Marquee Winners for Indy Shootouts
Two of the biggest names from within the sport of drag racing emerged victorious for the very lucrative annual Traxxas Nitro Shootout events – held in conjunction with last weekend’s NHRA Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis….
In Top Fuel, Tony Schumacher raced to the $100,000 payday in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout held Saturday , closing out an action packed day of racing at the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the world’s most prestigious drag race.
Schumacher, a seven-time world champ and the winningest Top Fuel driver at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis with nine career victories, defeated Richie Crampton in the specialty bonus event final round with a 3.748-second run at 328.54 mph at the controls of his U.S. Army dragster.
It was the first Traxxas Nitro Shootout victory for Schumacher and the run also locked him in as the Top Fuel qualifying leader with two remaining sessions. He broke the track record for speed with his final pass of the night.
“These are the eight best cars as a whole,” Schumacher said of the competition in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout. “They’re cars that have gone out and won races and continuously find themselves in final rounds. It’s very satisfying (to win).”
Crampton, appearing in his first Traxxas Nitro Shootout, ran a 3.798 at 318.24 in his GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster. He defeated No. 2 seed Antron Brown and defending race winner Shawn Langdon en route to the final.
Then on Sunday afternoon it was John Force who emerged victorious for the Traxxas Nitro Shootout event for Funny Car racers.
Force, a 16-time Funny Car world champ, pocketed $100,000 and bragging rights when he beat teammate Robert Hight with a 4.061-second run at 317.19 mph in the Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang. He defeated fan vote/lottery winner Tim Wilkerson and two-time season winner Alexis DeJoria to reach the final. It was Force’s second Traxxas Shootout win and seventh career victory in an NHRA all-star race.
“It was a win-win situation,” Force said of running against his teammate in the final. “We couldn’t lose. All of the sponsors were on all of the cars. We just couldn’t lose it.”
Hight, driver of the Auto Club Ford Mustang, was appearing in his first Traxxas Shootout final round. He is a three-time and defending Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals winner and will be going for a fourth tomorrow.
Posted with files from NHRA Communications and Bruce Biegler
Photos by: Bruce Biegler