EVENT ESSENTIALS:  O’Reilly Route 66 Nationals, July 7-10th, 2011 – Joliet IL.  

Points leader Mike Neff earned an historic win for Ford Mustangs in FC


TOP FUEL Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Del Worsham 3.978 299.40 30th
R/UP: David Grubnic 4.055 294.50  
Low ET: Spencer Massey 3.819    
Top Speed: Spencer Massey   319.29  
Bump Spot:   4.053    
FUNNY CAR Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Mike Neff 4.246 293.22 5th
R/UP: Jeff Arend 5.168 186.54  
Low ET: Mike Neff 4.110    
Top Speed: Mike Neff   304.19  
Bump Spot:        
PRO STOCK Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Greg Anderson 6.670 207.18 67th
R/UP: Erica Enders 6.659 206.89  
Low ET: Greg Anderson 6.586    
Top Speed: Greg Anderson   209.14  
Bump Spot:   6.665    
Winner: LE Tonglet 7.047 188.46 7th
R/UP: Chip Ellis 7.153 185.49  
Low ET: Hector Arana III 6.950    
Top Speed: Hector Arana III   191.67  
Bump Spot:   7.170    
LUCAS OIL        
Sportsman Class Winners: Name ET MPH  
TA Dragster Bill Reichert 5.380 260.56  
TA Funny Car Tony Bartone 5.633 256.36  
Competition David Rampy 7.332 171.36  
Super Stock Michael Mans 9.570 136.86  
Stock Slate Cummings 10.35 127.33  
Super Comp Kevin Kleinweber 8.901 171.77  
Super Gas Jimmy Lewis 9.910 151.12  
Super Street Scotty Rienschield 10.90 144.58  

 Neff Earns 200th Win for Ford Funny Cars

Posted by:  Anthony Vestal

Mike Neff raced to his fourth Funny Car victory of the season Sunday at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago.

Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.

NHRA Joliet featured a record crowd and record heat!

With the win, Neff gave Ford its milestone 200th NHRA Funny Car victory as he powered his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to a performance of 4.246 seconds at 293.22 mph to defeat Jeff Arend, who posted a 5.168 at 186.54 in his DHL Funny Car.
“The heat is what was hard for everyone out there today,” Neff said. “It was a challenge. With the conditions it was one of those races where you have to get your car down the racetrack if you want to win. It’s a tribute to our Ford Mustang body. It’s a great car and we have great preparation by the team because the car is so consistent right now.”

Top qualifier Neff defeated Justin Schriefer, Bob Tasca and Jack Beckman in the first three rounds with a string of consistent 4.20-second performances.

“I’m feeling pretty good right now,” said Neff, who increased his series lead to 172 points over second-place Beckman. “We’ve been going to a lot of finals, and that’s like training. You get in a groove and now, everybody is feeling good.”
Worsham raced to his fifth victory of the season in Top Fuel, powering his Al-Anabi Racing dragster past David Grubnic in the final round. A three-time Funny Car winner here, Worsham joined Gary Scelzi as the only drivers to win in both nitro categories at Route 66 Raceway when he posted a 3.978 at 299.40 to hold off Grubnic’s Kalitta Motorsports machine, which trailed with a 4.055 at 294.50. 

Del Worsham continued his phenominal winning season in Top Fuel

“What a day we had here,” said Worsham of his 30th career victory. “It started off not so good. We went down the track only one time out of four in qualifying, but when you have a guy like Alan Johnson (team manager) in your corner, you’re never out of it. It showed the depth of our team.  To win for the fifth time this year is like a dream come true. When the whole [switch from Funny Car to Top Fuel] was announced I had mixed emotions. It was (team owner) Sheikh Khalid’s call and now he looks like a genius. I just feel very lucky to be in this spot. I never expected that we’d be able to do so much so soon this year.”

Erica Comes Close – Again!
Anderson earned his second victory of the season and 67th of his career, denying Erica Enders her first win in her fourth career final round. Anderson took his first Route 66 Raceway victory with a holeshot victory as he drove his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to a 6.670 at 207.18 to cross the finish line in front of Enders, who had a quicker, but losing, 6.659 at 206.89 in her ZaZa Energy Chevy Cobalt. 

Greg Anderson (far lane) denied Erica Enders her first Pro Stock win in a close final round battle

“When the track temperature is 135 there is not a lot of traction and it becomes a crew chief’s race,” Anderson said. “The driver has to find a way to make it happen too. I don’t know how it worked out, but it did. This was the last track I hadn’t won at and now I have, so that’s cool at least until we go to someplace new.”

Anderson beat Steve Spiess, Rodger Brogdon and Shane Gray to advance to the final round from the No. 1 qualifying position.

“My boys saved me all day and then I got lucky and did something as a driver,” said Anderson, who moved into second place in the series standings, 54 points behind leader Jason Line. “At least for one weekend I held the girl [Enders] off. I was scared to death racing her in the final. Don’t get me wrong; it is going to happen this year. She is the real deal and she’s going to win many races. I just didn’t go in the record books as being the first one to lose a final to her.”
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Tonglet rebounded from a DNQ at the last event to claim his second victory of the season and pick up his second consecutive win at this event. He pulled away from Chip Ellis in the final with a 7.047 at 188.46 on his Nitro Fish Suzuki.  Ellis, whose last final round was in 2008 at Englishtown, N.J., finished in 7.153 at 185.49 on his Kuryakyn/Lartigue Racing Buell.

Hector Arana III set both low ET and top speed in Pro Stock Motorcycle

“We are back to our old motor from the end of last year,” said Tonglet, the defending Full Throttle Series world champ. “We had a bad race in Englishtown and blew up all of our motors so we had to get Vance and Hines to fix them all. We were just hoping to qualify after Norwalk. We were confident here after qualifying number three. For the final it stepped up and almost made a perfect run.”

Tonglet, who raced past Angie Smith, David Hope and Matt Smith in earlier rounds, said he had a lot of support from the Route 66 Raceway spectators.

“It means a lot to win here again,” said Tonglet, who earned his first career victory here one year ago. “Chicago is awesome. The fans are coming by the trailer now more often and they all know we are the world champs. To win here two years in a row is awesome.”

Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader Eddie Krawiec lost in the second round and now leads Karen Stoffer by six points. Tonglet moved into a tie for fourth with three-time world champ Andrew Hines.

TAD event winner Bill Reichert

While the warm summertime conditions provided a bit of a challenge for crew chiefs and drivers to make the correct tune-up decisions for their hot rods, the climate proved to be a great atmosphere for the thousands of Chicagoland fans who flocked to the track over the race weekend. New Route 66 Raceway track president Scott Paddock enjoyed his first NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series experience.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the four days of racing we saw this weekend at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals,” Paddock said. “Today’s gorgeous weather was the perfect backdrop for Greg Anderson’s first-ever win at Route 66 Raceway, as well as the other outstanding winners: Del Worsham, Mike Neff and LE Tonglet. A big thank you to the city of Joliet and to our fans for their tremendous support along with the NHRA, who continues to be a terrific partner to work with. We look forward to bringing back all the excitement of the NHRA Nationals in 2012.”

Division 4 Scores in JEGS Allstars Extra!

Posted by:  Scott Woodruff

Following a thrilling day of competition among drag racing’s best sportsman racers, the team representing Division 4 claimed the overall team title at the prestigious JEGS All-stars event today at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill.  Tied with the Division 7 team heading into the final round, the clincher came when Division 4 Super Stock racer Slate Cummings defeated Division 7’s Tony Mandella to officially lock up the championship, and the $20,000 team bonus that accompanies it.

The Jegs All Stars winning NHRA Division 4 team celebrates!


Jegs All Stars Class Winner ET MPH
Top Alcohol Dragster Jim Whiteley 5.366 268.81
Top Alcohol FC Frank Manzo 5.598 259.46
Competition Frank Aragona Jr. 8.117 162.25
Super Stock Slate Cummings 9.097 135.61
Stock Mark Faul 11.57 103.50
Super Comp (8.90) Tommy Phillips 8.916 158.06
Super Gas (9.90) Rusty Cook 9.917 171.21
Super Street (10.90) Mike Griggs 10.94 131.72
Top Dragster James Monroe 6.755 192.08
Top Sportsman Joe Roubicek 7.024 195.53


Cummings, who reached the final round in Stock, scored the bulk of the points for the Division 4 team. Tommy Phillips also did his share of the heavy lifting by driving to the Super Comp title over defending champion Michael Miller.  The Division 4 team finished with 1,300 points, 100 more than the Division 7 squad. The Division 3 team was in the running until the late rounds, ultimately finishing with 1,100 points while the teams from Divisions 1 and 2 tied with 800 points. On the other end of the standings, the Division 5 team scored 300 points while the Division 6 team was completely shut out on the scoreboard, scoring zero points for the event despite a talent-laden team.

Colorado's Jim Whiteley won the Jegs TAD title for the 2nd year in a row

For the second-straight year, Jim Whiteley claimed the Top Alcohol Dragster title as he stopped Division 4 racer Mike Manners in the final round with a 5.36. Whiteley is the first driver in 20 years to successfully defend a Top Alcohol Dragster title at the JEGS Allstars race.

Frank Manzo, who was honored on Friday by JEGS Mail Order for his 200 combined national and divisional event victories, claimed the Top Alcohol Funny Car title for the ninth time. Manzo drove his Al-Anabi Monte Carlo to a victory over Todd Veney in the final round, winning with a 5.59 to Veney’s 5.68. Manzo has now raced in the JEGS Allstars a record 19 times in 27 years.

Frank & Frank Aragona earned the Comp title with their cool Mopar-powered dragster

In addition to Whiteley, other repeat winners included Mark Faul, who stopped Cummings in the Stock final, and Frank Aragona Jr., who successfully defended his title in Comp when he stopped Division 7 representative Mike DePalma in the final round.

Rusty Cook, representing the home Division 3, downed defending event champ Jason Kenny to win the Super Gas title while Mike Griggs picked up a win for Division 2 by beating Scotty Rienschield in the Super Street final.

For the second-straight year, the popular Top Dragster and Top Sportsman classes were included in the JEGS Allstars race. Joe Roubicek of Division 7, earned the Top Sportsman title when he stopped Division 2 racer Ronnie “the King” Davis in the final round and James Monroe contributed to the strong weekend for the Division 3 team by stopping Art Hoover in the Top Dragster final.

All of the champions who were crowned today will be eligible to return to next year’s JEGS Allstars event as points blockers, and any driver who can also claim a win in tomorrow’s final eliminations at the O’Reilly Route 66 Nationals will be eligible for a double-up bonus from JEGS Mail Order.

Photos by:  Bruce Biegler & Mike Goodwin

To view DragRaceCanada’s event photo gallery click:  HERE