SEMA eNews Vol. 17, No. 6, February 6, 2014

Toyota Motor Sales Named Official Car of the NHRA

Compiled by SEMA Editors

NHRA News

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TOYOTA MOTOR SALES NAMED OFFICIAL CAR OF THE NHRA: Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. has signed a multiyear agreement to be the Official Car of NHRA, beginning with the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. “Since 2002, Toyota has been an integral part of NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing at the league, title-rights, and team level,” said Gary Darcy, NHRA senior vice president of sales and marketing. “Toyota’s expansion of its sponsorship with NHRA reaffirms the return-on-investment for our sponsors and the accessibility to our fans that only NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events can deliver.”

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

ANDERSON TO MISS FIRST SIX RACES OF THE SEASON: Former NHRA Mello Yello Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson will be out of the driver’s seat for the first three months of the season due to a scheduled surgery, and will be replaced for the first six events of the 2014 season by eight-time FIA Pro Stock champion Jimmy Alund, beginning with the 54th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals.

“It’s really not a big deal,” Anderson explained about his condition. “I was born with a bicuspid aortic heart valve (two valve openings instead of three). It’s something we’ve kept track of over the years. My doctor has decided it’s time to make some repairs so I stay in good shape. I will miss the first few races of the season, but once the doctor says I’m good to go, I’m gonna be right back at it looking for another Pro Stock championship.”

More on this story can be found on www.NHRA.com.

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GUMOUT PARTNERS WITH PRITCHETT, DOTE RACING FOR 2014: Gumout Performance Additives will team with Leah Pritchett and the Dote Racing Top Fuel dragster team for the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Gumout returns to the NHRA professional drag-racing ranks with the partnership with the Ohio-based Top Fuel squad and the talented California native, Pritchett, behind the wheel of the Gumout/Dote Racing dragster.

“I am so thrilled to have Gumout as a partner for the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Series,” said Pritchett. “I have been drag racing for most of my life as I began at age 8. I have worked on the race cars in smaller divisions but now I am driving for Dote Racing in the national tour. It is so exciting to have Gumout as our team’s major sponsor.”

More on this story can be found on www.NHRA.com.

He Said, She Said

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“This is the first time in my career that I feel I have the opportunity to help build and foster the team’s personality. That part I am totally excited about. That was by far the coolest part of preseason testing in South Florida, getting to know the new folks and watching them work together for the first time.”

—2012 Funny Car world champion, Jack Beckman on the start of the 2014 season with new chief Rob Flynn and eight of 10 new crewmembers from last year.

Inside the Numbers

3.721: Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Top Fuel track record in seconds set by Shawn Langdon at the season opening event in 2013. Doug Kalitta holds the speed record at 328.70. The Funny Car records are 3.995 seconds by John Force and 320.66 mph by Matt Hagan. Pro Stock record is 6.495 by Jason Line and 213.13 mph also by Line.

Did You Know

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AUTO CLUB DRAGRAY RETURNS TO ACTION IN 2014: NHRA Drag Racing is set to resume February 22, at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California, nearly two years after the popular track was shut down after a successful challenge from neighboring residents concerning the sound emanating from the quarter-mile dragstrip located in the grounds of Auto Club Speedway. The construction of a concrete sound-mitigation wall—1,800 ft. long and 24 ft. tall—will allow racers to resume burning rubber at one of the few dragstrips still operating in Southern California.

“All of us at NHRA are excited to have Auto Club Dragway at Auto Club Speedway reopening,” said NHRA Pacific Division Director Mike Rice. “This track is a pivotal place for the racers of Southern California and the Pacific Division. We look forward to hosting a Pacific National Open Series event there later this season."

More on this story can be found on www.NHRA.com.

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