TICKETS ON SALE FOR 2013 O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA WINTERNATIONALS: Tickets for the 53rd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries, February 14–17, the season-opening event of the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, are now available for purchase. The NHRA’s season-opening event will be contested at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona and will be every NHRA fan’s first opportunity to see all of the new cars and paint schemes as well as meet all of the drivers who will be racing at speeds of more than 320 mph in an attempt to become O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals champions. A win at this event can mean great momentum as drivers chase NHRA Mello Yello world championship glory during the 24-event season that crisscrosses the United States. All of the stars in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be competing at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals, including defending Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown, Tony Schumacher and Brandon Bernstein; Funny Car fan favorites “Fast Jack” Beckman, Ron Capps, Courtney Force and 15-time champ John Force; and defending Pro Stock world champ Allen Johnson, four-time champ Greg Anderson and four-time 2012 winner Erica Enders. To purchase general-admission, reserved-seat, or Top Eliminator Club tickets for the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries, log on to NHRATix.com or call the NHRA Ticket Sales Center, 800-884-NHRA (6472). Tickets for children 12 and younger are free in general admission with any paid adult ticket.
NHRA, ENDERS HONORED AT THE WOMEN IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE FOUNDATION AWARDS IN INDIANAPOLIS: Lyn St. James’ Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation honored NHRA and Pro Stock racer Erica Enders and her Victor Cagnazzi-owned team at its 10th annual Women in the Winner’s Circle Awards dinner on Friday, December 7. The dinner was held in conjunction with the International Motorsports Industry Show held in Indianapolis. At the annual celebration, St. James presented the Leadership Award to NHRA President Tom Compton. This award recognizes individuals or corporations that have undertaken extraordinary measures and show outstanding initiative in promoting diversity with the racing industry.
“The credit goes to our founder and my mentor Wally Parks, who created this organization 62 years ago. He did it to find places for people to enjoy this great sport and his hobby,” Compton said. “We have racers at every level across the country, and it has always been that way. It is the most accessible major form of motorsports in the world, and we are very proud of that, and this award means a lot to the NHRA.”
Enders received the Outstanding Achievement Award after her history-making season by becoming the first woman to win in the Pro Stock class at the race at Route 66 Raceway in Chicago. She scored two No. 1 qualifying spots and won four races to finish fourth in the 2012 points standings. Visit www.nhra.com for more on this story.
ALBALOOSHI NOMINATED FOR ESPN THE MAGAZINE’S NEXT GREAT MOTORSPORTS STAR: Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel driver Khalid alBalooshi is in the running to be named the Next Great Motorsports Star by ESPN The Magazine. alBalooshi completed his rookie season in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series last month.
According to ESPN.com, “Every year since 1998, ESPN The Magazine has recognized an elite group of emerging athletes to watch in the year ahead—athletes we call "NEXT." They are competitors not only on the cusp of stardom, but on the verge of transcending their sports. NEXT is what happens when the hype is real.”
alBalooshi is one of five drivers nominated in the Motorsports category. A native of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, alBalooshi made the very difficult transition from driving Pro Mod cars to piloting a Top Fuel dragster. He became the first Middle Eastern driver and just the third driver from outside North America to win a race in the NHRA’s premier series when he won the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals in Reading, October 8. He finished 11th in the final season points standings. Prior to 2012, alBalooshi won the 2011 NHRA Pro Mod championship and Qatar’s Arabian Drag Racing League Pro Mod championship in 2010 and 2011. In addition, he won the American Drag Racing League Pro Mod championship in 2010. He has 159 race wins. Voting for the Next Great Motorsports Star continues until 5:00 p.m. (EST), Friday, December 14. Vote now.
O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA WINTERNATIONALS, Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, February 14–17: The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns to Auto Club Raceway at Pomona for the start of the 2013 season with new colors. After a dramatic ending to the 2012 season, drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock are looking to pick up where they left off and bring more heat to the track for the season-opener. The 2012 winners of the event were Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 800-884-NHRA (6472) or log on to NHRATix.com.
NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS, Firebird International Raceway, February 22–24: The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series makes its second stop of the 2013 season just south of downtown Phoenix. Drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock will earn points towards the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series regular season points standings. The 2012 winners of the event are Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 602-268-0200 or visit firebird.ticketforce.com.
NHRA GATORNATIONALS, Gainesville Raceway, March 14–17: The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series makes its third of 24 stops of the 2013 season in the sunshine state of Florida. Drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will earn points towards the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships. The 2012 winners of the event are Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 800-884-6472 or log on to NHRATix.com.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
SCREAMIN’ EAGLE HARLEY-DAVIDSON RIDER ANDREW HINES REFLECTS ON OVERSEAS TOUR: At the conclusion of the 2012 season, Summit Racing Equipment sponsored the third annual holiday visit to troops in Germany, Bosnia and Kosovo. The tour consisted of autograph signings and meet-and-greets featuring Pro Stock Motorcycle riders Andrew Hines, Eddie Krawiec, Pro Stock drivers Jason Line and Greg Anderson as well as Summit Racing/Bigfoot monster truck driver Dan Runte. At the conclusion of the tour, Hines discovered a new understanding for our men and women in uniform.
“I’m going home with a newfound respect for everything our military does. I’ve been fairly quiet this trip, just kind of soaking it all in. It’s more than I ever thought. These guys go through a tremendous amount of emotional pain, and they have a ton of pride in what they do, which is great to see.”
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
190 PRO STOCK WORLD CHAMP JOHNSON EARNED A TON OF QUALIFYING BONUS POINTS IN 2012: NHRA Pro Stock world champion Allen Johnson led every driver in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series in collecting the all-important qualifying bonus points during the 2012 season. Johnson scored 190 of the 3-2-1 points that are awarded to the top three quickest drivers in each category following each qualifying session. So dominant in qualifying was Johnson that the Tennessee driver didn’t qualify lower than sixth and only qualified outside the top five two times. His 10 No. 1 qualifying positions led all Full Throttle Series categories.
"We set out on a plan personally, and we set out on a plan team-wise that if we're going to win this thing, we've got to outperform everyone," Johnson said. "We knew we had to be No. 1 down the track every single time and get a lot of those 'little' points. I think the total count was 180 or 190 'little' points we got, and that's two full race wins."
Pro Stock rival Jason Line was second overall in qualifying bonus points earned with 143. Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher was third with 111, Pro Stock Motorcycle champ Eddie Krawiec was fourth with 99 and Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Jr. rounded out the top five with 89. Johnson is the third Pro Stock driver to earn the most qualifying bonus points in a season since the process was created prior to the Countdown in 2009. He also has earned the most in a season. In 2010 Mike Edwards led all drivers with 165 and last year Pro Stock champ Jason Line earned the most at 124.
DID YOU KNOW…
GRIME BOSS NAMED OFFICIAL HEAVY DUTY HAND CLEANING WIPE OF NHRA: Nice-Pak Products Inc., and its Grime Boss hand wipes brand have signed an agreement to become the “Official Heavy Duty Hand Cleaning Wipe of NHRA.” The multi-year relationship with the sanctioning body for drag racing in the United States begins with the start of the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and also includes designation as the “Official Heavy Duty Hand Cleaning Wipe of the NHRA Safety Safari presented by AAA.”
The multi-tiered sponsorship has been developed to provide Grime Boss with sampling opportunities to NHRA’s racing community, NHRA members and NHRA track owners and operators. Grime Boss will also have stations strategically located in the professional pits, Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway for NHRA fans to be able to sample and use Grime Boss wipe products. Other rights granted to Grime Boss include display space at all NHRA national events, bannering rights, PA announcements, video spots and signage rights on the big screen display and logo placement on NHRA Safety Safari presented by AAA vehicles.