If Greg Anderson doesn't find exactly what he was looking for during three days of testing at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it's not through lack of effort.  Anderson and his Summit Racing team completed more than 20 passes at the last-minute session, 10th of which were on Day 3. For comparison, winning NHRA POWERade Series teams make a maximum of four laps on race day with maintenance between each round. His quickest attempt was a 6.726 second pass at 204.17 mph.

Anderson brought his teammate Jason Line, the defending world champion who narrowly missed the Countdown to 1, and some of his crew to testing so the Ken Black Racing-owned team could cover more ground.

"We'll never find everything you're looking for," Anderson said. "We're nitpicking and seeing what this track does like and what it doesn't like. Hopefully we won't make those wrong moves during the race."

The NHRA POWERade Series comes to Las Vegas next weekend for the seventh annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, Oct. 25-28. This final test session was especially important for Anderson, a three-time world champion who's reaching for every bit of power he can to knock Dave Connolly out of the No. 1 spot in the points. Connolly's won an unearthly five events in a row in Pro Stock and his Cagnazzi Racing teammate Jeg Coughlin is right behind Anderson in third place entering the final two events of the year. Allen Johnson rounds out the Countdown to 1.

Anderson planned to head home Thursday night and be back in the shop Friday morning for five days of work they'll do before the truck heads to the West Coast for Las Vegas again.

"If we didn't learn anything over the last few days, we're doing something wrong," Anderson said. "We've done all we can do. Now we've got to go back and sort through everything we did. Look at the weather conditions, and make the best guess we can (for race day)."

Brandon Bernstein was the sole Top Fuel entry on the track Thursday, clocking a 4.636 at 306.88 in his Budweiser/Lucas Oil ride. Tony Pedregon fielded the quickest Funny Car on the track, driving his Q Horsepower Chevy Impala SS to a 4.733 at 318.54.

Mike Neff, the newest driver tapped for John Force Racing, completed the required runs he needed to earn an NHRA Funny Car license. His paperwork will now be submitted to NHRA for approval.

"Definitely just knowing as much as I do about it, how it all works has been a big advantage," said Neff, a decorated crew chief who tuned Gary Scelzi to the world championship in 2005. "The challenge is getting used to accelerating that fast, seeing and knowing where we're at, and getting a grip on that. We made a few runs and everything is slowing down a little bit. I'm feeling better with every run."

Neff replaced the late Eric Medlen, who died after a testing accident in Florida in March. Eric's father John will stay on as his crew chief, Neff said.

"Everybody over here (at John Force Racing) has had a tough year," Neff said. "It's been great to see John tune the car again and see him excited again, to be able to race this car again. It's definitely the most excited I've seen him in a long time."

Top Fuel Dragster:

1 Brandon Bernstein, Fairview TX, McKinney-TFX    4.636  306.88

Funny Car: 

1 Tony Pedregon, Brownsburg IN, '07 Impala        4.733  318.54

2 Robert Hight, Yorba Linda CA, '06 Mustang       4.757  305.49

3 Ashley Force, Yorba Linda CA, '06 Mustang       4.814  280.14

4 Mike Neff, Brownsburg IN, '06 Mustang           4.818  318.47

5 Ron Capps, Carlsbad CA, '07 Charger             5.077  235.72

6 Phil Burkart Jr, Yorkville NY, '06 Mustang      8.367  103.83

Pro Stock:

1 Greg Anderson, Mooresville NC, '06 GTO          6.726  204.17

2 Max Naylor, New Buffalo PA, '07 Stratus         6.731  203.71

3 V. Gaines, Lakewood CO, '07 Stratus             6.740  203.58

4 Bob Panella, Stockton CA, '07 Stratus           6.779  201.94


Jack Beckman feels he has something to prove after being bumped out of the inaugural NHRA POWERade Series Countdown to the Championship field in Richmond.  He probably didn't need to, but he showed once again on Wednesday that he could still star in the roll of spoiler, driving his Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger to a 4.753 at 325.30 mph during the second day of testing at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 

In one week, the Series returns for the seventh annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, Oct. 25-28, the first of two final races that will determine the 2007 POWERade Series world championships.

"We tested clutch parts, blower parts, injector parts and we evaluated all day yesterday and today," Beckman said. "We kind of picked the best combination and picked away at it. We want to make those four who are still in miserable. We want to win these races and make an exclamation point at the end of the year."

Beckman's Don Schumacher Racing-owned teammates Gary Scelzi and Ron Capps sit No. 2 and No. 4 in the points, respectively, entering Las Vegas. They're also testing this week at The Strip.

Wednesday saw Tony Pedregon counting the other team trailers, comparing them to his own outfit. Counting his rental car, Tony said, he could just about match up.

"I was counting, and John (Force Racing) has nine units, and (Don) Schumacher (Racing) has eight," Pedregon said. "We've got two."

But championship titles aren't decided on square footage alone, so Pedregon goes into Las Vegas secure in the fact he has an "Ace of Diamonds" blocker of his own in his brother Cruz.

"Without question, it's going to be an exciting show down," Tony Pedregon said. "In our own way, the four of us, we did every bit to earn our spots in the top four. I look at some of the cars that didn't make it in like John Force and Jack Beckman and it just goes to show you, we have great sponsors and great equipment. There's a lot of talent in these teams. But you have to have that one quality that makes it all work together, the people that make it work."

Funny Car

1 Jack Beckman, North Hills CA, '07 Charger       4.753  325.30

2 Tony Pedregon, Brownsburg IN, '07 Impala        4.760  322.81

3 Ron Capps, Carlsbad CA, '07 Charger             4.801  298.67

4 Mike Neff, Brownsburg IN, '07 Mustang           4.849  316.23

5  Phil Burkart Jr, Yorkville NY, '07 Mustang      4.878  256.75

6 Gary Scelzi, Fresno CA, '07 Charger             4.900  279.61

7 Ashley Force, Yorba Linda CA, '06 Mustang       5.214  207.78

Top Fuel Dragster 

1 Tony Schumacher, Long Grove IL, Hadman-TFX      4.521  330.55

2 Brandon Bernstein, Fairview TX, McKinney-TFX    4.579  326.63

Pro Stock

1 Greg Anderson, Mooresville NC, '06 GTO          6.753  203.86

2 Jason Line, Mooresville NC, '06 GTO             6.770  203.95

3 Max Naylor, New Buffalo PA, '07 Stratus         6.771  202.88

4 V. Gaines, Lakewood CO, '07 Stratus             6.779  202.48

5 Bob Panella, Stockton CA, '07 Stratus           6.833  201.58


Ron Capps turned in the best Funny Car performance of the first day of testing at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway - the last time teams will have time to tweak before the inaugural Countdown to the Championship titles are decided.

Capps drove his Brut Revolution Dodge Charger to a 4.824-second run at 316.97 mph, the quickest of his Don Schumacher Racing-owned teammates. Testing continues until Thursday, one week before the NHRA POWERade Series comes to The Strip for the seventh annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals Oct. 25-28.

"Today was tricky because it was windy," said Capps, who's eager to earn his first world championship title after three runner-up finishes. "It just shows how competitive everyone is, because everyone was waiting to see who would run quickest. You could almost throw a blanket over them because they were all so close."

Capps enters the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals fourth in the point standings. Tony Schumacher, currently sitting third, was the quickest of two entries in Top Fuel, piloting his U.S. Army dragster to a 4.541 at 327.03, while Greg Anderson posted a 6.793 at 202.39 in his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO. John Force's Castrol GTX High-Mileage Ford Mustang made it back to the track with Phil Burkart Jr. behind the wheel, recording a 6.036 at 154.76, while the newest driver tapped for John Force Racing, Mike Neff, also made an appearance.

"(Ed) Ace (McCulloch) is real happy with what we did," Capps said. "To run as well as we did and to learn what we did, today was a great day for us."

Tickets for the Oct. 25-28 NHRA ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at LVMS may be purchased by calling the LVMS ticket office at (702) 644-4444 or online at


Psn---Num-Driver, Home Town, Car Type-----------------TT-ET----TT-Spd

1    1 Tony Schumacher, Long Grove IL, Hadman-TFX      4.541  327.03

2    3 Brandon Bernstein, Fairview TX, McKinney-TFX    4.592  324.98


Psn---Num-Driver, Home Town, Car Type-----------------TT-ET----TT-Spd

1   28 Ron Capps, Carlsbad CA, '07 Charger             4.824  316.97

2    7 Gary Scelzi, Fresno CA, '07 Charger             4.837  321.96

3  711 Jack Beckman, North Hills CA, '07 Charger       4.874  317.12

4 NEFF Mike Neff, Brownsburg IN, '07 Mustang           5.365  198.96

5  156 Phil Burkart Jr                                 6.036  154.76


Psn---Num-Driver, Home Town, Car Type-----------------TT-ET----TT-Spd

1    2 Greg Anderson, Mooresville NC, '06 GTO          6.793  202.39

2  712 Bob Panella, Stockton CA, '07 Stratus           6.873  201.01

3 5793 Gery Lockman, Wellington CA, '01 Cavalier       7.253  192.06

Courtesy: Lachelle Seymour, NHRA Public Relations