SEMA eNews Vol. 14, No. 49, December 8, 2011

NHRA: Worsham and Hagan Named to AARWBA All-America First Team

NEWS NUGGETS

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NHRA CHAMPS WORSHAM AND HAGAN NAMED AARWBA ALL-AMERICA FIRST TEAM SELECTIONS:
The American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) has announced its 2011 All-America Team and Top Fuel champ Del Worsham and Funny Car champ Matt Hagan have earned First Team honors in the Drag Racing category.

Each year, members of AARWBA select a special team of drivers who represent the broad spectrum of professional motorsports. AARWBA then brings them all together at a gala dinner gathering where each is presented with the organization's coveted "Horsepower" trophy, which symbolizes top performance in each category. It is the first time that Worsham and Hagan have been AARWBA First Team All-America selections.

Both will be among the candidates for the Jerry Titus Award, which recognizes AARWBA’s driver of the year. The Titus Award winner will be revealed during the All-America team banquet, Sunday evening, January 8, in the Grand Hall at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Indianapolis. AARWBA also recognized NHRA Top Fuel driver Antron Brown and NHRA Pro Stock world champ Jason Line with second-team honors, and Top Alcohol Funny Car champion Frank Manzo was honored with a second-team honor in the At Large category.

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THE CREW CHIEF SHUFFLE CONTINUES….

Last week, 2011 Top Fuel world champion Del Worsham joined rookie Alexis DeJoria’s team as the crew chief of the Tequila Patron Funny Car. In addition, Aaron Brooks and Rod Centorbi took over the duties of tuning Morgan Lucas’ GEICO Top Fuel dragster.

A few more crew chiefs are making headlines this week. Championship crew chief Lee Beard has been hired by Cruz Pedregon to make the tuning decisions on Pedregon’s Snap-on Tools Toyota Camry. This isn’t the first time Pedregon and Beard have teamed up. Beard tuned Pedregon to the Full Throttle Funny Car world championship in 1992, and the duo is hoping that they can repeat that success 20 years later.

Another reunion has happened in Funny Car, as Dickie Venables has returned to John Force Racing as part of the crew chief brain trust that includes Jimmy Prock, Mike Neff, Dean “Guido” Antonelli, Ron Douglas and Bernie Fedderly. Venables was the co-crew chief in 2003 when Tony Pedregon won the NHRA Full Throttle championship behind the wheel of the JFR-owned Castrol Syntec Ford.

Another addition to Force’s crew chief stable is Danny DeGennaro. The 36-year-old crew chief, who most recently tuned Cruz Pedregon to a third-place finish in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship point standings, will assume a similar role as Venables on a JFR Ford Mustang.

COMING ATTRACTIONS

O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA WINTERNATIONALS PRESENTED BY SUPER START BATTERIES, AUTO CLUB RACEWAY AT POMONA, February 9–12, 2012: The 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series kicks off in Southern California. Defending event winners are Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 800-884-NHRA (6472) or log on to NHRATIX.com. For media credentials, contact Director of Media Relations Anthony Vestal at avestal@nhra.com.

NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS, FIREBIRD INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, February 17–19, 2012: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its second stop of the season in Phoenix. Defending event winners are Larry Dixon (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 602-268-0200 or log on to firebirdraceway.com. For media credentials, contact Media Relations Manager Alex Baca at abaca@nhra.com.

TIRE KINGDOM NHRA GATORNATIONALS, GAINESVILLE RACEWAY, March 8–11, 2012: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to historic Gainesville Raceway for the third stop of the series and season-opening race for the Pro Stock Motorcycle category. Defending event winners are Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Mike Neff (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 800-884-NHRA (6472) or log on to NHRATIX.com. For media credentials, contact senior communications manager Scott Smith atssmith@nhra.com.

HE SAID, SHE SAID

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NHRA FAMILIES HELPING FAMILIES:
Andrea Pedregon, wife of two-time NHRA Funny Car world champ Tony Pedregon, recently discussed her calendar project to help children’s cancer research—The Real Families of NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing. Andrea and Tony recently visited WISH TV in Indianapolis to speak about the calendar and NHRA Drag Racing.

“The opportunity to share the Real Families of The NHRA Full Throttle Calendar project with WISH TV (Indy Style) was a wonderful way to inform the community on how to give a unique gift while giving back this holiday season. The limited-edition calendar proceeds will in turn support children with cancer. With the overwhelming support from our first calendar, I felt we could once again reach out to the NHRA Full Throttle fans, teams and sponsors for support for yet another good cause. They have proved time and time again I can count on them, which is truly a blessing.”

To purchase one of the calendars please visit www.TonyPedregon.com.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

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0: The number of first-round losses Top Fuel driver Antron Brown recorded in 2011. Brown is the only driver in all four Full Throttle Series categories to make it out of the first round at every NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event in 2011. His streak without a first-round loss now sits at 27 consecutive races; the last time Brown lost in the opening round of eliminations was Indianapolis in 2010.

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