NHRA: Schumacher sets Bristol track record in Top Fuel

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Eight-time Top Fuel world champ Tony Schumacher powered to a Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway track record Friday to highlight the first of two days of qualifying for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

Schumacher covered the track in 3.768 seconds at 323.58 mph to earn the provisional No. 1 qualifying spot, while Tim Wilkerson was the early front-runner in Funny Car, as was Chris McGaha in Pro Stock.

“We talk about what needs to happen each run,” Schumacher said in a NHRA media release. “[Crew chiefs] Mike [Green] and Neal [Strausbaugh] gave me a really good car. I just go out there and use it properly.”

Schumacher is coming off a No. 1 starting spot and victory last weekend at Epping, N.H.

Three-time Top Fuel world champion Larry Dixon (3.769 seconds at 326.24 mph) was second-quickest, followed by Spencer Massey (3.778 at 326.63).

Wilkerson took the lead in Funny Car with a run of 4.027 seconds at 318.32 mph.

“The thing is running way too easy,” Wilkerson said. “That’s a little concerning but as long as I keep that in my head and not try to be ‘Guerilla Tim, I’ll be OK.”

Del Worsham, a two-time Bristol winner, provisionally qualified No. 2 (4.034 seconds at 319.07 mph), while two-time and defending world champ Matt Hagan qualified third (4.035 at 318.09).

In Pro Stock, McGaha (6.647 seconds at 206.67 mph) took top honors heading into Saturday’s final two rounds of qualifying.

“I was expecting everyone to turn the wick up,” said McGaha, who was No. 1 qualifier last weekend in New Hampshire. “But they didn’t so here we are. We are trying not to jinx ourselves by being No. 1 but here we are.”

Defending world champ and defending event winner Erica Enders qualified No. 2 (6.655 at 206.10) while four-time world champ and three-time 2015 winner Greg Anderson qualified third (6.656 at 206.73).

The final two rounds of qualifying take place Saturday at 12:30 pm and 3 pm ET. Sunday’s final eliminations begin at Noon ET.

FRIDAY’S RESULTS:

Top Fuel: 1. Tony Schumacher, 3.768 seconds, 323.58 mph; 2. Larry Dixon, 3.769, 326.24; 3. Spencer Massey, 3.778, 326.63; 4. J.R. Todd, 3.790, 318.62; 5. Antron Brown, 3.805, 312.21; 6. Dave Connolly, 3.807, 314.02; 7. Clay Millican, 3.812, 318.17; 8. Richie Crampton, 3.845, 318.47; 9. Brittany Force, 3.856, 309.27; 10. Doug Kalitta, 3.856, 313.44; 11. Leah Pritchett, 3.861, 319.60; 12. Terry McMillen, 3.897, 315.86.  Not Qualified: 13. Pat Dakin, 3.958, 310.91; 14. Chris Karamesines, 4.037, 300.53; 15. Shawn Langdon, 4.097, 277.77; 16. Steve Torrence, 4.483, 173.16; 17. Troy Buff, 4.594, 173.05; 18. Cory McClenathan, 4.938, 149.58.

Funny Car: 1. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.027, 318.32; 2. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 4.034, 319.07; 3. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.035, 318.09; 4. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.038, 313.80; 5. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.048, 317.49; 6. Robert Hight, Chevrolet Camaro, 4.053, 318.02; 7. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.054, 311.20; 8. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.072, 308.99; 9. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.117, 303.16; 10. Chad Head, Camry, 4.121, 303.23; 11. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.149, 289.51; 12. John Force, Camaro, 4.163, 310.27.  Not Qualified: 13. John Hale, 4.190, 294.31; 14. Paul Lee, 4.208, 273.83; 15. Tony Pedregon, 4.321, 226.35; 16. Jeff Diehl, 4.322, 263.77.

Pro Stock: 1. Chris McGaha, Chevy Camaro, 6.647, 206.67; 2. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.655, 206.86; 3. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.656, 206.83; 4. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.658, 206.83; 5. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.660, 206.86; 6. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.661, 206.45; 7. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.662, 206.45; 8. Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 6.674, 205.85; 9. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.683, 206.99; 10. Richie Stevens, Dart, 6.685, 206.16; 11. Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.686, 206.64; 12. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.689, 206.35.  Not Qualified: 13. Bo Butner, 6.694, 205.32; 14. Kenny Delco, 6.716, 204.17; 15. John Gaydosh Jr, 6.748, 203.52; 16. Dave River, 6.826, 202.06; 17. Alan Prusiensky, 6.828, 201.55; 18. V. Gaines, 7.938, 127.16.

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Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified

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FIA stewards announced Monday that two Ford GT entries have been disqualified from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the GTE-Am class-winning No. 85 entry from privateer Keating Motorsports.

Also DQ’d was the factory No. 68 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, which initially finished fourth in the GTE-Pro class.

Both entries were found in violation of fuel capacity regulations, with the No. 85 entry also failing to meet the minimum refueling time during pit stops.

The refueling system on the No. 85 entry, driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, measured a time of 44.4 seconds during a stop, just shy of the minimum required time of 45 seconds.

As a result, the team was initially issued a 55.2-second post-race penalty by officials, which elevated the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, and Egidio Perfetti to the class win.

The time penalty was calculated by the difference in the refueling time (0.6 seconds) multiplied by the amount of pit stops made by the team (23), then multiplied by four.

The No. 85 entry was set to finish second in class, but then received an outright DQ after its fuel capacity was also revealed to be 0.1 liters above the maximum permitted capacity of 96 liters.

As for Ganassi’s No. 68 entry, it was found to have a fuel capacity of 97.83 liters, which is above the maximum allowed capacity of 97 liters for the GTE-Pro Fords.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Jonathan Bomarito subsequently moves up to fourth, and the No. 69 Ford of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook moves up to fifth.

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