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

CRANE CAMS TEAMS WITH FOLEY & LEWIS

Doug Foley and Tim Lewis announced today that Crane Cams would become an
associate sponsor on the Foley & Lewis top fuel Torco teams driven by Doug
Foley and Terry McMillen. Crane Cams will also become the Official Cam
Components of the Doug Foley Drag Racing School.

"I've known Roy
(Griffith) for sometime now," said team driver Terry McMillen. "Having Crane a
part of our top fuel team is exciting."

"We've been a part of Terry's
alcohol team for a long time," said Roy Griffith Crane Representative. "Being a
part of what Terry and Doug are doing really makes sense for Crane
Cams."

Team owner and driver Doug Foley is also excited about the
relationship, "Having Crane Cams behind our team gives us added confidence. In
top fuel we're always pushing for more horsepower and speed. That's something we
know Crane will give us an advantage on come race day."

DOUG FOLEY - MAKING HIS NAME KNOWN

Doug Foley
announced that he was planning a full-time NHRA POWERade tour in 2008. However,
the NHRA and their Top Fuel contingent didn’t pay much attention.
 

Nevermind the fact that he’d nearly won an IHRA championship and only a
serious crash and injuries sustained prevented him from that.
 
Foley
came out and qualified top-half twice in the last five events. Still there was
no recognition for the third-year Top Fuel dragster driver who runs a drag
racing school in New Jersey.
 
Sometimes a driver has to jump up and
slap down a Countdown to the Championship finalist to get their attention. Foley
not only took out Hot Rod Fuller in the first round, but also knocked down
Brandon Bernstein in the second round to claim his fifth semi-final finish in
twelve outings this year. He also has a quarter-final to his credit.

MIKE ASHLEY'S TOUGH REALITY

M_Ashley.jpgFor 21 out of 23 races in the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Mike
Ashley, driver of the Torco Race Fuels Dodge Charger R/T was in contention for
the Funny Car championship, but his hopes of winning wining it all were dashed
after a holeshot loss Sunday in the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals at
Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va.
 
Entering Sunday's
eliminations qualified third, Ashley was paired against No. 14 Tim Wilkerson in
the first round. Jockeying to be in the top four in order to go on to the final
round of the Countdown playoffs, Ashley had to win just one more round than
either Ron Capps or Gary Scelzi. After watching Capps take out powerhouse Robert
Hight and advance to round two, the pressure was on the native New Yorker to
pull off a win in order to stay in the hunt.
 
The race was ultimately won
by reaction time, with Wilkerson posting an .077 to Ashley's
uncharacteristically slow .120, and despite Ashley having the quicker time in
the quarter-mile at 4.866 seconds, Wilkerson reached the finish line .033
seconds before Ashley, taking the win with a slower 4.876 seconds.
 
"Of
course, I'm extremely disappointed, because we had the car to beat today,
there's no doubt about that. Brian [Corradi] and Mark [Oswald, crew chiefs] had
this Torco Dodge dialed in, and the numbers proved it. Both Saturday and Sunday,
we ran the quickest times of all the Funny Cars," Ashley
said.

TONY PEDREGON - "SLOW THEM DOWN"

T

ony Pedregon
isn’t one to show fear but the recent manifestation of problems related to Funny
Car safety has him concerned to the point he wouldn’t be opposed to slowing the
class down.

 

DSB_8428.jpg“I know they have addressed the
chassis that it should stay intact,” said Pedregon. “I know [chassis builder]
Murf McKinney and all the teams are working together – it is great to see. When
I get into this car, I hope it isn’t my turn for something to be on the track or
something to create a tire failure – not a tire failing – something has to cause
that tire to fail.

 

“For the first time in my life I
left my house and made sure my insurance was taken care of and told my wife to
make sure my will is intact. That’s pretty scary. I want to be safe. But, I
don’t think there is enough done to make sure these cars don’t run 330. These
cars shouldn’t run 330. I think they should run 310 or 315. I think that’s
something the NHRA needs to handle. They will come up with a lot of reasons of
why not, but they need to give reasons why. I think there are more pros than
cons.”

 

Pedregon said he’s aware that
Goodyear has taken a lot of blame for nitro racing’s problems. But, he said,
maybe the sport needs to look elsewhere.

 

“There is still a problem that
exists and it is not Goodyear’s problem,” Pedregon said. “Goodyear has made a
tire that can withstand the speeds and the downforce that these cars make –
330-something miles per hour, they have done their job. You cannot ask them to
do more than they have already done. I think that NHRA needs to make the tough
decision like NASCAR did and slow these cars down.”

 

Pedregon said he wouldn’t begin to
pinpoint a single problem, but he said he’s sure if it’s investigated thoroughly
enough – it will be discovered.

PART 2 OF LIONS DVD AVAILABLE AT BAKERSFIELD

RELATED STORY - WHEN THE LIONS ROARED 

lionspart2cover.jpg
Part two of the acclaimed video documentary, “Lions – The Greatest Drag Strip”,
will be released on DVD at the NHRA Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield, Calif.,
October 12-14, 2007.

The latest installment on the revered Long Beach,
Calif.-based track, by veteran motorsports journalist, Don Gillespie, picks up
speed, literally, in 1962, when nitro-burning cars returned after a five-year
ban under founding manager, speed king Mickey Thompson.

The (1-HR,
40-MIN) presentation concludes near the end of 1966, with the sport’s explosive
growth in everything from dragsters and supercharged coupe match race wars, to
early funny cars, etc.

“Initially, this was supposed to be a two-part
video,” began Gillespie, “but, the enormity and importance of the Lions story,
the amount of pictures and movie footage, plus the tales as told by the sport’s
early pioneers, make it necessary to conclude the epic tale with a pending third
and final edition.”

HIGH WINDS DELAY JEG'S SPORTSNATIONALS

High winds forced the postponement of final eliminations for the second annual
JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals yesterday at Auto Club Raceway at Fontana, but
not before champions were declared in Super Stock, Stock, and Super Street.   
One of the champions crowned on Sunday is Justin Lamb of Henderson,
Nev., who defeated Darren Smith of Palmdale, Calif., in the Super Stock final.
Lamb, who won the Top Dragster title at last year’s Pacific SPORTSnationals
drove his Chevy Cobalt to a final round victory over Smith’s ’68 Dodge Dart.
Despite the loss, Smith was able regain the lead in the ongoing battle for the
Super Stock national championship.

IT'S A SCELZI WORLD

nfc-winnerDSA_5472.jpgGary Scelzi had a tough Saturday night before Sunday's eliminations at the NHRA Torco Race Fuels NHRA Nationals.

 
And, the complexity of the evening was not really his fault.
 

Blame it on the television. 
 
Scelzi went back to the hotel about 9
PM and was planning to call his family. Then he decided to shower because he
felt it would help him to sleep better.
 
Scelzi made the call and then
watched television before falling asleep at 9:30.
 
Scelzi said he woke
up at 10:30, then watched 11:30 pass and eventually turned off the television
well past midnight. He kept watching the clock and before he knew it, 3:30 AM
had come and gone.
 
“I fell really good and asleep and the alarm went
off about two hours later,” Scelzi said. “I woke up and I felt a little under
the weather. I was starting to get a cold and my nose was running. I took a
shower and then took two benedryls.”
 
Scelzi called his wife this
morning and explained to her that he couldn’t figure out why he was tired and
couldn’t get going – totally ignoring the fact he’d been up all night.
 

“I don’t normally take anything on race day and then it hit me,” Scelzi
said. “I said, ‘You dumb ass – you’re falling asleep and now you’re going to be
sleepy come first round.”

EXCITING PRO MODIFIED RACING IN RICHMOND

pm-finalDSA_5229.jpg

It was an early birthday present for BAE/Stivers HVAC-driver Rick Stivers as he
won the AMS Pro Mod Challenge event title at the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA
Nationals in Richmond, Va.
 
As Stivers’ son, Rick Jr., and wife, Jill,
raced to congratulate the newly crowned event champion, tears of joy flowed as
the family celebrated the win. Stivers defeated Raymond Commisso in the final,
with Commisso handing Stivers the win before the round even started by leaving
the line early and forfeiting the match.
 
"It's been a long road getting
here and no one knows how hard we've worked and what we have been through to get
here," Stivers said. "What an awesome thing - I'm almost speechless, which, for
anyone who knows me, is nothing short of a miracle in itself.
 
"Chuck
Ford really got this car running well this weekend. It's been such a long
season, and we just couldn't buy a break, but, today it all came together, and
thanks to Tim Tindle and Brad Anderson, we finally earned our Eagle," he
said.
 
Stivers, who turns 50 this coming Thursday, October 11, was given
a surprise birthday party Saturday night by his family and team. His wife Jill
said, "Hey, what better way to celebrate than to start the party early," and her
husband said he couldn't have asked for a better gift than to win his first
major event.

CONNOLLY SWEEPS SECOND PHASE

ps-finalDSA_5256.jpg

ps-winnerDSA_5446.jpgDave Connolly might not do
windows in his regimen of housecleaning chores, but he certainly knows how to
sweep things up.

The former sportsman drag
racing phenomenon piloted Evan Knoll’s Torco Race Fuels-sponsored Chevrolet
Cobalt to a clean sweep in the five-race second portion of the Countdown to the
Championship. He joined elite company with Ronnie Sox, Bob Glidden and Greg
Anderson as Pro Stock drivers who have won five races in a row.

"It was definitely a big weekend for us, and on top of all
the streaks, it was our sponsor's race, Torco Racing Fuels," Connolly
said.  "(Owner) Evan Knoll, not only does he help a lot of the racers
out here, he also sponsors a national event like this.  And it was a
successful one at that just looking up in the stands.  It seems like here
at Richmond the
fans are always jam-packed in the stands and they're real drag racing fans,
especially for the Pro Stock category. 

"To pick up our fifth win and be put in a group with those guys, it's
pretty incredible.  It's something I never would've dreamed of.  I
just wanted to race Pro Stock, and here we are getting put on a list with guys
like that.  It was definitely a big win for us and things are just
clicking right now.  It was nice to sweep all four races in the first part
of the Countdown to the Championship, but there are still two races left and that's
our main goal right now.  This team keeps plugging away, though. 
Even before this race weekend we went to Maryland
for two days to test.  Now we've got a long stretch of tests scheduled
before we even hit Vegas, so the work's definitely not done.

RICHMOND FINAL RESULTS

SCELZI, CAPPS BUMP TEAMMATE BECKMAN ON DRAMATIC FINAL DAY OF THE COUNTDOWN TO 4

lead_pro-winnersDSA_5520.jpg

Kalitta wins first race of 2007; Connolly wins fifth in a row, enters Countdown to 1 as No. 1 seed in Pro Stock

Four-time POWERade Series champion Gary Scelzi punctuated a dramatic
final Sunday in the Countdown to 4, the first round of the NHRA
Playoffs, with a huge victory at the Second annual Torco Racing Fuels
NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park to claim one of the four
berths in the two-race championship.

Scelzi jumped from sixth to second place with the win over teammate Ron
Capps in the Funny Car final and he was joined in the winner's circle
by Top Fuel's Doug Kalitta and Pro Stock's Dave Donnolly, who swept his
way through the first round of the NHRA Playoffs with four straight
wins to earn the No. 1 seed in Pro Stock's Countdown to 1.

"Things are just clicking for us right now," said Connolly, who has won
five straight races overall. "It was nice to sweep the first leg of the
Countdown but we have two races left (in Las Vegas and Pomona) so
that's what we're concentrating on. This team will be ready. We tested
for two days before this race and we have a long testing schedule to
complete before we head to Vegas. The work is definitely not done."

Connolly's incredible winning streak in Pro Stock has now reached five
races, which ties him for the second longest run in class history
behind Bob Glidden's nine-in-a-row back in 1978-'79. Greg Anderson also
won five straight in 2004, as did Ronnie Sox in '70-'71.

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