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Sunday's SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals photo blog
Sunday, March 30, 2014

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The SealMaster Track Walk gave Las Vegas fans the chance to walk on The Strip before the start of Sunday’s final eliminations.

High winds played havoc with the event schedule (and the headgear of the Vegas showgirls) and forced the Pro Stock drivers to wait until late in the afternoon to begin their eliminations.

“Jungle Paul” Lee may have heard the loud roar from the crowd after he downed 16-time Funny Car champion John Force in the first round. Everybody loves an upset, and that just might need to be classified as the biggest one of the season thus far.

Bob Vandergriff Jr. upset higher-qualified Brittany Force with a fireballing 3.82 in round one and came within .007-second of defeating Doug Kalitta in round two.

Cruz Pedregon qualified fourth and had to be encouraged when he saw so many of the top qualified cars going out in the first round. Things had to get even better in the Snap-on Tools pits after he took out top qualifier and track record holder Courtney Force in the second round. However, his 4.12 in the semi's wasn’t enough to stop Alexis DeJoria.

Steve Torrence continued his strong qualifying performance in eliminations, reaching his fourth straight semifinal, but as was the case in Gainesville two weeks earlier, Doug Kalitta put an end to his day.

Gainesville runner-up Antron Brown was hoping for a rematch with Doug Kalitta but dropped a cylinder against teammate Tony Schumacher in the semifinals.

After Tim Wilkerson left too early in the first round, Ron Capps went on to take out teammate Jack Beckman in the second round. Unfortunately for Capps, he ran into Robert Hight in the semifinals and found himself on the trailer shortly thereafter.

Alexis DeJoria, near lane, earned her second Wally of the season and ran her career record vs. Robert Hight to a perfect 4-0. With her third 4.0-second run of the day, she put the Patron XO Café Toyota in the winner’s circle for the second time in the last three races.

Tony Schumacher, near lane, scored career win No. 73 and his first since last June when he defeated Doug Kalitta in the Top Fuel final, 3.79 to 3.81.

Alexis DeJoria and Tony Schumacher celebrated their wins without eventual Pro Stock winner Erica Enders-Stevens, who didn’t claim her trophy until hours later.

Sportsman superstar Peter Biondo collected his second career double. He won in Super Stock and Stock in Columbus in 2005, then did the same here to collect wins No. 47 and 48.

Sweden’s Jimmy Alund has a lot to be happy about when he departs Sin City. He not only picked up his first NHRA round-win when he took out Vincent Nobile in the first round of Pro Stock, but a second-round victory over reigning champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. put him in the semifinals against teammate Jason Line. He didn’t win there, but he had to feel like a winner with his best Sunday performance to date.

Chris McGaha may be kicking himself all the way back to Texas. He had one of the most consistent cars in Pro Stock qualifying, then began his day by dispatching Rodger Brogdon and Shane Gray in eliminations. His low e.t. of the race, a 6.610 in the semi's was all for naught, though. He left before green and fouled out.

(Above) Erica Enders-Stevens cleaned house in Las Vegas. Not only did she win $100,000 in prize money after back-to-back wins this weekend, she also moved into the Pro Stock points lead after using a 6.61 e.t. to beat Jason Line in the final. (Right) Enders-Stevens received a $25,000 bonus check for winning both Pro Stock events held at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend. She beat Dave Connolly in the K&N Horsepower Challenge on Saturday before capturing the Wally on Sunday.

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