SEMA eNews Vol. 14, No. 11, March 17, 2011

NHRA: Worsham a Double-Category Winner; Neff a Tuner/Driver Winner in Gainesville

NEWS NUGGETS

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WORSHAM JOINS LIST OF DOUBLE-CATEGORY WINNERS; NEFF JOINS LIST OF TUNER/DRIVER WINNERS WITH GAINESVILLE WIN:
In only his second start of the season, Del Worsham joined a select list of drivers when he drove his Al-Anabi Racing dragster past seven-time world champion Tony Schumacher to his first career win in Top Fuel Sunday at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida. Worsham joined an impressive list of only 15 other drivers in NHRA history to win in both Top Fuel and Funny Car, and the historical meaning was not lost on the driver.

“It’s almost surreal,” said Worsham. “I’m driving (2010 Top Fuel world champion and teammate) Larry (Dixon)’s car from last year; it won 12 races last year, now it has won 13. It shouldn’t surprise anyone (that it’s back in the winner’s circle but) it surprises me.”

Worsham was joined in the Winner’s Circle by Funny Car crew-chief-turned-driver Mike Neff. Neff pulled double-duty this past weekend, as he will throughout the entire season, both tuning and driving his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang past Cruz Pedregon to pick up just his second career win behind the wheel. A pretty impressive start for a driver who wasn’t even in the cockpit one year ago.

“Just a great day for our whole team,” said Neff after the win. “We needed this to keep the Force string going; that’s four in a row for Team Force. The hardest part is just trying not to mess it up as a driver.”

For more results or to see how your favorite driver did at the 42nd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals, visit NHRA.com.

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LINE MAKES IT TWO-IN-A-ROW FOR THE SEASON; KRAWIEC REPEATS AT BIKE SEASON-OPENER IN GAINESVILLE:
Pro Stock driver Jason Line picked up his second consecutive win for the season and third consecutive at Gainesville Raceway Sunday when he powered his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP past teammate Greg Anderson in the final round to take the Wally at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals. It was the fourth consecutive time Line has made it to the finals at Gainesville Raceway and the second time in his career that he has won both the season-opening NHRA Winternationals and NHRA Gatornationals in the same season. But for Line, it was a weekend of what might have been, as he came within two-thousandths of a second to the national elapsed time record.

“It’s an incredible feeling to win the first two races of the year, as well as three consecutive Gatornationals,” said Line. “I think it shows just how strong our team is.”

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, 2008 world champion Eddie Krawiec started his season off similar to his 2010 season by racing to his first win of the year on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. It was the second consecutive win at Gainesville Raceway for Krawiec and second consecutive overall, following his 2010 season-ending win in Pomona, California. Krawiec also set the national record for speed with a blistering 199.26 mph during qualifying.

“Gainesville, when you come here, you know you’re going to go fast,” said Krawiec. “This track had some killer conditions; it was meant to go fast.”

For more results, visit NHRA.com.

COMING ATTRACTIONS

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 zelcock@nhra.com.

VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM NHRA 4-WIDE NATIONALS, zMAX DRAGWAY, April 14–17: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns to the “Bellagio of dragstrips” for the only 4-wide national event on the calendar. Defending event winners include Cory McClenathan (Top Fuel); John Force (Funny Car); Mike Edwards (Pro Stock); and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 800/455-FANS (3267) or go online at Ticketmaster.com. For media credentials, please contact Director of Public Relations Michael Padian, at mpadian@nhra.com.

O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA SPRING NATIONALS, ROYAL PURPLE RACEWAY, April 28May 1: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its first of two stops in the Lone Star State as it heads to Houston and Royal Purple Raceway. Defending event winners include Larry Dixon (Top Fuel); Matt Hagan (Funny Car); Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock); and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 281/383-RACE (7223) or go online at ExtremeTix.com. For media credentials, please contact Director of Media Relations Anthony Vestal, at avestal@nhra.com.

HE SAID, SHE SAID

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A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN?:
Pro Stock driver Rodger Brogdon, addressing the media, on setting the national record for elapsed time at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals: “When all of you were sitting around watching this good weather come in and talking about Pro Stock might do this, Pro Stock might do that, I promise you, Rodger Brogdon’s name never came up.”

60 YEARS IN NHRA HISTORY

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1992, MR. 300:
Top Fuel pilot Kenny Bernstein becomes the first driver in NHRA history to break through the 300-mph barrier when he posted a run of 301.70 mph in his Budweiser King dragster on March 20 at the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

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12: Out of the 20 times that an NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series driver has won both the NHRA Winternationals and NHRA Gatornationals in the same year, only 12 have gone on to win the world championship, with the last one being Tony Schumacher in 2008. Jason Line is two-for-two to start the season. Can his early-season success produce his second world championship?

DID YOU KNOW…

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…that in just two weeks the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series tour will head back to the West Coast and to Sin City for the 12th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, April 1–3? Or that world-famous drag racer and team owner Roland Leong, whose famed Hawaiian dragster became the first to win back-to-back Winternationals and U.S. Nationals titles, will be the NHRA legend honored at this event? Or that the event will kick off with a Fan Fest held Thursday night, March 31, at the New York New York Hotel & Casino? To get your tickets to the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, visit lvms.com.

For more information, contact NHRA Media Relations at 626/914-4761 or visit the NHRA Media Center online.

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