NEW ENGLAND DRAGWAY ADDED TO 2013 FULL THROTTLE SERIES SCHEDULE: During a press conference in Boston this week, NHRA President Tom Compton and officials from New England Dragway announced that the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will make its first appearance in the New England region in 2013. The event will be held at New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire, June 20–23, 2013.
“This is a landmark announcement for the NHRA and the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series,” Compton said. “We identified the New England area as one of the primary regions to expand our schedule, and today’s announcement is very exciting for everyone involved in NHRA.”
The announcement marks a process that began more than a decade ago when the NHRA decided it wanted to stage an NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event in this region of the country. The NHRA enjoys the most geographically diverse schedule of any of the major motorsports, and the addition of New England only reinforces that position. New England Dragway will be making capital improvements to the facility in the next 12 months. The facility joined the NHRA member track network in 2011 with the goal of one day hosting an NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event. The nearly two years of hard work put in by track officials and the facility’s owners has resulted in this announcement.
“To bring the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series to New England and, specifically the state of New Hampshire, is very exciting,” said Joe Lombardo, track general manager, New England Dragway. “We have started the process of preparing our facility to host an event of this magnitude and look forward to hosting the stars of NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing next June.”
TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR TOYOTA NHRA SUPERNATIONALS: One of the most tradition-rich events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, May 31–June 3, for the 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals. The race is the ninth of 23 events in the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. 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.
BROWN, SCHUMACHER PERFORM BURNOUTS AT NASCAR EVENT IN CHARLOTTE: NHRA Top Fuel drivers Tony Schumacher and Antron Brown performed side-by-side burnouts as part of pre-race festivities in front of thousands of race fans who were attending the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway last Sunday. Fox TV personality Jeff Hammond gave the command for the two dragsters to begin their burnouts on pit road of the racetrack.
Said Schumacher: “My car is full Army, and Antron’s car still obviously represents the Army, too. So, for Memorial Day, to be able to come out and just do a burnout at such an awesome facility, to come out in front of all of these NASCAR fans, and then light up 16,000 hp and do a side-by-side burnout … you couldn’t ask for anything more. You just can’t beat it.”
The NHRA conducts two of its Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events at nearby zMAX Dragway each season, including the upcoming O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries, September 14–16—the first of six races in the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship—the NHRA’s playoffs.
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.
O’REILLY AUTO PARTS ROUTE 66 NHRA NATIONALS PRESENTED BY SUPER START BATTERIES, ROUTE 66 RACEWAY, June 28–July 1: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its 11th 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. The 2011 winners are Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Mike Neff (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 888-629-RACE (7223) or log on to Route66Raceway.com.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
SPREADING THE NHRA GOSPEL: NHRA Funny Car rookie driver Courtney Force has made many new fans this season behind the wheel of her Traxxas Ford Mustang. This week, the 23-year-old youngest daughter of 15-time world champ John Force is going to meet with media at ESPN’s headquarters as the circuit makes its annual stop in Englishtown, New Jersey.
“I'm going in a few days early to explore Englishtown and see New York City with my mom and sister Brittany,” Courtney said. “On Thursday, I will be going on a tour of the ESPN campus in Bristol, Connecticut, and doing interviews for TV, ESPN The Magazine and ESPN radio, as well as an online chat. I'm looking forward to visiting this campus, which is the base of all major sports news. I'm hoping to expand their knowledge of NHRA drag racing as well as the products of the fastest name in radio control, Traxxas, and am excited to learn about the ESPN campus.”
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
49: CAPPS’ NAPA DODGE CHARGER HAS A STREAK GOING OF ITS OWN: Since changing teams following the Las Vegas event in early April, Ron Capps, along with new tuner Rahn Tobler, have raced to four consecutive final rounds and posted one victory. Capps’ NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger also has an impressive streak of its own going.
"This car has made it to the finish line under power for 49 of its last 50 runs, and that is unheard of,” Capps said. “In qualifying a couple races back after we ran a 4.16—and that was good on a hot track—you would have thought we hadn't qualified. The expectations are always so high, and that's what drives this team."
DID YOU KNOW…
TASCA TO HONOR GRANDFATHER WITH MYSTERY 4 CAR IN E-TOWN: Bob Tasca III and Motorcraft and Quick Lane Racing will honor Tasca’s late grandfather, Bob Sr., with a special paint scheme on an entry called the Mystery 4 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang at the Toyota NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, New Jersey. It’s a design that brings back the iconic Mystery series campaigned by Bob Sr., who first raced a car called Mystery 9 because he said it was a mystery how quick his cars would run. Each time his car broke a performance barrier, he would lower the number. He breezed through Mystery 9, 8 and 7. Years later, Bob III put Mystery 5 on his Top Alcohol Funny Car. Someday, he says, he’ll have Mystery 3 when he breaks the four-second barrier.
“I was blessed to have my grandfather in my life for as long as I had,” Tasca said. “He taught me so much about business, but he taught me more about life. He’s looking down on me. I am just honored to have the opportunity to race this car this weekend in memory and respect for all my grandfather has done for our family and all the Ford racers around the globe.”