SEMA eNews Vol. 14, No. 12, March 24, 2011

NHRA: Former Champs Ready for SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Vegas

NEWS NUGGETS

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FORMER CHAMPS READY TO ROLL THE DICE FOR VEGAS LUCK AT THE SUMMITRACING.COM NHRA NATIONALS:
With two races already in the record books in the 2011 season, the drivers of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series now set their sights on “Sin City” itself, as the series makes its first of two stops in Las Vegas for the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, April 1–3 at The Strip At Las Vegas Motor Speedway. One driver hoping for a visit from “Lady Luck” is Pro Stock driver Mike Edwards. Just one year ago, Edwards entered the Las Vegas event riding a wave of success that saw the driver win his first Pro Stock world championship the previous year and pick up three wins and a runner-up finish in the first five races of the season. Edwards left Las Vegas with yet another win and a stronger hold on the points lead, but a string of bad luck late in the season saw that lead given up by the time the series returned to Las Vegas in October of that year, and Edwards was unable to repeat his championship run. The 2011 season has brought much of the same for Edwards. A DNQ to open the season at the Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts Winternationals and a second-round loss to Ron Krisher at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals has the former world champion sitting 11th in the point standings entering the race in Las Vegas.

Two other drivers hoping to repeat some Las Vegas success are defending event winners as well as world champions Larry Dixon and John Force. Both drivers all but dominated the 2010 spring race, as well as the season, but haven’t had the title defense so far that they’ve hoped for; Dixon is tied for fourth place with Morgan Lucas and Force is ninth in the Funny Car standings, 113 points behind first-place teammate Mike Neff. Both drivers have yet to make it to the final round in 2011. Will The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway break their bad-luck streak? Tickets are still available for the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com.

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K&N PARTNERS WITH NHRA AND FORD FOR 2011 K&N HORSEPOWER CHALLENGE: K&N Filters has teamed up with NHRA and Ford Motor Company to offer one lucky NHRA fan the gift of a lifetime at the 2011 K&N Horsepower Challenge—NHRA Pro Stock’s bonus race-within-a-race program. NHRA fans that enter the K&N Horsepower Challenge Sweepstakes online will have the opportunity to win a brand-new, totally redesigned ’11 Ford Explorer XLT. Eight finalists will receive a trip to the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, June 23–26, 2011, at Summit Racing Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. Those eight finalists will be randomly paired with one of the eight qualified drivers, with the finalists whose driver wins the K&N Horsepower Challenge taking home the ’11 Ford Explorer XLT courtesy of Ford. For more information, visit NHRA.com.

IHG’S CANDLEWOOD SUITES NAMED “PREFERRED HOTEL OF NHRA”:
NHRA announced that it has signed a multi-year deal with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), designating Candlewood Suites—IHG’s midscale extended-stay hotel brand—as the “Preferred Hotel of NHRA.” The strategic partnership provides multi-media rights to IHG and all of its brands, with Candlewood Suites designated as the “Preferred Hotel of NHRA.” This includes significant advertising on NHRA.com, as well as in the weekly periodical National DRAGSTER. Candlewood Suites will also receive advertising placement in NHRA Nitro News—a weekly opt-in e-mail newsletter for fans of NHRA Drag Racing. As part of the sponsorship, NHRA’s 80,000 members will have access to special accommodation offers at all eight of IHG’s brands in the Americas, including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites. For more information, 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 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 29–MAY 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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NOT YOUR TYPICAL START UP: Funny Car driver Bob Tasca on starting his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang Funny Car at the Jeff Byrd 500 NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway: “The entire NASCAR community gave our team a warm welcome. It was a lot of fun to see the look on some people’s faces when we hit the throttle. I can’t wait to come back to Bristol for our race.”

60 YEARS IN NHRA HISTORY

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2001, FIRST FATHER/SON DUO IN WINNER’S CIRCLE: Kenny and Brandon Bernstein became the first father and son in NHRA history to share the winner’s circle at the 2001 SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kenny won in Top Fuel while Brandon won in Top Alcohol dragster.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

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4: That’s the number of race wins that Summit Racing Equipment teammates Greg Anderson and Jason Line have at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, out of a possible 10. Will one of the Summit cars find the Winner’s Circle again this season?

DID YOU KNOW…

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…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 next weekend at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals? Leong will be on hand all weekend to sign autographs and meet with fans and will also participate in a special track walk Sunday morning.

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

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