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NHRA| Gatornationals

Victory is best medicine for T.?Pedregon

Tony Schumacher runs the quarter-mile in 4.603 seconds at 325.37 mph to take the Top Fuel title at Gainesville Raceway.

Associated Press

Tony Schumacher runs the quarter-mile in 4.603 seconds at 325.37 mph to take the Top Fuel title at Gainesville Raceway.

GAINESVILLE — Defending Funny Car series champion Tony Pedregon earned his first victory of the season and 37th of his NHRA career Sunday, beating Gary Densham in the Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

Pedregon had a final run of 4.921 seconds at 315.27 mph in his Chevy Impala. Densham's Impala finished in 4.924 at 309.13.

Pedregon, who escaped injury at Pomona, Calif., in one of the most spectacular explosions in NHRA history, moved to fourth in the point standings.

"Winning is definitely the best medicine for this team right now," Pedregon said. "A little more than a month ago I was in the hospital with a burned hand. Today we were able to win the race and get this season turned around. This is a great day."

Tony Schumacher, Jeg Coughlin and Matt Guidera also won their divisions.

Schumacher claimed his 43rd Top Fuel victory and third at Gatornationals, beating Brandon Bernstein with a run of 4.603 at 325.37. Bernstein finished in 4.665 at 323.27.

"This is Gainesville, one of my favorite races, and you look at the full stands and it's a great race to win," Schumacher told NHRA.com. "But we're going to need to try some different parts to get back ahead because everyone is right there with us."

Coughlin took his 39th Pro Stock win and first this season by outrunning Jason Line. Coughlin powered his Chevy Cobalt to a 6.652 at 208.07 to hold off Line's Pontiac GXP (6.656, 209.10).

Top qualifier Guidera earned his second career victory in Pro Stock Motorcycle with a run of 6.949 at 191.54 on his Buell, defeating three-time champ Andrew Hines (6.985, 189.55).

Guidera put together four passes of sub-seven seconds on the quarter-mile, matching his feat from last season in Reading, Pa., when he became the first rider to do it.

"This win is so much better than our first win," Guidera told NHRA.com. "…We ran consistent all day, but it was a lot different doing it in front of 30,000 people. I was feeling it and trying to relax and stay calm with everyone waving at you and looking at you."

Victory is best medicine for T.?Pedregon 03/16/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:40am]
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