SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 17, April 26, 2012

NHRA: Full Throttle Racing Heads to Royal Purple Raceway in Houston

NEWS NUGGETS

oreilly

HOUSTON, WE ARE GO FOR LAUNCH: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series travels to Royal Purple Raceway in Houston for the 25th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries April 27–29. Houston is traditionally a fast track, which means that records could be broken, and racing will be extremely quick and incredibly close. The NHRA’s first stop of the season in the Lone Star State will include racers in all four professional categories—Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle—as they head to the dragstrip in hopes of earning a Wally trophy. To purchase reserved seats, call Royal Purple Raceway, 281-383-RACE (7223), or log on to RoyalPurpleRaceway.com.

SUMMIT RACING PRO STOCKERS ANNOUNCE SWITCH TO CAMAROS:
Summit Racing drivers Greg Anderson and Jason Line revealed the radically new paint schemes for their forthcoming Summit Racing Pro Stock Camaros last week. “I’m excited by our move to the Camaros,” said Line. “For the first time in my Pro Stock career, I’ll finally be driving a real musclecar, and I think the fans are really going to like our new look, which is completely different from anything else we have ever run.”

TODD SET TO COMPETE IN HOUSTON WITH BOB VANDERGRIFF RACING:
J.R. Todd will return to Top Fuel action at this week’s O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Royal Purple Raceway in Houston in a second car for Bob Vandergriff. Vandergriff's primary sponsor, C&J Energy Services, is headquartered there, he won his first Wally trophy in Dallas last fall and now, he welcomes Todd into the fold for several races.

starting line

STARTING LINE PARTY ANNOUNCED AT ROUTE 66 RACEWAY: Route 66 Raceway will again welcome race fans to the Starting Line Party, set this year for Thursday, May 24, to include appearances by seven-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel driver TJ Zizzo, Funny Car driver Bob Bode and ESPN anchor/reporter John Kernan. The event will give race fans access to the drag strip ahead of the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries June 28–July 1. In addition to meeting the drivers, fans will have an opportunity to go through tech inspection and race their personal vehicles down the track to capture the full race-day experience. Guests interested in seeing the track at a slower speed can also participate in a track walk. The Starting Line Party, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., is exclusive to those who purchase tickets for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries by May 1. For tickets to the race or any of the other 2012 Route 66 Raceway events, log on to Route66Raceway.com or call 888-629-RACE (7223).

COMING ATTRACTIONS

O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA SPRING NATIONALS PRESENTED BY SUPER START BATTERIES, ROYAL PURPLE RACEWAY, April 27–29: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its first stop of the season in the Lone Star State for the sixth race of the season. Winners from 2011 were Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Jeff Arend (Funny Car), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 281-383-RACE (7223) or log on to RoyalPurpleRaceway.com. For media credentials, contact Director of Media Relations Anthony Vestal at avestal@nhra.com.

SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT NHRA SOUTHERN NATIONALS, ATLANTA DRAGWAY, May 4–6: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to Georgia for the seventh race of the season, one of the NHRA’s long-established events. Defending winners are Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock). 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.

DOLLAR GENERAL NHRA SUMMERNATIONALS, HEARTLAND PARK TOPEKA, May 18–20: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its eighth stop of 23 events in the 2012 season, and drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock will earn points in the battle for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world championships. Defending winners are Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Shane Gray (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.

HE SAID, SHE SAID     INSIDE THE NUMBERS
 worsham     massey
THE VOICE OF REASON: Del Worsham, crew chief on the Tequila
Patron Funny Car piloted by rookie driver Alexis DeJoria, knows what
it’s like to win races and championships, and the veteran driver and
rookie crew chief has realistic and positive expectations for his team
as they compete in their first season of NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing:
“If we can win a race in our first year, that would sure be nice. There
isn’t any reason why we can’t; all the parts are here, the people are
here, the car runs well and Alexis is a great driver. But we’re all just
learning this together, and it’s my job to remind everybody that this
is going to take a little while. This is something that we want to build
up to so that we know where we came from and really know how we got
there. We’re taking our time so that when we do win, we can do it
again.”
    332: MASSEY IS FASTEST MAN IN TOP FUEL: Not only has Texas native
Spencer Massey won two events in a row, but he also has won three of
the first five races this season and is the national speed record holder
thanks to his 332.18-mph performance during the final round at the
circuit’s most recent event in Charlotte, North Carolina, that held off
his hard-charging teammates, Antron Brown and Tony Schumacher.

DID YOU KNOW…

trophy

HOUSTON IS VERY FRIENDLY TO FIRST-TIME WINNERS:  Royal Purple Raceway has been the site of many first-time victory celebrations throughout the years, which should make Houston native Erica Enders, who has been trying to earn that elusive first Pro Stock victory for several seasons, a bit more pumped up heading into the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries. Last season, Pro Stock rookie Vincent Nobile kept the track’s reputation for producing first-time winners alive by earning his first title against Houston native Rodger Brogdon. Several others who have been trying to win a Wally trophy for an extended period of time may have an advantage, including Top Fuel drivers Shawn Langdon, Clay Millican and Steve Torrence. Rookie Funny Car drivers Courtney Force and Alexis DeJoria also would like to break through. In addition to Nobile, drivers who have earned their first victory at Royal Purple Raceway are Robert Hight, Matt Hagan, Cruz Pedregon, Mike Edwards, Michael Phillips, Karen Stoffer and Jeg Coughlin.

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