Ashley Force qualifies 1st at the Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals

July 27, 2008 by  
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Ashley Force was the fastest qualifier for the Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals at Sonoma, California this weekend. Running the shortened race distance of 1,000 feet, Force ran a 4.096 second E.T. at 301.60 MPH, giving her the first top qualifier in her career. Force is currently tied for fourth with Cruz Pedregon in the Championship points.

Qualifying times and first round pairings for Sunday’s eliminations:

Ashley Force Castrol GTX Mustang 4.096 301.60
Tommy Johnson Jr. Monster Energy Drink Charger 4.327 286.38

Tony Pedregon Prestone Impala 4.101 299.80
Bob Tasca III Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang 4.276 282.72

Cruz Pedregon Advance Auto Parts Solara 4.110 300.53
Mike Neff Old Spice Mustang 4.238 290.51

John Force Castrol GTX Mustang 4.119 298.80
Jack Beckman Valvoline/MTS Charger 4.220 292.52

Ron Capps NAPA Auto Parts Charger 4.121 292.77
Gary Densham RaceBricks Impala 4.205 287.41

Del Worsham Techron Impala 4.132 295.98
Robert Hight AAA of So. Cal Mustang 4.194 289.57

Melanie Troxel ProCare RX Charger 4.156 297.29
Jerry Toliver Rockstar Energy Drinks Charger 4.136 298.34

Tim Wilkerson Levi, Ray & Shoup Impala 4.146 295.40
Gary Scelzi Mopar Oakley Charger 4.152 297.42

Wilkerson 11th, keeps points lead

July 22, 2008 by  
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KENT, Wash. — Springfield driver Tim Wilkerson finished in 11th place Sunday in the Funny Car division at the National Hot Rod Association Schuck’s Auto Supply Nationals at Pacific Raceways.

Points leader Wilkerson was eliminated in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations by Robert Hight, who’s No. 2 in the point standings. Hight’s time was 4.135, and Wilkerson posted a 4.204 at 298.14 mph. Hight’s was the...

Read the full article in The State Journal-Register

Bartone wins in Funny Car for 1st NHRA victory in Kent, Wash.

July 22, 2008 by  
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Tony Bartone, who had collected 28 victories in the alcohol classes before joining the Professional ranks, scored his first career Pro victory in his 119th start in the Funny Car class, holding on to win a thrilling final-round battle with Ron Capps to highlight the 21st annual Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals, the middle leg of NHRA's three-race, three-weekend Western Swing, at Pacific Raceways outside of Seattle.


Read the full article by Phil Burgess

Tim Wilkerson wins again!

July 13, 2008 by  
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Points leader Tim Wilkerson wins again at the 29th running of the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, Colorado. Wilkerson defeated defeated Jack Beckman in the final by running a 4.398 second E.T. at 262.23 MPH, besting Beckman's 4.661 E.T. at 205.41 MPH. Wilkerson significantly extended his points lead with his fourth win this season.

Along with a mandated change to a new rear tire, this was the first race at the interim race length of 1,000 foot. The shorter race length was mandated to increase the shut down area of the track for the cars to decelerate, while simultaneously slowing the cars down to reduce the safety risk for drivers. The temporary race length rule is temporary while NHRA's newly formed safety task force studies how to improve the safety of the cars and tracks in the wake of Scott Kalitta's death at the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, New Jersey three weeks ago. All of the drivers interviewed seemed pleased that the 1,000 foot rule has been implemented while the safety issues are studied, that the rule is indeed intended to be temporary, and the competition was still exciting.

IHRA has also experienced safety concerns recently. IHRA Nitro Funny Car and past NHRA Fuel Funny Car driver, Dale Creasy, Jr. was seriously injured last week at the IHRA CARS RV & Marine & Motorsport Rocky Mountain Nationals. Creasy is currently in Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta as he recuperates from multiple surgeries that were required to reconstruct his left leg. Hopefully, NHRA and IHRA will work together to improve the safety of all drivers.

Another interesting aspect of the Bandimere Speedway race was the track's addition of a cooling system for the tracks launch area out to the 120 foot mark. Bandimere's all concrete dragstrip was known for its high temperatures in the Summer sun, significantly reducing the traction for the cars that are already hampered by the lower oxygen density of the high altitude. The track's cooling system has embeded water pipes in the concrete launch area, circulating water to an external chilling system. The cooling system was a resounding success as the track surface temperatures significantly decreased and improved the traction for all participants.

Creasy begins recovery process after severe transmission explosion

July 9, 2008 by  
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Funny Car driver Dale Creasy Jr. remains in Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, where he has been since Sunday. He's beginning his recovery from injuries sustained at the IHRA CARS RV & Marine & Motorsport Rocky Mountain Nationals. Creasy suffered leg injuries when his transmission exploded during a run at Rocky Mountain Nationals.

Its been reported that he can now move his toes on his left leg, following a five hour surgery to pin the bones in his lower leg back together on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he endured another three hour surgery to continue reconstructing his left leg. He is expected to have another surgery on Thursday to complete the repairs. He is expected to remain at Royal Alexandra Hospital for an additional seven to ten days. His rehabilitation is expected to take six months before he can start walking.

Creasy is a full-time driver in the IHRA Nitro Funny Car series, a two-time defending IHRA Nitro Funny Car World Champion, and is a veteran of NHRA Fuel Funny Car competition. Immediately before the Rocky Mountain Nationals, Creasy was number one in IHRA championship points, leading second place Paul Lee by 45 points and Sunday's event winner, Matt Hagan, by 56 points. IHRA has yet to update the official points standings after Sunday's race. Creasy will miss the four events that remain in the IHRA racing season.

Get well cards and greetings can be sent to Dale Creasy, Jr. at this address:

Dale Creasy Jr.
1550 Mallard’s Cove
Beecher, Illinois 60401

Well wishes can also be sent through the site http://getwellpeanut.com/

Matt Hagan wins at IHRA Rocky Mountain Nationals, Creasy Injured

July 9, 2008 by  
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Matt Hagan wins again and another Funny Car driver is injured and out for the rest of the season.

EDMONTON, Ab. (July 7, 2008) – Matt Hagan knocked off Grant Downing to claim the Nitro Funny Car title at the CARS RV & Marine & Motorsport Rocky Mountain Nationals in Edmonton, but his visit to the Winner’s Circle was less than joyous. Though his focus was on racing his mind was worlds away, on friend and teammate Dale Creasy Jr. at Royal Alexandria Hospital in downtown Edmonton.

Creasy suffered severe leg trauma following his semifinal round crash Sunday afternoon and was airlifted to the hospital. He was scheduled for surgery Monday with a broken right foot and compound fractures in his left leg. Creasy is the driver responsible for getting Hagan into a competitive Nitro Funny Car this season after he moved up from the Pro Modified ranks, and the win at Castrol Raceway. He considers...

Read the rest of the weekend recap at IHRA

Drag racing pays respects and supports the Kalitta family

July 1, 2008 by  
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In case you missed watching the the 2nd annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, ESPN2 will re-air the race on July 4th from 3:00:00 AM - 5:00:00 AM ET. The outpouring of support for Scott Kalitta's family was amazing. From the memorial decals on the cars and the black stripe across the car numbers, to the emotional interviews with drivers, the warmth and sincerity of the drag racing community came together in an amazing way. Several winning drivers are donating their Norwalk Wallys (event trophys) to Scott Kalitta's children.

Updated July 2, 2008

Kalitta Racing has asked the public for patience as they make arrangements for online sales of the official Scott Kalitta tribute decal.

Kalitta Racing has announced that the official Scott Kalitta tribute decal and t-shirt are now available for purchase through their website.

David Goricki of the The Detroit News captured some of the tributes in his article:

On Saturday, fans were able to write down their feelings on a large banner left in front of the Kalitta pit. Kevin Knapp of Wellington, Ohio, has taken his son, Kyle, to watch drag racing for more than 20 years. They paid respects to Scott by signing the banner before qualifying started.

"Drag racing is an awesome sport," said Kyle, 27. "I feel bad for them. Connie Kalitta is one of the pioneers of Top Fuel.

"I stopped Scott when he was here four years ago and told him...

You can read the rest of David Goricki's article at the Detroit News

Huge Advance Ticket Sales for Biggest Race on Nitro Jam Schedule

July 1, 2008 by  
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While high fuel costs may be reducing the number of competitors, the IHRA is reporting record ticket sales for their first Canadian of the year, the CARS RV & Sport & Marine Rocky Mountain Nationals Presented by Torco Racing Fuels race in Edmonton, Alberta.

The Canadian fans that pack Castrol Raceway in Edmonton for the Rocky Mountain Nationals keep upping the ante. For the third consecutive season the advance ticket sales are off the charts, setting records for duckets sold. The Rocky Mountain Nationals have come to the forefront as the premiere event on the IHRA Knoll Gas Nitro Jam schedule due to a variety of factors…the rabid passion of the fans, the hard work and forward thinking of track operators Rob and Kim Reeves and the commitment IHRA has made to making the Rocky Mountain Nationals something special.

...

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