People, Places & Racing News

McCLENATHAN, DUNN HEAD TO DRAGS DOWN UNDER AND OTHER NHRA NEWSMAKERS

NEWS NUGGETS

TESTING, TESTING, TESTING: The drivers of the POWERade Series will get their chances to officially test their cars at the three sessions available beginning in January. The first session will be January 18–20, at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway followed by a session in Phoenix at Firebird International Raceway, January 25–27. The testing sessions will wrap-up in Las Vegas for the Last Chance Test Session and the Pontiac Pro Stock Showdown February 1–3.

DRAG RACING DOWN UNDER: Two NHRA racers, Cory McClenathan and Mike Dunn, are headed to The Land Down Under, Australia. The 2007 International Top Fuel Challenge at Western Sydney International Dragway December 8–9. Dunn and McClenathan will be joined by crew chief Glenn Mikres and Wes Cerny, and several American-based crewmembers. “I’m not going down there for vacation; I’m going to win,” Dunn said.

NHRA DRIVERS RETURN FROM MISSION TO GERMANY: A group of goodwill ambassadors from the NHRA have completed a three-day USO-sponsored tour of U.S. military installations in Germany, including the Kaiserslautern Military Community, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Spangdahlem Air Base and the U.S. Army Garrison at Baumholder. It was the third consecutive post-season visit for the drivers, and the brief but memorable time spent with the troops and their families provided an opportunity to make some new friends and see some familiar faces.

Six-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Warren Johnson, two-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Jim Yates, Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson Jr. and Top Fuel drivers Cory McClenathan and Melanie Troxel represented the sport of drag racing during the 72-hour troop-morale mission to Germany. As in the two previous post-season trips, the Army Special Forces Association, Randall Shughart Chapter 64, based in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, served as the vanguard for this year's visit, and the 435th Services Squadron at Ramstein Air Base hosted the group during its stay in Germany.

The drivers met race fans at five different military installations and at over 15 different locations during their stay. They also distributed over 1,500 goody bags, which included racing caps, t-shirts, racing decals and other items; signed an even greater number of autographs; and brought smiles of appreciation to the faces of everyone they met. To read more about the trip, go to www.nhra.com

COMING ATTRACTIONS

CARQUEST AUTO PARTS WINTERNATIONALS, AUTO CLUB RACEWAY AT POMONA, FEBRUARY 7–10: Kick-off the 2008 NHRA POWERade Series Countdown to the Championship at the historic track where last year’s winners included J.R. Todd, Gary Scelzi and Greg Anderson.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

65: That is the percentage of voters who have picked Tony Schumacher in the online poll at www.nhra.com about which 2007 POWERade Series champion is the most likely to repeat as a champion in 2008. The next closest is Pro Stock driver Jeg Coughlin with 24% of the votes. To vote or to see the results, visit www.nhra.com

DRIVERS TELL ALL

LINE EXPLAINS SUCCESS: In the most recent issue of National Dragster, Pro Stock driver Jason Line has some advice for new racers: “Only in the dictionary does success come before work. I know that may sound simplistic, but it’s true. A lot of people want the good things in life but aren’t willing to put in the time and effort required to get them. I’ve always assumed that everybody has just about the same amount of intelligence to work with, so anyone with any dreams or goals needs to do something else to gain a competitive edge, and for me, I’ve always felt that it could be done by outworking everyone else. Greg (Anderson) and I have the same work ethic, and whatever success we’ve been able to achieve has come through our extra efforts.”

For more information, visit www.nhra.com.