Scelzi, Todd storm Winternationals

first_imgThere was no such drama in Pro Stock, where Greg Anderson defeated Greg Stanfield,6.651 at 207.05 to 7.001 at 163.64 for his third win in the opener in the past four years. For good measure, it was the third consecutive win by Anderson on the famed Fairplex quarter-mile. In addition to back-to-back Winternationals, Anderson also won at last fall’s Auto Club Finals. “This track is magic for me,” said Anderson, whose string of three consecutive championships was snapped last year by teammate Jason Line. “It plays into our game plan, the 60- degree weather is right up the Pro Stock alley. “When it’s like this, the horsepower shows up and we use it all.” The two-hour late start, coupled with sun dancing in and out of the clouds and the late finish, changed the dynamics of the 47th annual event. The conditions produced some early upsets, most notably Joe Hartley taking out Top Fuel No. 1 qualifier Tony Schumacher in the opening round. In Funny Car, four qualifiers in the top half of the bracket were ousted, including the father-daughter duo of John and Ashley Force. In Pro Stock, there were three opening-round upsets. “When the rain came, it just changed things significantly,” said Jack Beckman, who lost to San Dimas’ Jeff Arend in the first-round of Funny Car. “Once you saw half the lower-qualified cars winning and once there was a pattern that got established in that right lane, it wasn’t necessarily a tune-up deal, it was a lane deal. “The higher-qualified cars switched over and for the rest of the round they won.” It was not a problem for Todd, last year’s rookie of the year. He ran 4.699 to defeat defending champion Melanie Troxel, 4.479 in eliminating Doug Kalitta and 4.473 in the semifinals against David Grubnic. Those runs, however, proved to be costly for the Skull Shine dragster owned by Evan Knoll. “It cost me $400,” Todd said. “I owe (crew chief) Jimmy Walsh a $100 each time I run a 4.40. It used to be a $1 for a 4.50, but I think the bonus I get will pay for it. “All those long hours during the off-season showed up tonight,” Todd said of Walsh’s work ethic. “We feel we can contend for the title.” Scelzi went to the starting line feeling his Oakley Dodge had nothing for Hight, who had a 4.646 against Arend in a semis victory. “We couldn’t match that, but we did not want to give it away,” Scelzi said. “We were looking for a 67 or 68.” Scelzi said he saw Hight pass him at 700 feet and the win light go on the opposite lane. “My crew came on and said I won because he had crossed,” Scelzi said. “I thought at first it was a dirty trick. We might have had two lucky runs, but our performance wasn’t luck.” Scelzi defeated Jim Head, Hight teammate Eric Medlen and Arend en route to the finals. louis.brewster@sbsun.com (909) 386-3865 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! POMONA – Neither rain nor darkness failed to deter J.R. Todd or Gary Scelzi from winning performances at the NHRA Powerade Drag Racing Series-opening Winternationals on Sunday. Todd, who began the day with three career-best Top Fuel runs to reach the finals, took out Brandon Bernstein for his fourth career victory. His run of 4.482 seconds at 324.98 mph was the slowest of the day, but it didn’t matter much as Bernstein lost traction 60 feet off the starting line. In the Funny Car finale, Robert Hight crossed the finish line first against Scelzi. It was a remarkable feat considering Hight crossed the center line and hit a timing cone at 1,000 feet, an automatic disqualification. Scelzi, only the third driver in the 47 years of Winternationals to win Top Fuel and Funny Car, was credited with a run of 4.716 at 332.26. The fact he got to the line was a testament to the Don Schumacher Racing team after Scelzi drove into a sand trap after a semifinal win against Mike Ashley. “Every single guy was working on the car, trying to get the sand out,” Scelzi said. “That was a lot of hard work. We got lucky against Robert. Sometimes you might get lucky early, but we got lucky in the final.” Hight was despondent. “I feel I let the team down,” he said. “They worked hard all winter to give me a great car, and all I had to do was keep it my lane and I would have won.” center_img The 24-year-old, who became the first African-American to win an NHRA professional class in 2006, has won four times in his last 12 races. In all, Todd has competed 20 times in the dragster. “It’s pretty surprising to myself,” Todd said. “I never expected it to happen as suddenly. Last year was a Cinderella season, but it wasn’t surprising to ourselves.” last_img read more

San Francisco quake reshaped California

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN FRANCISCO – If an earthquake like the one that devastated the city in 1906 struck today, the toll would be staggering: tens of thousands of buildings damaged and hundreds of people dead, according to a new study. The report released Monday calculated that a repeat of that 7.9-magnitude temblor would cause 1,800 to 3,400 deaths, damage more than 90,000 buildings, displace as many as 250,000 households and result in $150 billion in damage. “We already witnessed the effect of the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people from last year’s hurricanes,” said Bill Ellsworth, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park. “It would have huge social and economic effects on the entire country.” The study, “When the Big One Strikes Again,” was released the day before the 100th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It was prepared for what is being billed as the biggest earthquake conference ever. The three-day 100th Anniversary Earthquake Conference, starting Tuesday in San Francisco, was expected to draw more than 2,500 scientists, engineers, government officials and emergency response professionals. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and other politicians were scheduled to speak. The conference is one of a long list of events being held around the Bay Area to commemorate the 1906 quake and promote earthquake preparedness. On Tuesday, survivors will lay wreaths at Lotta’s Fountain in downtown San Francisco to mark the moment the temblor struck shortly after 5 a.m. 100 years ago. The latest report, prepared by the engineering firm Charles Kircher & Associates in Mountain View, was commissioned by the earthquake conference’s organizers: the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Seismological Society of America and California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Using computer models, the study estimated how a 1906-size earthquake would impact today’s nine-county San Francisco Bay area, where the population has mushroomed to more than 7 million people. The report found that a 7.9-magnitude quake would cause up to $34 billion in building-related losses in San Francisco, $28 billion in Santa Clara County, $26 billion in San Mateo County and $15 billion in Alameda County. Most of the deaths would result from the collapse of old buildings made with unreinforced masonry or concrete, or structures not tied to their foundations, according to the report. Structures built after the 1970s are generally considered safe. “We need to recognize the buildings that are the most dangerous and would cause the most loss of life,” said conference chairman Chris Poland, chief executive officer at Degenkolb Engineers in San Francisco. “They need to be identified, then strengthened or replaced.” Experts said the Bay Area has made a lot of progress strengthening buildings, roads and bridges since the 1989 Loma Prieta quake, but the study’s findings indicate the region still has a lot of work to do. “The Bay Area is probably better prepared than most urban areas for a natural disaster,” Poland said. “But it’s not prepared enough.”last_img read more