SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 24, June 14, 2012

NHRA: Hight Looking to Defend Funny Car Title in Bristol

NEWS NUGGETS

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HIGHT LOOKING TO DEFEND FUNNY CAR TITLE IN BRISTOL AS FUNNY CAR COMPETITION HEATS UP: It is good to be on top. Robert Hight knows this firsthand, and he finds himself on top of the mountain as the NHRA heads to Bristol Dragway for the June 15–17 Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers. The 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car champion heads to Thunder Valley as the defending event champion and the points leader. After a stellar start to the season, Hight looks to add another Bristol win to his already-impressive resume. He always considered Bristol one of the NHRA’s premier facilities, and his win at the historic track in 2011 only added to his love of Thunder Valley. One person who will look to stop Hight’s attempt to defend his title is 2011 Funny Car world champ Matt Hagan. Hagan is having an uncharacteristic season, struggling outside the top 10 in points. However, his performance at the NHRA’s last event in Englishtown has him optimistic about his return to Bristol.

bristol

BRISTOL DRAGWAY A FAMILY AFFAIR FOR NHRA’S FATHER’S DAY WEEKEND: Fans of all ages love the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers, but kids now have one more reason to head to Bristol Dragway to share Father’s Day with their dads: free admission. In celebration of Father’s Day, Sunday’s Junior tickets (ages 12 and younger) will be free with the purchase of an adult admission ticket. The promotion is limited to two free kid tickets per adult ticket. Junior-weekend-combo ticket prices have been lowered to reflect the free Sunday admission. To take advantage of the offer, adult tickets for the event must be purchased by Thursday, June 14, at 5:00 p.m. For tickets, call 423-989-6900 or log on to BristolDragway.com.

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NITRO HARLEYS TO BE FEATURED IN BRISTOL: The NHRA Screamin’ Eagle Nitro Harley-Davidson exhibitions will make their second and final scheduled appearance of the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season at the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers, June 15–17. The NHRA Screamin’ Eagle Nitro Harley-Davidson exhibitions feature eight-bike fields and will be showcased Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The high-powered, nitromethane-fueled Nitro Harleys can reach speeds of more than 200 mph and are always a huge hit with fans. For tickets, call 423-989-6900 or log on to BristolDragway.com.

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TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR THE O’REILLY AUTO PARTS ROUTE 66 NHRA NATIONALS: The 15th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries, June 28–July 1 at Route 66 Raceway in Chicago, will mark the 11th stop of 23 races in the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season. As always, ticket holders are granted exclusive pit access and treated to spectacular sights, including jet cars on Friday, Saturday’s JEGS Allstars bonus race for Sportsman competitors and Sunday’s Nitro Generation track walk. Also, Chicago’s Chi Town Hustler and Stardust Funny Cars will be taking fans back in time on Saturday night as they race down Route 66 Raceway. For tickets, call 888-629-RACE (7223) or log on to Route66Raceway.com.

COMING ATTRACTIONS

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 in Chicago, 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.

SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT NHRA NATIONALS, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT MOTORSPORTS PARK, July 5–8: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its 12th stop of 23 events in the 2012 season in Norwalk, Ohio, 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), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 419-668-5555 or log on to SummitMotorsportsPark.com.

HE SAID, SHE SAID

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BRISTOL IS A FAMILY AFFAIR FOR THE GRAY FAMILY: The Gray family is the perfect example of Nitro Generation. Dad Johnny is coming off his first win of the season at the Toyota NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, New Jersey; son Shane is debuting a new Chevy Camaro at the 15th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers at Bristol Dragway this weekend; and youngest son Jonathan will compete in Comp in Bristol—his fourth national event this year. Johnny is ecstatic to spend Father’s Day racing with his boys: “Of course, we’d like to turn around and double up with a win in Bristol in our NTB/Service Central Dodge, and I’d sure like to see Shane and Jonathan do well, but what’s really special is having the family all together. Jonathan and his family weren’t able to make it to Englishtown, but we’ll all be reunited in Bristol, and I’m really looking forward to that. Not every guy is as fortunate as I am to have their kids all together doing what we love to do.”

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

jegs

10: JEGS ALLSTARS LINEUPS SET IN 10 SPORTSMAN CLASSES: The annual JEGS Allstars race is set to run during the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Route 66 Raceway in Chicago, June 28–July 1. The fields have been set with one representative from each of the seven NHRA divisions plus one blocker to round out each eight-car field. The race is one of the biggest of the year for the NHRA Sportsman classes and is a huge honor for all those who get to participate.

DID YOU KNOW…

mitchell

TORRENCE TO FLY SPECIAL PAINT SCHEME TO HONOR THE LATE JOHN MITCHELL IN BRISTOL: John Mitchell, driver turned team owner, lost his life June 2. He was involved in the sport for decades and was responsible for helping many of today’s NHRA stars get their starts in NHRA Drag Racing, including Ron Capps, Larry Dixon, Tony Pedregon and David Grubnic. Richard Hogan, crew chief on Steve Torrence’s Top Fuel team, also got his start thanks to Mitchell, and to honor Mitchell, Torrence will be running a special Montana Express paint scheme in Bristol.

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