SEMA eNews Vol. 12, No. 50, December 17, 2009

NHRA: Drivers Head to Lake Placid for a Different Kind of Downtime

NEWS NUGGETS

  NHRA USA Bobsled
   

NHRA STARS PREPARE FOR BOBSLED CHALLENGE: Jeg Coughlin, Morgan Lucas, Shawn Langdon and a few yet-to-be-named NHRA drivers will once again head to Lake Placid January 8–10 for the upcoming fifth annual Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen Engineering. This yearly event on Mount Van Hoevenberg creates awareness and needed funding for the continuing evolution of the made-in-America Bo-Dyn sleds, now recognized among the world’s fastest.

Each year, Coughlin and a team of NHRA drivers take on a group of NASCAR stars in the Lucas Oil Bobsled Challenge to raise money to support the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project. Last year, Top Fuel pilot Lucas won the NHRA versus NASCAR portion of the event, posting the best time of the event, while Coughlin posted some of the quickest times during the practice sessions and finished fifth in the timed race and in the quarterfinal round of the NHRA versus NASCAR tilt.

“Racing bobsleds is one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had,” said Coughlin. “In drag racing, we’re cinched in our cars as tight as can be, and we go straight down the track. It’s something I’ve done thousands of times. In bobsledding, you’re not strapped in at all, and when they feed you into that ice chute, you have no choice but to take it down the mountain. It’s going to the bottom of the hill. How it arrives is up to you.”

To follow Coughlin, Lucas and all the NHRA stars as they compete in the Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, visit www.NHRA.com.

NHRA USO Tour  
   

USO-SPONSORED NHRA TOUR LIFTING SPIRITS ACROSS GERMANY: NHRA stars Morgan Lucas, Spencer Massey, Doug Horne and Erica Enders are hard at work spreading holiday cheer to U.S. troops in the European theater. Braving snowy conditions and chilly temperatures, the foursome has had an eventful trip so far, visiting Army and Air Force personnel at a variety of stops in southwest Germany.

Based out of the tiny village of Miesenbach, Germany, just outside the gates of Ramstein Air Force Base, the NHRA tour first visited the U.S. Army Garrison in Wiesbaden, Germany, where they were met by a welcoming party led by Col. Jeffery Dill, the base commander. Dill honored the NHRA drivers with a Commander’s Coin and Certificate of Appreciation during a brief ceremony. The drivers then met several soldiers and signed commemorative hero cards while posing for pictures and answering questions about life in the fast lane.

The next stop was the BOSS recreation hall, where single soldiers spend free time playing games, e-mailing home or watching television. Several members of the local media caught up with the drivers there and conducted interviews about NHRA Drag Racing and their visit to Germany.

The tour continued on to the 21st Operational Weather Squadron in Sembach, Germany, where the 603rd Support Group of Chiefs and Master Chiefs serving in the 3rd Air Force welcomed them.

The group will next spend a full day at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and the USO Wounded Warrior Center. For more information, visit www.NHRA.com.

COMING ATTRACTIONS

  Antron Brown
  Antron Brown

KRAGEN O’REILLY NHRA WINTERNATIONALS, AUTO CLUB RACEWAY AT POMONA, FEBRUARY 11–14: The 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will kick off in sunny Southern California with the 50th anniversary of the Winternationals. Defending event winners include Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel); Ron Capps (Funny Car); and Jason Line (Pro Stock).

NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS, FIREBIRD INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, FEBRUARY 19–21: The traditional second stop on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing tour, competitors will head to the Valley of the Sun for the second race in the 2010 season. Defending event winners include Antron Brown (Top Fuel); Ron Capps (Funny Car); and Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock).

HE SAID, SHE SAID

NOT ENOUGH: Top Fuel pilot Antron Brown on having one of his most successful seasons in NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing, but failing to win the world championship: “We had an awesome year in 2009, but we didn’t get what we wanted, which is the Full Throttle championship. We’re tired of being the bridesmaid. Our DSR Matco Tools team is very motivated to continue the strong performance we showed this season and get to the top of the mountain next year.”


INSIDE THE NUMBERS

Army Dragster NHRA Dragster Bud Dragster

74: That’s how many different drivers over the past 50 years that have won the season-opening NHRA Winternationals in the Full Throttle Series. NHRA legends Don Prudhomme, Gary Scelzi and Kenny Bernstein are the only three drivers to have won the event in both Top Fuel and Funny Car.


DID YOU KNOW…

…that though the first NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona was held in 1961, the first Top Fuel win didn’t occur until 1963. “Big Daddy” Don Garlits walked away with the first Wally in the Top Fuel category at the 1963 Winternationals.

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