Benicia, Calif. (March 15, 2011) - Del Worsham became the 15th driver in NHRA history to win races in Top Fuel and Funny Car when he defeated seven-time champion Tony Schumacher in the Top Fuel final round of the 42nd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals Sunday at Gainesville Raceway. Worsham also joins Kenny Bernstein as only the second driver to win the Gatornationals in both Nitro classes. Jason Line also drove the Summit Racing Pro-Stock Pontiac GXP to his second win of the 2011 season. Both teams run Red Line lubricants exclusively.
Driving for famed Top Fuel tuner Alan Johnson and Al Anabi Racing, Worsham was four-thousandths slower (.044 to .040) on the tree in his Al-Anabi dragster and eight-thousands quicker (3.858 to 3.866) on the track for a finish-line winning margin of an almost imperceptible .004. It was the first win in Top Fuel for Worsham after compiling 25 wins in a Funny Car career that dates to 1990.
"It feels great (to have won in both classes). I actually had a chance at the U.S. Nationals in 1993, could have won in Top Fuel, and I made a huge mistake, red light against Kenny Bernstein, and he went on to win. I felt bad about that and it's kind of weighed on me for 20 years," Worsham said. "It is almost surreal, I'm driving (2010 Top Fuel champion and teammate) Larry (Dixon)'s car from last year, it won 12 races last year, now it's won 13."
In Pro Stock, Jason Line and the KB Racing team were determined to take full advantage of the excellent track conditions in an attempt to set a new national elapsed time record during Saturday qualifying. Of twenty-one at Gainesville Raceway, Line came the closest to setting a new mark, with his 6.496-second, 212.49 mph pass in the morning session coming within one thousandth of the quickest time ever recorded. This allowed him to join the select group of four Pro Stock drivers in the 6.4-second range. In the final Pro Stock round, Line (6.554, 211.96) defeated teammate Greg Anderson (6.545, 212.43) to win his second straight to open the 2011 season and second straight at Gainesville.
"We made some changes based on what we saw from qualifying data, and our Summit Racing Pontiac really responded," Line said. "The competition is so close in Pro Stock that any of the qualified cars could win, so we need to be on top of our game from the start."
Red Line customers also finished runner up in Pro Stock Motorcycle with Karen Stoffer and in Pro Modified with Danny Rowe.
The NHRA Full Throttle Series continues April 1-3, in Las Vegas with the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.