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Oct 25, 2012 - 04:29 PM
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NHRA Newsmakers: Oct 24, 2012
Posted by: newsla on Oct 25, 2012 - 04:27 PM
NHRA
2012 NHRA: NHRA Newsmakers: Oct 24, 2012


DRIVERS PREPARE FOR PENULTIMATE RACE OF 2012 FULL THROTTLE COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP: Title contenders in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship are ready to take a gamble and go all in as they head to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the penultimate race of the season. The battles for world titles in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle are getting intense as teams are preparing for the 12th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals, Oct. 25-28. The leaders in the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship playoffs with only two races remaining in the season are Antron Brown in Top Fuel, Jack Beckman in Funny Car, Allen Johnson in Pro Stock and Eddie Krawiec in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

 

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NHRA LAS VEGAS FAN FEST THURSDAY AT FREMONT STREET EXPERIENCE: Fans are invited to meet their favorite NHRA drivers at a festival at the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 5-7 p.m. The event will take place at the Third Street Stage. The free autograph session will kick off the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals, Oct. 25-28, at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Drivers and riders scheduled to appear include John Force, Johnny Gray, Khalid alBalooshi, Shawn Langdon, David Grubnic, Brandon Bernstein, Morgan Lucas, Terry McMillen, Steve Torrence, Spencer Massey, Todd Lesenko, Jeff Arend, Alexis DeJoria, Ashley Force Hood, Courtney Force, Larry Morgan, Jeg Coughlin Jr., Shane Gray, Erica Enders, Greg Anderson, Jason Line, Allen Johnson, LE Tonglet, Michael Ray, Karen Stoffer, Matt Smith, Angie Smith, Hector Arana Sr., Hector Arana Jr., Eddie Krawiec, Andrew Hines, and Leah Pruett. Two Funny Cars will be on display at the free autograph session, John Force’s new Destination Force Ford and Gray’s Big O Tires Dodge. The evening will start at 5 p.m. with music and games. The autograph session will be from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The special NHRA light show will be seen on the Fremont Street Experience canopy at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

NHRA ANNOUNCES REVISIONS TO 2013 PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE SCHEDULE: NHRA officials announced two revisions to the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Motorcycle schedule. In 2013, the Pro Stock Motorcycle class will visit zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, April 19-21, and be a part of the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. The category will compete four-wide along with Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock. In addition, the bikes will be featured at the inaugural NHRA New England Nationals in Epping, N.H., June 20-23. To accommodate the schedule changes, the Pro Stock Motorcycles will not compete in Atlanta and Brainerd. In all, the Pro Stock Motorcycle class will compete in a 16-race schedule, with six of those races in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. The season-opener for the two-wheel category kicks off at the 44th annual NHRA Gatornationals at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville, March 14-17.

NEW PAINT SCHEMES TO BE UNVEILED IN LAS VEGAS: Three race teams will feature a new look as they head to Las Vegas, Oct. 25-28 for the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Six-time NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock world champion Warren Johnson and his son Kurt, a steadfast competitor with 40 national event titles to his credit, have partnered with online gaming company Kiz Studios for the remaining two events in the NHRA Full Throttle Series for 2012. In addition, 15-time Funny Car world champion John Force will be competing in a special edition Ford Mustang that salutes the team’s graphic novel, Destination Force. NHRA Funny Car superstar Ashley Force Hood and her legendary father will unveil the car when they participate in the NHRA Fan Fest on Fremont Street (at the intersection of 3rd and Fremont Street) Thursday, Oct. 25.

LVMS IS GOING PINK FOR NATIONAL BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH: The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is going pink this weekend during the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. NBCAM is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services. The center and sides of the starting line on the drag strip have been painted pink, and plenty of pink-themed racers will rocket from the starting line throughout the weekend. NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Top Fuel points leader Antron Brown will wear a pink firesuit and helmet and will be driving a pink car. Others who are expected to race in pink in a show of support are Top Fuel driver Terry McMillen, all four Kalitta Motorsports cars, including Doug Kalitta, David Grubnic, Jeff Arend and Alexis DeJoria, Eddie Krawiec in Pro Stock Motorcycle and Leah Pruett in Pro Mod. According to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, in 2012, it is estimated that among U.S. women, there will be 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer, and 39,510 women will lose the fight. Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world and has invested more than $2 billion in fulfilling its promise to end breast cancer forever.

COMING ATTRACTIONS

BIG O TIRES NHRA NATIONALS, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Oct. 25-28: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its 22nd stop of 23 events in the 2012 season, and the fifth race of the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s playoffs. Drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will earn points towards the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world championships. The 2011 winners of the event are Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

AUTO CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA NHRA FINALS, Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Nov. 8-11: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its final stop of the 2012 season. Drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will earn points towards the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world championships. One driver from each category will walk away a champion at the end of the day. The 2011 winners of the event are Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Greg Stanfield (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

HE SAID, SHE SAID

NEFF EXPECTS FUNNY CAR TITLE BATTLE TO BE EXCITING FOR EVERYONE: The most recent Funny Car winner, Mike Neff, who sits third in the points standings and trails leader Jack Beckman and second place Ron Capps in what promises to be one of the all-time shootouts for the world championship crown in the Funny Car category, says he’s looking forward to the thrilling action and drama that will unfold during the next two races. “You know, it’s an exciting time right now,” Neff said. “This is why you put all that work in over the last winter and go through this whole season to come to the very end here, and you just want to have a shot. We’ve been running better here lately and I’m just happy to be in contention, and definitely these last two races out west are going to be exciting for everyone.”

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

9: NUMBER OF DRIVERS WHO ARE IN CONTENTION TO WIN THEIR FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP: It’s not over until it’s over. As the Countdown to the Championship battles intensify in all four of the NHRA’s Full Throttle Series classes, there are nine drivers who are in position to earn their first Full Throttle Series world championship. In Top Fuel, Antron Brown leads the points while Spencer Massey, Shawn Langdon and Brandon Bernstein are still mathematically alive. In Funny Car, Jack Beckman, Ron Capps and Mike Neff would be first-time winners. In Pro Stock competition, leader Allen Johnson continues to dominate, but Erica Enders is closing in as they are both chasing after their elusive first crown in the 200 mph category.

DID YOU KNOW…

VOTING BEGINS IN TOYOTA RACING DREAM BUILD CHALLENGE: After weeks of following four accomplished Toyota racing drivers and their talented build teams create four utterly unique and exciting vehicles for the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge, eager fans can finally see the completed vehicles on the Dream Build website (www.toyotaracingdreambuild.com). After countless hours have been poured into their builds, NASCAR stars Clint Bowyer and Kyle Busch plus NHRA hot shoes Antron Brown and Alexis DeJoria put their Dream Build vehicles on the line for all to see and for the voting to begin. Fans will be able to vote once per day through Monday, Oct. 29, via Facebook for their favorite car and team. As the voting period progresses, they can track the progress of each team as they race to the finish. Fans can also change who they vote for from day to day while they also compete for daily prizes, plus a chance to win the big one: the Toyota Racing Dream Trip Grand Prize. The Dream Build website has views of each completed vehicle on the home page and a graphic depiction of the total votes for each build. The site is mobile device friendly as well for easy access on the go. Then as quickly as the race began, it all comes to a screeching halt at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on Monday, Oct. 29, when voting concludes and the final votes are tallied in the early morning hours. Finally, on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 11 a.m. (PT), the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge winner will be announced live at Toyota's SEMA Show press conference in Las Vegas by television racing commentator and Top Gear USA host Rutledge Wood. The winning team will earn $50,000 for their designated charity, with second place receiving $25,000, third place $15,000, and fourth place $10,000.

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