PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE RETURNS TO BRAINERD: After a two-year hiatus, Pro Stock Motorcycle will return to the pro category lineup at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway (BIR) in 2015. With a storied history at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event in central Minnesota, NHRA’s Pro Stock Motorcycle teams will once again thrill fans at BIR with six-second runs at more than 190 mph at the penultimate regular season event.
PROCK, MEDLEN JOIN BECKMAN/DSR TEAM FOR 2015 MELLO YELLO SEASON: Don Schumacher Racing will pair two of its newest and most experienced hires, veteran crew chief Jimmy Prock and friend and co-worker John Medlen, with 2011 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series champion “Fast Jack” Beckman for a full assault on the 2015 championship.
"I feel like Santa made an early stop and left three wonderful gifts under the tree," said Beckman, who again will be driving a Dodge Charger R/T. "It's been a while since we started the season knowing we had funds for the entire season, and to find out Jimmy Prock was coming on board, I never thought in my wildest dreams I would be driving for him one day. Then the third gift was when Santa dropped John Medlen off. John and I have a very special history. I've emceed the Eric Medlen Nitro Night Charity dinner for Sonoma Raceway the last two years and have become very close to John and his family."
RESURFACING UNDER WAY AT ZMAX DRAGWAY: Since its grand opening in 2008, officials at zMAX Dragway have prided themselves on creating the best drag-racing facility—with the best track surface—in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. After six years of NHRA national record performances and unparalleled fan entertainment, zMAX Dragway will resurface all four lanes in preparation for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, March 27–29, 2015. After consulting with experts from across the country, zMAX Dragway opted for what is ultimately best for the fans: a total repave of the racing surface that annually hosts two NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events. The project, which began this week, will include an entirely new concrete surface across all four racing lanes of “the Bellagio of Dragstrips,” from the starting line to 700 ft. downtrack, and asphalt from 700 ft. beyond the finish line.
He Said, She Said
"Can you believe that we’re in Africa? This is a place I never thought I would see, and what you see on TV doesn’t do it justice. We have done a lot and seen some really cool things on this trip but so far Ethiopia has blown it all away. When they told me about it I was a little apprehensive. But after that first trip, what you see and what you do—getting to meet the soldiers—you see how dedicated they are and how appreciative they are that we come to see them. But it’s their dedication to their job and country that allows us to race cars. It just blows me away and, from day one of that very first trip five years ago, I’ve been hooked. And now it’s something I look forward to all year, getting to come back to another Operation Appreciation tour. And now here we are. It’s been another mind-blowing experience so far."
—Four-time Pro Stock world champion Greg Anderson on Operation Appreciation, which featured Anderson, teammate Jason Line, Pro Stock Motorcycle racers Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec, monster truck racer Dan Runte visiting U.S. troops across the globe.
Inside the Numbers
58: Number of days from December 10 until the start of the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series at the Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, February 5. The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series takes to the track on Thursday as racers will be chomping at the bit to shake off the winter rust at the opening event of the season. Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock take to the track February 6 in pursuit of world championship glory as the 24-race schedule traverses coast to coast.
Did You Know
JUNIOR DRAG RACING LEAGUE CONFERENCE FINALS SET FOR 2015: The 2015 NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League’s Western Conference Finals and Eastern Conference Finals will return to Rocky Mountain Raceways near Salt Lake City and Bristol Dragway in Tennessee, respectively. The NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Western Conference Finals will visit Utah’s scenic Rocky Mountain Raceways for the second straight season, July 16–18, and the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern Conference Finals will return to eastern Tennessee’s famed Thunder Valley, July 23–25.