7:08 p.m. -- Comments from 2008 NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher, who earned his 15th victory of the season and the 56th of his career Sunday at the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals:


(The big question is, what's left to accomplish in Pomona?) "It's Pomona, man. It's the end of the year; I can't wait. Every race we've won, it gets harder and harder to do because the bar is so high. I just want to go to Pomona and have fun. There were some times in the season where you've won a lot and our points were getting taken away because of the Countdown and then you go, ‘OK, we've absolutely got to close this thing.' To not capitalize on (a season) so good would have been devastating. I've said it many times, if we can't close the deal, we don't deserve it. We definitely have and I think we've proven to everybody that we deserve it."

(Going into the final round, Rod Fuller said that he wanted you in his house in the final round. Did that get you any more pumped up in the final?) It did, I guarantee it. At some point, you just call in sick if you're getting me, maybe. I get it because I would want to race us, too. When you win a race and you beat the guy that's the best at the time, that's what's great - it really is. He's just had some bad circumstances because we've beaten him so many times and it makes it look bad. He just keeps asking and we'll keep giving it to him, I guess. Right now, if I had to race against the Army car myself, I wouldn't be looking forward to it. I don't think he'd answer the same way if you asked him now."

Good night from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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6:44 p.m. -- Comments from Funny Car driver Cruz Pedregon, who earned this second victory of the season and 25th of his career Sunday at the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals:

(You said that first round with Jack Beckman was the most emotional and important win of your career, that final round had to even surpass that.) "It did, but not by much. I didn't hardly sleep last night. That car of Beckman's has been so good this year - as good as Wilkerson's - but they seem to be able to run fast when the track is fast. As good a season as Wilkerson has had, Wilkerson's strengths are more of a hot track and Beckman is dangerous because he can run good when the track is fast and this was a faster track today. After first round, things just kind of kept going from there and we got to the semis. I knew John Force was running good and I knew John was going to be up for me. John Force is absolutely like Dale Earnhardt and I'm sure all the Dale Earnhardt fans would welcome that comparison because John has meant a lot to this sport, he's done a lot. He's like a boxer that's hurt on the ropes - he's a little wobbly but that's when he's the most dangerous.

"Going into the final, Robert Hight ... that car scares the daylights out of me, too, because it seems to run good when the track's cooler and they're a fast-track racecar. I didn't want to get caught up in the championship points, I just went up there and just tried to maintain my emotions because it seemed like every round was like a championship round and I tried not to think too much about that. So I maintained my focus, which I'm pleased with and we got the win against Robert, which I'm pleased with."

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5:59 p.m. -- Comments from Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Chris Rivas, who earned this third victory of the season and third career win Sunday at the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals:

(You trail Matt Smith by 39 points with one race remaining. How does it feel to be at that point after this win?) "It feels pretty incredible. I honestly didn't expect it. There were a few people said that we definitely had the possibility for this year. The team is so strong, with George Smith leading the way. It's been an incredible opportunity for me this year. I just feel so blessed to be on a team like this and get to show off some of the talent that God has given me."

(What do you have to do now to close the gap on the other two guys in front of you?) "The same thing we've always been doing. We don't have to do anything different, it's part of racing, it's circumstances that have to come together and come to you. That's kind of what this event worked out to be. We qualified fifth and we weren't really that strong ... fifth position, mathematically we shouldn't have won the race but it's just all the events fell into place the way it's supposed to and it's kind of out of my hands at that point. There was a very small part of me that was rooting for Eddie (Krawiec) because he needed his first win but, of course, I always want to win."

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4:55 p.m. - Tony Schumacher capped his championship weekend by defeating Las Vegas resident Rod Fuller in the Top Fuel final of the eighth annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals. Schumacher clinched the 2008 NHRA Top Fuel season championship on Saturday when he qualified for Sunday's eliminations.

Cruz Pedregon captured the Funny Car title by outrunning Robert Hight and took over the points lead in the category. Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock) and Chris Rivas (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won on Sunday.

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4:34 p.m. - Final results from the eighth annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:

Top Fuel: Tony Schumacher (3.806 at 314.53 mph) def. Rod Fuller (3.821 at 315.19)

Funny Car: Cruz Pedregon (4.100 at 304.67 mph) def. Robert Hight (4.111 at 304.67).

Pro Stock: Jeg Coughlin (6.708 at 205.07 mph) def. Greg Stanfield (foul).

Pro Stock Motorcycle: Chris Rivas (7.052 at 185.79 mph) def. Eddie Krawiec (7.307 at 152.31)

Check back shortly for comments from the winning drivers.

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3:22 p.m. - Semifinals winners and final-round matchup in Pro Stock Motorcycle:

Semifinals: Eddie Krawiec (7.042 at 189.34 mph) def. Matt Smith (7.039 at 186.41); Chris Rivas (7.095 at 183.12 mph) def. Andrew Hines (foul).

Final: Krawiec vs. Rivas.

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3:15 p.m. - Semifinals winners and final-round matchup in Pro Stock:

Semifinals: Greg Stanfield (6.737 at 204.39 mph) def. Greg Anderson (24.669 at 26.11); Jeg Coughlin (6.719 at 204.51) def. Allen Johnson (6.744 at 204.01).

Final: Stanfield vs. Coughlin.

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3:09 p.m. - Semifinals winners and final-round matchup in Funny Car:

Semifinals: Cruz Pedregon (4.092 at 305.36 mph) def. John Force (4.111 at 300.86); Robert Hight (4.115 at 298.80) def. Tony Pedregon (4.151 at 300.53).

Final: C. Pedregon vs. Hight.

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3:01 p.m. - Semifinals winners and final-round matchup in Top Fuel:

Semifinals: Tony Schumacher (3.833 at 305.15 mph) def. Larry Dixon (3.899 at 305.56); Rod Fuller (3.821 at 314.46) def. Antron Brown (5.960 at 104.96).

Final: Schumacher vs. Fuller.

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2:40 p.m. - NAPA Auto Parts Funny Car driver Ron Capps had a chance to test the NHRA's newly mandated Electrimotion Safety Shutoff Controller during his first-round loss to Ashley Force.

The controller is designed to shut off fuel and ignition to the engine and deploy the parachutes as a result of a variety of engine or mechanical failures. The system deployed on Capps' car when his supercharger exploded toward the end of the run.

"We were actually ahead of Ashley, according to the time slip," Capps said, "and for some reason it struck the tires loose in a very weird spot, pretty far out during the run, which just doesn't seem to happen very often.

"It was so quick. It struck the tires and then exploded the supercharger right after that. If there is a bright side, we have the new shutoff controller on it, so when an explosion happens like that it shuts the fuel off and puts the parachute out.

"As soon as it blew up, I reached down to shut the fuel off, because you're trained to do that as a driver, and it was already off. So the chute was out and everything did its job. If something like that happens and you get knocked out or something goes very wrong with the car, having that system is a good thing. It worked."

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2:08 p.m. - A pair of interesting matchups will make the Funny Car semifinals a must-see event. It'll be the Pedregons vs. John Force Racing as Robert Hight will meet Tony Pedregon in one semifinal and John Force will face Cruz Pedregon in the other.

"All due respect to those guys, they're a tough team," Tony Pedregon said of John Force Racing. "They're like family and it's kind of like a love-hate relationship only because we're competitive. I know what's on the line ... and I'm excited."

Force, as expected, was revved up after knocking off Melanie Troxel and advancing to the semifinals against Cruz Pedregon.

"There's nothing I'd love better than to have a shot at this title," Force said. If I can do my job here and take out one of these Pedregons and Robert (Hight) can do it, we've got a shot at winning. What's cool is that the Pedregon boys, they're good, but so are we."

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1:55 p.m. -- Second-round winners and semifinals matchups in Pro Stock Motorcycle:

Second round: Andrew Hines def. Angelle Sampey (foul); Chris Rivas def. Chip Ellis; Eddie Krawiec def Mike Berry; Matt Smith def. Steve Johnson.

Semifinals: Hines vs. Rivas; Krawiec vs. Smith.

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1:45 p.m. -- Second-round winners and semifinals matchups in Pro Stock:

Second round: Jeg Coughlin def. Dave Connolly; Allen Johnson def. Ron Krisher; Greg Anderson def. Mike Edwards (foul); Greg Stanfield def Kurt Johnson (foul).

Semifinals: Coughlin vs. A. Johnson; Anderson vs. Stanfield.

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1:35 p.m. -- Second-round winners and semifinals matchups in Funny Car:

Second round: Robert Hight def. Mike Neff; Tony Pedregon def. Ashley Force; John Force def. Melanie Troxel; Cruz Pedregon def. Gary Densham (foul).

Semifinals: Hight vs. T. Pedregon; vs. J. Force vs. C. Pedregon.

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1:10 p.m. - Second-round winners and semifinals matchups in Top Fuel:

Second round: Tony Schumacher def. Clary Millican; Larry Dixon def. Cory McClenathan; Antron Brown def. David Grubnic; Rod Fuller def. Hillary Will.

Semi-finals: Schumacher vs. Dixon; Brown vs. Fuller.

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12:51 p.m. -- First-round winners and second-round matchups in Pro Stock Motorcycle:

First round: Angelle Smpaey def. Junior Pippin; Andrew Hines def. Craig Treble; Chip Ellis def. Angie McBride; Chris Rivas def. Michael Phillips; Eddie Krawiec def. Shawn Gann; Mike Berry def. Karen Stoffer; Steve Johnson def. Hector Arana; Matt Smith def. Matt Guidera.

Second round: Sampey vs. Hines; Ellis vs. Rivas; Krawiec vs. Berry; Johnson vs. Smith.

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12:27 p.m. -- First-round winners and second-round matchups in Pro Stock:

First round: Jeg Coughlin def. Rickie Jones; Dave Connolly def. Warren Johnson; Allen Johnson def. Vinnie Deceglie; Ron Krisher def. V Gaines; Greg Anderson def. Justin Humphreys; Mike Edwards def. Jim Yates; Greg Stanfield def. Jason Line; Kurt Johnson def. Richie Stevens.

Second round: Coughlin vs. Connolly; A. Johnson vs. Krisher; Anderson vs. Edwards; Stanfield vs. K. Johnson.

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12:08 p.m. - Tim Wilkerson won't be joining Tony Schumacher in celebrating an NHRA World Championship in Las Vegas. Wilkerson, who held a 52-point lead in the Funny Car standings going into Sunday's eliminations, lost traction early in his first-round run against Mike Neff.

"We sure weren't trying to do that," Wilkerson said after the first-round loss. "We got down the track about 300 feet and spun the tires. Hey, the drama continues, right?"

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Noon - First-round winners and second-round matchups in Funny Car: Robert Hight def. Tony Bartone; Mike Neff def. Tim Wilkerson; Ashley Force def. Ron Capps; Tony Pedregon def. Bob Tasca; John Force def. Jeff Arend; Melanie Troxel def. Gary Scelzi; Gary Densham def. Jerry Toliver; Cruz Pedregon def. Jack Beckman.

Second round: Hight vs. Neff; A. Force vs. T. Pedregon; J. Force vs. Troxel; Densham vs. C. Pedregon.

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11:27 a.m. -- First-round winners and second-round matchups in Top Fuel:

First round: Tony Schumacher def. Joe Hartley; Clay Millican def. Brandon Bernstein; Larry Dixon def. Terry McMillen; Cory McClenathan def. Morgan Lucas; Antron Brown def. Troy Buff; David Grubnic def. J.R. Todd; Rod Fuller def. Tim Boychuk; Hillary Will def. Doug Kalitta.

Second round: Schumacher vs Millican; Dixon vs. McClenathan; Brown vs. Grubnic; Fuller vs. Will.

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10:30 a.m. - Angelle Sampey, the three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle World Champion and the No. 1 qualifier this weekend, apparently has had enough of being dwarfed by the statuesque Las Vegas showgirls who flank the stage during driver introductions at The Strip.

Sampey, who stands an even 5 feet tall, brought her own milk crate to stand on this morning while she addressed the crowd from the stage. The added lift allowed Sampey to look the two showgirls in the eyes.

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10:20 a.m. - Good morning from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where it's sunny and windy for final eliminations for the eighth annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals. Although there is only a slight chance (10 percent) of rain forecast for today, the wind is gusting to 33 mph out of the south. Pre-race ceremonies and driver introductions are under way and eliminations are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. (PST).

Check back here often, as we'll be updating this blog throughout the day with news, results and driver interviews.