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


Call Charlie Peppers the ultimate underdog. But you couldn’t have convinced him
of that in the three decades that he competed in the IHRA Mountain Motor Pro
Stock division.

Nobody could make a low-buck Ford run like Peppers, the
tobacco-chewing man from Auburn, Ga.
Peppers never reached a single final round but he didn’t need
to. His threat to win and never-say-die attitude left more of a legacy than mere
wins and losses. In other words, paired against 15 other like-funded teams,
Peppers would have gotten his share.
Peppers began running Pro Stock in 1970 when it first started
and raced until just a few years ago. He started in the IHRA in


Veteran Top Fuel professional Cory McClenathan has started his own race team
with help from Don Schumacher Racing. The popular Fram-backed driver has managed
to keep all of his sponsors and will operate a team that will lease all of its
equipment from Schumacher, who fields the Top Fuel dragster of four-time
champion Tony Schumacher and six other professional-level

McClenathan hopes to keep his current crew, who has been racing
for the past several events through Scott Griffin Motorsports. Griffin will stay
involved with McClenathan's team through the hospitality program.

is something I've wanted to do for some time now and the opportunity presented
itself recently and I jumped at the chance," McClenathan said. "When the people
at FRAM, Autolite, Prestone, and Bendix, along with JEGS.com, GMC, Mac Tools,
Lucas Oil, and Nordic Boats promised their continued support and encouraged me
to follow my dream at this point in my career, that's what made my mind up for


Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Ryan Schnitz has been MIA since the start
of the season, as has his bike owner Rob Muzzy, but not for the usual
reasons. Muzzy has been developing the new ZX-14 Kawasaki for
competition as the Team Green manufacturer returns to the NHRA POWERade
wars after a four-year absence.

Muzzy's bike didn't even exist seven months ago. The Trim-Tex-sponsored
machine made its debut at Bandimere Speedway near Denver earlier this
month. After the motorcycle passed technical inspection in its premier
appearance, Schnitz took it down the Denver track twice. The first time
he didn't make weight and on the second occasion there was a
miscommunication on lights. The third try, Schnitz didn't even leave
the line and there was no fourth try.


The Swedish round of the FIA
European Drag Racing Championship managed to get in the only complete non
washed out event of the tour so far this season and even this suffered rain and
thunder storms making hard work for the track crews. But cool air helped the
event secure a new European Top Fuel record and numerous track bests. On the
woeful side there was one Pro Stock crash and two Pro bikes managed to scrape
the guard rail all with, thankfully, no casualties.

In FIA Top Fuel, Britain’s
Andy Carter in the Lucas Oil machine recorded a new European record with his
4.732 that also led the field of ten entries by almost a tenth. Of the eight
qualifiers only two remained outside the four second zone with Sweden’s Jöran
Persåker sitting on the bump with a 5.074, a fact that made it Europe’ quickest
ever bump spot.

Round one pitted Norway against Sweden with Thomas Nataas
experiencing a small fire in the lights on his winning 4.916/303 as Micke
Kǻgered pitched the blower belt off at three quarter track slowing to a
6.244/139. Finland’s Tommi
Haapanen ran his best ever with a winning 4.890/294 as Switzerland’s
Urs Erbacher lost the blower belt at one hundred feet out. Finland’s ski jumping Champion Janne Ahonen ran
a great 4.881 in qualifying but experienced problems starting and came to stage
too late after ignoring short burnout instructions and was told to shut off
allowing Holland’s
Lex Joon to record an easy solo of 6.445/131 to take the win. Andy Carter also
had problems starting but did manage in time then zipped off a 4.740/308 to
oust any chance from Jöran Persǻker’s 5.057/263 to end the round.


Prestolite Wire Corporation announced today their acquisition of the well-known
Mr. Gasket Performance Group.  

Mr. Gasket will become a division of
Prestolite, and will continue to  operate the entire Mr. Gasket family of high
performance and racing  brands.


Veteran Gary Scelzi had a scary moment last week, and it had nothing to do with his Oakley Dodge Charger.

Scelzi was racing his son, Dominic, at the go-kart track at Infineon
Raceway earlier in the week when the two drivers bumped into each other.


For the third-straight year, the racers who claimed victories at the Jegs.com
NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals last April will have the opportunity to claim the
coveted JEGS Crown trophy during the upcoming JEGS NHRA Northern
SPORTSnationals, September 28-30 at National Trail Raceway.          
If any of the eight champions from the Belle Rose event can duplicate their
feat in Columbus, they will receive the beautifully handcrafted JEGS Crown
trophy, which was designed and created by Dan Dreisbach, the head fabricator at
Rahal Racing. The JEGS Crown trophy might be one of the most difficult awards in
all of drag racing to earn. In three seasons, only one driver, former Pro Mod
champion Mike Ashley has earned the JEGS Crown trophy. Ashley, who currently
races a nitro Funny Car in the NHRA POWERade Series, won both events
SPORTSnationals events in 2005 while racing in the AMS Pro Mod Series.


At the beginning of this season, Geno Scali
was the development rider for Vance & Hines Motorsports' Suzuki
fuel injection system, as he's using one of their bikes, built at the
VHM skunkworks in Brownsburg, Ind. and owned by the company. As the
Suzuki runners begin to move into the 21st century with fuel delivery
systems already used by their Buell and V-Rod competitiors, Scali, the
2003 Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, became the test bed for VHM's EFI.

A close look at Scali['s positioning in the Countdown for the
Championship (11th coming into Sonoma) tells the tale of the tape. "I
changed back to carburetion a few races ago," Geno said. "Can't you
tell by the results?"


Racers For Christ, Tony Schumacher and the
U.S. Army Racing Team will provide the opportunity for a lucky fan to win a
helmet worn by Tony Schumacher as well as two full event tickets to any of the
remaining events after the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn.

In addition to those
incredible prizes, the lucky winner will also receive two weekend passes to the
U.S. Army Racing Hospitality Area; an opportunity to stand on the starting line
while Tony is wearing your helmet in a qualifying run;
Be transported to the top end of the track where Tony will remove the
helmet, autograph it for you, and present it to you and a
Hero Card including you, Tony and the US Army Dragster will be provided by
professional photographer Richard Shute.


Top Alcohol Dragster driver Jared Dreher, who recently won the Valdosta Division
2 event, is in the hospital battling an unknown sickness. Please keep Dreher in your thoughts and