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Top Fuel veteran Doug Herbert
defeated “Hot Rod” Fuller in Wednesday’s rain-delayed final of the
23rd annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals to earn the final spot in the
NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship.

Funny Car racer Tony Pedregon, Pro Stock ace Dave
Connolly, and Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Matt Guidera also scored big wins in
the last regular season race of the season, while Cinderella hopefuls Del
Worsham, V. Gaines, and Chris Rivas all came up short in their bids to make the
Countdown playoffs.

In the biggest race of the event, Herbert launched with
a stellar .039-second reaction time and zoomed down Maple Grove Raceway in 4.562
seconds at 323.43 mph to take the win over a back-pedaling Fuller, who ran a
4.709 at 324.98 mph.



Tim Nabors raced
with very little hoopla and fan fare, but his actions on the track always made
him one of the drivers to beat. Son of longtime Pro Stock racer Calvin Nabors,
Tim raced the class for almost two decades.

Nabors never won a
championship, but his potent Chevrolets from Georgia were some of the more
consistent cars in the class.



Chip Foose, world-renowned auto designer and builder and TV personality, and
Doug Kalitta, NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel dragster ace, have one
very cool thing in common – Their passion for fast, eye-stopping and
jaw-dropping hot rods. This Labor Day weekend, Aug. 29-Sept. 3, in Indianapolis,
Foose, Kalitta and Mac Tools will once again team up to bring auto racing fans
from across the globe a unique and very fast, 8,000-horsepower compilation of
style and speed.

At drag racing’s biggest and most prestigious event in the world, the Mac
Tools U. S. Nationals at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, Kalitta, who
usually drives the “Big Red” Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, will guide the
controls of the Mac Tools/Foose Design 330-mph, nitro-fueled dragster.

The delicately decorated Mac Tools/Foose Design dragster’s carbon fiber body,
was hand-painted by Foose at his custom hot rod shop in Huntington Beach, Calif.
Among its ornate features are “ghosted” palm leaves throughout the design and a
magnificent melding of bronze and light blue with a small green pinstripe.


Melanie Troxel and Ron Capps posted the quickest runs in their
respective categories Tuesday at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis
during testing for the 53rd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the
world’s most prestigious drag race.

Troxel and Capps will be among the many drivers competing in the $2.6
million event, Aug. 29 — Sept. 3 at the legendary multi-use motorsports
facility. ESPN2 will provide more than 10 hours of event coverage of
the historic race.

Troxel’s Vietnam Veterans/POW-MIA dragster clocked the quickest Top Fuel run of the day, with 4.530 second run at 328.46 mph.

“We made three runs today and two of them we got down the track so
we’re feeling pretty good about the test session in general,” Troxel
said. “I’m looking forward to getting out here tomorrow and seeing if
we can’t improve on those times.”

Troxel found herself within 2 points of the eighth-place cutoff spot in
the Countdown to the Championship heading into the Toyo Tires NHRA
Nationals last week in Reading, Pa. but was unable to make it into the
Top 8 after a first round loss to teammate Morgan Lucas. Though Troxel
finds herself on the outside of the Countdown playoffs, her motivation
in testing is to test some of the smaller things on her dragster in
preparation for next week’s event in Indy.


Angelle Sampey will headline a special eight-motorcycle field from the
No. 1 qualifying position as she is seeking her first victory in the
Ringers Gloves Pro Bike Battle at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis
on Sept. 1. The special bonus event for NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle
competitors will be held during the 53rd annual Mac Tools U.S.
Nationals, the world’s most prestigious drag race.

The total race day purse for the 17th annual Ringers Gloves Pro Bike
Battle is $61,000. The winner will earn a $25,000 bonus from Ringers
Gloves. Any rider who can win the Battle and the Mac Tools U.S.
Nationals will earn a $10,000 ‘Double-Up’ bonus from the NHRA.

The Battle runner-up will earn $10,000. The two semifinalists will earn
$6,000 each, while the four first-round finishers will earn $3,500

Sampey claimed the No. 1 spot for the special event by earning six No.
1 qualifying efforts at the 16 NHRA events that make up the Battle
series. In addition to the $61,000 available in the Battle, $15,000 in
bonuses were awarded to quick qualifiers throughout the 16-race Battle


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.