EVENT ESSENTIALS:    NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals – June 17-19th, 2011 Bristol TN   

TOP FUEL Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Larry Dixon 3.836 318.09 61st
R/UP: Antron Brown 3.851 306.19  
Low ET: Brandon Bernstein 3.828    
Top Speed: Antron Brown   321.04  
Bump Spot:   4.324    
FUNNY CAR Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Robert Hight 4.092 314.90 22nd
R/UP: Jack Beckman 5.615 152.66  
Low ET: Robert Hight 4.047    
Top Speed: Robert Hight   316.45  
Bump Spot:   4.270    
PRO STOCK Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Mike Edwards 6.685 205.79 30th
R/UP: Erica Enders 11.86   72.89  
Low ET: Allen Johnson 6.668    
Top Speed: Allen Johnson   206.89  
Bump Spot:   6.753    
Winner: Melanie Troxel 5.928 250.83  
R/UP: Danny Rowe 6.008 240.89  
Low ET: Melanie Troxel 5.928    
Top Speed: Brad Personett   252.80  
Bump Spot:   6.177    
LUCAS OIL        
Sportsman Class Winners: Name ET MPH  
*Nitro Harley Tommy Grimes 6.328 224.32 *Exhibition
Top Dragster Jenifer White 6.632 203.61  
Super Stock Mike Saye 10.55 115.00  
Stock Dan Fletcher 11.64 101.07  
Super Comp Shane Carr 8.946 160.08  
Super Gas Tommy Phillips 9.968 134.93  


4th Season FC Win for Robert Hight

Robert Hight raced to his fourth Funny Car victory of the season Sunday and in the process set the national speed record at the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers.

Larry Dixon (Top Fuel) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) also were winners at Bristol Dragway in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

Robert Hight won his 4th event of 2011 and set a speed record

Hight gained momentum with a consistent string of powerful runs throughout the rain-delayed day of racing and finished off final-round opponent Jack Beckman with another strong run in his Auto Club Ford Mustang. Hight powered to a 4.092-second run at 314.90 mph while Beckman trailed with a 5.615 at 152.66 in his Aaron’s/Valvoline Dodge Charger. Hight’s final-round speed certified his earlier performance of 316.45 as the national record.

Hight defeated Ron Capps, teammate and series leader Mike Neff and Jeff Arend en route to the final round.

“We finally got Bristol, how about that?” said Hight of his 22nd victory. “I’ve had trouble with all the races that start with ‘B’ like Bristol or Brainerd, but we got this one. There’s nothing better than to win this race since it’s now Ford-sponsored. We made eight great runs, and when we needed it the most, Jimmy [Prock, crew chief] pulled it off. I’ve never set any kind of a record before, so that’s pretty cool, too. I know there are no points for a speed record, but it’s still cool to have.”

Despite his second-round exit, Neff maintained his series lead, with runner-up Beckman moving to second and Hight remaining in third.

Larry Dixon tapped his 61st career NHRA Top Fuel win

In Top Fuel, Dixon claimed his first win of the season and his sixth Father’s Day victory by outrunning Antron Brown in the final round. Dixon took his 61st victory and second at Bristol Dragway with a 3.836 at 318.09 in his Al-Anabi Racing dragster to finish just in front of the hard-charging Brown, who posted a 3.851 at 306.19 in his Matco Tools dragster.

“Great job by the team, for one,” said Dixon, who beat Rod Fuller, Morgan Lucas and Spencer Massey in the first three rounds. “Since the beginning of the year, even last year, I think we’ve had a great car, but for one reason or another, we haven’t been able to get to the winner’s circle and last [race], that was all on me. This weekend, it’s Father’s Day. It’s unbelievable from that standpoint. It’s been so long I don’t even think this tower was built the last time I won at Bristol. I’m very elated. I’m really, really happy.”

With the win, defending world champ Dixon moved into second place in the standings, 31 points behind series leader Del Worsham, Dixon’s teammate who lost in the quarterfinals to Massey.

Edwards Continues Bristol Domination

Edwards claimed his third consecutive Bristol Dragway win and 30th of his career and in the process denied Erica Enders a milestone victory as she tried to become the first woman to win in the history of the 41-year-old factory hot rod category. Enders left the starting line first in her ZaZa Energy Chevy Cobalt, but the car lost power near midtrack while Edwards sped down the track to finish in 6.685 at 205.79 in his Penhall/Interstate Batteries Pontiac GXP.

Erica Enders came very close to being the first female Pro Stock winner -- placing R/UP

“We made some ugly runs, and somehow we were able to turn the win light on,” said Edwards of his second win of the season. “Some days, no matter how bad you do, you still win. That’s the kind of day we had today. Congrats to my team. They fought hard. This car has given us so many headaches. I hope we can build on this. We have the K&N Horsepower Challenge next week, so hopefully we can build off of this and something good will happen.”

Edwards moved to second in the series standings with the victory and trails Jason Line by 24 points.

Troxel Wins Crash-Marred Pro Mod Show

Melanie Troxel raced to her first victory of the season in the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series Sunday at the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers.

After defeating early-round opponents Mike Knowles, Mike Janis and Leah Pruett-LeDuc, Troxel took the final-round win when Danny Rowe fouled at the start. It was Troxel’s first win in Pro Mod at Bristol Dragway and her second victory in the Pro Mod category. Troxel won in Funny Car at Bristol in 2008.

Melanie Troxel wheeled the R2B2 Racing Corvette to the GSA Pro Mod title

She was one of two women to take home Wally trophies during the event as Jenifer White won in Top Dragster in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. There could have been three female winners as Erica Enders came up short in her attempt to become the first woman to win in Pro Stock in NHRA history.

Troxel was consistently quick all day in her turbocharged RoadRage.com ’53 Corvette, and the win moves her into a tie for seventh in the Get Screened America Pro Mod point standings.

“It’s great to be getting back to some winning,” Troxel said. “On top of it, this engine combination, this car is something that (team owner) Roger Burgess has been working on for several years. He knew this was going to be a great combination for the sport when a lot of other people laughed and didn’t believe this car would run good. He stuck with it. We’ve known this car could win races all year long. We just had to get some of the kinks worked out of it. I’m very proud to be the one who has been able to bring this car to the winner’s circle and show everybody what it’s capable of.”

GSA Pro class racing featured two nasty incidents involving series founder Roger Burgess and also veteran class competitor Rickie Smith.  Both racers destroyed their cars during separate incidents over the weekend.   Smith did suffer injuries to his leg which will require surgery and which will likely put him out of action for the summer. 

Burgess had only minor bumps and bruises during his crash in round one which wrecked his very cool turbocharged Firebird which he had just debuted at NHRA Englishtown two weeks prior.

Both drivers cited track conditions (a bump on the surface over the pedestrian underpass) which may have contributed to their accidents.

The NHRA Full Throttle and Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series continue June 23-26 with the fifth annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

Posted by: NHRA Communications  –  DragRaceCanada File Photos