SEMA eNews Vol. 16, No. 23, June 6, 2013

NHRA: Top Fuel and Funny Car Point Leads Change Hands in Englishtown

Compiled by SEMA Staff

NEWS NUGGETS

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TOP FUEL AND FUNNY CAR POINT LEADS CHANGE HANDS IN ENGLISHTOWN: The points battles are heating up as the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads into the summer months and Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Michael Ray (Pro Stock Motorcycle) all took home wins at the Toyota NHRA Summernationals. Langdon and Hagan also took over the points lead in their respective categories with the victories. Visit NHRA.com for more.

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NEFF HOSTS NEW YORK CITY CHILDREN AT ENGLISHTOWN: Mike Neff hosted 17 youths from the Metro World Child organization from New York city during the Toyota NHRA Summernationals in Englishtown. The underprivileged children met John, Courtney and Brittany Force, Robert Hight, Tony Schumacher, Antron Brown, Jack Beckman and Ron Capps, and took a tour of the JFR pits. They also received suites passes, lunch and goodie bags.

“This is a great day and really helps you put everything in your life in perspective. I want to thank Raceway Park, especially Kim Beyer, Castrol, Don Schumacher Racing and the NHRA for making this happen. These kids might not be able to ever get out of the city, and showing them opportunities likes this could have a huge impact. Pastor Bill [Wilson]—the founder of Metro World Child—does some amazing things all around the world to help kids,” said Neff.

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BERNSTEIN SIDELINED FOR RACES; TODD TO FILL IN: Top Fuel driver Brandon Bernstein will undergo a procedure to repair a herniated disc in his back following the Toyota NHRA Summernationals and will miss the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events in Bristol and Epping, Morgan Lucas Racing announced. Bernstein will be replaced in the ProtectTheHarvest.com/MavTV dragster by six-time national event winner J.R. Todd.

"The bottom line is when my doctors told me my right foot could completely go numb and I could not have any feeling in my foot ever, that was when a red flag was raised: 'OK, I've got to do this now,'" Bernstein said. "Honestly, I would love to drive the rest of the season like this because I can deal with the pain, but when they told me that about my foot, I thought, 'that's not just my career; that's my quality of life.'"

COMING ATTRACTIONS

FORD NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS, Bristol Dragway, June 14–16: The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will return to the hills of East Tennessee for the 13th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers, June 14–16, at Bristol Dragway. Set for Father’s Day weekend, this event is the 10th of 24 races in the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock drivers will battle on the legendary dragstrip all weekend for the Wally trophy. Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) are the defending winners of the event that will be televised on ESPN2HD. For tickets, call Bristol Dragway at 423-989-6900 or visit www.bristoldragway.com.

AUTO-PLUS NHRA NEW ENGLAND NATIONALS, New England Dragway, June 20–23: The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series arrives at New England Dragway for the inaugural NHRA New England Nationals, June 20–23. To kick off the weekend’s festivities, the stars of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, including 15-time Funny Car world champ John Force, his teammate 2009 Funny Car world champion Robert Hight, Rhode Island native Bob Tasca III and Top Fuel driver Shawn Langdon participate in the NHRA New England Nationals Fan Fest and Press Conference to be held in the heart of Boston—Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Wednesday, June 19, starting at 12:00 p.m.

HE SAID, SHE SAID

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“Drag racing is a very streaky sport, just like any sport, when you get on a roll and you can start winning races you can build that confidence. When you build that confidence in yourself and in your team nothing can beat that. So going to the next race, coming off the two wins we have a lot of confidence.”

–Top Fuel points leader Shawn Langdon on advancing to three finals in the last four races and winning two of them.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

40: Number of children who attended the event in Englishtown from local Boys and Girls Clubs who were guests of Kalitta Motorsports, Optima Batteries and Golden State Foods Foundations and took part in the Build-A-Bike program. Each child was able to build and customize a bike with the assistance of Kalitta Motorsports’ pit crew mechanics. Dave Grubnic led the children on a parade down the return round on Sunday prior to the first round of eliminations.

"When I was a kid growing up in Australia, I first started learning about tools and tinkering with things with my first bicycle," Grubnic said. "That is absolutely what eventually led to my interest in hot rods, racing and to becoming a Top Fuel dragster driver for Kalitta Motorsports and OPTIMA Batteries.”

DID YOU KNOW…

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Alexis DeJoria took CNN reporter Rachel Nichols for the ride of her life when Alexis drove her down the track at nearly 150 mph in a two-seat Super Comp dragster-style car from the Doug Foley Drag Racing School. DeJoria hosted Nichols during media day at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park prior to the Toyota NHRA Summernationals.

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