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NHRA's Desert Dessert

NHRA's second stop on the 24-race tour was at Charlie Allen's Firebird Raceway just south of Phoenix, Arizona. Although not known as the best track on the circuit, it did yield the fastest pass ever for a fuel car, when Tony Schumacher cranked out a 330+ mph lap last year. This year, with the new NHRA rules in place, the fans didn't believe they would see another 330 mph lap but they were hoping to see some performances that were at least close.

Jeg Coughlin Jr. celebrates his third straight NHRA win with a Churchill sized stogie.

They were rewarded with a near-320 lap by Amato and Scelzi, a 4.85 fuel coupe pass, and a stellar performance by Pro Stock's new Sheriff, Jeg Coughlin Jr. as he won his third straight win going back to the last race of the 1999 season. The sportsman ranks also yielded some standout performances in the Top Dragster ranks with the quickest and fastest laps in history. Gary Sclezi shoed Alan Johnson's Winston dragster to low E.T. of the meet at 4.579.

Overall, one of the largest crowds ever seen at the old track saw some very competitive racing in all of the eliminators including 300 mph / 4.50 passes from the nitro classes. And for the second straight race, fans left the premises while the sun was shining and got home in time to see the results on the evening news.

The sun definitely is not setting on John Force's career. After two straight losses to the WWF's Jerry Toliver Force returned to the winners circle and the points lead with a victory at Phoenix

Kenny Bernstein and tuner Lee Beard are struggling a bit, but Kenny's driving skills propelled him to the second round at Phoenix and kept him in the points chase.


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