SEMA eNews Vol. 14, No. 23, June 9, 2011

NHRA: Massey Grabs Second Consecutive Win; Neff Gets Second Season Win at Englishtown

 

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NEWS NUGGETS

MASSEY GRABS SECOND CONSECUTIVE WIN FOR THE SEASON; NEFF ALSO GETS SECOND SEASON WIN AT ENGLISHTOWN:
Spencer Massey powered his Fram/Prestone dragster to his second consecutive win for the season Sunday at the 42nd annual NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park—the eighth of 22 races on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule. Massey, who faced Top Fuel points leader Del Worsham in the final round, cut an impressive .065 reaction time to beat Worsham on a holeshot and post a 3.821-second run at 319.07 mph.

“It’s awesome to beat the Alan Johnson/Al-Anabi/Del Worsham car in the final,” said Massey. “The Al-Anabi car has been on a roll and running killer numbers, so we knew we had to be on our ‘A’ game, that the car had to run well and I had to be on my game. I even had a Full Throttle to amp myself up before I got in there.”

The win boosted Massey from fourth to second, 64 points behind Worsham in the NHRA Full Throttle Series Top Fuel point standings. Massey wasn’t the only driver to nab his second win of the season. In Funny Car, points leader Mike Neff held off the hot-charging Cruz Pedregon in the final round to secure his second win in his fourth consecutive final-round appearance for the season. Neff drove his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang to a 4.071 run at 314.09 past Pedregon after the No. 1 qualifier posted a red-light start in the final round.

“I knew he red-lighted,” said Neff. “I was sitting there waiting for the Tree to come down, and I heard him leave and knew he red-lighted because the Tree hadn’t come down yet. I looked over and saw that his bulb was red, then I looked up and saw our win light on. By that time, I had already hit the gas and was taking off and saw our win light on.”

The win strengthened Neff’s points lead over the Funny Car competition, giving the driver a 98-point lead over second-place driver Jack Beckman in the NHRA Full Throttle Series Funny Car point standings. For more results, or to see how your favorite driver did at Sunday’s NHRA SuperNationals, visit NHRA.com.

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JOHNSON, SMITH RACE TO FIRST WINS OF THE SEASON AT ENGLISHTOWN: Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson raced to his first win of the season Sunday at the NHRA SuperNationals, the eighth of 22 races on the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. In an all-Dodge final, Johnson held off 2011 Auto Club Road to the Future candidate, Vincent Nobile, to pick up his ninth career win in his Team Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Avenger.

“It was a dream to have an all-team final round and to have it happen this early in the season is a dream come true,” said Johnson, who provides engines for Nobile. “I’m very proud of our engine guys and Mark (Ingersoll, crew chief) who makes the tuning calls. Vincent is a fierce competitor, and I’m sure we’re going to tangle a few more times before this is over.”

With the win, Johnson moved up one spot in the NHRA Full Throttle Series Pro Stock point standings, from eighth to seventh, while Nobile shot from sixth to tied for fourth with 2009 NHRA Full Throttle world champion Mike Edwards. In Pro Stock Motorcycle, 2007 NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Matt Smith raced to his first win, as he powered his Al-Anabi Racing Buell to a 6.900 run at 191.73 to beat points leader Karen Stoffer on a holeshot. For Smith, the win was a walk down memory lane.

“I won my first race here in 2006, so I’ve always liked racing at this track,” said Smith. “When I saw these (pewter 60th anniversary edition) Wally trophies I said to myself, 'I wanted to win at least one this year,' so I’m glad I did.”

Smith moved from eighth to fifth in the NHRA Full Throttle point standings with his win, while Stoffer strengthened her points lead over second-place driver Andrew Hines with her runner-up finish. The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns to action June 17–19 at Bristol Dragway for the 11th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers. For tickets, call 423/989-6900 or go online at bristoldragway.com.

COMING ATTRACTIONS

FORD NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS PRESENTED BY TRI-CITIES AREA FORD DEALERS, BRISTOL DRAGWAY, June 17–19: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to Thunder Valley and its ninth stop on the circuit. Defending event winners include Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); John Force (Funny Car); and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 423/989-6900 or go online at bristoldragway.com. For media credentials, please contact Media Relations Manager Zak Elcock at zelcock@nhra.com.

SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT NHRA NATIONALS, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT MOTORSPORTS PARK, June 23–26: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to Norwalk, Ohio, and its 10th stop on the circuit. Defending event winners include Larry Dixon (Top Fuel); Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car); Greg Anderson (Pro Stock); and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 419/668-5555 or go online at summitmotorsportspark.tix.com. For media credentials, please contact Senior Communications Manager Scott Smith at ssmith@nhra.com.

O’REILLY AUTO PARTS ROUTE 66 NHRA NATIONALS, ROUTE 66 RACEWAY, July 7–10:
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to Chicago and the Windy City for its 11th stop of the season. Defending event winners include Larry Dixon (Top Fuel); Matt Hagan (Funny Car); Mike Edwards (Pro Stock); and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 815/727-RACE or go online at route66raceway.com. For media credentials, please contact Director of Media Relations Anthony Vestal at avestal@nhra.com.

HE SAID, SHE SAID

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PERFECT TIME TO PEAK: Funny Car driver Ron Capps, whose semifinal-round finish at the recently completed NHRA SuperNationals moved him from 10th to eighth place in the NHRA Full Throttle Series Funny Car point standings: “I haven’t worried about points yet, because from here on out, this car is going to go rounds. This is the perfect time to peak, though, and build up a head of steam as we get closer to the (NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship) playoffs. We want to be in the best possible position, running well, when they begin.”

60 YEARS IN NHRA HISTORY

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1969, WALLY TROPHY INTRODUCED: In 1969, NHRA introduced the Wally trophy, awarded to Eliminator winners at each national event. To commemorate the 60th anniversary, all national event winners will receive a limited-edition NHRA 60th anniversary Wally trophy. The trophy has a pewter finish and features a commemorative plate that showcases the NHRA 60th Anniversary logo.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

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3: That’s how many consecutive wins seven-time NHRA Full Throttle Series Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher has at Bristol Dragway, dating back to 2008. Schumacher also holds the most wins at Bristol Dragway with four. He hopes to collect his first win of the season and continue the streak at four consecutive next weekend at the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers.

DID YOU KNOW…

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…that a limited number of tickets to this year’s Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers signed by NHRA Full Throttle Series world champions Larry Dixon, John Force and Greg Anderson are now for sale through the Bristol Dragway ticket office? Fans looking to buy these limited-edition autographed tickets can call Bristol Dragway at 423/BRISTOL, but hurry, these tickets will go fast!

For more information, contact NHRA Media Relations at 626/914-4761 or visit the NHRA Media Center online.

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