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Funny Car driver Neff keeps title hopes alive

Source : AP
Last Updated: Mon, Oct 08, 2012 23:00 hrs

Funny Car racer Mike Neff kept his championship hopes alive, racing to victory Monday at the rain-delayed NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.

Neff won with a time of 4.030 seconds at 317.94 mph in a Ford Mustang to earn his fourth win of the season. Neff closed in on series leader Jack Beckman, who set a national record and advanced to the semifinals over the weekend.

Neff trails Beckman by 54 points as the tour heads to its final two stops in Las Vegas and Pomona, Calif.

Khalild alBalooshi earned his first career Top Fuel victory and V. Gaines (Pro Stock) also won at the fourth of six playoff events.

Due to rain, the Pro Stock Motorcycle final round between Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec was postponed until the Las Vegas event starting Oct. 25.

A total of five NHRA national records were set during the event.

Several records flip-flopped between multiple drivers, and the elapsed time record in Top Fuel passed between Morgan Lucas, Antron Brown and Shawn Langdon before finally being set by Brown with his semifinal-winning run of 3.701 seconds. Brown earned a 20-point bonus for setting the official record. Langdon also posted the fastest speed in history at 334.15 mph, but failed to certify his speed by running another speed within 1 percent of the first speed as required by NHRA rules.

In Funny Car, Beckman's surge into the points lead was aided by his national record of 3.986 seconds in his first round win over Mike Smith. It earned him a 20-point bonus.

Beckman was also credited with the national speed record of 320.58 mph even though Robert Hight's track record speed of 321.81 mph was faster. Hight failed to back-up his speed with another run within 1 percent. NHRA speed records do not provide bonus points.

In Pro Stock, Jason Line set the national speed record at 214.35 mph in his second round win over Ronnie Humphrey and in Pro Stock Motorcycle Hines took the national elapsed time record with a 6.728 second run.




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