Del Worsham on Sunday became the 15th driver in NHRA history to win races in Top Fuel and Funny Car when he defeated seven-time champion Tony Schumacher in the Top Fuel final-round in the 42nd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway.
Mike Neff (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) also scored wins at the second of 22 events in the NHRA's 60th anniversary season.
Worsham's reaction time was four-thousandths of a second slower (.044 to .040) in his Al-Anabi dragster, but he was eight-thousands quicker on the track (3.858-seconds to 3.866) to win at the finish-line by a margin of an almost imperceptible .004. It was Worsham's first win in Top Fuel after compiling 25 wins in a Funny Car career dating back to 1990.
Also on Sunday, 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch made his first NHRA Full Throttle Series start in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock class and acquitted himself well in his Shell Dodge Avenger, losing by less than a car length (.031 second) in the first round to seventh-year pro Erica Enders, the subject of the Disney original movie Right on Track.
Busch trailed at the start with a .049-second reaction time to Enders' .021 and that was essentially the difference in the race; his elapsed time of 6.541 seconds was all but a dead heat with Enders' 6.538 in her ZaZa Energy Chevy Cobalt.
In Funny Car, Cruz Pedregon (7.819s, 99.32 mph) spun the tires on his Snap-on Tools Toyota at the hit of the throttle and was no match for Neff (4.092s, 310.48 mph), whose Castrol GTX Ford Mustang was the best performing car in the class all day.
In Pro Stock, Line (6.554s, 211.96 mph) defeated Summit Racing teammate Greg Anderson (6.545s, 212.43 mph) to win his second straight event to open the 2011 season--and his second straight at Gainesville.
The national record, which Line missed by two-thousandths and Anderson missed by a thousandth, went to Rodger Brogdon with a 6.495-second run during Friday qualifying.
Read more: NHRA: Worsham, Neff and Line score wins at Gainesville - AutoWeek Magazine