National Guard ADRL Brings Unique ‘Battle’ to Texas Motorplex
O’FALLON, MO (Oct. 5, 2009) — In 2005, the inaugural year for the National Guard American Drag Racing League (ADRL), series president and CEO Kenny Nowling knew he would have a tough time convincing racers based mostly in the Southeast and with no mathematical chance at a championship to make the long tow west to Kennedale, Texas, for the fledgling outfit’s season ender. So, he came up with the Speedtech Battle for the Belts, a unique playoff concept set this year for Oct. 23, opening day for the LenMar Motorsports ADRL World Finals V at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, just south of Dallas.
“Initially, it was created to ensure that everyone in the top eight, all the top players, came to that last race in Dallas at the end of the year. But I needed something to convince the rest to come, too, so we made the following season’s points actually start on the same weekend so that everybody would want to be there to get a head start on the next season’s points chase,” Nowling explained.
Essentially the same format is in place this year as the top eight points earners for each of the National Guard ADRL’s five professional classes in 2009 —Pro Extreme, Pro Nitrous, Flowmaster Extreme 10.5, Pro Extreme Motorcycle and Extreme Pro Stock—will determine world champions on Friday, while all points earned through qualifying and elimination rounds on Saturday will count toward the 2010 points chase.
New for this year, however, is a first-round bye granted to each points leader, which also means the seventh- and eighth-place Belts qualifiers in each class will race against each other first, with the winner taking on the number-two contender in the quarter-finals round. Meanwhile, number three will take on number six and four will race five, just as in a traditional eight-car eliminations ladder.
So, to win a 2009 National Guard ADRL World Championship, a points leader would have to win only two rounds of head-to-head racing, the numbers two through six qualifiers would need to win three times, while number-seven and number-eight starters will face four rounds of potential elimination.
Additionally, each 2009 season points leader will receive a monetary reward and plaque recognizing their pre-Battle supremacy, with the Pro Extreme and Pro Nitrous leaders each earning $5,000; the Flowmaster Extreme 10.5 and Extreme Pro Stock leaders each receiving $2,500; and the Pro Extreme Motorcycle leader getting a $1,000 bonus.
The purses have increased, too, with 2009 Pro Extreme and Pro Nitrous world champions to receive $50,000 each, $25,000 going to each of the Flowmaster Extreme 10.5 and Extreme Pro Stock champions, and $10,000 payable to the Pro Extreme Motorcycle season winner. All told, the Speedtech Battle for the Belts purse exceeds $313,000 this time around.
Nowling pointed out fans in Texas will see at least three new National Guard ADRL world champions crowned this year since Extreme Pro Stock is in its first season as an official class, 2008 Pro Nitrous champ Billy Harper sat out the ’09 campaign and two-time defending Pro Extreme Motorcycle World Champion Billy Vose failed to make the cut to defend his title. He also said he’s particularly excited about this round of the Speedtech Battle for the Belts because there are so many new names among the contenders and he’s anxious to see who steps up to deliver a knock-out performance.
“I’ve quoted my high-school football coach, Steve Stahl, many times on this: ‘A true champion is defined when everything is on the line.’ Every possible thing that you worked for is right in front of you and within your grasp and it’s when the Michael Jordans and Wayne Gretzkys of this world excel; they want the ball in their hands, the puck on their stick,” he said.
That’s why the Speedtech Battle for the Belts brings out the best in National Guard ADRL competitors, Nowling contends.
“Most of these guys would do almost anything to get into the Battle and now that we have the fields set, we’re about to see what they can do,” he said. “According to the math, we would have already decided four of our five champions heading into the World Finals, so how exciting would Friday night be? I mean, it would be good, our normal Friday-night show, but what a race those fans at Ennis are going to see now as a result of this format. Personally, I can’t wait.”
ABOUT LENMAR MOTORSPORTS
Based in Mansfield, Texas, LenMar Motorsports was founded in 2006 by Gaylen Smith and Mark Eddins to provide a full-service race car building and maintenance shop. LenMar Motorsports operates out of an 18,000-square-foot facility that incorporates a full climate-controlled machine shop, engine dyno room, chassis shop, and engine building and tuning area. LenMar Motorsports also is an official VP Fuels and NOS nitrous oxide distributor. For more information on LenMar Motorsports, visit www.LenMarMotorsports.com.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL GUARD
The National Guard is the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States and one of the nation’s longest enduring institutions. The National Guard operates in all 50 states, three territories (Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands) and the District of Columbia. For more information on the National Guard, visit www.NationalGuard.com.
ABOUT THE ADRL
Based in O’Fallon, Missouri, the American Drag Racing League is the nation’s premier sanctioning body for the sport of eighth-mile drag racing. The professional categories featured in the ADRL are Extreme Pro Stock, Pro Extreme Motorcycle, Extreme 10.5, Pro Nitrous, and Pro Extreme, the quickest doorslammer class in all of drag racing. The 2009 National Guard ADRL series consists of 10 national events run throughout the United States. For more information on the ADRL, visit www.ADRL.us.