Compiled by SEMA Editors
POPULAR FORMER FUNNY CAR DRIVER GORDIE BONIN DIES: Former NHRA national event-winning Funny Car driver "240 Gordie" Bonin, the world championship runner-up in 1977, died November 29. He was 65. Bonin earned his famous nickname in the ’70s when his Bobble Up Trans Am was a steady performer in the 240-mph zone. Bonin had nine NHRA national event wins in his career and for six years served as NHRA's director of marketing services. Read more on this story.
JR. CONFERENCE FINALS LOCATIONS AND DATES ANNOUNCED: The 2014 NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League's Western Conference Finals and Eastern Conference Finals will be held at Rocky Mountain Raceways near Salt Lake City and Bristol Dragway in Tennessee, respectively. The NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Western Conference Finals will move to Utah’s Rocky Mountain Raceways for the first time, July 10–12, and the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern Conference Finals will return to eastern Tennessee’s Thunder Valley, July 24–26.
“We are extremely excited about the 2014 NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League season,” said Gary Darcy, NHRA senior vice president of sales and marketing. “We welcome Rocky Mountain Raceways as the host of the Western Conference Finals, and we are pleased that Bristol Dragway is returning to host the Eastern Conference Finals. Both venues will provide great backdrops for these very important events where the future stars of NHRA Drag Racing will be showcased.”
NHRA LUCAS OIL DRAG RACING SERIES AWARDS CEREMONY ADDED TO NHRA.COM: Fans of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series can watch a 90-minute presentation of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series banquet on NHRA.com. Fans will also be able to watch a time-lapse video of the setup for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series ceremony. View both videos.
NHRA WINTERNATIONALS, Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, February 6–9, 2014: The 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series kicks off at one of the most historic facilities on the NHRA circuit—Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, February 6–9, 2014. Robert Hight will attempt to win his fourth career NHRA Winternationals event, and Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Courtney Force (Funny Car) and Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock), will attempt to defend their 2013 wins and start the season off on a positive note.
CARQUEST AUTO PARTS NHRA NATIONALS, Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, February 21–23: For the 30th season, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series races into the Valley of the Sun for the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, February 21–23. The venerable facility located south of Phoenix has seen many historic performances over the years. Doug Kalitta will attempt to earn his second win at the facility and Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) recorded wins at the track in 2013, and will once again be among the favorites to claim early season victories.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
"It’s tough to summarize what you see and what goes on during the course of a week, let alone the time we’re not here. I’ve been doing this for two years now and my respect has grown greatly, every time I come back here, for the troops and for what everybody does for us. It’s that out-of-sight, out-of-mind thing. When you’re at home with your family and your kids, you don’t think about it. You don’t think about the guys overseas—not just in the Middle East but around the world—sacrificing their lives, putting everything they have out on the line when they have their own family at home. What we’re doing is a small part of the appreciation side of it, but I think it goes a long way for some of the troops because it brings home to them. And when home comes to them, I think it’s one of those things that brings joy to them. As we come to the holidays, I think one of the most important things is morale and I think we’re able to help a little bit."
—Eddie Krawiec, who returned to the United States after he, Andrew Hines, Greg Anderson, Jason Line and Dan Runte concluded their tour of oversees military bases. A full wrap-up of their trip can be found on OnAllCylinders.com.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
256: Number of consecutive races Pro Stock racer Greg Anderson has qualified for following the 2014 season. The streak for the Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro racer began at the 2002 Las Vegas 2 event. Top Fuel racer Tony Schumacher is second with 247 consecutive starts and Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Andrew Hines is third with 171. John Force is the leader in Funny Car with 121 consecutive starts.
DID YOU KNOW…
PRICHETT JOINS RANKS OF NHRA.COM DRIVER BLOGS: The newly married Leah Pritchett joins the ranks of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series drivers who are featured on NHRA.com in the driver blog section. The driver of the Dote Family Racing Top Fuel dragster chronicles her rookie season and previews the upcoming season. Her blog can be found on NHRA.com.