NHRA FULL THROTTLE SERIES READY TO GO FOUR-WIDE IN CHARLOTTE: With just three races complete in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing season, drivers and crew chiefs prepare for one of the most exciting and challenging events they’ll face this season—the second annual VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at the impressive zMAX Dragway in North Carolina. An estimated 28,000 hp will hit the track this weekend at the only four-wide national event on the NHRA Full Throttle schedule, and many drivers are ready to rise above the competition and grab the pewter Wally. Here are a few quotes from drivers ready to hit the VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals:
Antron Brown, Top Fuel: “I’m really excited about this race. I like it; it’s like a slugfest, an all-star contest. I know this has been controversial, but it is good for our sport because it generates a lot of interest, a lot of excitement.”
Larry Dixon, Top Fuel: “Four-wide is back, and I’m excited to take another shot at it. Last year, only one team went out of there excited about it, and it wasn’t the Al-Anabi team. It really is a lot different than our normal style of racing, and it really makes you feel like a jockey on a horse getting lined up in a chute. They open the gates and let everybody go at the same time. It’s a lot different, but I’m ready for another crack at it.”
Jack Beckman, Funny Car: “I dig it. It forces you to think out of the box, which I like, especially with the debut of a new Christmas tree for this race.”
Robert Hight, Funny Car: “It’s like any other drag race to me; you have to get there first to win, no matter how many cars are lined up against you.”
NEW TREE IMPLEMENTED FOR VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM NHRA FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS: Fans are counting down the days to the 28,000 hp and the second annual VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals this weekend at zMAX Dragway, and NHRA officials are adding to the excitement by implementing a new starting line Christmas tree. Because zMAX Dragway is essentially two tracks built side-by-side, with a center wall separating the two all the way to the top end, each track will have the new Christmas tree fitted with four specially designed LED pre-stage/stage unites, which will indicate the pre-stage/stage position of drivers in all four lanes (from left to right). Instead of the usual separate pre-staging and staging bulbs, the new tree will include one row of four LED lights to indicate the pre-staging and staging of the cars in all four lanes. During pre-staging, the top half of each LED light will light up, and during staging all four LED lights will light up entirely, indicating the position of the drivers from left to right in all four lanes.
“It’s something the drivers recommended,” said Funny Car driver Bob Tasca. “It’ll simplify the tree. I really didn’t have a problem with it last year. I truthfully feel your level of concentration to stage is going to be what it’s going to be. At the end of the day, I’ve said it all along—if the fans love it and the place is sold out, I’ll go eight-wide. I really don’t feel it’ll play a big role in who wins or loses the race.”
For more information and to see more photos of the new tree, visit NHRA.com.
VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM NHRA FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS, zMAX DRAGWAY, April 14–17: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns to the “Bellagio of dragstrips” for the only four-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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT NHRA SOUTHERN NATIONALS, ATLANTA DRAGWAY, May 13–15: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns to the South and the Atlanta area for its sixth stop of 2011. Defending event winners include Larry Dixon (Top Fuel); Robert Hight (Funny Car); Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock); and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 800/884-NHRA (6472) or go online at NHRATIX.com. For media credentials, please Media Relations Manager Zak Elcock at email@example.com.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
ANY GIVEN SUNDAY: Seven-time Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher on the highly competitive class this season: “It’s early, but I’m not surprised at how close the points are right now. It’s unbelievable how many great drivers and teams there are in the Top Fuel class. You just never know who is going to rise up to win on a given Sunday.”
60 YEARS IN NHRA HISTORY
1997, THE PROFESSOR BREAKS 200 MPH MARK: On April 25, 1997, during Friday night qualifying in Richmond, NHRA Pro Stock Legend Warren Johnson became the first Pro Stock driver to crack the 200-mph barrier, posting a run of 6.894 seconds at 200.13 mph. Johnson went on to eclipse that run on Sunday, powering his GM Performance Parts Pontiac Firebird to a 6.883 run at 200.53 mph.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
2: That’s the number of wins Pro Stock driver Mike Edwards has at zMAX Dragway, making him the only active driver to have multiple wins at the state-of-the-art facility. Edwards also enters the event fresh off his first win of the season in Las Vegas.
DID YOU KNOW…
…that though he didn’t race in last year’s VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Funny Car driver Mike Neff is no stranger to winning a Four-Wide race at zMAX Dragway? Neff got his first taste of four-wide victory behind the wheel when he beat team owner John Force on a holeshot in the first Four-Wide exhibition Funny Car race at the 2009 O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at zMAX Dragway. He then went on to tune Force’s Castrol GTX High-Mileage Ford Mustang to the inaugural win at last year’s VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Neff is one of the many drivers to watch this weekend at zMAX Dragway.
For more information, contact NHRA Media Relations at 626/914-4761 or visit the NHRA Media Center online.