Texas Motorplex Fired Up and Ready for Side-By-Side Racing
ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 1, 2009) – Texas is truly a magical place to be in the fall. Football fields are in use by local, regional and national talent. The weather cools down each night a little more, reminding us that winter is right around the corner. And the sound of the world’s quickest and fastest dragsters blazing down the track rattles the senses and tickles our love of fierce competition.
It just wouldn’t be the fall without the 24th annual O’Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex. The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event rolls into the Motorplex for its annual stop, Sept. 24-27.
Texas Motorplex General Manager Glenn Menard said few places rival the Motorplex when witnessing the intense competition displayed by NHRA racers.
“The Motorplex is the original stadium of drag racing and it was meant to reward the fans with stunning views of the track,” Menard said. “Everyone is sitting where the action happens. The stands are angled so the person standing next to you isn’t blocking your view. We think everyone in the stands should have a clear view of the amazing side-by-side racing that is on display by some of the best racers in the world.”
The track surface itself, Menard said, fosters consistent competition.
“Because our track is held by post-tension cables all the way down the track, we know the conditions are the same in both lanes,” Menard said. “We have a super slab of concrete and it helps create close racing in both lanes so the teams can worry more about having the best tuneup and spend less time concerned with lane choice.”
The 24th annual O’Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals is one of the final six races in the Countdown to the Championship. Only the top 10 racers in each of the four professional categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – will earn the right to compete for the 2009 NHRA championships. All professional racers have 18 events to battle their way into the top 10.
J.R. Todd earned the 2008 Top Fuel victory at the Motorplex while Tim Wilkerson will be defending the Funny Car title, Greg Stanfield will be defending Pro Stock and Chris Rivas will defend the Pro Stock Motorcycle title.
Jason Line knows how vital the Texas Motorplex stop can be in terms of battling for a championship title. Following 17 events in 2009, Line is second in the Pro Stock point standings, winning four races in the Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GXP. Line, the 2006 champion, is just 65 points away from the category leader, Jeg Coughlin.
“The points are reset just one race before we go to the Motorplex and that means there are going to be 10 very anxious competitors in each category, trying to do whatever it takes to earn some valuable points,” Line said. “Even before the Countdown points system began, there has always been something special about racing at the Motorplex that makes you want to dig deep and go for the win.”
Menard said he likes the position the Texas Motorplex has in the Countdown schedule.
“Once the racers earn a spot in the Countdown, you can’t predict too much because we’re early enough in the Countdown schedule where everyone is still in it and everyone is fighting for a championship,” Menard said. “If a racer does well at the first Countdown event (in Charlotte), you want to do well at the Texas Motorplex to keep that momentum going. If a racer doesn’t do well in Charlotte, the Motorplex can be the story of their season. It can be the site where they rebounded back into championship contention.”
Eddie Krawiec leads the Pro Stock Motorcycle point standings following the first 11 of 17 Pro Stock Motorcycle events, followed closely in second place by his Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson teammate, Andrew Hines. Krawiec, the 2008 Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, had the event low elapsed time with a 6.970-second run in ’08 but lost in the semifinal round.
Krawiec is aiming to go at least one round further at the Motorplex this season.
“The goal going into every race is always to do better than you did the last time,” Krawiec said. “That’s especially important in those final Countdown races. The competition is so good and if you make a mistake, nine other racers are going to try and take advantage of the situation. We want a great showing at the Motorplex so we can have some positive momentum going into the final few races of the season.”
Sportsman qualifying begins at 10 a.m. on Sept. 24. The first of four rounds of professional qualifying is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sept. 25, continuing at 4:45 p.m. that evening. Qualifying wraps up with sessions at 11:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 26. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sept. 27.
Tickets for all four days of racing can be purchased by phone at 800-MOTORPLEX (800-688-6775) at TexasMotorplex.com or at the track.