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ERIC MEDLEN MEMORIAL PLAYGROUND SPRUCED UP AT VMP

It was a labor of love and a collaboration of the drag-racing family.

But what had begun as a proud tribute to the late Funny Car phenomenon Eric Medlen became a little forgotten when the NHRA tour bypassed Virginia Motorsports Park after the 2009 season.

VIRGINIA NHRA NATIONALS SELLOUT CROWD ON SATURDAY

NHRA and Virginia Motorsports Park officials announced a sellout crowd for Saturday qualifications at the Virginia NHRA Nationals in Dinwiddie, Va.

NHRA returned to the facility, owned by Tommy and Judy Franklin, for the first time since 2009. Numerous facility upgrades, including a completely new racing surface, drew fans from Richmond and the surrounding areas.

COURTNEY FORCE SETS VIRGINIA RECORDS, LOOKS FOR SEASON'S SIXTH POLE

Courtney Force is poised to win her sixth No. 1 qualifying position in 10 Mello Yello events with crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Dan Hood after their Advance Auto Parts Camaro set track records of 3.983 seconds and 323.35 mph with Friday’s only sub-4-second run on opening day of the Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park at Dinwiddie, Virginia.

“When we went back up there Corradi and Hood wanted to push it hard to see if we could get our No. 1 spot back,” she said. “We watched a lot of teams ahead of us make some phenomenal runs. I saw (John Force Racing teammate Robert Hight) run that (4.039) so I knew it could handle it.

SCHUMACHER'S LONE 3.7 AT VIRGINIA EARNS PROVISIONAL TOP FUEL POLE

Tony Schumacher put himself in position to win his third pole in 10 NHRA Mello Yello Racing Series when his U.S. Army Top Fuel team posted a time of 3.777 seconds at a track-record 327.51 mph Friday at Dinwiddie, Virginia, about 40 miles south of Richmond.

Schumacher, the eight-time world champion who won at Virginia Motorsports Park in 2008, came within 0.006 seconds of topping his track elapsed time record but was able to shatter the speed mark held by Don Schumacher Racing teammate Antron Brown.

RAIN INTERRUPTS FIRST DAY OF WILLOWBANK QUALIFYING

Only two Group 1 professional classes were completed during first day qualifying at the Thunder 400 Gulf Western Winternationals hosted by Willowbank Raceway. Rain began to fall during the Pro Slammer session and safety concerns forced race officials to pull the plug in the name of safety.

Wayne Daley jumped to the front of Pro Stock qualifying, as he drove his Dodge Avenger to a 6.979 at 196.30. Aaron Tremayne was second with a 6.999 followed by Tyrone Tremayne’s 7.008.

RAY SITS IN PRO MOD'S PRELIMINARY TOP QUALIFYING POSITION AT VIRGINIA NHRA NATIONALS

Jeremy Ray secured the preliminary No. 1 qualifying position Friday during the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service portion of the Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by the Real Pro Mod Association, is the fifth of 12 events this season.

Ray ran a 5.804-second pass at 248.11 mph in the second qualifying session on Friday in his J4 Racing LLC ‘63 Corvette to take the initial top spot.

C. FORCE, SCHUMACHER, ANDERSON & ARANA JR. INITIAL NO. 1 QUALIFIERS AT INAUGURAL VIRGINIA NHRA NATIONALS

Courtney Force continued her early-season dominance in the Funny Car class as she currently sits as the No. 1 qualifier at the inaugural Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park.

Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also preliminary No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 10th of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

LAGANA TO DRIVE A SECOND CATSPOT DRAGSTER IN RICHMOND

 

Dom Lagana will wheel a second CatSpot Organic Cat Litter Top Fuel dragster in NHRA's return to Virginia Motorsports Park this weekend for the Virginia Nationals.

Lagana will serve as a teammate to CatSpot Organic Cat Litter driver Scott Palmer.

"It's going to be real exciting," Lagana said. "It's only our second race out this year, and we've got the new car again. I'm excited. Any weekend you can come out and go racing is a good one, you know?"

NHRA DRIVERS APPLAUD VMP OWNER FRANKLIN

This weekend was supposed to be a hometown race for Matco Tools/U.S. Army/Toyota Dragster driver Antron Brown. The NHRA was supposed to be at Englishtown, N.J., where his family drag raced and his passion for the sport flourished.

Instead, it’s Funny Car driver Matt Hagan’s home race – the first of two consecutive home races for the Southwestern Virginia cattle farmer.

PROMOTER DONALD LONG UPS THE STAKES WITH HIS $50k X275 EVENT

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