MOTORSPORTS’ FASTEST COUPLE—TROXEL AND JOHNSON JR.—TO COMPETE AGAINST EACH OTHER IN 2008: Top Fuel pilot Melanie Troxel and Funny Car driver Mike Ashley announced this past week in Indianapolis that Troxel will drive a second Funny Car in Ashley’s Gotham City Racing stable in 2008. The announcement means that Troxel and husband, Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson Jr., will compete head-to-head in the Funny Car class in 2008. Troxel is in the process of completing her Funny Car license.
DEFENDING EVENT CHAMPION SCHUMACHER PICKS UP SIXTH WIN AT U.S. NATIONALS; ASHLEY, CONNOLLY, TREBLE EACH COLLECT THEIR FIRST WIN IN INDIANAPOLIS: 2006 defending event winner Tony Schumacher jumped into the NHRA playoff points lead Monday with his sixth Mac Tools U.S. Nationals’ victory in the last eight years. Schumacher posted a 4.575-second run over SkyTel dragster pilot Larry Dixon, whose runner-up finish moved him to second in the point standings. Mike Ashley defeated defending event winner Robert Hight to collect his first U.S. Nationals win and move himself into the second spot in the point standings in Funny Car. In Pro Stock, Dave Connolly played spoiler to Greg Anderson’s hopes of grabbing six U.S. Nationals’ titles in a row by posting a 6.710-second run and defeating the defending event winner by .0088 seconds. In Pro Stock Motorcycle Craig Treble knocked off current points leader Matt Smith to collect his first U.S. Nationals win and move up to the second spot in the point standings.
“FAST JACK” GRABS $100,000 SKOAL SHOWDOWN WIN AT INDIANAPOLIS: Jack Beckman defeated Ron Capps in an all-Don Schumacher Racing Final to grab $100,000 and his first Skoal Showdown win at the special event held Sunday at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. Beckman got the win-light over three-time Skoal Showdown champion Capps by one-hundredth of a second, running a 4.950 to Capps 4.976.
HINES WINS RINGERS GLOVES PRO BIKE BATTLE FOR THIRD TIME IN FOUR YEARS: Andrew Hines knocked off Chip Ellis Saturday night in Indianapolis to collect $25,000 and his third Ringers Gloves Pro Bike Battle in four years. Hines powered his Vance and Hines Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson to a 7.005-second run at 189.31 mph. Ellis earned $10,000 for his runner-up finish in the event.
24TH NATIONAL EVENT ADDED TO POWERade SERIES 2008 SCHEDULE: NHRA announced it will add an event to the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule, expanding it to 24 national events. It is the first addition to the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule since 2000. The newest event, which will be announced in the near future, will be held September 11–14, 2008, moving the O’Reilly NHRA Mid South Nationals in Memphis, Tenn., to Sept. 26–28, 2008. In addition, NHRA announced that the Pro Stock Motorcycle catergory will expand to 17 races in 2008, with the addition of the to-be-announced event in the fall. To access the full schedule, click here.
O’REILLY NHRA MID-SOUTH NATIONALS, MEMPHIS MOTORSPORTS PARK, SEPTEMBER 14–16: Doug Kalitta, John Force, Kurt Johnson and Andrew Hines look to defend their 2006 titles at this second event in the Countdown to Four.
O’REILLY NHRA FALL NATIONALS, TEXAS MOTORPLEX, SEPTEMBER 20–23: The third of four races in the Countdown to Four, defending event winners include Brandon Bernstein, Robert Hight and Richie Stevens Jr. Also, for the first time since 2000, the Pro Stock Motorcycle’s will return to compete at Texas Motorplex.
TORCO RACING FUELS NHRA NATIONALS, VIRGINIA MOTORSPORTS PARK, OCTOBER 5–7: The Countdown to Four fields will be set when the POWERade Series returns to the East Coast, where Cory McClenathan, Eric Medlen, and Jason Line won in 2006.
.INSIDE THE NUMBERS
51: Points separating Funny Car driver Robert Hight, who is currently first in the point standings, from fourth-place and cutoff point driver Ron Capps. Capps had held a lead of 78 points over then second-place driver Hight, before the move into the Countdown Playoff at Indianapolis when the points were reset.
DRIVERS TELL ALL
FUNNY CAR DRIVER AND TEAM OWNER JOHN FORCE ON THE ERIC MEDLEN PROJECT: This past week heading into the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, John Force Racing (JFR) announced its creation of The Eric Medlen Project (TEMP), a 48,000-square-foot building adjacent to the existing JFR shop in Indianapolis that will be the home of the upcoming Funny Car of the Future that JFR plans to build in the near future. Along with the announcement of TEMP, a life-size bronze statue of the late Medlen was revealed outside the main building, memorializing Medlen’s emotional win in Sonoma two years ago. In creating The Eric Medlen Project, Force said his goal was to secure the legacy of its namesake, enhance race-car safety in all forms of motor racing and sustain the JFR racing dynasty. “Our purpose is to show everyone that all of us at John Force Racing will never forget Eric Medlen and the impact he had on us,” said Force.
For more information, visit www.nhra.com.