7:25 p.m. – Comments from Top Fuel driver Del Worsham, who earned his 32nd career victory and seventh of the season Sunday at the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals:
“Like Reading (two races ago), I’m out there running the fastest car again and the best team … so I didn’t want to let anybody down. (Spencer Massey) got me a little bit out of the gate there – I will never deny that he is very good. All the Top Fuel guys have really taught me something here about competition and having to dig deep. It was so close down there (in the final). You can’t see the other guy but when someone stares at you, when someone’s next to you and you know they’re there, that’s what it felt like. I just knew (Massey) was lurking. And he told me he never saw me, either. When my big ol’ win light flashed up down there, I was pretty proud.”
(Talk about the battle for the championship. You’re two points behind Massey with one race to go) “This is 21 years in building here. My whole career here, as far as drag racing goes, has come down, basically, to one race right now and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve got some confidence built up now and I’ve had a lot of success through the years but I’ve never personally been at this level and for (team owner) Sheik Khalid to give me this opportunity and for (team manager) Alan Johnson and (crew chief) Brian Husen to build this kind of car with this team, I’m a lucky guy. Coming off a win and going in (to the final race) with momentum is probably the biggest advantage I have right now.”
(Do you feel like you’ve got the car to beat in the season finale?) “I feel like I’m in the car to beat every day. I believe the car is going to be there, it’s going to run well and it’s going to come down to – mark my words – the final round and the two cars in the final; whoever wins is going to be the Top Fuel world champion.”
7:05 p.m. – Comments from Funny Car driver Ron Capps, who earned his second win of the season and the 33rd of his career Sunday at the 11th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals:
“It’s so gratifying for the guys and Tim Richards, my crew chief. I go up there every time, literally, to make him proud when I drive. It’s a tough car to drive and keep in the groove – I’m not going to lie to you.
I’ve really have to dig down and I haven’t had this much of a challenge in a long time to drive a car and keep it in the groove. It’s a lot of fun to drive but it’s a challenge. It’s going to be fun to go to Pomona because Tim now has got enough data that if we see the (right) conditions, he can throw down and go for a record and go for a backup; he’s got that kind of mentality. But when it’s hot out and we need it, he can slide that thing down there.
“A 4.10 in the final – I couldn’t even believe it. I was in the trunk again like I was the other night (in qualifying) and I couldn’t believe the car was staying hooked up. It was nice to see that little win light on the guardrail. That second-round matchup with (Jack) Beckman was emotionally draining. They’re fighting for (the championship) and we’re fighting just to show off in front of our sponsors and get back into it. You hate to take a guy out like that but you really have to commend (team owner) Don Schumacher … he makes sure we race straight up and you saw that again today. To have seven cars like he does and to go up there, no matter what the points are, no matter who is fighting, and to let it all hang out and have no (team) orders, I commend him for that.”
6:50 p.m. – Comments from Pro Stock driver Mike Edwards, who earned his 32nd career victory and the fourth of the season Sunday at the 11th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals:
“To win the race, to come out here and run really well, to qualify number one and today to put four rounds together – we’ve been struggling to do that for the past six or seven races, for sure.
It feels good to come out and finally win a race. I want to say congratulations to Jason Line (for winning the championship). They did a fantastic job, the whole team.
“We seem to run well at altitude tracks. We won Denver this year and then we came here and ran really, really well the (spring) race this year. It seems like when it’s hot out, we run better for some reason. We just need to figure out the rest of the conditions so maybe we can run a little bit better. It’s fun to come here and race. There’s so much to do here and I really, really, really enjoy coming here and we’ve had some success here, that’s for sure.”
6:40 p.m. – Comments from Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Eddie Krawiec, who earned his 11th career victory and the fourth of the season Sunday at the 11th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals:
“The most important thing here was consistency – rounds wins, round wins, round wins and I’ve been saying that all year. I’ve been leading the points pretty much the whole year and I definitely didn’t want to give it up or come into the Countdown and fumble. I’ve just been trying to work on my riding and be consistent – that’s the one thing that shows.
“This (championship) race, by no means, is over yet. I mean, 69 points is definitely a three-round lead. Our Harley-Davidson got four win lights today and I couldn’t be any more excited. It definitely takes the weight off my shoulders going into Pomona but it’s still in the back of my head. I don’t look at it like I won the championship yet.”
5:30 p.m. – Final results from the 11th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
Top Fuel: Del Worsham (3.823 at 318.77) def. Spencer Massey (3.834 at 323.74).
Funny Car: Ron Capps (4.109 at 311.34) def. Johnny Gray (4.203 at 295.08).
Pro Stock: Mike Edwards (6.641 at 208.30) def. Allen Johnson (6.668 at 208.01).
Pro Stock Motorcycle: Eddie Krawiec (6.936 at 194.30) def. Andrew Hines (6.995 at 192.96).
Check back shortly for comments from the winning racers.
4:35 p.m. – Jason Line committed a red-light foul in his semifinal matchup with Allen Johnson but still clinched his second NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world championship in Pro Stock when his closest pursuer, teammate Greg Anderson, lost to Mike Edwards in the other semifinal.
“It feels unbelievable,” Line said. “It’s a great day. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t have finished it in true championship style but it is what it is and I’m not giving the (championship) jacket back or the trophy.”
The Pro Stock championship was the sixth for team owner Ken Black, a Las Vegas businessman. Line said it was important for him to clinch the title in Black’s hometown, with his team owner looking on.
“It’s more important to clinch here in front of (Black’s) whole family,” Line said. “It’s a big deal because without them and Summit, this doesn’t happen and we’re not out here racing so we owe everything to them. I personally feel very indebted to them for everything they’ve done for me.”
Line won his first Pro Stock championship in 2006. Anderson has won four world championships, including three in a row from 2003-2005.
4:10 p.m. – Semifinals results and final-round matchup in Pro Stock Motorcycle:
Semifinals: Andrew Hines (6.977 at 192.85) def. Angie Smith (7.053 at 189.47); Eddie Krawiec (6.989 at 193.45) def. Hank Arana Sr. (7.157 at 191.48).
Final: Hines vs. Krawiec.
4:05 p.m. – Semifinals results and final-round matchup in Pro Stock:
Semifinals: Allen Johnson (6.674 at 207.53) def. Jason Line (foul); Mike Edwards (6.663 at 208.17) def. Greg Anderson (6.646 at 207.78).
Final: Edwards vs. A. Johnson.
3:57 p.m. – Semifinals results and final-round matchup in Funny Car:
Semifinals: Ron Capps (4.125 at 309.20) def. Cruz Pedregon (4.196 at 304.05); Johnny Gray (4.123 at 311.56) def. Bob Tasca III (10.799 at 86.69).
Final: Capps vs. Gray.
3:51 p.m. – Semifinals results and final-round matchup in Top Fuel:
Spencer Massey (3.890 at 318.62) def. Brandon Bernstein (foul); Del Worsham def. Antron Brown (foul).
Final: Massey vs. Worsham.
2:46 p.m. – Second-round results and semifinals matchups in Pro Stock Motorcycle:
Eddie Krawiec def. LE Tonglet; Angie Smith def. Hank Arana Jr.; Hank Arana Sr. def. Jerry Savoie; Andrew Hines def. Jim Underdahl.
Semifinals: A. Smith vs. Hines; Krawiec vs. Arana Sr.
2:38 p.m. – Second-round results and semifinals matchups in Pro Stock:
Allen Johnson def. Larry Morgan; Greg Anderson def. Kurt Johnson; Jason Line def. Ron Krisher; Mike Edwards def. Ronnie Humphrey.
Semifinals: Edwards vs. Anderson; Line vs. A. Johnson.
2:28 p.m. – Second-round results and semifinals matchups in Funny Car:
Johnny Gray def. Paul Lee; Ron Capps def. Jack Beckman; Cruz Pedregon def. Matt Hagan; Bob Tasca III def. Tony Pedregon.
Semifinals: Capps vs. C. Pedregon; Gray vs. Tasca III.
2:10 p.m. – Second-round results and semifinals matchups in Top Fuel:
Del Worsham def. David Grubnic; Brandon Bernstein def. Larry Dixon; Antron Brown def. Bob Vandergriff; Spencer Massey def. Rod Fuller.
Semifinals: Worsham vs. Brown; Massey vs. Bernstein.
12:53 p.m. – First-round results and second-round matchups in Pro Stock:
Ronnie Humphrey def. Erica Enders; Ron Krisher def. Shane Gray; Larry Morgan def. Vincent Nobile; Greg Anderson def. Steve Kent; Kurt Johnson def. Rodger Brogdon; Mike Edwards def. Mark Wolfe; Jason Line def. V. Gaines; Allen Johnson def. Greg Stanfield.
Second round: Edwards vs. Humphrey; K. Johnson vs. Anderson; Line vs. Krisher; A. Johnson vs. Morgan.
12:30 p.m. – First-round results and second-round matchups in Funny Car:
Johnny Gray def. Melanie Troxel; Tony Pedregon def. Robert Hight; Ron Capps def. Todd Lesenko; Paul Lee def. Mike Neff; Cruz Pedregon def. Jeff Arend; Matt Hagan def. Tim Wilkerson; Bob Tasca III def. Alexis DeJoria; Jack Beckman def. John Force.
Second round: Capps vs. Beckman; C. Pedregon vs. Hagan; Lee vs. Gray; T. Pedregon vs. Tasca III.
11:58 a.m. – Las Vegas resident Rod Fuller, who won the Top Fuel category at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the fall of 2007, earned an opening-round victory over Doug Kalitta on Sunday with a 3.849-second pass at 325.53 mph – the fastest run of the first round.
“It’s always good to be home,” Fuller said. “This is my place. This is my track and I think all those fans in the stands today are going to get to see some great drag racing. I’m excited about this next round. I think that we have a great shot of beating Spencer (Massey).”
11:35 a.m. – First-round results and second-round matchups in Top Fuel:
David Grubnic def. Steve Torrence; Larry Dixon def. T.J. Zizzo; Antron Brown def. Tony Schumacher; Bob Vandergriff def. Clay Millican; Del Worsham def. Shawn Langdon; Spencer Massey def. Ron August Jr.; Brandon Bernstein def. Dominick Lagana; Rod Fuller def. Doug Kalitta.
Second round: Worsham vs. Grubnic; Vandergriff vs. Brown; Massey vs. Fuller; Bernstein vs. Dixon.
9:40 a.m. – Here are the first-round pairings for today’s professional eliminations:
TOP FUEL: 1. Del Worsham vs. 16. Shawn Langdon; 2. Spencer Massey vs. 15. Ron August; 3. Brandon Bernstein vs. 14. Dom Lagana; 4. Bob Vandergriff vs. 13. Clay Millican; 5. Antron Brown vs. 12. Tony Schumacher; 6. Larry Dixon vs. 11. T.J. Zizzo; 7. Rod Fuller vs. 10. Doug Kalitta; 8. Steve Torrence vs. 9. David Grubnic.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Ron Capps vs. 16. Todd Lesenko; 2. Mike Neff vs. 15. Paul Lee; 3. Robert Hight vs. 14. Tony Pedregon; 4. Cruz Pedregon vs. 13. Jeff Arend; 5. Matt Hagan vs. 12. Tim Wilkerson; 6. Bob Tasca III vs. 11. Alexis DeJoria; 7. Melanie Troxel vs. 10. Johnny Gray; 8. Jack Beckman vs. 9. John Force.
PRO STOCK: 1. Mike Edwards vs. 16. Mark Wolfe; 2. Jason Line vs. 15. V. Gaines; 3. Allen Johnson vs. 14. Greg Stanfield; 4. Rodger Brogdon vs. 13. Kurt Johnson; 5. Greg Anderson vs. 12. Steve Kent; 6. Larry Morgan vs. 11. Vincent Nobile; 7. Ron Krisher vs. 10. Shane Gray; 8. Ronnie Humphrey vs. 9. Erica Enders.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Hector Arana Jr. vs. 16. Matt Guidera; 2. Eddie Krawiec vs. 15. David Hope; 3. Hector Arana Sr. vs. 14. Shawn Gann; 4. Andrew Hines vs. 13. Bailey Whitaker; 5. Matt Smith vs. 12. Jim Underdahl; 6. Jerry Savoie vs. 11. Michael Ray; 7. Steve Johnson vs. 10. LE Tonglet; 8. Mike Berry vs. 9. Angie Smith.
9:20 a.m. – Good morning from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and final eliminations for the 11th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals. Fans are in for a spectacular fall day as the forecast calls for sunny skies and a high of 81 degrees.
Pre-race ceremonies for the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. (PDT) and pro eliminations will begin at 11 a.m.
Make sure to check back here throughout the day for the latest news, results and driver interviews.