Compiled by SEMA Editors
VANDERGRIFF LOOKS TO KEEP MOMENTUM ROLLING AT HOME EVENT: Bob Vandergriff and his C&J Energy Top Fuel dragster team enter the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals on a hot streak after Vandergriff won the most recent event in Houston. Vandergriff continued his tradition of jogging from past the finish line to join his crew at the starting line to celebrate the victory. Atlanta Dragway is merely 60 minutes from Vandergriff’s home in Alpharetta, Georgia, and he will have a full contingency of friends and family cheering him on during the weekend. For more on this story, visit www.nhra.com .For tickets, call 800-884-6472 or visit www.NHRATix.com.
BECKMAN HONORED BY U.S. AIR FORCE: NHRA Funny Car world champion Jack Beckman will visit the Gunter Annex of Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, May 2, to be presented with the U.S. Air Force Wall of Achievers honor in Enlisted Heritage Hall. Beckman, a former Air Force sergeant will visit the base the day before he begins competing in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals. Beckman joins an impressive list of former enlisted airmen receiving the honor, including President George W. Bush, Brigadier General Chuck Yeager, singers Johnny Cash and Gene Autry, actor Charlton Heston and comedian Flip Wilson. Heritage Hall presents tributes to enlisted men and women who have contributed to the growth and development of the United States Air Force.
ALEXIS DEJORIA FEATURED IN UPCOMING ISSUE OF INKED MAGAZINE: Alexis DeJoria and her Tequila Patron Funny Car will be featured in an upcoming issue of Inked magazine which features the art, style and culture of tattoos. The issue will highlight the automotive theme and will be on the newsstands later in the summer. Photographers will be at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals shooting photos for the issue.
DON SCHUMACHER TO BE INDUCTED INTO INTERNATIONAL MOTOSPORTS HALL OF FAME: NHRA pioneer and championship team owner Don Schumacher will be inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on Thursday night during a gala celebration at the Talladega Motor Speedway. Joining him as the 2013 inductees will be NASCAR legends Rick Hendrick, Dale Inman and Rusty Wallace. Schumacher joins NHRA legends, including Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins, Joe Amato, Kenny Bernstein, John Force, Don Garlits, Bob Glidden, Warren Johnson, Shirley Muldowney, Wally Parks and Don Prudhomme.
SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT NHRA SOUTHERN NATIONALS, Atlanta Dragway, May 3–5: Greg Anderson comes into the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals as a four-time winner at the event and defending champion. The Charlotte resident has years of experience at the track and knows many of the nuances of the facility.
"I worked for 12 years with Warren Johnson, and that's where we tested all the time. He may have been inside the car, but I was right outside and so I've had a lot of experience with that racetrack,” Anderson said. “I think that's one of the main reasons we've been able to run there ever since we first formed this KB Racing team. Even though it's not our home track, it was mine for 12 years. It's another one of our favorites."
The Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals is the seventh race of the 2013 season and drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock will earn points toward the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships. The 2012 winners of the event were Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 800-884-NHRA (6472) or visit www.atlantadragway.com.
NHRA KANSAS NATIONALS, Heartland Park Topeka, May 17–19: The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series comes to Heartland Park Topeka for the 25th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals, May 17–19. The eighth event of the 24-race season will feature competition in three professional drag racing categories—Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock. All of the biggest stars in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will compete at the site of record-breaking performances. The 2012 winners of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event were David Grubnic (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car) and Allen Johnson (Pro Stock). The race action will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD. To purchase tickets, call 800-884-NHRA (6472). Tickets are also available online at www.NHRAtix.com. Also vist www.HPT.com for more information.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
RETURNING TO SITE OF FIRST WIN: “It was unbelievable. All of the hard work we put into putting the team together all paid off that day. And it was made more special because my dad was with me.”
–Steve Torrence on getting his first career Top Fuel win at the 2012 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. Torrence went one to win two more events in the 2012 season.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
78 races: Number of races since a Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) or John Force Racing (JFR) Funny Car has failed to lead the points. Two-time Funny Car world champion Cruz Pedregon took the points lead from Matt Hagan on the strength of his second in of the season in Houston. The last non-DSR or JFR driver to lead the points was Cruz’s brother Tony in 2009.
DID YOU KNOW…
Don Schumacher Racing Top Fuel and Funny Car teams will look to regroup following the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway. This was the first time since the 2011 season, 39 races, that a DSR Funny Car or Top Fuel car failed to make it to the finals.