RECORDS FALL AT THIRD STOP OF COUNTDOWN IN READING: Jason Line raced to his second win of the Countdown to the Championship in his fourth consecutive final-round appearance Sunday at the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pennsylvania. But the win, his sixth of the season, may not have been the biggest boost of the weekend to his already impressive points lead in Pro Stock. It was the 6.477-second run during eliminations that did that. The national recording-setting pass, the quickest in NHRA Pro Stock history, shattered the previous record set and gave the driver of the Summit Racing Pontiac GXP a 20-point bonus at the end of the day. When all was said and done, Line left Maple Grove Raceway with a 181-point lead over second-place driver Greg Anderson heading into the final three races of the season.
“This was probably the best day I have ever had racing and it feels great,” said Line. “My Summit Racing Pontiac was absolutely phenomenal all weekend, just as it has been for quite some time. Believe it or not, as well as it ran, I think there actually might have even been some left in it.”
While Line was setting the national record in Pro Stock, Top Fuel pilot Del Worsham was doing the same in his category. On the final pass of the day, Worsham powered his Al-Anabi Racing dragster to a 3.735-second pass to set the national record in the nitro class. Though Worsham fell in the final round to points leader Spencer Massey on a holeshot, Worsham’s record held strong to give the driver a 20-point bonus and move him to within 74 points of Massey. Other race winners at the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals included Funny Car driver Robert Hight, whose win moved him up from sixth to fourth in the point standings, and Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Hector Arana Jr., who moved to within 35 points of leader Eddie Krawiec.
The NHRA Full Throttle Series makes its next stop of the Countdown to the Championship in the desert of Phoenix for the NHRA Arizona Nationals, October 14–16 at Firebird International Raceway. For tickets, call 602/268-0200 or log on to firebirdraceway.com.
STAR-STUDDED LINEUP OF NHRA LEGENDS SLATED FOR NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS: With three of the NHRA’s biggest legends—“Big Daddy” Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney and “Big Jim” Dunn—scheduled to be on hand to help celebrate NHRA’s 60th Anniversary season visit to Firebird International Raceway, the 2011 NHRA Arizona Nationals promises to be a can’t-miss event for fans in the Desert Southwest. All three NHRA legends will be available throughout the weekend for meet and greets and autograph sessions with fans and will also participate in the already popular Track Walk with a Legend on Sunday morning. The NHRA Arizona Nationals will also mark the fourth of six stops in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship and points leaders Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) will be hoping to add to their leads as they race to secure the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Series world championship. For tickets to the NHRA Arizona Nationals, call 602/268-0200 or log on to firebirdraceway.com.
NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS, FIREBIRD INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, October 14–16: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its fourth stop in the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship in Chandler, Arizona, just outside of Phoenix. Defending event winners are Cory McClenathan (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock). (Pro Stock Motorcycle was not contested in 2010). For tickets, call 602/268-0200 or log on to ticketforce.com. For media credentials, contact Director of Media Relations Anthony Vestal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BIG O TIRES NHRA NATIONALS, THE STRIP AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, October 27–30: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its stop at the penultimate race of the season in Las Vegas. Defending event winners are Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 702/644-4444 or log on to ticketmaster.com. For media credentials, contact Media Relations Manager Alex Baca at email@example.com.
AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA NHRA FINALS, AUTO CLUB RACEWAY AT POMONA, November 10–13: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its final stop of 2011 where it all began in sunny Southern California. It is also the spot where all four world champions will be crowned. Defending event winners are Antron Brown (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car), Shane Gray (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 800/884-NHRA (6472) or log on to extremetix.com. For media credentials, contact Media Relations Manager Zak Elcock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
NO. 1, THE WIN, AND A CHAMPIONSHIP?: Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Hector Arana Jr. following his second win of the season Sunday at the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals: “Right now, we have a lot of momentum. My runs have been improving, and we plan to keep this streak going. This should help me for the rookie of the year and give me a good chance for the championship. I finally got to qualify No. 1 and win the race. That’s something I’ve been trying to do all year long.”
60 YEARS IN NHRA HISTORY
2008, FORCE HOOD FIRST WOMAN TO WIN IN FUNNY CAR: On April 27, 2008, Ashley Force Hood made NHRA history when she became the first woman to win a Funny Car event at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. Force Hood powered her Castrol GTX Ford Mustang past father and team owner John Force in the final round to secure her first Funny Car victory. Force Hood’s first win was voted the eighth greatest moment in NHRA history this week by fans.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
3: That’s how many finals Top Fuel pilot Spencer Massey has been in since the Countdown to the Championship began. Massey raced to his first win of the Countdown Sunday at the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals. Can Massey keep his perfect final round appearance record alive when the NHRA Full Throttle Series heads to Phoenix and the NHRA Arizona Nationals?
DID YOU KNOW
…that with his fifth win of the season Sunday at the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals, Funny Car driver Robert Hight moved from sixth to fourth in the point standings, 52 points behind leader Matt Hagan. Right now 55 points separate the top five drivers in the Funny Car point standings.
For more information, contact NHRA Media Relations at 626/914-4761 or log on to the NHRA Media Center.