7:25 p.m. - Comments from Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Andrew Hines, who earned his third victory of the season and the 18th of his career Sunday at the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals:
"I felt really good today. For some reason, I get into these races and I get all caught up in the points and the battles and the rivalries and everything but today I really had nothing to lose. I came into this race fifth in points and I knew I had a good motorcycle underneath me. I just knew I needed to get to the final round and if Eddie (Krawiec) was going to be in the final round; that would have been great to get a win against a teammate. But I looked past that today - I didn't really care. I just wanted to go out there and ride and have fun. I looked at it with no pressure today."
(On racing in Las Vegas, where you have three victories in the past four years) "When I first started coming here in 2002, I didn't really care for Vegas. It was probably because I wasn't 21 at the time, but I've grown fond of this place. It's a great facility, great track surface, we get to go out and have fun and blow off steam at night. We didn't kill ourselves to drive the 2,000 miles from Indy; we all flew out. That makes a big difference on Sunday because you're not all worn out come the fourth round. I felt really good today and it's worked the last four years."
7:10 p.m. - Comments from Pro Stock driver Larry Morgan, who earned his first victory of the season and the 10th of his career Sunday at the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals:
(This is your first win since 2002. Is this the sweetest win of your career?) "I do have to say that because, for one, my family was here. My two boys, they were here along with my wife. It's not very often I can do that because one boy is still in school and my other boy has to work. My guys have worked so hard to get where we're at ... I have to say it's probably my best win for the longest time. The best win I ever had was Indy, when I won the Shootout in Indy in 1989 and my oldest boy was born the week before but this ranks right up there. It was just a great win for us."
(On taking back an engine he had loaned to final opponent Rickey Jones before their showdown in the final.) "The guys who work for me get a percentage of my car and they thought that I shouldn't give the guy an engine to beat me up with ... and we agreed if we got to the final, he's have to run his own engine. I don't feel bad about it; I'm glad that I could help him (during qualifying and in the first three rounds of eliminations) because they are good people ... but I surely wasn't (going) to help him beat me up, either."
6:50 p.m. - Comments from Funny Car driver Robert Hight, who earned his third victory of the season and the 14th of his career Sunday at the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals:
"We've come into Vegas here quite a few times and left with a lot on the table. We've run good, qualified well, but we just did bad in first rounds. This place is tough ... and then when I drew my teammate (Ashley Force Hood) first round, that kind of just knocked the (wind) out of me. They have honestly been the best car for over a year and they just don't struggle - this is so unlike them. (My crew chief) Jimmy Prock has done such a great job since the Countdown started - and even at Indy. Three wins in the Countdown and we've only been to five races. That is stout and that's all been on performance; we have not gotten lucky, I have not had to peddle the racecar. We have just outmuscled these guys and that's what Cruz Pedregon did last year. To have a 105-point lead going into Pomona gives you a lot of confidence but it's still not over. I think the only person that really has a chance is Ashley and I still believe if she had beaten me first round, she would be in here (doing the winner's interview) today. That was a close race in the final (against Jack Beckman). I think ours fell off a little bit, it hurt itself, so we probably got a little lucky in the final but all the rest of the runs this weekend was on performance."
6:40 p.m. - Comments from Top Fuel driver Spencer Massey, who earned his second victory of the season and the second of his career Sunday at the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals:
"It's unbelievable just to get to the final round. Every racecar out here is capable of winning races - the competition is so tight out here now that we went to 1,000 feet where every little thing counts. Every round was unbelievable, having to race Shawn Langdon ... Steve Torrence ... Brandon Bernstein and then Larry Dixon. Every round was a key round - it all meant something because the points, we're down to the wire, and not only for points but we're going for the Wally (trophy) at the end of the day and we're in Vegas. It means a whole lot to me personally and for Snake (team owner Don Prudhomme) and for everybody because we've been struggling a lot here in the Countdown ... and we just haven't been on our game. It's nice to come in here and throw down these good numbers and make it from A to B and not beat ourselves because that's what we're been doing all year long. Now we've got some momentum and we can possibly go into Pomona and carry on this momentum and try to get back into the top five."
5:18 p.m. -
Final results from the ninth annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: Top Fuel: Spencer Massey (3.827 at 314.53) def. Larry Dixon (5.503 at 174.87). Funny Car: Robert Hight (4.125 at 304.46) def. Jack Beckman (4.154 at 303.16). Pro Stock: Larry Morgan (6.720 at 205.69) def. Rickie Jones (6.794 at 203.16). Pro Stock Motorcycle: Andrew Hines (6.998 at 190.70) def. Hector Arana (foul). Check back shortly for comments from the winning racers.
3:38 p.m. -
Semifinals winners and final-round matchup in Pro Stock Motorcycle:
Semifinals: Hector Arana (7.039 at 190.89) def. Eddie Krawiec (7.028 at 190.86); Andrew Hines (6.992 at 191.62) def. Matt Smith (7.044 at 189.90).
Final: Arana vs. Hines.
3:35 p.m. - Semifinals winners and final-round matchup in Pro Stock:
Semifinals: Larry Morgan (6.729 at 205.17) def. Greg Stanfield (6.801 at 195.42); Rickie Jones (6.716 at 205.82) def. Ron Krisher (foul).
Final: Morgan vs. Jones.
3:30 p.m. - Semifinals winners and final-round matchup in Funny Car:
Semifinals: Jack Beckman (4.359 at 262.90) def. Del Worsham (8.613 at 77.85); Robert Hight (4.080 at 312.57) def. Tim Wilkerson (4.233 at 285.41).
Final: Beckman vs. Hight.
3:20 p.m. - Semifinals winners and final-round matchup in Top Fuel:
Semifinals: Spencer Massey (3.898 at 311.41) def. Brandon Bernstein (3.849 at 315.31); Larry Dixon (3.845 at 314.61) def. Cory McClenathan (3.844 at 316.38).
Final: Dixon vs. Massey.
2:50 p.m. - Sisters Courtney and Brittany Force, daughters of drag racing legend John Force, met in the second round of eliminations in Top Alcohol Dragster on Sunday at The Strip. Courtney, 21, had a huge advantage off the starting line and ran 5.364 seconds at 261.27 mph and beat Brittany, 23, who ran a 5.478 at 251.91.
2:11 p.m. - Second-round winners and semifinals matchups in Pro Stock Motorcycle: Second round: Andrew Hines def. Douglas Horne; Matt Smith def. Shawn Gann; Hector Arana def. David Hope; Eddie Krawiec def. Karen Stoffer. Semifinals: Arana vs. Krawiec; Hines vs. Smith.
2:05 p.m. - Second-round winners and semifinals matchups in Pro Stock: Second round: Rickie Jones def. Rodger Brogdon; Greg Stanfield def. Greg Anderson; Ron Krisher def. Jeg Coughlin; Larry Morgan def. Mike Edwards. Semifinals: Morgan vs. Stanfield; Jones vs. Krisher.
1:55 p.m. - Second-round winners and semifinals matchups in Funny Car:
Second round: Jack Beckman def. Matt Hagan; Tim Wilkerson def. Ron Capps; Robert Hight def. John Force; Del Worsham def. Tony Pedregon.
Semifinals: Beckman vs. Worsham; Wilkerson vs. Hight.
1:30 p.m. - Second-round winners and semifinals matchups in Top Fuel: Second round: Brandon Bernstein def. Antron Brown; Cory McClenathan def. Tony Schumacher; Spencer Massey def. Steve Torrence; Larry Dixon def. Doug Kalitta. Semifinals: Dixon vs. McClenathan; Massey vs. Bernstein.
12:40 p.m. -- First-round winners and second-round matchups in Pro Stock Motorcycle: First round: David Hope def. Craig Treble; Douglas Horne def. Michael Phillips (foul); Shawn Gann def. Junior Pippin; Karen Stoffer def. Steve Johnson; Eddie Krawiec defs. Jim Underdahl (foul); Matt Smith def. Larry Cook (foul); Hector Arana def. Mike Berry; Andrew Hines def. Freddie Camarena. Second round: Arana vs. Hope; Krawiec vs. Stoffer; Hines vs. Horne; Smith vs. Gann.
12:29 p.m. -- First-round winners and second-round matchups in Pro Stock: First round: Larry Morgan def. Jason Line; Rodger Brogdon def. Warren Johnson; 6. Jeg Coughlin def. Allen Johnson; Greg Stanfield def. Johnny Gray; Greg Anderson def. Ronnie Humphrey (foul); Rickie Jones def. Vinnie Deceglie; Mike Edwards def. Kurt Johnson; Ron Krisher def. Ryan Ondrejko. Second round: Edwards vs. Morgan; Anderson vs. Stanfield; Jones vs. Brogdon; Krisher vs. Coughlin.
12:10 p.m. -- First-round winners and second-round matchups in Funny Car: First round: Tim Wilkerson def. Jim Head; Del Worsham def. Bob Tasca III; Matt Hagan def. Grant Downing; Ron Capps def. Gary Densham; Robert Hight def. Ashley Force Hood; Tony Pedregon def Jeff Arend; John Force def. Cruz Pedregon; Jack Beckman def. Mike Neff. Second round: Hagan vs. Beckman; T. Pedregon vs. Worsham; Capps vs. Wilkerson; Hight vs. Force.
11:33 a.m. -- First-round winners and second-round matchups in Top Fuel: First round: Doug Kalitta def. Thomas Nataas; Spencer Massey def. Shawn Langdon; Brandon Bernstein def. Bob Vandergriff; Cory McClenathan def. David Grubnic; Larry Dixon def. Morgan Lucas; Steve Torrence def. Terry McMillen; Antron Brown def. Stig Neergaard; Tony Schumacher def. Urs Erbacher. Second round: Dixon vs. Kalitta; Schumacher vs. McClenathan; Torrence vs. Massey; Brown vs. Bernstein.
10:45 a.m. -- Here are the first-round pairings for today's professional eliminations:
Top Fuel: 1. Larry Dixon vs. 16. Morgan Lucas; 2. Steve Torrence vs. 15. Terry McMillen; 3. Antron Brown vs. 14. Stig Neergaard; 4. Tony Schumacher vs. 13. Urs Erbacher; 5. Cory McClenathan vs. 12. David Grubnic; 6. Brandon Bernstein vs. 11. Bob Vandergriff; 7. Shawn Langdon vs. 10. Spencer Massey; 8. Thomas Nataas vs. 9. Doug Kalitta.
Funny Car: 1. Matt Hagan vs. 16. Grant Downing; 2. Ron Capps vs. 15. Gary Densham; 3. Robert Hight vs. 14. Ashley Force Hood; 4. Tony Pedregon vs. 13. Jeff Arend; 5. Bob Tasca III vs. 12. Del Worsham; 6. Cruz Pedregon vs. 11. John Force; 7. Tim Wilkerson vs. 10. Jim Head; 8. Jack Beckman vs. 9. Mike Neff.
Pro Stock: 1. Mike Edwards vs. 16. Kurt Johnson; 2. Vinnie Deceglie vs. 15. Rickie Jones; 3. Ron Krisher vs. 14. Ryan Ondrejko; 4. Greg Anderson vs. 13. Ronnie Humphrey; 5. Johnny Gray vs. 12. Greg Stanfield; 6. Allen Johnson vs. 11. Jeg Coughlin; 7. Rodger Brogdon vs. 10. Warren Johnson; 8. Larry Morgan vs. 9. Jason Line.
Pro Stock Motorcylce: 1. Hector Arana vs. 16. Mike Berry; 2. Andrew Hines vs. 15. Freddie Camarena; 3. Matt Smith vs. 14. Larry Cook; 4. Eddie Krawiec vs. 13. Jim Underdahl; 5. Karen Stoffer vs. 12. Steve Johnson; 6. Junior Pippin vs. 11. Shawn Gann; 7. Michael Phillips vs. 10. Douglas Horne; 8. David Hope vs. 9. Craig Treble.
10:35 a.m. - Good morning from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where another beautiful day is on tap for the final day of the ninth annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals. It's 68 degrees, the skies are clear and there is only a slight breeze as track officials prepare for final eliminations in four pro categories.
The pre-race ceremonies, scheduled to start at 10 a.m., are being delayed as a result of an oil-down during Top Alcohol Dragster eliminations. Driver introductions will begin soon and will be followed immediately by the first round of eliminations in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Check back here throughout the day, as we'll be updating this blog with news, results and driver interviews.