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

ASHLEY'S PURPOSE BEYOND REASON

fc-winnerDSA_7183.JPGMike Ashley said he knew he had the car to beat in Indy, but a
part of him couldn’t help but reflect to past Indy dreams.

After four rounds of grueling eliminations, Ashley drove the
special-edition Eric Blake Faulkner Foundation Tribute Car all the way to the
Winner's Circle and into second place in POWERade Championship points-race.
 
"This one is for the dreamers - because it's been a dream of mine to win
at Indy since we debuted two years ago," said an ecstatic Ashley.
"This means so much, not only for the team and for Evan Knoll, Torco, and
all our sponsors, but because of the Eric Blake Faulkner Foundation and how important
this win is to them."

It's
funny that Ashley likens his 2007 success to that of the legendary
Bronx Bombeer Babe Ruth. Ruth led baseball in home runs and strikeouts
simultaneously.

SCHUMACHER'S SCHTICK

schumacherDSA_5965.JPGTony Schumacher now leads the NHRA POWERade points for
the first time this season. He’s ahead of Dixon
and previous leader Rod Fuller.


“I’m a fan but at the
beginning of the season, I probably wasn’t” Schumacher admitted. “So long as at
the end of the year they hand me the trophy because you’ve earned it. I don’t
want it to be a gift.

“Today was not a gift. It
was a hard-earned victory. The trophy means a lot. No matter at the end of the
season, if you pull off the victory, and they hand you the trophy – that’s
outstanding.”

Schumacher wouldn’t say his
personal experience in Reading
was a gift, but clearly the format worked in his favor.

“I got spanked first round,
went home to test and gained 180 points and moved up some spots,” Schumacher
said. “I don’t get it. It’s a strange deal but I understand it. The fans are
going to love it.

“It’s not like I came in a
said I had an idea to change the system. We didn’t know what we were going to
do. If we would have been 180 points behind on the old system, we might not
have been trying new things and getting superchargers ready. We would have been
trying to win every race.

INDY FINAL RESULTS

DSA_7230.JPG

Reigning POWERade Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher surged into the NHRA playoff
points lead Monday with his sixth Mac Tools U.S. Nationals victory in the last
eight years.
 
Schumacher drove away from runner-up Larry Dixon to take
the stripe with a 4.575 at 331.94 mph to earn a spot in the winner's circle with
emotional Funny Car victor Mike Ashley, new Pro Stock points leader Dave
Connolly, and stunned Pro Stock Motorcycle winner Craig Treble.

FINAL ROUND RESULTS FROM INDY

Monday's final results from the 53rd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly
Raceway Park at Indianapolis. The  race is the 18th of 23 in
the  NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:

 

Top Fuel -- Tony Schumacher,
4.575 seconds, 331.94 mph  def. Larry Dixon, 4.748 seconds, 268.44 mph.

 

Funny Car -- Mike Ashley,
Dodge Charger, 4.894, 323.74  def. Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 8.072,
104.08.

 

Pro Stock -- Dave Connolly,
Chevy Cobalt, 6.710, 206.32  def. Greg Anderson, Pontiac GTO, 6.729,
205.79.

 

Pro Stock Motorcycle --
Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.037, 190.83  def. Matt Smith, Buell,
foul.

Top Alcohol Dragster --
Marty Thacker, 5.390, 264.91  def. Dave Hirata, 5.442,
260.81.

ROUND-BY-ROUND PRO RESULTS FROM INDY

Final round-by-round results from the 53rd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at
O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, the 18th of 23 events in the  NHRA
POWERade Drag Racing Series:

NHRA POINTS AFTER INDY

Point standings for the eight drivers in each class who have qualified for the
NHRA playoffs, following the 53rd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly
Raceway Park at Indianapolis, the 18th of 23 races in the NHRA POWERade Drag
Racing Series (after 21 races, the top four drivers in each class will advance
to the two-race championship round at Las Vegas and Pomona):

EARWOOD COMMENTS ON CHARLOTTE TRACK

Responding to inquiries about Bruton Smith’s plans to build a new NHRA drag
strip on the grounds of Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, Rockingham Dragway
owner Steve Earwood said such a facility “will do nothing but enhance the
region’s reputation as a motor racing Mecca.

“To be honest, all it
will do is elevate our industry,” Earwood said of the new track rumored to be
the site next year of an NHRA national event.  “I’m looking forward to working
with Humpy Wheeler and his talented staff at Lowe’s Motor Speedway to increase
interest in the sport throughout the region.”

Earwood, whose track
hosts a pair of races in the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series, said he
anticipates a track similar to those Smith has built adjacent to his other
NASCAR tracks in Bristol, Tenn., Sonoma, Calif., and Las
Vegas, Nev.  Those
tracks presently are host to four NHRA events.

AUSTRALIA PROMOTES #24 CHANCES

While Gainesville
and the yet-to-be built Bruton Smith drag strip appear at the head of the list
for the NHRA's 24th T.B.A. event, could Sydney Australia be one of the
contenders as well.

A source indicates the event would feature the top
eight
qualifiers in each of the Countdown to the Championship categories if
it comes
to fruition. The event appears to be a longshot, but odder things have
happened on the NHRA POWERade Championship Drag racing tour.

“We have been in negotiations with the NHRA organization for
some time now,” remarked WSID Chairman Jim Read. “I have had many ongoing
discussions with Senior Vice President-Racing Operations Graham Light from the
NHRA and we are excited that very real progress has been made in relation to us
securing a round of the 2008 POWERade Drag Racing series.”

The suggestion of Sydney joining the NHRA schedule was made on
ESPN’s ‘NHRA Today’ Drag Racing program, when announcer Mike Dunn confirmed
speculation that Sydney was being closely considered as a date between the 2008
US Nationals in Indianapolis and the round at Dallas.

INDY FINAL QUALIFYING

QUALIFYING ENDS AT
53rd MAC TOOLS U.S. NATIONALS WITH SOME SHOCKING RESULTS

Force, WJ miss field;
Naylor, Arend nail down first career No. 1 qualifiers

 skoal-winnerDSA_5923.JPG

Two
first-timers outshined two of the biggest names in the sport as
qualifying for the 53rd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals concluded
Sunday evening in shocking style.

While Funny Car's Jeff Arend and Pro Stock's Max Naylor secured the
first career low qualifying awards of their careers, the two winningest
drivers in NHRA POWERade Series history, John Force (125 career wins)
and Warren Johnson (96 wins), failed to qualify for this all-important
event.

It's a tough way to start the six-race POWERade Series playoff for
Force and Johnson, as well as Top Fuel contenders Whit Bazemore and
J.R. Todd, who also failed to make the cut here. It was the first time
since 1984 that Force has failed to start at the Mac Tools U.S.
Nationals and for Warren Johnson it's the first time in 32 career trips
to the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals that he has failed to qualify.

skoal-finalDSA_5848.JPGMeanwhile,
in the Skoal Showdown, the $100,000 race-within-a-race bonus for Funny
Car drivers, "Fast Jack" Beckman defeated Ron Capps in an all-Don
Schumacher Racing final and the win-light went to Beckman by
one-hundredth of a second, 4.950 to 4.976. Both Capps and Beckman,
seeded first and fifth entering the playoffs, qualified safely into the
field. Capps will open with Kenny Bernstein and Beckman opens against
Scott Kalitta.

SHIRLEY MOVING FORWARD WITH TF TEAM

Four-time world champion Shirley Muldowney told Torco's CompetitionPlus.com she’s moving forward with her plans for owning a Top
Fuel team and if things work out right, it could happen in the near
future.

Muldowney said she recently entertained a potential sponsor during an NHRA POWERade event. She’s tight-lipped about who it is.

One thing Muldowney isn’t remaining quiet about is who she’s chosen to
drive – NHRA Lucas Oil Division 1 Top Alcohol Dragster driver Sheila
Kopchick.

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