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Smith qualified 13th before falling to Spencer Massey in an oddly familiar first-round match; he was assistant crew chief on Massey's IHRA Top Fuel rail last season. Funny Car After winning three of the first six races and building a sizable lead in the Full Throttle points, Ron Capps wasn't too devastated by his finalround loss against his buddy Del Worsham, even though it came via a holeshot. [...] the record has been lowered four times: three times by Angelle Sampey and once by Matt Smith.

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									       13th annual O’Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals presented by Castrol, May 1-3, Madison

                                                                     (Above) Brandon Bernstein reached his third Top Fuel final of the year, and, like his previous four since his
                                                                     last win in Brainerd 2007, he was turned away. Crew chief Rob Flynn, second from right, won this event last
                                                                     year with Rod Fuller at the wheel. (Left) Angie McBride had one of her best outings ever, riding fiancé Matt
                                                                     Smith’s 2008 Buell to the semifinals in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

                                                                                                                        Wally to present to them in gratitude for the 30-

 Top Fuel                                                   just off the finish line. “We haven’t exactly figured
                                                                                                                        year partnership, but a quicker, faster Antron
                                                                                                                        Brown stopped him. “We were so pumped up
                                                                                                                        coming into this race,” said Brandon. “In the
                                                                                                                        moments after the final round, we were very
                                                                                                                        disappointed not to have gotten a win for Budweiser
 Terry Haddock finally got a chance to take his             out what happened,” said Massey. “It might have             here in their backyard to cap our 30th anniversary.
 Funny Car for a spin again and was able to put Top         been a combination of a few things because it               But you have to stand back and take a look at the
 Fuel veteran John “Bodie” Smith in the cockpit of          usually doesn’t go up in smoke like that, and it            big picture. Three final rounds in seven races is
 his rail with backing from,            reminded me of an alcohol dragster the way it did           something we can be very proud of as a team.”
                                         Red Line           that right at the hit. But Brandon [Bernstein] was
                                         Oil, Wheel         on his game with a killer light and a 3.86, and he          After missing the field in Gainesville and Atlanta,
                                         Vintiques,         would have been tough to beat. That’s just the way          drag racing pioneer Chris Karamesines qualified
                                         Competition        it goes. That’s why they call it drag racing.”              15th here. Karamesines, who last claimed a round-
                                         Products,                                                                      win in 1990 at the Reading event, lit both staging
                                         Howards            Smith pulled double duty, and                               bulbs and left the starting line before the Tree was
                                         Cams, and          alongside his father, Paul                                  activated. “This new car has plagued us a bit, and
                                         Ole Country        Smith, he assisted Top Fuel                                 we hope to do better,” said Karamesines. “But that
                                         Smokehouse.        newcomer Todd Simpson with                                  was purely driver error.”
                                         “I feel            his dragster. Simpson, who
                                         comfortable        lost a cylinder and fell in the                             Funny Car
 in the car and with Terry’s equipment, and                 first round to Tony                                         After winning three of the first six races and
 hopefully, we’ll be able to work together a little bit     Schumacher, recently signed                                 building a sizable lead in the Full Throttle points,
 more in the future,” said Smith, who last competed         Nexplore as a sponsor for                                   Ron Capps wasn’t too devastated by his final-
 in 2005. “I’m going to be the crew chief for Mike          Madison and a few upcoming                                  round loss against his buddy Del Worsham, even
 Gunderson in Bristol, but we’ll see from there.”           events. “We’d really like to                                though it came via a holeshot. “I hate to lose like
                                                            run all of the events,” said                                that, but if you understand what goes on with
 Smith qualified 13th before                                Simpson, a three-time Division 4 Top Alcohol Funny          regard to reaction times, especially in Top Fuel
 falling to Spencer Massey in an                            Car champion. “We’ll just keep going as long as the         and Funny Car, you understand why it happened,”
 oddly familiar first-round                                 parts and funds can hold out.”                              said Capps. “The way I was staging, I had .080
 match; he was assistant crew                                                                                           lights all day. I guess I could have stuck it in deep
 chief on Massey’s IHRA Top                                 Bernstein had high hopes for this event because it is       in the final, but I just decided not to. ‘Ace’ [Ed
 Fuel rail last season.                                     just outside of St. Louis, the home of longtime             McCulloch, crew chief] has been working to try
                                                            sponsor Budweiser, who are curtailing sponsorship           and get my car to react quicker, but you also have
 Massey collected a semifinal                               of the team at the conclusion of the season.                to be careful not do anything that will hurt
 finish when he was up in smoke                             Bernstein fought his way to the final in pursuit of a       performance. Still, it was a great drag race, and

4    PSM riders to score their first two wins at consecutive races
     (Terry Vance, Matt Hines, Reggie Showers, Eddie Krawiec)
22 ✦ National DRAGSTER
                                                                            5    round-wins for Spencer Massey in the
                                                                                 last two races (one in the previous five)        5    final-round appearances for Jeg Coughlin
                                                                                                                                       in the season’s first seven races
                                                                                       the fans got their money’s worth           can’t earn points in Top Fuel. I
                                                                                       today, so I’m not too upset over it.”      figured I’d drive the car I love the
                                                                                                                                  most, which would be the Funny Car.
                                                                                       Capps qualified                            I’ll probably be back in the Top Fuel
                                                                                       No. 1, Worsham                             car in Bristol. It’s crazy, but I’m
                                                                                       won the race,                              hoping that when th
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