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McClenathan, Etchells, Harris, Schultz Claim Delayed Titles

June 15, 1996

HEBRON, Ohio (AP) _ Cory McClenathan, Chuck Etchells, Chuck Harris and Dave Schultz won titles Saturday in the rain-delayed finals of the NHRA Pontiac Excitement Nationals at National Trail Raceway.

McClenathan won in top fuel, Etchells in funny car, Harris in pro stock and Schultz in pro stock motorcycle. Eliminations were postponed from June 9 because of rain.

McClenathan, from Anaheim, Calif., beat Larry Dixon for his first victory since June 1995. He covered the quarter-mile in 4.817 seconds at 306.43 mph.

Dixon, from Granada Hills, Calif., finished at 4.937, 275.98.

Kenny Bernstein failed to back up his top fuel run of 4.608 from June 8, the quickest in NHRA history, as a national record. NHRA rules require all records must be backed up within 1 percent in the same event, and Bernstein’s best run Saturday of 4.977 was well short of the 4.654 needed for a record. Bernstein lost in the quarterfinals.

Etchells, from Putnam, Conn., earned his first victory of the season. He beat Mark Oswald with a run of 5.178 at 287.63 in a Dodge Avenger. Etchells upset five-time NHRA champion John Force in the quarterfinals, the first time this season Force has not advanced to the final.

Oswald, from Houma, La., lost traction midway through the run and finished in 6.406 at 141.08 in an Avenger.

Harris, from West Barnstable, Mass., beat Warren Johnson in his first career final round. Harris finished in 7.168 at 193.09 in a Pontiac Firebird. Johnson, from Sugar Hill, Ga., trailed in 7.266 at 192.84 in a Firebird.

Schultz, from Fort Myers, Fla., beat rookie Matt Hines for his fourth victory of the season. Schultz finished in 7.564 at 178.18 on a Suzuki GSXR. Victory was assured when Hines, from Whittier, Calif., left the starting line too soon on a GSXR, an instant disqualification.

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