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


ACDelco officials today announced that they would be adding some extra muscle to
an already high-powered event, naming professional wrestling icon and reality TV
star Hulk Hogan as the Grand Marshal of this year’s ACDelco NHRA Las Vegas
Nationals.  Kurt Johnson’s ACDelco Cobalt will commemorate Hogan’s participation
by carrying a special paint scheme that will be unveiled on Thursday, October 25
as part of the NHRA FanFest, which will held at the Fremont Street Experience in
downtown Las
Vegas.  The addition of the flamboyant Hogan to the
ACDelco line-up continues the automotive replacement parts leader’s
long-standing tradition of having race dignitaries worthy of the Entertainment
Capital of the World.

“We are thrilled to welcome Hulk
Hogan as the Grand Marshal of the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals,” said Paul
Johnson, General Director for General Motors Service and Parts Operations’
Global Independent Aftermarket.  “We believe that the Hulkster’s
larger-than-life persona embodies two of the key elements of this weekend’s
event, namely the tremendous horsepower seen on the quarter-mile along with the
star quality of the world famous Strip, making him a perfect candidate for this
honor.  We’re certainly looking forward to seeing him pump up the crowd, and
having Hulkamania run wild on race day.”

Since first appearing on the public
scene in the 1970’s, Hogan has become one of the most popular and recognizable
figures in the world of sports and entertainment.  Starting as a professional
wrestler, this native Floridian captured the public’s imagination with his
high-energy and fast-paced style.  Appearing in countless marquee matches around
the world, the multi-time WWE champion developed a huge fan following that he
dubbed the “Hulkamaniacs.”


the leaves of fall turning a golden yellow, Scotty Cannon couldn’t believe his
own good fortunes. In just his first year of driving an IHRA Top Fuel dragster,
he had already won a second national event.

most recent victory came in Milan, Michigan during the IHRA Motor City
Nationals. And, just to think, this ultimate party all started in a restroom, in
January, during a Motley Crue concert in St. Louis.


when Cannon, a six-time Pro Modified world champion and one-time NHRA Funny Car
finalist, was offered a chance to drive a nitro car once again. Cannon said this
was the only proposition that he’d ever accept in a restroom.


said the offer wasn’t the first time Evan Knoll, one of drag racing’s largest
sponsors, had provided an incredible opportunity for him.


weekend Cannon would love to win an elusive nitro world championship during the
IHRA World Finals in Rockingham, NC. He's one of three Top Fuel drivers in
contention for the title.


Powers discussed his decision further regarding the dismissal of Top Fuel driver
Whit Bazemore yesterday with Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com.


released Bazemore through a phone call yesterday


said the dismissal was largely a change in business direction but there were
other factors that affected the decision.


read in September in an article where he [Bazemore] had indicated that he
thought he had a good program with David Powers Motorsports but was also taking
a serious look at the vacant seat of Gary Scelzi and that would be a very good
ride and that no driver wants to limit his options,” Powers said. “Then he went
on to say – as I recall – that I keep my options open. Who knows what might
happen in the future I had a great relationship with Don Schumacher for the last
couple of years.


creates a lot of insecurities with the team and our


10-10-07rickiemmps.jpgOn Saturday, September 29, Rickie Smith stood at the starting line at Maryland International Raceway and wiped away a tear as thousands of appreciate IHRA fans acknowledged his selection as Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com’s No. 1 All Time Mountain Motor Pro Stock Driver.

It was the second of two major honors bestowed upon the King, North Carolina, resident in 2007, and significant because it coincided with the 30th anniversary of the class Smith helped pioneer.

In July, Smith was named to the inaugural Legends of Thunder Valley class at Bristol Dragway in recognition of his being the driver with the most wins in the history of the venerable facility. He was in impressive company that summer day, joining “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, IHRA founder Larry Carrier, and NHRA founder Wally Parks. It was high praise indeed.

“I’ve had some really big honors laid out on my plate this year,” Smith said. “It’s been over 35 years of hard work – I don’t know how to explain it – I’m just so thrilled over it. The good thing is that I’m still racing and I’m still able to enjoy it. Thank God Evan Knoll is helping me right now. He loves drag racing and he’s helped a lot of people. I’m just glad he’s not a NASCAR freak.”

When asked about his inclusion in the legends of Thunder Valley class, Smith said, “Wally Parks started this stuff. If it wasn’t for him waking up one day and having a vision for all of us to go racing I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I’ve had. Wally and Larry carrier, who started the IHRA, are both gone now. Me and Don Garlits are the only two left from the four who were honored at Bristol. I hope this isn’t a sign. I’m going to watch Garlits because if he goes away I’m going to stay by my doctor’s office. Seriously, though, I really appreciate all the honors.”


Veteran NHRA Top Fuel driver David Baca has been tabbed to fill the
recently-vacated Matco Tools dragster seat at the final two events on the 2007
NHRA schedule team owner David Powers announced today.


Baca, a native of Concord, Calif., earned
his NHRA Top Fuel license in 2002 and made his professional debut at the fall
Las Vegas race
that same year. He has reached the final round three times and has two career
pole awards, including the U.S. Nationals in 2003. The second generation Top
Fuel racer advanced to the final round at the 2006 Winternationals and raced to
a 12th place finish last season. Baca’s father, Dennis, won the U.S.
Nationals Top Fuel crown in 1977.


“What an opportunity,” Baca said.
“To sit at home and watch the NHRA on TV every weekend and to get a call from
Mr. Powers to run the car for Matco Tools is just an awesome feeling. I got
chills when he asked me to fill the seat at Las
Vegas and Pomona. Just to be remembered and considered is
a great feeling. I know I’ve still got it and I’ll do my best to represent the
team and sponsors. It’s really a dream come true.



Although the POWERade Drag Racing
Series will be idle this weekend, Hall of Fame racer Warren Johnson will still
be at a racetrack, evaluating the competition and taking an active role in the
on-track events. However, the six-time NHRA Pro Stock champion will not be
behind the wheel of his familiar GM Performance Parts Pontiac GTO.  In fact, any
runs he will make will be of an instructional or celebratory nature, as he will
serve as the Grand Marshal of the inaugural GM Performance Parts LSX Shootout,
which is being held in conjunction with the National Muscle Car Association
(NMCA) World Finals this weekend at Memphis Motorsports Park in Memphis, TN. 

Despite the role reversal, The
Professor is eagerly anticipating the specialty event, which will showcase the
revolutionary block he helped design

 “Although I’m normally not a very
good spectator, I am looking forward to attending this weekend’s GM Performance
Parts LSX Shootout,” said Johnson.  “Not only will I be reunited with the GMPP
team that I worked with in the development of the block, but it will also be my
first real chance to see what kind of performance the LSX can deliver. 


The Division 4 Championship and big money from the Division 4 Comp Shootout
Bonus Fund are on the line for Competition Eliminator racers during this
weekend's Division 4 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series closer at Thunder Valley
Raceway Park just outside of Oklahoma City, Okla.  The event has the racing
community buzzing as four racers still have shots at the Division 4 Championship
along with the Roof-Tec Last Man Standing Bonus that will award $8,000 to one of
the sixteen eligible drivers that goes the deepest into eliminations on Sunday. 
The Division 4 Comp Shootout will award an additional $6,000 to Comp Racers in
addition to the posted NHRA payout.
Defending Division 4 Champ Craig Bourgeois enters
the event with a 21 point lead over second place Scott Benham.  Joey Tanksley
trails by 32 points in third.  Young Chase Williams trails by a seemingly
insurmountable 86 points, but can add 104 points to his cause by closing the
year out with two wins. 
Racers in Comp Eliminator can claim points at their
best five out of the first eight divisionals they attend.  Bourgeois has
contested at seven events thus far, and can add to his total by reaching the
semifinals or better.  If Bourgeois does not improve, Benham, who has been to
five events, can overtake him with a semifinal or better showing himself. 
Tanksley can retake the points lead with a final round showing and no
improvement from Bourgeois.  Williams can take the points lead with a win and a
runner-up at his next two events, barring no improvement by Bourgeois. 
Bourgeois could clinch with a win if Benham loses prior to the semifinals.  One
race remains on the Lucas Oil Divisional schedule in Reynolds, Ga., next


If the nation’s brewers were racers
we’d be calling this the Silly Season, because like the game of musical chairs
that takes place when drivers flit from one team to another, the same thing is
happening in the world of beer.  While a lot of this involves NASCAR, the spill-off from the most
recent developments could have a significant impact on drag
In no particular order, Anheuser-Busch,
makers of Budweiser, Bud Light and Busch Beer, among numerous other brands (A-B
has been snapping up smaller brewers in the last 18 months, including Rolling
Rock and Beck’s, to name just two), announced a while back that they would be
ending their support of NASCAR’s premier support series at the end of the
current season.  Their longevity with the series has been such that it’s been known
as the Busch Series for, well, seemingly forever.
Nationwide Insurance has picked up the
series sponsorship for a reported $28M – less than NASCAR was originally
seeking, an indication that their once-unchallenged supremacy in all things
motorsports may not be as dominant as once
Meanwhile, A-B also announced they were
letting Budweiser’s “Official Beer of NASCAR” contract lapse. 
Coors picked that one up
for a cool $20M.
Finally, the move in driver sponsorship from
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to Kasey Khane for 2008 and beyond will probably save the
company an additional $5M to $10M per year.


What's better than one party? Two, of course, and that's what's planned for
Friday night, Oct. 12 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bakersfield, from 7 p.m.
until 11 p.m.. It's all part of the celebration surrounding the 16th annual
Automobile Club of Southern California Hot Rod Reunion, presented by Holley,
Oct. 12-14, at Auto Club Famoso Raceway.

Up first is the Hot Rod
Reunion Reception, held in the Grand Ballroom. Open to everyone at no
charge, it's a tribute to the Reunion's Grand Marshal, legendary drag racing
champion Ed "The Ace" McCulloch, and the other Honorees: John Buttera, the
drag racing team of Rocky Childs & Jim Albert, Gary "Red" Greth, Mike
Jones, and the team of Mike Kuhl & Carl Olson. Also, the Justice
Brothers Spotlight Award will be given to the 1964-65 U.S. Drag


Don Garlits is just one of the many legends that particpated in today's CHRR media day in Bakersfield, Ca.