SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 20, May 17, 2012

NHRA: Head to Kansas for Dollar General Summernationals

NEWS NUGGETS

dollar general

NHRA HEADS TO KANSAS FOR DOLLAR GENERAL NHRA SUMMERNATIONALS, HOME OF NHRA’S FIRST NATIONAL EVENT, May 18–20: Due to the flat landscape and its central proximity to the rest of the country, in 1955, Kansas served as the official host for the NHRA’s first “national event” on an airstrip near the town of Great Bend. It was simply called "The Nationals," and with that event, hot rodding enthusiasts across the U.S. could test their machines against the best of the best. That race evolved into what is today the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, but Kansas has solidified its place in NHRA Drag Racing history. Heartland Park Topeka has hosted NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events since 1989 and in some seasons hosted two per year. Today, the track is regarded as one of the fastest on the circuit, and every year, drivers get to return and pay homage to the sport’s roots. 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.

toyota

TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR TOYOTA NHRA SUPERNATIONALS: Old Bridge Township Raceway Park will host the supercharged 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals, May 31–June 3, the ninth of 23 events in the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season. Drivers are in the championship hunt and will bring fans plenty of heart-pounding action in four categories: Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle. The 2011 event winners—Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Mike Neff (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle)—are poised to defend their victories at the event that will be televised on ESPN2HD. For tickets, call 732-446-7800 or log on to RacewayPark.com.

SPEEDFEST IN TOPEKA TO KICK OFF RACE WEEK:
Festivities for the Dollar General NHRA Summernationals at Heartland Park Topeka, May 18–20, kick off May 17 with SPEEDFEST—a fan fest in downtown Topeka, Kansas, that will feature NHRA driver appearances, contests, racing simulators, music, food, prizes and race car displays. The free event is scheduled from 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. on 8th Street and Kansas Avenue. Get your tickets for the Dollar General NHRA Summernationals at NHRATix.com.

COMING ATTRACTIONS

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 battles 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.

TOYOTA NHRA SUPERNATIONALS, OLD BRIDGE TOWNSHIP RACEWAY PARK, May 31–June 3:
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its ninth stop of 23 events in the 2012 season, and drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will earn points in the battles for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world championships. Defending winners are Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Mike Neff (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 732-446-7800 or log on to RacewayPark.com.

FORD NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS PRESENTED BY TRI-CITIES AREA FORD DEALERS, BRISTOL DRAGWAY, June 15–17: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its 10th stop of 23 events in the 2012 season, and drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock will earn points in the battles for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world championships. The 2011 winners are Larry Dixon (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 423-989-6900 or log on to BristolDragway.com.

HE SAID, SHE SAID

langdon

EARLY-SEASON STRUGGLES NOT DAMPENING LANGDON’S SPIRITS: When Shawn Langdon got a call from world championship tuner Alan Johnson, he jumped at the chance to drive for one of the best in the business. Many people expected them to win races right away, and though that hasn’t been the case this season, Langdon knows that’s part of the growing pains of joining a new team, and he still has all the confidence in the world in his Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel team: “Everything has been really good; we just haven’t had the success that we had hoped for to start off. It’s been a little tough here in the beginning, but once everything starts clicking, our chances are going to be pretty good. We know what this team is capable of, and we know what our goal is: We want to win the championship. I have the confidence of knowing that we could have the best race car out here based on what these guys have done in the past. We have the potential to go out at every racetrack and set low e.t., qualify No. 1 and win. Alan has always been one step ahead of everybody else, and when Alan says we’ll be fine, I take his word for it.”

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

topeka

700: NHRA FUNNY CAR CLASS REACHES 700TH RACE IN TOPEKA: The NHRA has been around for 61 years, and as of this weekend’s Dollar General NHRA Summernationals at Heartland Park Topeka, Funny Car will have been officially contested at 700 races. There have been 88 different Funny Car winners in the 61-year history and in this shot is the Hawaiian—the 1970 Winternationals FC winner.

DID YOU KNOW…

tasca

YOU CAN VOTE FOR BOB TASCA’S PAINT SCHEME IN THE EVERYDAY HEROES RACE CAR DESIGN CONTEST: Just two weeks remain before the top 10 advance to the finals of the contest for which driver Bob Tasca III and a panel of judges will choose which child of the many with type 1 diabetes around the country will see his or her design on the 7,000-hp Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang Funny Car at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series race in Norwalk, Ohio, July 5–8. For the fifth consecutive year, Ford Customer Service Division has partnered with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to host a race car design contest. This year’s theme is a patriotic one that honors everyday heroes—from those who serve the United States in the military, fire or police forces to children who soldier on every day with a disease that has no known cause or cure. Vote now on the JDRF website at www.jdrf.org/ford. Voting ends at 12:00 a.m. (EDT) on Memorial Day (Monday, May 28), which is fitting, given the contest’s patriotic theme.

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