NHRA FULL THROTTLE DRAG RACING SEASON KICKS OFF WITH KRAGEN O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA WINTERNATIONALS: It’s been three months since the last pair of Top Fuel dragsters, Antron Brown’s Matco Tools dragster and Shawn Langdon’s Lucas Oil Fuel Treatment dragster, roared down the two lanes at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, California. Three months of silence at the historic track since Larry Dixon, John Force, Greg Anderson and LE Tonglet all clinched their 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing world championships. Three months for drivers and teams to contemplate what might have been in 2010, and what could be in 2011. But those three months will come to a quick stop at more than 300 mph this Thursday as the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series kicks off the 2011 season and 60th anniversary of NHRA at the 51st running of the Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals. Some of the biggest names in drag racing will return to sunny Southern California to begin their march towards the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle world championship. Such fan favorites and former champions as Top Fuel pilot Tony Schumacher and Funny Car driver Robert Hight will look to reclaim their championship glory. Antron Brown and Brandon Bernstein will look to turn off-season preparations into championship-contending performances. And missed drivers, such as Spencer Massey and Erica Enders, will return to competition full time in 2011. Not to mention the presence of NHRA Legend Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, who will be on hand to celebrate NHRA’s 60th anniversary year. What will happen? Who will be in winner’s circle? How will the 2011 season begin? Only one thing is for sure—this year’s Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals will be one for the history books. To get tickets to the 51st annual Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals, click here.
TICKETS IN HIGH DEMAND FOR THE OFFICIAL 60TH ANNIVERSARY KICK-OFF PARTY IN GAINESVILLE: The Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals is already a tough enough ticket, but finding a ticket for the 2011 running of the famed destination event that brings in fans from across the country and Canada will be that much more difficult. The tradition-rich event has been chosen as the host event for NHRA’s Official 60th Anniversary Kick-Off Party. The entire focus of the NHRA’s 60th Anniversary season will be on the NHRA fans and the celebration at Gainesville Raceway—site of NHRA’s second race of the season and first on the East Coast—will be an epic one. Among the highlights of the Kick-Off Party will be a car show featuring several of the vintage cars from Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, a track walk with Darrell Gwynn, meet-and-greets with NHRA legends, Cacklefests and car parades and a series of match races between Gwynn and “Big Daddy” Don Garlits in specially designed electric dragsters. For a more in-depth look at the Kick-Off Party, visit NHRA.com. To get tickets to the 42nd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornatioals, visit NHRATIX.com.
KRAGEN O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA WINTERNATIONALS, AUTO CLUB RACEWAY AT POMONA, February 24-27: The 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and 60th anniversary season of the NHRA kicks off at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona at the 51st running of this event. Defending event winners include Larry Dixon (Top Fuel); John Force (Funny Car); and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 800/844-NHRA or go online at NHRATIX.com. For media credentials, please contact Director of Public Relations Michael Padian at email@example.com.
TIRE KINGDOM NHRA GATORNATIONALS, GAINESVILLE RACEWAY, March 10-13: The second stop in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and first race for the Pro Stock Motorcycle class, this showdown in the swamplands of Florida will bring added excitement as the NHRA celebrates its 60th anniversary. Defending event winners include Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car); Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 800/844-NHRA or go online at NHRATIX.com. For media credentials, please contact Senior Communications Manager Scott Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUMMITRACING.COM NHRA NATIONALS, THE STRIP AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, April 1-3: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes the first of two stops in Sin City and its third stop of the 2011 season. Defending event winners include Larry Dixon (Top Fuel); John Force (Funny Car); and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 800/644-4444 or go online at Ticketmaster.com. For media credentials, please contact Media Relations Manager Zak Elcock at email@example.com.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
AN EVEN GREATER NEED TO WIN: NHRA Funny Car driver Ron Capps on what it would mean to win this year’s Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals: “You want to get off on the right foot. You want to do well. But being the 60th, I’m looking at some of my trophies right now and there are a few that stand out. They’re a little differently made, and I’m sure Pomona will be a trophy that you want to put up in the middle of your mantle. So it’s going to be a race that every driver wants to win for sure.”
60 YEARS IN NHRA HISTORY
1961, THE FIRST WINTERNATIONALS: Dubbed “The Big Go West,” NHRA holds the very first Winternationals. The event was to run three days, with Friday reserved for registration, inspection and time trials. Each of the four eliminator winners won a new 390-cid Ford engine.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
6: That’s the number of wins that both Tony Schumacher and “Big Daddy” Don Garlits have at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the most in the Top Fuel category. A win at this year’s Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals would give Schumacher the most of any Top Fuel driver at the track, and three more than current driver Larry Dixon, the only active driver within reach of the milestone.
DID YOU KNOW…
…that RACER magazine named 15-time Funny Car world champion John Force the 2010 Racer of the Year, an award that encompasses all of the world’s auto racing disciplines? It’s the first time a drag racer has earned the top honor in the 16-year history of the magazine’s Racer of the Year awards. For more information, visit NHRA.com.