Don Schumacher Racing Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher won his second Wally in as many days, picking up the win in the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex Sunday, one day after winning the rain-delayed Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals at the track. The event was postponed from zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina last Sunday.
Courtney Force (Funny Car), Dave Connolly (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won Wallys at Texas Motorplex.
Schumacher picked up early round wins over Leah Pritchett, Bob Vandergriff and Troy Buff on his way to the final round against No. 1 qualifier J.R. Todd. Schumacher holds a 106-point lead over Steve Torrence after two events in the 2014 NHRA Countdown to the Championship.
“It’s an unbelievable situation,” said Schumacher. “We’ve won two races in less than 24 hours. My family drove up, I won a race, we went to dinner, went to bed, came back, and won another race in under 24 hours.”
Force defeated Del Worsham in the finals after round wins over Tony Pedregon, her John Force Racing teammate Robert Hight and Tommy Johnson Jr. It was the 11th win by a woman this season.
“It was great to qualify No. 1, but I still knew I was possibly going to have to race one of my teammates in the second round when I looked at the ladder,” said Force. “Luckily for us, we were able to get that round because that was a huge win for us. Obviously, [they’re some of] my biggest competition, even though they are my teammates. [My dad and Robert might be] my biggest competition out here because they have great race cars. They’re keeping it consistent, and that’s the hardest thing to break, so I’m proud of my team to come out here and make some great laps – especially out here in the heat of Texas.”
Connolly gave Gray Motorsports its second win in as many days after defeating his teammate Shane Gray on Sunday; Jonathan Gray picked up his first career victory in the rescheduled NHRA Carolina Nationals on Saturday. It was Connolly’s second win of the season and 25th of his career. He earned early round wins over Shane Tucker, Allen Johnson and Jonathan Gray.
“I’ve been very blessed with a lot of great opportunities and I would have to say this is one of the best,” said Connolly. “Great group of guys, the whole family is. The comradery we have and the friendships we have grown over the year is unbelievable. We are out there having fun and running into each other in semifinals and finals and could not be better. We are avoiding each other first few rounds and early and it is a win-win when we make it to the final and there is Gray Motorsports on both the doors.”
Hines picked up the second Harley-Davidson Wally of the weekend after his final round opponent Steve Johnson was unable to make it to the line due to mechanical troubles. Hines picked up early wins over Hector Arana, Jerry Savoie and Scott Pollacheck.
“We changed a bunch of stuff, hard parts, key strokes in the computer and it finally all came together in that last qualifying session,” said Hines. “It got better and better and we are starting to see the results and the E.T. on the board. I’ve been to three or four engines and this one finally responded.”
The NHRA Countdown to the Championship continues this weekend, Friday through Sunday, September 26th through 28th with the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis. Keep up with the action at www.nhra.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.
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