Del Worsham wins third race of year

BAYTOWN, Texas -- Del Worsham raced to his second straight Top Fuel victory and third in five events this season, beating teammate Larry Dixon on Sunday in the NHRA Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway.

Worsham had a 3.880-second run at 318.99 mph, while defending series champion Dixon finished in 3.900 at 316.82. Worsham, a longtime Funny Car racer who has 28 career victories, joined Mike Dunn as the only drivers to win the Houston event in both categories.

"This is surreal," Worsham said. "The way the day unfolded, it was amazing. It was great to race Larry in the final because he's the champion and we're all shooting for him.

"I've got to give all the credit to the Al-Anabi team. I am just a small part of it. The cars are so evenly matched it's just a matter of who's hot at that particular moment."

Jeff Arend (Funny Car), rookie Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won their divisions in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.

Arend took the Funny Car victory when final-round opponent Mike Neff fouled at the starting line. Arend's finished in 4.259 at 297.68 for his first win of the season and third of his career.

The 19-year-old Nobile used a near-perfect reaction time of 0.007 seconds to earn his first Pro Stock victory. Nobile became the youngest driver to win in the history of NHRA's 41-year-old factory hot rod category when his Dodge Avenger finished in 6.625 at 209.72 to edge Rodger Brogdon of nearby Tomball, who posted a quicker but losing 6.624 at 208.78 in a Pontiac GXP.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Hines claimed his first win of the season and 24th of his career by holding off Michael Phillips in the final round. Hines rode his Harley-Davidson to a 6.900 at 195.14, while Phillips trailed with a 6.946 at 195.25.