SEMA eNews Vol. 17, No. 9, February 27, 2014

NHRA: DeJoria Wins First Career Funny Car Victory

Compiled by SEMA Editors

NHRA News

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DEJORIA WINS FIRST CAREER FUNNY CAR VICTORY: Alexis DeJoria raced to her first career Funny Car victory Sunday at the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. “When we won the finals, I couldn’t believe it," said DeJoria, daughter of famed entrepreneur John Paul DeJoria and wife of noted television personality Jesse James. "Actually, I can because I know we can do it, but it’s such a shock at the same time. It’s surreal. It’s really amazing. I don’t think I’m going to be able to sleep."

For more on the story visit www.NHRA.com.

GAINES TAKES PRO STOCK POINTS LEAD: V Gaines continues his impressive start to the 2014 season as he has raced to two consecutive final-round appearances. While he hasn't secured a victory, he finds himself atop the Pro Stock points by 11 over Jason Line. Gaines, who has 400 Pro Stock starts, hasn't finished higher than seventh in points, and this marks the first time he has led the points in his career. For a full listing of points visit www.NHRA.com.

NHRA RETURNS TO GAINESVILLE FOR AMALIE MOTOR OIL NHRA NATIONALS: NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series teams are preparing to head to the Sunshine State for the traditional East Coast opener—the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville. All of the biggest stars in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be on hand. A win at this event can mean great momentum as drivers pursue NHRA Mello Yello world championship glory during the season that crisscrosses the United States. Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Johnny Gray (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event that will again be televised on ESPN2. More on this story can be found on www.NHRA.com.

He Said, She Said

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“I am still so excited. I wanted to get that win in the first final but I know that first win is coming. We are getting closer. We did great today and we made our best run in the final with that 3.79. I am stoked and I am so proud of my guys. This Castrol EDGE team is really coming along. We are getting better. It is the second race of the season and to go to our first final. I couldn’t be happier.”

—Brittany Force, who raced to her first career final-round appearance in Phoenix. Force lost to Antron Brown who recorded his 42nd career victory.

Inside the Numbers

3.785: Number in seconds of the career best pass for Top Fuel racer Leah Pritchett who recorded the time during qualifying in Phoenix. Pritchett qualified eighth, and while she was ousted by Khalid alBalooshi, she is pleased with the early season numbers.

“Our Gumout/Dote Racing crew has been doing a superb job with the new equipment this year,” Pritchett said. “Despite limited testing this year, the team has clicked off consistently strong runs at Pomona and Phoenix. I’m so excited to run in the 3.70 range for the first time. I really think we are making great gains with the car.”

Did You Know

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TUCKER WINS FIRST ROUND OF COMPETITION: Rookie Shane Tucker of Australia, recorded his first career NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series round win at the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Phoenix when he defeated the No. 1 qualifier of Chris McGaha. Tucker staged early and left the line on McGaha, .040 to .134, and held on for the round-win, 6.621 to 6.571.

"I had to play the game a little," said Tucker. "They do that a little in Australia, but it's more brutal here. I figured I had to try something to have a chance."

Tucker had a wild ride at the end of the track following the run but got the car safely stopped. "I know we have a ton of room [in the shut-down area] here, but the car was bucking, and I maybe got on the brakes a little too hard. It's always nerve racking when you don't feel the chutes come out. This is a borrowed car. I didn't want to bring it back to Victor [Cagnazzi] wrecked."

View the 2014 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Schedule.

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