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The Don Schumacher Racing race shop will once again be the place to be on the
opening Friday of the 53rd running of the U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway
Park, Aug. 31-Sept. 3.

On Friday, Aug. 31, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the
100,000-sq. ft. facility at 1681 East Northfield Drive, Brownsburg, Ind., will
open its doors to welcome racing fans to tour and meet the eclectic, diverse and
colorful DSR NHRA drivers and riders at the second annual DSR Open House
benefiting Riley Hospital for Children.

Last year, 5,000 fans attended
the inaugural DSR Open House, which raised over $14,000 for Riley Hospital for
Children in Indianapolis through voluntary donations and a silent auction
raffling unique race items and sponsor products. An even larger number of fans
is expected this year.

Riley Hospital for Children is also planning to
have its Mobile Intensive Care Unit on display. 

The Indy Hi-Winders Car
Club, a staple of the event with its Car and Motorcycle show, returns this year
to spend the day at DSR, the U.S. Army will have its interactive Rock Wall, H2
Hummer, and personalized dog-tag machine for fans to enjoy. Mopar and Dodge are
planning to have a variety of classic and concept vehicles on display, including
a Super Stock Challenger, 1970 Challenger by Matt Delany, and the One Lap of
America Dodge Viper.


Sophomore Funny Car driver Robert Hight will start from the No. 1
position in the Skoal Showdown on Sept. 2 at O’Reilly Raceway Park at
Indianapolis, as he goes for his first victory in the special bonus
event for qualified Funny Car drivers.

The Skoal Showdown, a high-stakes, high-speed race featuring the eight
quickest and most consistent Funny Car teams from the last season, is a
lucrative race-within-a-race held during the 53rd annual Mac Tools U.S.
Nationals, the world’s most prestigious drag race.

The winner of the 26th annual Skoal Showdown will earn a $100,000 bonus
from U.S. Tobacco. Any driver who can win the Skoal Showdown and the
Mac Tools U.S. Nationals will earn a $50,000 ‘Double-Up’ bonus from

A race day purse of $147,000 is available for the eight drivers
competing in the Skoal Showdown. The Showdown runner-up will earn
$15,000, while the two semifinalists will earn $6,000 each. The four
first round finishers will earn $5,000 apiece.

Hight, from Anaheim Hills, Calif., was the No. 1 qualifier eight times
in his Auto Club Ford Mustang in the 23 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing
Series events that comprise the 2007 Skoal Showdown. It is Hight’s
third career appearance in the Skoal Showdown and his second
consecutively as the No. 1 seed.


Final eliminations at the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals will be televised
in a special half-hour presentation on Sunday, Aug. 26 at 4:30 p.m. ET
on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD.

The final regular season race before the NHRA POWERade Series embarks
on its first-ever playoff, the Countdown to the Championship, has been
delayed on three consecutive days by rain, leaving fans, media and,
most of all, the eight drivers still in contention for the final four
playoff berths, to agonize for yet another day.

Doug Herbert (Top Fuel) and Del Worsham (Funny Car) are seeking their
first wins of 2007 and if they got them they would pass Dave Grubnic
and Jim Head, respectively, to complete their improbable 11th-hour bids
to get in the Countdown. V Gaines (Pro Stock) and Chris Rivas (Pro
Stock Motorcycle) have advanced into the semifinals and are one win
away from bumping Larry Morgan and Craig Treble out of the Countdown.


Jim Head has heard the rumors of a 24-race
schedule in 2008 and that doesn’t
particularly make him happy. Head said headDSA_9031.jpgthe
NHRA could do a better job of announcing the schedule in advance so teams could
prepare financially for the extra burden.

“They announce the schedule in September at the
U.S. Nationals after every contract in the pits has been signed,” Head said.
“It’s crazy. They know the schedule now and I’m sure a few of my esteemed
competitors do too. But I don’t and the vast majority of the teams don’t

Rumors suggest a third Pomona event, but two venues
that appear to be gaining steam are a return to Columbus, Ohio, and Epping, NH.

“We don’t need another race,” Head said. “There’s
not enough money to run a 23-race schedule – well, maybe three teams. The rest
of the teams are dying -- all of them to different degrees. You die as a
function of the number of races you run.


While challenging for a position in the NHRA’s
2008 playoffs, Doug Foley
is going to expand his sportsman drag racing school.

Foley, who beat Tony
Schumacher in the first round today, confirmed that he will begin licensing
drivers in an A/Fuel Dragster.


Jeff Arend knows his
role and didn’t see the need to reaffirm it with his boss. His role on the
two-car CSK Auto Parts team was to put the car that had the best chance of
winning a berth in the playoffs into the next round.

Arend was eliminated from contention prior to the
event but teammate Del Worsham had a realistic mathematical shot when Jim Head
was eliminated in the first round.

Arend and their crew decided that Worsham needed to
have the best chance to go the distance. That’s why he waited a full two
seconds to leave the starting line at the green light.

"Personally, I think we'd have to be the
dumbest people in the world to let one Checker, Schuck's, Kragen car, that has
absolutely no

chance of making the post-season, take out the one
that still has a chance," Arend said. "We are one big team here, all
representing CSK

and all of our great sponsors, so we made the
decision on our side of the pit.  Del
never asked, never even brought it up, but Marc Denner,

Chris Cunningham, and I talked about what we
thought was the best thing to do, for the team and for our sponsors. 


If you run Mickey Thompson
Tires and win at Indy, it could be more than worth your while.


Marketing director Don
Sneddon wanted to give Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com readers a heads-up that if
they run Mickey Thompson tires during the NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in
Indianapolis next weekend that you can take home a $2,500 bonus. This, of
course, requires you to run the proper decal and Mickey Thompson Drive Tires.


According to Sneddon,
Mickey Thompson Tires has new tires designs available for Stock, Super Stock,
Super Gas, Super Comp, Comp, Alcohol Funny Car, Alcohol Dragster and Pro Stock

Sneddon urges racers to
stop by the Mickey Thompson Trailer at O’Reilly Raceway Park during the event
for more details and promotions.




FAST™ Relocates R&D Center, Expands Engineering & Tech Support Resources

FAST™ (Fuel Air Spark Technology™), a leading manufacturer of high
performance electronic fuel injection and tuning products, plans to
relocate its Brighton, Michigan Research & Development Center to
the Memphis, Tennessee headquarters of its parent company, the COMP
Performance Group™ (CPG), effective immediately. Coinciding with the
move, FAST™
announces it has added key engineering and tech support personnel to
handle ambitious plans for future growth and rapid product development.

The relocation of the FAST™ R&D Center marks the culmination of a
nearly two year effort to centralize all aspects of the company,
including tech support, sales and production in one location. Plans are
to relocate all current employees of the Brighton, Michigan facility to
the Memphis facility and continue their assignments within the FAST™
product line. In anticipation of the move, several key engineering
personnel have recently been hired or reassigned from other CPG
divisions - further strengthening what is already arguably the
strongest engineering team of any performance electronics company. The
newly expanded FAST™ engineering team is currently in place at the
Memphis facility and actively engaged in “fast tracking” new product
development efforts with several breakthrough products scheduled for
debut at this year’s SEMA show.


The new Countdown to the Championship playoff-style system to decide the 2007
POWERade champions is already delivering the big-time thrills NHRA officials
were hoping for when they instituted the plan at the start of the season.

first phase, which will end Tuesday at the conclusion of the rain-plagued 23rd
annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals, has trimmed each Pro class down to eight
racers that will fight for their respective titles. Remarkably, all four Pro
categories have been pushed to the very end with eight racers still alive for
the last four Countdown spots.


From the moment Gary Scelzi said it, he
wanted to reel it back in.
Not so in the world of drag racing news and rumors.scelziDSA_9059.jpg

Scelzi effectively hinted on Saturday’s ESPN2 show
that he could return in 2008. Is the sabbatical off?

“No it isn’t off, but I have had some interesting
offers,” Scelzi said. “I have been offered everything from people offering part
ownership to flying me to the races from California. Then Don Schumacher has
made offers to keep me here another year so we can train someone new.

“I would say the chances of me coming back stand at
10%. I probably shouldn’t have said anything on television but there is a
chance. The logistics play a big role. That part has not been worked out yet.”

So who’s courting Scelzi?

“I can tell you they’re big and it’s not John
Force,” Scelzi said. “Everybody keeps thinking I am going to John Force Racing.
I am not going anywhere. The ultimate thing for me would be to stay here.”