Bits from the Pits

Apr. 03, 2013

Tricky Tipster: SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals

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For more than five decades, the National Dragster staff has tested its prognosticating skills prior to each national event, putting odds on the top eight racers it thinks have the best shot at victory in Tricky Tipster. This week, Tricky Tipster handicaps the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals.

TOP FUEL
Funny Car I Pro Stock I Top Alcohol Dragster I Top Alcohol Funny Car
A Brown ANTRON BROWN
Matco Tools
The most recent winner on tour has been to the final round in his last two trips to this event. 3-1
  
T Schumacher TONY SCHUMACHER
U.S. Army
The Phoenix winner had the best car at The Strip last fall before he was upset by Bob Vandergriff Jr. in the final round. 4-1
  
S Langdon SHAWN LANGDON
Al-Anabi Racing
The last six races held in Las Vegas have had six different winners. The Pomona champ is a good bet to make it seven. 5-1
  
S Massey SPENCER MASSEY
Battery Extender
In six appearances in Las Vegas, he has won twice in three finals. We like those odds. 6-1
  
D Kalitta DOUG KALITTA
Mac Tools
It’s only a matter of time before his strong qualifying efforts are parlayed into eliminations. 7-1
  
M Lucas MORGAN LUCAS
GEICO/Lucas Oil
He qualified No. 1 and reached the semifinal round last year. His last final round at this track was at the 2004 fall event. 8-1
  
B Bernstein BRANDON BERNSTEIN
Protect the Harvest/
MavTV
Six might be his lucky number this weekend. He won here six years ago and met his dad in the winner’s circle after winning in Top Alcohol Dragster six years before that. 9-1
  
C Millican CLAY MILLICAN
Parts Plus
The last time he raced, he was in the final. The last time a race was held here, teammate Bob Vandergriff Jr. took a victory jog down the dragstrip. 11-1
  
 

FUNNY CAR
J Gray JOHNNY GRAY
Gray Motorsports/
Pitch Energy Dodge
Dominant win in Gainesville has him tied for the points lead and has shifted the bull's-eye squarely onto his back. 2-1
  
C Pedregon CRUZ PEDREGON
Snap-on Toyota
Went toe to toe with Johnny Gray for performance supremacy for much of the weekend in Gainesville. Just ran into the wrong team at the wrong time in eliminations. 3-1
  
R Capps RON CAPPS
NAPA Dodge
Gainesville struggles are not indicative of what the co-points leader and last fall's Vegas champ is capable of doing. We definitely expect a rebound. 5-1
  
D Worsham DEL WORSHAM
DHL Toyota
Finally got a Sunday showing that matched his car's potential in Gainesville, advancing to the final round. Wouldn't be a surprise to see him go one step further here. 6-1
  
M Hagan MATT HAGAN
Mopar/Rocky
Boots Dodge
If this is what this team looks like when it hasn't fully jelled, we'd hate to be racing against it when it does. The 2011 champ is among the class' performance leaders. 7-1
  
C Force COURTNEY FORCE
Traxxas Ford
She is coming off a somewhat challenging outing in Gainesville, but her 4.09 and 4.13 runs in eliminations lead us to believe that the sophomore team hasn't completely lost its way. 8-1
  
J Beckman JACK BECKMAN
Valvoline/MTS
Dodge
He's not quite back to running with the class leaders, but his get-well weekend in Gainesville, which included a trip to the semi's, certainly showed promise for the champ. 10-1
  
R Hight ROBERT HIGHT
Auto Club Ford
Has won this event the last two years. Add the strong Sunday showing in Florida that included two 4.0s, and we get the feeling this team may be primed for a breakout weekend. 11-1
 

PRO STOCK
A Johnson ALLEN JOHNSON
Mopar/
J&J Dodge
He is coming off an impressive Gainesville victory and swept both events at this track during his 2012 championship season. 2-1
  
M Edwards MIKE EDWARDS
Interstate/I Am
Second Chevy
Has been the dominant entry in terms of performance this year. Stunning qualifying times should translate to a victory very soon. 5-2
  
J Coughlin JEG COUGHLIN JR.
JEGS.com Mopar
Dodge
Gainesville runner-up showing is a positive sign that the four-time champion has turned things around after 2012 subpar campaign. 3-1
  
E Enders ERICA
ENDERS-STEVENS
GK Motorsports
Chevy
Ran pretty stout numbers with debut showing of her new Camaro in Gainesville. Phoenix win also showcased her driving talents. 4-1
  
V Nobile VINCENT NOBILE
Mountain View
Tire Dodge
Off to a great start; he enters the event in fourth place, just 39 points out of the lead. Looking for his first victory at the track. 5-1
  
G Anderson GREG ANDERSON
Summit Racing
Chevy
Has dominated at this track with a record seven victories but has not reached the winner’s circle here since 2010. 7-1
  
  
J Line JASON LINE
Summit Racing
Chevy
In contrast to teammate Greg Anderson, has won here only once, in 2008. Could turn things around this weekend with his Camaro that has shown flashes of promise. 8-1
  
V Gaines V. GAINES
Kendall Oil
Dodge
Has proven just as powerful as the trio of J&J Racing Dodges with solid qualifying efforts. Only needs a little bit better luck on race day. 10-1
 

TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER
JIM WHITELEY
J&A Services/YNot Racing
Talk about a safe bet. Last year’s top-ranked driver returns to the track where he is most dominant one week after scoring a regional event victory here. even
  
CHRIS DEMKE
Peen Rite/OSI/801 Racing
With his mechanical woes behind him, Jim Whiteley’s biggest nemesis is primed to reignite their rivalry. 3-1
  
JOEY SEVERANCE
Severance Racing
The 2007 winner has been to the final round at this event four times and once in the fall. 5-1
  
DON ST. ARNAUD
A&J Construction
The Canadian driver has had the best-running A/Fueler on the West Coast this season. 6-1
  
RAY MARTIN
Denali Concrete/Lucas Oil
The Alaskan driver and Hugh Ridley’s hard-running blown dragster will be a factor. 8-1
  
GARRETT BATEMAN
HipLink Solutions
Rick Henkelman’s car qualified in the top half and went rounds at both Vegas outings last season. 10-1
  
GREG HUNTER
ExactAir
He scored his first round-win behind the wheel of Kenny Gilmour’s dragster at this event last season. 11-1
  
MEGAN McKERNAN
Truck-Lite/Davco
She qualified No. 2 here last year and gets out of the first round at both Vegas events more often than not. 14-1
 

TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR
JOHN LOMBARDO JR.
NAPA Auto Parts/Lucas Oil Chevy
The Pomona winner has the car to beat at any venue until further notice. 2-1
  
TONY BARTONE
Centre Pointe Collision Ford
“T-Bone” has something special going on at this track after sweeping both events in 2011 and 2012. 5-2
  
ANNIE WHITELEY
YNot Racing Ford
Sophomore sensation has three straight wins in regional competition at The Strip, including a double with husband Jim last weekend. 4-1
  
SHANE WESTERFIELD
CP-Carrillo Bullet Series Chevy
Scored his first win at Houston regional last month. The class’ quickest leaver has a fast car to boot. 5-1
  
JAY PAYNE
Peak Motor Oil/FireIce
"The ThunderSlug" has battled tire shake all season but could turn his luck around at an event that he has won three times. 6-1
  
DOUG GORDON
MB Cabinets Ford
West Coast hitter is zeroing in on scoring first win in Sin City that he has been gunning for since he began competing on the old Vegas track in the mid-1990s. 8-1
  
KRIS HOOL
Gripper Hand Cleaner Chevy
The Hool brothers have made their 260-mph horsepower look effortless in outings this season. 9-1
  
JASON RUPERT
SynOil Chevy
Having a 5.65 bracket car and good lights might be enough for the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series champ to reach the final again as he did in Pomona. 11-1
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