SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 10, March 8, 2012

NHRA: New and Old Faces to Debut at Tire Kingdom Gatornationals

NEWS NUGGETS

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Lagana Will Zizzo Kalivoda
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  Alexander Karamesines Creasy Jr.

NEW AND OLD FACES TO MAKE 2012 DEBUTS AT TIRE KINGDOM NHRA GATORNATIONALS PRESENTED BY NAPAFILTERS.COM: The 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season started at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries for most Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock drivers, but a few will be starting their seasons at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com. Hillary Will, who hasn’t been behind the wheel of a Top Fuel car in a few years, will make her 2012 debut in the Dote Family Racing dragster. Brady Kalivoda also took a break from racing and is coming back in the Warrior Racing Top Fueler for the Dakin family. Rookie Blake Alexander will start his season in Funny Car this weekend as well. Some fan favorites, including T.J. Zizzo, Dom Lagana, Chris “The Greek” Karamesines and Dale Creasy Jr., will also make their first appearances of the season at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville, Florida. For tickets, call 800-884-NHRA (6472) or log on to NHRATix.com.

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KICK OFF PARTY TO BEGIN RACING FESTIVITIES AT GAINESVILLE ALE HOUSE: Drivers Johnny and Shane Gray, Dom Lagana, Ron Capps and Jack Beckman and special guest IndyCar driver Graham Rahal will make an appearance at the Gainesville Ale House, Thursday, March 8, from 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. to help kick off the racing festivities for the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com. Team Full Throttle will host the party with giveaways, games, autograph sessions and Q&A sessions throughout the evening. At the end of the night, NHRA fans will get a sneak peek of the weekend when the Tire Kingdom Top Fuel team fires up the nitro-burning dragster driven by Lagana.

CAPPS TO RUN SPECIAL NAPAFILTERS.COM DODGE CHARGER BODY AT TIRE KINGDOM NHRA GATORNATIONALS PRESENTED BY NAPAFILTERS.COM: Ron Capps' 300-mph Funny Car will have a new look for the March 8–11 Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com. The Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Charger R/T will help NAPA Auto Parts celebrate its March All You Need to Know NAPA Filters Big Event specials by sporting a special color scheme for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event in Gainesville. NAPA Filters is saluting race fans this month with its March NAPA Auto Parts store promotions. A $19.99 oil change for do-it-yourselfers that includes a Silver NAPA Filters oil filter and five quarts of Valvoline conventional oil is only $12.99 at NAPA Auto Parts stores after a mail-in $7 rebate.

COMING ATTRACTIONS

TIRE KINGDOM NHRA GATORNATIONALS PRESENTED BY NAPAFILTERS.COM, AUTO-PLUS RACEWAY AT GAINESVILLE, March 8–11:
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to historic Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville for the third stop of the series and season-opening race for the Pro Stock Motorcycle category. Winners from 2011 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 at ssmith@nhra.com.

SUMMITRACING.COM NHRA NATIONALS, THE STRIP AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, March 30–April 1:
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its first of two stops of the season in Sin City for the fourth race of the season. Defending event winners are Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 800-644-4444 or log on to LVMS.com. For media credentials, contact Media Relations Manager Zak Elcock at zelcock@nhra.com.

NHRA FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS, zMAX DRAGWAY, April 13–15:
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its first of two stops of the season in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the only four-wide national event. Winners from 2011 are Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 800-455-FANS (3267) or log on to charlottemotorspeedway.com. For media credentials, contact Media Relations Manager Alex Baca at abaca@nhra.com.

HE SAID, SHE SAID   INSIDE THE NUMBERS
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ENDING THE DROUGHT IN THE SWAMP: Tony Schumacher, driver of the
U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster, on the chances of winning his first race
since 2010 and passing “Big Daddy” Don Garlits on the win list at
Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville: “Believe me, it will be an amazing
sight to see my guys up in the winner’s circle when they pull it off,
and we’ll be getting it done soon. Gainesville would be the perfect
place to do it. It’s cool to be tied with Garlits for the most wins at
one of the biggest races of the year and to have a shot at passing him.”
 

200: Pro Stock Motorcycle riders have been trying to break the
200-mph barrier for years. Reigning world champ Eddie Krawiec
unofficially accomplished that feat during preseason testing this week
in Valdosta, Georgia, by posting the unofficial fastest pass in class
history. There is a very good chance that the 200-mph barrier could be
officially broken this weekend at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals
presented by NAPAFilters.com at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville, where
last year the 10 quickest and five fastest passes were recorded,
including Krawiec’s national record-setting run of 199.26 mph.

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DID YOU KNOW

… that one of the most memorable moments in NHRA history happened 20 years ago at historic Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville, the first 300-mph run in Top Fuel by the “King of Speed” himself, Kenny Bernstein. The original Budweiser car will be on display all weekend at the Darrell Gwynn booth on the midway. A special ceremony to honor Bernstein and his team will be held Saturday morning before the first nitro qualifying session followed by an autograph session at the Gwynn booth.

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