Larry Dixon, Jr. was the class of the Top Fuel field yesterday at Firebird International Raceway just outside Phoenix,
Even a bout with the flu couldn’t stop Jack Beckman from ending Robert Hight’s win streak at two in the Funny Car category. The ill Beckman served notice in the first round when he came from his number 15 qualifying spot to upset number 2 qualifier Mike Neff. He then beat Gary Scelzi and Jim Head before meeting Hight in the final. This was Beckman’s fourth win in Funny Cars.
It has been since the Dallas race in 2001 that V. Gaines has seen victory lane and with the performance he turned in yesterday you have to wonder why. Gaines qualified in only the tenth position but after getting by Greg Stanfield in the opener, he defeated points leader and number 2 qualifier Greg Anderson. In the semi-final round he used a fantastic .007 reaction time to put away defending series champ Jeg Couglin, before facing Jason Line in the final. Line’s car faltered just off the start, allowing Gaines to win easily with a 6.70. “It’s been a long dry spell,” said Gaines. Indeed it has.
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Last fall the beleaguered NASCAR fans of Southern California had to endure 110 degree heat. This spring they had cold and rain and very little else for them at California Speedway in Fontana. All of Friday’s activities were rained out. They did get to see a truck race on Saturday and about a half an hour of Sprint Cup practice before rain brought that to a halt. Then it rained all night Saturday night and most of Sunday pushing the start of the Cup race back almost two hours. The still damp track was blamed for two wrecks and one nearly hour long red flag period in just the first 22 laps before racing was cautiously resumed. But long before the racers reached the halfway point of the 250 lap event, the rain came back and the track was lost for the night. Unfortunately for the fans, the race crews, and the TV crews, NASCAR delayed making any kind of decision until the wee hours of the morning. Long after most TV watchers in the rest of the country had moved on to something else. The race will resume today (Monday) at 1:00 PM Eastern Time but we have to wonder, who will still be there to see it?