Record Rout @ NHRA Reading

Jason Line collected his sixth win of the season and second in the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s playoffs, during a record smashing and rain-delayed version of NHRA’s Union Select Auto Plus® Nationals held at Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvannia…….

Jason Line's rode the quickest ETs in NHRA Pro Stock history to a commanding Championship points lead.

Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also collected victories at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event which due to rain completed it’s Professional class eliminations (this afternoon) Monday Oct. 3. 

Not only did the Pro Stock point leader collect his second career win atMaple Grove, he also set the national E.T. record with the quickest run in Pro Stock history Monday morning as his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP went 6.477 seconds at 212.49 mph.  Line slowed to a 6.484 at 212.79 in the final round, but it was still enough to outrun Ronnie Humphrey, who posted a 6.530 at 212.16 in his Genuine Hot Rod Hardware GXP.

“That’s the second time we qualified No. 1, set the record, and won the race,” Line said. “It feels really good to do that, because there is a very small club of guys who’ve done it. I like going into the last three races with the amount of points we have because it’s not as much pressure. It’s not over by any means but I wouldn’t trade my position for anyone else’s.”

Line extended his series lead over Summit Racing teammate Greg Anderson to 181 points.

“My guys have done a phenomenal job,” said Line. “I don’t know what’s going on, but this car can make a bad run and still go fast. The car is bad to the bone. I didn’t mess it up too much, and it feels awful good right now.”

Del Worsham ran an all time quick 3.735 secs but lost the TF Final

The Top Fuel final round was the quickest side-by-side race in NHRA history as Del Worsham’s Al-Anabi Racing dragster recorded the quickest run in NHRA history, with a time of 3.735 at 323.81. However race winner Massey used a quicker reaction time on the starting line to combine with a performance of 3.770 at 323.12 in his FRAM dragster to take the victory.

“I just try to be consistent on the Tree no matter who I’m racing,” said Massey of his fourth win of the season. “(Crew chiefs) Phil (Shuler) and Todd (Okuhara) do an awesome job tuning the FRAM dragster, and we get a lot of confidence from each other. We started off going for the record in qualifying, but at one point we said, ‘You know, let’s just try to win rounds.’ The car was on a string. You could have put ‘3.77’ on the wing.

Worsham earned a 20-point bonus for his final round run, which was quick enough to become the national record in Top Fuel. Worsham, who moved to third in the points order, posted a time earlier in the weekend that certified the run as the record per NHRA rules.

“Alan Johnson and Del Worsham did an amazing job in the other lane to make their car run as fast as it did,” Massey said. “It makes it that much sweeter of a win, in a way, for the win light to come on in our lane with a 3.77. I saw his nose out there at about 200 feet and never saw him again until I looked over after the finish line.”

Spencer Massey won for the 6th time in Top Fuel in 2011 - to assume the overall points lead

Massey leads the Top Fuel point standings while Don Schumacher Racing teammate Antron Brown sits 65 points back in second and Al-Anabi Racing driver Larry Dixon is fourth.

In Funny Car, Auto Club driver Hight took his Ford Mustang to the winner’s circle for the first time in the Countdown since 2009. The 2009 champ’s 4.065 at 302.62 was just too much for Johnny Gray’s Service Central Dodge Charger as it lost traction and recorded a 9.836 at 73.91.

“We know that this was our last-chance race,” said Hight. “If we lose early again here, it’s over. You put yourself in such a hole when you lose first round in the first few races in the Countdown. It was also in our mind that we didn’t win a single round in the Countdown last year. You’ve got to get that off your back.”

Robert Hight's win in FC was very timely

Hight knows what it’s like to come from behind and win the championship. He did it in 2009 when he started from the 10th and final position in the Countdown and went on to win the championship, so this victory has him feeling confident even though his team is in fourth place.

“Jimmy Prock, Mike Neff, and all the teams have been working so hard and so well together to turn this car around,” Hight said. “We’d been struggling. But once Jimmy Prock’s got it, he’s got it. We’re back in this thing. We have five wins this year. That’s the most I’ve ever had in my career out here. It wasn’t the greatest run of my career (in the final). I got a little outside the groove and started spinning, but we got the win light. It’s a great feeling to hearEric Lane(co-crew chief) get on the radio and tell you we won.”

DieHard Dodge Charger driver Matt Hagan leads the Funny Car point battle by two points over Castrol GTX Mustang driver Mike Neff and they are followed by Snap-on Tools Toyota pilot Cruz Pedregon, who sits third.

Rookie rider Arana, Jr. collected his second Pro Stock Motorcycle victory of the season in a rematch of the semifinals in Dallas with Matt Smith. The rookie of the year contender ran a 6.781 at 195.82 on his Lucas Oil Buell  to beat veteran Smith’s 6.795 at 194.24, also on a Buell.

“Right now, we have a lot of momentum,” Arana Jr. said. “My runs have been improving and we plan to keep this streak going. This should help me for the rookie of the year and give me a good chance for the championship. I finally got to qualify No. 1 and win the race. That’s something I’ve been trying to do all year long.”

With the win, Arana, Jr. moved up to second in points, 35 behind leader Eddie Krawiec. With the runner-up finish, Smith moved up to third.

Hector Arana III won for the 2nd time this year in Pro Stock Motorcycle

EVENT ESSENTIALS:    Union Select Auto Plus NHRA Nationals – Sep. 29th-Oct. 3rd, 2011  Reading PA   


TOP FUEL Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Spencer Massey 3.770 323.12 6th
R/UP: Del Worsham 3.735 323.81  
Low ET: Del Worsham 3.735*   *Record
Top Speed: Del Worsham   327.90  
Bump Spot:   3.888    
FUNNY CAR Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Robert Hight 4.065 302.62 23rd
R/UP: Johnny Gray 9.836   73.91  
Low ET: Johnny Gray 4.010    
Top Speed: John Force   319.22  
Bump Spot:   4.644    
PRO STOCK Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Jason Line 6.484 212.79 27th
R/UP: Ronnie Humphrey 6.530 212.16  
Low ET: Jason Line 6.477*   *Record
Top Speed: Greg Anderson   213.13  
Bump Spot:   6.598    
Winner: Hector Arana III 6.781 195.82 2nd
R/UP: Matt Smith 6.795 194.24  
Low ET: Hector Arana III 6.781    
Top Speed: Eddie Krawiec   197.97  
Bump Spot:   6.946    
LUCAS OIL        
Sportsman Class Winners: Name ET MPH  
TA Dragster Mike Kosky 5.285 265.59  
TA Funny Car Frank Manzo 5.419 264.60  
Competition Bo Butner 8.932 111.57  
Super Stock Joe Santangelo 10.31 120.26   
Stock Lenny Williams 10.93  118.99   
Super Comp Bryan Balducci 8.918  164.41   
Super Gas Peter Biondo 9.911  170.17   


Frank Manzo clobbered the TAFC national ET mark while clinching his 15th world title

Manzo Clinches 15th Title in Record Style!

Frank Manzo’s dominance in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series continues to escalate as the Morganville, N.J., racer clinched his 15th NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Top Alcohol Funny Car National Championship with a win at the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals (Oct. 3rd) at Maple Grove Raceway.

The championship marks Manzo’s 6th in a row dating back to 2006 with his first championship coming in 1981.  All have been in the NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car Class.  Manzo also clinched his 21st NHRA Northeast Division Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Top Alcohol Funny Car Championship this year.

Along with the championship, Manzo drove his Al Anabi Racing ’10Monte Carloto a NHRA national elapsed time record today of 5.411 seconds in his semifinal match up with Todd Veney.  His 5.419 second lap in his final round victory against Any Bohl qualified as the national record back up required by NHRA.  Manzo also held the old record of 5.432 seconds set back in March of this year inGainesville,Fla.

The win gave Manzo a perfect season of scored events with five national event wins and five divisional event wins.  Combined for the 2011 NHRA season, he has 11 wins in 12 final round appearances.

Scheduled Sportsman racing action in Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp and Super Gas classes for the Union Select Auto Plus Nationals was deferred one week due  and was completed Oct. 7-8th.

Posted by: NHRA Communications

Photos by:  Bruce Biegler – Steve Embling & Dave DeAngelis

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