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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

32 posted on 03/14/2009 5:43:31 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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To: flattorney
One Year Ago, The Start of a Bad 2008 NHRA Championship Drag Racing Season
2008 NHRA Winternationals, 1st Round Final Eliminations
Tony Pedregon and John Force

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

33 posted on 03/14/2009 5:46:24 PM PDT by flattorney (See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
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