Morgan Lucas hoists his first Top Fuel Wally.
LUCAS, KRAWIEC GRAB FIRST CAREER WINS; BECKMAN, EDWARDS GRAB FIRST SEASON WINS AT ATLANTA: To say that Morgan Lucas was excited at the end of a rain-soaked Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta would be the understatement of the year.
Nearly five years and six final-round appearances since he first climbed into the cockpit of his Top Fuel dragster, Lucas picked up his first ever Top Fuel victory.
"This is probably one of the most exciting moments of my life, if not the most exciting," said Lucas. "I don't even know how to talk right now, I'm so excited. This whole thing was what it's about, and it's what I've dreamed about for years. I was in the car seat-belted in thinking about and dreaming about it."
But Lucas wasn't the only first-time winner in Atlanta. Pro Stock Motorcycle rider and defending world champion Eddie Krawiec finally picked up his first Wally after an exciting final round against rookie rider Doug Horne.
"This is something that I was waiting for," said Krawiec. "To finally get my first Wally and to put it on my mantle next to my big championship trophy is a pretty big deal. This is an opportunity that I'm grateful to have, and I'm just glad to be out there racing."
In Funny Car, Jack Beckman was able to pilot his MTS/Valvoline Dodge Charger R/T past Ashley Force Hood to pick up his first win of the season and move up to the second spot in the point standings. Mike Edwards successfully defended his 2008 Atlanta win when he was able to get past world champion Jeg Coughlin in the Pro Stock category. Edwards is currently third in the point standings, just 63 points behind first-place Coughlin.
Funny Car pilot Jack Beckman beat Tim Wilkerson and three John Force Racing entries en route to his win in Atlanta.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
BECOMING THE BEST BY BEATING THE BEST: Funny Car driver Jack Beckman on his win in Atlanta: "A trophy is a trophy, and 10 years from now you might not know necessarily who you beat for it, but when you've had a day like today where you've beaten four awesome opponents—three John Force Racing cars and Tim Wilkerson—it makes today feel a lot more special."
SAN ANTONIO RACEWAY JOINS NHRA FAMILY: San Antonio Raceway in Marion, Texas, has joined the NHRA member-track network. The facility, which hosts both quarter-mile and eighth-mile events, includes aluminum grandstand seating, a two-story tower complete with a media center and hospitality suites, a 600-foot concrete launchpad, concrete walls the entire length of the track and 15 acres of paved pit parking.
San Antonio Raceway will participate in the NHRA South Central Division Summit Racing Series and in exclusive special programs, including the National DRAGSTER Challenge, the Aerospace Components King of the Track, the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Challenge and NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA.
BRISTOL DRAGWAY AND zMAX DRAGWAY TEAM UP TO OFFER FANS INCREDIBLE TICKET PACKAGE: NHRA fans in both Bristol and Charlotte now have the chance of a lifetime as Bristol Dragway and zMAX dragway have teamed up to offer an amazing ticket package for $199. With the package, fans will get three-day tickets to the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, May 15–17 as well as four-day tickets to the NHRA Nationals, September 17–20 at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte.
On top of the opportunity to attend two of the biggest races on the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series circuit, fans purchasing four tickets will be able to take laps at both Bristol Motor Speedway and Lowe's Motor Speedway during each NHRA event weekend. And the first 100 fans to purchase the package will receive a free die-cast Funny Car.
MAPLE GROVE RACEWAY ANNOUNCES FAN TICKET INSURANCE PLAN: Maple Grove Raceway announced a new program to help fans purchasing advance tickets for the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals, August 20–23 in Reading, Pennsylvania. The new program, titled Fan Ticket Insurance, offers customers a full refund, including service charges if they can't attend the event. Customers purchasing tickets from now until July 15 will be eligible for the plan. The program expires July 17 when tickets are shipped out.
O'REILLY NHRA MIDWEST NATIONALS, GATEWAY INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, MAY 1–3: NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing returns to the Gateway to the West in Madison, Illinois. Defending event winners include Rod Fuller (Top Fuel); Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car); Kurt Johnson (Pro Stock); and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle).
NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS, BRISTOL DRAGWAY, MAY 15–17: NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing heads back to Thunder Valley and the Mountains of Northern Tennessee for the eighth of 24 events on the 2009 schedule. Defending event winners include Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); Melanie Troxel (Funny Car); and Dave Connolly (Pro Stock).
O'REILLY NHRA SUMMER NATIONALS, HEARTLAND PARK TOPEKA, MAY 29–31: Heading to the heartland of America, NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its ninth stop on the 2009 tour. Defending event winners include Hillary Will (Top Fuel); John Force (Funny Car); and Ron Krisher (Pro Stock).
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
3: That's the most wins in all four categories that a driver has ever had at Gateway International Raceway. Doug Kalitta (TF: 2004, 2003, 2001), Ron Capps (FC: 2007, 2005, 1997), and Kurt Johnson (PS: 2008, 2005, 1998) are the only active drivers that can grab their fourth win at the track next week.
DID YOU KNOW...
...that Funny Car driver Bob Tasca and Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Steve Johnson visited the Coca-Cola headquarters last week? The drivers greeted fans and helped promote both the Full Throttle brand and NHRA Drag Racing.