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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
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To: flattorney
American Drag Racing League

03.06.09: National Guard ADRL events to air on VERSUS The National Guard American Drag Racing League will air television coverage of its 2009 tour on VERSUS, a national cable sports network available in more than 75 million homes. VERSUS will televise 11 one-hour programs throughout 2009 that feature the National Guard ADRL tour’s unique brand of 21st century drag racing action. All 10 national events will be televised along with a special one-hour season finale that covers the Speedtech ADRL Battle for the Belts. - Schedule

The first event will air on March 29 and will feature coverage of the Safety-Kleen Dragpalooza V from Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas.

In each episode, viewers will be taken inside the National Guard ADRL family of racers with on-going storylines, features on the series’ many colorful personalities, easy-to-understand technical segments, as well as stories that spotlight the dedicated team members working behind the scenes. Following the season opener on March 29, additional airdates (all episodes will air Sunday at 3 p.m. Eastern) are May 3; June 7 and 21; August 2, 16 and 23; September 6 and 27; November 8 and 22. Dates and times are subject to change.

"Airing our events on VERSUS is an important step in the evolution of the National Guard ADRL and we are enthusiastic about this opportunity to deliver our television product in a way that appeals to a national audience, attracts new fans to the National Guard ADRL, and is highly entertaining for all," said Jeff Fortune, Executive Vice President of the National Guard ADRL.

Each episode will be shot in high-definition (HD) with 5.1 sound and hosted by veteran drag racing commentator Brian Olson with ADRL President and CEO Kenny Nowling providing the color commentary. Drag racing historian and television personality Bret Kepner will handle both finish line and pit interviews.

FlA Says: The ADRL recently got my attention because of the below links on the NHRA vs. ADRL fiasco. I understand the ADRL's President reached a temporary agreement with NHRA so they could hold their March 6-7, 2009, ADRL Safety-Kleen Dragpalooza V at Houston Raceway Park and not put the track owner in a bad position regarding the upcoming NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park. I have not reviewed this situation to understand who is right. However, NHRA thinks God gave them the right to control nitromethane use in all forms and organizations of drag strip racing. Matters became nasty last season with the wholesale nitro shortage and legendary mega-team owner Don Schumacher fined $100,000 by NHRA(largest fine in history) for having four barrels of unauthorized nitromethane fuel in his pit area - Articles: (1), (2)
      In my well supported opinion, NHRA is involved in nitromethane predatory price gouging. All NHRA nitro teams can only buy from NHRA's one authorized supplier, which there is an "interesting" relationship, and their prices are ridiculously unreasonable compared to other suppliers with the exact same nitro. Last season, nitro hit $29.75 per gallon. Nitro dragsters consume 8-10 gallons per full power run. Further, I have never liked Graham Light who is NHRA Senior Vice President of Racing Operations. He's a bureaucrat and the key reason NHRA has serious drivers safety issues. Graham hit an all-time low with his conduct in this Schumacher fiasco. In the media, and without warning, the clown tried to chop Don off at the knees. What I like about Don Schumacher is that he doesn't kiss NHRA's royal rump, like some other NHRA legends and team owners who will remain nameless.

02.25.09: NHRA threatens ADRL, Houston Raceway Park with loss of sanction and '09 Spring Nationals
03.03.09: ADRL and NHRA in Turf War
-- I am glad the writer wrote this statement: "The last thing the NHRA needs is another… out-of-court settlement like they had with… Darrell Russell’s widow." <> The NHRA clearly had culpable liability in (Texan) Darrell Russell's horrific top-end Top Fuel dragster crash, June 27, 2004, at the NHRA Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. Madison, IL. In my opinion, Graham Light personally tried to cover up NHRA's liability. One year after Darrell's death, his widow Julie sued NHRA et. al. in a Texas civil court alleging negligence, fraud, and civil conspiracy. And, Julie had plenty of legal muscle that assist her on a pro bono basis. NHRA eventually settled out-of-court to avoid a trial and public exposure. ~ fla

41 posted on 03/14/2009 7:13:08 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: lewislynn

Are you a H.A.M.B. member?

42 posted on 03/14/2009 7:22:13 PM PDT by kickonly88
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To: flattorney

February 20-22, 2009
2nd of 24 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Events
Schedule | Entry List | Team Reports | NHRA Results: Detailed Article | Competition Plus Coverage
2008 Winners: TF Larry Dixon ~ FC Jack Beckman ~ PS V. Gaines
NHRA’s annual duel in the desert has been a Southwest fixture since 1985, when it joined the tour in a late fall slot. Since 1990, it has been the second stop on the tour’s westward march and a place for teams to redeem mistakes made at the opener. Charlie Allen, a former Funny Car racer, constructed a track that makes people forget it sits at 1,100 feet above sea level. The facility is also known for its annual NHRA teams' preseason testing.
Antron Brown, Ron Capps and Jeg Coughlin Win Lucas Oil Slick Mist NHRA Nationals
02.22.09 Phoenix, Arizona --

Coughlin, Brown and Capps
Antron Brown in Top Fuel, Ron Capps in Funny Car and Jeg Coughlin in Pro Stock won the 25th annual Lucas Oil Slick Mist NHRA Nationals. Brown and Capps were making back-to-back final round appearances and each leaves with the points lead in their respective class. Coughlin, with his win, will leave Firebird International Raceway in second place, just two points behind Jason Line.

Brown, in the Matco Tools dragster, defeated Brandon Bernstein when Bernstein's car went up in smoke around 150 feet down the track. Brown collected his third "Wally" in Top Fuel with the win. Brown, who qualified third, defeated Del Cox Jr. in round one and Morgan Lucas in the quarterfinals. In the Semifinals, Brown defeated defending Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher, making the quickest pass of the round. After an off-season full of changes for Brown, he got his new team owner Mike Ashley and new crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald their first win as a Top Fuel dragster team.

Antron Brown
"This just shows how strong our team really is here at MAR (Mike Ashley Racing)," Brown said. "With all the adversity we dealt with this off season, this is just an awesome feeling. Lee Beard left us with a great race car and with Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald in here, there was no doubt in my mind that we'd do well.

"After testing, here in Phoenix last month, our team just really gelled. We didn't need any glue or adhesive we just stuck together. We just need to get more laps and to be more consistent. We've got an awesome race car. We were bummed to not win at Pomona last race because we really had the car to beat, but you can't count anyone out in this sport. To run that 3.81 in the semis today was awesome to show we can run with (Larry) Dixon and Tony (Schumacher) and all the top dogs. It's going to be a fun year in Top Fuel, but it'll be tough to win races with so many great teams."

Ron Capps
Capps, in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T, opens the 2009 Full Throttle Drag Racing season with back-to-back wins in Funny Car, the first time this has happened since 1997, when John Force opened the season with consecutive wins. This is the 27th National event win for Capps and the first time he has won after qualifying number one. Capps won the final when Mike Neff broke on the burnout and Could not back up to the starting line. Capps defeated Jeff Arend, Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan and Del Worsham on his way to the final.

Capps credited his crew chief Ed "Ace" McCulloch for the NAPA team's newfound success this season. "He's the man," said Capps in the winner's circle. "He's done well in his career, driven Funny Cars, Top Fuel dragsters. He's my hero. I can't tell you how I feel right now. More than anything [this win is great] for the NAPA guys and for Ace. He really worked hard in the off season and kind of started from scratch with the tune-up.

"It's like a really good cook learning how to cook again completely differently. The car is just so different to run, to feel, and it puts me in the trunk at half-track. It's so much fun to drive and when the win light comes on, it's even better.

"To run the 4:04 in the final was awesome. Ace could've just tried to go down the track, but he wanted to give the fans the best run this weekend.

Jeg Coughlin
2007 and 2008 Pro Stock Champion Coughlin, in the Chevy Cobalt, won in Phoenix for the second time in his career, defeating Kurt Johnson in the final round. This was the first time in eight final rounds against Johnson that Coughlin took the win light, even though he holds an overall head-to-head advantage against Johnson.

"That's a crazy stat," Coughlin admitted. "Any time you race Kurt you know you're in for a battle and it definitely means a little more to beat a driver of his caliber. I'll have to make sure and give him a hard time about this."

Coughlin put Steve Spiess, Jason Line and Ron Krisher in the trailer on his way to the final round.

"Sometimes you really have to fight your way through a race and that was certainly the case this weekend," said Coughlin, a 42-time winner in the Pro Stock class. "We're still trying to fine-tune this new Chevy and we're not at full speed just yet. My Dad and Roy (Simmons, crew chief) just kept at it every pass and the car was there for me. It's really cool to win for them and for my little man, Jeggie III, who came along this weekend. He's always good luck." # SNIP #
- - Courtesy Drag Race Central by Rick Green

Wed, 02.25.09: Now That Was Better
- - Lucas Oil Slick Mist NHRA Nationals Post-Event Review. Very good wrap-up article with numerous photos. I'm glad the author, Bob Frey, said something about the very large number of nitro engine explosions and out of control fires during qualifying (see my comments in next post) as follows: "The racing was good in every class at Phoenix, although I must admit there seemed to be more oil-downs than I can remember at recent events, especially the 1,000-foot races. I hope that's not a pattern that will repeat itself at future races." <> FlA Says: Bob has been around drag racing since the '60's and is highly regarded. Here's a good NHRA article about him, 04.29.07: For newest generation of fans, Frey is 'the voice' of drag racing.

Sat, 02.21.09: Father and Son Crew Chiefs Steals Firebird Spotlight - Ed and Jason McCulloch
      Jason McCulloch joined his legendary father Ed "the Ace" McCulloch in tuning his driver Larry Dixon to the No. 1 qualifying position at a National event Saturday, marking the first time in NHRA history such a feat has occurred. Just two races since being named crew chief of Larry Dixon's Al Anabi Racing Top Fuel dragster, Jason tuned Dixon to a class-leading 3.807 at 313.95 mph, while NHRA legend Ed (NHRA 19th Greatest Driver) guided Ron Capps to the top slot in Funny Car with a 4.023 at 305.63 mph in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T.
      "I'm so happy for Jason," Dixon said. "It's his first pole and he's part of something real special with the first father/son duo to get the pole at the same race. That's really cool. Normally the drivers get the credit, right or wrong, but today it needs to go to those two guys. It's well deserved." Dixon and crew held off a Saturday charge from six-time champion Tony Schumacher, who jumped up to second place with an improved 3.826 at 314.46 mph in the U.S. Army dragster.
      Like Dixon, Capps made his record run Friday, but that didn't diminish his enthusiasm for his longtime tuner's special moment. "Jason obviously soaked it all up from his old man," Capps said. "We all knew he'd be a great crew chief when he got the chance and I'm sure "Ace" is proud of him. "It's funny because those two are old school all the way, real gruff and all. Well a long time back I started making "Ace" give me a hug every day when I left the track. You know he didn't like it at first but it's kind of become our deal. Now I just say, "Okay, I'm outta here," and he'll automatically stand up to give me a hug. One day I said, "Do you hug Jason like this, and he was like, nah - Too funny." # SNIP # - Credit RDRN, Edited by FlA

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

43 posted on 03/14/2009 7:23:59 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney

Event Results, FlA Says: From the TV broadcast, other videos, and detailed track reports, Friday and Saturday nitro qualifying was very rough due to excessive engine explosions and fires. I can't remember the last time there has been this many. It was odd because many nitro teams tested at Firebird before the start of the 2009 season. However, the problems didn't surprise me because of NHRA's very bad decision to suspend track oildown monetary fines and points penalties for the 2009 season. The teams easily trashed $500,000 in parts during qualifying. Part of the problem was the left lane was bad for the entire event. Also, some inexperienced/less impressive drivers/teams were involved in engine explosions and fires. Maybe the Top Fuel crew chiefs and drivers just wanted to test the new NHRA mandated automatic safety shutoff controller *sarcasm*. The following nitro drivers experienced engine explosions and/or fires during qualifying, with none seriously injured - (R)ight Lane, (L)eft Lane:

== Top Fuel ==
Arley Langlo(L) - Major fire
Morgan Lucas(R)(L) - Two flash fires
Doug Kalitta(L) - Flash fireball. Had huge fire during Winternationals qualifying
Mike Strasburg(L) - Major explosion and fire
Troy Buff(L) - Flash Fire
Steve Faria(L) - Major fire
David Baca(L) - Major explosion and fire
== Funny Car ==
FC Tony Pedregon(R) - Explosion and very serious top-end fire that he had trouble getting under control.
Ashley Force(L) - Flash fire that came into the cockpit and around her helmet visor. She did a great job managing the incident.
-- List Compiled by FlA & Co.

Sunday's Final Eliminations went much better. Like Friday and Saturday, the weather was great but the left lane continued to be a major problem with about 95% of the wins coming in the right lane. Many nitro cars, and some pro stock cars, had trouble getting left lane traction with some experiencing major starting line tires shake/wheels hop. Great funny car event win by one of my favorite drivers Ron Capps. Two wins in a row for Ron with his NHRA legendary co-owner/crew-chief, and my No. 1 favorite active NHRA legend, Ed “The Ace” McCulloch. Unfortunately, the funny car finals was one of those situations where I wished both drivers could have won. Capps was up against Team Force's Mike Neff who had an outstanding weekend, despite his crew-chief John Medlen being in the hospital with heart problems. Below is the info on Eric’s(RIP) father’s situation. Latest report states John is doing alright but doesn't know when he will be released. Unfortunately, Mike's car broke(clutch linkage failure) during his burnout and his weekend was over. On his solo run, Capps didn't hold back and made a huge pass. Mike was the second Team Force funny car to experience mechanical problems in the Finals. After John Force's burnout, his engine was leaking fuel at the starting line. His crew finally got it stopped so he could stage. When the light went green, John lost traction and his weekend was over. John was very upset. I'm sure there was some butts kicked back at his pits. - fla

02.22.09: ESPN Video: Ron Capps Wins Two In A Row | Phoenix: Ron Capps Final Report

If you don't know about Top Fuel winner Antron Brown(website), he was Angelle Sampey's Pro Stock Motorcycle teammate until he moved to Top Fuel in 2008 because he and Angelle lost their U.S. Army sponsorship, as drivers for Don Schumacher Racing (largest NHRA racing team). As teammates, Antron and Angelle were very close. With his high pitched voice you wouldn't think he has the cojones to be a good drag racer, but he is. In PSM, Antron consistently had the lowest starting line reaction times I've ever seen. He had a great 2008 Top Fuel season finishing 5th in points, with two wins, and qualifed No. 1 three times. He's the only driver in NHRA history to win races in Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Pro Stock winner Jeg Coughlin, is another outstanding driver and individual with four NHRA Pro Stock World Championships, 2008, '07, '02, '00, 42 PS "Wallys"(event win trophies), and 69 Finals round appearances. This decade, Jeg, my main man Greg Anderson (2003, '04, '05 PS World Championship) and Greg's teammate 2009 Winternationals winner Jason Line (2006 PS World Championship) have dominated Pro Stock. There's no reason not to believe that one of these three will be the 2009 PS World Champion.

      02.19.09: John Medlen admitted to Indianapolis hospital - - Long-time John Force Racing crew chief John Medlen was admitted to an Indianapolis hospital for discomfort in his chest late Wednesday night. After an examination by doctors a routine medical procedure was performed and a stint was inserted into his heart. This is the second such procedure for the 59-year-old Medlen. In 2002, Medlen had a stint inserted as a precaution and, as a result, missed the NHRA national event at Seattle. He returned a week later to resume his responsibilities at Sonoma, Calif. A year later, he won the NHRA POWERade championship for JFR with driver Tony Pedregon.
      "John Medlen like everyone in my organization is an extremely hard worker," said team owner John Force. "We have been having meetings and working around the clock to start this season off as successfully as possible for all our sponsors. I know Medlen has already been talking with (driver) Mike Neff about how to run the Ford Drive One Ford Mustang this weekend. Incidents like this are why John Medlen wanted to bring Mike Neff on board.
      "Neff won the 2005 championship as a crew chief with Gary Scelzi so obviously he in a good position to step in to help out. Medlen wanted to have a back-up in the crew chief position on his team like I do with our other teams and now it is really paying off for us. We’ll have the whole crew chief brain trust working on that Mustang this weekend with input from Medlen in Indy."
44 posted on 03/14/2009 7:37:58 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney

Great thread! and I wish they would return to 1/4 mile racing. How do I get on a ping list.

45 posted on 03/14/2009 7:38:34 PM PDT by kickonly88
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To: flattorney

March 12-15, 2009
3rd of 24 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Events
Event Schedule | Entry List | Team Reports | Live Audiocast (WMPlayer Direct) | Results
2008 Winners: TF Tony Schumacher ~ FC Tony Pedregon, ~ PS Jeg Coughlin ~ PSM Matt Guidera

Tickets | Fans Assistance KBase | Gainesville Chamber of Commerce
The Gatornationals attracts significant crowds. Many good local area hotels are booked months in advance.
Parking can be problematic so all fans must arrive several hours before championship racing starts.

Weather: Gainesville Race Track Maps: US Surface SEast: Surface IR Satellite Live Radar: 1 2 3
Forecasts may be inaccurate. Florida's Spring weather is unpredictable and can change on short notice.
      The Gatornationals is the NHRA East Coast opener and the season’s first of seventeen(17) events for Pro Stock Motorcycle riders. It's one of the sport’s most revered races with a rich tradition of history-making performances. It also typically hosts one of the largest event attendance of the NHRA championship drag racing season. And with good weather, the 40th Annual NHRA ACDelco Gatornationals should be no different with cash and contingency awards totaling more than $2 million. This hallowed race track has produced the first 260 mph Top Fuel and Funny Car runs in 1984, and the first 270 mph and 300 mph Top Fuel passes in 1986 and 1992, respectively. During the 2000 NHRA Gatornationals, eight of ten National records were set in the professional classes. Gainesville Raceway's starting line 675 feet concrete launchpad, flat racing surface, and very long shutdown area, makes it one of the drivers' favorite on the tour.
      Gainesville Raceway opened in 1969 and held its first Gatornationals event in 1970. It’s the fourth oldest event on the NHRA Championship Drag Racing annual tour, behind the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, and the Winternationals and NHRA Finals at Pomona. Following the 2003 season, Gainesville Raceway has continued to undergo significant renovations. In 2008, a new $2.6 million three-story state-of-the-art control tower was completed, which is located directly behind the drag strip’s starting line. The track offices are on the first floor, race-control operations on the second floor, and a spacious media center on the top floor.
      Gainesville Raceway is the home of Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School, which for twenty-four years has been the leading school for drivers competing in the NHRA. Gainesville, and Gainesville Raceway, are also home to the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame. On Thursday, March 12, 2009, the 2009 inductees will be honored at the Annual International Hall Of Fame Banquet being held at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center, Gainesville. The Gatornationals is noted for attracting a "who's who" of NHRA legends. Many attend unannounced and can be found in the pit areas. Don Garlits, NHRA No. 1 Greatest, will be attending the full Gatornationals event. Darrell Gwynn, NHRA No. 32nd Greatest, will be attending the Finals, on Sunday, March 15, 2009, in behalf of the Darrell Gwynn Foundation, which is an official charity of the NHRA. ~ FlA
      The Four Championship Drag Racing Divisions Event Schedule
Fri. 03.13.09: Pro Stock Qualifying Session 1 (PS Motorcycle; PS Car): 11:30 am
Nitro Qualifying Session 1 (Funny Car; Top Fuel Dragster): 12:30 pm
Pro Stock Qualifying Session 2 - 2:30 pm
Nitro Qualifying Session 2 - 3:30 pm
Sat. 03.14.09: Pro Stock Qualifying Session 3 - 11:30 am
Nitro Qualifying Session 3 - 12:30 pm
Pro Stock Qualifying Session 4 - 2:30 pm
Nitro Qualifying Session 4 - 3:30 pm
Sun. 03.15.09: Pre-Race Ceremonies: 10:00 am
Final Eliminations: 11:00 am
   ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals Coverage (ET)
Sun, 03.15 Qualifying 2:00-4:00 am (ESPN2)
Sun, 03.15 Repeat Qualifying 10:00-11:30 am (ESPN2)
Sun, 03.15 NHRA Race Day 11:30 am-12:00 (ESPN2)
Sun, 03.15 Eliminations 3:00-6:00 pm (ESPN)(1)(2)
Wed, 03.18 Repeat Eliminations 2:30-4:30 am (ESPN2)
(1) Note channel change from ESPN2 to ESPN
(2) Watch Full Coverage On-Line at ESPN 360

Can’t get interviews from some of the NHRA drivers.
No problem, ESPN sends in a Brut Girl to get “the dirt”.

Photos, Greg & Kim Anderson: The media often calls John Force the Dale Earnhardt Sr. of drag racing. But the person that most reminds me of Dale is, without question, 3 time (2003-5) NHRA Pro Stock World Champion Greg Anderson. Greg has many of Dale’s mannerism, is a great guy, and a very tough competitor with 57 NHRA event wins. 2009 will be Greg’s 11th NHRA racing season. His wife Kim is on the starting line every time Greg makes a 1/4 mile pass. And, the male drag racing fans love her – more like lust for her. NHRA Profile | His Site Bio | Racing History ~ fla

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

46 posted on 03/14/2009 7:54:24 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney

      FlA Says: This will be my 10th consecutive year to attend the Gatornationals, and my 76th NHRA national drag racing event. Nine of us are making the trip and we are attending all three professional championship racing days from Friday to Sunday. Our attending group paid the highest prices ever for advanced 2009 Gatornationals tickets. So much for all of NHRA's marketing yap about lower ticket costs for this event. Basically, the good seats ticket holders are cross-subsidizing the "event filler" people in the general admission cheap seats. Nothing new, and hey socialism is now politically correct. However, I'm not complaining. Three days of Gatornational tickets were dramatically cheaper than the three NASCAR races we attended at Daytona International Speedway last month.
      Below are several recent track photos, except the last one. The aerial photo is over a decade old before major renovations started. It shows why Gainesville Raceway is one of my favorite tracks - flat and very long. In my book, this offsets the facility being dated, although it has come a long way the last six years. It's also the reason I waited until I moved to Florida to get back into a blown alcohol dragster after attending and receiving my certification from Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School. Great track and great school (1.-Footnote). Check out the photo of the newly upgraded shutdown area sandtrap and catch-net. Construction was just completed. Now this is how they are suppose to look. Not like that joke at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Englishtown that NHRA ignored until Scott Kalitta was killed.

      03.11.09 Weather: A major pressure front is moving towards north Florida, but is projected to stall out northern of Gainesville and not bring rain to the area until Mon-Wed of next week. However, some forecasts indicate a 20-30% rain chance on Sunday. Hopefully there will be no rain and thunderstorms like last year. Gainesville Raceway Fri-Sun Projection: Cloudy, fog during early mornings, low to mid-80's afternoon, low-moderate winds, mid-50's night, possibility of rain Sunday. It will be interesting to see what total attendance ends up being for the Gatornationals. Despite great weather, the attendance was down for the last NHRA race in Phoenix.
      Below is part of what I wrote about our attending the 2008 Gatornationals. All corrupted NHRA related links, which happened with the NHRA's new Feb. 2009 website, have been corrected by FlA & Co. and another new link added. Unfortunately, NHRA corrupted 98% of their archive webpages' links and they still have not fixed them.

Mon. 03.17.08, FlA Says: We had a good time at the 39th annual NHRA Gatornationals. Weather was much more problematic than the three NASCAR races we attended at Daytona International Speedway last month. The first day of qualifying was rained out, the second day was overcast, high humidity, and significant cross track winds. For Sunday’s eliminations the weather was great – sunny, low 80’s, low humidity, and low winds. The track was good but the nitro, and even some of the pro stock cars, had problems getting down the track due to the major changes in weather conditions between Saturday and Sunday. In the first round of eliminations, Tony Pedregon's brother, Cruz, 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, recovered from burn injuries resulting from a huge season opener top-end explosion and serious fire at the Winternationals, won Top Fuel Funny Car. For the first time in 18 years, two time Funny Car champion Frank “The Teacher” Hawley returned to competition. Don "Big Daddy" Garlits was the Gatornationals Grand Marshal. He and Frank dedicated the track's new multi-million dollars three-story tower.

NHRA: Results Article | Detailed Results | Competition Plus Finals Coverage
Video: Honoring Eric Medlen, One Year Later - 5:36 minutes, plays direct in Windows Media Player
2008 Winners (L-R): PSM Matt Guidera ~ FC Tony Pedregon ~ TF Tony Schumacher ~ PS Jeg Coughlin

      (1) On the personal racing subject, all my racing friends are very surprised that I have not learned to drive a grand national stock car because NASCAR racing has been/is a very important part of my racing life, and I've always liked the pre-COT cars. It was my No. 1 "free time" priority when I moved to Florida. But with four NASCAR drivers killed at the track in nine months culminating with the February 18, 2001 loss of Dale Earnhardt, Sr., I walked away from the sport until 2003. I attended the 2001 Daytona 500 when Dale was killed. Without question, it was the toughest racing loss I’ve ever dealt with and for me, was the end of NASCAR's best racing years. However, the only Daytona 500 I’ve missed attending this decade is 2002. But, attending the Daytona NASCAR races is as much for business reasons as it is personal. My/our attendance at the Talladega NASCAR races is mostly personal. By the time I got interested again in learning to drive a grand national stock car I was too busy with work, politics, and later on a deal I couldn't refuse, I joined a team and begin offshore Grand Prix superboat racing. Further, the best school and track to learn to drive is at Talladega Superspeedway, which is not convenient. But, with the recession and the National GOP out of power, I now have more time available to go to Talladega and learning to drive one of those "beast".
      As to our annual February pilgrimage to attend all three 2009 races at Daytona International Speedway, I thought it was interesting that NASCAR's season started out as bad as NHRA's. I rated the Budweiser Shootout an F, Gatorade Duels: A-, and the rain ended Daytona 500: C. Will have to see how it goes when we attend the two April NASCAR races at Talladega, which is the weekend after the SBIP/APBA 19th Annual Miami Super Boat Grand Prix. - FlAttorney's FR Racing - NASCAR Section
47 posted on 03/14/2009 7:56:01 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
Selected Racing News

A major upgrade was recently performed on Don Garlits website: Museum of Drag Racing and International Drag Racing Hall of Fame. It looks great. Check it out.

03.11.09: Speedway Motorsports Reports Results for Fourth Quarter and Year Ended December 31, 2008
- - Nice to see Bruton Smith doing well including zMAX Dragway at Lowe's Motor Speedway - "The Bellagio of Dragstrips". Hope the current NHRA owners go broke and Bruton takes an ownership run at it.

03.09.09: Doug Kalitta off and running in 2009
03.06.09: Connie Kalitta, 71, Masters The Controls
03.06.09: Drag-racing legend Connie Kalitta perseveres after son's death

03.12.09: Gatornationals: New Team Drags Away Top Talent
# # Prince from Qatar takes aim at NHRA dominance - For the first time in 18 years, Chuck Worsham won't be at the race track with his son during this weekend's AC Delco Gatornationals. He will be 2,200 miles away at a bowling tournament in Las Vegas(1). The family owned team on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series closed its doors at the end of last year when it lost its primary sponsorship, and Del Worsham decided to drive a Funny Car for Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing. <> (1) Love it *lol*. . . and Chuck deserves the break. He and Del are both outstanding individuals.

03.06.09 NHRA Drivers Seeing more Red: Top Fuel's Cory McClenathan, Troy Buff and Mike Strasburg all red lighted during the opening round of the National Hot Rod Association's event in Phoenix on Feb. 22. There appears to be an explanation for the rash of reds. The NHRA has implemented a new variable timing Christmas tree, and that has made starts a little more interesting. I like it because it takes some of the guesswork out of drag racing and rewards racers for their skills. Funny Car driver Ron Capps agreed when he participated in Tuesday's NHRA's teleconference. "I think if there's any drivers complaining, then they need to go back and practice some more," said Capps, driver of the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger. "I'm saying that because I could very well red light the next race. But the fact is we did it as a group because we wanted to bring the driver back into it more." Capps said he almost red lighted in his semifinal win over Robert Hight in the opener at Pomona. "For people that don't know much about the tree, the amount of time when a flash of yellow would come down when both cars were staged, a guy could count one thousand one, one thousand two, and almost guess at the light," Capps said. "We wanted to put it back into the driver, make the driver a little more important I guess. "There were too many guys taking shots and guesses. That's not good when you come home to your kid and you explain a loss because a guy guessed at a tree." - Credit MLive

Selected 2009 Gatornationals Previews
Top Fuel: Doug Kalitta | Brandon Bernstein | Larry Dixon
Funny Car: Ron Capps | Robert Hight | Del Worsham | John Force | Mike Neff
ESPN Videos: Top Fuel Antron Brown Heads to Gainesville | Funny Car Ron Capps is Undefeated

Funny Car - 03.12.09: John Medlen to Miss Second Race: With crew chief John Medlen still recovering from the effects of two medical procedures, including the placement of an arterial heart stent, John Force Racing's Mike Neff again will pull double duty on the Ford Drive One Mustang at this week’s 40th annual ACDelco Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. Runner-up at the most recent event in the NHRA’s Full Throttle Series (Phoenix, Ariz.), Neff will try to take the blue-and-white Ford one step further this week. Not only will he drive, but as on-site crew chief, he also will implement the mechanical game plan he and Medlen devised in advance of the season’s third event. Medlen will keep up with the team through the event on-line simulcast. Eric Medlen's(RIP) father continues to improve and will meet with his doctors this week to get more information regarding his timetable for a return to the drag strip. FlA Says: All our prayers are with John. The second medical procedure is new news since the last update after the Lucas Oil Slick Mist NHRA Nationals in Phoenix.

Pro Stock: - FlA Says: 2007 & '08 NHRA Pro Stock World Champion, and 2008 Gatornationals winner, Jeg Coughlin continues to be the guy to beat. He won in Phoenix, at the Lucas Oil Slick Mist NHRA Nationals, and moved to second overall in the points standings, two points behind leader Jason Line(1)(2), who won at Gainesville in 2005. The other "top gun" to watch is three-time Pro Stock World Champion (2003,04,05), and two-time Gatornationals winner, Greg Anderson(1), who is third in points. Kurt Johnson is worth keeping an eye on. He is presently sixth and won at Gainesville in 2003. - (1) Summit Racing; (2) 2006 PS World Champion, Won '09 Winternationals.
      Houston native, Erica Enders was DNQ for both the Winternationals and the Lucas Oil Slick Mist NHRA Nationals. In both events her car was not even close to making the 16 car field, with a 20th(of 22 cars) at the Winternationals(only 1 round of qualifying due to rain), and a 22nd(last place) at Phoenix which had four full rounds of qualifying. Needless to state, her crew chief needs to find more horsepower in Erica's Dragstar Racing Mustang.

Pro Stock Motorcycles: - FlA Says: Latest Angelle Sampey and Peggy Llewellyn News: The two best women PSM drivers are still sidelined with no sponsors. This is the first time in thirteen years that Angelle, who is the winningness women in NHRA history, is not PSM racing. Angelle has not given up hope and says she has a deal working that she will know more about after the Gatornationals. I will be surprised if she doesn't return to racing this season. Angelle has been through off-season team/sponsorship problems before, which were after she won three PSM World Championships. Even after she became a NHRA superstar, Angelle had several off-season team problems where they would only pick her up for the new season if she drove for no monetary compensation. Angelle said no, stuck to her guns, and finally got a sponsorship/team deal worked out.
      As to Peggy, she is doing a great job of marketing herself, I think better then Angelle, and matters look good that she will race at least part of the season. Both Angelle and Peggy are attending the full 2009 Gatornationals to shake the sponsorship and network "trees". I'm sure Angelle will be in Antron Brown's pit. Since Peggy is a Texan, like Erica Enders, she will probably be in her pit. Hopefully, both Angelle and Peggy will tag team ESPN for some interview time. I greatly look forward to talking to both of them. If I had the time and money, I would sponsor both Angelle and Peggy as a PSM smackdown tag team, Nationally market them to the nth degree, and kick some butts at the track. A Texan(Peggy), a Cajun(Angelle), and a Texoridan(FlA, Texan, 1/2 Floridian). It would be the new "Mod Squad" of NHRA PRM racing *lol*. This is how strongly I feel about those two and I am not alone. Unfortunately, due to NHRA's incompetence, the Pro Stock Motorcycle division has serious marketing and exposure problems, which makes it difficult for many teams to attract primary sponsors on an on-going basis. And, sponsoring a PSM team is peanuts compared to a nitro team. The bottom-line, without Angelle racing many drag race fans will not have interest in PSM, including myself. However, I'll support Karen Stoffer and go to her PSM pit. I hope she really steps it up this season.

2008: Angelle and Peggy, Peggy and Karen

Here's the current Gatornationals PSM Entry List:

      As shown, the two women racing are Karen Stoffer and Angie McBride. I've been following Karen for most of her career. I like her but she's not in the same league as Angelle and frankly I think Peggy is a better total-package driver. Further, Angelle and Peggy are outstanding individuals off-the-track. In fact, Peggy has a better personality than my "track girlfriend" Angelle. Nothing against Karen, but Angelle and Peggy are better crowd magnets. Karen has solid sponsorship but her husband is crew chief and sometimes I wonder if he knows what he's doing, no disrespect intended. However, without question, Karen has my 100% respect. Years back, she had a bad PSM top-end crash, when her brakes 100% failed at 185 mph, and she ended up in the shutdown sand trap and catch-net. Karen did an outstanding job rebounding from that crash. Further, Karen is doing a number of things right. She and her team have a three years primary sponsorship from GEICO that runs through the end of the 2010 NHRA season. GEICO, owned by Berkshire Hathaway(Warren Buffett), is using the sponsorship to increase both their motorcycle and cars insurance sales. GEICO has been Karen's primary sponsor since 2004. The other PSM teams would kill to have her GEICO sponsorship. I hope Karen has a fantastic 2009 season.
      As to Angie McBride, the first few times I watched her race she had no business on the track. But Angie has improved dramatically and I think she could have a very good 2009 season. To be clear, I have total respect for all PSM drivers. I'll drive a dragster at 250-270 mph, but would never try to jockey a pro stock motorcycle. Those 195+ mph quarter-mile monsters are totally out of my league, along with many other hardcore drag racers I know. I've talked to some veteran nitro drivers who confidentially said they had no interest in ever trying a PSM quarter-mile pass.
      I hope a PSM breaks 200 mph, in the quarter-mile, this season. That would be a great day. And unlike the nitro divisions, NHRA national records count in the two pro stock divisions.

Gainesville Raceway: 6.911 ET by Angelle Sampey, March 2007, and
    197.45 MPH by Andrew Hines, March 2005 (also current NHRA National Record)(1)
NHRA National ET Record: 6.871 ET by Angelle Sampey, June 2007, Englishtown, NJ
- - (1) Andrew is another great individual that I really like. First class all the way.

03.04.09: NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Drivers Prepare for 2009: It’s a tradition as old as the class itself. Since it became a professional category in 1987, the Pro Stock Motorcycle class has begun each season under the warm Florida sun at the historic Gainesville Raceway. The 2009 Full Throttle Drag Racing season will be no exception as the 190+ mph class prepares to officially kick off the season at the 40th annual ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals, March 12-15 in Gainesville, Florida. Typically the third stop for Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock drivers, Pro Stock Motorcycle riders spend the entire three month offseason tuning, testing, and prepping for the historic and revered stop on the Full Throttle circuit.
      “Right now, we’re at the shop, working every day,” said Snap-on tools Suzuki rider and 2005 Gatornationals winner, Steve Johnson. “We’ve got a new bike for 2009, and we’re trying to get it finished. It’s full speed ahead to get ready for Gainesville.” The scene in Johnson’s shop is similar to that in every Pro Stock Motorcycle shop around the country with teams making last minute changes before the event. For many drivers, the off-season saw new life with new teams. The 2007 Full Throttle world champion, Matt Smith, was one of those riders. Smith, who had spent most of his Pro Stock Motorcycle career tuning and working on his own bikes, made the move from his family-owned team to the famed and legendary Don Schumacher Racing stable. The move also put Smith on a Suzuki; a change from the Buell-powered bikes he has run the past two years. “I’m excited,” said Smith. “I’m looking forward to working with Steve (Tartaglia, crew chief) and Don (Schumacher) this year and seeing what we can do on that Suzuki. And try to win some races and win a championship.”
      Defending Full Throttle world champion Eddie Krawiec is also hoping to get the boost he knows he’ll need to defend his title. “Going into Gainesville is a little bittersweet,” said Krawiec. “It’s the first race defending the championship, but I also know I have a target on my back and they’ll all be gunning for me. My main focus is to represent Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to the best of my ability and to help the team maintain the consistency we’ve shown since the second part of last season. This is what it will take to defend the championship.” - Credit CP
48 posted on 03/14/2009 7:57:56 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
Chris "The Greek" Karamesines
NHRA 30th Greatest | 2006 Inducted, Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
Inducted, International Drag Racing Hall of Fame

I believe the ageless drag racing marvel is either 80 or 81 years young. "Greek" is entered to run Top Fuel at the 2009 NHRA Gatornationals: #: 323, Class: Top Fuel, Driver: Chris Karamesines, Hometown: Chicago IL, Car Make: '09 URC, Engine: BAE 500, Sponsor(s) Entry: Strange Engineering/Chizler. I know what pit Don Garlits and other attending NHRA legends will be hanging out. ~ fla

NHRA No. 30 Greatest: What Chris Karamesines lacks in NHRA national event wins (none) he's more than made up for in near-mythical tales generated during a six-decade career. Equipped with a fearless driving style that was largely influenced by his stint behind the wheel of stock cars on dirt tracks in the early 1950s, "the Greek" has probably saved more runs in his popular series of Chizler dragsters from full-throttle wheelstands or completely sideways launches than any other driver would dare claim.
Motorsports Hall of Fame of America: The vast majority of inductees in the Motorsports Hall of Fame have amassed astounding records on the track, but there’s more to a successful career than a checklist of wins and losses. Numerous individuals have had dramatic impacts on their chosen fields of competition without ever having challenged the statisticians, and such is the case with the man known from Coast to Coast as “The Greek,” Chris Karamesines. Just as Hall of Famers “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney and “TV Tom” Ivo played significant roles in helping make drag racing an accepted form of motorsports, so too has Chris Karamesines, but unlike those mentioned, “The Greek” is still driving his 7,000 horsepower Top Fuel dragster in his seventh decade! To understand Karamesines’s impact on the sport one must look far beyond his unofficial breaking of the 200 MPH barrier back in the early 60s. Prior to the time of Karamesines’s remarkable run at Alton Dragway in Illinois the Windy City native had impressed West Coast fans with his showmanship, competitive performances and, most importantly, his unmatched personality. Soft-spoken to a fault and bearing an often uncanny resemblance to movie star Caesar Romero at the height of his box office appeal, when “The Greek” climbed out of his car and said things like, “I went so fast that time my mustache almost caught fire!” people listened –and didn’t forget.

Excellent "Greek" Top Fuel Racing Videos: 1990 NHRA Le Grandnationals Molson
Sanair International Raceway, Saint-Pie, Quebec (Outside of Montreal)
Eliminations, Chris Karamesines vs.: Lori Johns, Round 2(1) | Joe Amato, Semi-Finals
Second video includes interview with Chris after his huge win against Amato. Greek lost in the Finals to defending NHRA Top Fuel World Champion Gary Ormsby(2)
Bonus Videos: Great one of two Texans, in Round 1 of eliminations, Kenny Bernstein vs. Eddie Hill, then interviews with both.
On a serious note, video of Don Prudhomme's huge Top Fuel dragster blowover and over the guardrail crash, then interview with "Snake" afterwards.
Don Garlits does the color commentary. God bless Diamond P for all their great NHRA legends videos/DVDs.
(1) Here's a great drag racing career compilation video of Texan Lori Johns. - 6:38 mins
(2) Aw. . . , one more video of Top Fuel eliminations on the other side of the ladder. Gary Ormsby vs. Eddie Hill, Shirley Muldowney, and Frank Hawley who was driving for Darrell Gwynn after his career ending Top Fuel crash. Talk about super-legends racing action. Of note, Sanair International Raceway is where Shirley Muldowney suffered her horrendous over the guardrail and near-fatal crash on June 29, 1984 during qualifying. Her injuries resulting in many surgical procedures to allow her to walk again. The rehabilitation process took 18 months before Shirley returned to the drag strip in 1986. However, her one leg that was severely crushed never was the same.

"Greek's" Drag Racing History and Outstanding Collection of Vintage Photos: (1) | (2)

I like the Greek and Miss Hurst 1970 photo. Chris is probably
talking to her about the finer aspects of oversize cylinder boring.

49 posted on 03/14/2009 8:00:25 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
The Eric Medlen Project

03.06.09: Eric Medlen Project Saving Lives
- - The memory of the loss still haunts the drag racing community. March 23 will mark the second year since the tragic accident that killed Funny Car driver Eric Medlen. As painful as the loss has been, many will gain solace in knowing that Medlen’s death has led to the creation of a safer and better engineered Funny Car. While there are no accomplishments that will ease the burden of the loss, knowing that the chances of a similar loss of life are greatly reduced, helps many to cope. The racing community can thank the Eric Medlen Project for that assurance. In the aftermath of that accident, John Force Racing and Ford Racing banded together to form The Eric Medlen Project, with an eye on finding and improving safety innovations for the sport. Along with the NHRA, John Force Racing and Ford Racing have instituted a series of safety measures ranging from significant Funny Car chassis modifications to the instillation of the Ford Blue Box (crash data recorder) on all nitro cars. The Eric Medlen Project is based in Indianapolis and housed within a special 50,000 square foot building. “You can see everything that we have developed working with NHRA, working with Ford Motor Company and their technicians,” explained team owner John Force. “You can go there because we built a virtual reality tour and you can walk through and see it, what we’ve done.” Force offers documentation from Ford as proof positive the Eric Medlen Project is making a difference.

03.05.09 John Force Interview, This Week in Ford Racing
- - Two years ago this month, the drag racing community lost John Force Racing Mustang driver Eric Medlen in a tragic Funny Car testing accident. In the aftermath of that accident, John Force Racing and Ford Racing banded together to form The Eric Medlen Project, with an eye on finding and improving safety innovations for the sport. Along with the NHRA, John Force Racing and Ford Racing have instituted a series of safety measures ranging from significant Funny Car chassis modifications to the instillation of the Ford Blue Box (crash data recorder) on all nitro cars. This important work continues and This Week In Ford Racing recently caught up with 14 time Funny Car World Champion John Force and with Pat DiMarco, Ford Racing Vehicle Dynamics and Electronics Supervisor, for an update on The Eric Medlen Project and ongoing safety developments.

The Eric Medlin Project to Address Safety Issues
08.31.07: Brownsburg, Ind. --

Drag racing champion John Force formally has announced the creation of The Eric Medlen Project at John Force Racing and revealed some of the specifics of the Funny Car safety initiative upon which he embarked soon after Medlen lost his life in a testing accident.

The 14-time NHRA Champion said plans to build the Funny Car of the Future (FCF) in a 50,000 square foot addition to his existing shop facility "is more important to me than all my championships."

In creating The Eric Medlen Project (TEMP), Force said his goal was to secure the legacy of its namesake, enhance race car safety in all forms of motor racing and sustain the JFR racing dynasty, which has claimed 15 NHRA Funny Car championships in the last 17 seasons.

"Our purpose is to show everyone that all of us at John Force Racing will never forget Eric Medlen and the impact he had on us," Force said of the young driver he has called "the son I never had."

John Force
To address safety and performance goals, Force ultimately wants to create every race car component and perform every step of the preparation process in-house. That would include everything from building the engines and the chassis for Funny Cars and dragsters to applying the paint.

"Don't get me wrong," Force said. "I am still working with (chassis builder) Murf McKinney, but one day we plan to evolve to doing everything in-house because that's the best way to maintain quality control."

In addition, TEMP will contain the high-tech data acquisition and testing equipment needed to support the JFR safety initiative. Force again emphasized that his team, led by Eric's father, John Medlen, will share all the safety-related data it develops with the NHRA and the PRO (Professional Racecar Owners).

The elder Medlen, who was crew chief on his son's Ford Mustang, is relocating from Russellville, Ark., with his wife, Martha. Hired in 1996 to oversee the build-up of a second JFR Funny Car team, Medlen also will resume his duties as crew chief on a Ford Mustang driven by rookie Mike Neff.

Mimi, Eric Medlen statue, John and Martha.
In addition to the program specifics, Force also announced that through Main Gate, Inc., the John Force RaceStation store and the website, the sale of Eric Medlen memorabilia already has generated more than $200,000 for division among four charities specified by the Medlen family including Racers for Christ International, Inc., and the Drag Racing Association of Women (DRAW).

"Seeing Eric's dad so strong is all that gets me through it," Force said of the loss of the leader of his Next Generation of drivers. He also credited Medlen for putting him back on track following the March accident.

"He told me that my job was to lead this team and that I wasn't doing that," Force said. "He said Eric would have been disappointed in the way I was acting. That got my mind right because I knew then that I had to give John Medlen the tools he needed to make sure that what happened to Eric didn't happen to someone else. The only way I knew to do that was to keep on racing."

The thrust of TEMP will be the creation of the FCF, a concept vehicle that Force insists must be both "affordable and competitive.

"John Medlen already has talked to engineers about what can and can't be done," Force said. "We've talked to people inside the sport, like Murf McKinney, and people in IndyCar and NASCAR and Formula One."

Lucas, Bernstein, Force, Todd with Eric's statue.
In the weeks after the accident, Force dictated immediate changes based on conversations with Dr. John Melvin, a biomechanical research scientist with extensive crash safety experience. The resulting improvements likely prevented injury to drivers Robert Hight and Ashley Force during subsequent accidents at Topeka, Kan., and Seattle, Wash., respectively.

John Medlen, who is working closely with the NHRA, SFI, Ford Motor Company and others on the safety initiatives, calls the spirit of cooperation he has seen thus far unprecedented.

"We've been given data that it would have taken years for us to develop on our own," Medlen said. "It's been a very humbling experience that shows the depth of the impact of Eric's accident."

"It's a joint effort," Force said, "and whatever (safety) data is developed and whatever the conclusions are, we'll share them with the entire racing community. It's not just for my own children (daughters Ashley, 24, Brittany, 20, and Courtney, 18, all are racers), it's for all the mothers and fathers and their children who are out here with us. To make the sport better for them, better for the future, that's why I'm investing my money and why the sponsors are investing their money."

While the creation of the FCF will be a priority, The Eric Medlen Project ultimately will be competition-driven. Using machine tools built by Giddings and Lewis and Fadal, TEMP this fall will deliver a Ford-branded fuel motor.

Eric Medlen never will be far away from the project that bears his name. A life size bronze statue of the once aspiring rodeo cowboy now occupies a prominent position beneath the flagpole outside the JFR complex and a room inside the shop is dedicated to the six-time tour winner, remembering his life in photos, displays and testimonials. The statue, unveiled in ceremonies on Thursday, Aug. 30, was cast by Storyland Studios in Lake Elsinore, Calif., the same company that created the statue of NHRA founder Wally Parks that stands in front of the NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, Calif. - - Credit DRO

50 posted on 03/14/2009 8:02:45 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney

Sure is an interesting thread. Bikes and drag boats are my favorites. We once had a Top Alcohol boat race on the Columbia River a mile from my house. Had to give up the venue due to a little current shear half way through the course.

I’ve never actually seen Pro Stock or fuel bikes in person, but many times have watched lesser classes in the 1/8 and quarter miles. Always fascinated me how a pro drag rider might get into the high nines on a stock bike like a Hayabusa, but put a regular street rider on the bike for the Friday night drags and he’ll be lucky to get into the low elevens.

All I have is a CR500 dirt bike — real quick in the 16th!

51 posted on 03/14/2009 8:18:09 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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Really like racing cars in general, used to do it, SCCA racing mostly Riverside and Willow Springs. Formula Vee...The yearly racing schedules at Riverside held a variety of different cars Nascar, Sports Cars, Open Wheel, Indy, Bikes, I think there was some Drag Racing at one time.

BTW, there is one racing series that includes drag racing and road racing together, :-)

52 posted on 03/14/2009 8:56:49 PM PDT by msnpatriot
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To: flattorney
"...NHRA purchased by banking...weenies..."


Who, pray tell, was that??

53 posted on 03/14/2009 9:27:30 PM PDT by diogenes ghost
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To: flattorney

Final Qualifying Results After Four Rounds

  Psn  Driver               Vehicle                          ET   Speed
   1. Larry Dixon          Al-Anabi Racing Dragster        3.886  310.20 
   2. Spencer Massey       US Smokeless Dragster           3.908  307.16 
   3. Cory McClenathan     Fram Dragster                   3.919  309.63 
   4. Brandon Bernstein    Budweiser/Lucas Oil Dragster    3.922  312.64 
   5. Shawn Langdon        Lucas Oil/Dixie Chopper Dragst  3.937  309.63 
   6. Tony Schumacher      U.S. Army Dragster              3.943  307.58 
   7. Antron Brown         Matco Tools Dragster            3.943  305.77 
   8. Joe Hartley          Hartley Racing Dragster         3.965  307.72 
   9. Morgan Lucas         Geico Powersport/ Lucas Oil Dr  3.971  297.42 
  10. Clay Millican        MPE Motorsportd Dragster        3.978  302.69 
  11. Del Cox Jr           LA King's/RG Industries DRA Dr  3.993  304.12 
  12. Terry McMillen       Amalie Oil Dragster             4.014  299.73 
  13. Urs Erbacher         Midland Oil Switzerland Dragst  4.043  286.25 
  14. Michael Gunderson    Under The Gun Racing Dragster   4.082  287.96 
  15. Bobby Lagana Jr.     Tire Kingdom Dragster           4.090  263.67 
  16. Doug Kalitta         Kalitta Motorsports Dragster    4.118  293.98 
          --------- Not Qualified ---------
  17. Tim Boychuk          Tim Hortons Dragster            4.178  273.33 
  18. Chris Karamesines    Strange/Chizler Dragster        6.137  195.85 
  19. Terry Haddock        Dragster                        8.228  176.14 
  Psn  Driver               Vehicle                          ET   Speed
   1. Bob Tasca III        Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang   4.124  301.00 
   2. Ashley Force Hood    Castrol GTX Mustang             4.126  301.00 
   3. Del Worsham          Al-Anabi Racing Solara          4.152  295.08 
   4. John Force           Castrol GTX Mustang             4.153  295.21 
   5. Mike Neff            JFR/Ford Mustang                4.154  300.93 
   6. Ron Capps            NAPA Auto Parts Charger         4.156  293.15 
   7. Matt Hagan           Brakesafe Charger               4.157  299.66 
   8. Tim Wilkerson        Levi, Ray, Shoup Mustang        4.163  302.08 
   9. Jack Beckman         Valvoline/MTS Charger           4.178  294.50 
  10. Robert Hight         AAA of So. Cal Mustang          4.179  299.20 
  11. Tony Pedregon        Quaker State Impala             4.181  296.50 
  12. Jerry Toliver        Canidae Pet Food Monte Carlo    4.184  287.66 
  13. Mike Smith           Diamond Trucking Monte Carlo    4.199  295.21 
  14. Jeff Arend           DHL Solara                      4.222  290.94 
  15. Cruz Pedregon        Advance Auto Parts Solara       4.222  292.90 
  16. Jim Head             Team Strange Apparel Solara     4.233  294.43 
          --------- Not Qualified ---------
  17. Bob Bode             Alard Machine Products Impala   4.352  286.07 
  Psn  Driver                Vehicle                         ET   Speed
   1. Mike Edwards         Young Life/Penhall GXP          6.582  209.95 
   2. Greg Anderson        Summit Racing Equipment GXP     6.596  209.59 
   3. Allen Johnson        Mopar/J - J Racing Stratus      6.600  208.97 
   4. Kurt Johnson         AC Delco Cobalt                 6.603  208.49 
   5. Jason Line           Summit Racing Equipment GXP     6.618  209.14 
   6. Jeg Coughlin Cobalt                 6.623  208.36 
   7. Johnny Gray          Jonny Gray Racing Stratus       6.625  208.46 
   8. Rickie Jones         Quarter-Max/RJ Stratus          6.626  207.94 
   9. Larry Morgan         Lucas Oil Stratus               6.627  208.01 
  10. Greg Stanfield       Attitude Apparel GXP            6.633  208.07 
  11. Justin Humphreys     RaceRedi Motorsports GXP        6.637  207.53 
  12. Jim Yates            Wiley X Eye Wear GXP            6.644  207.75 
  13. Steve Spiess         Spiess Construction Cobalt      6.646  207.69 
  14. Ron Krisher          Valvoline Cobalt                6.647  207.56 
  15. Tom Martino          Humphreys Motorsports Stratus   6.655  207.18 
  16. V. Gaines            Kendall Oil Stratus             6.667  207.05 
          --------- Not Qualified ---------
  17. Dave Northrop        Nitro Fish Wear Stratus         6.672  207.05 
  18. Warren Johnson       K N Filters GXP                 6.675  208.68 
  19. Tom Hammonds         Race For Achievement Cobalt     6.677  207.15 
  20. Jerry Haas           Medina River Ranch Resort GTO   6.708  205.98 
  21. Rodger Brogdon       Kent Services - Trucking GXP    6.715  206.42 
  22. Bob Benza            BNB Racing GXP                  6.738  205.66 
  23. Erica Enders         Dragstar Racing Mustang         6.797  201.94 
  24. John Gaydosh Jr      Gaydosh Performance GTO         6.813  202.97 
  Psn  Rider                Vehicle                          ET   Speed
   1. Matt Smith           Nitrofish Suzuki                6.945  189.44 
   2. Hector Arana         Lucas Oil Buell                 6.957  191.40 
   3. Karen Stoffer        Geico Suzuki                    6.963  190.43 
   4. Angie McBride        NitroFish/MSR/Redline Oil Buel  6.963  189.50 
   5. Andrew Hines         Screamin' Eagle/Vance Hines     6.991  188.62 
   6. Craig Treble         Team Scream Suzuki              7.005  189.26 
   7. Eddie Krawiec        Screamin' Eagle/Vance Hines     7.007  189.71 
   8. Steve Johnson        Steve Johnson Racing Wyotech    7.024  190.30 
   9. Wes Wells            Kendall Suzuki                  7.034  191.65 
  10. Michael Phillips     MPR & Damn Sport Suzuki         7.055  192.71 
  11. Shawn Gann           Mastercam Buell                 7.062  189.23 
  12. Matt Guidera         Rocklin Motorsports Buell       7.069  183.84 
  13. Douglas Horne        Horne Racing                    7.147  184.27 
  14. Redell Harris        Master P/No Limit Record Buell  7.158  180.55 
  15. Junior Pippin        Stone Mtn - Granite Mtn HD Bue  7.166  178.64 
  16. Ryan Schnitz         Team Muzzy Kawasaki             7.232  181.98 
          --------- Not Qualified ---------
  17. Joe DeSantis         Javelina H-D/ Green H-D Suzuk   7.242  184.25 
  18. Darin McCurdy        G M Racing Suzuki               7.307  183.07 
  19. Mike Berry           MB Machining/LAT Racing Oil B   7.338  181.54 
  20. James Surber         South County Cycles Racing Bue  7.371  179.85 
  21. John Sachs Jr        Yate Brothers Racing/SAX Suzuk   NT 
- Credit: NHRA

Wow look at Ashley, Karen and Angie go. Poor Erica 3rd race she didn't qualify. - TAB

54 posted on 03/14/2009 10:07:45 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: kickonly88; prisoner6; luv2lurkhere; Harold Shea; Vaduz; Jersey Republican Biker Chick; nancytx; ...

(Click to hear nitro motor start up)

Thread Announcement

55 posted on 03/14/2009 11:54:31 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney

56 posted on 03/15/2009 6:19:16 AM PDT by Poser (American-American)
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To: flattorney

NHRA Gaternationals: Behind the Scenes with ESPN

03.14.09: ESPN Revved up about Gatornationals | ESPN Control Room Video - Behind the Scenes
      Take an in-depth look at what goes into filming NHRA drag racing for ESPN television at the 2009 Gatornationals at Gainesivlle Raceway in Gainesville, Fl. - ESPN trucks rolled into Gainesville on Wednesday to set up for their coverage of the NHRA ACDelco Gatornationals this weekend as part of the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. ESPN took two days to fully set up all of the equipment needed, including 40 microphones and on-board cameras in the racing cars. Andy Hall, manager of media relations for ESPN Communications, said that it is more complicated to cover drag racing than other sports.

57 posted on 03/15/2009 6:49:31 AM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney

This is a tremendous thread, FA. Thanks for all your hard work!

I’ll be at the Vegas races next month (if we reach a verdict by then).

58 posted on 03/15/2009 7:06:05 AM PDT by Loud Mime (The IRS collectes $1 trillion in taxes each year. Why not forgive all taxes for a year? Stimulus!)
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To: flattorney
Oh Yeah!! The Last Tee Bucket I built was Influenced by the Winged express when I was in my teens.
59 posted on 03/15/2009 9:02:10 AM PDT by Cheetahcat (Osamabama the Wright kind of Racist!)
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To: flattorney

Final Results

Top Fuel Larry Dixon, Funny Car Bob Tasca, Pro Stock Jason Line and
Pro Stock Motorcycle Hector Arana Win ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals

Sun. March 15, 2009, Gainesville, FL --

Tasca, Arana, Line and Dixon
Bob Tasca completed a dream weekend Sunday by racing to his first career victory at the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals.

Larry Dixon, Jason Line and Hector Arana also were winners at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event at historic Gainesville Raceway.

Tasca, who earned his first No. 1 qualifying position on Saturday, finished the job Sunday by powering his Motorcraft Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang to a final-round performance of 4.200 seconds at 280.72 mph to hold off defending Gatornationals winner Tony Pedregon, whose Q Horsepower Chevy Impala trailed with a 4.536 at 210.90.

"I'm speechless," said Tasca, who defeated Jim Head, Tim Wilkerson and John Force to advance to the final round.

Bob Tasca
"It's one of those weekends where you qualify No. 1 and then have to beat John Force and Tony Pedregon to get your first win," Tasca continued. "Today is a culmination of 27 races and we've had our struggles as a team, including me as a driver. We're just determined to do well, and I can assure you that this won't be our last trophy. We have a championship-caliber program. What a special place this is and there's just a lot of energy here with the huge crowds. If you've got to pick a place to win your first race, I couldn't think of a better place to do it."

Points leader Ron Capps lost in the first round in his bid to win the first three races of the season, but maintained a 38-point lead over Tasca, who moved to second overall with the win.

Dixon raced to his first Top Fuel victory of the season and fourth at this event, posting a 3.898 at 311.05 in his Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing dragster to defeat Cory McClenathan, whose FRAM dragster lost traction early in the run and crossed the finish line in 4.570 at 192.60.

Larry Dixon
"It's hard to win these races, especially with a brand-new team," said Dixon, who beat Doug Kalitta, Morgan Lucas and Brandon Bernstein in earlier rounds. "They can have all the notes they want from last season but you don't have the same parts they had last season. They don't have the same blowers or the same clutch discs, and anyone who runs a fuel car will tell you that each of those parts has its own personality and you have to learn that personality and understand it, and they've been able to do that."

It is Dixon's first win for new team owner Alan Johnson. Dixon's first 43 wins came as driver for Don "The Snake" Prudhomme from 1995-'07.

"I know how hard it is to make these cars go down the track, but they make it look easy," Dixon said. "It's an a amazing group. Alan Johnson is a genius and (crew chief) Jason McCulloch is working right underneath him, and I'm happy for him to get his first win. I'm also happy for sheik [team co-owner Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad Al Thani] and to be able to get his first win the third race out. I'm honored to be driving the car."

Despite a second round upset to part-time racer Bobby Lagana, Antron Brown held on to the series lead in Top Fuel.

Jason Line
Line earned his second win of the season in Pro Stock by outrunning Allen Johnson in the final round. Line used a quicker reaction time to take the win, powering his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to a 6.614 at 209.20 to hold off the quicker but losing J&J Racing/Team Mopar Dodge Stratus of Johnson, which finished in 6.607 at 209.01.

"The engine guy side of me is really upset that I had to win on a holeshot," said Line, who also won the Gatornationals in 2005. "We've really struggled all weekend. We did not run good. (Top qualifier Mike) Edwards made us look bad. Hats off to him, he's driving really good. But it was a great win, and I'm very excited. For me to do this good this early in the year, it hasn't happened before so I'm excited. I've been driving pretty good, and knock on wood, it stays that way."

In the first three rounds, Line outran Jim Yates, Kurt Johnson and Rickie Jones. He says it was a great confidence boost to get the win despite not feeling like he had the best car.

"The guys did a good job because we did not have the best car this weekend," said Line, who extended his series lead with his 17th career win. "I was thinking to myself before the weekend started, the guy who drives the yellow car, Mr. Coughlin (Jeg Coughlin), very seldom does he win having the best car and we need to do the same thing because you're not going to have the best car every weekend and you'll have to step up some other part of it, and for me, it's the driving part. I'm doing the best I can and I thank the guys for working with me at the shop because they really do try to help me."

Hector Arana
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Arana raced to his second career victory with a 6.977 at 191.40 on his Lucas Oil Buell, to hold off final round opponent and event top qualifier Matt Smith, whose Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki slowed to a 7.133 at 185.51. With the win, Arana moved into the series points lead for the first time in his career. He beat Junior Pippin, defending world champ Eddie Krawiec and Shawn Gann to advance to his fourth career final round.

"It's really great to win this event, I've been coming here for a long time," said Arana, who won his first career race last June in Norwalk, Ohio after 18 seasons of trying. "I did it again. The first one wasn't a fluke and I'm going to win some more."

40th annual ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals Final Results
-- Full Throttle Divisions:

Top Fuel: Larry Dixon 3.898 seconds, 311.05 mph defeats Cory McClenathan 4.570, 192.60
Funny Car: Bob Tasca III 4.200, 280.72 defeats Tony Pedregon 4.536, 210.90
Pro Stock: Jason Line 6.614, 209.20 defeats Allen Johnson 6.607, 209.01
PS Motorcycle: Hector Arana 6.977, 191.40 defeats Matt Smith 7.133, 185.51
-- Credit DRC

Sunday Afternoon Weather - Thank you God


60 posted on 03/15/2009 9:36:10 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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