People, Places & Racing News

FORCE IN GOOD CONDITION AFTER BRUTAL BUST-UP AND OTHER NHRA NEWSMAKERS

NEWS NUGGETS
JOHN FORCE IN GOOD CONDITION AFTER SURGERY ON ANKLE AND WRIST IN TEXAS: After an operation in which doctors inserted three pins to set his broken ankle and also three temporary pins to stabilize his severely dislocated wrist, Funny Car driver John Force was reported to be in good condition Monday morning. Force suffered the injuries Sunday after he was involved in a second-round accident with Kenny Bernstein at the 22nd annual O’Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas. He was airlifted from the track to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas where the medical procedures were performed late Sunday night, early Monday morning. For more information on John Force’s recovery as updates appear, log on to www.nhra.com.

LLEWELLYN PICKS UP FIRST WIN AND CLINCHES SPOT IN COUNTDOWN TO ONE; PEDREGON, CONNOLLY, DIXON ALSO WIN IN DALLAS: Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Peggy Llewellyn won her first NHRA POWERade series race this past weekend in Dallas, securing herself in the fourth and final cutoff spot for the Countdown to One field by just 15 points over fifth-place Craig Treble at the O’Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas. With her win, Llewellyn became the ninth female driver to win a POWERade series race and 44th overall to win an NHRA event. Larry Dixon, Tony Pedregon and Dave Connolly also joined Llewellyn in the winners’ circle Sunday, each winning in their respective categories.
     Picking up his third win of the season and second at Texas Motorplex, Dixon moved to the No. 1 spot in the POWERade Championship point standings, just 45 points ahead of second-place Rod Fuller. In Funny Car, Tony Pedregon’s win boosted him from fifth place, sitting outside the Countdown cutoff spot, to first place in the point standings, 16 points ahead of previous No. 1 points holder Robert Hight, who failed to qualify for the event. Dave Connolly continued his domination of the Pro Stock series, collecting his fourth win in a row and seventh of the season.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE FIELD SET FOR COUNTDOWN TO ONE: The Pro Stock Motorcycle field was set for the Countdown to One this past weekend at the O’Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas. Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson rider and defending POWERade Series Champion Andrew Hines sits at the top of the point standings, with three-time 2007 winner Matt Smith in second place. Drag Specialties S&S Buell rider Chip Ellis enters the Countdown to One in the third-place spot and Dallas winner Peggy Llewellyn rounds out the field in the fourth spot. The Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock fields for the Countdown to One will be set in two weeks at the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals in Richmond, Virginia.

MOTEL 6 EXTENDS MULTIYEAR SPONSORSHIP CONTRACT WITH THE NHRA: Motel 6 announced this past weekend that it has renewed its contract with NHRA, continuing to serve as the Official Motel of the NHRA POWERade series through the 2010 season. “We greatly value our relationship with NHRA and its millions of passionate fans,” said Eric Studer, senior vice president of marketing for Accor North America. 
     “NHRA provides us multiple platforms to communicate with motorsports fans, including traditional media, online communications, sales promotions and on-site access to 3 million NHRA race attendees annually.” 
     Motel 6 began its relationship with NHRA in 2001 and has stood as the Official Motel of the NHRA since 2005.

O’REILLY AUTO PARTS EXTENDS TITLE SPONSORSHIP OF O’REILLY FALL NATIONALS AT TEXAS MOTORPLEX: NHRA announced this past weekend that O’Reilly Auto Parts has agreed to a multiyear extension to be the title rights sponsor of the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex through 2010. O’Reilly Auto Parts is the only title rights sponsor the event has had this decade, stretching back to 1999, the first year of the sponsorship.
    “O’Reilly Auto Parts is extremely excited to have the opportunity to continue our long-term association with NHRA and the Texas Motorplex,” said Ron Byerly, vice president of advertising and marketing for O’Reilly Auto Parts. “Our relationship with NHRA has grown significantly over the years and we welcome the opportunity to continue to enable our customers to experience the excitement of NHRA POWERade Drag Racing.”

GARDELLA PICKS UP THIRD WIN IN-A-ROW AT SPORT COMPACT NATIONALS: Pro FWD driver Gary Gardella collected his third win in a row this past weekend and ninth of his career at the NHRA Sport Compact Nationals at the O’Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas, Texas. Joining Gardella in the winner’s circle was Pro RWD driver Brad Personett, who picked up his fifth win of the season and 18th of his career. The Xplod Series’ next event is the NHRA Sport Compact Fallnationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Oct. 6–7.

COMING ATTRACTIONS
TORCO RACING FUELS NHRA NATIONALS, VIRGINIA MOTORSPORTS PARK, OCTOBER 5–7: The Countdown to One fields will be set when the POWERade Series returns to the East Coast, where Cory McClenathan, Eric Medlen, and Jason Line won in 2006.

NHRA SPORT COMPACT FALLNATIONALS, OLD BRIDGE TOWNSHIP RACEWAY PARK, OCTOBER 6–7: The drivers of the Xplod Series return to this historic track to fight for points that will lead to the year-end world championship. Look for records to fall in the cool fall weather. This also marks the last race for the Eastern Region Sportsman Championship.

AC DELCO LAS VEGAS NHRA NATIONALS, THE STRIP AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, OCTOBER 25–28: The Countdown to One begins with the Top 4 in each professional category battling it out for POWERade World Championships. The 2007 Technicoat Top Fuel Shootout also will take place at the event, pitting the top drivers in Top Fuel battling against each other for $100,000 and bragging rights.


.INSIDE THE NUMBERS
112: The number of points Funny Car driver Tony Pedregon picked up with his win in Dallas, which propelled him from fifth place to first place in the POWERade Funny Car point standings. With his win in Dallas, Pedregon is 16 points ahead of second place Robert Hight and 68 points ahead of fourth place and cutoff spot John Force. 


DRIVERS TELL ALL
LLEWELLYN GETTING HER FIRST WIN AND ADVANCING TO THE COUNTDOWN TO ONE:  Moving from sixth place, two spots out of the Countdown to One, to fourth place and securing her advancement to the next round of the Countdown to the Championship, while also collecting her first career win, Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Peggy Llewellyn was more than just excited about finding herself in the winner’s circle this past weekend in Dallas. “A year ago I was back in my real estate company working behind a desk thinking I wasn’t going to race anymore,” Llewellyn said. “I keep on telling my crew guys, ‘Pinch me, pinch me.' It’s pretty exciting.”