Schumacher wins 7th Bristol Wally; Herrera overtakes legend at NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – The SuperGrip Thunder Valley Nationals just escaped the rain on Sunday, thanks to an early start time at Bristol Dragway. At the end of the day, a mix of the sport’s veterans and up-and-comers claimed victory in Northeast Tennessee.

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Tony Schumacher snapped a 36-race winless streak in Top Fuel, beating out the defending NHRA champion, Doug Kalitta, with a time of 4.236 seconds.

“Whatever happened, it went out there and spun the tires and I pedaled it and it was murdering itself,” Schumacher said after the win. “But the win light came on.”

The victory was the 87th in his career and his seventh at Bristol, which ties him with Ron Capps for the all-time wins leader at Thunder Valley.

Funny Car points leader Austin Prock barely missed a beat this weekend, as he cruised to his second victory of the season. His pass of 3.989 seconds in the finals was good enough to beat J.R. Todd and sweep the weekend.

In Pro Stock, Jeg Coughlin Jr. out-dueled defending Bristol champ, Erica Enders, en-route to his 67th-career win. His run of 6.707 seconds in the championship matchup topped longtime rival, Greg Anderson.

“When I was going up for the final I had a couple gameplans in my head,” Jeg said. “As I was inching forward just to pre-stage, I elected to call an audible and do something completely different.”

Finally, it was another win for Gaige Herrera in Pro Stock Motorcycle. His run of 6.818 seconds at 198.17 miles per hour gave him a record-breaking ninth-consecutive event victory and a 35th-straight round win. Both of those marks pass the great Dave Schultz in the Pro Stock Motorcycle ranks.

“Round by round I was very consistent on the light,” he said. “I think my worst light today was a 24 – so I’m happy with that. The bike was very consistent – I think we ran from an 84 to an 81 all day, so we’re happy with that.”

It’s off the the Virginia NHRA Nationals next for the drivers. The event begins from Virginia Motorsports Park on June 21.

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