People, Places & Racing News

NEW FACES IN THE WINNER'S CIRCLE AT NORWALK AND OTHER NHRA NEWSMAKERS

NEWS NUGGETS

T. PED PICKS UP THIRD; HERBERT WINS ONE FOR HIS BOYS; ARANA GETS FIRST WIN OF 18-YEAR CAREER AT NORWALK: Emotions ran high in winner's circle for all professional categories Sunday at the second annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. In Top Fuel, Doug Herbert raced to his first win of the season and 10th win of his career. Herbert dedicated the win to the memory of his two sons, Jon and James, who were killed in an auto accident in late January.
    In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Hector Arana picked up his first career win after 18 years of competition. In Funny Car, defending POWERade world champion Tony Pedregon picked up his third Wally of the season, driving past runner-up and No. 1 qualifier, Robert Hight. Pedregon dedicated his win to the late Scott Kalitta, who died two weeks earlier from injuries sustained during a high-speed accident during qualifying at the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals.
    Pro Stock's Greg Anderson raced to his second consecutive win and fourth of the season at his title sponsor's event.      

 JOHNSON PICKS UP FIRST CAREER K&N HORSEPOWER CHALLENGE WIN IN NORWALK: In his fifth appearance in the event, Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson cut a perfect light against runner-up Greg Anderson to earn $50,000 and his first K&N Horsepower Challenge Saturday in Norwalk, Ohio. Qualifying in the No. 2 spot for the event, Johnson beat both Kurt and Warren Johnson en route to his final round appearance against Anderson and his eventual win.
    He became just the 11th driver in the event's history to win the challenge. Anderson took home $10,000 for his runner-up finish. Kurt Johnson and Jeg Coughlin earned $3,000 each for their semifinal finishes and Ron Krisher, Warren Johnson, Jason Line and Dave Connolly took home $2,500 for making the field.                  

CONCRETE PLACING NEARLY COMPLETE IN RIGHT LANES AT zMAX DRAGWAY: As the inaugural NHRA Carolinas Nationals draws closer, crews began placing concrete in the right two lanes of the four-lane zMAX Dragway @ Concord. Placing began Monday of last week and will continue through July 3 as crews prepare the quarter-mile for the September 11–14 event. Due to the summer heat, all placing occurs late in the evening and through the night.

COMING ATTRACTIONS

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).

SCHUCK'S AUTO SUPPLY NHRA NATIONALS, PACIFIC RACEWAYS, JULY 18–20: The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series heads to the northwest for the second race on the famed Western Swing. Defending event winners include Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); Jack Beckman (Funny Car); and Dave Connolly (Pro Stock).

FRAM AUTOLITE NHRA NATIONALS, INFINEON RACEWAY, JULY 25–27: Heading to the beautiful Napa Valley, the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series travels to northern California for the third and final race of the Western Swing. Defending event winners include Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); John Force (Funny Car); Greg Anderson (Pro Stock); and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

HE SAID, SHE SAID

THIS ONE'S FOR THE BOYS: Top Fuel driver Doug Herbert on his win Sunday at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, a win he dedicated to the memory of his late sons, Jon and James:  
    "Going up there (for the final round) I knew I was going to dig down and give it everything I had. I just wanted to do everything I could to win because I didn't want to have a mistake that I made cost us the race. Luckily I have my little lucky charm (daughter Jessie) with me, and we did a lot of thinking about her brothers today, and I'm sure they were riding with me on that final-round win."

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

4.584: The track record for time at Bandimere Speedway, set by Joe Amato nine years ago. The record ties the track records for time in Top Fuel at Houston Raceway Park and Virginia Motorsports Park (both set by Gary Scelzi) as the oldest track records in the NHRA POWERade Series.

DID YOU KNOW...

...that Bandimere Speedway installed a track-cooling system during the off-season that cools the launching pad surface up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.