Maple Grove wraps up delayed NHRA program
READING - Persistent rain showers and soggy grounds forced Maple Grove and NHRA officials to move Sunday's eliminations for the 28th Annual Auto Plus Nationals to Monday afternoon. It was the fourth of six races in the 2012 Countdown to the Championship.
Winners in the professional classes were Khalid AlBalooshi in Top Fuel, Mike Neff in Funny Car and V. Gaines in Pro Stock.
While battling weather issues throughout the weekend at the Berks County quarter-mile, the competitors enjoyed the near perfect atmospheric conditions to establish performance benchmarks.
Jack Beckman stopped the clocks during Saturday's qualifying at 3.986 seconds to set a new national record for the funny car class, while Don Schumacher Racing teammate Antron Brown's 3.701 second pass during eliminations is the new national record for Top Fuel.
In the final rounds of eliminations, Khalid AlBalooshi defeated Brown in the top fuel final, collecting his first career win in his rookie season; Mike Neff won his fourth of the season in the funny car class by defeating Johnny Gray and V. Gaines scored his first pro stock win since 2008 by defeating a redlighting Dave Connolly in the final for the factory hot rods.
Rain once more proved to be a spoiler, as the Pro Stock Bike final between Harley Davidson teammates Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines was postponed until the next event on October 25-28, the Big O Tires Nationals at the Strip at Las Vegas.
The teams will enjoy a few weeks off after four consecutive weeks of racing before heading to Las Vegas at the end of the month.
Point leaders in their respective classes as the tour leaves Reading are Antron Brown in top fuel, Jack Beckman in funny car, Allen Johnson in pro stock and Eddie Krawiec on the pro stock bike.