SEMA eNews Vol. 18, No. 19, May 7, 2015

NHRA: Kansas Nationals Going Forward at Heartland Park Topeka, May 22–24

NHRA News

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NHRA KANSAS NATIONALS GOING FORWARD MAY 22–24 AT HEARTLAND PARK TOPEKA: The decision by the Topeka City Council to vote against a resolution that would have allowed the city to proceed with the purchase of Heartland Park Topeka will not affect the upcoming 27th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals, May 22–24, 2015. The NHRA is hosting the event as scheduled. Operational team members are on the ground at the facility making preparations for the race weekend and the advertising and promotional campaign is also underway. The NHRA wants to keep Heartland Park Topeka as an NHRA Member Track to host sportsman events and continue to include the track on the NHRA Mello Yello Series racing schedule into the future. Tickets for the NHRA Kansas Nationals can be purchased by calling 800-884-NHRA or online at www.nhra.com/tickets.

NHRA FANS CAN PARTNER WITH ENDERS-STEVENS TO COMPETE RACING IN RED FILM:
Before the 2014 season, Elite Motorsports team owner Richard Freeman partnered with Danielson Entertainment Group LLC and Design con Carne Inc. to capture on film the ins and outs of what turned out to be a championship season for his Pro Stock driver, Erica Enders-Stevens. Fans can donate to the project to help complete it and also become part of the race team.

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DIXON EAGER TO HOIST A WALLY IN 2015: Larry Dixon, a three-time Top Fuel world champion returned to competition in 2015 for the first full season since 2011. Dixon has yet to win an event in his return season and currently has 62 career Top Fuel wins. In his career, Dixon has never finished lower than eighth when competing in a full season of racing. Dixon is driving for Bob Vandergriff and has raced to one runner-up finish at Las Vegas. Dixon is confident in his team and feels they have a winning combination in a tough Top Fuel field.

"This season it seems you can win from any position," Dixon said. "At Vegas we qualified 15th, and we got to a final round. Last week (Houston) we were 12th, and I think we have a racecar that can win. But so can everybody else that qualifies for the field. You have a lot of cars that run very similar times. Those early rounds at Houston this past week, everybody was running 3.70s. If you're going to be in the game, that's what you've got to do. With that being said, anybody can win if you are running with the pack. So I think just the rule package that's in place, it just makes for real tight racing, like you see in all the other professional categories."

He Said, She Said

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"No. 2 all-time is crazy. I'm not that good so it all goes to the guys who have been on our teams. My past crew chiefs, all of the crew guys that have turned a wrench on these cars, it's about those guys. I couldn't have enjoyed this much success without any of them. Robert [Hight] brings out the best in me. He's a great driver and when he's in the other lane I know I have to be at my best. We can see so much better out of our Dodge Charger R/T bodies that I thought I saw him just get past me, but then I saw my win light come on. It was a tough day, but it turned out great."

—Ron Capps following the second win of the season in Houston when he defeated Robert Hight in the final. The win is the 45th for Capps in his career, 44 in Funny Car and one in Top Fuel. That puts him tied for 12th on the all-time win list with the late Dave Schultz. Capps is alone in second in the Funny Car wins total behind only John Force.

Inside the Numbers

4.012: Funny Car track record in number of seconds at Atlanta Dragway, which was set in 2014 by Alexis DeJoria, who posted the time during the second qualifying session on the Friday of the event, and it held up during the remainder of the session. It was the first career No. 1 qualifying position for DeJoria, who went on to post two other No. 1 qualifying positions later in the season, at Charlotte 2 and Pomona 2.

"It was really exciting to finally have our first No. 1 qualifier," DeJoria said. "This is something we had been working to achieve for years. Last year was such an incredible season and to add that plus the track record pretty early on was great. At the rate the cars are going now, if we see similar conditions in Atlanta to last year, I have a feeling that record will be broken, and hopefully it’ll be me breaking my own record! There are so many competitive cars out there, but we're starting to get our car back and do really well. We’re seeing what works, and what doesn’t, myself included. We’re really excited to get back out on that track and hopefully win our first race of the year."

Did You Know

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INDIANAPOLIS-BASED NHRA DRIVERS TAKE PART IN RACING CELEBRATION: Indianapolis-based NHRA drivers took part in a racing celebration held on Tuesday at the Lowe’s Home Improvement store located on the west side of Indianapolis. Larry Dixon, Richie Crampton (pictured), and Tommy Johnson Jr., along with Conor Daly and Martin Plowman of IndyCar and USAC driver Sondi Eden, were among the drivers signing autographs for those in attendance. Johnson is a longtime resident of the Indianapolis area, Dixon is a four-time Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals winner and Crampton won the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals last year in his rookie campaign. Indianapolis has a rich racing heritage and Crampton knows of the importance of racing in the community.

"The month of May is a special time in Indianapolis, but this is a great place to be all year long," Crampton said. "Winning the U.S. Nationals in Indy last year was just awesome, and I'm so thankful to Forrest and Charlotte Lucas and Morgan and Katie Lucas for this opportunity. Our Morgan Lucas Racing team is just a small part of the racing community here in Indy, and I'm so lucky to be a part of his sport. Meeting the great fans and talking about Lucas Oil is always a treat, and I was happy to be a part of today's festivities."

View the complete 2015 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

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