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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

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1 posted on 03/14/2009 4:53:38 PM PDT by flattorney
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To: flattorney
(1) All posts by TAB for FlA & Co. unless noted otherwise.
(2) Many news and information posts are from multiple sources, which are compiled, edited, and additional comments added by FlA.
(3) Posted images, from various original sources, are digitized, edited, and enhanced by FlA & Co.
(4) Opinions expressed on this thread are just that. . . personal opinions and nothing more.
(5) Due to the recession, many companies are laying off website maintenance and support personnel, along with reducing website quality. They also are decreasing the amount of time that some webpages, photos, and videos are available in order to reduce monthly broadband costs. Accordingly, some posted links may only be valid for a limited period of time.
(6) On, February 5, 2009, the NHRA launched a new and dramatically different website. Unfortunately it has a number of problems, some significant. Hopefully NHRA will correct these issues on a go-forward basis but some are design and interface problems. For example, the homepage interface is extremely slow and sometimes hangs-up your computer when you attempt to navigate to other pages on the site. There also are a very large number of corrupted links for all NHRA information prior to the new website’s date. This has significantly affected all sponsors, and related drag racing, websites with support links to’s webpages. One of the reasons for starting this thread was to provide additional trusted NHRA drag racing resources and provide correct and direct links to current and archive NHRA information. Alright. . . there’s another reason for starting this thread. My FR “Straight Talk” Racing Section is becoming too large for my profile page, primarily because of the NHRA section. With the major sponsorship issues, significant changes in teams, problems with NHRA’s website, etc., many issues did not stabilize until March so this FR thread could be posted.
(7) I/we don't plan on covering and posting every 2009 NHRA Full Throttle event. If you are interested in covering and post one or more races, please let me know in advance. If you plan on attending a 2009 NHRA Full Throttle event, or are interested in a particular one being covered, please advise in advance. If you would like a particular driver covered this season let me know and we will add he/she to our list. In addition to NHRA drag racing event posts, there will be special tribute posted to legend drivers, legend drag strips that are now only memories, and other items of interest.
(8) I greatly look forward to other FR members posts and contributions. Please advise if there are any posted factual errors or corrupted links. Spelling, grammar, typos, and errors due to lapses in brain waves activity don’t count *lol*. This is the busiest time of year for me. These posts were developed in between a zillion other things I have going on at work and my very heavy business/politics/personal travel schedule until May. Accordingly, I wasn't too worried about "style points".
(9) This is probably the only year I will do a thread of this nature at FR. It’s basically a political off-election year, forget about politics, forget about the recession and all the negative news, and just have fun thread. Thanks in advance. ~ fla
2 posted on 03/14/2009 4:54:01 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney

      FlA Says: As of the end of the 2008 season, as a spectator, I have attended seventy-four(74) NHRA national championship events. I've also raced both big-block gas dragsters (injected, then blown - University of Texas student days) and blown alcohol dragsters since moving to Florida 10 years ago - which has basically been screwing around reliving my young, once and a while, after attending Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School at Gainesville. This decade, I’ve attended NHRA championship drag racing at Gainesville, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Pomona, and Memphis.
      The 1st-2nd quarter 2009 NHRA events I/we are attending include:
Mar 06-08: 51st Annual March Meet, Famoso Raceway, Bakersfield, CA (NHRA Nostalgia Drag Racing)
Mar 13-15: 40th Annual ACDelco Gatornationals, Gainesville, FL
Mar 27-29: 22nd Annual O’Reilly Spring Nationals, Houston. TX
      We usually attend one or two NHRA events in the Fall, but I don’t know my 3rd-4th quarter racing attendance schedule until early summer. I would like to attend the NHRA Nationals at the new zMAX Dragway at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, NC (northeast of Charlotte). Interesting concept that Speedway Motorsports chairman Bruton Smith had two identical drag strips built side-by-side.

      I have attended NHRA professional drag racing since the age of 10, when my father took me to a match racing event between Don “The Snake” Prudhomme(NHRA 3rd greatest), Tom “The Mongoo$e” McEwen(16th greatest), and Ed “The Ace” McCulloch(19th greatest). Tom and Ed were wild and funny guys along with the ultimate "Cali cool". I have several great stories from my cigar smoking father and I hanging out in the pits with them between races. Don was Don, what can I say. God love him, Snake has never been Mr. Personality but he has his moments *lol*. And, I have always greatly admired Don because of his no BS, no candy-ass attitude. With this all-stars introduction to nitro drag racing I’ve been seriously hooked ever since.
      If you didn’t live in southern California, Texas was the second best place to live to see the NHRA racing legends. Many of them frequently raced here because ticket sales and crowds were good for racing events. Plus, a number of NHRA super-legends lived and based their racing operations out of Texas. For example, both nitro Funny Car legends Kenny Bernstein and Raymond Beadle lived and based their drag racing operations out of Dallas. Legendary NHRA Pro Stock World Champion(1981,82,83,84) Lee Shepherd(RIP) was based out of Arlington. In my book, Lee was "The Man" and his track death in 1985 really shook me up. Very bad testing accident and he was killed instantly. Then there was the legendary Eddie Hill, based out of Wichita Falls, who not only was a great dragster driver/innovator but the greatest nitro hydroplane drag boat driver in the history of the sport. Several of Eddie's drag boat records, set in the 1980's, will probably never be broken. These are just a few examples of Texas drag racing greats that I really liked. Texas was a drag racing hotbed back when I was young and it still is today. How could us young Texans go wrong? It was all about barbeque and/or Mexican food, chasing pretty girls, racing our own cars and dragsters on the weekends, and going to the drag strips when the NHRA "Top Guns" rolled into town.

      When I get some time, maybe this Summer or Fall, I will try to write more about my early drag racing days, learning how to build injected and blown(supercharged) drag racing engines, and I will try to find some of my old "The Kid"(I've always looked much younger than my age) drag racing photos to posts. I would look forward to reading your personal drag racing posts about your experiences, be it attending races, actual drag racing, or whatever you feel like posting.
      Basically, it was a fluke how I got into drag race driving. At the age of sixteen, I was a bank drive-in teller and one of my regular customers drove up to the window pulling a nitro hydroplane drag boat. I was shocked because this good looking, well dressed, middle-age man looked and acted like a doctor or lawyer. I asked him if that was his boat, he said yes, and gave me tickets to the races that weekend. Bill("JW") owned both a nitro drag boat and two dirt sprint cars teams. He financed the racing operations, and built the engines, but didn’t do the driving. Even when I was young my primary emphasis in drag racing was, and still is, engine and racing technology. In high school, a group of us rebuilt donated cars and sold them to finance our drag racing. I enjoyed rebuilding the engines with my friend. His father was a great engine mechanic and taught us how to do it. Besides, anything was better that slaving away doing body work, *lol*. The more I got into drag racing, the more I wanted to understand/adapt the technology to make my cars go faster in the quarter-mile. Meeting JW was a perfect deal for me.
      Over the next two years, JW would let me hang around his racing shop, where I was always asking questions and wanting to understand, and he put me to work helping build racing engines. When I graduated high school he talked me into learning how to drive a dragster, because I complained how boring modified street car drag strip racing was. Further, University of Texas was a hotbed of drag racing activity which is were I earned my undergraduate business degree and then my law degree. I ended up racing both big-block injected and then later blown gas dragsters during my UT undergraduate years and was totally addicted.
      During my senior year, my father(4th generation attorney) put the fear of God into me as to how hard UT's School of Law was, and I would never make it through and graduate, if I didn't stop my large amount of time/investment spent drag racing and engine building. I was also worried about attending law school. So, I basically stopped my drag racing activities at the end of summer after I graduated. I really hated having to quit because I had a new big block Keith Black engine, with an 8-71 blower, and some first class hardware inside. The first of the summer, JW's nitro drag boat driver got hurt pretty bad in a crash. He decided not to race the rest of the season so he could spend all his time on his sprint cars operation while his driver fully recovered. We took one of his nitro engines and rebuilt it into a "tamer beast" that ran on racing gas or methanol. He was honest about it and hoped the new "mountain motor" would change my mind about quitting drag racing at the end of the summer. I loved that engine but was worried about being a bum like some of my drag racing UT fraternity brothers that it took them 6-7 years to get their undergraduate degrees, if they didn't drop out of school. I figured that after I graduated law school I could start drag racing again. Without question, drag racing is the most addictive thing I have ever done in my entire life.
      Well. . . it never happened. After law school, and moving back to Houston, I got sucked up in the attorney, politics, marriage, wealth building, and making the parent's proud "game". It wasn't until I moved to Florida ten years ago, and restructured a number of personal matters, that I finally got my life back. Now if I could retire from any involvement in GOP politics… *wishful thinking*.

NHRA Top 20 Greatest Drivers - Nitro Only
* Legendary nitro drivers I have watched race at NHRA events over the last three+ decades.

01. Don Garlits *
02. John Force *
03. Don Prudhomme *
05. Shirley Muldowney *
06. Kenny Bernstein *
09. Joe Amato *
10. Dale Armstrong (1)
11. Mickey Thompson
14. Eddie Hill *
16. Tom McEwen *
17. Jim Liberman (Jungle Jim died too young)
19. Ed McCulloch *
20. Raymond Beadle *
(1) I watched Dale many times, in the pits, when he was Kenny Bernstein's legendary crew chief. Still today, when Dale speaks everyone listens.

One More Thing:
      In addition to NHRA, my whole life I've been a major NASCAR fan and have attended many races. While I will attend five 2009 NASCAR supertrack races at Daytona and Talladega, I currently prefer NHRA championship drag racing. NHRA is like NASCAR was in the mid-late ‘90’s. We still have a number of super-legends and “old bulls” heavily involved in the sports. For example, two of the three guys that got me hooked on NHRA drag racing, 30+ years ago, being Don Prudhomme(Team Owner) and Ed McCulloch(Co-Team Owner/Crew Chief), are still at the track for almost every NHRA championship race. Further, the overall professionalism of NHRA drivers is superior to NASCAR drivers. You don’t see the public adolescent and unprofessional media behavior by NHRA drivers like you do with a number of NASCAR drivers. There are very few NHRA championship drivers that I personally don’t hold in high regard. This is more than I can say for some of the current NASCAR drivers. Sorry, I’m an old school type of racing guy and was born with this attitude.
      All I care about is responsible heads-up racing without all the sideshow yap and over-commercialization. I have no tolerance for the obvious soap opera agenda that NASCAR “brass” allows just to keep the sport in front of the main stream media. Same goes for NASCAR’s tolerated increase in wrecks, particular towards the end of races. Some of the recent NASCAR races I have attended were more like a Demolition Derby. For serious racing fans it gets very old. These are the primary reasons that, several years ago, I stopped following NASCAR even though I annually attend races at the two supertracks, which to-date I’ve attended twenty-four races. Another reason I prefer NHRA is that, unlike NASCAR, we have women drivers and they are very impressive.

3 posted on 03/14/2009 4:54:35 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
2009 NHRA Full Throttle Championship Drag Racing Series Schedule
Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock
February 5-8
Kragen OReilly NHRA Winternationals
Pomona, Calif.
February 20-22
Arizona NHRA Nationals
Phoenix, Ariz.
March 12-15
ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals
Gainesville, Fla.
March 27-29
OReilly NHRA Spring Nationals
Houston, Texas
April 2-5 NHRA Nationals
Las Vegas, Nev.
April 16-19
Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals
Atlanta, Ga.
May 1-3
OReilly NHRA Midwest Nationals
Madison, Ill.
May 15-17
NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
Bristol, Tenn.
May 29-31
OReilly NHRA Summer Nationals
Topeka, Kan.
June 4-7
NHRA Route 66 Nationals
Chicago, Ill.
June 11-14
NHRA SuperNationals
Englishtown, N.J.
June 25-28
Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals
Norwalk, Ohio
July 10-12
Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals
Denver, Colo.
July 17-19
NHRA Northwest Nationals
Seattle, Wash.
July 24-26
Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals
Sonoma, Calif.
August 13-16
Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals
Brainerd, Minn.
August 20-23
Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals
Reading, Pa.
September 2-7
Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
Indianapolis, Ind.
September 17-20
NHRA Nationals
Concord, N.C.
September 24-27
OReilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals
Dallas, Texas
October 2-4
OReilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals
Memphis, Tenn.
October 9-11
Virginia NHRA Nationals
Richmond, Va.
October 29-November 1
Las Vegas NHRA Nationals
Las Vegas, Nev.
November 12-15
Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals
Pomona, Calif.

2009 NHRA Full Throttle Championship Drag Racing Series Schedule
Pro Stock Motorcycles
March 12-15
ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals
Gainesville, FL
March 27-29
O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals
Houston, TX
April 16-19
Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals
Atlanta, GA
May 1-3
O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals
Madison, IL
June 4-7
NHRA Route 66 Nationals
Chicago, IL
June 11-14
NHRA SuperNationals
Englishtown, NJ
June 25-28
Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals
Norwalk, OH
July 10-12
Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals
Denver, CO
July 24-26
Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals
Sonoma, CA
August 13-16
Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals
Brainerd, MN
August 20-23
Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals
Reading, PA
September 2-7
Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
Indianapolis, IN
September 17-20
NHRA Nationals
Charlotte, NC
September 24-27 O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals Dallas, TX
October 2-4
O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals
Memphis, TN
October 29- November 1
Las Vegas NHRA Nationals
Las Vegas, NV
November 12-15
Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals
Pomona, CA

4 posted on 03/14/2009 4:55:14 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
2008 NHRA National Event Winners
Location TF Winner FC Winner PS Winner PSM Winner
Pomona Tony Schumacher Robert Hight Greg Anderson N/A
Phoenix Larry Dixon Jack Beckman V. Gaines N/A
Gainesville Tony Schumacher Tony Pedregon Jeg Coughlin Matt Guidera
Houston Antron Brown Del Worsham Greg Anderson Matt Smith
Las Vegas Cory McClenathan Tim Wilkerson Jason Line N/A
Atlanta Antron Brown Ashley Force Mike Edwards Andrew Hines
Madison Rod Fulller Tim Wilkerson Kurt Johnson Andrew Hines
Bristol Tony Schumacher Melanie Troxel Dave Connolly N/A
Topeka Hillary Will John Force Ron Krisher N/A
Chicago Tony Schumacher Tony Pedregon Kurt Johnson Chris Rivas
Englishtown Tony Schumacher Tim Wilkerson Greg Anderson Chip Ellis
Norwalk Doug Herbert Tony Pedregon Greg Anderson Hector Arana
Denver Tony Schumacher Tim Wilkerson Greg Anderson Matt Smith
Seattle Tony Schumacher Tony Bartone Jason Line N/A
Sonoma Tony Schumacher Robert Hight Dave Connolly Matt Guidera
Brainerd Tony Schumacher Tony Pedregon Kurt Johnson Matt Smith
Reading Tony Schumacher Jack Beckman Jeg Coughlin Matt Smith
Indianapolis Tony Schumacher Robert Hight Dave Connolly Steve Johnson
Charlotte Tony Schumacher Jack Beckman Justin Humphreys Steve Johnson
Dallas J.R. Todd Tim Wilkerson Greg Stanfield Chris Rivas
Memphis Tony Schumacher Tim Wilkerson Mike Edwards Criag Treble
Richmond Tony Schumacher Cruz Pedregon Dave Connolly N/A
Las Vegas Tony Schumacher Cruz Pedregon Jeg Coughlin Chris Rivas
Pomona Larry Dixon Cruz Pedregon Greg Anderson Chris Rivas

5 posted on 03/14/2009 4:55:46 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
NHRA 2009 Season News and Key Changes
Complied with Additions & Comments by FlA & Co.

02.05.09: The NHRA and ESPN have agreed to a five-year contract extension that will keep the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series on the air through 2016. The NHRA's developmental Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series will also continue to air on ESPN2. Terms of the deal have ESPN2 and ESPN2HD showing the qualifying and finals for all 24 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events. This year, 18 of those events will be telecast during prime time. ESPN2 has carried the series since 2001. Terms of the deal also have the NHRA's second-tier Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series airing on ESPN2 and ESP2HD. ESPN is a unit of Burbank-based The Walt Disney Co. The National Hot Rod Association is based in Glendora, California. It was founded by Wally Parks in 1951. In the motorsports world, NHRA is second to NASCAR in terms of attendance.
- - NOTE: NHRA pays ESPN to broadcast it’s races. Only major National sport I know that does this. That stated, the coverage is excellent and superior to NASCAR. – fla
02.07.09 ESPN Video: Paul Page & Mike Dunn's ‘09 NHRA Preview

NHRA 2009 Season Changes
NHRA Rules Committee | Amended Rules | Top Fuel & Funny Car Testing | Oildown Penalties Suspended
(1) The NHRA Championship Drag Racing series is now called the Full Throttle Series after the energy drink's parent, Coca-Cola, switched its drag racing sponsorship from its POWERade drink.
(2) Top Fuel and Funny Car categories will continue to race at 1,000 feet, instead of 1,320.
(3) There will continue to be no awarding of bonus points if nitro drivers set race elapsed-time records. Bonus points were suspended after NHRA changed from 1,320 feet to 1,000 feet nitro racing following the June 21, 2008 death of funny car driver and two-time NHRA Top Fuel World champion Scott Kalitta.
(4) Both Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars must have a specific NHRA approved electronic controlled safety shutoff system that senses manifold burst panel failure and simultaneously activates the fuel shutoff, shuts off ignition, and deploys the parachutes. This change was mandated for Funny Cars for the last two 2008 events being the Las Vegas NHRA Nationals and the NHRA Finals, Pomona. It is mandated for Top Fuel starting with the first race of the 2009 season being the Winternationals, Pomona. The purpose of the new regulation is to stop runaway nitro cars in the event the driver is knocked out, injured, or otherwise cannot manually perform these functions on a timely basis. - fla
(5) “Christmas Tree” Race Start Procedure: The tree will be activated, after both cars are properly staged (all pre-stage and stage lights are on), in a random variable between .80 to 1.30 seconds for Top Fuel and Funny Car, .80 to 1.10 seconds for Pro Stock, and no change for Pro Stock Motorcycles. Previously it was activated at a constant .93 seconds. NHRA will evaluate any further changes needed during the season. The change was made so drivers could no longer anticipate the timing lights in an attempt to “cut” a low starting reaction time. The new rule will significantly level the field as to reaction times. All other tree and driver starting procedures remain the same as last season. - fla
(6) Increase winner purses more than $1.3 million.
(7) NHRA plans on cutting Full Throttle Series event ticket prices for tracks they own in Pomona, Gainesville, Atlanta, Indianapolis, and other participating tracks. This is mostly a marketing gimmick, as NHRA is only offering discount tickets for the general admission "event filler crowd". - fla
(8) Like many major motor sports, NHRA is experiencing the worst loss of sponsors financial backing in twenty years. In the off-season, there were major changes among and within racing teams. The positive is that the 2009 season will be interesting and unpredictable. For example, in the nitro divisions, championship winners cannot be reasonably predicted. - fla
02.05.09: Road is rough for NHRA in hard economic times, plus 2009 Season Preview. Note: There are some article inaccuracies but it’s still a reasonable general overview. - fla
02.04.09: NHRA Battles Shaping Up Across Division Lines. ~ Previews for the NHRA Full Throttle Series Four Divisions

The severe economic downturn and loss of sponsors has been brutal for the start of the 2009 NHRA Top Fuel season. The Funny Car teams and drivers are in much better shape. Here’s a quick TF run-down I threw together. - fla

Top 16 NHRA Top Fuel Drivers, 2008 Final Points
01. Tony Schumacher
02. Larry Dixon
03. Cory McClenathan
04. Hillary Will (N)(X)
05. Antron Brown
06. Rod Fuller (N)(X)
07. Brandon Bernstein
08. Doug Herbert (N)
09. Doug Kalitta (O)
10. Dave Grubnic (N)
11. J.R. Todd (N)
12. Morgan Lucas
13. Bob Vandergriff Jr. (N)
14. Troy Buff (O)
15. Steve Torrence (N)
16. Clay Millican
(N)ot driving in 2009 due to loss of sponsorship
(O)nly has sponsorship for part of 2009 season
(X) On a lighter note, the cat is out of the bag. Hillary and Rod are having an off-track relationship which I heard about late last season. The love birds wanted to keep their situation under wraps due to worries about how their respective team owners might react. Currently, neither has a ride for ’09 so it’s not an issue. - fla

NHRA issues 10% pay cut to all employees In an emergency company meeting on Thursday, Feb. 12, at the NHRA Museum on the Pomona County Fairgrounds, NHRA president Tom Compton announced in a brief statement that the entire workforce of the NHRA --including himself and the board of directors -- would be taking at least a 10% cut in pay. Unconfirmed information indicates that those in management have been reported to taken a larger than 10% pay cut. This is a sad day for the National Hot Rod Association and its members, and yet another indicator of just how bad the economy is and how it is affecting all of motor sports. <> Some of NHRA’s corporate members deserve an immediate 100% pay cut. - fla

FlA’s Comments on Selected ’09 Rules Changes

General: As all major motorsports, NHRA’s 2009 strategy is to try and maintain their core fan base and not experience a major financial loss in an extremely difficult market. NHRA's likelihood of success is poor. Some of the rules changes that are needed, or need to be repealed, are being deferred to 2010 when there is a clearer picture of the economy and the depth of the recession. However, NHRA is still not doing enough to properly manage drivers safety, and these matters cannot be delayed. NHRA reminds me of where NASCAR was on ignoring driver, car and track safety issues before four drivers were killed at the track in nine months culminating with the death of Dale Earnhardt, Sr. on February 18, 2001. I was at the 2001 Daytona 500 and saw Dale die. I walked away from attending or having anything to do with NASCAR racing until the 2003 Daytona 500. Every veteran NHRA member knows the sad fact that if John Force had been killed in his horrific 2007 accident at Dallas, NHRA would be a much safer sport today. If we have a third straight year where a NHRA Championship Series driver is killed or critically injured due to safety issues, I don’t care how much NHRA cuts ticket prices, many veteran fans, including myself, will walk away from the sport. There’s a major difference between losing a driver because it’s a high risk sport, and losing a driver because the sanctioning organization continues to ignore serious safety issues.

UPDATE NOTE: NHRA has already amended the 2009 rules three times with the lastest being March 5, 2009
1. 1,000 Feet Nitro Racing: After Scott Kalitta's untimely June 21, 2008 death, the NHRA mandated 1,000 feet, verses 1,320 feet (quarter-mile), racing for Top Fuel and Funny Car. This was probably the most controversial decision since the NHRA banned the use of nitromethane from April 1957 until the 1964 Season, except for the 1963 Winternationals. Informationally, the only reason the NHRA lifted the ban for the 1963 Winternationals was to increase fans attendance and interest for the '63 season. The owner of the legendary Lions Drag Strip lifted the tracks nitro ban in January 1962 and it was hurting NHRA's business.
      The reason the NHRA's 1,000 ft. nitro racing mandated is so controversial, is that the length of the track and shutdown area had nothing to do with the horrific top-end crash/death of veteran driver Scott Kalitta(Funny Car) in the NHRA POWERade Racing Series, or the horrific March 8, 2008 top-end crash/death of veteran driver John Shoemaker(nostalgia Top Fuel dragster) in the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series. Based on the unpublished and confidential end-track photos and videos I have of both Scott's and John’s accidents, neither driver had any real chance of survival. The bottom-line is, that if a nitro driver is knocked out by a top-end engine explosion(Scott), or passes out at the top-end of a run(John), and the throttle hangs wide-open/driver doesn't lift off the throttle, a shorter 320 feet official track length, or another 500 feet in the shutdown area will not save the driver's life. And, it doesn't matter if the dragster is going 320 mph(Scott) or 260 mph(John). Due to forward motion crash physics, the chances of surviving a top-end runaway nitro dragster crash, in these circumstances, are between slim and none. - See my FR "Straight Talk" NHRA Drivers Memorial section for more info
      NHRA will continue to see major attendance decreases, due to 1,000 feet nitro racing, for the simple reason that the majority of veteran fans, that annually support NHRA with multiple event attendance, don’t like it. And, NHRA “brass” knows it. Further, serious nitro drag racing fans don’t give a [beep] what Don Garlits, John Force, Kenny Bernstein, and other NHRA corporate mouthpieces have to say in their MSM statements that NHRA made the right decision going to 1,000 feet, it’s good for the sport, the fan’s like it, and all their other erroneous comments. All this does is further alienate and insult NHRA's core fan base.
      Further, the NHRA's belief that 1,000 ft. nitro racing will reduce top-end motor explosions, fires, and expensive internal motor damage is total nonsense. And, every NHRA veteran with a basic understanding of nitro motors knows it. Crew chiefs will just build/tune nitro motors to lean out and "nose over" at 1,000 ft., instead of 1,320 ft., and we are back to square one as to top-end explosions/fires. From track reports, this is exactly what transpired during off-season testing here in Florida and Arizona.
      What I loathe about 1,000 ft. nitro racing is it's for candy-ass drivers and fans - no fans disrespect intended, but drivers disrespect intended. Any honest top nitro or alcohol dragster driver, which I've driven the latter(both blown gas and blown alcohol dragsters), will tell you it's much harder to drive 1,320 ft. than 1,000 ft. due to the engine's power/acceleration curve. It's amazing how the final 320 feet changes everything. Some drag racing organizations only race an 1/8 mile, which is 660 ft. Is this the direction of NHRA with nitro dragsters already running 320+ mph in off-season 1,000 ft. testing? NHRA has always been the elite drag racing organization. Bottom-line. . ., you run 660 ft. and 1,000 ft lengths in drag racing school, until you get the experience to make full 1,320 ft passes. That's where these shorter distances need to stay.
      After attending the 2008 NHRA Finals in Pomona, and talking to some of the "they really know" crew chiefs and drivers in the pits, there appears an above average chance that NHRA will return to quarter-mile nitro drag racing in 2010, or a mixed 1,000 ft/1,320 ft format depending on the track. Some of the crew chiefs' logic expressed for staying at 1,000 ft racing, for the 2009 season, made sense from a macro perspective. Further, decisions are not made in a vacuum and there is a lot of politics involved in this matter - some that has nothing to do with drivers safety. So, like many NHRA veterans, I'll shut my yap for 2009 except for this season opening statement.
      P.S. I will know more about this situation after attending the 2009 NHRA Gatornationals and Spring Nationals. If there are any major changes I will post an update to my comments. - fla
2. Oildown Penalties Suspended: A totally incompetent decision. This decision does one thing - it encourages crew chiefs and drivers to unreasonably push the limits of their nitro engines which will result in more explosions, fires, and potentially killing another driver. It will also cause more racing delays, while the track is cleaned up, and a more inconsistent track. Instead of suspending the track oildown penalties (monetary fines and loss of points), NHRA should have doubled them for 2009, as part of an emphasis to greatly reduce the out of control nitro engine explosions and fires, which the shear number are the worse in my 30+ years of NHRA involvement. There is no logic in NHRA’s decision. In their press release they twice state the following: . . . The move is designed to save teams money . . .This move is designed to ease the financial burden on the race teams. NHRA position is poppycock. A bad three day racing weekend of blowing up nitro motors and frying dragsters and chassis with major oil/fuel fires can cost team sponsors $100,000 to $250,000. The suspended oildown monetary fine is peanuts compared to these costs. Hopefully, NHRA will reverse this very poorly thought out decision.
3. No bonus points for 1,000 feet nitro National elapsed-time records: Poor decision, but I'll pass comment because there are bigger fish to fry. However, it must be stated that Doug Kalitta lost a NHRA Top Fuel World Championship to Tony Schumacher when Tony set a NHRA national e.t. record and his bonus points edged out Doug's total points for the season.
4. “Christmas Tree” Timing Change: Great decision and well needed change. This helps the less experienced drivers and there will be less races decided by drivers blindly “cutting the tree”. For 2009, we will probably see average reactions times increase and more red lights, even by the seasoned veterans.
5. Electronic Safety Shutoff System: While NHRA gives credit to the company that designed this new electronic system, is was actually my main men Del Worsham and his father Chuck that were the first to design and adopt a system like this in 2008. While this system is an excellent idea, that I support 100%, it is only a detective measure. Protective measures are 100% superior to detective measures. NHRA needs to mandate rules changes to put a stop to the out of control nitro engine explosions and fires. Without question, another nitro driver will be killed by one of these massive explosions and fires, unless NHRA puts a stop to them. It must be remembered that nitromethane produces a high explosive factor than TNT. Further this new system only works if the burst panel blows out. Many serious nitro fires are caused by pushed out head gaskets, and the like, that don't blow out the burst panel. I've also witnessed serious fires because rods were kicked out the side of the aluminum nitro engine block, yet the burst panel was intact. In these cases, the current new electronic shutoff system is useless. Further, this is an electronic system with electrical wires. I question if the system will work properly/timely in some of the worst engine explosions and/or a split second massive fire that destroys the electrical wiring. I'll understand this situation better after attending March 2009 NHRA races and talking with some of the nitro crew members and drivers.
6 posted on 03/14/2009 4:56:23 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
      FlA Says: Per below, the NHRA announced a new website. Unfortunately it has a number of problems. I have to agree with what a 32 year NHRA veteran member wrote - “NHRA's new site is a molasses slow and poorly thought out mess. They launched the new web yet it is not finished. It has many urls and pages that do not work. This mess can not make sponsors happy. Except for none of their previous urls work. Sponsors new 2009 web sites will have to be upgraded. If you try to Google for pre 2/5/09 info none of the links work. I tried to logon to with my paid membership access information, it did not work. Someone needs their butt kicked over this!”
      One upset NHRA member bacon spammed the new site.... funny. Oh well, we can’t expect too much from NHRA. It was purchased in the 2007-2008 off-season and is now owned by investment banking marketing weenies. They know nothing about the sport and only care about how much money they can suck out of it. With the severe economic downturn seriously affecting NHRA, along with other major motor sports, the new owners aren’t looking too smart. Maybe we will get lucky and they will have to sell NHRA to somebody that cares about the sport *wishful thinking*.
      P.S. I had our IT manager, here at the Firm, analyze NHRA’s new website as to why it’s so slow, what could be done to remedy it’s technical problems, and how to address/correct the significant number of archive links that no longer work. She got me, and my right hand helper and webmaster, educated on the problems and how to address all the issues. - fla

How ex-site-ing: The new is here
NHRA Dragster Insider by Phil Burgess
February 5, 2009

      Welcome to the new! If you've been around this neck of the woods since we kicked off this whole dot-com craze back in 1995, you've lived through quite a few "new" new NHRA.coms, but this one represents one of the biggest – if not the biggest – wholesale changes to the site in its 15-year history. Developed in conjunction with our new pals at, it's quite a masterpiece and way more than just a shiny new coat of paint. With the fancy new rotating top stories, home-page video and photo galleries, and the slick race interface, it's pretty darned cool.
      I won't lie to you; it's been a massive undertaking, and one that's still under way. When you consider that has been around since Larry Dixon was a rookie driver and that all we've done in the interceding years is add to it, both in terms of content and functionality, you can understand what a deep and wide site is. Anyone who has ever tried to move after living somewhere for 15 years can appreciate the amount of stuff you accumulate throughout the years, and we're no different. We had to sort through all of the stuff, figure out what worked with the new décor, what didn't ,and what could be repurposed, then pack up all of the boxes of stuff and ship it to the new address, where it was unpacked, prettied up, and, in some cases, moved to a different room. Some of it still hasn't been unpacked, and some of it is still waiting to be moved to our new home.
      Having been point man for the initial launch, it has been my baby and my master for a long time, so it has been simultaneously thrilling and chilling to watch the newest incarnation being assembled. Web design is no longer the black art that it once was and is widely understood and practiced by many. Even the earliest teenagers get exposed to snippets of HTML code while they're endlessly rebuilding their MySpace pages (mostly to include horrible backgrounds upon which their prattlings cannot even be read), and free design templates are widely available online. All of this is fine if you're building a gallery of vacation photos or creating a small Web site, but when you're trying to tame a monster like, it's a whole 'nother Oprah.
      During the years, as we have added features to, we have sought to interweave the many pieces, much in the way that a driver's most recent news items or team reports are headlined on their driver-profile pages and how the individual team reports are linked back to the driver profiles. We also worked to compartmentalize the events by adding event-specific navigation on all of the related pages so that you could seamlessly click between the results and photo galleries. We worked hard to maintain those types of user-friendly perks, so the challenge was to find out how to do them with our new system. For the last six years, we've been using the same content-management system to post stories to the site. It started out as a pretty low-dollar program – big-time newspapers use content-management systems that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars – that did the basics, but it has been modified internally during the years by our staff. We've made it do tricks the likes of which its original programmers never conceived, and there's pretty much nothing that we couldn’t do with it.
      The new brings with it a new content-management system and a whole new way of doing things. It's super powerful, and it's going to be fun (and a bit daunting) to uncover its subtleties and mysteries and to find new ways to do familiar things and familiar ways to do new things. For sure, things will look and act differently. You certainly have seen that on the home page already and noticed that some things (Photo of the Week, Quarter-Mile Cuisine, Special Sections, etc.) are in different places, all of which can be easily found under the Features navigation. Heck, just look at this page. It's narrower than its predecessor and has a different background color and different headline treatment. We'll also be able to embed slide shows in the stories and blogs if we choose and do all kinds of other fancy tricks, so be looking for that.
      One of the coolest things about the new site – coming soon! – is the long-awaited live-timing component. Here's a stealthily disguised preview that allows you to get the idea, but suffice it to say that you'll be able to watch the incremental numbers pop up in real time while a simulated pair of cars races underneath the info. We hope to have it fully functional before long. In addition to the usual video highlights from the national events, we'll be co-hosting Full Throttle TV, which will be mirrored on Full Throttle's site. The Full Throttle TV crew will produce interesting features that will play both at the events and online. We're really looking forward to it.
      With any project this big, there's sure to be room for improvement, and yes, even a few hiccups, despite our continual testing, known as beta testing in the computer world. Sometimes developing and beta testing complex components is a little like tuning a fuel car: You mess with the blower and get it working well, and suddenly the fuel system is out of whack. You fix the fuel system, and the clutch starts acting all possessed. I've been on beta-testing teams for a number of video games where one well-thought-out request to the developers crashed the entire game.
      I had a trio of solid NHRA citizens do a little beta testing for me late last week and early this week, each bringing his own special set of skills to the scrutiny. "Bloggin' Bob" Wilber looked at it from a team-manager aspect, making sure that the drivers looked good and that all of the fan-oriented stuff jibed. "Talented Todd" Myers, publicist for Kalitta Motorsports and an accomplished graphic artist (he designed the graphics for the most recent Web site as well as past Web sites, such as the 50th anniversary U.S. Nationals and 40th anniversary NHRA Finals), looked at it from a graphical and functional standpoint, and former webmaster Brent "FlashMaster" Friar looked at things from a coding point of view. Thanks to them for their input.
      On Tuesday night, a small team – current webmaster Jade Davidson, ND Associate Editor Candida Benson, Director of Information Technology Jared Robison, and yours truly -- pulled a Full Throttle- and pizza-fueled all-nighter double-checking links, databases, and images and updating stories with the freshest news and blogs in anticipation of today's launch.
      The plan is to just keep on truckin' from this point. I'd like to officially welcome 'Dida to the Web team. She'has administered NHRA's Jr. Drag Racing League Web site the last few years and obviously has a head for this stuff. She'll be a welcome addition to the small crew that keeps the bits and bytes flowing and take a little pressure off of me so that I can concentrate on making more memories for y'all here. Candida, me, ND Senior Editor Kevin McKenna, and ND Associate Editor Brad Littlefield will be the traveling crew this year to cover the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events, and everyone from the DRAGSTER staff will be offering their story ideas and talents to the site. So, here we are. Take some time to poke around and share your thoughts and constructive comments. We're all about making stuff better.

7 posted on 03/14/2009 4:57:14 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
01.29.08: Wally Day and Fundraising Dinner at NHRA Museum

In honor of National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Founder Wally Parks, the Automobile Club of Southern California and Shelby Automobiles Inc. will host the annual Wally Parks Fundraising Dinner on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009 at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, 6 p.m.- the first night of the Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, CA."The Wally Dinner is one of the Museum's major fund raising efforts," explained Museum Executive Director Tony Thacker. "We are very excited to present an evening with a new vehicle reveal, a live auction, and a panel discussion - all to benefit the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum."

Forty years since they fielded a Top Fuel dragster, Carroll Shelby and Don "The Snake" Prudhomme will unveil a limited-edition Shelby Mustang built by Shelby Automobiles in Las Vegas for the event opening. The event will also present "Bench Racing with Legends", a panel discussion with moderator Mike Dunn and panelists John Force, Don Prudhomme, Ed McCulloch, and Jerry Ruth.(1) Also, a live racing memorabilia auction featuring historic motorsports artifacts will conclude the evening's festivities. Wally Day on Feb. 5th is a free museum day and opened to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is located at 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Gate 1 of the Los Angeles County Fairplex in Pomona, CA.

(1) From the articles and videos I read/watched of the Legends panel discussion, it was great with some very funny moments. - fla

New Shelby Mustang revealed as race-only 'R Model - New limited edition car details and specs

Museum and Vintage Photos of Don Prudhomme with Carroll Shelby and
with Wally Parks along with a major hottie.

8 posted on 03/14/2009 4:57:48 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
Competition Plus by Kirk Weeks
Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Senior Jim Dunn Is In No Mood To Call It A Career
San Barnardino Sun, by Louis Brewster
Feb. 3, 2009

There was a time when Jim Dunn was best-known as the Long Beach firefighter who also was a drag racer. For a while, he was best known as the father of Mike Dunn, the former racer who now is an analyst for ESPN. With the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series opener just around the corner at Pomona Raceway, Dunn has evolved into a role as an elder statesman for the sport. That's a natural, given this will be his 60th season.

"I didn't even think I'd live to be 60, let alone be involved with something for 60 years," Dunn said as he prepared the Canidae/Lucas Oil Chevy Funny Car to be driven by Jerry Toliver. "I've seen drag racing going from good to bad and back to good again. "But it's hard to do it now. The fun days were when we'd go to a little match race for four days. Now you've got to have 10-20 guys on the team just to get it started." Dunn, perhaps better known as tuner, scored numerous wins, including a victory at the 1972 Supernationals at Ontario Motor Speedway and the 1981 World Finals at Orange County International Raceway in Irvine.

"Everybody asks how you can do this for 60 years. I must just really love pain or I'm just really stupid," Dunn said with a laugh. "It's been good for me because I enjoy working on the cars. I enjoy listening to them and hearing them. Everybody gets caught up winning and is hurt if they don't. "If you win a race, that's a bonus. Just getting there and getting them started is the fun part. I do it for myself because I enjoy it. When the car starts and does what you ask it to, that's the whole emotional trap right there."

Despite modern technology, Dunn relies on old-school methods. "I still tune mostly by feel and the computer tells me if I'm right or wrong. That's my back-up tool," Dunn said. "The new guys do it just the opposite way. They tune by computer and then maybe check it out by feel to see if they're right. The new guys are a lot better with the computers than I am, but I think I'm better than they are with just gut feeling. "They haven't had the experience. You don't know until it happens."

# # # # #

BUSY NHRA MUSEUM - - The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum will host three free events at Fairplex, beginning with WallyDay on Thursday. Other events include the semi-annual Night of Champions with the Auto Club question-and-answer session with NHRA drivers on Friday and the popular Racing Collectible Show on Saturday. "During these difficult economic times, families are looking for savings and the museum is pleased to offer a fun and free time for all," museum executive director Tony Thacker said. Among the highlights will be the unveiling of a limited-edition Shelby Mustang at a fundraising dinner. Ticket for the 6 p.m. dinner can be reserved by calling (909) 622-8562.

EXHIBITION RUNS - - NHRA's Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series will be showcased at the Winternationals with several exhibitions runs, including some by the famed "Winged Express" fuel-altered. Originally driven to fame by the late "Wild Willie" Borsch, it recently was ranked second overall among all cars from drag racing history in a recent poll. Mike Boyd will drive the four-wheeled dragster which is capable of speeds in excess of 200 mph Saturday and Sunday.

9 posted on 03/14/2009 5:00:27 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
Because it rained almost the entire Winternationals, which took six days to complete instead of the scheduled four, this nostalgia showcase had to be cancelled. Hopefully it will be rescheduled for another NHRA event. - fla

Blasts From the Past: The Winged Express, Nostalgia Dragsters and Funny Cars Showcased at 2009 Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals

- - Winged Express fuel altered will make exhibition passes in Pomona

01.30.09/02.04.09 NHRA, FlA & Co. - The famed Winged Express fuel altered of Al "Mousie" Marcellus and driver Mike Boyd, one of the most recognizable cars in the sport's history, will make exhibition runs Saturday and Sunday at the Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals in conjunction with a series of exhibition runs by cars from NHRA's Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series. The Winged Express, originally driven to great fame by the late "Wild Willie" Borsch, recently was voted the top exhibition car in an online poll of visitors and was ranked second overall among all cars from drag racing history. Four Nostalgia Top Fuel cars and four Nostalgia Funny Cars also will make runs both days.

Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragsters and Nostalgia Funny Cars from the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series also will make scheduled runs Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, the cars will be featured between the pro qualifying sessions. On Sunday, they are scheduled to appear between the semifinals and final round of pro eliminations.

Headlining the Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragsters will be Troy Green, driver of the High Speed Motorsports dragster that won the season championship last year in the Heritage Series. He will be joined by Rick White, driver of the Neil & White dragster, and Brendan Murry, who pilots a unique Chevy-powered dragster. Those cars are front-engine dragsters that reach speeds of 250 mph and produce elapsed times in the 5.7- and 5.8-second range.

Veteran racer Mendy Fry leads the Nostalgia Funny Car entries. She will be driving the popular Bombsquad Funny Car that is owned by Mike McCain and tuned by legendary crew chief Roland Leong. Jeff Utterback will drive the Pisano & Matsubara 1960s and ’70s tribute car that is owned by Danny Pisano. The Crazy Horse Hot Wheels Mustang will be driven by Ryan Kono, and the Little Nate Funny Car will be driven by Nate Bugg.

In addition to the exhibition runs, officials from the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series and the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by Automobile Club of Southern California will host a large display of vehicles from the Parks NHRA Museum and cars that have participated in NHRA Cacklefests in a special exhibit in the NHRA Nitro Alley.

The Winged Express ~ Websites: Official | Tribute | Videos: Pit interview with driver Mike Boyd
Racing Action - ‘08 California Hot Rod Reunion | ‘07 Auto Club Raceway at Pomona

10 posted on 03/14/2009 5:01:16 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
John Force Racing
John Force: NHRA 2nd Greatest | 2008 Inducted, Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
2008 Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award
NHRA Funny Car World Champion 1990, ‘91, ‘93, ‘94, ‘95, ‘96, ‘97, ‘98, ‘99, 2000, ‘01, ‘02, ‘04, ‘06
Team Force Funny Cars: John Force ~ Ashley Force Hood ~ Robert Hight ~ Mike Neff
Ashley, Robert, and Mike all won NHRA’s top rookie of the year awards

02.04.09: John Force Has An Edge In Latest Title Bid - New Castrol Brand Backs the Boss at Pomona
      John Force will have a little extra Edge this week when he begins his quest for an unprecedented 15th NHRA Funny Car Championship. During the season-opening 49th annual Kragen O'Reilly Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at pomona, Force will drive a distinctive gold-and-black Ford Mustang that touts his long-time sponsor's newest synthetic lubricant, Castrol Edge. The 59-year-old icon will drive the special edition Castrol Edge Ford in the season's first three races before returning to more familiar green-and-white Castrol GTX High Mileage livery at the O'Reilly Spring Nationals in Houston, Texas. "Castrol has been with me for all my wins and all my championships," Force said, "and it's exciting for me to be able to help them launch a new brand, Castrol Edge. We had the Edge car at the Super Bowl last week and this week our goal is to get it into the winners' circle."
      Fully recovered from injuries suffered 15 months ago in a crash at Dallas, Texas, the 14-time Auto Racing All-America selection is anxious to prove this year that he not only still can win races, but also win championships. "I'm in better shape now than I was before the accident," Force said. "I've got my weight back up around 200, but I've got more muscle. Since I got out of rehab, I go to the gym every day and work out. When I miss a day, I can tell (the difference)."
      Winner of the last Winston Championship and the first POWERade championship, Force now is focused on becoming the first NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car Champion. It's a prospect that legitimately excites the 126-time tour winner. "Being the first, that's history," Force said. "That's something to race for. We struggled last year. It was part me; it was part the car. It started coming around -- and then the season was over. We're excited. We've got a new clutch setup, a new injector, a new supercharger program. "(Crew chief Austin) Coil is motivated. He's been in the shop every day, even during vacation. Last year was a wake up call for him, just like it was for me. We won so much that we forgot how tough it was. We only won one time last year and it's been a long time (1989) since that's happened."
      Force started the 2008 season in spectacular fashion by recording the quickest time during pre-season testing before reaching the semifinal round at the Winternationals, his first competitive appearance since the accident. However, that proved to be one of the season highlights. Although he was able to extend to 22 the number of consecutive seasons in which he has earned at least one tour victory, tying the record first set by Pro Stock driver Warren Johnson, and even though he was in the other lane when daughter Ashley became the first woman to win an NHRA Funny Car race, he never seriously contended for the championship.
      Ultimately, he finished seventh in driver points for the second straight year, marking just the fourth time in the last 26 seasons he has been outside the Top 5. Now, as he begins his 24th season with Castrol sponsorship and his 25th year with Coil as crew chief, the 14-time Auto Racing All-America selection again is poised to challenge for the sport's ultimate prize. In effect, he's ready to regain his Edge. – John Force Racing

FlA Says: John’s finally back to his old’ self after his horrendous accident at the ’07 Fall Nationals in Dallas. From watching the video, he was very funny at the legends panel discussion at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum Feb 5, 2009 fundraiser. When I talk to John at the track, usually during early testing or first round qualifying when things are slow, I’m always surprised how different he is away from the crowds and television cameras. He’s really an outstanding guy. I’m looking forward to seeing him at the Gatornationals, Gainesville. Sponsorship issues are hurting John Force Racing, but not as bad as other teams. Currently John is having to fund some of the costs out of his own pocket to run four NHRA Championship racing teams. John’s new funny car and colors are snappy. Notice the car’s new aerodynamic effects. With the Pomona rain and bad weather John had lots of time to sign autographs. <> Here’s a good Feb 4, 2009 interview with John. It was conducted by a representative of Ford Motor Racing, so there’s understandable bias, but it’s still a good read.

02.10.09: John Force Racing Pomona Final Report
02.01.09: John Force Enjoys and Thrills Fans at Super Bowl | Video: John Force Superbowl Interview
01.02.09: John Force Racing Renews Sponsor
11.16.08: Force of Nature Video: What Will John Do In The Offseason?

11 posted on 03/14/2009 5:02:27 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
Do you have a ping list?

If you do PLEASE put me on it!



also find me at

Yes I'm a PROUD Durango owner and some of us drag 'em!

12 posted on 03/14/2009 5:02:32 PM PDT by prisoner6 (Right Wing Nuts hold the country together as the loose screws of the Left fall out.)
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To: flattorney
John Force autographed drag race edition Ford Mustang Cobra Jet
fetches $375,000 at Barrett-Jackson Auction

01.19.09: Ford will only be making 50 units of the race-ready 2008 Ford Mustang FR500CJ. One of the units, signed by the legendary John Force, was auctioned off at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., for a total of $375,000. John Force was there on hand to say a few word about the Ford Mustang FR500CJ which sold for a total of $306,000 over its retail price-tag. Power for the NHRA-legal FR500CJ comes from a 5.4L supercharged V8 producing 428-hp. The drag-racer Cobra Jet is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and a drag race wheel/tire combination. Proceeds from the auction will go to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. (Notes: MSRP is $69,900. JFR's 2008 NHRA Rookie of the Year Mike Neff also autographed the Cobra Jet’s engine compartment hood and his name is on the car's upper door panels with John. - fla)

MORE >> While the 2010 Shelby GT500 disappointingly failed to cross the block, Mustang fans were still treated to a pretty good show when a 2009 FR500CJ Cobra Jet roared up on stage. Behind the wheel was none other than legendary drag racer John Force, who personally testified to the car's capability on the dragstrip. This particular car is the prototype and the very first one built with the FR500CJXX1 serial number. We didn't expect the FR500CJ to fetch as much money as the first production Camaro, but we were thoroughly surprised when it trounced its fellow pony car with a final bid of $375,000, or $412,500 after auction fees.

11.04.08: Ford Press Release: Cobra Jet The Latest Addition To The Mustang FR500 Series Of Race Cars
- - Dearborn, Mich – With the addition of the 2008 Cobra Jet Mustang, Ford Racing will have once again expanded its current stable of race-ready Mustang race cars. This time, however, the Mustang is designed for drag racing. The Mustang FR500CJ, known simply as the Cobra Jet, will be officially unveiled Nov. 4 at the 2008 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. It joins its road racing brethren: the Mustang FR500S, the Mustang FR500C and the Mustang FR500GT. “The Cobra Jet is the newest offspring of the Ford Racing lineup of race cars,” said Jamie Allison, manager of the Ford Racing Performance Group. “We started with the FR500C in 2005 and then followed by the FR500S in 2007.

From John Force Feb. 4, 2009 Interview:
(Note: Interview was conducted by a representitve of Ford Motor Racing – fla)
Interviewer: You got to drive the new FR500CJ Cobra Jet Mustang after the last race. Your thoughts on the 2008 40th anniversary Cobra Jet?
John Force: "This car is unbelievable; I drove it. This car is a race ready drag car that you can take to NHRA tech the minute it is delivered to you. It even comes with drag slicks with stuff that I didn't think Ford could do, so Ford is thinking out of the box. That's what's really exciting about it. This car is a 10-second car. I drove it, I raced Tasca in Pomona last fall in it. It's got the big motor, it's got the transmission, the gear ratio, the big tire, the aero-dynamics, everything to give you a car that can kick some butt. So there is big change there. Ford is thinking, but beyond that, think about this, they have asked me to go to the Barrett-Jackson auction to sell this car for charity. I thought I was going as a celebrity - I liked that. Then they tell me that there's a few other cars there they want me to sell, so now I'm a car salesman, proud to be, so I've said it already: get into a Ford and Drive One."

13 posted on 03/14/2009 5:05:33 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
Darrell Gwynn
NHRA 32nd Greatest | Inducted, International Drag Racing Hall of Fame | Tribute Video
Darrell Gwynn Foundation | Video: About the Darrell Gwynn Foundation
The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis
World’s Largest Spinal Cord Injury Research Center
located at the University of Miami School of Medicine

      Over the course of his 10-year career, from May 1980 to April 1990, only two racers won more NHRA national events than Darrell Gwynn: Bob Glidden and Kenny Bernstein. Gwynn was at the height of his career, just a month removed from his last win, when he crashed at England's Santa Pod Raceway on April 15, 1990, changing his life forever. He'd never touched a guardrail until his Top Fuel dragster chassis, apparently weakened on its trip across the Atlantic Ocean, snapped behind the roll cage, and the rear of the car drove his half of it into the guardrail. Gwynn was paralyzed for life and lost part of his left arm. At 28, he was already a 28-time national event champion.
      The Darrell Gwynn Foundation is dedicated to preventing, providing for, and ultimately curing spinal cord injuries and other debilitating illnesses. To expedite specific cures, the Foundation assists in the funding of targeted research. The Foundation also donates a significant number of custom electric wheel chairs to those who need them but can’t afford them. In 2008, thirty-seven(37) customized power wheelchairs, worth almost $250,000, were donated at racing, fishing, car auction and other events, as well as when needs arose. Since the Foundation began in 2002, over one-hundred(100) customized power wheelchairs have been donated. The Foundation's goal for 2009 is to donated sixty(60) wheelchairs.
      Miami born, and still lives in southeast Florida, Darrell is an outstanding individual and was a NHRA superstar before his tragic accident. I watched him race at both the Spring Nationals, Houston and Fall Nationals, Dallas. Amazing individual…. and he still is. What I like about the Foundation is that Darrell helps families with children who have very serious neuromuscular birth defects. Many husbands, wives, and single parents must work two or three jobs just to pay(attempt to pay) their child's staggering medical bills during the early and growth years. Many physicians will not render services to their children because they are medically time consuming and insurance payment(if even available) is usually problematic.
      On Sunday, March 15th, Darrell will attend the NHRA Gatornationals Finals. He will also attend the 7th Annual Barrett Jackson Collector Car Auction, Palm Beach, FL, April 9-11, 2009. I have not received information yet on which day Darrell will be at the auction or what Chevy Racing/NASCAR donated car(s) will be auctioned in behalf of his Foundation. He usually attends the event's final day. I understand Darrell will donate custom wheelchairs at both events. I/we are attending all three days at the Gatornationals, which will be my 10th consecutive year, and the final day of the auction on Saturday, April 11. In reviewing the listed details of cars to be auctioned on the final day, there are a number of race cars/pace cars to be sold including NASCAR driven/winning cars by Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. Gordon's "Butthead" car should bring top dollar in its category. - fla

Darrell Gwynn Foundation - Official Charity of Barrett Jackson

- - NASCAR and other entertainment stars raise record donations for Darrell Gwynn Foundation
(Compiled and edited from four sources – fla)
      BJ Press Release: The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company recently announced that it helped raise $4.4 million for local and national charities during the 38th annual Scottsdale auction Jan. 11-18, 2009. Funds at the automotive lifestyle event were gathered through the sale of 15 collector vehicles, crowd donations and fundraisers like the Childhelp Drive The Dream Gala. Barrett-Jackson does not collect commissions on vehicles sold entirely for charity. "Charity fundraising has always been a cornerstone of our Scottsdale event," said Craig Jackson, Chairman/CEO of Barrett-Jackson. "We helped raise nearly $7 million at our three events in 2008, and started 2009 off with an amazing $4.4 million.
      One of the highlights of the auction was the sale of the 1970 Plymouth Superbird custom tribute to benefit The Darrell Gwynn Foundation. The crowd roared when NASCAR super-legend Richard Petty drove the car on-stage, climbed from the driver's seat, and joined the auctioneers at the podium. After intense bidding and generous crowd donations, the Superbird sold for $501,100. Former professional wrestler Bill Goldberg was part of a group, that included the Gillette Evernham NASCAR racing team, that created the Superbird. "The Barrett-Jackson experience is all about the people, it's all about the relationships, it's all about making a difference," Bill Goldberg told the Barrett-Jackson audience as he participated in the auction.
      In conjunction with the auction, Darrell Gwynn presented custom power wheelchairs to two children with debilitating disease. “The more we get for these auction cars, the more wheelchairs we’ll be able to donate and help those in desperate need,” Gwynn said. “Donating a wheelchair before a large crowd gives bidders a true sense of what our work is all about.” The sale of the Superbird and Tony Stewart’s car will contribute to the more than 60 custom wheelchairs worth approximately $500,000 that Gwynn plans to donate this year. # SNIP #

Top Vehicles Sold Over $100,000 For Charity included:
1970 Plymouth Superbird custom tribute, $501,100 (The Darrell Gwynn Foundation) (1)
2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR "Jeff Gordon's", $500,000 (Hendrick Marrow Program)
2009 Ford Mustang FR500CJ Cobra Jet prototype, $375,000 (JDRF) (John Force auction promoted - fla)
2010 Chevrolet Camaro "First Retail Production", $350,000 (American Heart Association)
1967 Plymouth Barracuda custom, $200,000 (EAA Young Eagles)
2007 Chevy Monte Carlo NASCAR "Tony Stewart's", $165,000 (The Darrell Gwynn Foundation)
2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor "First Retail Production", $130,000 (JDRF)
2008 Chevy Tahoe custom with autographed MLB hood, $100,000 (MLB Charities)
2008 Ford Mustang GT ROUSH P-51A, $100,000 (Speedway Children's Charities)
(1) Full Video of Superbird Auction. On the auction stage is Richard Petty, Bill Goldberg, Darrell Gwynn, Craig Jackson and Steve Davis. Part 1 | Part 2, 14 minutes

      Former pro wrestler Bill Goldberg has a big heart and a lot of friends with influence, two attributes he combined Saturday night, Jan. 17, at Scottsdale’s Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction to raise an astounding $681,000 for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation. Goldberg’s record-setting contribution will go toward spinal injury research and allow the severely disabled International Drag Racing Hall of Fame member to make custom wheelchair donations to more than 60 children and young adults in need of assistance.
      Goldberg capitalized on the gift of a 1970 Plymouth Satellite by Ohio resident Rick Brannon to converge the talents of YearOne and Gillette Evernham Motorsports in the creation of a custom tribute replica of Richard Petty’s Championship Superbird. Adding in “King” Richard himself driving the “Petty Blue” Bird onto the auction platform, packing signed guitars from Alice Cooper and Kenny Wayne Shepherd for the lucky purchaser, in addition to a session at the Richard Petty Ride Experience – which will be put to good use as the lead car in season 3 of Goldberg’s “Bullrun” show on the Speed Channel – bidding rapidly rose to $501,000. Companion bequeathments of $180,000 closed the remarkable session and started the beginning of making a big difference in the lives of a lot of very appreciative people. NOTE: The last photo is of "King Richard's" 1970 NASCAR Plymouth Superbird which resides at the Richard Petty Museum, Randleman, North Carolina. - fla

      At the Scottsdale’s Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, coming in at $181,500, which included $16,500 in companion bequeathments, was the 2007 Home Depot Monte Carlo that Tony Stewart won three races in including the Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway on Oct 1, 2006, the Bass Pro Shop 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 29, 2006, and the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 5, 2006. All proceeds were donated to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation. The foundation, named for the famed NHRA drag racer, is dedicated to helping people with spinal chord injuries. At the auction, Gwynn himself confined to a wheelchair after spinal injuries, introduced 14-year-old Randy Rimone, who the foundation helped after he was denied insurance coverage for a power wheelchair.
      NOTE: Joe Gibbs, Tony Stewart, and Jeff Gordon are honorary Board of Directors of Darrell’s Foundation. At the 2008 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, Joe Gibbs Racing donated one of Tony's #20 Home Depot NASCARs to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation for auction. By the time the gavel was hammered the car sold for $380,000. It was the No. 1 selling race car at the auction. With ancillary donations, the final amount raised was over $500,000. Noted collector Ron Pratt purchased Stewart’s car and then donated it back to the Foundation to auction off again at the 2009 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction. - fla

14 posted on 03/14/2009 5:06:16 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
You might find this interesting: Drag Cars In Motion thread from The H.A.M.B.
15 posted on 03/14/2009 5:06:33 PM PDT by lewislynn (What does the global warming movement and the Fairtax movement have in common? Disinformation)
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To: flattorney
NASCAR Anglers raise more than $100,000 for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation
      On Friday February 13, 2009, during NASCAR's Daytona Week, more than thirty NASCAR drivers, celebrities and fans attended the 3rd Annual Darrell Gwynn Foundation Charity Fishing Tournament on Daytona Speedway's 29-acre infield Lake Lloyd. The annual event raised more than $100,000 for the Davie, Florida based Darrell Gwynn Foundation that funds paralysis research, spinal cord injury education and awareness, and customized wheelchairs for children and young adults. NASCAR driver Carl Edwards won the individual fishing tournament with a 4.2 pound bass. Edwards' group also won the team competition by catching a total of 8.5 pounds of fish. Among the other participants were Tony Stewart, Martin Truex, Ryan Newman, Darrell Waltrip and Ken Schrader. Gwynn, former drag racing champion paralyzed in a racing accident, donated a portion of the tournament's proceeds to the Betty Jane France Pediatric Center "Speediatrics" unit at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach. The special unit, which is brightly decked out in a racing theme, helps children and families feel more comfortable amid beeping medical equipment and the constant parade of doctors and nurses.
      FlA Says: My main man Darrell Waltrip does a great job of promoting and participating in this event. Other NASCAR super-legends like Richard Childress also heavily support the annual fundraiser. Over the years, Darrell Gwynn and his Foundation have been smart to work with NASCAR team owners and drivers for donations. The simple fact is the top NHRA drivers earn peanuts compared to the top NASCAR drivers. NASCAR team owners and drivers have the big money to significantly help Darrell's foundation, along with other worthy humanitarian organizations. ~ Video: Riki Rachtman covers Feb 2008 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Charity Daytona Fishing Tournament. Interviews Darrell Gwynn and NASCAR drivers at event. When Riki is on the scene there is always funny moments.

Photos: 1. Darrell Gwynn, Team Carl Edwards | 2. Carl Edwards with his winning catch |
3. Darrell and Ryan Newman | 4-5. Darrell "The Man" Waltrip and his Lake Lloyd "youngsters".

Disabled 5-year-old NASCAR fan gets her own wheels thanks to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation
Daytona Beach News Journal by Deborah Circelli
Feb. 16, 2009
      Daytona Beach -- Two-time NASCAR Cup champion Tony Stewart knelt down, smiling as he tried to charm Alyssa Hagstrom while photographers snapped away. The bubbly pre-kindergartner, who turned 5 on Saturday seemed to care less that she was the center of attention being introduced to drivers such as Stewart, Carl Edwards and last year's Daytona 500 winner, Ryan Newman. She was comfy in her new set of wheels. The minute the cameras stopped flashing, Alyssa, who was born with a rare muscle disorder that prevents her from walking and having full movement of her arms, pressed her head against the wheelchair headrest, which powers the chair, and pronounced -- "I'm out of here," as she wheeled back down the dock Friday at Daytona International Speedway.
      "Excuse me guys. Excuse me," she said to fans and drivers, who had just finished a charity fishing tournament to benefit people with spinal cord injuries and other debilitating illnesses. Just an hour earlier, she started driving in her $26,000 power chair donated by the Davie-based Darrell Gwynn Foundation, started by Gwynn, a National Hot Rod Association champion. He lost his left arm and was paralyzed from the waist down in 1990 when his dragster hit a wall during a London exhibition.
      Before the festivities with the drivers began, the Daytona Beach girl moved around the dock making new friends. "I know I'm a crazy driver," Alyssa said to a man on the dock. At one point, she went right up to Gwynn and Ricky James, 20, of California, who was injured in a 2005 motocross racing accident. "Hi! Hi!," she yelled to the two. "Daddy, all three of us are in wheelchairs." Before they could ask her a question, she zoomed away. "She sure is cute," Gwynn laughed. "Kids do amazing things the way they take to a machine like that." Alyssa, who attends Easter Seals Pre-Kindergarten Charter School in Daytona Beach and is an ambassador for Easter Seals "Walk With Me" fundraisers in April and May, also made an impression on the drivers. Stewart said it's exciting to see the children "get a new set of wheels." "She has no clue who any of us are, but 10 years down the road she'll be looking at pictures and it will be special to her," Stewart said.
      Edwards, who was on the winning team for the fishing tournament on the Speedway's Lake Lloyd, said he first met Alyssa right before the fishing began, and just after she got her new chair. "She's like, 'Nice to meet you. Excuse me. I got to go,' " he laughed. "What (Gwynn) does for people is really special. It's an honor to be a part of it." Gwynn's foundation, which raised more than $100,000 at the local tournament, donated 37 wheelchairs last year and has donated about 100 since the foundation started in 2002. Money raised also helps Halifax Health Medical Center's "Speediatrics" unit for children. "I can't win races anymore because of my injury, but (this) is just like winning a race," said Gwynn, 47. "It's like a victory when you get to change somebody's life." His goal is to give young people more independence after losing his own. "It's a club we didn't sign up for. We have to try to make the best of things," Gwynn said.
      Alyssa's father, Duane Hagstrom, 35, a Flagler Palm Coast High School teacher, said his daughter doesn't let her disability stand in her way. She was born with arthrogryposis, a muscular atrophy in her extremities. Before getting the powered Chair, she was pushed in a stroller, a manual wheelchair or she simply rolled on the floor. At home, she gets help from her 7-year-old sister, her father's girlfriend, Milisa Carter, and Carter's two children. Hagstrom, who is divorced from Alyssa's mother and has cared for her since she was young, said his insurance denied the specialized chair. "She's so independent now," he said regarding her new wheels. "She's a normal 5-year-old other than the fact that she can't walk. At school last week, she played with fellow students on the floor before making paper hearts with her teacher for Valentine's Day. She said she "wants to be a girl that cooks" when she grows up and that she loves "playing outside with my friends and pretend like we're catching butterflies." "She is totally charming," her teacher Kathleen Carroll said. "She knows she can't walk, but that doesn't damper her spirit." Alyssa said her fellow students help her if a toy is too high on a shelf or getting around on the playground. Now with her new chair, she said, "I can chase everybody around outside."

Darrell, NASCAR President Mike Helton, and DGF wheelchair recipient

16 posted on 03/14/2009 5:08:28 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney

That Rat Rod in front of the Petersen museum looks like one from here in Eureka? Am I on your ping list? As you know Hillary Will does not have a ride this year due to a shortage sponsors...

17 posted on 03/14/2009 5:08:36 PM PDT by tubebender (99% of Lawyers give the rest a bad name...)
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To: flattorney

Please add me to your ping list.

18 posted on 03/14/2009 5:11:34 PM PDT by luv2lurkhere
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To: WestCoastGal
PING - Posts #14 and 16

NASCAR related posts for your ping list consideration. Hope everything is fantastic with you. - TAB

19 posted on 03/14/2009 5:13:09 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
Don Prudhomme Snake Racing
NHRA 3rd Greatest | Inducted: 1991, Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
2000, International Motorsports Hall of Fame | International Drag Racing Hall of Fame
1997, SEMA Hall of Fame | 1997, Hot Rod Magazine Hall of Fame
2007 Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award

2009 Top Fuel Driver: Spencer Massey | ESPN Video: Get to know Spencer Massey

01.29.09: Spencer Massey to Drive for Don Prudomme in NHRA's Top Fuel
      Spencer Massey(1) is on the verge of becoming the next big thing in drag racing, but we got a pretty good idea last summer that he already was well on his way. Massey, of Dallas, rolled into U.S. 131 Motorsports Park last August and won the Nitro Top Fuel division title at Martin Dragway's annual Northern Nationals. Massey, 26, went on to win the International Hot Rod Association Top Fuel championship in his rookie season. Even bigger things are in store for Massey this season. Massey has been hired to drive the Don Prudhomme Racing Top Fuel Dragster in the National Hot Rod Association. Massey has replaced Larry Dixon(2), who drove that dragster to a second-place finish in points a year ago.
      Life comes at you fast on the dragstrip. It also comes at you fast off the track, now that Massey has landed one of the most high profile rides in the business. Massey was on Wednesday's NHRA teleconference, helping give insight to the fast approaching season. The 2009 NHRA Full Throttle season opens with the Feb. 8 Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. "It has been a dream come true," Massey said. "Last year, the deal with the IHRA wasn't supposed to happen. I got my license on a Monday and went to my first race five days later and ended up bringing home the trophy, and it kind of snowballed. This is how this deal (with Prudhomme) has been like. "It has been unbelievable that all this has happened. It is something I have dreamed about and wanted to do since I was four years old, to drive a Top Fuel dragster. I'm in awe, and very honored and blessed to be in the position I am, driving for Don The Snake."
      (1) When Spencer said in his video that legendary Texan nitro hydroplane drag boat and NHRA Top Fuel driver Eddie Hill was his hero, he made my "A List". See Eddie "The Thrill" Hill post following the next post.
      (2) Larry Dixon bought out his contract with “Snake” so he could driver the Top Fuel dragster for the new Al-Anabi Racing team. Driving for Snake Racing, Larry was NHRA Top Fuel World Champion 2002 and 2003. No hard feelings between the two and Top Fuel greatly needs Qatar based Anabi Racing’s sponsorship money. - fla

Outstanding new NHRA "Full Throttle" commercial featuring Don "The Snake" Prudhomme talking about his early days of drag racing. - 5 Stars, fla
Here’s another great Full Throttle commercial

Don Prudhomme: February 5, 2009 at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum and 1968

There’s about a 130 years of combined NHRA drag racing experience between these
three super-legends. And, they still attend almost every NHRA National Championship event.
They’re a major reason I still heavily attend NHRA events - fla

(Left to Right) Connie “The Bounty Hunter” Kalitta (Team Owner),
Don “The Snake” Prudhomme (Team Owner), and,
Ed “The Ace” McCulloch (Co-Team Owner, Crew Chief)

20 posted on 03/14/2009 5:17:11 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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