Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The Little Ol' FR 2009 NHRA Drag Racing Thread
FlAttorney's FR Racing ^ | March 12, 2009 | FlAttorney & Co. and a "cast of many"

Posted on 03/14/2009 4:53:38 PM PDT by flattorney

The FR 2009 NHRA Championship Drag Racing Thread
No Turns. . . No Pit Stops. . . Just White Knuckles Ground Pounding Speed

NHRA-CDR: Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle <> HRH: Top Fuel, Funny Car, Groups 1 & 2
Drag School Locations: Gainesville & Pomona ~ Frank Hawley, 2 Time NHRA Funny Car World Champion
NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series Schedule - Full Nostalgia Drag Racing Schedule
2009 NHRA Full Throttle Championship Drag Racing Schedule
For Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock cars there are twenty-four(24) racing events in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Series divided between a regular season and playoffs format. The regular season eighteen(18) “Countdown to 10” races concludes at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis. The final six(6) playoffs “Countdown to 1” races begins at the NHRA Nationals, Charlotte and concludes at the NHRA Finals, Pomona. After the first 18 races, only the top 10 drivers in each of the divisions advance to the Countdown to 1, based on total points won. Their points are reset to within 10 of each another except for the points leader who will have a 30-point advantage over second place. The drivers will then compete for NHRA Full Throttle Championships. Drivers earn NHRA national event points as follows: Winner 100; Runner-up 80; Third-round loser 60; Second-round loser 40; First-round loser 20. Additional points are awarded at national events as follows: 10 points to all contestants - 1 qualifying run required. Qualifying positions earn points as follows: 1st 8; 2nd 7; 3rd 6; 4th 5; 5th & 6th 4; 7th & 8th 3; 9th thru 12th 2; 13th thru 16th 1. For the highly popular Pro Stock Motorcycles, they follow the same championship format as the other three divisions. However, their 2009 regular season is twelve(12) Countdown to 10 races, which begins at the legendary NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville. Their Countdown to 1 playoffs is the final five(5) races, which like the other three divisions, begins at the NHRA Nationals, Charlotte, and concludes at the NHRA Finals, Pomona. However, they do not race at the October 9-11th Virginia NHRA Nationals, Richmond. ~ fla

NHRA RaceDay | Full Throttle Championship Drag Racing | Classic NHRA

Watch NHRA Finals On-Line
ESPN begins its ninth consecutive year of NHRA action with same-day coverage of qualifying and eliminations on ESPN2 and ESPN2-HD. Paul Page anchors the coverage with analysis by 22-time NHRA winner Mike Dunn. Gary Gerould and Dave Rieff report from the pits. Rieff and Dunn also host NHRA RaceDay to set the stage for that day’s eliminations action. NHRA drag racing is also being broadcast on the American Forces Network and for the eighth year on TSN (Canada). Websites: Paul Page Blog | Mike Dunn
Paul and Mike are an outstanding broadcasting team and a major asset. NHRA would not be the same without these two in the booth. Here’s a great “inside look” article Paul wrote on Feb. 6, 2009.

NHRA Official: News | Media Center | Notebook | Tracks Directory | Staff
Owners/Crew Chiefs | Drivers: Profiles Blogs | Dragster Insider | Ticketmaster-NHRA

Auto Imagery – 2009 NHRA
NHRA: Photos | Videos | Full Throttle TV || Competition Plus | Flickr-NHRA

NHRA Top 50 Greatest Drivers | Greatest Races | Photos: Legends in Action '09 Photos

1974-2008 NHRA World Champions | Quarter-Mile Record Holders (1,000 feet nitro records not recognized)
NHRA Founder Wally Parks RIP Tribute | MotorSports Hall of Fame-NHRA
Petersen Automotive Museum
Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing 741 Photos | Smithsonian: Don Garlits "Swamp Rat XXX"

About the "Wally" Winners Trophy | Drag Racing Basics
Lingo: Drag Racing | Racers Definitive List | Nostalgia Racers
What's occurs in the pits between a race: The 75 minute turaround(PDF)
The Sound’s of NHRA Nitro Racing: Nitro Motor Start-up | Top Fuel Dragster “Pass”
(Windows Media Player Direct Links)

Remembering Drag Racers Lost doing what they and we love

Additional Resources, Off-Thread Items, and Comments
FlAttorney's FR Racing - NHRA

TOPICS: Extended News; Miscellaneous; US: Arizona; US: California; US: Florida; US: Georgia; US: Illinois; US: Kansas; US: Missouri; US: Nevada; US: New Jersey; US: Tennessee; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: chat; greatstories; nhra; nhrahistory; nhralegends; racing; sports; surebeatspolitics; tributes; wildcrashes
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 321-327 next last
To: flattorney
Those other two new high dollar limited edition Ford Mustangs….. they’re for wimps. You need the new Shelby GT500 Super Snake Prudhomme Edition to haul the groceries. - fla

02.06.09: Shelby unleashes 750-horsepower GT500 Super Snake Prudhomme Edition
Wally Parks Motorsports Museum Presentation Video

Below is a combination of three articles I cut and snipped together and photos we mastered. - fla

Tonight at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California, Carroll Shelby and Co. unveiled what is by far the most radical Mustang ever built for the street. Named after Don "The Snake" Prudhomme, who drove a top fuel car for Shelby in the 1968 season. The street-legal dragster features Ford's 5.4L V-8 wearing a Kenny Bell supercharger and custom ram air intake that pokes through the hood. For everyday shenanigans, this combination is good for 750 hp on 93 octane, but drop by the dragstrip, slap on the slicks and top off the tank with race gas and you'll run sub-10 second quarter-miles with over 800 hp on tap.

Putting that kind of power down and keeping the car straight are difficult tasks, but the team at Shelby was up to the challenge. They fitted the 2007-2009 style Mustang GT500 with a Ford Racing 3.73 rear end, a big rear wing, a short-throw shifter, a Borla side-exhaust kit, a strut tower brace, a caster/camber kit, adjustable front struts, a custom rear lower control arm with a solid third link, six-piston brake calipers up front, Bogart custom wheels and a set of boost, fuel pressure and oil pressure gauges to keep track of it all. Inside, Shelby ditched the rear seats, installed an eight-point roll cage and replaced the front seats with racing units. Of course, it wouldn't be a Shelby Mustang if it didn't have a little show with its go. The Super Snake gets a special tilt front end, a new rear fascia, new rockers, aluminum quarter window inserts and special paint and graphics. All said and done, a turn-key car will set you back $145,995, though if you already have a GT500 you'd like converted, you can have it made-over for just $99,995. You'd better hurry, though, because Shelby is only planning to make 100 of these cars.

"Working with Don on this project was a great experience for our design team," noted Amy Boylan, president of Shelby Automobiles. "Carroll and Don earned their stripes in competition over the years, so we had to build a car that would continue their racing domination. Our Prudhomme Edition GT500 Super Snake builds on that legacy and gives Shelby enthusiasts today a way to rule the quarter mile in their town." By the mid-1960s, Carroll Shelby and Don Prudhomme were both at the top of their respective games. Prudhomme was one of the winningest Top Fuel drag racers in the country. Shelby was a racer-turned-builder of Cobras, GT40s and Mustangs who won endurance and road racing championships worldwide. His company even offered drag racing packages for privateers to compete in their Cobra or Shelby Mustang on the strip. "The Snake" and the Cobra's creator teamed in 1968 for an NHRA ride. Prudhomme's Ford Cammer-powered rail made its debut as "Shelby's Super Snake at the 1968 Winternationals. He won the race and drove the rest of the season under the Shelby banner.

Don "The Snake" Prudhomme's successful racing career included winning the NHRA funny car championship four times. He was the first funny car driver to exceed 250 mph. In 1994, he began managing his own racing team, which won the Top Fuel championship in 2002 and 2003 (with driver Larry Dixon – fla). Prudhomme was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1991 and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2000.

21 posted on 03/14/2009 5:18:09 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: flattorney
Eddie "The Thrill" Hill a.k.a. Eddie "The Texan" Hill
NHRA 14th Greatest | 2002 Inducted, Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
2000 Inducted, International Drag Racing Hall of Fame | 2007 Induced, Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame

      On numerous Texas occasions, I watched Eddie race nitro hydroplane drag boats. I also watched him race at eleven NHRA Championship Drag Racing events. He was based out of Wichita Falls, where he and wife Ercie still resides. No one has every ruled the liquid quarter mile like Eddie. As I stated in my drag racing background, I hung round a Houston nitro drag boat owner from 16-22 years old. He was the one that taught me how to build big block supercharged drag racing engines. Eddie had some bad crashes due to his experimental hull designs. He finally got the hull right and the rest is history. As you can see in the below photos, the drivers were totally exposed, compared to today's nitro hydroplane drag boats where the driver sits in an enclosed cockpit/capsule and wears a fighter pilot style oxygen mask. Observe how small the seat is and there was no seat belt. The idea back then was, in the event of a bad crash, the driver wanted to be thrown from the boat so he would not be hit by the disintegrating boat and engine. As racing technology progressed, drivers wore special life vests/suits with wide straps around the arms and legs to help keep their body in a ball position when they hit the water. Drivers also wore a parachute on their back tethered to the front of the engine, along with a kill-switch tether. If the driver was thrown out of the boat the chute would automatically deploy and hopefully pull him away from the wreckage. Sometimes they worked, sometimes nitro hydro drivers ended up in the morgue.
      I remember that Eddie didn't like some of these protection innovations and would not use them because he felt they were too cumbersome/restrictive. One of the things that impressed me about Eddie's later generation custom hydroplane boats was the higher fiberglass deck in front of the driver, and he sat further down in the boat. Some of the other guys' nitro hydroplanes, particularly the 18 feet length boats, the drivers sat so far above the boat the steering wheel was at the level of their exposed knees and upper legs. I referred to these boats as a fiberglass shingle with a nitro mountain motor strapped on. I hated some of the 18 ft hydros as opposed to the 20 and 21 ft ones. About the only thing they were good for was seriously injuring/killing drivers and fishing $30,000 nitro motors off the bottom of the lake/river. Bottom-line, this was/is an extremely dangerous crazy person sport. However, speed on water is a whole different adrenaline rush than speed on land. Guess that's why this is my 3rd season to race an offshore superboat which cranks around 3,000 combined horsepower from a pair of engines, each with twin superchargers. - fla

On display at Eddie Hill's Fun Cycles (motorcycle/off-road) dealership in Wichita Falls, Texas. ~ "I built, owned, tuned, and drove this Kurtis 500 Top Fuel Hydro with a 500 cubic inch blown Hemi. It was in the Guinness Book of World Records for ten years as The World's Fastest Propeller-Driven Boat, with a quarter mile speed of 229 MPH." - Eddie Hill
Eddie "The Texan" Hill - Class: Blown Fuel Hydro

May 2008 Video from Eddie's 1st Show and Shine! (drag boats expo) in front of his motorcycle dealership.
Eddie firing up his new 540 CID blown gas hydroplane "playboat" - Here's photos provided by Eddie.
May 2008; Eddie 72 years young in his new hydro playboat

Eddie Hill & Proud Mary firing her vintage Blown Fuel Hydro
In the second video, the wing on the "shovelnose" hydro is interesting. You rarely saw these wings on hydros only on flat bottom nitro drag boats, because they messed up a nitro hydroplane boat's aerodynamics. During a quarter mile hydro run, only the tips of the sponsons and 1/2 the prop(s) (two are used today) should be in the water. Hydros get their speed from riding on air trapped underneath the boat. When the "pickle fork" hydroplane drag boat hulls became available all the top nitro owners/drivers I knew/watched used them, like Eddie. I still saw shovelnose hydros at the drag races, but the nitro drag boat owner I personally knew said they, and the winged flat bottom nitro drag boats, were more dangerous than the "pickle fork" hydroplanes that went substantially faster. It's because of the water friction on the hull. He said that before I met him, when I was 16, he ran a nitro flat bottom drag boat. But drivers keep quitting on him because the boat was too dangerous so he moved up to a Blown Fuel Hydro. - fla
      From NHRA's 14th Greatest Driver, Eddie Hill's Drag Boat Career - - While attending his first drag-boat race in Austin, Texas, in 1974, one of the first things Hill witnessed was a driver being catapulted from his boat in a crash. Hill thought the participants were crazy, but less than a month later, Hill was racing his own boat. "Once I hit the water with the boat, I never went back to motorcycles," Hill recalled. "The power, speed, and acceleration were all things that I had missed since I quit drag racing."
      Beginning with a non-blown gas hydroplane, Hill won on his first time out in Oklahoma City, and at his third race, he set the class speed record. In his second year, he set the Southern Drag Boat Association (SDBA) speed record at 137.46 mph. Using the same boat, Hill switched to nitromethane in 1976 and set the SDBA record at 171.81 mph, and in 1977, he set the National Drag Boat Association (NDBA) record at 170.45 mph. He also won the SDBA high-point championship and the NDBA World Fuel & Gas Championships both years.
      From 1978 to 1984, Hill raced blown-fuel hydroplanes. His all-white boats soon dominated the liquid quarter-mile. In seven years, he won 55 of 103 races and won every major race at least once. He won the biggest race, the NDBA Nationals, four times, including three straight from 1982 to 1984. In 1983 and 1984, he won the World Series of Drag Boat Racing championship, a yearlong series of races that included two races from each of the sport's four sanctioning bodies. In those two years, he raced in the final round of 29 of 34 races, winning 17 times. He was American Drag Boat Association (ADBA) world champion four times and the SDBA top points earner five consecutive years.
      When he returned to the solid quarter-mile in 1985 and ran the first four, Hill already had put his name in another prominent record book for an equally notorious record in boats. On Sept. 5, 1982, Hill became the fastest quarter-mile boat racer with an NDBA record of 229.00 mph in Chowchilla, Calif. The feat was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records and was not broken for 10 years. Hill also set speed records that year in the SDBA (220.76 mph), the ADBA (215.82), and the International Hot Boat Association (212.78 mph) to become the only racer to hold records in all four associations at the same time. Hill would race boats for another two years but not before becoming the first to cover the liquid quarter-mile in less than six seconds. Later, his e.t. record of 5.16 at Firebird Lake in Chandler, Ariz., was quicker than the NHRA Top Fuel record of 5.39 set by Gary Beck.
      In October 1984, Hill quit boat racing after a severe crash, not to mention the fact that the earnings from all his wins over the years had only been a break-even proposition. He was clocked at 217 mph that fateful day at Firebird Lake when he was pitched through the hull and into the lake. He suffered seven broken bones, a concussion, injuries to his eyes, and multiple cuts and contusions. He spent five days in the hospital and wasn't fully healed for a year, but he did ride a motorcycle in pain six weeks after the crash.
      "The blown-fuel hydro was a pretty thrilling ride," Hill said. "It would jump up on top of the water and dance around. You really never knew for sure if you were going to make it to the other end. Of course, a lot of guys didn't, myself included, but it was a heck of a ride."

# # # # #

Legend years, Eddie and Ercie Hill. She met him at a drag boat race and they have been together ever since. Ercie is walking around in the 2008 videos I posted above. Eddie will be 73 years young on March 6th and looks great. I'm not exactly sure of Ercie's age. She's a native Floridian and if I remember right she's 10-11 years younger than Eddie. Several of the drag boat owners and drivers had smoking hot goddess wives and girlfriends, along with other babes in attendance. One of the advantages of summer drag boat racing, over NHRA, is there was always hot women in skimpy bikinis in attendance. And sometimes they were drunk, *lol*. Did you know that males highest levels of testosterone, for their entire life, are in their late teen years? Here's some "The Texan" in action FlA & Co. mastered and edited photos. - fla

'08 Top Fuel Hydro Drag Boats. Quarter mile World Record 4.58 ET @ 270.2 MPH

Here's a current photo of a 18 ft. blown fuel hydro "death wish" drag boat.

22 posted on 03/14/2009 5:19:56 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: flattorney

Profiles: Co-Team Owner: Alan Johnson | Top Fuel: Larry Dixon | Funny Car: Del Worsham

02.04.09: Legendary Top Fuel Crew Chief Alan Johnson and Qatar Prince to Test NHRA
      For Alan Johnson, leaving Don Schumacher Racing to return to ownership with a start-up team was simply a matter of moving from one form of royalty to another — literally. After winning the last five Top Fuel championships as Tony Schumacher's crew chief, Johnson announced last summer that he was leaving the powerhouse outfit to return to ownership with a two-car operation. One twist: He now has a partnership with Sheik Khalid Bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar to form Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing, which will field a Top Fuel dragster with two-time champion and series runner-up Larry Dixon and a Funny Car with veteran Del Worsham in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
      Given Johnson's record, some around the circuit expect the team to become an immediate challenger in both classes, especially Top Fuel. The owner has high hopes as well, but right now he's eager to see what it's like being in charge again. "The challenge of owning my own team and trying to win under the banner of Al-Anabi is something I've looked forward to for a number of years," said Johnson, 50, who won Funny Car titles (1997, 1998, 2000) as an owner with driver Gary Scelzi. "We've put together a great team. We've got great personnel, (and) two wonderful drivers. We're going to go out and try to create a top-notch team and compete for a championship from the beginning of the year."
      In a statement, Al-Thani describes himself as a huge fan of drag racing and a longtime follower of Johnson's career as an owner, crew chief and builder of engine parts. Al-Thani's goal is raising awareness of motor sports in his homeland, which exports petroleum, fertilizer, cement and steel. "I am no different from any other team co-owner," Al-Thani said. "I want to see the Funny Car and Top Fuel teams as world champions. I trust Alan's vision of operating his own team will manifest more wins, more records and championships while also raising awareness of drag racing in Qatar."
      Already, the team has raised eyebrows by luring Dixon from Snake Racing after a 13-year association and particularly after his best season in years. Though he finished a distant second to Schumacher (who won 15 of 24 events), Dixon closed 2008 with a victory in Pomona, Calif., site of this weekend's season opener. Dixon, a 43-time winner, bought out the remainder of his contract with Snake Racing to join Al-Anabi. He has marveled at how quickly the team has come together — crew chief Jason McCulloch is one of several former DSR members who followed Johnson — and is confident of closing the gap on Schumacher. "You've got to surround yourself with talent, and Alan has certainly done that," Dixon said. "There are a lot of teams out there that you've got to look out for.
      For Worsham, timing was everything. Within days of losing his primary sponsor, Johnson called Worsham and pitched the start-up effort funded entirely by Al-Thani. Worsham needed little persuasion to come aboard. After missing the Countdown to 1 and finishing 13th in points, he is hungry to start anew in hopes of making the six-race playoff. "This door opened up, and it seemed meant to be," Worsham said. "From the time my other job ended, we've been working in the shop with Alan on the chassis. It's come together. We've run well at the test. I can't wait for Pomona."
      Al-Anabi(1) means "Go Team Maroon!" That is one of two colors in Qatar's flag (white is the other). Both cars will sport the letters KH, for Khalid Al-Thani and his father, Hamad, the emir. The hope is they'll eventually display No. 1, a number Johnson hopes to appropriate from his previous dynasty to his current one. "I'll never forget the opportunity I had there (at DSR) and the fun that we had racing together and winning all those races," Johnson said. "It certainly wasn't something I was looking forward to, making the announcement that it was going to break up that team. But this is drag racing and it's my life, something that I love to do." ~ Motorsports-NHRA
(1) FlA Says: Al is for Alan Johnson Racing. Anabi Racing is (Prince) Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad Al Thani’s Qatar based racing operation which consists of sand hill racing and pro-modified drag racing. Al-Anabi Racing is a partnership between Alan and Sheikh Khalid. This is the Prince’s first time to own a nitro racing team. He attended the entire Winternationals and was in the Al-Anabi Racing pits learning about the nitro dragster and funny car, along with the crews’ activity. He seems to be a hands-on individual. Hopefully not too hands-on where he gets in the team’s way.

02.04.09: Pomona: Al-Anabi Racing NHRA Winternationals Preview
      Larry Dixon, Top Fuel Dragster - - Dixon begins his Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing tenure this week after 20 years with Don Prudhomme Racing. He finished second in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings recording his 14th consecutive top-10 points finish. He won two races in six final-round appearances last season. Dixon was the No. 2 qualifier at last year's Winternationals. He advanced to the semifinals where he lost to event winner Tony Schumacher. Dixon won this event in 1998, 2002 and '03. He has never been the No. 1 qualifier at the Winternationals. Dixon won the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel championship in 2002 and '03. He is currently third on the NHRA's all-time Top Fuel winner's list with 43 victories. Joe Amato is in second place with 52 wins; Tony Schumacher tops the list with 56 wins. Dixon is 10th on the NHRA's all-time professional victories list. He trails ninth-place Dave Schultz by two wins. Dixon was the 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year.
      Dixon on the Winternationals: - - "I had a great time at Don Prudhomme Racing for the number of years that I was there, but it was time for a change. Between crewing and driving, I was there for 20 years, so that's half my life. I have a great opportunity driving for Alan Johnson and his Al-Anabi Racing team, and I'm really looking forward to the challenge. "With what Alan Johnson has accomplished in the last five years -- heck, the last 15 years - any driver would love to work with someone with his credentials. From the first time I talked to AJ about this team, what excited me is that he has a two-year, a five-year and even a 10-year plan. I'm flattered and honored that he wants me to be a part of it. Alan won 15 races at Don Schumacher Racing last year -- that's incredible, but what hooked me is his long-term planning as far as what he wants to do and where he wants to go. I want to ride his coat tails.
      "At the Phoenix test, we made nine runs, running as quick as 3.81 seconds and as fast as 316 mph, my fastest speed at 1000 feet. This team has high standards; we ran quicker and faster than what I had previously, and they still want more. They want to step up their numbers so when we get to Pomona, we can be competitive. "Now, Pomona is here, and it's time to go racing for real. It's game day. It's like Summer vacation is over, and it's time to go back to school. Most of the Top Fuel teams have had a change with the sponsor, owner, driver or crew chief so it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out at the end of the weekend; I just hope we're a part of it."
      Del Worsham, Funny Car: - - Worsham begins his Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing tenure this week after spending the previous 19 seasons driving his family-owned Funny Car. Worsham doubled as a Top Fuel driver running a limited schedule in 1993, '94 and '95. Worsham finished 13th in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Funny Car standings. He won a race and earned his 11th career berth in the US Smokeless Showdown. He has won 22 races in 35 final-round appearances in his career. Worsham has never won the Winternationals, but he was runner up to John Force in 1993. He won the season's final race at Pomona in 2001 and '03. One year ago, Worsham did not qualify for the Winternationals.
      Worsham on the Winternationals: - - "The team has already come along faster than I thought, but with Alan Johnson and Aaron Brooks involved, I should have expected it. The car is running unreal; I can't wait to get to Pomona to get started. Our two tests at West Palm Beach and Phoenix were better than I ever dreamed they could be, but when you have Alan and Aaron in your corner, with all the preparation they do, I shouldn't have been surprised with our early success. I know testing is different from real competition, but I enter Pomona with my confidence at a very high level.
      "It been different not working with my family's team Aaron and Alan have made the transition as painless as possible and treated me like I've been a part of this team forever. It's really been great so far. "They've designed stunning race car. When you see it on the track it's really stunning. From the paint scheme all the way to the assembly of the car, chassis and other components, it's been a pleasure to drive so far, and I'm looking forward to actually racing it this week." - PR from Al-Anabi Racing

FlA Says: I can’t say enough good things about both Larry Dixon and Del Worsham. There are outstanding individuals and drivers who I always enjoy watching and talking with. Jason McCulloch is crew chief for Larry. He's the son of my No. 1 favorite active NHRA legend, Ed "The Ace" McColloch. It should be a very interesting season. I don’t know Alan that well, only his NHRA superstar crew chief reputation. His brother Blaine’s 1996 Top Fuel crash and death was horrendous, like Scott Kalitta’s FC crash last year. ~ Blaine Johnson: NHRA 36th Greatest Driver
23 posted on 03/14/2009 5:23:31 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: flattorney
Kenny Bernstein Racing
NHRA No. 6 Greatest | 2009 Inductee, Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
2007 Inducted, International Drag Racing Hall of Fame | 2006 Induced, Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame
NHRA: Top Fuel World Champion 1996, 2001 ~ Funny Car World Champion 1985, '86, '87, '88
KBR Top Fuel Driver: Brandon Bernstein

      FlA Says: Over the decades, Kenny has always been one of my favorites. Not only is he a great driver and team owner, he has a great attitude, style, and level of professionalism. He also surrounds himself with excellent talent. Crew chiefs Dale Armstrong, Lee Beard, and Tim Richards are some of the best in NHRA history. Another big plus was during his early NHRA years and world championships, Kenny and his racing operations were based out of Dallas, Texas. His mentor, good friend, and 3-time NHRA World Funny Car Champion, 1979-81, Raymond Beadle was also based out of North Dallas, and still lives there. Texas became a major market for NHRA drag racing, second only to California. Kenny became involved in NASCAR Winston Cup team ownership several years after Raymond Beadle did where Raymond and driver Rusty Wallace won the 1989 Winston Cup. For a period of time, Kenny also owned a CART (open wheel Indy cars) racing team.
      For the 2009 season, Kenny had to disband his NHRA Funny Car program due to sponsorship loss. He’s still running his legendary Budweiser sponsored Top Fuel dragster with son Brandon driving (since 2003). Despite not having the best 2008 season, finished 7th, Brandon is an impressive driver and individual. I definitely would like to see KBR make a solid run for the 2009 NHRA Top Fuel championship.
10.13.08: Legend crew chief Tim Richards and wife Kim retire from NHRA and Kenny Bernstein Racing
- - Tim Richards, 65 years old, has a career total of 81 race wins and six NHRA Top Fuel championships. Kim has partnered with Tim for 50 of those victories. She began her racing career working with her father Dick LaHaie(“The Man” - fla) on his Top Fuel car, helping tune him to his 1987 NHRA Top Fuel championship.

Kenny: 1981 T/F Funny Car, Gatornationals, Gainesville; 1996 Top Fuel, Mile-High Nationals, Denver; 2001 NHRA Finals, Pomona. The late ‘70’s – early 80’s Funny Cars are my all-time favorites. - fla

02.04.09: NHRA legend Kenny Bernstein Celebrates 30 years of Sponorship by Anheuser-Busch
      In an era where racing teams struggle to either retain existing sponsors or create ways to land new ones, six-time NHRA World Champion Kenny Bernstein remains the model in the industry. This year will mark the 30th anniversary of Kenny Bernstein Racing’s(“KBR”) alliance with St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch(“AB”). It's the longest standing relationship between a racer and sponsor - two years longer than Richard Petty enjoyed with STP. Bernstein’s success also extends into NASCAR and CART, making him the only owner to win in all three U.S. racing series.
      Kenny has never sold himself short, but he never expected his initial meeting with AB officials to turn into a 30-year relationship. Then again, brewery officials couldn't help acknowledging Bernstein's moxie and determination. In 1979, Bernstein packed his funny car trailer and made the trip to St. Louis to promote himself and his race team. The idea was hatched by Austin, Texas AB wholesaler Don Brown, who encouraged his fellow Texan to make the sales pitch. In a parking lot early in the morning, Bernstein greeted AB employees with a display that created interest in not just his team, but in the sport. It was basic business advice that Bernstein learned from his father and honed through his own business career. Says Bernstein, "In the beginning, they (AB officials) were just interested in seeing what NHRA was about. They warmed up as time progressed and it took more meetings to make it happen. They finally realized what a great marketplace drag racing was for their product." "Looking back thirty years, my racing success would not have been possible with any other sponsor. Even with the exact same people and equipment in our racing organization”.
      There is no great secret to Bernstein's success. In fact, the approach is very simplistic. "Our position from day one has been to help Budweiser wholesalers sell beer," said Bernstein. For 30 years, Bernstein has developed a relationship with wholesalers on the NHRA tour. Currently, he and his son Brandon - who since 2003 drives KBR’s Top Fuel dragster - promotes AB’s product and, in turn, the wholesalers tell St. Louis how effective they are and how much they appreciate it. There are numerous activities before each of the NHRA national events, whether it's playing golf with customers of the wholesalers, doing personal appearances, or mingling with race fans. "It means the world to me," said Brandon, who has 17 Top Fuel wins in the red Budweiser dragster. "Looking back at the history of my father and the Busch family, I'm proud to be a part of the family. It's an honor. It's nice to know there's a 30-year legacy." Kenny Bernstein was also one of the first to create a hospitality area, at his NHRA pit, that has become so commonplace for big sponsors of the sport. Under Bernstein's original plan, it was an area where wholesalers could entertain their customers and be close to the racing team.
      While Budweiser remains one of the world's top-selling beers and AB is tops in U.S. sports marketing and sponsorships, the company's acquisition last summer by Belguim based InBev (Name is now ABInBev - fla) has posed questions about its future presence. The company has a reputation for cost and price-cutting, and motor sports marketing is among the platforms being examined. Bernstein's deal with Budweiser ends after the 2009 season (2006-9 four year sponsorship contract -fla). "They're going through cuts and changes," said Bernstein. "We'll sit down with them and see where we're at." For now, the focus is solely on Brandon's Top Fuel prospects. The dragster team will break in crew chief Rob Flynn and assistant Mike Guger, who succeed the retired Tim and Kim Richards. Brandon, who finished seventh in points after the first winless season of his career, comes in with a new perspective after getting married in the off-season.
-- Compilation from two articles with edits and additions. Images courtesy KBR ~ fla

2009 Winternationals, Pomona. KBR celebrates 30 years sponsored by Budweiser

24 posted on 03/14/2009 5:25:41 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: flattorney
2009 American Motorsports Awards News - NHRA

02.14.09:NHRA legend Kenny Bernstein to be inducted into Motorsports Hall Of Fame of America
      Kenny Bernstein was named as one of seven who will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in its annual ceremony Wednesday, Aug. 12 at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit. “We are very honored to have been chosen to join the elite members of the motorsports fraternity known as the Heroes of Horsepower,” said Bernstein. “We have been fortunate through the years to have some success on the racetrack and to be inducted into this prestigious Hall of Fame is icing on the cake.”
      Bernstein, a six-time NHRA World champion, was the first to break drag racing’s 300 mph barrier, and the first to win championships in Funny Car and Top Fuel. He holds the unique distinction of being the first and only race team owner to have collected wins in each of America’s three major motorsports series: NHRA drag racing, NASCAR, and CART (now IndyCar Series).
      In addition to Bernstein, this year’s inductees include David Hobbs, Scott Parker, Les Richter, Al Unser, Jr., H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler and the late Joe Weatherly.
      Eligibility for induction into the Motorsports Hall of Fame is extended to any person who has driven, piloted, owned, designed, built, supported, maintained, prepared or promoted motorized vehicles in pursuit of speed, distance or other records. An inductee must have been retired for at least three years or must have been engaged at the top level of his or her area of motorsports for at least 20 years. Inductees are characterized by their desire to win, mastery of their field and the courage to innovate. A panel of historians, retired competitors, journalists, and prior living inductees vote for the final selections. Each inductee receives the Hall of Fame’s prestigious “Horsepower” award – an original bronze statuette created by Ann Arbor, Michigan sculptor Michael Curtis.

The Justice Brothers Shav Glick Award
      01.28.09: Walker Evans, Frank Kurtis, NHRA’s Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen, and Malcolm Smith have been nominated for the 10th Annual Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award which recognizes those who have made distinguished contributions to motorsports in California. Named in honor of Shav Glick, who passed away in 2007. Glick was a long-time motorsports writer for the Los Angeles Times and a member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
      During Walker Evans career he has accumulated 142 total victories and 21 championship titles in off-road desert and short course racing. In 2004, he was inducted into the Off-road Motorsports Hall of Fame. For a period of time he was also a driver and owner of a NASCAR Craftsman Truck. Frank Kurtis designed and built midgets, quarter-midgets, sports cars, sprint cars and Indy cars. In his career he created 120 Indianapolis 500 cars, including five winners. He has been inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, and the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame. He was the originator of the Indy Roadster.
      Rated #16 on NHRA’s Top 50 drivers list, Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen, is one of thirteen drivers to win a national event in both Funny Car and Top Fuel. In his thirty-five plus year career he not only generated a lot publicity but also won five NHRA Nationals. He and Don “the Snake” Prudhomme were the famous Hot Wheels team of “the Snake and Mongoose”.
      A pioneer in off-road motorcycling, Malcolm Smith, gained fame for his accomplishments in the International Six Day Enduro competitions and the Baja 1000. Smith was also known for his role in the 1970’s motorcycle movie “On Any Sunday”, which launched the popularity of off-road motorcycling in America. Smith was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998.
      The motor racing legend winner will be picked by a judging panel that includes National and California motorsports writers. Previous winners of the prestigious Shav Glick Award are Rick Mears, Carroll Shelby, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Wally Parks, Parnelli Jones, and last year’s winner John Force among others. The award will be given out during the pre-race ceremonies at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 500, February 22nd, at the Auto Club Speedway.
02.26.09: Frank Kurtis Wins 2009 Justice Brothers Shav Glick Award -- Famous innovator and race car designer Frank Kurtis has won the prestigious Justice Brothers - Shav Glick Award for 2009, which was accepted by his son Arlen. The 9th Annual Justice Brothers sponsored award was presented during the pre-race ceremonies at the NASCAR Auto Club 500 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. This coveted award is named in honor of Shav Glick, a long-time motorsports writer for the Los Angeles Times and a member of the Motorsports Hall Of Fame. Frank Kurtis, who passed away in 1987, was born in 1908 and fell in love with racing and the Indianapolis 500 as a young man. He devoted his life to innovative racecar theory and design, resulting in the supercharged V8 powered, front-wheel-drive Novi Governor Special, which set a new track record of 133.944-mph at Indy in 1946. Another racecar designed by his company Kurtis Kraft, broke that record in 1950. Also in 1950, a Kurtis-built rear-drive racer with independent front suspension and driven by Johnnie Parsons, won the Indy 500. Many design innovations were to follow, including his ‘52 Indy roadster, in which the driver sat beside the drive shaft instead of over it. Kurtis cars won five Indianapolis victories in six years. The ’52 Indy pole position was won by the Kurtis designed Cummins Diesel powered racecar. For 1953, 24 of the 33 Indy starters were Kurtis designed/built cars. Frank Kurtis retired in 1968 and Arlen took over the business, which developed parts for the SR-71, manufactured parts for drag racing and performance boating as well as “start carts” for the SR-71.

International Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Plans Finalized
      Talladega Ala. January 27, 2009: Tickets are now available for the 2009 International Motorsports Hall of Fame (IMHOF) Induction Ceremony, scheduled for April 23, 2009 at the SPEED Channel Dome in Talladega, Ala. This year’s black-tie optional ceremony begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and the banquet and awards ceremony immediately following. The five inductees being honored are: J.C. Agajanian, Donnie Allison, Jerry Cook, Bud Moore and Raymond Parks.
      In addition to the five inductees, NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher will be on hand to accept his award as the 2008 Driver of the Year and 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series Champion Justin Allgaier will also be recognized during the ceremony.
      “This is a very special group of inductees and honorees,” said Talladega Superspeedway President and IMHOF Executive Director Rick Humphrey. “Each of the inductees are legends in the motorsports world. Though their careers ended years ago, their legacies continue on to this day. Our special honorees, Tony Schumacher and Justin Allgaier, were both champions in 2008 and are creating their own legacies. The Induction Ceremony is the opportunity to see a blend of racing generations.” About the Inductees
25 posted on 03/14/2009 5:27:16 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: flattorney
Since I rarely drink alcohol I don't care what ABInBev does. Well . . .
as long as they don't get rid of the Bud Girls at NHRA events. - fla

26 posted on 03/14/2009 5:28:43 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: flattorney

Post #26—proof that God does exist.

27 posted on 03/14/2009 5:34:27 PM PDT by exit82 (The Obama Cabinet: There was more brainpower on Gilligan's Island.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: flattorney
Top NHRA Women Drivers
As of end of 2008 Season

1. Shirley Muldowney, Top Fuel 1977, 1980, 1982
1. Angelle Sampey, Pro Stock Motorcycle 2000, 2001, 2002

1. Angelle Sampey, Pro Stock Motorcycle: 41 - 1st Reading 1996, last Houston 2007
2. Shirley Muldowney, Top Fuel: 18 - 1st Columbus 1976, last Phoenix 1989
3. Karen Stoffer, Pro Stock Motorcycle: 5 - 1st Houston 2004, last Atlanta 2007
4. Shelly Anderson, Top Fuel: 4 - 1st Reading 1993, last Seattle 1996
4. Lori Johns, Top Fuel: 4 - 1st Pomona 1990, last Memphis 1991
4. Melanie Troxel, Top Fuel: 3, Funny Car: 1 - TF 1st Pomona ‘06, last St. Louis ’07; FC Bristol, ‘08
7. Lucille Lee, Top Fuel: 1 - Atlanta 1982
7. Cristen Powell, Top Fuel: 1 - Englishtown 1997
7. Peggy Llewellyn, Pro Stock Motorcycle: 1 - Dallas 2007
7. Ashley Force Hood, Funny Car: 1 - Atlanta, 2008
7. Hillary Will, Top Fuel: 1 - Topeka, 2008 (A)
- - (A) Became fastest female in NHRA history, 334.65 mph at ‘08 Winternational, Pomona

1. Angelle Sampey, PSM: 45 - 1st Reading 1996, last Las Vegas 2008
2. Shirley Muldowney, TF: 13 - 1st Columbus 1976, last Phoenix 1989
3. Melanie Troxel, TF\FC: 4 - TF 1st Bristol ‘06, last Denver ‘07; FC Chicago ‘08
4. Ashley Force Hood, FC: 3 - 1st Sonoma 2008, last Memphis 2008
5. Lucille Lee, TF: 1 - Denver 1982
5. Lori Johns, TF: 1 - Denver 1991
5. Shelly Anderson, TF: 1 - Pomona 1994
5. Cristen Powell, TF: 1 - Seattle 1998
5. Erica Enders, PS: 1 - Topeka 2006
5. Karen Stoffer, PSM: 1 - Sonoma 2008
-- 2008 Season Update by FlA & Co. --

The unfortunate fact of this list is, to-date, funny car driver Ashley Force Hood, pro stock car Erica Enders and pro stock motorcycle Karen Stoffer are the only top NHRA women drivers racing this season. Due to lack of sponsorship, Erica didn’t race in the 2008 season and only raced a limited 2007 season. Angelle ”The Winningness Women Driver in NHRA History” Sampey, Melanie Troxel, and Hillary Will lost their 2009 sponsors. All are outstanding drivers and individuals off the track. For example, everything I know about pro stock motorcycles comes from talking to Angelle and her crew members over the years. Pro stock motorcycle Peggy Llewellyn raced for the 2007 season but lost her ride to Angelle for the 2008 season. See finally found another 2008 sponsor that allowed her to race in six events, which she qualified for five, and made it to the semifinals at one. Currently there is no news if Peggy will be able to race this season. She was unbelievable in 2007, after a five year absence from NHRA racing. Incredible individual and driver who we greatly need back. The pro stock motorcycle 2009 NHRA season doesn't start until March 12-15 at the NHRA Gatornationals. Hopefully there will be some positive developments. Also, hopefully Melanie and Hillary will get a ride line-up, even if only for part of the season. One of the things I like about NHRA is we have women racers, unlike NASCAR, and they are very impressive. - fla

Videos: Honoring NHRA Women Drivers: (1) (2) (3) (4)

28 posted on 03/14/2009 5:34:49 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: flattorney
Honoring The Godmother of NHRA Drag Racing

NHRA Top Fuel World Champion, 1977, 1980, 1982
AHRA World Championship 1981

NHRA 5th Greatest | 1990, Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
2004, International Motorsports Hall of Fame | 2006, International Drag Racing Hall of Fame
Vintage “Cha Cha” Racing Photos | 100’s more photos

Shirley Muldowney, First Woman To:
(1) Obtain her NHRA Top Fuel license;
(2) Advance to a final round in Top Fuel, 1975 NHRA Spring Nationals, Columbus, Ohio;
(3) Win in Top Fuel, 1976 NHRA Spring Nationals, Columbus, Ohio, and
(4) Qualify No. 1 in a pro category, 1976 NHRA Spring Nationals - 6.031 seconds, 229 mph;
(5) Repeat (male or female) as NHRA Top Fuel World champion after her 1st 1977 title (1980,’82);
(6) Clock a four-second run, 1989 NHRA Keystone Nationals, Reading, PA, 4.974 seconds, 284 mph;
(7) Be included (only female) in NHRA's list of Top 50 greatest drivers, at No. 5. Nitro drivers Don Garlits,
      John Force, Don Prudhomme, and pro stock driver Bob Glidden are 1-4;
(8) Be inducted (only female) in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
(A) Shirley was the second women, behind NASCAR's Louise Smith, inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
(B) In 1982, Shirley and Top Fuel driver Lucille Lee met in the first all-female final round in NHRA history. Shirley won at 5.711 seconds, 233.16 mph to Lee's 6.052 seconds, 207.85 mph.
(C) In 1971, Shirley won her first Funny Car national event at the International Hot Rod Association's Southern Nationals, Rockingham, NC. Because the IHRA was in their first season, and racing outside of the NHRA, her win was largely unrecognized.

5 Stars Vintage Shirley Videos:
1972: Great behind the scenes video when Shirley was driving a Funny Car for Connie Kalitta. After she was injured in a bad fire at the 1973 NHRA U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis (worst of four fires Shirley had during her funny car career), she switched to Top Fuel dragsters.
06.13.76 Spring Nationals, Columbus Ohio: Great video of Shirley’s first NHRA Top Fuel event win driving for Connie Kalitta. In addition to her first win, it was also her first time to qualify No.1 at 6.031 seconds, 229 mph. She also posted low elapsed time of the event at 5.96, 244 mph. 1977: Video shows Shirley's major wins on the way to her first of three NHRA Top Fuel World Championships. Don Prudhomme does the color commentary with additional comments and interview by Shirley.
Movie: Heart Like a Wheel (1983) - The Drag Racing Story of Shirley Muldowney. First feature movie of any NHRA drag racer. It's a surprisingly good movie for drag racing buffs. - Video: Honoring Shirley

Shirley: ‘69, ‘79, and ’73, “Cha Cha”(right) with legendary nitro racer and wildman
“Jungle Jim” Liberman(RIP) and his also legendary sidekick “Jungle Pam” Hardy - fla

29 posted on 03/14/2009 5:36:25 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: flattorney
Angelle Sampey
The Winningness Women in NHRA History
and the Queen of Cool

NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle World Champion 2000, 2001, 2002
41 NHRA Wins ~ 45 No. 1 Qualifier ~ 68 Finals Appearances
Most Career Wins and Final Round Appearances of any active PSM Driver
Currently holds the NHRA Record for the Quickest PSM Elapsed Time at 6.871 seconds

Photos 1-4: 07.27.08 Infineon Raceway; 5: 09.14.08: Angelle puts Karen Stoffer on the trailer at the
new zMAX Dragway(1), Lowe's Motor Speedway; 6: Thirteen(13) years of sponsorship “leathers”
Videos: (1) zMAZ Runs/Interview | 07.14.08 Angelle talks about her NHRA career | Tribute

'Nough said. . . . fla

30 posted on 03/14/2009 5:38:10 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: flattorney
This is very good news. Pro Stocks needs a good women driver. Plus Erica is a Texas cutie and that sells tickets. - fla

Houston native Erica Enders returns to full-time NHRA Pro Stock racing

Erica Enders NHRA Profile | Video: Erica Enders at the ’07 Gatornationals discussing what it's like to be a NHRA drag racer.

01.29.09: As if Ford fans didn't have enough to cheer about with the highly anticipated debut of the second-generation Cobra Jet Mustangs in Stock competition at the 49th annual Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals, they'll have additional excitement with the comeback of Erica Enders, who is slated to run all 24 NHRA national events this year in Jim Cunningham's Pro Stock Mustang.

For Enders, the only female driver to have reached a final round and qualified No. 1 in Pro Stock, her return will unfold in multiple stages. She said, "We'll be at Pomona with Jim's current Mustang that I drove at last year's Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. Jim has commissioned Don Ness and Jerry Haas to each build a 2010 Mustang with the new body style, which we hope to take delivery on in April. And Jim has also worked out an agreement with Ford to have some research-and-development work done with both the 500-cid Ford wedge engine and the aerodynamic enhancement of the Mustang bodies." Said Cunningham, "We are really excited about having Erica join our team as well as the working relationship that we've established with Ford. Over the winter, Ford has done some work with our existing parts, such as relocating the lifter bores so that we can obtain a higher rpm level to raise the power band. But the real gains will hopefully materialize later this year when we will have new blocks and cylinder heads from Ford that will incorporate many technological improvements developed by Ford's engineering department."

Said North America Motorsports Director of Ford Motor Co. Brian Wolfe, "We are excited about working with Erica and Jim on their efforts in Pro Stock. We are working on a new cylinder block and cylinder head that we hope to get approved by NHRA for competition later this year." The engine research-and-development program is being financed by Cunningham, but Ford will be providing the very valuable engine engineering support along with wind-tunnel time while working in conjunction with Don Ness on the development of the '10 Mustang Pro Stock body.

"Last year was very tough for me not being able to compete, but I am very glad that I attended as many races as I did last year in order to maintain my contacts with NHRA racing, and it was my trip to Indianapolis that made all this happen," said Enders. Cunningham had entered the 2008 Mac Tools U.S. Nationals to compete in Pro Stock but had to withdraw at the beginning of the event because of a family emergency and picked Enders to be his last-minute replacement. Although Enders did not qualify, the effort marked the beginning of what would evolve into their current business relationship and Enders' return to racing. "I am obviously very excited about the potential of this new team," she said. "We are thrilled with every aspect of the operation, ranging from the cooperation that we are getting from Ford to the new paint scheme on the car, which is very different from anything I've driven in the past. And it's going to be great to be back in contact with all of our fans, whom I have missed so much."

Cunningham, who has owned Capitol Raceway in Maryland since 1974 and owns a construction business, said, "I have been a Ford fan for virtually all my life. My father bought me a Chevy when I was 16 in 1954, and I didn't like it. My next car was a Ford, and I've stuck with them ever since. Watching such Ford heroes as Bill Lawton, Gas Ronda, Dick Brannan, Don Nicholson, and others not only inspired me to race Fords, but I've also used Ford vehicles for my business operations. I've had as many as 80 Ford pickups at one time for my construction operation.

"We expect to show some moderate improvement at Pomona with the reworked engine, but what we are really looking forward to are the performance gains we hope to obtain from the new engine program and the new Mustang body later on this season. It will take some time to refine these new components where they will be at maximum potential. But it will be worth the wait if we can once again establish Ford as a major contender in Pro Stock." Enders' primary sponsor is Dragstar, a company owned by Mark and Gina Whisnant that markets a line of girls' clothing; other backers are major associate sponsor Mastercam, Ford, Sparco Safety Equipment, Momentum Bio Fuels (owned by Enders' father, Gregg), Royal Purple, Master Formula, and Lupe Tortilla.

31 posted on 03/14/2009 5:39:27 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: flattorney
New Drag Racing Reality Show in the works entitled “Girls In Drag”
Competition Plus by Kathy Fisher
Saturday, 31 January 2009

Watch Demo Video (8:54 mins) - - A new TV show about girls learning how to drag race at Frank Hawley's Drag Racing school in Gainesville, Florida. It's Survivor and American Idol meet drag racing. And did we mention that the contestants are all girls?

Two-time NHRA World Champion and world renowned drag racing school owner/instructor, Frank Hawley along with Kevin Deane and Oakville Lane Productions, Inc have teamed up to bring to the world one of the hottest new reality TV shows – “Girls in Drag”. “Kevin and I have been discussing this project for about a year now. Kevin’s background speaks for itself with the various shows he works on including “PINKS”, “PINKS All Out” and “Pass Time”. He has great creative capabilities and we work really well together. We’re looking forward to getting a network to take this show so we can produce, what we think will be, one of the more entertaining reality shows on television today,” explained Hawley. Each episode of “Girls in Drag” will not only prove to be entertaining, but will offer some pretty high stakes for the twelve ladies who will eventually be selected in an upcoming nationwide casting search for the series. “In addition to becoming a national celebrity, the over-all winner of the show will receive a sponsored ride in a NHRA Super Comp Dragster,” said Hawley.

Kevin Deane, of Oakville Lane Productions, found over the last five years in his work on several other popular drag racing reality shows, that there is a true need for something for the ever-growing amount of females interested in drag racing to become competitors. “Having traveled throughout the country over the years, I have learned that the sport of drag racing is very accessible to many different people, unlike any other form of motorsports. I thought what if we took a dozen girls, sent them to the world’s best drag racing instructor,” Deane pauses. “And even though they had never done it before, could we turn one into a pro?” “This show will give drag racing more exposure. When you see a dozen girls from all walks of life, who have never raced, succeed with Frank’s great instruction, people are going to stop and think…’well wow if she can do it, I can do it,” Deane added.

A demo of the series, (a demo is a short sample of what the show may look like), was shot recently at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School’s Gainesville Raceway location. This demo can be viewed not only on the Oakville Lane Productions’ website but also on YouTube. “We learned a lot just shooting the demo and a lot about how fiercely girls will compete,” smiled Deane as he reflected on the shoot. “What was cool was these girls knew…it was just a demo and no one was going to win anything, yet they went for it. It was just amazing that they went at it like they did.” “We really appreciate the ladies who took part and helped us put this demo together. Although it was done like a show, they won’t be in the show,” Hawley elaborated on the online demo. “When we get ready to shoot the actual TV show, which we are hoping that will take place this spring, we are going to be doing a nationwide search for the twelve girls who will compete on this show.” The contestants are going to have to show that they can excel in this sport both on and off the track.

“When we cast the actual show, we’re going to be looking for gals who have personalities. We’re looking for a group of real characters,” Deane explained, emphasizing on the character part. Girls that have an interest in drag racing but have never had a chance to take part. Maybe their dad, husband, boyfriend, has given them exposure to the track but they’ve never had an opportunity to go give it a try. With the nationwide search, we want to find ladies who will really get out there and duke it out, because one person is going to win a chance of a lifetime.”

To become the last woman standing and overall winner of “Girls in Drag”, Hawley points out that earning a NHRA license will only be one of the tests for the twelve contestants. “Unlike the demo, when we shoot the actual show, we’re going to be doing a lot of things with the girls. They’re not just going to be driving. They are going to have public relations instruction, learn how to work with the media and how to find and work with sponsors. They will take part in a lot of “off-track” activities, in other words the same types of things that professional drivers do. They are even going to do some work on the cars.” “Throughout this show, they are going to participate in a wide range of activities that a professional driver may be required to be a part of,” added Hawley.

The initial plans are to have twelve drivers and as the show goes along be eliminated to eight, then to four. Those four remaining drivers will then compete at a to-be-named, real drag race. From there the ultimate winner will be chosen and awarded the sponsored ride in a NHRA Super Comp Dragster. Before casting for the actual TV show can commence, the show’s producers want to hear from you. Visit and click on “Girls in Drag”. View the show demo, then email Kevin Deane your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions plus you can even let him know if you or someone you know might like to take part!

Frank Hawley, NHRA Funny Car World Champion 1982-83 | NHRA 43rd Greatest
Drag Racing School Locations: Gainesville(Home Office) & Pomona

32 posted on 03/14/2009 5:43:31 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: flattorney
One Year Ago, The Start of a Bad 2008 NHRA Championship Drag Racing Season
2008 NHRA Winternationals, 1st Round Final Eliminations
Tony Pedregon and John Force

Above photo: In the first race of the NHRA 2008 season, in the first round of T/F Funny Car eliminations, defending Champion Tony Pedregon (2007 & 2003) was up against John Force. It was John's first race back since his horrific September 23, 2007 accident at Dallas, and he still has several more months required to fully heal. At the end of the run Tony sustained a massive, no warning, explosion and very serious fire. John was in the other lane towards the rear of Tony’s car. In the above left photo you can see the nose of John’s car in the right lane. To avoid flying debris from Tony’s car, John pulled his chutes late and ended up in the shutdown sandtrap. John was alright, and Tony sustained second degree burns to his hands, particularly his right hand. The damage to his firesuit indicated very intense fire and heat. During Top Fuel qualifying J.R. Todd also had a nasty top-end crash with the wall due to a front-end chassis failure. Hopefully this is not indicative of the season. – FlA (From FlAttorney’s FR “Straight Talk” 2008 NHRA section archive)
VIDEOS: Tony Pedregon-John Force Accident | J.R. Todd Crash
02.12.08 Video: MSNBC “Today Show”, 6:47 mins : Excellent interview with Tony two days, after the accident, with complete track footage, photos, and John Force comments . See full story attachment at end of post.

More photos of the race start and aftermath of Tony’s funny car explosion and fire

The explosion was so severe the entire rear of the car is not touching the track

They’re either radical nitro motors or monstrous gernades. Either way, sitting behind one of them takes more guts-craziness than I have. I’ll stick with motor behind the driver alcohol dragsters. - fla

More Serious Problems leading up to the Loss of a Two-Time NHRA World Champion Nitro Driver
03.16.08 39th Annual NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, FL: In the first round of eliminations, Tony Pedregon's brother, Cruz (2008 Funny Car World Champion), experienced a major explosion and fire after his Funny Car's throttle hung wide-open at the end of his 310+ mph run - Article, Photos, Video. Amazingly he won the race, his crew was able to rebuild the car, and Cruz ran a great second round of eliminations, but lost. Brother Tony (2007 & 2003 Funny Car World Champion), recovered from burn injuries resulting from a huge Winternationals NHRA season opening top-end explosion and serious fire, won Top Fuel Funny Car. - NHRA Results Article ~ fla

06.07.08 Route 66 Nationals, Joliet (Chicago), IL: Two-time NHRA world funny car champion Tony Pedregon experienced a second very serious top-end fire during qualifying at the NHRA Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 Nationals. He walked away from the accident and his crew was able to rebuild his car - Video. The next day, Tony won funny car eliminations and hosted the “Wally”– NHRA Results Article. Tony's motor explosion and accident created further controversy because, blinded by the fire and smoke, Tony’s car hit an opening in the track wall due to a gate being opened (or left open from the previous race) by NHRA safety officials. This is not the first time NHRA has left a track retaining wall gate open which compounded a nitro driver's accident. – fla
06.09.08: Tony Pedregon Hit Open Gate In Saturday Crash
07.20.08: More On Pedregon's Gate Incident - “The Dirt”: What really happened. Did NHRA officials lie and cover-up their negligence in leaving the gate open?

06.21.08: Two weeks later, two time NHRA World Top Fuel Champion Scott Kalitta is killed by a huge top-end funny car explosion and crash at the NHRA SuperNationals, Englishtown, NJ - NHRA Results Article. Scott's horrendous death rest squarely on NHRA's ineptness. – fla
06.26.08: Demanding Changes, Racers Speak Out On Shutdown Areas
- - Safety goes both ways as drivers say. ~ Good article - fla

02.12.08: NHRA’s defending World Funny Car champion, Tony Pedregon, recalls fiery explosion at 2008 Winternationals
      After being injured in a spectacular explosion of his funny car on a California drag strip, driver Tony Pedregon thought about his own mortality and pondered quitting the high-octane sport he loves. “For the first time in my career, I sat in the hospital wondering if I could have had a desk job,” the drag racer told TODAY co-host Matt Lauer during an exclusive interview Tuesday in New York.
      On Sunday, in the opening round of the 48th Winternationals drag races in Pomona, Calif., the engine of Pedregon’s 8,000-horsepower dragster exploded without warning as the land rocket reached speeds approaching 300 mph. In race videos that have since been replayed countless times, the body of the car literally disintegrates as Pedregon, engulfed in a ball of flame, slams into a concrete barrier, slides across the track into the opposite wall and finally comes to a smoldering halt. The 42-year-old Pedregon told Lauer that he had no warning that something terrible was about to happen.
      “It really caught me off guard,” he said. “The first thing I felt — I remember the concussion. I remember the very intense heat, and a couple things came to mind. I wanted to try to get the car stopped. I was trying to keep in mind there was another race car on the other side. I was really trying to steer it, but every time I reached for the steering wheel and the brake, it was burning my hand. High speed and oxygen feeding that kind of fire just made it really intense.” It was the worst explosion most people in the sport had ever seen. “From my vantage point, the car just disintegrated,” his brother and fellow racer, Cruz Pedregon (2008 NHRA Funny Car World Champion - fla) , told NBC News. “That was the most violent high-speed explosion I’ve ever seen.”
      “I knew it was an inferno,” said Tony Pedregon. “I knew I was hanging on for dear life.” The other car in the heat was driven by Pedregon’s former partner, John Force, who was competing in his first race since breaking a leg, ankle and both hands in a race five months ago. When both cars came to a stop, Force was among the first to come to his friend’s aid. Pedregon walked away from the wreck, his fire-resistant racing suit in shreds and suffering second-degree burns to his right hand. It was while being held for observation at a hospital after being treated for his injuries that he pondered what had happened.
      His wife, Andrea, who is pregnant, was at their home in Fort Gratiot, Mich., with their other two children at the time of the accident, and on Tuesday she still hadn’t seen her husband, who was due to return home after the TODAY appearance and a doctor’s appointment. But she did get to say hello to him during the interview via a satellite hookup. Lauer asked Andrea Pedregon if she wants her husband to continue racing after such a near brush with tragedy. “I have a lot of faith in our team, our crew and my husband,” she said. “The sport itself tends to get safer. I’m OK with it. It’s what he loves to do, so I’m all for it.”
      Racing In His Genes - - Pedregon comes from racing blood. His father, Frank, raced top fuel dragsters in the 1960s, and Tony Pedregon is a national champion in funny cars, which are front-engine dragsters with fiberglass bodies that look like production cars. Running up to 9,000 horsepower, they are capable of surpassing 320 mph in a quarter mile. Pedregon said he got over his questions about his career choice quickly. Vehicle safety has constantly improved in auto racing, and the fact that he walked away from his wreck with just second-degree burns on his right hand is a testament to the technology that goes into the race cars. He was as surprised as anyone at the relatively minor nature of his injuries. “Looking at it, I’d have thought I got hurt a lot worse than what I did,” he said. Once he saw that he wasn’t badly injured, he knew he’d be back on the track despite the gauze mitten that was wrapped around his injured hand. “A week and a half, I’ll be back in the seat,” he told Lauer. “I’ll be back at it.”

33 posted on 03/14/2009 5:46:24 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: flattorney

1st of 24 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Events
Schedule | Entries List | Team Reports | NHRA Results: Detailed Article | Competition Plus Coverage
2008 Winners: TF Tony Schumacher ~ FC Robert Hight ~ PS Greg Anderson
The 2009 season for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series blasts off with the 49th Annual Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, California Every February since 1961, fans have flocked to Southern California not just for the un-winterlike weather, but also for one of drag racing’s grandest traditions: the unveiling of new cars, drivers, teams, and sponsorships at the season opener. The Big Go West plays out at the fabled facility known for its outstanding traction, smooth surface, and potential for record performances. Teams hope to use the opener as a springboard in their pursuit of a spot in the Countdown to 10 championship program.
Doug Kalitta, Ron Capps and Jason Line Earn Wins at Kragen O'Reilly Winternationals
02.10.09 Pomona, Calif. --

Doug Kalitta
Doug Kalitta raced to his first Top Fuel victory in more than a year Tuesday at the significantly rain-delayed Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

Ron Capps and Jason Line also were winners in their respective categories at the first of 24 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events in 2009. The season-opening event, which had been plagued by five straight days of rain delays, was finally completed under clear blue skies.

Kalitta powered his Kalitta Motorsports dragster to a winning performance of 3.822 seconds at 308.57 mph to take an emotional win over top qualifier Antron Brown, whose Matco Tools dragster trailed with a 3.847 at 307.16.

Kalitta said he was thrilled to win at the same track where his uncle Connie Kalitta, the legendary drag racer who is celebrating his 50th anniversary in the sport this year, and his late cousin Scott, who was killed last year in a crash at Englishtown, N.J., had both previously won (Scott in 2005, Connie in 1967).

Doug Kalitta
"The Kalitta name has a long history at this track as both Connie and Scott have won here, so I am glad to be able to join them on the list," said Kalitta of his 31st career victory. "We're back. It was kind of a dry spell for us last year. The new team I have this year is really great and they are hungry to win, so I am glad we were able to get it done today."

Doug said the roll cage on his dragster today was the same one used by Scott in his win at this event in 2005. He said Scott was in his thoughts throughout the day.

"I think of Scott when I am up on the line all of the time and still use some of the techniques he taught me to get motivated before a race, so he's always riding with me," Kalitta said. "I am sure he was watching over us and he's really proud that all three Kalittas have now won here at Pomona."

Ron Capps
Capps also ended a year-long winless drought in Funny Car, posting a performance of 4.154 at 296.96 in his NAPA Dodge Charger to hold off surprise finalist Jim Head, whose Head Racing Toyota Solara lost traction at the start of the race. It was Capps' 26th career victory and second at this event (also 1998).

"It's cool to be the first Full Throttle winner," Capps said. "And it's great for NAPA. We really wanted to get them a win this year because they really like our program and love what NHRA does for them because the customers can get so close. They were blown away when they came aboard last year and are doing so much with us with the TV commercials and everything. This is a big win for us."

Jason Line
Line claimed his 16th victory in Pro Stock and first ever at this track by outrunning Mike Edwards in the final round. Line drove his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to a 6.567 at a track record speed of 211.63 to hold off Edwards' Young Life/Penhall GXP, which trailed at 6.575 at 210.01.

"I drove pretty good out there which feels pretty good because I've been criticized for that in the past," said Line, who had a reaction time advantage on all four of his opponents. "I drove decent and had a pretty good hot rod - probably the second best one here - and I would have loved to have raced Greg (Anderson, teammate who set the national E.T. record at 6.528 seconds in the second round) in the final, but we had a good race and it feels good to win. I botched the shift in the final or I probably would have gotten the (national) speed record because I hit the chip in third gear and again in fifth gear because I was so excited to be getting down the track in the final."

Tuesday's Final Results, 49th annual Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals:
Top Fuel -- Doug Kalitta, 3.822 seconds, 308.57 mph def. Antron Brown, 3.847 seconds, 307.16 mph.
Funny Car -- Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.154, 296.96 def. Jim Head, Toyota Solara, no time.
Pro Stock -- Jason Line, Pontiac GXP, 6.567, 211.63 def. Mike Edwards, GXP, 6.575, 210.01.
- Credit DRC

Home: The FR 2009 NHRA Championship Drag Racing Thread
FlAttorney's FR Racing

34 posted on 03/14/2009 5:56:39 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: flattorney

Bump and wow - great thread!!

Love the Shelby 750-horsepower GT500 Super Snake Prudhomme Edition!! Used to know him many moons ago.

Congrats to Carroll and Don on a great looking car. Only a 100 to go around.

35 posted on 03/14/2009 5:58:15 PM PDT by WestCoastGal (If he wants to come by the bus after the race and get his a$$ whooped, I'll do it. - Dale Jr)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: flattorney

      While the NHRA 2009 season got off to a very rough start (see next post), I could not have picked two better nitro drivers to win the season opener than Top Fuel Doug Kalitta and Funny Car Ron Capps. As show below, Doug earned a tough and well deserved win. Also, congrats to Pro Stock Jason Line(1). I would have liked to see his Summit Racing teammate Greg Anderson(2) win the Winternationals “Wally”, as he did last year, but Jason is a great guy and great driver. Greg “The Man” Anderson and Summit Racing is the only reason I have any interest in Pro Stock.
(1) 2006 NHRA Pro Stock World Champion
(2) 2003, 04, 05 NHRA Pro Stock World Champion

      Due to the economy, Kalitta Motorsports experienced a significant loss of sponsors. Presently, Doug is not funded to run the full season. Hopefully, his win will help in locating additional sponsors. I hated that Conrad "Connie" Kalitta had to “mothball” his other two 2008 Top Fuel teams of Hillary Will and Dave Grubnic. Aussie “Grubby” is a great guy and NHRA needs a good female Top Fuel driver like Hillary for 2009. However of the three drivers, Doug is the best and Connie made the right decision.
      Currently, there are no women racing in Top Fuel. Melanie Troxel is the other very good Top Fuel female driver. She raced in Top Fuel until the end of the 2007 season, then switched over to a Funny Car for the 2008 season. Unfortunately, Melanie is without sponsorship for the 2009 season, as is her Funny Car driving husband Tommy Johnson Jr., who drove for Kenny Bernstein Racing. I thought it was a mistake when Melanie moved to Funny Car because Ashley Force Hood gets all the female media exposure and there were more cars competing in the FC division than the Top Fuel division. Hopefully, Melanie will find adequate sponsorship and come back to Top Fuel. ~ fla
A cold and "green" track makes for wild and unhappy nitro dragsters. In the first round of Top Fuel eliminations, held on Sunday before rain ended racing, Doug Kalitta experiences a major engine fire but still won the race. 1:17 of video: Doug's huge fireball, but he keeps his foot in it. Many pro cars experienced severe starting-line tire shake and wheel hop. - fla
Good Video: 02.2-3.09: Doug Kalitta testing at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Nitro Racing Teams' Press Releases
Kalitta Motorsports: Doug Kalitta wins 2009 NHRA Top Fuel opener in Pomona

Don Schumacher Racing: Ron Capps wins Pomona!

MotorSports NHRA 2009 Winternationals:
Winternationals End On High Note | Final Eliminatons Report
Finals Round-by-Round Results | Final Top 16 Finish Order

Great photo of Connie and Doug. And great photos of my main man Ron Capps, and my No. 1 favorite active NHRA legend Ed McCulloch(Crew Chief), that we combined, edited, and digitized. It would be fantastic to see Ron win a Funny Car World Championship this year. With he and Ed's substantial talent, strong team sponsorship, and racing for/backed by the highly successful Don Schumacher Racing, there is no excuse for not winning it all this season. NAPA recently updated their NAPA-NHRA website and corrected/eliminated all the corrupted NHRA related links caused by NHRA's new website. It looks great. Click the above banner if you wish to check it out. ~ fla <> Original photos credit: Kalitta Motorsports, CP, DRO, NAPA
36 posted on 03/14/2009 5:59:41 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: flattorney

Great looking thread!


37 posted on 03/14/2009 6:03:30 PM PDT by SouthTexas (Pending....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: flattorney

Great drag racing post.Some great stories and pics

Had`nt seen Darryl Gwyn in several years,he looks
better than the last time I saw him.

What a great charity,I`m gonna send a few bucks tonight

38 posted on 03/14/2009 6:41:21 PM PDT by Harold Shea (RVN `70 - `71)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: flattorney

FlA Says: The 2009 NHRA season didn’t get off to a very good start. Hope it's not a bad omen like 2008. From Thursday to Monday, it was rain, rain, and more rain. There was only one round of pro championship qualifying on Saturday, and weather only allowed one round of eliminations on Sunday. Monday was another washout, and then the rain left to allow pro eliminations on Tuesday. But, if you were like 2009 sidelined Top Fuel drivers Rod Fuller and Hillary Will, the Winternationals gave you plenty of time to work on your romance back at the hotel. I got a kick out of them on NHRA Race Day. Talk about major JBF looks *lol*.

On Thursday, during Stock Eliminator qualifying, John Irving hits and destroys the Christmas Tree after one of his rear wheels falls off immediately after he hit the throttle. Someone call the battered Christmas Tree hotline and report this guy.

On Saturday, the rain halted long enough to get in one round of pro championship qualifying before it started again. Qualifying was difficult with many cars having trouble getting down the track, along with several nitro engine explosions and fires. For the only qualifying round, there was a major problem with the timing clocks in the left lane. For a number of runs no final MPH was recorded. Also, several final E.T.'s were wrong based on incremental track ET's. NHRA set the final eliminations field with the questionable numbers but awarded no points. But hey, how about that Doug Kalitta in his nitro banana boat.

Southern California. . . the birthplace of NHRA. Many lost legendary drag strips on this map. Later this season, I/we will do a narrative and photos tribute post(s). The last twelve months there has been several great articles on these legendary SoCal drag strips.

I need to end the pre-season and '09 Winternationals posts on a high note *rummaging through my drag racing blown babes photos folder*. Here we go. . . . . .

39 posted on 03/14/2009 6:58:52 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: flattorney


40 posted on 03/14/2009 7:09:38 PM PDT by knews_hound (I for one welcome our new Insect overlords!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 321-327 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson