SEMA eNews Vol. 17, No. 22, May 29, 2014

NHRA: Force Earns 100th Female Victory in Mello Yello Drag Racing Series

Compiled by SEMA Editors

NHRA News

  force
   

FORCE EARNS 100TH FEMALE VICTORY IN NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES: Funny Car driver Courtney Force earned the 100th victory for female pro drivers in NHRA history Sunday at Heartland Park Topeka (Kansas) during the NHRA Kansas Nationals. It was her first win of the season and fourth of her career. She was the event's No. 1 qualifier and defeated Dale Creasy Jr., Jeff Arend and Tommy Johnson Jr. in the first three rounds before outrunning two-time world champ Cruz Pedregon in the final round to take the win.

"It’s huge. You can see the emotions on my face after the loss in the final round last weekend. It’s a big deal," said Force. "It’s a milestone for women, and every girl out here wanted to get it. Every girl put their heart out into it. I was crushed last weekend, because I thought that opportunity would never come around again. I’m still trying to soak it all in right now."

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

  massey
   

MASSEY, A. JOHNSON, AND C. FORCE SECURE WINS IN TOPEKA: Joining Courtney Force in the winner's circle at the NHRA Kansas Nationals were Top Fuel racer Spencer Massey and Pro Stock competitor Allen Johnson. Massey earned his second Top Fuel victory in a row and second win at Topeka, defeating defending world champion Shawn Langdon in the final round. In Pro Stock, Johnson scored his third victory of the season and third at Topeka by outrunning teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the final round. Massey sped to a performance of 3.871 at 314.02 in his Schumacher Electric dragster to claim his 16th career win while Langdon’s Al-Anabi Racing dragster slowed to a 4.278 at 233.68.

"It was a struggle that started with running (teammate) Tony Schumacher and every round after that," said Massey. "We kept trying to get the car to perform. Like everybody else, we were trying to run a .70, but the car just wouldn't do it. We'd give it more clutch, then more clutch again, then more motor. It kept running a .86 and then an .87, but it was enough."

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

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DEJORIA ENJOYING BREAKOUT CAMPAIGN HEADING TO ENGLISHTOWN: When Alexis DeJoria arrives at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, fans will see a driver and a team that have made tremendous strides since 2013. DeJoria has become a legitimate Funny Car championship contender and a breakout star in 2014, making remarkable improvements in her 10,000-hp Patron XO Cafe Toyota Camry. As for what has clicked and what has led to the first two victories of her Funny Car career, DeJoria deflected the credit to a hardworking Kalitta Motorsports team that has meshed from the outset of the season.

"This has been our turnaround year," DeJoria said. "We've had some great consistent runs, and I'm just hoping we can keep on going. I thank [my team] very much from the bottom of my heart. I love those guys. That team, we work really hard, like everybody does, but I think as a team we've really connected, and it's been a great year."

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

He Said, She Said

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"I would certainly love to win at such a historic track. I really enjoy going there and all of the history involved with it. That track means a lot to the fans there. Seeing that really keeps you charged up and keeps your energy level up. The opportunity to race a nitro car at that place is really a cool thing for me. The race surface there is unbelievable. It’s just a great racetrack and facility. It may not show it on the time slip yet, but I feel like we’re getting closer to having a good race car. It’s a steep learning curve with all the brand-new people and new pieces. It’s made things a little tougher, and it’s been a learning process for us. We’ve had a few races under our belts, and it’s getting better. It’s just now a matter of getting the car happier. But it’s been a fun process."

—Clay Millican who enters into the Toyota NHRA Summernationals looking for his first career Top Fuel win.

Inside the Numbers

  schumacher
   

255: Number of consecutive Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events Tony Schumacher has qualified for, which dates back to the 2003 event at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Among active drivers, this streak is only second to Greg Anderson who has qualified for 260 consecutive events and fourth in the list of longest career qualifying streaks in the NHRA. John Force leads the career list with 395 starts, which dated from the 1988 Pomona 1 event to the 2007 Las Vegas 1 race.

Did You Know

"FIRE BREATHING MONSTERS" IS ONE HOT DOCUMENTARY: “Fire Breathing Monsters” is an aggressive and noisy—yet surprisingly intimate—tribute to the cars that run in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Commissioned by Jim Jannard, founder of RED Digital Cinema, on behalf of the NHRA, this seven-minute documentary spotlights the uniquely American passion for speed and can now be found on NHRA’s YouTube channel. NHRA drag racing was on display at the Circle K NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California, and can only be described as a raw demonstration of massive horsepower where, from a standing start, race cars can reach speeds of 330 mph and travel 1,000 ft. in less than four seconds. The nitromethane-burning engines produce 10,000 hp. For more on this story visit www.NHRA.com.

View the complete 2014 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

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