Compiled by SEMA Editors
FORCE AND SCHUMACHER LOOK FOR SUCCESS AT BRISTOL DRAGWAY: 15-time NHRA Funny Car Champion John Force and seven-time Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher both are looking for continued success at Bristol Dragway during the upcoming Ford Thunder Valley Nationals June 14–16. Force has three wins at the track the most recent coming in 2010. Force is ready to return to the finals on Father's Day.
"I have always enjoyed racing at Bristol on Father's Day," Force said. "I am lucky I get to be with some of my kids at the racetrack. When they were growing up I missed a lot of Father's Days, and now I am thankful I get to spend time with them."
Schumacher has five wins at the track nestled in the Tennessee mountains. "We go there feeling successful," Schumacher said. "We go there with the attitude of success. My guys were disappointed in Englishtown (semifinal loss at the most recent event), and I said, 'Don't be disappointed, we are going to go into Bristol and win.'"
Tickets are for sale at www.bristoldragway.com or 423-989-6900.
JEGS FOUNDATION MAKES $10 MILLION DOLLAR GIFT: The Coughlin family, led by patriarch Jeg Coughlin Sr., and sons John, Troy, Mike and Jeg Jr., recently announced at $10 million gift to support The Ohio State University's Project One campaign and the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Rickard J. Solove Research Institute. To celebrate the gift the lobby of the building will be named Jegs Foundation Racing for Cancer Research lobby.
"You don't have to look too far to find someone who has been affected personally or has been a caregiver," Coughlin Sr. said. "Hopefully many will see what we did and ask, 'What can we do to be a part of the James and cancer research too?'"
COOPERATIVE VENTURE BETWEEN NHRA, FUNNY CAR TEAMS LEADS TO NEW LATCH SYSTEM: Beginning at the Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver, all nitro Funny Car competitors in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be required to be equipped with a new NHRA-approved dual front latching and tethering system. The development of this new system was led by NHRA Vice President-Technical Operations Glen Gray and Director of Engineering Timothy White, members of Don Schumacher Racing, John Force Racing, Kalitta Motorsports, and Head Racing teams, along with industry experts, including chassis builder Murph McKinney and renowned composite manufacturer Aerodine.
"The process of developing this solution was a wonderful experience," White said. "The guys who work on these cars bring a deep knowledge and hands-on perspective to the table, so their input was extremely valuable."
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 once again 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 most coveted trophy in all of drag racing, the Wally. 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
“It's Father's Day and me racing with my father and close to my father its an exceptional deal. Also, we were here last year in just a dead heat. We almost got it done last year and that fueled us for the remainder of the year, and we are hoping to do the same thing this year, but come away with a win and fuel us for the championship race."
–Allen Johnson on racing on Father's Day weekend at Bristol Dragway his home track. Johnson raced to a runner-up finish at the track last year losing to Mike Edwards in the closest finish in the history of the NHRA.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
61%: The percentage of races Don Schumacher Racing has won in Top Fuel and Funny Car this season. In Top Fuel Tony Schumacher and Antron Brown have two wins and Spencer Massey has one victory. Johnny Gray has three wins, Matt Hagan has two and Ron Capps has one Funny Car win this year.
DID YOU KNOW…
The initial response from NHRA fans in New England has been so strong, officials at New England Dragway have been forced to designate additional grandstands sections as reserved seating for the upcoming inaugural Auto-Plus New England Nationals.
"There has been such an overwhelmingly positive response from fans in this area who are excited to attend the first NHRA national event at our track that we had to open up additional grandstand sections as reserved seating," said Joe Lombardo, general manager of New England Dragway. "From all indications, this event is going to surpass any preliminary expectations we had when we started this journey several years ago."