MAKE IT TWO!; WORSHAM GETS SECOND CONSECUTIVE WIN OF THE YEAR, SCHUMACHER SECOND CONSECUTIVE AT BRISTOL: Funny Car driver Del Worsham was in quite the slump only three weeks ago. It had been more than a year (Houston 2008) since his last win, and Worsham was coming off of two consecutive first-round losses. Three weeks and two wins later, Worsham has jumped from sixth to second in the point standings and is singing a different tune these days heading into the halfway point of the regular season of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing series.
Worsham raced his Al-Anabi Racing Toyota Solara past runner-up Tony Pedregon to pick up his second consecutive win of the season Sunday at the ninth annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. Worsham is currently on a streak of round wins that has seen the veteran driver face and beat such Funny Car drivers as Tim Wilkerson, Ron Capps, and Cruz and Tony Pedregon.
In Top Fuel, defending world champion and event winner Tony Schumacher drove his U.S. Army dragster to a second consecutive win at Bristol Dragway, defeating three-time Bristol winner Doug Kalitta in the final round. For Schumacher, it was his third win of the season, third at Bristol Dragway and 59th of his career.
Pro Stock driver Mike Edwards picked up his second win of the season after he drove past three-time world champion Greg Anderson in the final round. Edwards also closed the gap between him and first-place driver Jeg Coughlin, coming within 98 points of the first-place driver.
PEDREGON RACING TO HOST LOCKS OF LOVE MEMORABILIA AUCTION: Tony Pedregon Racing will host a Locks of Love charity auction June 27 during the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk. Pedregon Racing and many other NHRA race teams will be donating racing memorabilia for auction, all of the proceeds of which will go to the Locks of Love Foundation, as well as contributing funds directly to the foundation.
Tony and Andrea Pedregon’s daughter Cecily will kick off this event by cutting and donating her hair to Locks of Love that morning. Locks of Love is a nonprofit organization that provides the highest-quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children with medical hair loss, such as from autoimmune conditions, severe burns and radiation treatments. For more information on this event and how you can donate, visit www.nhra.com.
ASHLEY TO RETURN TO COMPETITION IN SECOND TOP FUEL DRAGSTER: Three-time Funny Car event winner and team owner, Mike Ashley, will return to professional competition towards the end of the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing season. Owner of the Matco Tools dragster driven by Antron Brown, Ashley will field a second Mike Ashley Racing (MAR) Top Fuel dragster at the final four races of the season. Ashley also will race a second MAR dragster on a part-time basis during the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing season. The dragster will fly the colors of Lend America and will be tuned by co-crew chiefs Chuck Ford and Rob Wenland.
O’REILLY NHRA SUMMER NATIONALS, HEARTLAND PARK TOPEKA, MAY 29–31: Heading to the heartland of America, the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its ninth stop on the 2009 tour. Defending event winners include Hillary Will (Top Fuel); John Force (Funny Car); and Ron Krisher (Pro Stock).
UNITED ASSOCIATION ROUTE 66 NHRA NATIONALS, ROUTE 66 RACEWAY, JUNE 4–7: NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing returns to the Windy City for the 10th stop on the 2009 season. Defending event winners include Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); Tony Pedregon (Funny Car); Kurt Johnson (Pro Stock); and Chris Rivas (Pro Stock Motorcycle).
UNITED ASSOCIATION NHRA SUPERNATIONALS, OLD BRIDGE TOWNSHIP RACEWAY PARK, JUNE 11–14: A historic event on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, all four categories will head to New Jersey for the 40th annual visit to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Defending event winners include Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car); Greg Anderson (Pro Stock); and Chip Ellis (Pro Stock Motorcycle).
HE SAID, SHE SAID
“QUITE A VIEW?”: Funny Car driver Jack Beckman on the view from his driver’s seat after a near collision with John Force after Force’s car made a sudden move toward the center line and into Beckman’s lane. “I’ve been wearing glasses lately for better vision. If they’re going to give me vision that good for the rest of the year, I don’t ever want to wear them again.”
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
9: That’s the number of wins that Funny Car Legend John Force has at Heartland Park Topeka, the most of any driver at the track. Force’s last win came at this event last season.
DID YOU KNOW…
…that of active Top Fuel drivers, only two have more than one win at Heartland Park Topeka. Brandon Bernstein (2007, 2004) and Cory McClenathan (1998, 1994) are the only active drivers with more than one win at that track in the Top Fuel category.