SIX NHRA ROOKIE DRIVERS ELGIBLE CANDIDATES FOR 2014 AUTO CLUB ROAD TO THE FUTURE AWARD: Six NHRA rookie drivers representing three NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series classes—Top Fuel, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle—are the eligible candidates for the 2014 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award, it was announced by officials from the NHRA and the Automobile Club of Southern California. The award, which recognizes the top rookie competitor in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and offers a $20,000 prize and traditional trophy to the winner, will be presented during the NHRA’s annual championship awards ceremony on Monday, November 17, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. More than 150 of the nation’s leading auto-racing journalists will select the winner through a voting system based on the following criteria: number of events participated, performance on and off the racetrack, participation in NHRA promotions and relationships with fans, sponsors and media.
NHRA FANFEST, VEGAS-STYLE KICKS OFF OCTOBER 30: The stars of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will help kick off the Toyota NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas with the NHRA Fanfest, Vegas-style, October 30, on the 3rd Street Stage at the Fremont Street Experience. The Fanfest begins at 5:00 p.m. with music, games and ticket giveaways. A driver autograph session featuring top drivers from the NHRA will take place beginning at 5:30 p.m. Among the drivers already committed to attend are Erica Enders-Stevens, Shawn Langdon, Shane Gray, Jonathan Gray, Richie Crampton, Leah Pritchett, Del Worsham, JR Todd, Khalid alBalooshi, Rodger Brogdon, Larry Morgan, V Gaines, Jeff Diehl, Jenna Haddock, Terry Haddock, Chad Head, Hector Arana Jr., Hector Arana, Adam Arana, Scott Pollacheck, Matt Smith, Angie Smith and Freddie Camarena.
COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP HEADS TO BRIGHT LIGHTS OF LAS VEGAS: The stars of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series roll into The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, October 30–November 2, for the penultimate race of the 2014 Countdown to the Championship at the 14th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals. The best in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will once again battle for victory at one of the world’s most state-of-the-art dragstrips. Antron Brown (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car), Shane Gray (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event that will once again be televised nationally on ESPN2. The action on the Vegas strip is matched only by the fire and fury of two 10,000-hp machines launching side-by-side down The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at more than 300 mph. The event is a critical stop for the teams in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series as they have two races left to prove they have what it takes to be a Mello Yello Series world champion.
He Said, She Said
“The ‘Free Mammograms for the Fans’ program was a great success last year. We received such an overwhelming response that there was no question that we would of course bring it back this year. I’m very proud of this program. We really weren’t sure what to expect when we launched it last year. Nothing like this had ever really been done before, and we were blown away by the response. Early detection is key. We’re giving women a chance to get screened without having to take time out of their work day, or make an appointment with their doctor, and it’s absolutely free—this is the perfect opportunity to have this important test performed.”
—Funny Car racer Alexis DeJoria on the tremendous success of last year’s inaugural “Free Mammograms for the Fans” program presented by Alexis DeJoria Racing, and the expanded partnership with the Nevada Health Centers (NVHC), to offer free mammograms to female race fans attending the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway later this month. A new element has been added to the program—Pink Passes—which are essentially “rain-check vouchers” to accommodate overflow participants and will allow race fans to take advantage of the free screening program, but at a later date.
Inside the Numbers
4: Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Pro Stock) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) lead all Mello Yello Series categories with four victories at the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Each driver enters the race this season with different goals. Schumacher is trying to secure a record eighth Top Fuel world championship title; Capps is seeking to improve his points position in the Funny Car standings; and Anderson is trying to end a 60-race winless streak that dates back to Englishtown 2012.
Did You Know
CALIFORNIA HOT ROD REUNION TO ROAR INTO BAKERSFIELD: California hot-rod culture will be on display during the upcoming 23rd annual California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California, October 17–19, at Auto Club Famoso Raceway. Entrants into the event have been camping in line outside the gates since as early as August. Cool cars, hot nostalgia quarter-mile nitro drag racing and a celebration of the history of drag racing will take place during the three-day event. The event has become a can’t-miss tradition in the area and one of the finest events in Kern County during the year.
View the complete 2014 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.