Compiled by SEMA Editors
ALBALOOSHI WINS FIRST TOP FUEL RACE OF THE YEAR; J. GRAY, EDWARDS, SMITH WIN IN NORWALK: The Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals ended a stretch of four consecutive races and Khalid alBalooshi (Top Fuel), Johnny Gray (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) took home wins on Sunday. It was the first win of the season for alBalooshi, the fourth of the year for Gray and Edwards and for Smith it was his first win since Englishtown of 2011. Visit NHRA.com for more.
EDWARDS FIRST DRIVER TO SECURE POSITION IN THE COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP: Mike Edwards in his Interstate Batteries/I Am Second Chevy Camaro became the first NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series driver to secure a berth into the Countdown to the Championship following his victory in Norwalk. Edwards—the 2009 Pro Stock world champion—has a category four wins and 10 No. 1 qualifying positions out of 13 events. "It feels good to finally come here and win a race here in Ohio and Norwalk," Edwards said. "Hat's off to all my guys. I hope we can keep the wheels on this thing and keep the momentum going and want to thank everyone that is associated with this team and go to the West Coast and see what we can do out there."
TOYOTA NAMED TITLE SPONSOR OF FALL NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES EVENT IN LAS VEGAS: Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A has expanded it participation in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series through a multi-year agreement to become the title sponsor of the fall event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas. The NHRA Toyota Nationals, October 24–27, is the penultimate race of the Countdown to the Championship and all eyes in the racing world will be on the event to see the top racers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle. "With the combination of the key round in the Countdown, the lead-in to SEMA the following week and the overall excitement of Las Vegas, the NHRA Toyota Nationals is a guaranteed winner," said Keith Dahl, national manager, motorsports and engagement marketing at Toyota.
MOPAR MILE-HIGH NHRA NATIONALS, Bandimere Speedway, July 19–21: The NHRA Western Swing kicks off at high-altitude Bandimere Speedway near Denver where NHRA teams must adjust their tune-ups to compensate for some of the most extreme racing conditions they will face all season. Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawic, (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were the 2012 winners. To purchase tickets, call 800-664-UWIN or visit www.bandimere.com.
NHRA SONOMA NATIONALS, Sonoma Raceway, July 26–28: Located in Sonoma Valley, Sonoma Raceway will host the second stop of the Western Swing when the NHRA takes to the track July 26–28 for the NHRA Sonoma Nationals. Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Johnny Gray (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) will attempt to defend their 2012 race victories. To purchase tickets, call 800-870-7223 or visit www.racesonoma.com.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
“From the first week when Shawn [Langdon] won the first race I've been thinking, 'I need to win to be in the Traxxas Shootout. I need to be in that race. And there is only the one way to win to get into the Traxxas Shootout.' Then to get into the final and finally be able to win, I was lucky enough to finish this deal."
—Khalid alBalooshi following his first win of the 2013 season and securing a position for his Al-Anabi Racing dragster in the Traxxas Shootout at Lucas Oil Raceway, August 31, during the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
9:The number of times the points lead has changed hands so far this season in the Top Fuel category. Three different drivers have led the class including Shawn Langdon, Tony Schumacher and Antron Brown. Langdon currently has the lead by just one point over Schumacher.
DID YOU KNOW…
ICE CREAM SCOOP TROPHIES AT NORWALK UNVEILED: Not only did winners in both the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and Lucas Oil Series take home their NHRA Wally for winning the race they were also presented with a commemorative ice cream scoop by the management of Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. Fourteen of the 2-lb. stainless steel laser-etched scoops were presented to winners in each category by track president Bill Bader Jr. "We wanted a special trophy to give to the winners that was unique to Summit Motorsports Park," Bader said. "Since we're known for our dollar-a-pound Velvet Ice Cream, an ice cream scoop trophy made perfect sense." The 2012 event winners were also presented with these scoops to commemorate their wins last season.