SCHUMACHER COLLECTS FOURTH WIN OF SEASON IN FRONT OF HOME CROWD; PEDREGON, K.J., RIVAS ALSO WIN IN WINDY CITY: In his hometown on his home track, Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher proved why he’s a four-time defending POWERade Series world champion, winning his fourth event of the season at the Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Chicago. After collecting his third No. 1 qualifier of the season, Schumacher drove his U.S. Army dragster past the likes of Bob Vandergriff, Hillary Will, Doug Herbert and Rod Fuller in his third win at Route 66 Raceway. It was his 45th career win which ties him for 8th place on the all-time NHRA POWERade Series victories list with former Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Dave Schultz.
In Funny Car, after coming back from an explosion during qualifying, defending POWERade Series world champion Tony Pedregon raced his Q Horsepower Chevy Impala SS past Scott Kalitta to pick up his second win of the season and third at the Chicago-area track. With the win, Pedregon moved from tied for sixth place in the point standings to fifth.
In Pro Stock, Kurt Johnson also picked up his second win of the season and third at Route 66 Raceway. Johnson currently sits at the top of the point standings with a 36-point lead over second place driver and Chicago runner-up Jeg Coughlin. Chris Rivas grabbed his first career win this weekend in Pro Stock Motorcycle, racing his G-Squared/S&S Racing Buell past Craig Treble.
For more results from the Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals, visit www.nhra.com.
NHRA SELECTS EDELMAN TO TARGET PUBLIC RELATIONS INITIATIVES: To aid its national public relations campaign, the NHRA announced last week that it has retained public relations agency Edelman to provide support and counsel for the world’s largest motorsports organization. Edelman will be charged with increasing the sanctioning body’s national profile through the strategic placement of the NHRA brand at high-profile events and with influential media on a consistent, ongoing basis, while the NHRA’s internal media relations team will continue to manage the race-to-race event publicity and promotion.
For more on Edelman and the NHRA’s relationship with the public relations agency, visit www.nhra.com.
CONSTRUCTION NEARING END AT zMAX DRAGWAY @ CONCORD: With the inaugural NHRA Carolinas Nationals four months away, construction of the zMAX Dragway @ Concord has kicked in to high gear at the 125-acre facility.
Some of the progress seen at the new dragstrip includes: the second of two pedestrian tunnels underneath the strip to be completed this week; the steel and aluminum framework on the John Force Grandstand; the main grandstand on the drivers’ left, completed; and the construction on the exterior of the starting-line tower nearing completion.
For more photos of the construction, visit www.nhra.com.
LUCAS OIL NHRA SUPERNATIONALS, OLD BRIDGE TOWNSHIP RACEWAY PARK, JUNE 19–22: The drivers of the NHRA POWERade Series return to this historic track in New Jersey. Defending event winners include Larry Dixon (Top Fuel); Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car); Greg Anderson (Pro Stock); and Craig Treble (Pro Stock Motorcycle).
SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT NHRA NATIONALS, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT MOTORSPORTS PARK, JUNE 26–29: Heading back to Norwalk for the second annual event, drivers in all four categories have a chance to build up the points needed before the end of the regular season. Defending event winners include Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); Mike Ashley (Funny Car); Dave Connolly (Pro Stock); and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle).
MOPAR MILE-HIGH NHRA NATIONALS, BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY, JULY 11–13: The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series returns to the Mile-High city for the beginning of the Western Swing and 50th anniversary of Bandimere Speedway. Defending event winners include Rod Fuller (Top Fuel); Jack Beckman (Funny Car); Allen Johnson (Pro Stock); and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle).
HE SAID, SHE SAID
A WIN 49 EVENTS IN THE MAKING: Collecting his first career win this past Sunday at the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Route 66 Nationals, Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Chris Rivas described the emotions that come with waiting so long for that first Wally: “I’ve been waiting for this for such a long time and felt I was so past due in getting this. We did so good so early with my other team that I felt like we would be dangerous all the time.
"When I went with Matt Smith and the Torco team (in 2007), I thought that would be it. It didn’t happen. When G2 Motorsports called me and George Smith talked to me about riding, I thought, ‘This is it for sure. If I can’t do it with this team, I might as well retire.’”
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
6.871: The national E.T. record for Pro Stock Motorcycle set by Angelle Sampey at last year’s event in Englishtown. The last time Raceway Park held a national record was in 2004 when Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Andrew Hines ran a 7.016 for the national E.T. record. That record was then broken by Hines in Sonoma one year later.
DID YOU KNOW…
…that the first NHRA national event held at Raceway Park was in 1968, when the NHRA held the Springnationals at the historic track. The NHRA national event tour returned in 1971 with the Summernationals and the track has been on the NHRA POWERade Series tour ever since.
For more information, visit www.nhra.com.