Archive for November, 2009

NHRA: Schumacher’s season is almost heroic

Posted in Column, NHRA with tags , , , , , , , on November 15, 2009 by Martin Henderson

The firesuit hung on the wall like a costume waiting for its superhero to pull it on. Nearby, Larry Dixon sat as cool as Clark Kent.

He is asked if it makes him feel like Superman.

“You better feel like Superman,” he replies, “or you shouldn’t put it on.”

Dixon, engaged in a classic Superman-Batman rivalry with Tony Schumacher, faced the media Sunday disappointed that he had finished second to Schumacher by the scantest of margins in the NHRA Full Throttle championship. “Two points could be 200, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “We were in charge of our own fate and we lost.”

And Batman won.

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NHRA: She’s the people’s champion, for now

Posted in Column, NHRA with tags , , , , , , , on November 15, 2009 by Martin Henderson

Robert Hight celebrated his Full Throttle NHRA Funny Car championship on Saturday when his third-place qualifying effort clinched the title.

In the six-race Countdown to the Championship, Hight had the car to beat – and it seemed like no one could. With crew chief Jimmy Prock finding his groove, Hight won three of the first five races. He was The Man.

Yet Hight’s first title didn’t come without controversy. The apparent choking of team owner John Force in a key race at the U.S. Nationals guaranteed that Hight would be in the Countdown; in the process, Hight’s free pass eliminated defending champion Cruz Pedregon from the playoff.

Chances are that Hight would have beaten Force anyway, but it clouded the integrity of the process and resulted in a first-class row between Force and his former driver, Tony Pedregon, brother of Cruz. Tony said he didn’t expect Force to get down the track, and Force didn’t get down the track. If anyone had the street cred to call out Force, it was Pedregon, who won a championship for Force in 2003.

Which brings us to Ashley Force Hood.

The people’s champion.

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