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

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.

ESPN2 PROGRAMMING CHANGE

ESPN2 has announced a programming change for its Sunday qualifying coverage of
the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O’Reilly Raceway Park. The qualifying coverage
of the NHRA POWERade Series event will be expanded an extra hour and a half, to
air from 2-6:30 p.m. (ET). Final eliminations will continue to air as scheduled
on Monday, with two shows from noon-3 p.m. (ET) and 7-10 p.m.
(ET).

NHRA qualifying, Sunday, Sept. 2,
2007:

J.R. TODD TALKS FUTURE

On Saturday morning another web site published a story linking the
futures of Top Fuel driver J.R. Todd and team owner Kenny Bernstein
together.  Unfortunately, according to Todd no one involved in the
publishing of that story had spoken with either of the individuals
mentioned.  That further helped to stir the pot regarding Todd’s future
with team owner Dexter Tuttle, so there being no better source than the
man himself, we sought out Todd for his version of what’s going o.

“I got  call last Friday that the sponsor was pulling out and that
Dexter was going back to part-time racing, and that he was looking at
Alan Bradshaw to drive,” he said.  “Ever since that words gotten out
the rumors have been flying

SATURDAY INDY QUALIFYING

FORCE ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN ENTERING FINAL DAY OF QUALIFYING AT FIRST RACE OF PLAYOFFS

Todd, Bazemore also need to race ways into field on Sunday
 
schumacherDSB_7466_350.jpgAfter
marching all the way from 20th place to third to secure his playoff
berth, NHRA icon John Force is on the verge of putting himself back in
a hole.
 
With two rounds of qualifying remaining on Sunday at the 53rd annual
Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the first leg of the six-race POWERade Series
playoff, Force needs to run at least a 4.826 in the Castrol Syntec Ford
Mustang tribute car or risk a DNQ that could be a devastating blow to
his hopes of winning a second straight and 15th career world
championship.
 
J.R. Todd and Whit Bazemore, the Nos. 5 and 7 seeds in Top Fuel,
respectively, are also currently unqualified and needing at least a
4.595 to get in the field for Monday's race.
 
All four of Friday's provisional No. 1 qualifiers -- Tony Schumacher,
Jeff Arend, Max Naylor, and Chip Ellis -- remained in control of their
respective categories at the sport's longest-running event. Saturday's
increased heat kept elapsed times and top speeds relatively in check.
For Naylor and Arend, the No. 1 qualifier would be the first of their respective careers.

2008 NHRA SCHEDULE

NHRA released its 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule today,
expanding the Series to 24 national events.  It is the first addition
to the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule since 2000. 

The newest event on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule,
which will be announced in the near future, will be held September
11-14, 2008.  To make room in the schedule for the new fall event, the
O’Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, Tenn. will move to
September 26-28, 2008.

In addition, NHRA announced that the Pro Stock Motorcycle category will
expand to 17 races in 2008, with the addition of the to-be-announced
event in the fall.  

The only time in NHRA’s history when 24 national events were staged
during the season was to celebrate NHRA’s 50th anniversary, when a
special one-time event was conducted at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in
the summer of 2001. 
           
“We are coming off one of the most successful seasons in NHRA history
and anticipate the record-setting attendance figures we witnessed at a
majority of our venues in 2007 to continue based on the consistency we
have created in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule,”
said Tom Compton, president, NHRA.   “There has been much anticipation
regarding today’s announcement and that anticipation will likely carry
over until we announce the newest addition on the national event
schedule.”

INDY FRIDAY QUALIFYING

SCHUMACHER WOWS INDY CROWD AGAIN

Arend, Naylor and Ellis round out provisional No.
1s

schumacherDSB_6851.jpgTony
Schumacher's dominance of the world's greatest drag race continued
Friday as the five-time Mac Tool U.S. Nationals winner closed out the
opening qualifying session with a 4.477-second blast at 333.66 mph to
claim the provisional No. 1 in Top Fuel.

In the other categories, Funny Car qualifying leader Jeff Arend (4.754
at 327.51 mph) and Pro Stock front man Max Naylor (6.655 at 206.39 mph)
were mostly overwhelmed by their accomplishments, while Chip Ellis's
provisional top qualifying pass of 6.970 at 188.78 mph in Pro Stock
Motorcycle kept his recent hot streak alive.

The Mac Tools U.S. Nationals marks the beginning of the POWERade Series
playoffs, the Countdown to the Championship, and there were some
notable non-qualifiers on Day 1, including four drivers in the
playoffs: Whit Bazemore in Top Fuel, Tony Pedregon in Funny Car, Greg
Anderson and Jason Line in Pro Stock, and Andrew Hines in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

NHRA DRIVERS REACT TO DIVING MEMO

8-30-07letter.jpg
NHRA POWERade competitors
received a memo on Monday afternoon from the NHRA’s Graham Light addressing the
issue of team orders and influencing the outcome of a race based on point
standings.

Light took an aggressive
stance on the issue in his memo, which
our sources report he had help in composin

To All NHRA
Professional Teams:

With the growth of the
sport, NHRA has seen the development of multi-car teams in each of the four
professional categories in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

We know that every
driver and team’s mission is to win.  With that said, NHRA does not
condone or approve of any team not competing at the highest level as a result
of “team orders” handed down to advance one driver over another driver at any
national event.   Actions of this nature are not in the best interest
of the sport. 

NHRA POWERade Drag
Racing provides the highest level of competition in the sport of drag racing
worldwide.  NHRA intends to provide and preserve a level playing field and
to require good sportsmanship from all participants.  Team actions that do
not meet this standard, or that might negatively affect the integrity of the
sport, will not be tolerated.  Such actions will be met with significant
penalties that may include, but are not limited to, point deductions, fines,
disqualification, and suspension.

We are confident that
every participant in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series understands the
unacceptable nature and severe consequences of such actions and will respect
the sport and the integrity of the competition.  

Sincerely,

 

Graham Light

Senior Vice President
Racing Operations

NHRA

TROXEL DEFECTS TO FC

Indytest07001.jpg

181595608197_0_0.jpgFirst year Funny car team
owner Mike Ashley will campaign a second Funny Car in 2008 with Melanie Troxel
as his driver. Ironically, this decision comes a full year after sponsor Evan
Knoll granted Ashley permission and the necessary sponsorship funding to pursue
team ownership.

“I basically told Evan
last year if he’d give me the chance to own my own team that I’d build a solid
foundation for a first class winning organization,” Ashley said. “He gave me
that chance, and while we are far from perfect, we have had a good run of
success.”

Troxel will fulfill her
obligation as driver on the Vietnam Veterans/POW-MIA dragster for Morgan Lucas
by driving for the rest of the season. She will run a 23-race schedule in 2008.

Troxel has already begun
the crossover licensing process and hopes to complete the process soon.

“I went to about
half-track in testing last week, and it felt really good,” Troxel, whose
husband Tommy Johnson, Jr. also competes in the Funny car division. “I wanted
to be sure that the things I remembered from my Alcohol Funny Car days were
still the same, and the feeling was still the same.

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