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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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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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To: flattorney
Finally, a thread I can peruse without cringing.

How's Don Garlits these days?

61 posted on 03/16/2009 8:35:45 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (To Let)
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To: flattorney

that’s deadly.

62 posted on 03/16/2009 8:42:27 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (To Let)
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To: flattorney
The Sponsorship Carnage Continues. . . . .

Historic Budweiser and Kenny Bernstein Racing Deal to End. NHRA also gets the boot.

03.16.09: Belguim based InBev, the owners of Anheuser-Busch ("ABInBev"), announced today that the longest running sponsorship in auto racing will come to a close when Budweiser ends its 30-year relationship with Kenny Bernstein Racing's("KBR") NHRA team after the 2009 season. In their announcement, ABInBev also stated that 2009 will be the last year for Budweiser as the official beer sponsor of the NHRA. Budweiser has sponsored the NHRA since the early 1980s and is celebrating its 30th season with Kenny Bernstein Racing.
      Budweiser was with Bernstein through all six of his NHRA championships, including four consecutive Funny Car titles from 1985-88 and his two Top Fuel crowns in 1996 and 2001. The relationship continued after Bernstein retired and handed over the driving duties to his son, Brandon Bernstein, in 2003. KBR will began its process of finding a new sponsor for the 2010 season. "Budweiser provided us the opportunity to make a career of doing what we love," Kenny Bernstein said. "We owe a debt of gratitude to all the Anheuser-Busch employees and wholesalers we've worked with, as well as the fans and friends who've followed and supported us all these years." The Budweiser deal made history last season when it surpassed the 28-year relationship STP had with Richard Petty to become the longest sponsorship agreement in racing. "The NHRA and Kenny Bernstein Racing have been world class partners and we're proud of everything we've accomplished together," said Dan McHugh, vice president of Anheuser-Busch. "For three decades, Budweiser helped grow the sport."
      InBev, a Belgian beer company, purchased Anheuser-Busch for $49.9 billion last July. The purchase of the U.S. beer giant brought speculation over how the sale would affect Budweiser's sponsorship programs in sports. Budweiser continues to sponsor the No. 9 Dodge that Kasey Kahne drives for Richard Petty Motorsports in the Sprint Cup series.

03.16.09, Kenny Bernstein Racing Press Release: Lake Forest, CA - Kenny's Statement: “While we are disappointed by the news, the 30 years we’ve spent with Budweiser have been memorable and we’ve had experiences because of that relationship we’ll will never forget. “We owe a debt of gratitude to all the Budweiser employees and wholesalers we’ve worked with through the years, as well as the fans and friends who have followed and supported us beginning with the Funny Car era. “The Budweiser sponsorship has provided us the opportunity to make a career in the sport that we love while fielding championship-caliber teams through the years. It has been a wonderful win-win relationship for three decades.
      “As a driver, Brandon has 17 career victories to his credit and to this date holds the distinguished record of having the most successful career launch of any Funny Car or Top Fuel driver in NHRA history. “We’re passionate about the sport of NHRA drag racing and plan to continue if we can secure sponsorship. We are moving forward with the search for a replacement so that we can field an NHRA team in 2010 with Brandon as the driver.
      “We are proud of our long-term sponsorships, not only with Budweiser, but we’re also celebrating our 31st season with LaPaz party mixes, 22nd anniversary with Mac Tools, and our seventh season with Lucas Oil. We believe that taking a proactive role in initiating programs and promotions that help sell product and build brand awareness has been an integral part of retaining our sponsorship associations through the years. Coupled with the success we’ve had on the racetrack while flying the Budweiser colors, including six NHRA championships and 85 national event victories between Brandon and me, then it’s a very attractive opportunity for another sponsor.
      “We pride ourselves on ethics and integrity. We recognize you can’t have success without good people, and we have a skilled staff that offers the opportunity for a turn-key program that is inclusive from marketing and sales to public relations, highlighted by a race team that is professional and capable of winning on Sunday.”

031609-1315 FlA Says: Glad this wasn't publicly announced until after the Gatornationals. I heard the rumor last Friday in the pits. The worst part of this news is we will be losing the Bud Girls at the end of the season *lol*. Seriously, the total withdraw of Budweiser from NHRA drag racing is more bad sponsorship news. Many foreign corporations don't give a [beep] about our American heritage and what we enjoy. They only care about how much money they can suck out of American consumers at the lowest possible cost. Further, ABInBev is drowning in a sea of acquisition debt. Bottom-line is that Kenny is a class act and the best marketer in NHRA. Brandon is also first class and a great individual. They will survive without Budweiser. The only reason ABInBev didn't pull the plug on Richard Petty is because it's a low dollar sponsorship. It's peanuts compared to Budweiser's previous sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr. And, let's be honest, Richard is "The King" but RPM hasn't done squat, for many years, as to fielding a championship NASCAR team. Many fans don't know Richard is still involved in NASCAR except for his racing schools.
      On a positive note, we had a fantastic three days at Gainesville. Much better than last year's Gatornationals. I will post more later this week, or weekend, when I get unburied here at work. Thanks all!

TAB UPDATE: 03.16.09: Anheuser-Busch InBev Looking to Sell Assets to Pay Off Creditors
- - It’s an awkward position, to be sure. Fresh off a $52 billion debt-fueled deal to create the world’s biggest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev looks to sell assets to pay off its creditors. But the most likely buyer for brewing assets turns out to be…its fiercest rival. Cash-stocked SABMiller of London, the world’s second-largest brewer, may be interested in swooping in and purchasing Anheuser-Busch InBev’s assets in Germany and Russia. The game of global beer-industry consolidation may be entering a new phase. The world’s largest brewers, including Anheuser-Busch InBev, SABMiller, Carlsberg and Heineken, fattened up in recent years through acquisitions, including purchases of smaller brewers in emerging economies. Now, these giants might start selling assets to each other out of necessity. Nowhere is this better seen than in Anheuser-Busch InBev’s desire to sell $7 billion of assets to help repay debt from the tide-shifting $52 billion deal that created the company last November. Depending on how things play out, Anheuser, the world’s biggest brewer by sales, may find itself in the odd position of selling operations to its next-largest rival, SABMiller.

FR 2009 NHRA Drag Racing Thread Related Posts:
Kenny Bernstein Racing
    Kenny Bernstein to be inducted into Motorsports Hall Of Fame of America
    The Hot NHRA event Bud Girls

Brandon Bernstein

ABInBev should change their logo to the Eagle flying head first straight into the ground


63 posted on 03/16/2009 4:53:35 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: WestCoastGal

NASCAR related post for your ping list consideration.


64 posted on 03/16/2009 4:55:37 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney; SouthTexas; tubebender

Thanks for the ping, I actually just posted this on the Nascar thread :) - I’m wondering what AB thoughts are on the 9 car with Kasey Kahne next year. I still get Bud catalogs from the Dale Jr days when I subscribed. There isn’t
any Nascar stuff in there anymore.

Ping to 63 on the AB story.

65 posted on 03/16/2009 5:04:24 PM PDT by WestCoastGal (If he wants to come by the bus after the race and get his a$$ whooped, I'll do it. - Dale Jr)
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To: Poser; SouthTexas; glock rocks

LOL... My 20 year old grandson is in the market for a four car garage with a attached bedroom/bathroom combo...

66 posted on 03/16/2009 5:17:52 PM PDT by tubebender (99% of Lawyers give the rest a bad name...)
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To: flattorney; WestCoastGal; tubebender

Now I’m glad I quit drinking Bud.

67 posted on 03/16/2009 5:31:22 PM PDT by SouthTexas (Pending....)
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To: Poser
OMG poser...on closer inspection I notice the 1950 Chevy 2 door sedan just like the one I bought to share with my Mother and little Sister in 1953. I moved north in 1954 and gave then the car so they would have wheels and I took the Greyhound. My Sister has the car in her barn on their farm near FResno and it is bone stock and solid with just a few dings.

While I am blessed with many riches here on Humboldt Bay I often wonder what life held for me if I had turned south on 99 and gone to the LA area instead. I was already drag racing in Fresno, Lodi and Formosa (Bakersfield) in 52 and 53 with a 38 Chevy as a member of the Fresno Pandraggers. I was a founding member of the Humboldt Timing Association here and the Samoa Drag Strip is the oldest NHRA drag strip still going. The business I founded still sponsors the yearly Nostalgia Races for grass roots racers...

68 posted on 03/16/2009 7:35:25 PM PDT by tubebender (99% of Lawyers give the rest a bad name...)
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To: flattorney; the invisib1e hand
Sunday evening, driving home from Gainesville to Miami we saw the Space Shuttle in the sky after it's 7:43 pm launch. We were just north of Orlando and pulled off on the side of the road with the rest of our group. Here is NASA's STS-119 main webpage and their launch webpage for anyone interested. - fla

2009 Gatornationals: The exchange probably went something like this. . .

Don Garlits(L): "Look Don.... I'm (NHRA) number 1 and always will be".
Don Prudhomme(R): "You may think you're The Don but get a Top Fuel team out here and I'll kick your butt back to Ocala". *puts his other earplug back in and walks off. . . grinning from his "show"* - fla

ESPN Video Note: At the second race at Phoenix, behind the line, John Force was talking to Don Prudhomme about something. The ESPN TV crew came over and Don stopped talking (he's not big on unannounced TV cameras ). Force yaps "this is my 25th year here at Phoenix. . . . I'm older than you are Snake". Don half-grinned and gives John this "righttttt... boy" look and turned away. I got a good laugh out of that. No one gets the better of The Snake - fla.

Don Prudhomme's Cars at the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala

Seventy-seven years young Don Garlits (NHRA No. 1 Greatest) was honored at the '09 Gatornationals for 60 years of drag racing. - fla
01.14.09: Happy Birthday Don Garlits - - The man considered by many as the father of drag racing, Don Garlits, was born on this day in 1932 in Tampa, Fla. Aside from his wins and champions, "Big Daddy" probably made his greatest contribution to the sport by helping perfect the rear-engine top-fuel dragster after losing part of a foot in an accident. He was also one of the first drivers to get behind the idea of racers wearing fire-proof uniforms, socks, and gloves to increase safety. While his safety innovations are recognized and appreciated by both racers and fans alike, it was his ability to wheel a car down a dragstrip with the aid of his Swamp Rat machines that will forever mark him as one of, if not the, greatest drag racer ever. Garlits was the first driver to top 170, 180, 200, 240, 250, 260, and 270 mph down a quarter-mile and the first driver to break the 200 mph barrier on the eighth-mile. During his hall-of-fame career, Garlits earned 144 Nationals wins, along with three NHRA titles (the first driver to do so), and three world championships.

I saw Don race this dragster. - fla

GATORNATIONALS 1986: In the weeks leading up to the 1986 event, Don Garlits had been finishing work on his streamlined Swamp Rat XXX dragster. With its enclosed front end and cockpit, it looked like it could do 270 mph standing still. "Big Daddy" broke the 270-mph mark in the semifinals of that event, beating former NFL quarterback Dan Pastorini with a stunning speed of 272.56 in what was then the quickest side-by-side race in history, 5.40 to 5.49, surpassing the old mark set by Gary Beck and Gary Ormsby (5.39 to 5.54) at the 1983 Golden Gate Nationals. Garlits then beat Dick LaHaie in the final for his last of four Gatornationals wins. The only hitch in Garlits' weekend was the front "tire" setup, which featured generator belts wrapped around aluminum discs. The belts repeatedly exited the "wheels" at the top end of every pass when "Big" pulled the chute, and they were replaced at the next race by small aircraft tires, which became all the rage for a few years before the teams realized that what they gained in aero advantage was lost on less rollout. - Credit NHRA


69 posted on 03/17/2009 7:48:24 AM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney

Thanks. Know an honest divorce attorney?

70 posted on 03/17/2009 8:40:40 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Wall Street: Built by dropouts and misfits, destroyed by the Ive League's finest.)
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To: SouthTexas; flattorney
03.13.09: Recession is a Drag for Drivers
      With her marketable personality and good looks, and her ability to go fearlessly fast, one could say Angelle Sampey was Danica Patrick before Danica Patrick(1). When she started out in NHRA drag racing in 1996, the sport was male dominated. That has since changed, with Sampey playing a significant role with the success she's had on her Pro Stock Motorcycle. She's not only won races (41 in all), she's won over thousands of fans and is now one of NHRA's most popular and recognizable drivers. But she no longer has a ride. Only 38 and still in her racing prime, Sampey has been sidelined by the sagging economy. Not only is she sitting out Gatornationals this weekend, she's sitting out the entire 2009 NHRA season after failing to find a new owner. "I was hoping and praying something would come through, but the call never came," she said. "It's been hard. I've been competing for 13 years. This is something I'm going to struggle with."
      Sampey isn't alone. Some of the sports other prominent drivers also have been knocked off the track by the recession, including four of the top 10 Top Fuel drivers from a year ago - Rod Fuller, Doug Herbert, Hillary Will and 2006 Gatornationals winner Dave Grubnic. Some drivers in the other classes (Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Bike) also are without rides after failing to secure sponsors, among them, Tommy Johnson Jr. and his wife, Melanie Troxel, in Funny Car. The couple made headlines after racing head-to-head for the first time at last year's Gatornationals.
      "It's a scary thing to think about what's happened to our sport," Sampey said. "It's not the sport of NHRA, it's the economy. It's affecting everybody. "Some fans think that if you're on television, you're rich. They put us on a pedestal. But we're no different than anybody else. It's scary. Every day I'm thinking about what I can do to pay my house note for next month. We're like anyone else who loses their job." Sampey said she and some of the other out-of-work drivers will be at Gainesville Raceway this weekend to do some networking that hopefully might lead to future employment. "I'm hoping to see some of the other drivers and see how they're doing," Sampey said. "It's good for people in the same state to get together. Hopefully, everyone is doing something on the side and doing OK financially. "It will be tough (being a spectator). I'll do my best to have a smile on my face." #SNIP# - Credit GatorSports

(1) 06.21.06: Angelle Sampey No Fan of Danica Patrick
      Please forgive Angelle Sampey if she’s not caught up in the Danica Patrick fanfare. One of her crew members made mention of how much he liked the IRL driver and almost immediately Angelle expressed her dislike of the way the media plays up her gender more than her being a racer. Leave it to a crew member with too much time on his hands to exploit the situation. “There she is in my leathers,” Sampey said, when showing a picture of the good-natured fun with a Danica life size cut-out. “Here’s a picture of her posted in my locker and it says this is my locker now, get your s*** out biatch." “Here’s another picture of her holding a bottle of Cajun whoop ass.”
      The crew member, who shall remain anonymous, is infatuated with Danica. A poster, which has since been defaced [allegedly by Sampey], hangs in the trailer. “They know I hate this whole female racer angle,” Sampey said. “I hate being asked about it and I hate being referred to as a female racer. It’s on my website but not by my doing. I don’t like the whole topic. I like to be noticed for the attributes of my team and not my gender.” Sampey says she made comments in the shop and that set it all off. Angelle’s leathers on the cut-out started it all. The crew even set up a camera for Sampey reaction. It wasn’t pretty. “I went in the restroom and there was a life-sized picture of Danica from the neck up taped to the toilet seat. I had chewed up some M&Ms and smeared them on her mouth. That ended it all.” At least that’s what Sampey thought. Her NHRA POWERade sign outside of her pit area was replaced with Danica’s likeness from the chest up. - Credit CP

I think a veteran racing friend said it best. "Danica couldn't carry Angelle's bra". From AS's lips… "I will be racing". - fla


71 posted on 03/17/2009 4:14:45 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
"Danica couldn't carry Angelle's bra"

I'll second that!

72 posted on 03/17/2009 5:08:04 PM PDT by SouthTexas (Pending....)
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To: flattorney


73 posted on 03/17/2009 5:16:42 PM PDT by Vigilantcitizen (Speak softly and carry a big stick, preferably in .45)
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To: SouthTexas; SwinneySwitch; flattorney
Add to WTH file. You can't make this stuff up. Just wait until those commie bastards in China start running our lives. - fla

NHRA was informed that Budweiser’s owner ABInBev decided to terminate its sponsorship relationship in order to redirect dollars to a non-sports-enthusiast audience.

Leuven, Belgium based ABInBev President & CEO Carlos Brito who lives in San Paulo, Brazil

03.12.09: NHRA and Texas's own Kenny Bernstein not Alone. Budweiser Dumps Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Speaking of beer consumption at NHRA events, this is a funny Gatornationals video - Drunk Guys Love. . .


74 posted on 03/18/2009 4:44:45 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
to redirect dollars to a non-sports-enthusiast audience.


Really don't think that many going to the ballet are beer drinkers.

75 posted on 03/18/2009 7:42:33 PM PDT by SouthTexas (Pending....)
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To: flattorney

"The Wrap"

2009 Gatornationals: NHRA Full Throttle Points Standings After Event | Photos Albums: (1) (2) (3) (4)
Videos: ESPN Recap | Event Montage | Top Fuel Finals | PS Jason Line Press Interview
John Force's blast in Round 2 Eliminations that sent Jerry Toliver packing. He lost to Tasca in Round 3.
John knows Bob's father and was very pleased with III's incredible weekend.

2009 Winners (L-R): Funny Car Bob Tasca III, Pro Stock Motorcycle Hector Arana,
Pro Stock Jason Line, and Top Fuel Larry Dixon

The crowd was largest on Saturday for the final two rounds of qualifying. ~ fla

03.19.09 ESPN: Larry Dixon and Al-Anabi Racing break through at Gatornationals
      Many of Larry Dixon's watershed moments in NHRA drag racing have come at historic Gainesville Raceway. Eighteen years ago he attended Frank Hawley's driving school at the Florida track and first climbed into an alcohol dragster. Three years later, in 1994, he got his Top Fuel license there. The national record at the time was 4.74 seconds at a quarter-mile; his license-earning time was 4.76. Call it a preview of a driving career that would see Dixon go on to score four national wins in a 1995 rookie season, back-to-back series titles in 2002-03 and 43 total wins over 14 years in Don Prudhomme's dragsters.
      This season, Dixon is not with Don Prudhomme Snake Racing but instead is piloting the flagship ride for Alan Johnson's new Al-Anabi Racing team. Most figured the new group wouldn't take long to start a Wally collection, between eight-time champion Johnson and several crewmen from Tony Schumacher's perennial champ team, and sure enough the first win came in the third event of the Full Throttle season -- at Gainesville and the 40th annual Gatornationals.
      Dixon was the fastest through two days of qualifying and, on race day, laid down sub-3.9-second passes at 1,000 feet in three of four runs, including the final, to win his fourth Gatornationals title, tying Joe Amato for the most in Top Fuel history. "To have won four times at this place, at a place that I grew up wanting to compete at, let alone be able to win at, I'm as honored to win at this facility as I am being with this team," Dixon said.
      Al-Anabi Racing didn't have a shop four months ago, but quickly put together cars for Dixon and Funny Car driver Del Worsham (coincidentally, the driver who signed Dixon's Top Fuel license 15 years ago). The dragster failed to qualify at the season opener at Pomona, Calif., although the rain-shortened event allowed for only one qualifying pass, hardly enough to judge any team. The second race date, at Phoenix, was a better sign of what was developing between Dixon, crew chief Jason McCulloch and the team, as Dixon qualified No. 1 and advanced to the semifinals before a $50 cable broke and kept the team from challenging for a spot in the final round.
      At Gainesville, it all came together. With another top qualifying spot and no bad luck in eliminations, the ballyhooed new bunch got its win. "It's obviously just a wonderful experience for us, starting this as late in the year as we did and having this group of the guys do all they did over the winter -- it's a tribute to how well these guys have worked together," Johnson said. It's not as easy as it would appear, Dixon said, putting together a virtual all-star team with plenty of funding and just expecting the wins to be automatic. "It's hard to win these races, especially with a brand-new team," said Dixon, now third in TF points. "They can have all the notes they want from last season, but you don't have the same parts that you had last season, you don't have the same blowers, you don't have the same clutch disks. Anyone who runs a fuel car will tell you, each one of those parts has its own personality; you have to learn it and understand it and kind of find its personality. It finally paid off at Gainesville, a place that continues to reward Dixon.

Larry Dixon Wins 44th Career "Wally"

Many drivers had problems with the left lane with many wins coming in the right lane. However, Larry had no problem winning the Wally from the left lane. Note rear tire sidewall wrinkle from the track bite. ~ fla

Sunday evening launch of Space Shuttle Discovery seen from north of Orlando.


76 posted on 03/19/2009 8:10:19 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: WestCoastGal; SouthTexas; tubebender; flattorney
03.22.09: NHRA Stars Participate in Celebrity Race at Bristol Motor Speedway
      A trio of NHRA racers spent the off weekend racing. Representing three of the pro divisions, Ron Capps, Greg Anderson, and Doug Herbert participated in a celebrity late model charity race on the .533- mile Bristol Motor Speedway during the track’s NASCAR event weekend. The rules of the race, dubbed the Saturday Night Special, were simple. A celebrity was paired with a former NASCAR Bristol race winner with a $100,000 purse up for grabs. The winning team, that of NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Sterling Marlin, was awarded $25,000 for his favorite charity. The second place finisher, Rusty Wallace, the retired 1989 Cup champion, earned $10,000 for his charity of choice, and every other participating driver earned $5,000 for their designated charity.
      The event kicked off with a 15-lap heat race run by the celebrities in order to set the lineup for the 35-lap race, run by retired NASCAR legends Cale Yarborough and Junior Johnson. In addition to some of drag racing’s most notable, the celebrity field was peppered with TV personalities and several athletes and coaches, spanning NCAA, the NFL, and the NBA.
      Capps, a two-time NHRA event winner already this season and the current points leader in Funny Car, was paired with 1982 and 1985 Nationwide Series champion Jack Ingram, racing for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. He was entered in the second heat race and finished third. Former NASCAR crew chief and car owner Andy Petree won under caution after Ray Evernham, four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s former crew chief, spun and wrecked his car on lap 10. Petree was paired with Marlin, giving Marlin the pole for the feature.
      Television analyst and former NBA player Brad Daugherty moved up to second after Evernham wrecked out. Capps finished third and Evernham fourth. "I wish we could have run better," Capps said. "I was just texting my crew chief Ace (Ed McCullough), he asked me what happened. Being in California, these guys spent more time on their cars and testing. Ray (Evernham) was in one of Rusty’s cars. "It’s fun to come out here and see some friends, Mike (Waltrip, fellow NAPA-sponsored driver) and all of the guys."
      Neither Anderson nor Herbert participated in the heat races. During the morning practice session, the two got caught up in a typical Bristol run-in. Known as one of the toughest short tracks on the NASCAR circuit, Bristol has a reputation for multiple melees. Anderson had troubles off of turn 4 and Herbert was in the wrong place at the wrong time, wrecking hard on the front stretch. He climbed from his battered machine unhurt. "Anderson hit the wall right in front of me," Herbert said. "He didn’t hang me out but I was doing everything I could to get away from him and I ended up spinning my car in the process. I owe Greg one." Anderson, who is fourth in the Pro Stock points, was aligned with former champ and current driver of the No. 07 Toyota in the Nationwide Series, David Green. Herbert, who has been absent from the Top Fuel field this season due to sponsorship troubles, was partnered up with 1986 and ’87 Nationwide Series champ Larry Pearson. - Credit: RDRN

# # # # #

03.17.09: NHRA Driver Doug Herbert to Participate in NASCAR Activities at Bristol Motor Speedway
      NHRA Top Fuel Driver Doug Herbert will participate in activities surrounding the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races held at Bristol Motor Speedway, March 21-22. Herbert will compete in a celebrity amateur race as part of the Scotts Saturday Night Special Charity Event, and will start his dragster in front of nearly 160,000 spectators during the pre-race ceremonies prior to Sunday's Food City 500. Herbert's Top Fuel Dragster will be on display outside Bristol Motor Speedway throughout the weekend, beginning Friday for Food City Race Night, but will be moved inside the .533-mile oval Sunday morning, when he will start the 8,000-horsepower machine on the track's frontstretch. "Bristol is one of my favorite races," said Herbert, who scored his first Top Fuel victory at Thunder Valley in 1992. "Before they built zMAX Dragway in Charlotte last year, Bristol was my home track. I like going up there so I was excited when they asked me to be at the circle track. When we start the dragster for all the NASCAR fans I'm sure they'll love it!"
      During the Scotts Saturday Night Special Herbert will wheel a late model car in a 15-lap, celebrity amateur race. Each celebrity is paired with a pro driver and the celebrity heats help determine the starting spots of their pro driver teammate, who will then run 35 laps. "Driving in Saturday's UARA event will be really fun," said Herbert. "When we were racing in Bristol last year the Speedway had a NHRA Circle Track Challenge, where a bunch of NHRA drivers raced in street stock cars, and I loved it. My buddy Ray Evernham will be there racing too, maybe he can give me a little expert advice!" Herbert, who is currently working with Evernham to build a land speed car to run at the Bonneville Salt Flats, will be at the dragster display on Saturday, March 21, from 1:30-2:30 p.m., to greet fans and sign autographs. Although the veteran racer is not running the full 2009 NHRA schedule, he plans to compete in the upcoming NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, May 15-17.
      "We're really happy to have Doug back at the round track at Bristol," said Jeff Byrd, president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. "He's used to tearing it up at Thunder Valley but last May he got a little taste of the Speedway and we really thought he would enjoy taking part in the celebrity portion of the Saturday Night Special. This is a big event for us and we're excited about him being in the race and also about him bringing his Top Fuel dragster here. He's going to start it up in in front of a packed house on Sunday and believe me, the fans will go crazy."
- Credit: Doug Herbert Racing


77 posted on 03/23/2009 6:35:18 AM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney

I was working and tried to get finished before the race came on, but missed it.

Hopefully it will show again.

78 posted on 03/23/2009 7:07:27 AM PDT by SouthTexas (When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people.....)
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To: SouthTexas; tubebender; flattorney
Speaking of good guy Doug Herbert. . . - fla

On November 12, 1999, at the NHRA Finals, Pomona CA Top Fuel qualifying was halted Friday afternoon by a violent blower explosion that occurred when Doug Herbert left the starting line. His dragster traveled less than the thirty feet when a devastating supercharger blast erupted unlike any witnessed in NHRA history. According to NHRA reporting, fourteen spectators were treated for injuries with ten being transported to area hospitals. The blast was so intense, segments of the supercharger rotor casing landed hundreds of feet outside the race facility. Fans and racers inside the facility were showered with debris that littered the area of the return road from the starting line hundreds of feet forward. Herbert received a headache from the concussion and some black and blue toes where a piece of metal hit his foot.
Articles: 11.13.99: Another Catastrophic Engine Failure | 11.15.99: Pomona Doug Herbert NHRA Finals Review

Notice how high the supercharger "hat" is blown (left of red Pontiac sign at top of bleachers)

Proof that nitromethane has a more energetic high explosive factor than TNT


79 posted on 03/23/2009 3:17:32 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney

He done blowed up real good!

A lot of very lucky people there.

80 posted on 03/23/2009 8:59:12 PM PDT by SouthTexas (When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people.....)
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To: flattorney
More from the 2009 Gatornationals file. . . .

2,975 '09 Gatornationals Photos

03.12.09: Hanging on by a string, Pro Stock Motorcycle ace, Craig Treble, calls out NHRA
- - "NHRA has a plethora of marketing people," he said. "They have sponsorship. What they need to do, in my opinion, is support the racers a little more. NASCAR tries to keep their racers out there. They know they need the main teams flowing so they can continue putting on a show and making money. NHRA has a tendency of gathering up money for the NHRA and they don’t worry so much about the racers. They need to support the racer more so they can keep the program running. They say, 'If you get somebody, we’ll send some people out there to try and market our program and tell them what it’s all about.'

NASCAR Could Learn From NHRA's Diversity
Orlando Sentinel by Tania Ganguli
March 12, 2009

      A beat-up old khaki Hummer with no top stopped at a light in downtown Orlando and Tom Hammonds pointed at it. "I'd race that if I could," Hammonds said, laughing, as we sat having lunch and chatting about his roots in drag racing. It all started with the most dangerous kind. Street racing in his hometown of Crestview. He even raced in his mother's station wagon. "Needless to say," Hammonds said, "I lost a lot of races in that car." He was drafted into the NBA with the ninth pick of the 1989 draft and suddenly he had enough money to drag race professionally. He raced throughout his 12-year NBA career, doing eight or nine races through the offseason. He even got a clause removed from his contract that would have prevented him from racing or doing other such dangerous activities. Now Hammonds, eight years removed from his retirement from the NBA, is the only African-American driver-owner in the NHRA's Pro Stock division. But diversity isn't in short supply in the racing series.
      More than any other type of auto racing, the NHRA attracts women and minority drivers. Last season, two high-profile wins went to funny car driver Ashley Force Hood and African-American Antron Brown who drives a top fuel dragster. It's been that way for a long time. One of racing's female pioneers was drag racer Shirley Muldowney who won NHRA Top Fuel championships in 1977, 1980 and 1982. Angelle Sampey is currently the winningness women in NHRA history and has won Pro Stock Motorcycle("PSM") NHRA championships in 2000, 2001, 2002. She currently holds the NHRA record for the quickest PSM elapsed time at 6.871 seconds. It's a tradition and culture of diversity that NASCAR just can't accomplish. Maybe it can, but so far it hasn't. A lot of bright minds in racing are trying to figure out how to bring more diversity into the sport. Some say there needs to be a way to get young minority kids and young girls involved in the sport, so that by the time they're in their late teens, they'll be preparing for stock car racing at its highest level. Others say the good drivers are there, they just aren't getting sponsorship.
      Theories are everywhere. But maybe it's time to stop looking at what doesn't work and start looking at what does. Why does drag racing succeed? "I think all the pieces are in place to have a very diverse group," said Karen Stoffer, who drag races in the NHRA's Pro Stock Motorcycle division. "Many people can do it, everybody understands it and it's very accessible." Stoffer pointed out that people can take their everyday cars to a drag strip and race for a fee. Because of that, it isn't costly to get involved with drag racing at its early stages.
      As drivers go higher up in the series to more professional levels, drag racing starts getting more costly. The only reason Hammonds can afford to run his team without a sponsor is he spent 12 years in the NBA. And he likely will need sponsorship to run the whole season. But at its roots, it's easy to start drag racing. Without millions of dollars. Without big-time sponsorship. Without needing a team owner to take a chance on you. As drag racing grows — and it is growing — that grass-roots feeling will stick around. (Technical edit and added Angelle Sampey info to article - fla)

'09 Gatornationals: Antron Brown & Angelle Sampey, original courtesy Angelle

Still no '09 ride for Wonder Women. - fla


81 posted on 03/24/2009 12:47:54 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
Add to "there's not enough upcoming racing action" *lol* a.k.a. "glad I'm taking a break from GOP politics this year" file. ~ fla

FlA's Upcoming Motorsports, and related, Dance Card:
01. Mar 27-29: 22nd annual O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals, Houston (FR FlA & Co. Covered)
02. Mar 27-29: Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne (Season Opener)
03. Apr 02-05: 10th annual NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas (FR FlA & Co. Covered)
04. Apr 03-05: Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix, Kuala Lumpur
05. Apr 04-05: NASCAR O'Reilly 300 & Samsung 500, Texas Motor Speedway
06. Apr 09-11: Barrett Jackson Collector Car Auction, Palm Beach, FL (FR FlA & Co. Covered)
07. Apr 16-19: 29th annual Summit Racing Equip. NHRA Southern Nationals, Atlanta (FR FlA & Co. Covered)
08. Apr 17-19: 19th annual Miami Super Boat Grand Prix (Season Opener)
09. Apr 17-19: Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai
10. Apr 25-26: NASCAR Aaron's 312 & Aaron's 499, Talladega Superspeedway
11. Apr 24-26: Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir
----- COMMENTS -----
01. Attending all three days of pro racing. My 17th NHRA Spring Nationals
02. (A) It was great last year and I/we(girlfriend) are F1 fans.(B)(C)
03. (A) Great facility, I/we usually go every other year in the Fall, if no schedule conflict.
04. (A) I really like this track and excellent facility. Rain can be a problem.
05. (A) Not my favorite track but a great Texas event that draws massive crowds.
06. Attending the final day on Saturday. NHRA & NASCAR drivers will be in attendance.
      Many racing cars to be auctioned.
07. (A) I would like to attend this race more frequently but schedule usually conflicts.
08. Third year racing. SBIP/APBA lost two big Florida races this season due to loss of
      cities/local sponsorship. The recession takes no prisoners.
09. (A) Great track and facility. I boycott watching or reading about anything held in communist China,
      which included the 2008 Summer Olympics, but my girlfriend likes this race so. .
10. Attending both races. My 6th time this decade.
11. (A) I'm not a fan of this facility but usually flip through the recording to see if the race is good.
(A) DVR record to watch.
(B) You think NHRA & NASCAR are having sponsorship problems? In the off-season F1 had their heads
      handed to them by a huge sponsorship pull-out. F1 has always been the most expensive motorsports
      in the World, and in a major global recession, many sponsors said no thanks for 2009.
(C) If interested, see my Formula 1 Section on my FlAttorney's FR Racing.
      It will be updated again after the Australian Grand Prix.

I'm also a big NHL hockey fan so I'll have to find time for the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs which begins on April 15, 2009 and lasts until June.

(Talking about his very busy Van Halen touring schedule) "Ya know. . . it's kinda like my pants. It's hard to fit it all in" - Diamond David Lee Roth, 1980

82 posted on 03/25/2009 5:00:29 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney

March 27-29, 2009
4th of 24 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Events
First of Five O'Reilly Auto Parts Sponsored '09 NHRA Events
Spring Nationals, Houston ~ Midwest Nationals, St. Louis ~ Summer Nationals, Topeka
Fall Nationals, Dallas ~ Mid-South Nationals, Memphis
Event Schedule | Entry List | Team Reports | Live Audiocast (WMPlayer Direct) | Results
2008 Winners: TF Antron Brown ~ FC Del Worsham ~ PS Greg Anderson ~ PSM Matt Smith

Fans Assistance KBase | Tickets | Weather: Baytown Race Track
Surface Maps: U.S. SCentral SC IR Satellite | Live Radar: Multi NWS Severe Storm Loop
Forecasts may be inaccurate. Houston Spring weather is unpredictable and can change on short notice.
      FlA Says: After the legendary NHRA Gatornationals comes the legendary Spring Nationals. While this is the 22nd event at Houston Raceway Park, the first Spring Nationals was held in 1965 - Champion Spark Plugs NHRA Spring Nationals, Bristol Dragway - which makes this event the third oldest on the NHRA tour. Prior to moving to Houston, the Spring Nationals was held at National Trail Raceway, Columbus Ohio, since 1972. Before Columbus, it was held at Dallas International Motor Speedway from 1969-71 after Bristol Dragway switched to AHRA sanction.
      NHRA Funny Car driver and visionary Billy Meyer built the Texas Motorplex supertrack south of Dallas in Ennis. Debuting in 1986, it was a state-of-the art facility with an all concrete drag strip. With the long standing Dallas-Houston rivalry we(my hometown of Houston) demanded a new drag racing supertrack. Houston Raceway Park("HRP") was built in 1988 by Greg(President) and Seth Angel(Track Manager, "Angel Brothers" Enterprises) and is situated on 500 acres on the eastern edge of the greater Houston metropolitan(Harris County) area in Baytown. The drag strip has a large three story tower building that incorporates 23 VIP suites, a media center, and race control facilities equipped with state-of-the-art timing and scoring equipment.
      HRP's first NHRA national event, in the Fall of 1988, established it as one of the sport’s quickest with NHRA’s first four-second Top Fuel quarter-mile pass and a new national record. Since then, the track has been host to a dizzying array of record runs, including the first sub-4.5 seconds Top Fuel quarter-mile pass by Larry Dixon in 1999. The current HRP quarter-mile track records are Top Fuel dragster: ET 4.480 secs, Gary Scelzi, Oct 1999 - MPH 335.32, Tony Schumacher, Apr 2005; Funny Car: ET 4.695 secs, John Force, Mar 2006 - MPH 328.06, John Force, Mar 2006; Pro Stock: ET 6.649 secs, Jeg Coughlin, Mar 2007 - MPH 208.59, Greg Anderson, Mar 2007; and Pro Stock Motorcycle: ET 6.947 secs, Angelle Sampey, Mar 2007 - MPH 195.73, Andrew Hines, Apr 2005.
      The largest problem for the Spring Nationals is the annual Spring rains and/or overcast, humid, and windy conditions. Also, daily weather fluctuations this time of year can make the track very tricky for the pro drivers and crew-chiefs. It appears the track will be tricky again this year with a weather forecast of isolated thunder storms for Friday's Day 1 Qualifying, from a front passing through the area that will drop the temperature 10-15 degrees. For Saturday's Day 2 Qualifying, a humid, windy, and partly cloudy high of only 65 degrees. For Sunday's Final Eliminations, a sunny high of 72 degrees with moderate winds and lower humidity.
      Over the last decade, the other problem has been that the east side of Harris County has experienced several significant flood events that affected HRP's drag strip. Again, at last year's Spring Nationals, one lane had a significant problem due to a drop-off at the end of the concrete launch pad where the track transitions to asphalt. It was so bad that, for some nitro and pro stock cars, it unloaded their rear drag slicks when they went over it. In September 2008, Hurricane Ike - the third most destructive hurricane to ever make U.S. landfall - addressed this problem by causing over $100,000 of damage to Houston Raceway Park. Not only did Ike damage the track, it completely destroyed the two top-end scoreboards, and damaged the control tower.
      From insurance proceeds, the Angel Brothers had everything repaired and updated the facility. The entire drag strip was completely repaired and resurfaced, using an expensive road construction machine(see photo, 2nd post down), in two phases. The second phase, which consisted of resurfacing the concrete eighth-mile starting line launchpad, was completed in January 2009. The shutdown area gravel trap and catch-net was extended from 150 feet to 250 feet. For additional safety, the new finish-line scoreboards were placed 35 feet away from the retaining walls. The spectator parking lot was expanded along with new permanent lighting infrastructure. And, all VIP luxury suites and the HRP media center was completely remodeled and outfitted with 42-inch plasma TVs. HRP is now a newly renovated facility and drag strip with possibly the best racing surface on the NHRA tour.
      NHRA continues to experience reduced attendance at their 2009 Full Throttle events. Accordingly, they are again discounting selected tickets for the Spring Nationals. Their reduced selected tickets prices didn't appear to help attendance at the Gatornationals. It will be interesting to see what attendance is for the Spring Nationals. In the past, it has attracted very large crowds.
      The other good thing about having the Gatornationals and the Spring Nationals together is that, I strongly believe, Floridian and Texas women are the hottest in the Country. . . but I only waste one eye. My girlfriend likes a number of the NHRA drivers (more like she has the hots for some of them *lol*) so she enjoys our time in the pits when I get to tech talking too much. This will be my 17th time to attend the NHRA Spring Nationals. We fly to Houston Thursday evening, March 26, and are attending all three days of pro racing and hanging out in the pits with our group. It's my first trip back home since Christmas to see family and friends.

O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals ESPN2 Coverage (ET)
Sat, 03.28: Qualifying 8:00 - 9:00 pm (1)
Sun, 03.29: NHRA Race Day 11:00 - 11:30 am
Sun, 03.29: Eliminations 4:30 - 7:30 pm (2)
Mon, 03.30: Repeat Eliminations 2:30 - 4:30 am
(1) Only 1 hour, instead of 2, due to NCAA Basketball March Madness
(2) Watch Full Coverage On-Line at ESPN 360

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

83 posted on 03/26/2009 11:15:44 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney

22nd annual
WEDNESDAY, Mach. 25, 2009
  Sponsor Midway Parking 8:00 AM  -  5:00 PM
  Competitor Parking only (all categories) 12:00 PM  -  5:00 PM
THURSDAY, March 26, 2009 - Parking, Registration & Tech (all categories)
8:00 AM  -  6:00 PM
FRIDAY, March 27, 2009
  Spectator Gates Open
7:30 AM
  Registration/Tech Inspection (all categories)
7:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  Sportsman Qualifying
8:00 AM
  Comp Eliminator Qualifying Session
10:00 AM
  Top Alcohol Qualifying Session (Funny Car / Dragster)
11:30 AM
  Comp Eliminator Qualifying Session
12:30 PM
  Pro Mod Qualifying Session
1:00 PM
  Pro Stock Qualifying Session (PS Motorcycle / PS Car)
1:30 PM
  Nitro Qualifying Session (Funny Car / Top Fuel Dragster)
2:30 PM
  Top Alcohol Qualifying Session (Funny Car / Dragster)
3:30 PM
  Pro Mod Qualifying Session
4:30 PM
  Pro Stock Qualifying Session (PS Motorcycle / PS Car)
5:00 PM
  Nitro Qualifying Session (Funny Car / Top Fuel Dragster)
6:00 PM
  Secure Track
7:30 PM
SATURDAY, March 28, 2009
  Spectator Gates Open
7:30 AM
  Sportsman Eliminations
8:00 AM
  Comp Eliminator Qualifying Session
9:00 AM
  Top Alcohol Qualifying Session (Dragster / Funny Car)
9:30 AM
  Pro Mod Qualifying Session
10:30 AM
  Pro Stock Qualifying Session (PS Motorcycle / PS Car)
11:00 AM
  Nitro Qualifying Session (Top Fuel Dragster / Funny Car)
12:00 PM
  Top Alcohol (Dragster / Funny Car) - Round 1
1:00 PM
  Comp Eliminator - Round 1
2:00 PM
  Pro Stock Qualifying Session (PS Motorcycle / PS Car)
2:30 PM
  Nitro Qualifying Session (Top Fuel Dragster / Funny Car)
3:30 PM
  Pro Mod - Round 1
4:30 PM
  Secure Track
6:30 PM
SUNDAY, March 29, 2009
  Spectator Gates Open
8:30 AM
  Sportsman Eliminations
9:00 AM
  Pre-Race Ceremonies
10:00 AM
  Final Eliminations
11:00 AM
  Secure Event
4:30 PM
Schedule subject to change   
NOTE:  Local ordinances require that no race car engines be operated prior to 7:30 AM any day of the event
(this includes driving to and from the staging lanes).  Also, engines may not be operated after 10:00 PM any
day of the event.

84 posted on 03/26/2009 11:16:40 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney

Houston Raceway Park's Drag Strip Gets an Extreme Makeover After Hurricane Ike

John Force Racing News
03.26.09: John Force Spring National Preview
03.24.09, ESPN Video: Quarter Mile Profile - Ashley Force Hood

FlA's Personal High Notes from 2008 Spring Nationals

      You know there's going to be a party when Houstonian "Reverend Willie G" a.k.a. Billy Gibbons is in the house. It always fantastic when Billy attends the NHRA Spring Nationals in either an official capacity as last year, or comes out on his own to see the nitro action. For 2009, ZZ Top is celebrating being together and performing for forty(40) years. They are playing the best live concerts since the 80's. The last two times we saw the home bros live, Billy, Dusty, and Frank, were incredible. It was 1 +1 +1 = 12. ZZ usually does a U.S. tour every year. Hardest working international touring band I've ever seen for their age. Do not miss seeing ZZ Top live if they play anywhere close to where you live. Last year, ZZ came out with their first ever live DVD entitled ZZ Top - Live From Texas - DVD Announcement. Eleven bucks and it kicks serious butt. It was filmed at the Nokia Theatre in Dallas(Grand Prairie), Texas on November 1, 2007.
      Last September, both Dusty's home/estate in San Leon and Frank's home/ranch in Richmond were damaged by Hurricane Ike when it devastated Galveston-Harris(Houston) Counties and several adjoining counties. Billy said his home in Houston was undamaged. San Leon is on Galveston Bay and received significant damage. I FR posted about this with before/after photos of the legendary Balinese Room, Galveston that Ike wiped off the map. ZZ Top wrote a song about the "Balinese" room in 1975 that was on their Fandango! album.

85 posted on 03/26/2009 11:17:17 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney

Del Worsham ~ Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing Funny Car
2008 NHRA Spring Nationals Winner
NHRA Profile | Del's '09 Spring Nationals Pre-Race Team Report

      FlA Says: 2008 Spring Nationals -- It was an incredible win by my main man Del Worsham. Del winning his first "Wally" since 2005 made the Spring Nationals my favorite NHRA event attended last year. Del had a great and consistent Spring Nationals qualifying fourth, 4.881 @ 313.66, and his low E.T.'s gave him lane choice in 3 of 4 elimination rounds on Sunday. And, man-o-man did Del, and his team run by his father Chuck, put a one-two K.O. on Team Force to earn the honor to hug the NHRA trophy girls as part of his big payday. On Sunday, Del took down John Force in the Semi-Finals, (.086) 4.917-313.37 to John's losing (.063) 5.005 303.57. In the Funny Car Finals, he sent Ashley Force packing with another great pass of (.033) 4.933-316.60 to Ashley's losing (.142) 4.971-302.62. Even if Ashley had not been so late on the tree, she still didn't have the car to beat Del. Worsham's reaction time of .033 was the second lowest in eliminations. He left nothing to chance against "Princess". Here's a good background article that O'Reilly Auto Parts did last year on Del and Chuck Worsham entitled Just Me N' Dad.
      2009 Spring Nationals -- Del is an excellent driver and very level headed. The problem with he and his father's nitro Funny Car team was they didn't have the big bucks to be a serious championship contender. They couldn't afford to blow up a bunch of parts, to get a win, like many of the other top teams. Del doesn't have this problem for 2009. Al-Anabi Racing has the big bucks to give him the opportunity to step it up and run for a NHRA World Championship. His teammate, Top Fuel dragster jockey Larry Dixon - previously with Don Prudhomme Snake Racing - won at the Gatornationals two weeks ago. It would be incredible if Del could win the Spring Nationals again this weekend.

86 posted on 03/26/2009 11:18:01 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
Saturday morning, during breakfast at our hotel in Gainesville, a friend said he looked on his computer at the Gatornationals results for the first day of qualifying and it was only a 12 cars qualified field for each pro class. He said he thought it was supposed to be 16 cars. I told him at the beginning of the 2008 season NHRA changed the format to a 12 car provisional qualified field prior to the final day of qualifying. I explained the situation but he said he didn't understand. I told him I would post the rule change on my/our new FR 2009 NHRA thread and hopefully that helped. And, asked him to forward his email address to my secretary so he was on my racing hub, which this was distributed. - fla

01.16.08: NHRA Powerade Drag Racing Series Change in Qualifying Format
      Given the significant impact weather and atmospheric conditions have had on qualifying for NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events in past seasons, NHRA announced today it has modified its race qualifying procedure. Beginning with the CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Feb. 7-10, the top 12 elapsed times in each pro category will be provisionally recorded prior to the last day of qualifying. Those teams who were unable to earn a provisional spot in the top 12 will have an opportunity to make the 16-car starting order during the final day of qualifying. While the 12 provisional times are officially recorded prior to the last day of qualifying, those positions are not locked-in. All teams will have the opportunity to improve their positions during the final day of qualifying and can bump in or be bumped out of the field.
      "There are no guarantees with this system," said Graham Light, senior vice president of racing operations, NHRA. "If you are one of the 12 quickest cars, you can still be bumped out on the final day of qualifying, or you can improve your position in the order. However, if weather conditions change and become less optimal and as a result the performances are not as good throughout the field, the four quickest cars from outside the provisional 12 on the final day of qualifying will complete the 16-car lineup."
      The field of 16 for each of the four professional categories will be set at the conclusion of the final round of qualifying, using the traditional 16-car race bracket for eliminations. "We feel this new qualifying format will heighten the intensity for each and every qualifying session throughout the weekend," Light said. "We're certain it will make the racing on the track even more entertaining for fans."
      All qualifying elapsed times will count in the Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship standings as well as towards national records(1). The Full Throttle Pit Crew Championship awards the top-performing pit crews in each of the four professional categories at each event as well as a year-end champion. Teams are rewarded based on performance and consistency during qualifying runs, with points deducted for quarter-mile passes that result in oil on the racetrack.
(1) National records were suspended in the two nitro classes after the Saturday, June 21, 2008 track death of Scott Kalitta during qualifying. - fla

87 posted on 03/26/2009 11:18:38 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
Darrell Russell
1968 - 2004
2001 NHRA Rookie of the Year, 6 Top Fuel Event Wins, 17 Final-Round Appearances, 81 Events - 0 DNQ
2001: Only the third driver in NHRA history to win in his first professional start.
Three-time Division 4 Top Alcohol Dragster Champion | Three-time Division 4 Driver of the Year
Six-time Top Alcohol All-Star Representative
Tributes: Russell Family Official Site Photos Video (Direct WMPlayer Link)
NHRA Photos: Racers Edge | Chris Graves

03.23.09 Darrell Russell Tribute Party at Houston Raceway Park open to drivers, crew, and fans
      The top teams in drag racing will get together for a special party Friday night at Houston Raceway Park("HRP") to remember local Texas hero Darrell Russell and raise money for The Eric Medlen Project and Racers For Christ(Founded 1978 - fla). Fans are welcome to join in the fun and hang out with their favorite drivers in a casual atmosphere. "We've been working with the Russell family and Rob Geiger to put together a fun party where racers and fans can just hang out and enjoy each other's company," said Seth Angel, general manager of HRP. "The main idea is to remember Darrell and the others who have lost their lives doing what they love, like Eric Medlen, Scott Kalitta, and Blaine Johnson, just to name a few, and celebrate their lives."
      At the conclusion of Friday's second round of professional qualifying at this weekend's 22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil, the party will begin with a massive fireworks display. As soon as the smoke clears, the rock-n-roll sounds of The Slags will fill the night and Houston-based Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurants will begin serving their famous sizzling fajitas and margaritas. Superstars like 13-time Funny Car champion John Force, six-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher, Funny Car points leader Ron Capps, four-time FIA European champion Urs Erbacher, Houston's own Erica Enders, Rookie of the Year candidate and back-to-back Super Comp world champion Shawn Langdon and his teammate Morgan Lucas, as well as U.S. Nationals winner Steve Johnson already have committed to the event along with their entire crews. Many more are expected to join in the fun as the evening approaches.
      The party is free to attend. Food and beverages will be sold at a nominal cost with all proceeds going to The Eric Medlen Project, which funds research and safety initiatives for drag racers, and Racers For Christ. Brothers Greg and Gary Angel, who own HRP, already have pledged $2,000 to the cause. Erbacher crewman Johnny Bang, who also owns Johnny Bang's Bang and Bump Shop in Tomball, Texas, has committed $500. "We encourage everyone to come over to the Corporate Hospitality area on the north end of the pit-side grandstands and join the party," Angel said. "The main objective is to have fun and remember our friends. If we can raise a good amount of money for charity at the same time then all the better. "The sportsman guys have been throwing a pit party during this race for the last few years and we're just expanding on their idea and inviting a few more people. We're using the same band they've used in the past that everyone really enjoyed and having Stan Holt and his group from Lupe Tortilla there will give people the option of eating and getting a cold drink if they so desire."
      A photo booth where fans can get their picture taken with a life-sized cutout of Darrell Russell will be used to raise donations. Rob Geiger, author of Darrell Russell: Broad Smiles, Quarter-Miles(1), also will be on hand selling and signing copies of his book. - Credit: HRP

(1) The book Darrell Russell: Broad Smiles, Quarter-Miles can be purchased online at for $24.95. All proceeds are donated in Darrell’s name to the Drag Racing Association of Women (DRAW).
09.26.07: SpeedTV's Book Review.

Darrell was an outstanding fellow Houstonian, Texan, and drag racer who I still greatly miss. ~ fla

88 posted on 03/26/2009 11:19:15 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney

John Medlen Bio

Great News! - fla

03.24.09: John Force Racing's John Medlen Returns - Will Be At Spring Nationals
      Recovered From Heart Issues, Medlen Is Houston Bound - - Pulling double duty is a challenge that sophomore Funny Car driver Mike Neff didn’t shy away from, however a return to his original role of driving only won’t require much coercion. This weekend in Baytown, Texas., at the NHRA O’Reilly Springnationals, Neff’s crewchief, John Medlen, will return following a medical leave of absence to correct coronary issues. Medlen missed two events while he recuperated at home in Indianapolis from a heart procedure. Prior to the event in Phoenix Medlen checked himself into an Indianapolis hospital with chest discomfort and eventually spent five days in the hospital as a number of tests and procedures were conducted to regulate his heart rate.
      While Medlin was out, Neff was a trooper pulling double duty, driving and handling all the on-site tuning responsibilities. He got plenty of input from Medlen via cell phone and text messages but it was not the same as having his crew chief a few feet away. For his efforts Neff raced to a runner-up finish in Phoenix but an aggressive tune-up in the first round of the Gatornationals in Gainesville ended his day early. “The conditions were a little better (on race day) and we tried to get more aggressive. We gave it a little bit too much. It went up in smoke as it went past the tree. I am just kicking myself for that. We gave it our best shot. All in all it wasn’t the best weekend but it certainly wasn’t the worst either. We are still learning and trying to get some things figured out,” said Neff. Few driver and tuner combinations could have pulled off this kind of arrangement, but considering both Neff and Medlen are championship winning tuners, the challenge wasn’t that overwhelming.
      John Medlen won his crown tuning Tony Pedregon to the championship in 2003 and Mike Neff steered Gary Scelzi to his lone Funny Car championship in 2005. Both men have a tremendous amount of respect for each other and it was Medlen who championed Neff to fill the driver’s seat formerly occupied by his son, Eric, who passed away just over two years ago following a testing accident in Florida. “There’s only one Eric Medlen and no one’s ever going to take his place, but to fill that spot and carry on where he left off is a real honor. John Medlen was one of the main reasons I came over here – to work with him,” said Neff. “I have high expectations. I know the performance of the car will be there plus we should be better just because we have a year of experience behind us. I know that if I do my job, we should be in the hunt for the Full Throttle Funny Car championship.” The experience of running the Funny Car almost solo for two races is believed to have given Neff a leg up when it comes to understanding where the car needs to be in qualifying as well as race day. It is an advantage that Neff hopes to exploit when he and Medlen get back on the track together again. “I think we will be better now that I have been able to learn more about the car. I think I’ll be able to give Medlen a better perspective since I’m now a lot more aware how it is all working,” summed up Neff. - Credit: CP

John Medlen, 1982 Pomona

89 posted on 03/26/2009 11:20:03 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney


03.24.09: With realistic expectations, Erica Enders looks forward to Hometown NHRA Event
      There’s nothing worse for a driver than sitting on the sidelines without a ride, particularly when the event is being held at the driver’s home track. Just ask Erica Enders. When last year’s O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil rolled around, Enders was without a ride, relegated to watching peers take the track where she began her drag racing career 17 years ago. Fast-forward one year, and things are much different. Enders is back behind the wheel of a Pro Stocker with new sponsor Dragstar, a new team, and a renewed level of excitement, which is only made stronger by a trip home. “There’s no place like home, that’s for sure,” said Enders. “All 17 years of my career, most of my passes have been in Houston, so I’m looking very forward to this weekend’s race. Granted, we’re not going to go out and set the world on fire and be able to win the race, but it will be great to be back in front of the hometown crowd. Last year, Richie [Stevens Jr.] and I went down for the Houston race, and neither of us was driving at that event, so it was extremely difficult to be there and not be driving — it really kind of sucked, to be honest. I’m so stoked to be coming back to my hometown.”
      This weekend’s O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals will mark the fifth event for Enders behind the wheel of Jim Cunningham’s Ford Mustang, which she piloted at last year’s Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil and the first three events this year, and though she is happy to be back racing in front of friends and family, she’s realistic in her expectations. Enders has failed to qualify at all three races this year (Miserably failed - fla), and with 24 teams on the entry list for the Houston event, she says that will likely be the outcome there, too. “I know the track, and yes, I’ve done well in the past, but considering our position with parts and stuff, I don’t think we’re going to make the show here,” said Enders. “I don’t want to sound like Debbie Downer, but I saw there are 24 cars on the entry list, so that’s pretty stout for a Pro Stock field.”
      The team is using an old car and old engine components (and it runs like an ol' heap - fla) while waiting for brand-new ones from Ford, which has already tested the '10 Mustang body in the wind tunnel and, with a great deal of help from team owner Cunningham, has begun work on the cylinder heads and engine blocks, which the team hopes to have by July. In the meantime, the team is using its time to jell, get Enders more seat time, and give the crew data and tuning experience. “We’re learning a lot,” said Enders. “We’re out there, I’m learning about the car, I’m getting more seat time, and my crew chief is getting more runs under his belt. We’re like every team out there; we learn from every run.
      “When I started at Victor Cagnazzi’s [team], we weren’t qualifying — I don’t think we qualified for the first 10 races. Our program was new over there, and things came together, and towards the end of my deal over there, we were third in the world in points and had been to two finals. Every new program needs time to come together. We’ll be just fine. I really, really have a lot of confidence. I’ve never worked with a more committed group of people. My crew chief and the two guys that work on my car and Jim Cunningham are so amazing. They believe in the program and in me as much as I do, and that really means a lot to a driver.” The team will continue its learning process this weekend at Houston Raceway Park, where it will have an added cheering section of Enders’ friends and family, including her father, Gregg, who has missed the first three races this year due to work commitments at Momentum Biofuels, which is one of the team’s backers this season. No matter the outcome, Enders is just happy she has the chance to take part in this year’s Houston event in front of her friends, family, and fans. “I’m so happy to be back in the car,” she said. “It was so weird not driving. It was like part of me was missing last year. It was so frustrating. I’m just so happy to be driving again and be getting seat time and getting to be out there with the rest of the guys and the fans and stuff because I surely did miss it last year.” - See previous Erica Enders thread post #31 and photos. - TAB

# # # # #

03.24.09: Dave Connolly To Race At Spring Nationals
- - Pro Stock driver Dave Connolly will make his 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series debut this weekend at the O’Reilly Spring Nationals in Houston. But he will be driving Kenny Koretsky’s colorful Nitro Fish Dodge instead of the familiar Cagnazzi Racing Charter Communications Chevrolet Cobalt. Connolly, one of the category’s best, has been sidelined by the current economic downturn for the first three 2009 Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events, so he accepted the offer to drive Koretsky’s car. Connolly, a 21-race winner, is eager to get back to racing, even if it is for one race. “I’m still part of Cagnazzi Racing and when Kenny offered his car for me to drive this weekend, I was excited. But I wanted the blessings of Victor, General Motors and (crew chief) Tommy Utt, and they said ‘yes’. It will be good to get behind the wheel of a Pro Stock car again. I’m honored they picked me to drive the car. “Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks, Cagnazzi Racing can find someone to partner with Charter Communications and I can get back in my Chevy Cobalt. Then we can get back to trying to win a championship. I’m looking forward to racing again with Tommy Utt and the rest of my team.”
FlA Says: I don't follow pro stock very closely except for Greg Anderson and the Summit Racing team. However, five years ago, the one guy that really caught my attention was Dave Connolly. He is a great PS driver and I am equally impressed with Dave when I've gone to his pit. He had the same sponsorship problem last year missing the first five races.

90 posted on 03/26/2009 11:21:00 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
More King Billy NHRA News - fla

01.05.09: The Kid is Back - 75th Anniversary of the 1933-34 Ford Model
      Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum - - The 75th Anniversary of the 1933-’34 Ford Model 40, arguably one of Ford’s sleekest designs, will be celebrated in a special exhibit at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, Jan. 23, 2009 through June 2009. “The 1933-’34 Ford Model 40 was a very important car both for Ford and for hot rodders. It helped pull Ford out of the depression and powered racers from Indy to El Mirage. It’s an important milestone anniversary that the Parks Museum’s is excited to celebrate,” said Tony Thacker, executive director of the museum. “This exhibit is for all the racers and rodders who embraced the Model 40.”
      The exhibit, will feature a number of legendary 1933-’34 Ford hot rods, including the Pierson Brothers’ Coupe; the SO-CAL Coupe; the famed Mooneyham & Sharp 554 car (courtesy of Don Garlits’ Museum of Drag Racing); and the Allison V-12-powered Big Al. Representing the hot rod community will be the California Kid, the Super Bell Coupe, Jake Jacobs’ coupe and, just announced, Billy Gibbons’ Eliminator made famous in rock band ZZ Top’s award-winning music videos. Other cars will also be on display, including the new, all-steel ’34 3-window coupe from Steve’s Auto Restorations. The exhibit will also include photographs, memorabilia and artifacts that tell the story of the iconic 1933-’34 Ford. # SNIP#.

Videos: ZZ Top, Gimme All Your Lovin'
THE Legendary MTV Video featuring "Eliminator" | Nov. 2007: ZZ Top Live From Texas (Dallas)

From Fall 2008 "In Your Face" Tour

91 posted on 03/26/2009 11:22:04 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
. . . . and speaking about the Great State of Texas

Vaughan Estates, Laurel Land Memorial Park, Dallas Texas

One of the greatest musicians God ever put on the planet.
And praise the Lord he choose Texas where I got to see Stevie play many times. ~ fla

SRV Rocks (5 Stars)
Site owner has the largest SRV audio collection in the Country.
He posts different ones, for download, in the MP3s section usually every six weeks.

92 posted on 03/26/2009 11:27:51 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: lewislynn; kickonly88; prisoner6; luv2lurkhere; nancytx; Harold Shea; tubebender; SouthTexas; ...

NHRA Event Announcement
(Click to hear nitro motor start up)

93 posted on 03/26/2009 11:35:18 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: MeekOneGOP; nancytx; SouthTexas; SwinneySwitch; WestCoastGal; flattorney
Texas Ping


94 posted on 03/26/2009 11:38:26 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: steve86

‘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.’

If anybody could do it, no one would watch.

95 posted on 03/27/2009 5:19:49 AM PDT by kickonly88
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To: flattorney

Thanks for the PING, ready to radc...WOO HOO

96 posted on 03/27/2009 6:25:58 AM PDT by Jersey Republican Biker Chick (You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.)
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To: flattorney

Thank you for the thread

97 posted on 03/27/2009 7:07:14 AM PDT by Cheetahcat (Osamabama the Wright kind of Racist!)
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To: flattorney

Hell of a lead in, hope the races follow through!

98 posted on 03/27/2009 8:42:22 AM PDT by SouthTexas (When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people.....)
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To: flattorney

Not pretty pictures. "Houston we have a problem" - TAB

99 posted on 03/27/2009 11:24:07 AM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: Jersey Republican Biker Chick; WestCoastGal

JFR trailer at the Spring Nationals (L-R) John Force's crew chief Austin Coil, driver
Mike Neff, and Mike's crew chief John "I'm back and I'm bad" Medlen. - credit JFR

Video: ESPN interview with John Medlen and John Force after the loss of Eric.


100 posted on 03/27/2009 12:20:01 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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