Compiled by SEMA Editors
TASCA TO MAKE FIRST FUNNY CAR RUNS AT NEW ENGLAND DRAGWAY: Bob Tasca III has raced every car he has owned down the track at New England Dragway except for one—his 8,000-hp Funny Car. That will change Friday when the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series takes to the Northeast track for the first time for the Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals, June 20–23. The inaugural event will feature competition in all four professional categories: Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle.
"I'm excited," Tasca said. "I think that is the first word that comes to mind—excited. I'm excited to be so close to my hometown with so many friends and family, and I'm excited to see New England bring in a sport I love as much as I do."
Antron Brown looks to add a win to his resume in Top Fuel, Allen Johnson enters as the defending Pro Stock world champion and East Coast native John Hall will lead the Pro Stock Motorcycle category in their return to action. To purchase tickets for the Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals, call 800-884-6472 or log on to NHRATix.com.
NHRA FANFEST TAKES TO DOWNTOWN BOSTON: NHRA fans in Boston streamed to Faneuil Hall Marketplace Wednesday to get their first glimpse of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series during a Fanfest. A press conference also took place, and members of the media met with Brittany Force, John Force, Bob Tasca III, Blake Alexander, Shawn Langdon and Robert Hight. The drivers signed thousands of autographs and posed for pictures during the meet and greet for NHRA fans in the Northeast.
ALEX'S LEMONADE STAND, DARRELL GWYNN FOUNDATION JOIN GRAY'S FUNNY CAR TEAM FOR FOUR RACES: At four events during the remainder of the 2013 season, Alex's Lemonade Stand and the Darrell Gwynn Foundation will be featured on the side of the Pitch Energy Funny Car driven by Johnny Gray. Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation raises awareness for curing children's cancer, and the Darrell Gwynn Foundation offers support for people with paralysis.
"It's been a real honor to be associated with these folks," Gray said. "This year, to be able to bring together Alex's Lemonade Stand with another group of people who are near to my heart—the Darrell Gwynn Foundation—it just makes me realize that I am extremely blessed."
The paint scheme will be featured in Denver, Indianapolis, Dallas and Reading.
O'REILLY AUTO PARTS ROUTE 66 NHRA NATIONALS, Route 66 Raceway, June 27–30: The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns to Route 66 Raceway for the O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries June 27–30. Long one of the most competitive tracks on the circuit, this gem in the Midwest will again be pivotal in the championship hunt. The event also will mark the midpoint of the season and is the third stop in a four-race stretch. Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Jeff Arend (Funny Car, pictured), Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are defending winners of the event. To purchase tickets, log on to www.route66raceway.com or call 888-629-7223.
SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT NHRA NATIONALS, Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, July 4–7: The fireworks display Friday after qualifying at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals has quickly become one of the can't-miss traditions in motorsports, and Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park is one of the most fan-friendly venues in all of entertainment as well as a tremendous surface for all four categories of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Mike Neff (Funny Car), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were the 2012 winners. To purchase tickets, call 419-663-0502 or visit www.SummitMotorSportsPark.com.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
“Everything is coming together. You can see what (crew chief) Mike Neff and the other crew chiefs are doing. This is the car he almost won the championship in. A good race car gives you confidence. You get that, and you get natural on the tree. I am going after (Richard) Petty's 200th if I don't fall over before then. It is all the race car they give you. I really thought Courtney was going to take me out in the first round. Her Traxxas car has been flying."
– John Force on capturing his 135th NHRA Funny Car victory and facing daughter Courtney in the first round in Bristol, Tennessee.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
50: No. 1 qualifying positions in Pro Stock that Mike Edwards has after recording his ninth of the 2013 season. "That's a goal that I have been trying to reach for a long time," Edwards said. "One of my goals starting out the year was to reach 50 No. 1s. It's truly a blessing that we have been able to do that and an awesome feat for me."
He moved to 10th in career No. 1 qualifying positions; John Force leads the category with 141. The most No. 1 positions Edwards has in a single season is 16, in his 2009 championship season.
DID YOU KNOW…
Stars of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series visited the ESPN campus Wednesday in advance of the Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals: Antron Brown and his Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster, Courtney Force and her Traxxas Ford Mustang Funny Car, Allen Johnson and his Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Avenger Pro Stocker and the Underdahl Racing's Bad Boy Buggies Suzuki Pro Stock Motorcycle. The vehicles were on display in the heart of the campus, and employees were able to meet the drivers, get autographs and pose with the vehicles.