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FEEDBACK FRIDAY - APRIL 20

11-30-06-feedbackfriday.jpgEvery
Friday, Torco's CompetitionPlus.com brings you our Feedback letters.
Read what our readers have to say about our feature articles and you
can even offer your opinions.

FEEDBACK FRIDAY - APRIL 20

DE JORIA READY AFTER TEST

NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car rookie Alexis De Joria is excited about her chances
going into this weekend's Division 7 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at "The
Strip" at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  De Joria ran a career best 5.86 second pass
in testing on Thursday, and feels the Tequila
Patrón/Jack O'Bannon Racing team is ready for more career-bests throughout the
weekend.

 
De
Joria, 29, of Venice, Calif., made the best pass of her career in testing on
Thursday, but not without drama.  Her parachutes failed to deploy following her
run, sending her into the sand trap at the end of the track.  Luckily, the
damage to the car was mostly cosmetic in nature, which will allow the daughter
of Paul Mitchell Hair Care Products and Patrón
Spirits Company founder John Paul De Joria to compete this
weekend.

GETTING TO KNOW KEN BLACK

_JA33249 copy.JPG

_JA33221 copy.JPGHe’s big, he’s
imposing, he looks like, in his younger days, he could have lifted engine blocks
with one arm – but he’s a pussycat.  Drag racing abounds with nice
guys.  Just ask around.  When you’re cruising through
the pits, stop someone in a team uniform, any team uniform, and ask them if
there are any nice guys around, and the person you question won’t know who to
turn to first, there are that many of them in drag racing.  And Ken
Black ranks right up there near the top of the list.

           

His first real brush with national name
recognition came during his six year Pro Stock partnership with fellow Las Vegas
construction magnate George Marnell, but in recent years it’s his ownership of
the two Summit Racing-sponsored Pontiacs driven by Jason Line and Greg Anderson
that have vaulted him into the headlines.  When he added the Top
Fuel car driven by Hillary Will to his stable it became obvious to everyone –
Ken Black is a “player” like few others currently competing in drag
racing.

           

We caught up with him Sunday morning for
a little conversation.

 

PERLEY JOINS MANSFIELD-DRIVEN PRO STOCKER

Dingman Racing and
Wilson Manifolds has added Jeff Perley to their IHRA Torco’s CompetitionPlus
Pro Stock team driven by Rob Mansfield.  

“We are very pleased
to have Jeff on board. In our quest to constantly strengthen our racing team,
we feel that Jeff will add greatly to our program,” said Keith Wilson, owner of
Wilson
Manifolds.

COUNTDOWN TO THE CHASE - UPDATE

countdown.gifBob Vandergriff Jr. must be among the biggest proponents of the POWERade Countdown to the Championship playoff format right now.

The Alpharetta, Ga. resident snagged UPS as the title sponsor of his
dragster prior to the start of the 2006 season and he and crew chief
Jim Dupuy have spent the past year and a quarter fine-tuning their
program, trying to play catch-up with the veteran programs in front of
them.

That’s usually a recipe for ‘Wait ’Til Next Year’ results in the
championship standings, but that’s not the case with NHRA’s POWERade
Countdown to the Championship playoff format.

COUGHLIN STILL PLANNING ON PM

It's a little more than a month after the start of the 2007 AMS Pro Mod
Challenge series and Troy Coughlin is finally set to debut his turbo-charged
JEGS.com Pontiac GTO Pro Mod. It's not the ideal starting point for the
decorated 42-year-old veteran racer, but things don't always go as planned in
the unpredictable world of professional drag racing.

Instead of entering
this weekend's JEGS.com Cajun SPORTSnationals at No Problem Raceway in Belle
Rose, La., near Baton Rouge, with two races under his belt, like the rest of his
Pro Mod peers, Coughlin is showing up at his family business' first premier race
of the year with a completed untested hot rod.

"We had high hopes at the
start of the year and we couldn't wait to test our new car," Coughlin said. "But
we quickly found out the new turbo-charged configuration just didn't agree with
the chassis combination we had. It was very disappointing to put so much time
and effort into something and then struggle the way we did. But this group of
guys never wavered; they just kept after it and worked through the
problems.

NORWALK'S NEW MEDIA CENTER

Summit Motorsports Park has a new name, a new season, new events...and
quite soon, a new Media Center.


"’State of the art’ is an
often-overused phrase," said Bill Bader, Jr., president of Summit Motorsports Park, formerly known as Norwalk Raceway Park. "But in this case,
‘state-of-the-art’ is truly our goal."

FINANCIAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT

All 43 starters in
Sunday’s NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway took home
more
than the combined Top Fuel and Funny Car
winner’s purses at the NHRA Summitracing.com Nationals.

WORDS WITH WILKERSON

Tim Wilkerson is a dedicated, determined Funny
Car driver who needs a few breaks to go his way to be back in the thick of the
hunt, and he wasn’t helped by missing the cut in Las Vegas.  Still, the Illinois
veteran has not only a world of personality, but he’s got a positive attitude
that results in his seldom appearing down.  He’s got a new Chevy Impala shell
almost ready for his Levi, Ray & Shoup entry, which will debut in Atlanta.


Tim’s son, Dan, is competing in both regional and national
event competition with tuner Fred Mandoline serving as both master mechanic and
driver mentor.  It must be working, because he won the Memphis points race.

“Fred hasn’t done that kind of thing for six or eight years,”
Wilkerson said.  “He’s kind of re-learning what he has to do, and the kid’s
learning, so it’s all good.  Fred’s a real good driving coach, so it’s going to
work out fine.”

EATON AEROQUIP JOINS SPIERING

Carl Spiering is pleased to announce that Eaton’s Aeroquip® Performance products
will join the Carl Spiering Motorsports team as a sponsor for 2007.
 
“Carl
Spiering and his Eaton Electrical Supercharged Pro Modified Chevrolet Camaro are
a class act, and Eaton’s Aeroquip product line is proud to be part of that,”
said Paul Grandsko, Business Manager, Aeroquip Performance Products. “For more
than 60 years, Eaton’s Aeroquip performance products have been the number one
choice of racing enthusiasts around the world.”

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