. Before the final, I just knew that Dickie [Venebles, crew chief] was making a lot of adjustments and I had a feeling it would be a close race. I heard her for a while. My car was revving up, spinning the tires. We got after it because we had to. I could feel the G's falling off, and I was worried. If the track was 1,320 feet, I'd be in big trouble. I didn't get off throttle. I just hung on. It was just enough. You don't know how relieved I was to see that win light."
NHRA legend John Force moved into the seventh spot with his second-round appearance while rookie driver Matt Hagan dropped from seventh to 10th in the point standings with his first-round loss.
In Top Fuel, Dixon drove his Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing dragster past current points leader Antron Brown to grab his third win of the season. Dixon's run of 4.553 seconds was enough to give him his fifth win at Englishtown and 46th of his career.
"We've had a lot of success at this race," said Dixon. "The race used to be Father's Day at Columbus, and we won out until they moved the Father's Day to here. I was like, 'Wow, I haven't won Englishtown in a long time. It would be cool to do that,' nonchalantly saying that at the beginning of the season. And then all of a sudden, you get to go to a bunch of finals and win here. This is a great track, and there's so much history here. Racing on the same track as 'Jungle' and Garlits and Shirley and all my heroes that I grew up watching race is a great deal."
With the win, Dixon was able to move past Top Fuel pilot Brandon Bernstein and take over the third spot, just 97 points behind leader Brown.
Defending Pro Stock world champion Jeg Coughlin drove his JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt to a 6.598 at 209.49 past runner-up Mike Edwards to grab his fifth win of the season and second consecutive win of 2009. It also gave the four-time world champ his third win in Englishtown and 45th of his career.
"It's taken some craftiness on our part," said Coughlin, of his two wins over Edwards, who had the better performing car in both instances. "In the pits, the guys have been doing a fantastic job. We qualified eighth, which was not where we wanted to be, but when the weather mixed up Saturday, we just wanted to make sure that we got down the racetrack. Ideally, we wanted to be in the top eight for lane choice first round, and we finished eighth. We knew we had a lot to work with. We figured we could get within a hundredth and a half or two-hundredths of Mike Edwards and could probably pace with anybody else out there, and as it turned out, that's about the way it turned out."
In Pro Stock Motorcycle Craig Treble drove his Honda of Kingston Suzuki to a 6.955 at 193.10 past defending world champion Eddie Krawiec and picked up his second win of the season, 14th of his career and second at Englishtown.
"This track loves me, and I love it," said Treble. "I don't know what it is but I really like it here. The guys like Matt Smith and Eddie [Krawiec] that went 6.90 were out of my league. I did not have a .90 in my bike. Of course, I don't feel bad about the final because Eddie whipped my butt the last time we raced. I owed that to him. I was doing okay on the starting line, but I just let it fly in the final and went .007. I should have done that other three rounds, but it worked. I'm looking forward to the west coast swing now. I've got a major engine overhaul coming up after Norwalk, and I can afford it now."
With the win, Treble moved from sixth to fourth in the Pro Stock Motorcycle point standings.