NHRA: Schumacher wins, then honors Kalitta
Published 12:00 am Monday, June 23, 2008
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. ó A day after Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta was killed in a qualifying accident, five-time world champion Tony Schumacher raced to his first Top Fuel win in 12 tries at the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals.
The event was overshadowed by the death of Kalitta. He died from multiple injuries after his car went out of control in the fourth round of qualifying Saturday.
“With the passing of Scott Kalitta yesterday, today’s race was extremely tough to get through from an emotional standpoint. But we managed to take care of business like Scott would have wanted us to,” Schumacher said.
Schumacher had a 4.589-second run at 325.06 to defeat Brandon Bernstein for his 46th win, moving him within six of Joe Amato (52) for most Top Fuel wins ever.
Tim Wilkerson, Greg Anderson and Chip Ellis also won in their divisions.
In Funny Car, Wilkerson drove his Chevy Impala SS to a 4.877 at 319.29 to edge Mike Neff.
Greg Anderson drove his Pontiac GXP to his third win of the season, posting a time of 7.520 at 200.23, which proved strong enough to get past runner-up Dave Connolly. It is Anderson’s 54th career win, fourth in Englishtown and second consecutive at Raceway Park.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Chip Ellis was able to ride his Suzuki past No. 1 qualifier Chris Rivas to pick up his sixth career win.