ENNIS MAYOR PRO TEM, LONG-TIME COMMUNITY SUPPORTER BOB TAYLOR TABBED AS GRAND MARSHAL FOR AAA TEXAS FALL NATIONALS

September 18, 2012 by  
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ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 18, 2012) – Ennis Mayor Pro Tem Bob Taylor will be the Grand Marshal during Sunday’s final eliminations of the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex.

Taylor, a longtime community servant, will start the second of six playoff events in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the championship. Once Taylor gives the go-ahead, two nitro-methane-burning Top Fuel engines will start each of their 8,000-horsepower engines.

Taylor was born and raised in Longview, Texas and graduated from East Texas State University with both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Education. Taylor dedicated his career to being a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal at various schools across Texas before settling in Ennis.

Taylor has been honored for his work in the classroom and in the community before and since his retirement in 1990. Taylor has been a member of the Ennis Noon Lions club for more than 35 years and continues to commit his time to Ennis and the surrounding communities.

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THE PONTIAX SCHEDULED TO PLAY AT TEXAS MOTORPLEX DURING FEATURED AAA TEXAS NHRA FALL NATIONALS

September 17, 2012 by  
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ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 18, 2012) – AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals fans who are spending the weekend in the Texas Motorplex campground will be treated to FREE live music on Friday and Saturday night. The Pontiax will be the headline act on Saturday.

This year’s Fall Nationals is one for the record books as the Motorplex plays host to the second of six Countdown championship playoff events and the Traxxas Nitro Shootout all-star event for Funny Car.

The quickest and fastest form of motorsport makes its annual stop at the fastest track in Texas, featuring cars that exceed speeds of 320 mph. Engines roar with 8,000 horsepower. Flames blast out of the pipes, propelling drivers as quickly as 0-100 mph in less than half a second. All that can be seen at Texas Motorplex this weekend. Professional qualifying starts Friday and continues on Saturday before the Traxxas Nitro Shootout. Final eliminations start at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

The Motorplex is an all-concrete quarter-mile drag racing facility that opened in 1986, becoming the first super-stadium built specifically for drag racing. The Motorplex has hosted national event racing since 1986 and has been the site of record-breaking passes, championship-clinching performances and jaw-dropping performances.

The 27th annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals will feature some of the biggest names in racing, including John Force, Fort Worth native and Top Fuel winner Spencer Massey, Tony Schumacher, Greg Anderson and more.

Texas Motorplex was the first all-concrete stadium-style drag racing facility ever constructed. Built in 1986, Texas Motorplex has been the place of many drag racing milestones and world record performances. The Billy Meyer-owned facility hosts a number of racing and car show events between March and November each year and also features the Champion’s Club – an 11,000 square-foot facility – that serves fully catered events throughout the year.

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VANDERGRIFF SEEKING MORE SUCCESS AT FAMED TEXAS MOTORPLEX

September 17, 2012 by  
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ENNIS, Texas — NHRA’s most prolific Top Fuel driver, Tony Schumacher, is known for his famous 2006 final round championship winning performance known simply as “The Run.” Another NHRA Top Fuel driver, Bob Vandergriff, winner of last season’s AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals, has also become a fan-favorite for “a run,” but that one happened outside of his 8,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragster.

After beating Spencer Massey in the final round last season at the Texas Motorplex, an overjoyed Vandergriff emerged from his C&J Energy Services dragster and started to run. And run. And run. He kept running, back down the dragstrip, toward the starting line.

An ESPN pit reporter finally caught up with him at mid-track for an interview. A bit winded, Vandergriff said he wanted to do something completely different to celebrate his first victory. The Georgia based driver had been to 13 final rounds without earning a win in his career prior to grabbing his very first NHRA Wally trophy on that very hot day in Texas.

“Obviously it was huge,” Vandergriff said. “We had so many losses in final rounds and honestly we should have won about half of them, that it was becoming comical. The consolation speeches had really begun to wear on me and like I said after the race, I don’t think I could have given another one saying that it was OK, because it certainly wasn’t.”

Vandergriff’s post-victory run became an instant sensation with fans. He says he’s not certain if that will become his signature celebration routine.

“Based on the response I’ve received from the fans I am somewhat torn,” Vandergriff said. “So many have told me what a highlight it was for them, and how it is something that they will never forget and one of their best memories in drag history and that they expect me to do it again makes me want to do it again, but on the other hand, it was such a special moment for me that I am not sure that it can be duplicated. I guess we’ll just have to see what happens when the moment occurs.”

Vandergriff will be trying to win his second career race and improve his position in the points standings at the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals, Sept. 20-23. Joining Vandergriff as defending winners are Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Michael Phillips (Pro Stock Motorcycle). The race, which is the second of six playoff races in the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship, will be televised on ESPN2HD.

It will be the first time that Vandergriff will take on a new title that he’s always dreamed about.

“After such a long career being able to hear ‘defending champion’ all weekend is going to be pretty exciting,” Vandergriff said. “It’s also a home race for my sponsor and were going to have over 500 guests this year, so it’s really going to be a great weekend for our team.”

Vandergriff, who has been racing in NHRA Top Fuel competition since 1994, says he will always cherish that special day at the Motorplex.

“Definitely having my family members there,” Vandergriff said. “My wife and son were there to greet me as well as my father (Bob Sr.). He has been there for this team since the beginning in any way our team has needed help, so to have him there to share in the win was great. The only downside was that the CEO from C&J (Josh Comstock) who is a huge supporter of our program had a family emergency and had to leave halfway through the race and missed the celebration, as well as my two daughters, Ashley and Sydney, who have been there for a lot of their dad’s losses couldn’t share in our win because of school being in session. Hopefully we can get another win soon that they can be part of it.”

This season Vandergriff survived a gut-check at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals to qualify for the Countdown to the Championship, holding off Clay Millican and Khalid alBalooshi for the final playoff spot in Top Fuel. A semifinal finish at Houston and a season-best qualifying position of third at the season-opening Winternationals are the highlights for his team this season. In the first playoff start at Charlotte he advanced to the second round and moved up to ninth in the standings. He hopes to continue to build on his team’s recent progress at the Texas Motorplex.

“I feel fortunate to have an opportunity to resurrect our season,” Vandergriff said. “We got pretty lost in our direction midway through the season and pretty much limped into the Countdown, but our car has been returning to form the last two races and really started to fly again in Indy, so I’m very excited about being granted a ‘mulligan.’ We’ve already seen a back of the pack qualifier win the championship in the Countdown, so with our car’s performance returning, I’m really looking forward to the last five races.”

Other pre-race favorites in Top Fuel include playoff top seed Antron Brown, Doug Kalitta, Massey, new points leader Schumacher, Morgan Lucas, recent Charlotte winner Shawn Langdon and Steve Torrence.

In Funny Car, former Motorplex winner Ron Capps leads the way following his win at Charlotte, followed by Auto Club Ford Mustang driver Robert Hight, Charlotte runner-up Mike Neff, rookie sensation Courtney Force, and her father, John Force, a seven-time winner at the Motorplex. The NHRA Traxxas Shootout for Funny Car also will be held on Saturday and will award $100,000 to the winning driver in the eight-car specialty all-star race.

Allen Johnson is the top seed in Pro Stock for the playoffs, and hot on his heels are defending world champ and Charlotte winner Jason Line, four-time champ Greg Anderson and three-time season winner Erica Enders, a native of Houston.

The Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team of top seed and defending world champ Eddie Krawiec and three-time world champ Andrew Hines won all 10 races during the regular season and Hines opened the playoffs at Charlotte with a win. They are looking to continue their domination of the two-wheel class throughout the playoffs and will be challenged by Hector Arana Jr. and Hector Arana Sr. on the Lucas Oil Buells, in addition to Karen Stoffer, Scotty Pollacheck and LE Tonglet.

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27th ANNUAL AAA TEXAS NHRA FALL NATIONALS FAN-TASTIC PRE-EVENT PARTY FACT SHEET

September 14, 2012 by  
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WHAT: The only thing better than watching the best racers in the world roar down the Texas Motorplex is having a party to kick off the 27th AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals! That’s exactly what we have lined up for NHRA fans, Sept. 20 at Celebration Station (4040 Towne Crossing Blvd, Mesquite, TX 75150).

NHRA drivers and racers will be on hand for an official autograph session. The first 100 fans through the line will receive a FREE wristband for unlimited rides (go-karts, bumper boats and a round of miniature golf) AND pizza buffet. Raffle for prizes, ticket packages and other gifts will be announced every 10 minutes and fans will have a chance to play with and against NHRA pro racers and DJs from The Fan radio.

The 27th annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals is a featured playoff event held at Texas Motorplex every year in Ennis, Texas. The Motorplex is an all-concrete quarter-mile drag racing facility that opened in 1986, becoming the first super-stadium built specifically for drag racing. The Motorplex has hosted national event racing since 1986 and has been the site of record-breaking passes, championship-clinching performances and jaw-dropping performances.

WHERE: The Pre-event party will be held at Celebration Station:
4040 Towne Crossing Blvd, Mesquite, TX 75150
WHEN: September 20, 2012
FOR FANS: The first 100 NHRA race fans to line up for professional racer autographs will also receive a FREE wristband, good for unlimited rides (go-karts, bumper boats and a round of miniature golf) and pizza buffet. Fans coming in after the first FREE 100 will get unlimited games band and pizza buffet for just $15.
VIP ROOM: For VIP guests, there will be a VIP room with food and beverages provided, along with TV with racing highlights and a video game room with the NHRA drag racing game.
SCHEDULE: 2-7 p.m.: The RAGE broadcast with Greggo and Richie from 105. 3 FM The Fan radio.
5:30-7:30 p.m.: NHRA professional racer autographs; raffles for prizes and ticket packages, games with racers and DJs and more! We will have fans and racers/DJs compete against each other in paintball, go-karts, laser tag and more.
CONTACT: Texas Motorplex: (972) 878-2641, (800) MOTORPLEX or www.texasmotorplex.com or www.celebrationstation.com
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MASTER SERGEANT ERIKA L. STEVENS WILL SING NATIONAL ANTHEM AT AAA TEXAS NHRA FALL NATIONALS

September 13, 2012 by  
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ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 13, 2012) – Texas native and Air Force Master Sergeant Erika L. Stevens will be performing the United States of America national anthem at the 27th annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals, Sunday, Sept. 23.

The NHRA national event is the second of six playoff events on the NHRA Full Throttle series schedule. Opening ceremonies for final eliminations begins with racer introductions and ends with Stevens singing the anthem before two 8,000 horsepower Top Fuel dragsters prepare to blaze down the all-concrete racing surface in a win-or-go-home battle.

“Master Sergeant Stevens has an amazing voice and we are honored she can bring her talent and honor America in front of the best race fans in Texas,” Texas Motorplex President and GM, Gabrielle Stevenson, said. “Many of our fans are past or current members of the military and this is a great way to kick off the final day of racing while recognizing how privileged we are to be able to hold these feature events for our fans.”

Stevens is a native Texan and graduate of Abilene Christian, where she studied music as a voice major.

After spending eight years of active service stationed at Kessler Air Force Base and Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, Stevens relocated to Dallas in 1997 and joined the 531st Air Force Band of the Texas Air National Guard where she currently serves as a vocalist at the rank of Master Sergeant (E-7).

In the summer of 2007, Stevens was selected to tour the Middle East performing morale concerts for the troops fighting in the Iraq war. More recently, Stevens was selected by Major League Baseball to perform “God Bless America” during Game 4 of the 2011 World Series.

Texas Motorplex was the first all-concrete stadium-style drag racing facility ever constructed. Built in 1986, Texas Motorplex has been the place of many drag racing milestones and world record performances. The Billy Meyer-owned facility hosts a number of racing and car show events between March and November each year and also features the Champion’s Club – an 11,000 square-foot facility – that serves fully catered events throughout the year.

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For event information or tickets please call 972-878-2641
or 1-800-MOTORPLEX (1-800-668-6775)