TEAM SUMMIT VISITS TROOPS IN GERMANY: For the second consecutive year, 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock world champion Jason Line, joined by 2010 world champion Greg Anderson, Pro Mod driver Rickie Jones, and driver of the legendary Bigfoot monster truck, Dan Runte, visited troops this week stationed at the Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. The group met with soldiers, visited with staff at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and signed autographs. The drivers will head to another facility in Spangdahlem, Germany, to visit with more troops stationed abroad. For more information, visit www.NHRA.com.
2011 NHRA FULL THROTTLE TOP FUEL CHAMPION DEL WORSHAM RETIRES: Al-Anabi Racing driver and 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel Champion Del Worsham announced his retirement this week. In his first full competitive season in the Top Fuel class, Worsham raced his Al-Anabi Racing dragster to a career-high seven No. 1 qualifiers, three runner-up finishes and eight race wins, the most in the category in 2011, en route to his first career NHRA Full Throttle world championship.
In his 21-year career competing in both Top Fuel and Funny Car Worsham racked up 33 race wins (25 coming in Funny Car), 12 No. 1 qualifiers and 438 round wins. “I’ve been thinking about retiring for a while,” said Worsham. “After winning the Full Throttle championship last week, I made my final decision, and it was 100% my decision. It wasn’t easy; it was sad, but at the same time, I am comfortable with it. I enjoyed driving the Al-Anabi Top Fuel car this year, but it really is the right time for me to retire. I’ve driven for a long time, and I’m just ready to move to the next chapter of my career.”
“We are definitely sorry to see Del retire, but we support his decision and wish him all the best,” said Al-Anabi Racing team manager Alan Johnson. “Not only did Del do a fantastic job driving and winning a championship, he helped make racing fun. I cannot imagine the last three years without Del’s enthusiasm to compete and his dedication to the entire Al-Anabi Racing team. He will be missed dearly.” For more information, visit www.NHRA.com.
FORD WINS 2011 NHRA MANUFACTURERS CUP: Ford Motor Co. earned its first NHRA Manufacturers Cup since 1982 and its fourth ever behind the efforts of wins, runner-ups and No. 1 qualifiers in the Funny Car, Pro Stock, Super Stock and Stock categories. The Blue Oval also brought home the title in 1964 and 1965.
It is the second such award earned by Ford’s iconic Mustang model in a major racing series this year. Two weeks ago, Ford also clinched its first NASCAR Nationwide Series Manufacturers Championship since 2002 with the Ford Mustang. Dodge finished second in the standings and Toyota third.
O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA WINTERNATIONALS, AUTO CLUB RACEWAY AT POMONA, February 9–12, 2012: The 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series kicks everything off in Southern California. Defending event winners are Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock).
HE SAID, SHE SAID
UNDER PRESSURE? NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan on the pressure of defending his 2011 world title once the 2012 season begins at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California: “I don’t think there is a whole lot of pressure coming in. You know, it’s a new start, new slate. That’s the way I look at it anyway. We have a new opportunity to go win another one. I don’t look at it as somebody can take something away from you as much as we can go out there and win another one.”
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
80: That’s how many days are left until the first round of qualifying for the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Season at the 52nd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.NHRATIX.com.
DID YOU KNOW
…that video from the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series awards ceremony is now available to watch? Fans can see NHRA Full Throttle racers Del Worsham, Matt Hagan, Jason Line and Eddie Krawiec crowned world champions, along with the Auto Club Road to the Future Award winner and the Full Throttle Hard-Working crews awarded by logging on the www.NHRA.com.