Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Worsham is 15th driver with Top Fuel-Funny Car dual feat

Del Worsham, a 25-time event winner in his Funny Car career, celebrates his first Top Fuel victory at Gatornationals.


Del Worsham, a 25-time event winner in his Funny Car career, celebrates his first Top Fuel victory at Gatornationals.

GAINESVILLE — On a weekend when a rookie who lost in the first round of Pro Stock garnered much of the attention, Del Worsham joined a select group Sunday at the NHRA Gatornationals.

Worsham defeated seven-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher in the final round at Gainesville Raceway to become the 15th driver to win Top Fuel and Funny Car events.

The other winners at the second of 22 NHRA races this season were Mike Neff (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

NASCAR star Kurt Busch lost in the first round of Pro Stock eliminations in his NHRA pro debut. As the No. 12 seed, Busch had his best run of the weekend — and better than any of his 50 or so runs in testing — at 6.541 seconds but lost to Erica Enders.

"This was a weekend that I'll never forget," said Busch, racing here on a Sprint Cup off week.

Enders edged Busch by half a car length on the quarter-mile strip, covering the distance in 6.538 seconds.

Worsham was four-thousandths slower (0.044 to 0.040) on the staging tree and eight-thousands quicker (3.858 to 3.866) on the track for a winning margin of 0.004.

It was Worsham's first win in Top Fuel after compiling 25 victories in Funny Car over the past 15 years.

Busch, after a brief celebration with his team for having such a good run, returned to the starting line and watched the rest of the competition. He cheered for Enders, the only woman in the 16-driver field, who lost in the second round. Busch spent time walking around the paddock area, shaking hands with fans and posing for pictures.

"It's a unique feeling," Busch said. "The atmosphere here is like a carnival atmosphere. I'm ready to grab a corndog and a cold beer and go watch … finish the day off."

Busch made his NHRA debut last year in Gainesville. He entered his 1970 Dodge Challenger in the Sportsman division, but got only two passes over four days because of heavy rain. Despite his lack of experience, Busch decided to turn pro. He got backing from Dodge and his NASCAR sponsors, then rented a car from Pro Stock veteran Allen Johnson.

Neff (4.092 seconds, 310.48 mph) won when Cruz Pedregon spun the tires on his run in the final. Line (6.554, 211.96) defeated Summit Racing teammate Greg Anderson to win his second straight to open the season. Krawiec took his victory when Karen Stoffer red-lighted.

Worsham is 15th driver with Top Fuel-Funny Car dual feat 03/13/11 [Last modified: Sunday, March 13, 2011 8:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Do Rays, Corey Dickerson have a 'second wind'?

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was the time in late May when Corey Dickerson hit a ball that bounced in front of the plate, swatted it for a double. He hit anything that moved wherever it moved. He was that good.

    Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Corey Dickerson (10) gets beat to the bag on the throw to first to end the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. The Seattle Mariners beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-6. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times
  2. Ex-Florida Gators QB Treon Harris will start at Tennessee State


    Former Florida Gators quarterback Treon Harris is a starter again.

    At Tennessee State.

  3. Bucs position battles; Defining the receiver competition


    TAMPA — The Bucs' top four receivers are etched in granite with Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries and rookie Chris Godwin.

    Bucs wide receiver Josh Huff makes a juggling catch as cornerback Robert McClain closes in Tuesday at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Cannon Fodder podcast: Looking back at Bucs-Jags, ahead to 'Hard Knocks'


    Greg Auman looks back on the weekend, with depth moves at tackle and cornerback, smart plays from Thursday's win in Jacksonville and what might be ahead on Tuesday's "Hard Knocks" episode on HBO, in …

    Greg Auman discusses the Bucs' win over the Jaguars in this week's Cannon Fodder podcast.
  5. Jim Harbaugh's Michigan football team is still hiding its roster


    Jim Harbaugh slipped one more offseason antic in just at the buzzer.