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


The march to Top Fuel for the Force girls began earlier this week
with Brittany and Courtney Force testing an A/Fuel Dragster in Las
Courtney drove on Monday and Tuesday while Brittany
got her shot on Tuesday and Wednesday. The largest obstacle the girls
had to overcome was the oppressive heat. At one point during the test
session, the heat reached 110 degrees. With that said, the dragster
just couldn't provide enough performance to get them licensed. 


A controversy is brewing that could come to a head during this weekend’s NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Last week Cory McClenathan announced that he was leaving Scott Griffin
Motorsports and forming his own team with an operation leased from Don
Schumacher Racing. McClenathan also brought backing from FRAM/Autolite,
as well as sponsorship from key associates carried over from the
Carrier Boyz Racing days.

Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com has learned through sources that Griffin
was unhappy with McClenathan’s move, considering that when he purchased
the Carrier Boyz operation it was with key sponsor and driver contracts
in place at least through 2008. McClenathan balked at that, citing that
he could not be sold as an asset. Soon afterwards he set the wheels in
motion to leave Griffin and go out on his own.

Griffin’s rig pulled through the gates of Brainerd International
Raceway this morning, and while there is no problem with that, already
parked in the pits is a refrigerator-white race rig emblazoned with the
DSR logo. The rig, and the equipment contained therein, is the basis of
McClenathan’s new operation.


As competitors gear up for the final two events in the NHRA POWERade
“Countdown to 8” to be held in Brainerd, Minn., and Reading, Pa., NHRA
has highlighted rules and policies that will shape the “Countdown to 4”
and “Countdown to 1” during the final months of the inaugural season of
the NHRA POWERade Countdown to the Championship playoff-style format.

Specifically, NHRA explained tiebreaker methods, oildown policies for
those competitors moving on in the NHRA POWERade Countdown to the
Championship and qualifying for the final six races of the NHRA
POWERade Drag Racing Season.


Performing well is a double-edged sword.
Just ask Top Fuel team owners
Tim and Renee Coghlan and driver Brady Kalivoda.
In just four appearances this season, the achieving underdogs made such a
positive impression that several teams showed interest in crew chief Keith
Adams, who had been one of tuning ace Alan Johnson's understudies and has
admired former boss Dale Armstrong.
And it appears Don Schumacher Racing has hired Adams to serve as crew chief
for Cory McClenathan's Fram-sponsored dragster.
DSR has not announced terms of the final deal, but both Tim Coghlan and
Kalivoda have confirmed that Adams will join the Schumacher fold and that the
Coghlan Motorsports Dragster -- which had the financial backing to run three
more races this season -- will be parked.
"This was a dream and a passion," Tim Coghlan said. The former sportsman
racer said he plans for the team to return to the track when he secures proper
funding. He said he is prepared to field the team again for a  full schedule in
2008 if serious sponsorship makes it possible.


There are incidents that tug at the heart strings of the most seasoned
individuals. For Steve Johnson, witnessing the most recent tragedy in
Minnesota hit him hard, especially headed into
this weekend's NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota.        

“When the NHRA POWERade Series travels the nation we’re all
very interested to see how much publicity the series and the competitors
generate,” he said from his race shop in Alabama.  “But, as anxious as all of us are with
producing positive results for our sponsors and the series, when you see
something like the news that came out of Minneapolis last week about the bridge
collapse on I-35, it puts everything into sharper focus, into a different
“When that news broke
it stunned everyone on our race team.  Our first thoughts were, Have we lost anyone
we know?  Anyone who’s part of the drag
racing family?  But, we quickly realized
that this was about much more than drag racing.  Reading the newspaper stories, and watching
the coverage on television, you couldn’t help but notice how all of Minnesota
had suddenly become one big family, and we realized that a whole state had
become the same kind of close-knit family that all of us in drag racing feel
we’re a part of.


Following the resignation of former team driver Paul Lee, the J&B
Motorsports IHRA Torco Pro Nitro Funny Car team reached an eleventh hour
agreement with Michigan local Rob Bruce to drive during this past weekend's IHRA
Torco Race Fuels Nationals at Knoll Gas Motorsports Park just outside of Grand
Rapids, Mich.  Despite limited experience, Team Owners Jeff and Bonnie McGaffic
were impressed at how quickly the driver they dubbed 'Ricky Bobby' adapted to
their 8,000 HP Nitro Funny Car this past weekend.
As of the Thursday prior to the event, the team was
without a driver.  Fellow Nitro Funny Car and Top Fuel racer Mitch King referred
Bruce, from nearby Flint, Mich., to the McGaffic's.
"We tried to call several drivers to come in and
drive for us this weekend," explained McGaffic.  "None of the drivers we knew
that would fit the car were available to drive the whole weekend.  Mitch told us
about this guy Rob Bruce who lived a few hours from the track and was a
competent driver with an IHRA license and would fit the car.  We called him on
Friday and he dropped what he was doing and showed up at the track a few hours
later.  Needless to say, we were impressed with his zeal and commitment from the
"We missed the Friday session getting him fitted
for the car," McGaffic continued.  "While getting things ready to go for
Saturday, he kept talking about wanting to go fast, so we nicknamed him "Ricky
Bobby."  He was a great guy and worked well with our team.  We had a lot of fun
with him."


Ransome Cat has signed a one-race associate sponsor agreement with the Greg
Hill-owned, Kenny Koretsky-driven Indicom Electric/Nitro Fish Pro Stock Chevy
Cobalt team for the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Reading, Pa., Aug. 16-19.
Koretsky and Wendell Wigley, vice president of Sales-Construction for
Giles-Ransome, announced the transaction Wednesday.



Evan Knoll and Ken Black
have something huge planned for the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day Weekend. And our brave
military personnel, as well as their families, will be the beneficiaries.

Knoll and Black are joining forces to adorn
the Top Fuel Dragster driven by Hillary Will with a special “Support Our Troops And Their
Families” paint scheme. The two say the perfect time to convey such a
message is at the largest drag race of the year in the United States.


Knoll currently sponsors a
dragster driven by Melanie Troxel that honors the War Veterans and the National
League of POW-MIA families. He’s joining Black in this program which supports today’s
military, and says he's the perfect man to partner with.



Tony Schumacher has
learned the secret for a drag racer to be featured on CNN’s Larry King Live. One
must survive a horrific crash and live to tell about it.

With the recent horrific
crash of IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti and Jake Brown’s 45-foot skateboard
fall during the X Games, Schumacher was invited to share his experiences with
high speed mishaps.

Give credit to Schumacher’s
ace pr rep Chris Dorato for interjecting Schumacher and drag racing into the

“I like Larry King more
than most because it isn’t a disrespectful show,” Schumacher said. “The real
question is how we pull this off. It won’t be a mockery of the sports we
compete in. That’s the reason I chose to do it.”


Marco Abruzzi took home $22,500 this past weekend when he defeated
Scotty Stillings in the final round of the Moser Axle Mania, the
biggest sportsman program of the year.

have had the good fortune at winning some big races in my career. But this by
far takes the cake. Thank you so much to everyone at Moser Engineering and IHRA
for making this race possible,” said Abruzzi. “My
Camaro was just unreal this weekend. It was really impressive to watch a McAmis
car win the Pro Mod Shootout and then the Moser Axle Mania race,” Abruzzi said.
“I definitely want to thank everyone at Summit Racing Equipment for their
continued support, my crew and family, as well as the customers of Abruzzi
Racing Transmissions.”