On Point by ProQuest

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									       EVENT OVERVIEW — 2nd annual NHRA Carolinas Nationals, Sept. 17-20, Charlotte




                                                                                                                  Get-well weekend makes




On Point
                                                                                                                    McClenathan, Hight
                                                                                                                   championship players;
                                                                                                               Edwards, Arana continue torrid
                                                                                                                pace, jumping to points leads
   CHARLOTTE — With the beginning of the                     Tony Pedregon, and Jeg Coughlin as well as a                made a major move, vaulting from 10th to third, just
Countdown to 1 as well as a new system that                  number of other key players opened the door for new         28 points out of the Funny Car lead.
awarded additional points for performing well in             contenders and strong performers who hadn’t fully               The winners weren’t the only ones who made key
each qualifying session and an unprecedented four-           hit their groove at previous events to move front and       moves. Top Fuel runner-up Shawn Langdon moved
wide exhibition, expectations were high for the              center in the championship battle.                          from eighth to fifth, just 49 points behind
NHRA Carolinas Nationals before the first car made              Cory McClenathan went from fifth to the top spot         McClenathan. In Funny Car, Ashley Force Hood
a run downtrack, and the event lived up to the hype.         in Top Fuel when he wheeled his Fram Tough Guard            moved to second and closed the gap between her and
Stunning upsets, shuffling in the standings that             entry to victory. Mike Edwards, who has had the             Pedregon to just one point. Pro Stock runner-up
resulted in three new points leaders, and an                 best car in Pro Stock all season but hadn’t been able       Greg Stanfield moved into a tie with Jason Line for
impressive show by four Top Fuelers and four Funny           to fully capitalize on it, finally put everything           third, 62 points behind Edwards and six behind
Cars resulted in a high-energy atmosphere that left          together, crushing the competition to not just jump         second-place Coughlin. A get-well weekend for Karen
everyone wanting more and looking forward to the             to the lead but to do so convincingly with a 56-point       Stoffer that resulted in a runner-up finish pushed
remaining five events of the 2009 NHRA Full                  advantage that is the biggest lead in any category.         her from 10th to fifth in the Pro Stock Motorcycle
Throttle Drag Racing Series.                                 Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Hector Arana extended            standings.
   Racers entered the event separated by just 10             his class-leading performance that began in Brainerd,           McClenathan picked the perfect time to grab his
points (except for the leaders, who had 30-point             picking up his second straight win and third at the         first win since the spring Las Vegas event last year.
leads), so most expected some changes in the                 last four events to grab the top spot. Robert Hight         In the final, Langdon got the jump at the Tree and
standings, but few expected this kind of shake-up.           may not have moved to No. 1 — Pedregon held on to           appeared to be in the lead until about the eighth-
First-round exits by incoming leaders Antron Brown,          that honor despite his first-round loss — but he too        mile mark, when his engine let go. That allowed




18 ✦ National DRAGSTER
                               0    Pro drivers without a round-one loss (Jeg Coughlin
                                    in Pro Stock was the only one entering the event)    1.5       round-win average for Coughlin in
                                                                                                   each of Mike Edwards’ four 2009 wins      2    final-round appearances in Pro Stock
                                                                                                                                                  for Greg Stanfield at last two events
                                       coverage by Candida Benson, Kevin McKenna, and Kelly Wade                      photos by Teresa Long, Richard Wong, and Richard Brady


                                                                                                            Event Champions
                                                                                                            Top Fuel                             Cory McClenathan
                                                                                                            Funny Car
								
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