:::::: News ::::::


Bob Daniels, one of the original seven NHRA division directors chosen
to organize national operations on a regional basis in November 1959
and a former general manager at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis,
died June 30.

Daniels served as Division 3 director for 20 years, then spent 12 years
as general manager at the venerable Indianapolis facility, the home of
the U.S. Nationals since 1961 and then known as Indianapolis Raceway
Park. Daniels' many contributions to the sport include the
establishment of prominent dragstrips in the North Central United
States and significant advancements and renovations at ORP.

Like most of the early NHRA officials, Daniels' interest in hot rodding
began with street racing, but after several encounters with local law
enforcement, he saw the long-term advantages of organized drag racing
on off-road sites and concentrated all of his energies and resources in
promoting the growth of NHRA. He built his first serious race car, a
'32 Ford with a setback engine, center-point steering, a chopped top,
and a '55 Chevy 265-cid engine that was bored out to 292 cubic inches,
in the winter of 1956-57. He competed with that car, in C/Altered, at
the '57 Nationals in Oklahoma and was so impressed that he made a trip
to California to see what hot rodding was all about out west.



Top Fuel points leader "Hot Rod" Fuller only made one run down Summit
Racing Equipment Motorsports Park Friday but he made it a good one,
streaking to the forefront of the inaugural Summit Racing Equipment
NHRA Nationals with a 4.533 at 323.50 mph.

Greg Anderson followed the same formula in Pro Stock, making one
noteworthy pass of 6.654 seconds to lead his class. Funny Car's Robert
Hight (4.713) and Pro Stock Motorcycle's Matt Smith (6.965) also shined.


Race track owners, sanctioning body officials and sponsors have a
“problem.” That problem is often the racers, the fans and yes, even
those of us in the media who fail to faithfully mention, in every
story, the full name of a particular race track or event. Given their
choice, the management at the track in Norwalk, Ohio would like all of
us to call the facility by its now proper name, Summit Racing Equipment
Motorsports Park, and quite honestly, we don’t have any problem with
that. They’ve paid for that name change, and “deserve” to have the
track referred to by it.

By the same token, if we’re following “procedure” we should also be
referring to the event as the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals at
Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.

That’s in the ideal world. In the real world it’s going to take years,
and maybe even decades before anyone consistently refers to the
facility or the event by its full and complete proper name. Until then
everyone’s going to continue to reference the track as simply
“Norwalk.” When someone talks about the race they’re probably going to
call it the “Summit Nationals,” or maybe something even more
simplified, like the “Summit race.”

This is anything but an isolated problem. It’s somewhat
universal. Management would like us to refer to the Mac Tools NHRA U.S.
Nationals at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, but for all
eternity those of us who live and breathe drag racing will continue to
just refer to it as “Indy.” In reality it’s the AC Delco NHRA
Gatorationals at Gainesville Raceway, but to us it’s always going to be
either “Gsainesville,” or maybe “the Gators.”


Maybe this was what Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Skoal team needed, a little pressure from their bosses.

Racing in the shadow of Skoal’s Greenwich, Conn. headquarters, with two
busloads of employees watching, Johnson ended a season-long slump by
winning his first race to move up from 12th place all the way to
eighth, just inside the Countdown cutoff.

Johnson was the No. 1 qualifier and had the best car in three of four rounds of qualifying, so it’s not a surprise that he won.

Not unless you were in Englishtown and saw the inferno after his first-round win that melted his Chevy Impala SS body.


Luke Bogacki added to what may be the most successful season of his career last
weekend at the Southern Survival Series event at Music City Raceway.  There,
Bogacki drove his beautiful CSR Performance Products backed American dragster to
a $10,000 triumph in Saturday’s main event. 
Bogacki defeated close friend Jeremy Jensen in the final round, culminating
an awesome string of stellar reaction times and close runs from his Huntsville
Engine & Performance powered machine.  On his way to victory, Bogacki
knocked off notable hitters W.G. Miller, Clint Dishman, Phillip Chester, Kenny
Dixon, and more before squaring off with Jensen in the final round.
“Jeremy and I had a little fun in the final.  We‘re real good buddies, so
it was a victory for both of us to run each other at the end,” said Bogacki. 
“We split the money and dialed-in at 7.00,” laughed Bogacki.  The final round
dial-in made for an interesting run, as Jensen had been running 5.4’s all day,
to Bogacki’s 4.90’s. 


World renowned businessman and IHRA Alcohol Funny Car driver Peter Osterio
passed away Wednesday after experiencing a sudden heart attack.  Osterio, 53,
immigrated to the U.S. from Australia to pursue his passion for drag racing.  He
is survived by his wife Ann K. Marshall, and brother Brian Osterio.
Away from the track, Osterio, a graduate of the University of
New South Wales in Sydney, Aus., was a successful business man in the corporate
world, operating his company, The Osterio Group, which specialized in Business
Processes, Risk Control, Audits and Corporate Governance.  He gave numerous
seminars all over the world to corporate clients and was the author of five
books on business risk, control and audit. 
Prior to moving to the United States, Osterio raced drag bikes
in his homeland of Australia.  While racing bikes he befriended the late Elmer
Trett of Top Fuel Bike fame, along with current Top Alcohol Funny Car racers
Steve and Jenelle Harker.


Twenty-six year-old Jeff O’Neill will make his competition debut in drag racings
ultimate category, Top Fuel Eliminator July 6-8 at the IHRA Cars RV & Marine
Rocky Mountain Nationals presented by Torco Racing Fuels at Castrol Raceway in
Edmonton, Alberta.  O’Neill, who hails from Pennsdale, PA is no stranger to the
driver’s seat or the winners circle, having honed his skills in sportsman
vehicles since the age of eight.
Back in November, O’Neill earned his Top Fuel competition license at the
wheel of Litton’s Lucas Oil backed machine, and has since patiently waited his
opportunity to compete at the sports highest level.  That opportunity presents
itself in Edmonton, as O’Neill will pilot a team car for former IHRA Champion
Litton.  O’Neill will be working with the same Litton team that gave 2006 NHRA
Rookie of the Year J.R. Todd his first opportunity behind the wheel, and also
aided multi-time IHRA Champion Clay Millican’s progression into the Top Fuel


Doug Kalitta, Sr., the father of NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel
driver Doug Kalitta and brother of drag racing legend Conrad “Connie” Kalitta,
lost his battle with cancer yesterday. He was 67. He passed away at his home in
Mt. Clemens, Mich.


Make no bones about it. The Snake loves Englishtown. You could tell
because Don “The Snake” Prudhomme fired up a cigar for the press
conference following his double win as a team owner during the NHRA Pro
Care Rx SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

“I don’t smoke these often,” Prudhomme said to the members of the media
as he fielded questions surrounding victories by Larry Dixon (Top Fuel)
and Tommy Johnson, Jr. (Funny Car).

Prudhomme had two homes as a driver -- Gainesville and Englishtown. He won five times in Gainesville and six at Englishtown.

As a team owner, he’s won five times in Englishtown and thrice in
Gainesville. Englishtown now has favored status as the site of his
second career “double-up.”


The first lawsuit was
filed in conjunction with the Selmer, Tennessee Cars for Kids tragedy, according to a CNN.com report.

Bruce Replogle, whose
15-year old daughter Scarlett Replogle was among six deaths attributed to the
accident, filed a lawsuit seeking $10 million in damages.

The lawsuit names promoter
Larry Price, driver Troy Critchley and AMS Staff Leasing Inc. as defendants.

Authorities have reported
that Troy Critchley was performing a burnout during an annual parade and lost
control of the car, striking a utility pole and then bouncing into the crowd of