SEMA eNews Vol. 16, No. 3, January 17, 2013

NHRA: Get Your Tickets Now for 2013 O'Reilly Auto Parts Winternationals

NEWS NUGGETS

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GET YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR 2013 O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA WINTERNATIONALS AT AUTO CLUB RACEWAY AT POMONA: Tickets for the 53rd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries, February 14–17—the season-opening event of the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series—are going fast. NHRA’s season-opening event will be contested at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona and will be every NHRA fan’s first opportunity to see all of the new cars and paint schemes and meet all of the drivers who will be racing at speeds of more than 320 mph in an attempt to become O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals champions. A win at this event can mean great momentum as drivers chase NHRA Mello Yello world championship glory during the 24-event season that crisscrosses the United States. All of the stars in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be competing at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals, including defending Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown, Tony Schumacher and Brandon Bernstein; Funny Car fan favorites “Fast Jack” Beckman, Ron Capps, Courtney Force and 15-time champ John Force; and defending Pro Stock world champ Allen Johnson, four-time champ Greg Anderson and four-time 2012 winner Erica Enders. To purchase general-admission, reserved-seat or Top Eliminator Club tickets for the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries, log on to NHRATix.com or call the NHRA Ticket Sales Center, 800-884-NHRA (6472). Tickets for children 12 and younger are free in general admission with any paid adult ticket.

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RAPISARDA TEAMS WITH DIXON, BEARD FOR 2013: Rapisarda Autosport International has announced the signing of two legendary drag-racing figures—Larry Dixon and Lee Beard—for its 2013 Top Fuel dragster organization with campaigns set in the 2013 National Hot Rod Association Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and the ANDRA Australia Drag Racing Series. The Rapisarda Autosport International operation, led by Australia crane mogul Santo Rapisarda and his sons Santo Jr. and Santino (Tino), will have Dixon—the three-time Top Fuel NHRA world champion—behind the wheel of the Rapisarda Top Fuel dragster for a limited 2013 schedule, which will include races in North America and Australia. Dixon, 46, is the second-winningest Top Fuel driver in NHRA history with 62 national event victories and three series titles (2002, 2003 and 2010). Santo Jr. and Tino are co-crew chiefs for the Rapisarda dragster. Beard, a three-time NHRA world champion crew chief and team manager in the fuel ranks, will serve as the Director of Operations for Rapisarda Autosport International. Beard, one of the most respected fuel tuners in Top Fuel and Funny Car competition, brings a wealth of experience to the Rapisarda effort in 2013. Beard is the only NHRA crew chief to have won national events with eleven different drivers. The Colorado native scored world titles in 1989, 1992 and 2009.

“We are extremely pleased to have the talents of Larry Dixon and Lee Beard joining Rapisarda Autosport International for 2013,” said Santo Rapisarda, team owner. “Both Larry and Lee have some of the greatest resumes in NHRA drag-racing history. Although they have never teamed up together before, we believe their leadership and competitiveness will lead us to victory lane this year. I’m extremely excited to have this pair as part of our organization.”

For more on this story, visit www.nhra.com.

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NHRA CONTINUES HARD CARD PROGRAM FOR PAST NATIONAL EVENT WINNERS: NHRA will continue the hard-card program in 2013 for all past national-event-winning drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle, Pro Stock Truck and Top Eliminator dating back to 1955. The program, which was first implemented during NHRA’s 60th anniversary celebration, is for non-active participants in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The permanent credential provides admission to the 24 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events in 2013 with access to the racer section of the grandstand and the sponsor-viewing area typically located near the starting line of the racetrack. Eligible drivers can apply for the NHRA National Event Winners Hard Card by sending an e-mail to Laura Sarmiento at lsarmiento@nhra.com. Eligible drivers who want to pick up their hard cards at will call during the 53rd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries February 14–17, at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona must submit their request no later than January 28, 2013.

COMING ATTRACTIONS



O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA WINTERNATIONALS, Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, February 14–17: The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns to Auto Club Raceway at Pomona for the start of the 2013 season with new colors. After a dramatic ending to the 2012 season, drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock are looking to pick up where they left off and bring more heat to the track for the season-opener. The 2012 winners of the event are Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 800-884-NHRA (6472) or log on to NHRATix.com.

NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS, Firebird International Raceway, February 22–24:
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series makes its second stop of the 2013 season just south of downtown Phoenix. Drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock will earn points toward the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series regular season points standings. The 2012 winners of the event were Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock). For tickets, call 602-268-0200 or visit firebird.ticketforce.com.

NHRA GATORNATIONALS, Gainesville Raceway, March 14–17: The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series makes its third of 24 stops of the 2013 season in the sunshine state of Florida. Drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will earn points toward the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships. The 2012 winners of the event were Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call 800-884-6472or log on to NHRATix.com.

HE SAID, SHE SAID

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FORCE, NEFF REUNITE AND LOOKING FOR CONTINUED SUCCESS AS DRIVER AND CREW CHIEF DUO: After two successful seasons pulling double duty as both driver and crew chief at John Force Racing, Mike Neff has decided to hang up his driving gloves so he can focus on being a full-time crew chief for 15-time world champion John Force. In 2010, Neff tuned the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang which led Force to his 15th NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championship. It wasn’t an easy decision, but one that Neff felt had to be made.

“Force was really good about it,” Neff said. “When I first brought it up [in the middle of last season], he wanted me to really think about it. He didn’t want me to make any quick decisions. He basically said I could drive as long as I wanted to. He left it up to me, [and] I just felt that it was time.”

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

28 DAYS UNTIL THE START OF THE 2013 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES SEASON: In less than four weeks, the first of 24 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events begins February 14–17, with the tradition-rich O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For ticket information, visit NHRATix.com.

DID YOU KNOW…

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ADVERTISING EDGE EXTENDS AGREEMENT WITH NHRA: Advertising Edge has extended its agreement as the Official Uniform of NHRA. The relationship between NHRA and Advertising Edge began in 2010, and as part of the multiyear extension, Advertising Edge will continue to provide NHRA with hats, staff uniforms, shirts, event winner jackets and other special apparel items.

“We at Advertising Edge are looking forward to another four years of partnership with the NHRA,” said Don Roe, president of Advertising Edge, “working together to help build a strong relationship and grow our business with our American-made products.”

Also in the agreement, NHRA will provide Advertising Edge with recognition in National DRAGSTER and NHRA.com, track signage at all NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events, and video spots on the event big screen. Since entering into its partnership with NHRA, Advertising Edge has gone on to secure exclusive relationships with many race teams within the NHRA community, including Don Schumacher Racing, Kenny Koretsky and Nitro Fish Racing, Roy Hill Drag Racing School, Performance by Fisher Racing, many Top Alcohol teams and Super Comp teams. Advertising Edge specializes in customized promotional products, providing turn-key solutions for customers to find products that meet their objectives.

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