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Oct 30, 2012 - 04:14 PM
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2012 NHRA: Vandergriff’s Victory Jog Tops 6 Goodyear Wins At Las Vegas
Posted by: newsla on Oct 30, 2012 - 04:09 PM
2012 NHRA: Vandergriff’s Victory Jog Tops 6 Goodyear Wins At Las Vegas

Top Fuel driver Bob Vandergriff was in a hurry.

His 3.832-second, 324.75 mph blast down the 1,000-foot distance to win at the Big O Nationals NHRA event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was fast, but he wanted to celebrate with his teammates. So Vandergriff ran from the shutdown area back to the starting line, drawing cheers from the big, appreciative crowd for his enthusiasm.


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Vandergriff’s winning pass was the fastest of six drivers who won at Las Vegas on Goodyear tires. He was the only winner to jog down back to the starting area.

Goodyear’s six wins bested all other tiremakers combined. Ron Capps (in Funny Car) and Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) won in the NHRA’s Full Throttle Drag Racing Series for professionals. Jim Whiteley (Top Alcohol Dragster), Bo Butner (Competition Eliminator) and Steve Apted (Super Gas) won on Goodyear tires in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series for sportsmen.

“It’s been a year since that last (win),” said Vandergriff. “Everybody said the second one always comes easier. They’re crazy.”

Antron Brown finished the weekend with a sizeable lead in the championship Countdown with one race remaining. Brown’s 2,522 points lead Tony Schumacher’s 2,457. Spencer Massey is third with 2,452.

Capps beat Jack Beckman in the final round of Funny Car, trimming Beckman’s lead in the championship struggle in that category. Beckman leads Capps by just four points, 2,531-2,527. After winning, Capps called the NHRA’s Countdown, “Gut-wrenching,” especially racing against Beckman in the final round.

“I felt like something was going to go wrong,” Capps said. “(Beckman) was on a roll.”

Johnson’s win all but locked up the Pro Stock championship. He can win the 2012 title by making a qualifying attempt at the final race in Pomona, Calif. in November.

“We wanted to win the last two races and just kill this thing,” Johnson said.

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