People, Places & Racing News

SCHUMACHER, CAPPS GEAR UP FOR GATORNATIONALS AND OTHER NHRA NEWSMAKERS

NEWS NUGGETS

NHRA POWERade SERIES MAKES THIRD STOP ON 2008 SCHEDULE; DRIVERS READY FOR GATORNATIONALS: The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series heads to Florida this weekend for the 39th annual ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals, the third race of the regular season in the 2008 Countdown to the Championship. Defending event winners Tony Schumacher, Ron Capps, Greg Anderson and Karen Stoffer will look to repeat at this legendary event. Pro Stock Motorcycle will also kick off the 2008 season and 12-race regular season in the Countdown to the Championship at this event.
    NHRA legend and Florida native “Big Daddy” Don Garlits will serve as the grand marshal for the race. Fans, racers and media alike will be greeted this year to some changes made to Gainesville Raceway, including a brand new tower that houses race control, offices and a state-of-the-art media center.
    The first round of qualifying begins Friday, March 14 at noon (EST), with the Finals starting at 11 a.m. (EST) Sunday. ESPN2 will air all the racing action beginning Sunday, March 16 with two hours of qualifying highlights at 1 a.m. (EST), then the finals at 6 p.m. (EST).
    To find team reports, review the entry lists, or to get more information on the 39th annual ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals, visit www.NHRA.com

NHRA DRIVERS RAISE $14,000 FOR CHARITY IN SONOMA: Stepping off of the dragstrip and on to the road course, drivers from the NHRA POWERade series, along with 40 lucky race fans, raised $14,000 at the sixth annual NHRA Tour de Charity held at the Infineon Raceway Karting Center. Top Fuel’s Rod Fuller and Cory McClenathan, as well as Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Matt Guidera, joined up with NHRA fans to race karts and raise money for Speedway Children’s Charities.
    “I’ve been to this event five of the six years, and it gets better each time,” McClenathan said. “Infineon Raceway does such a great job, and I love helping out the charity. It’s a great cause.”

CONSTRUCTION UNDERWAY! DRAGWAY @ LOWE’S MOTOR SPEEDWAY PREPARES FOR SEPTEMBER EVENT: With grandstands being raised, grading completed on the starting line and excavations underway for the first of two pedestrian tunnels that will allow spectators to move from the Professional pit area to the Sportsman pit area, construction on The Dragway @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway continues in preparation of the inaugural NHRA Carolinas Nationals, September 11–14 in Charlotte. To see the latest construction photos, visit www.NHRA.com

COMING ATTRACTIONS

ACDELCO NHRA GATORNATIONALS, GAINESVILLE RACEWAY, MARCH 13–16: The Pro Stock Motorcycle category opens its 2008 season at the Gatornationals, annually one of the most popular stops on the NHRA POWERade Series tour. Defending event winners include: Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); Ron Capps (Funny Car); Greg Anderson (Pro Stock); and Karen Stoffer (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

O’REILLY NHRA SPRING NATIONALS, HOUSTON RACEWAY PARK, MARCH 28–30: Drivers in all four categories in the POWERade Drag Racing Series will duel it out for a Texas win (at this fourth race in the regular season). Defending event winners include: J.R. Todd (Top Fuel); Ron Capps (Funny Car); Jason Line (Pro Stock); and Angelle Sampey (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

SUMMITRACING.COM NHRA NATIONALS, THE STRIP AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, APRIL 10–13: The NHRA POWERade series travels to Sin City for the fifth event of the 2008 season. Defending event winners include: Brandon Bernstein (Top Fuel); Robert Hight (Funny Car); and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock).

HE SAID, SHE SAID

SHELL SHOCK: With the many changes that have occurred in Pro Stock Motorcycle during the off-season, many riders will be starting the 2008 season with new teams and on new bikes. One of those is 2007 third-place finisher Chip Ellis. Ellis will be competing this season for Don Schumacher racing, climbing aboard his Schumacher Electric Suzuki at this year's ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals. Ellis says that one of the biggest changes for him in 2008 has been getting used to his new surroundings in Indianapolis.
    “The facility here is unreal,” Ellis said, referring to the DSR shop. “We have pretty much unlimited resources as far as parts and the technology aspect of it goes. It’s awesome. The shop is so big; right now we have 13 trucks inside the building. Everybody just works like they were at the track—out of their trucks. It’s a real change for me.”

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

9: The most wins held by a single racer at Gainesville Raceway. Pro Stock’s Warren Johnson will look to add a 10th ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals win and 97th career win in his 526th start. Johnson’s last Gatornationals win came in 2000.

DRIVERS TELL ALL

WELCOMING ONE MORE TO THE TEAM: Top Fuel driver Antron Brown had more than just an exciting break between races as he and wife Billie Jo welcomed their third child, Adler Carson, Saturday, March 8, .
    “It was a beautiful experience to have our third child, Adler,” Brown said. “My wife Billie Jo is recovering well and Adler, our little eagle, is flying strong too. I want to thank everyone for all the well wishes and prayers.”

For more information, visit www.nhra.com.