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NORWALK'S 2020 SCHEDULE FOCUSES ON THE SPECTACULAR

PAUL LEE GETS RECOGNIZED FOR HIS HEART, LITERALLY

 

Funny Car veteran Paul Lee had two crews last weekend at the AAA Texas FallNationals at Texas Motorplex, south of Dallas. He has the one he usually works with for his McLeod Dodge Charger and a film crew from WebMD.com, which is spotlighting the Orange, Calif., businessman in a documentary.

“They found out that I was a heart-attack survivor and not just a heart attack survivor. They saw my story online somewhere and contacted NHRA, and [National Dragster editor] Phil Burgess gave them my contact information. They contacted me and asked me if I'd be interested in being in a documentary about heart-attack survival and life after a heart attack,” Lee said.

THE STATS DON'T LIE, OR DO THEY?

 

Neither NHRA Top Fuel points leader Steve Torrence nor closest rival Doug Kalitta probably should put a lot of stock into the class’ statistics for the Countdown to the Championship. After all, the saying is that “People use statistics like a drunk uses a lamppost – more for support than illumination.” Just the same, the numbers tell a thought-provoking story.

In the previous 11 Countdowns, seven of the “regular-season winners” have finished as the champion.

VANDERGRIFF SETTLING INTO HIS OWN NORMAL

 

Rookie Top Fueler Jordan Vandergriff said “the biggest thing about my season, tell you the truth” – meaning the hardest thing – is not racing every event on the schedule. He understands why his team isn’t a fulltime team. He knows the business side. But he’s like every other racer – he got a taste of competing in a race car and can’t get enough. Still, his situation comes with its own quirks.

“It's a lot harder to find the routine that it is for most people out here, because they're out here every race. So when I get here, it's almost like I have to remember it all again try to get my routine down,” Vandergriff said. “Like these guys were just in Charlotte last weekend and on Monday. They ran on Monday. So it's been four or five days since they ran. So they're already in the thick of things. They come in. They hop in. Me, it's been three or four weeks since I ran. So for me, it's like I got to remember what it feels like - I got to remember all the steps. Like even doing the warm-up this morning before Q1, I sat in the car. I was going through the procedures in my head, just making sure I got it down. I did OK, but it is a struggle. It's not preferred. Obviously, I’d like to be out here more. That takes money. That takes time and people. So hopefully next year it'll be different.”

PRO STOCK’S PRUSIENSKY HEALING, EAGER TO GET BACK

NHRA Pro Stock owner-driver Alan Prusiensky, who’s recovering from a violent, back-breaking qualifying crash Oct. 11 at Charlotte, isn’t sure if he’ll be able to meet his latest goal. He wants to race his Cold Fire / Top Coast/eCar Mover Dodge Dart at the season finale in November at Pomona, Calif. 

But he knows one thing: He will be back in that race car, at the 2020 preseason test session during Super Bowl weekend, if not sooner.

A CAREER OF ACHIEVEMENTS GETS BILLY MEYER THE CALL FROM THE HALL

 

Among the 2020 inductees into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame announced this week by “Big Daddy” Don Garlits and the Hall of Fame selection committee is Texas Funny Car driver and racetrack developer Billy Meyer who, in his career on the NHRA pro tour, appeared in 22 final rounds and hoisted the trophy 12 times and his IHRA career appeared in 13 final rounds and won 8 trophies. Meyer will share the podium at the March induction ceremonies in Gainesville, Fla., with fellow legends Lee Beard, Roy Hill, Larry Minor and Don Enriquez.

MCMILLEN HAS MASTERED NOT CATCHING A BREAK

 

Terry McMillen is like the late Gilda Radner’s “Saturday Night Live” character Rosannadanna: If it isn’t one thing it’s another for the Amalie Oil Dragster owner-driver.

At St. Louis, two events ago, he picked up his first round-win since the early-July race at Epping, N.H. However, offsetting that was trouble in the pits. The team’s generator went kaput, which not only interrupted power but also damaged the air compressor. The crew scrambled to get him back to the starting line for the fourth and final qualifying session. He was rewarded with an outstanding 3.727-second elapsed time – but it left him in the bottom half of the ladder, at No. 9.

14 AA/FUEL DRAGSTERS HEADED TO CHRR

 

Fourteen AA/Fuel Dragsters will compete for the California Hot Rod Reunion title this weekend in Bakersfield, including four new teams. They will battle for a berth in the eight-car field which will conclude the 2019 Heritage Hot Rod Series.

Mendy Fry and the High Speed Motorsports team have already clinched the crown, and head into the historic facility hot off of a fourth consecutive event win at the Nitro Nationals at Tulsa Raceway Park. 

'STEVIE FAST' HEADLINES WINNERS AT NO MERCY 10

MATT HAGAN PUTS HIMSELF IN FUNNY CAR TITLE MIX WITH DALLAS WIN

Don’t sleep on NHRA Mello Yello Series nitro Funny Car driver Matt Hagan.

The two-time world champion put himself squarely in the 2019 world championship mix by winning the FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex Sunday near Dallas.

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