BRISTOL WINNERS READY FOR SUMMER STRETCH OF NHRA FULL THROTTLE SERIES: At the end of a long day of racing Sunday at the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers, three drivers stood in the winner’s circle, reflecting on their wins and the constantly changing weather conditions that they and their teams battled all weekend. As Top Fuel pilot Larry Dixon, Funny Car driver Robert Hight and Pro Stock racer Mike Edwards spoke with the media following the race, one statement was loud and clear—their teams are ready for summer racing in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
“Today was unbelievable,” said Hight, whose Auto Club Ford Mustang not only won the race, but also set the national record for speed at 316.45 mph. “I really give Jimmy (Prock, crew chief) a lot of credit for coming here this weekend and sneaking up on it. He knew he could run big numbers but on the night runs, we played it safe. We made eight great runs. When we needed it the most, Jimmy pulled it out and he had some confidence.”
Dixon agreed that his win in Bristol gave his team a confidence boost. He said that adapting to challenging conditions is exactly what his team will need to continue to do during the next few months of summer racing.
“Jason McCulloch (crew chief), Alan Johnson (team manager) and everybody else on the Al-Anabi team did a great job today,” said Dixon. “Jason and the rest of our team worked their tails off. It’s a great team, and I just feel blessed to be a part of it.”
Pro Stock winner Edwards scored his third consecutive win in Bristol Sunday, though it didn’t come easy, given the challenging conditions and the strong competition he faced in Vincent Nobile, Greg Anderson and Erica Enders. The 2009 Full Throttle series world champ recognizes that his team’s ability to change according to the situation will be a vital tool in the next few months.
“Congrats to my team. They fought hard,” said Edwards. “This car has given us so many headaches. I hope we can build on this.”
To see more results from the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers, visit NHRA.com.
K&N HORSEPOWER CHALLENGE FIELD SET; ENDERS GETS FAN VOTE FOR FINAL SPOT: The field is set for this week’s K&N Horsepower Challenge—the lucrative race-within-a-race bonus Pro Stock event at the fifth annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. The seven drivers who accumulated the most points in qualifying during the bonus-event series earned their place in the $76,000 challenge, and the eighth and final position was determined by fan voting. This year, fans selected sensation Erica Enders to fill out the field. The first-round pairings for this year’s K&N Horsepower Challenge are as follows:
Jason Line vs. Erica Enders
Allen Johnson vs. Shane Gray
Mike Edwards vs. Rodger Brogdon
Greg Anderson vs. Ron Krisher
Last year, defending world champion Greg Anderson raced to his third K&N Horsepower Challenge win in eight appearances when he beat Mike Edwards on a holeshot. Anderson also won the race that weekend to collect the NHRA sweep bonus awarded to those drivers who win both the bonus event and race, bringing his weekend winnings to $100,000. It was the second time that Anderson picked up the NHRA sweep bonus (2004).
SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT NHRA NATIONALS, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT MOTORSPORTS PARK, June 23–26: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to Norwalk, Ohio, and its 10th stop on the circuit. Defending event winners are Larry Dixon (Top Fuel), Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 419/668-5555 or visit summitmotorsportspark.tix.com. For media credentials, please contact Senior Communications Manager Scott Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
O’REILLY AUTO PARTS ROUTE 66 NHRA NATIONALS, ROUTE 66 RACEWAY, July 7–10: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to Chicago and the Windy City for its 11th stop of the season. Defending event winners are Larry Dixon (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 815/727-RACE or visit route66raceway.com. For media credentials, please contact Director of Media Relations Anthony Vestal at email@example.com.
MOPAR MILE-HIGH NHRA NATIONALS, BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY, July 22–24: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to the Rocky Mountains of Denver and the first of three stops on the historic Western Swing. Defending event winners are Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 800/664-UWIN or go online at ticketreturn.com. For media credentials, please contact Media Relations Manager Zak Elcock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
EVERYTHING BUT THE…: Funny Car driver Jack Beckman after his final-round loss to Robert Hight Sunday at the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers at Bristol Dragway: “We threw the kitchen sink—and more—at Hight in the finals, but it was too much. We thought we would need more car than we had in the third round to beat Robert, but we ended up spinning the tires.”
60 YEARS IN NHRA HISTORY
1982, CONNIE VS SHIRLEY, U.S. NATIONALS: On August 8, 1982, Top Fuel sensation Shirley Muldowney faced former crew chief Connie Kalitta in a much anticipated final round at the historic U.S. Nationals. Muldowney beat Kalitta and became the first female winner in U.S. Nationals history. Both Muldowney and Kalitta will be the NHRA Legends honored at this weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. The two drivers will participate in autograph sessions and meet-and-greets with fans throughout the weekend.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
4: There have been four different winners in the first four races of the NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock Motorcycle season. The class returns to racing this weekend at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. Will one of these riders be the first this season to win a second race?
DID YOU KNOW…
…that of the four NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series classes that will compete at this weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, Funny Car is the only one to have different winners in the four years the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing has been competing at the track? Will Jack Beckman, Tony Pedregon or Tim Wilkerson become the first repeat winner in the class in Norwalk? For tickets, call 419/668-5555 or visit summitmotorsportspark.tix.com.
For more information, contact NHRA Media Relations at 626/914-4761 or visit the NHRA Media Center.