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NHRA: Free Driver Autograph Session to Kick Off Las Vegas Event

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FREE NHRA DRIVER AUTOGRAPH SESSION TO KICK OFF LAS VEGAS EVENT: A free NHRA driver autograph session and fanfest, Thursday, April 4, at the New York New York Hotel & Casino will kick off the NHRA Nationals weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The autograph session will take place from 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. in the Staten Island Room, near the Sporting House Bar & Grill. The first 200 fans in line will receive a free Summit Racing hat. The event also will include driver question-and-answer sessions, music and door prizes. NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series drivers scheduled to participate include defending Top Fuel champion and points leader Antron Brown, 2012 Funny Car titleholder Jack Beckman, Tony Schumacher, Funny Car points leader Ron Capps, Matt Hagan, 2012 NHRA Nationals Top Fuel winner Spencer Massey, Johnny Gray, Khalid alBalooshi, Shawn Langdon, Alexis DeJoria, Todd Lesenko, Terry McMillen, Tony Pedregon, David Grubnic, Del Worsham, Greg Anderson, Jason Line, Shane Gray, Terry Haddock, Jeff Arend, and Allen Johnson, who swept both 2012 Las Vegas national events in the Pro Stock category.

The NHRA Nationals will be held April 5–7 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series delivers the biggest names in professional drag racing twice each year to the facility. Pro (Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock) qualifying will take place Friday and Saturday, and eliminations will be held Sunday. Children 12 and younger will be admitted free. For tickets and information, call Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 800-644-4444, or log on to


TASCA SEEKING YOUNG ARTIST TO CREATE SPECIAL RACE CAR DESIGN: Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III has taken part in a very special program in each of his five years as a professional NHRA competitor. The program reaches above and beyond the reward of competing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series for the established driver and his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford team, and the group hopes to bring a little joy to the lives of young individuals coping with the effects of juvenile diabetes while bringing attention to an important cause created to aid in research of the disease. The program invites children living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) to create a design for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Funny Car. Thanks to Ford Customer Service Division (FCSD) and its Motorcraft and Quick Lane brands, the young artist with the winning design will be awarded a trip to the O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries, June 27–30, where he or she will have the opportunity to see his or her design in person and in action on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)-themed Ford Shelby Mustang.

“The designs these kids come up with are just incredible,” said Tasca, who recently participated in a T1D for a Day challenge to see what it’s like to live with T1D. “It really is an honor to help spread the word about JDRF and tell the story of what these kids live with every day. Their strength is amazing.”

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SUMMITRACING.COM NHRA NATIONALS, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, April 5–7: The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the fourth of 24 races on the circuit. Drivers in the Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock classes will earn points toward the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships. The 2012 winners of the event were Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 800-644-4444 or log on to

DOLLAR GENERAL NHRA FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS, zMAX Dragway, April 19–21: The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to the Bellagio of Dragstrips in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the fifth of 24 events. Drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will compete in a four-wide configuration and earn points toward the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series regular season points standings. The 2012 winners of the event were Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 800-455-FANS or visit

O'REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA SPRINGNATIONALS, Royal Purple Raceway, April 26–28: The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to the Lone Star State for the sixth of 24 events of the 2013 season. Drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will earn points toward the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships. The 2012 winners of the event were Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Mike Neff (Funny Car), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 281-383-7223 or visit



FRESH OFF A VICTORY, PRO STOCK'S JOHNSON READY TO GO FOR TWO IN A ROW: After a tough start to the 2013 season, Defending NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock world champion Allen Johnson returned to his winning ways with a victory at the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville. This was the first win at this track for the Tennessee native, and he looks to continue riding this momentum as the Mello Yello Series heads to Las Vegas.

“I think we’re one of the premier teams in Pro Stock now, and I think anyone would tell you that," Johnson said. "We’ve got a crew that makes great decisions based on scientific methods and data, and we keep improving those decision-making tools. We’ll be right there again [for the championship].”



$12,025: AMOUNT NHRA DRIVERS HELPED SONOMA RACEWAY RAISE FOR CHARITY: Lucas Oil Buell Pro Stock Motorcycle riders Hector Arana Jr. and Adam Arana and Funny Car driver Josh Crawford helped raise more than $12,000 for charity last Saturday as part of Sonoma Raceway's NHRA Tour de Charity. The Arana brothers and Crawford raced against fans at the Sonoma Raceway Karting Center in the sold-out event that raised $12,025 for Speedway Children's Charities. The event has raised more than $122,000 in its 11 years.

"I've never really done an event like this, and I loved it," Arana Jr. said. "It's great interacting with the fans and having the time to really talk to them. Plus, I had a really good time racing with my brother, even though he beat me."

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COUGHLIN NAMED FAN-VOTE WINNER IN K&N HORSEPOWER CHALLENGE FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR: NHRA Pro Stock fans have spoken, and their choice for the No. 8 starting spot in the K&N Horsepower Challenge for the second year in a row is Jeg Coughlin Jr., driver of the Dodge Avenger. Coughlin will go for his fourth victory in the bonus event for qualified Pro Stock teams starting with a first-round meeting with event top seed Allen Johnson, driver of the Team Mopar Dodge Avenger.

The 29th annual K&N Horsepower Challenge will be conducted during the NHRA Nationals, Saturday, April 6, at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The event will be televised by ESPN2HD. Coughlin won the fan vote by a wide margin, receiving roughly one-third of the total votes cast by NHRA fans since voting began in February. Coughlin has scored victories in the K&N Horsepower Challenge in 2009, 2000 and 1999.

“It’s an honor to win the final spot for the K&N Horsepower Challenge,” Coughlin said. “A big thank you to all of our fans and friends that propelled us to this position. We look forward to answering the effort with a big win in Vegas.”

The K&N Horsepower Challenge is a race within a race, showcasing the top drivers in NHRA Pro Stock competition, for which the winner receives $50,000. The runner-up will receive $10,000, the two semifinalists will each receive $3,000 and the four first-round finishers will each receive $2,500. As part of the program, a $3,000 bonus is awarded to the No. 1 qualifier at each NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event. In addition, eight fans were selected in an online drawing on the K&N website as part of the K&N Horsepower Challenge Sweepstakes. Those eight winners will receive a trip for two to the race, where each fan will be paired with a driver in the K&N Horsepower Challenge. The fan paired with the winning driver will leave the NHRA Nationals in a ’13 K&N Horsepower Challenge special-edition Toyota Tacoma—a midsize pickup created by Toyota Racing Development and K&N Filters for this event with modifications that include a supercharger, custom wheel and tire package, shocks and springs.

For tickets for the NHRA Nationals, April 5–7 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, log on to or call 800-644-4444.