Sunday's O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals live photo gallery
Sunday, April 28, 2013

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NHRA SpringNationals
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After a Saturday-night thunderstorm, Sunday has dawned blue and clear for final eliminations day.

  Fans are packing NHRA's world-famous open pits to get autographs from the heroes of the sport.

(Left) In the Lucas Oil Pro Stock Motorcycle pits, low qualifier Hector Arana Jr. is confident of his chances as he enjoys breakfast with his father, Hector Sr.

Brandon Bernstein is the picture of concentration as he warms the Top Fueler. He faces recent Charlotte winner Spencer Massey in the first round.

Due to the compressed schedule brought on by Saturday's weather, the alcohol classes kicked off racing today, followed by the Mello Yello teams, then Pro Mod. Due to the weather and pit-area conditions, the other Lucas Oil classes are not slated to run until later today, dependent on the forecast and grounds conditions.

The weather also forced a cancellation of all pre-race activities, but the winners of the National Dragster Backstage Passes, Marc Nagley and his granddaughter Blue and Don Luke and Arnold Parra, still enjoyed some unique opportunities, including a visit to Race Control and the media center and the chance to meet and chat with drivers, like NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car champ Jack Beckman.

NHRA Members can enter for a chance to win this great member benefit at future events by sending an email to

[11 a.m.] Shawn Langdon (above) beat points leader Tony Schumacher in round one of Top Fuel with a 3.846, low e.t. of the round. He'll have lane choice against Terry McMillen (below), who eked out a come-from-behind win against David Grubnic by just .0004-second, or about 2 inches. Other second-round pairings, lane choice first: Doug Kalitta vs. Morgan Lucas, Bob Vandergriff Jr. vs. Larry Dixon, and Khalid alBalooshi vs. Spencer Massey.

[11:30 a.m.] Alexis DeJoria defeated "friendly rival" Courtney Force in round one of Funny Car, her first victory over Force in three meetings. They raced twice last year during their rookie seasons, the first time at this event and again in Chicago, and Force won both times. She'll surrender second-round lane choice to reigning NHRA Mello Yello champ Jack Beckman in round two. Other second-round pairings, lane choice first: Bob Tasca III vs. Cruz Pedregon, Tim Wilkerson vs. John Force, and Ron Capps vs. Johnny Gray.

[12:30 p.m.] Pro Stock starting-line ace Greg Stanfield was at it again in round one, defeating Charlotte champ Mike Edwards on a huge holeshot, 6.589 to 6.554, low e.t. of the meet in a losing cause. He'll take on Vincent Nobile, who has lane choice, in round two. Other second-round pairings, lane choice first: Jeg Coughlin Jr. vs. Rickie Jones, Jason Line vs. Erica Enders-Stevens, and Allen Johnson vs. Shane Gray.

[12:50 p.m.] Hector Arana Sr. (above) was a perfect .000 on the Christmas Tree in round one in Pro Stock Motorcycle and not only easily defeated a red-lighting Steve Johnson with a 6.942 but earned lane choice in round two over his son, Hector Jr., who ran a 6.949 

Michael Ray (right) had low e.t. of the round aboard the Sovereign/Star Racing Buell with a 6.876 and will have lane choice over Andrew Hines, who beat his teammate, Eddie Krawiec, in round one. Ray's pass matched the event's low e.t. held by Hector Arana Jr., who maintains the honor due to his faster speed on their respective runs.

Other second-round pairings, lane choice first: LE Tonglet vs. John Hall and Scotty Pollacheck vs. Angie Smith.

The Al-Anabi Racing team is hosting several representatives of the racing club at the College of the North Atlantic’s campus in Doha, Qatar, this weekend. College of the North Atlantic is one of the largest post-secondary educational and skills training centers in Atlantic Canada with 17 campus locations throughout Newfoundland and Labrador as well as one in Doha. The Qatari campus is the premier technical college in the State of Qatar but also offers courses in business, health science, engineering, information technology, and academics.

 [1:20 p.m.] Khalid alBalooshi (above) ran low e.t. of round two in Top Fuel with a 3.852 to defeat Spencer Massey and advance to the semifinals, where he will face his teammate, Shawn Langdon, who advanced with a 4.28 over Terry McMillen.

Bob Vandergriff Jr. (right)  defeated Larry Dixon by just .001-second with a 3.924 but surrenders semifinal lane choice to defending event champ Morgan Lucas, who beat low qualifier Doug Kalitta with a 3.88.

 [1:30 p.m.] Funny Car's Tim Wilkerson (above) raced to a 4.198-second victory over John Force in round two and will have semifinal lane choice over Ron Capps (right), who ran a 4.30 in defeating Johnny Gray.

The other semifinal pairing will pit low qualifier Cruz Pedregon against Alexis DeJoria; Pedregon has lane choice after a fine 4.18 in besting Bob Tasca III.

[1:45 p.m.] Low qualifier Jeg Coughlin Jr. (above) advanced to the semifinals of Pro Stock with a conquest of Rickie Jones. His 6.56 gives him lane choice over Jason Line, who ran 6.58. Shane Gray (below) will take on Greg Stanfield in the other semifinal but will surrender lane choice after an off pace 7.09 conquest of Allen Johnson.

 [1:55 p.m.] Scotty Pollacheck (above) ran a 6.913 to defeat Angie Smith and reach the semifinals in Pro Stock Motorcycle, where he will have lane choice against his Sovereign/Star Racing teammate Michael Ray.

John Hall (right), who rode for the Star team last year, will be in the other semifinal but will not have lane choice against Hector Arana Jr., who is gunning for his third straight victory of the season.

The Pro Stock Motorcycle final will pit Hector Arana Jr. (left), who is going for his third straight win this season, against Scotty Pollacheck (right), who is gunning for his first career victory in the class. Arana has lane choice.

[2:45 p.m.] Jason Line (above) defeated low qualifier Jeg Coughlin Jr. in a battle of the mail-order giants in Pro Stock; Line's Summit Racing Camaro ran a 6.580 to earn final-round lane choice against Shane Gray (right), who ran a 6.59 to defeat Greg Stanfield.

Neither driver has won this year.

 [2:50 p.m.] Tim Wilkerson (above), who finished third in the four-car final round in Charlotte, will have another chance at collecting his 18th career win when he takes on Las Vegas champ Cruz Pedregon (right) in the Funny Car final.

Pedregon's Snap-on Toyota was the No. 1 qualifier, but he will relent final-round lane choice to Wilkerson.

[3 p.m.] Top Fuel's Shawn Langdon (above) shared his thoughts with Gary Gerould and a live TV audience on ESPN2 who tuned in to see the semifinals and finals live. Langdon advanced to the final over teammate Khalid alBalooshi and will have final-round lane choice over Bob Vandergriff Jr. (below).

Hector Arana Jr., far lane, ran his unbeaten streak to 11 straight rounds with his third consecutive NHRA Mello Yello victory in Pro Stock Motorcycle, denying Scotty Pollacheck his first win on a 6.91 to 6.98 count.

Jason Line, far lane, scored his 30th career win in Pro Stock, defeating Shane Gray with a substantial starting-line advantage, .007 to .055, in a race in which both ran 6.589.

After taking his second win of the season, Cruz Pedregon, far lane, is now the NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car points leader. Pedregon defeated Tim Wilkerson in the final round for his 32nd career title.

Bob Vandergriff Jr., far lane, became the fifth Top Fuel winner in six races this season when he defeated the tire-smoking Al-Anabi dragster of Shawn Langdon in the final round.