CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE U.S. NATIONALS RETURNS TO LUCAS OIL RACEWAY AT INDIANAPOLIS: The Chevrolet Performance U.S Nationals returns to Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianpolis. Qualifying for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series began Wednesday with the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series taking to the track begining Friday. Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) Mike Neff (Funny Car), Dave Connolly (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were the winners of the event in 2012. Schumacher will attempt to record his 10th career win at the event, which would make him the all-time winningest driver in the history of the event.
"To have the chance right now, we're sitting on an opportunity to win 10 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. No one has ever done that before, and I think that plays to our benefit. We're better with the pressure on."
Tickets can be purchased by visiting NHRATix.com.
B. FORCE IN TOP FUEL AND WILKERSON IN FUNNY CAR MAKE TRAXXAS NITRO SHOOTOUT FIELDS: Brittany Force in Top Fuel and Tim Wilkerson in Funny Car earned berths into the Traxxas Nitro Shoout fields in their respective categories during a lottery-style drawing held in Indianapolis Wednesday. Both drivers were the top fan-vote getters and Wilkerson will face top seed Matt Hagan in the first round of Funny Car action.
"I'm very happy to get in the show and thanks to all the fans for voting. I'm excited about it and hopefully we can put together a good day of racing and maybe bring home that big ($100,000) check."
In the first round of the Traxxas Nitro Shooutout in Top Fuel, Force will match up against Shawn Langdon. "This is very cool and I'm so excited," she said. "I remember watching my dad race in all the shootouts growing up and to follow in his footsteps and get a chance to compete in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout, it's awesome."
For more information about the Traxxas Nitro Shootout, visit www.nhra.com.
BILLY TORRENCE TO JOIN SON STEVE IN TOP FUEL RANKS AT CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE U.S. NATIONALS: Billy Torrence will make his Top Fuel debut at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in a second Capco Contractors entry. The hope is that the addition of a second car will boost the team's odds of winning a championship, and he earned his license during a recent test session at Lucas Oil Raceway.
"It was apparent after last year that it was going to be a struggle to be successful with one car," the senior Torrence remarked. "I think if there is something I can do to help Steve's team gather information it would also be a plus."
BOB VANDERGRIFF RACING RUNNING THREE DRAGSTERS FOR CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE U.S. NATIONALS: The Bob Vandergiff Racing team will once again campaign three Top Fuel cars during the upcoming Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. Bob Vandergriff and Clay Millican will pilot their 8,000-hp vehicles and be joined by J.R. Todd in a third entry sponsored by Total Equipment & Service.
"We're excited to have J.R. Todd back on the track. Our goal at BVR is to get that car on the track as many times as possible to help our other two teams and to give J.R. Todd as much seat time as we can," Vandergriff Jr. said. "Mike Guger [crew chief] will once again take over duties as the crew chief for J.R.'s team, and with the posititve results we saw from the Indy test session, we're expecting big things from that car."
NHRA CAROLINA NATIONALS, zMAX Dragway, September 13–15: The NHRA Carolina Nationals marks the first race in the six-race Countdown to the Champship—the NHRA playoffs that will crown the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world champions. While a championship can't be won at the first race in the Countdown to the Championship, racers will be anxious to charge out the gate and build momentum for the stretch run. Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel,) Ron Capps (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are defending event winners. For tickets, call 800-455-3267 or log on to www.zmaxdragway.com.
AAA TEXAS NHRA FALLNATIONALS, Texas Motorplex, September 19–22: The AAA Texas FallNationals is the second race of the Countdown to the Championship and pivital to the championshipship battle. Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Bob Tasca III (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Michael Ray (Pro Stock Motorcycle) took home wins in 2012. Brown and Johnson parlayed their wins into championships, and drivers will once attempt to take home the NHRA Wally in the Lone Star state.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
“It's absolutely cool and I'm glad to be one of the banner carriers for Chevrolet. It's been a while since they've been on a billboard that big, so it's good to have them back. This year, they stepped up their involvement and it's great for us in Pro Stock, and it's great to have them on the big billboard in Indy. I'm going to feel very proud when I look up there and see that big Chevrolet sign and look down at my race car and see the same old bowtie right there. That's going to be a cool feeling."
—Greg Anderson, a six-time Chevrolet U.S. Nationals winner and four-time world champion on racing at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
11: Number of years since John Force has won a Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals title. He defeated Tommy Johnson Jr. in 2002 to earn his fourth career Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals victory. He made it to the finals in 2010 when he was runner up to his daughter Ashley Force-Hood. Ed McCulloch has the most Indy wins in the Funny Car category with five. Force has enjoyed sucess at the event though, as his team has won the last five and six of the last seven Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.
"The big thing is right now we have a fast hot rod," Force said. "[Jimmy] Prock swings for the fence. I like that. I'm getting more comfortable in the car and I'm excited to be going into Indy, the grand daddy. We've got a car that can win and that's all you can ask for."
DID YOU KNOW…
HOLLYWOOD COMES TO INDY FOR SNAKE & MONGOOSE MOVIE PREMIERE: Stars of the newly released Snake & Mongoose film will converge in Indianapolis for the movie's premiere and to attend the 59th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. Making apperances will be legendary drag racers Don "the Snake" Prudhome and Tom "the Mongoose" McEwen, whose rivalry and talents put drag racing on the map. The premeire will take place at the Regal Shiloh Crossing Stadium 18, 10400 E. U.S. Highway 36, Avon, IN. The premiere will be complete with a red-carpet event that rolls out at 5:00 p.m., followed by a 5:30 p.m. screening.