TEXAS MOTORPLEX WILL GIVE OUT FREE OLD SCHOOL SHOWDOWN TICKETS AT DALLAS AUTORAMA, FEB. 15-17 AT DALLAS MARKET HALL

February 4, 2013 by  
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AutoRamaENNIS, Texas (Feb. 5, 2013) – Texas Motorplex will once again be on display inside the O’Reilly Auto Parts booth, handing out prizes and free tickets during next week’s Dallas Autorama, Feb. 15-17, at Dallas Market Hall.

The Autorama features the finest in Hot Rods, custom vehicles, trucks, motorcycles and entertainment for the entire family.

The Motorplex staff will be on hand, with the prize wheel, giving out free tickets to the April 20 Old School Showdown specialty event during the NHRA Lucas Oil Divisionals.

Come spin the wheel to win prizes, check out the stunt shows, burnout contests and much more during the three-day Autorama.

The 2013 Texas Motorplex season is right around the corner, so come by and say hello and grab an events schedule to plan on being at the Motorplex for the best car shows, racing and concerts in 2013.

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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McNEAL, CARLSON LEAD SUMMIT RACE OF CHAMPION WINNERS

October 7, 2012 by  
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ENNIS, Texas – In the final results for the Race of Champions competition at Texas Motorplex and the NHRA South Central Division Summit Racing Series Division Finals Jacob McNeal and Jody Carlson took home wins in the Electronics and Non-Electronics classes.

McNeal, Gilmer, Texas, driving an ’05 dragster beat Kevin Henery with a near perfect 5.001 second pass on his 5.00 dial. Henery, Prairieville, La., was 4.715 on a 4.70 dial in his loosing efforts in his ’08 dragster.

Carlson went 6.822 seconds at 102.49 mph in a ’87 Camaro to take the trophy home to Krum, Texas. Carlson used a startingline advantage to win over Gray Metcalf, Lubbock, Texas, in his ’74 Duster clocking in at 6.843, 98.84 mph.

In the High School class it was Watagua, Texas, racer Ryan Gleghorn winning over Zack Marinez out of Houston. Gleghorn went 10.336 seconds in his ’05 Chevy truck to Martinez quicker 8.548 in his ’65 Chevelle.

Kris Gassaway, Norman, Okla., joined in with a win in the Gambler No-Electronics race . Gassaway’s ’92 Mustang clocked in at 6.374, 108.73 to beat Chad Sandlin, Burleson, Texas.

RACE OF CHAMPIONS
ELECTRONICS
Jacob McNeal, Gilmer, Texas, ’05 dragster, 5.001, 135.52 def. Kevin Henery, Prairieville, La, ’08 dragster, 4.715, 145.45

NON ELECTRONICS
Jody Carlson, Krum, Texas, ’87 Camaro, 6.822, 102.49 def. Gary Metcalf, Lubbock, Texas, ‘74 Duster, 6.843, 98.84

HIGH SCHOOL
Ryan Gleghorn, Watagua, Texas, ‘05 Chev P/U, 10.336, 69.05 def. Zack Martinez, Houston, ’65 Chevelle, 8.548, 79.78

GAMBLER NON-ELECTRONICS
Kris Gassaway, Norman, Okla., ‘92 Mustang, 6.374, 108.73 def. Chad Sandlin, Burleson, Texas, ‘85 Chevy, 6.809, 100.61

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FUNNY CAR DRIVER WILKERSON ON THE MOVE IN FULL THROTTLE COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP AS NHRA PLAYOFFS MOVE TO GATEWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK

September 24, 2012 by  
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MADISON, Ill. — In the span of three races Tim Wilkerson has moved five spots upward in the NHRA Funny Car points standings. That’s how quickly things can change in the fast-paced world of the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s six-race playoffs.

Wilkerson pulled an against-all-odds move at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals just to qualify for the playoffs. At the two opening rounds of the Countdown, the driver-tuner of the Levi Ray & Shoup Shelby Ford Mustang has maneuvered his way from 10th to seventh in the standings.

He hopes to continue that forward trend at his “home” race this weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park, which is officially returning to the NHRA schedule with the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, Sept. 28-30. The race, round No. 3 in the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship, will be televised on ESPN2HD.

At the playoff-opener in Charlotte two weeks ago Wilkerson grabbed the No. 1 qualifying position and advanced to the quarterfinals. He qualified second in Dallas and advanced to the quarters once again. Wilkerson feels some confidence heading home to St. Louis, a track where he’s had success in the past.

“I’m not sure we know how our past success will work here this time around,” Wilkerson said. “We’ve never raced here at the end of September before, so it’s going to be different. Seems like the St. Louis race was always one of those blistering hot deals, and we all remember the year they had to flood the track just to cool it off, so we’re all dealing with a blank page when it comes to this late-September thing. For us, though, you can’t help but feel the support and the good mojo our Wilk’s Warriors bring with them. You can feel that, for sure.”

Wilkerson, who lives about 90 miles north of the Gateway Motorsports Park in Springfield, Ill., will certainly entertain plenty of his Wilk’s Warriors as well as associates and guests of his sponsor Levi Ray & Shoup over the weekend. He is hoping for a bit of a home-field advantage and that’s always a plus for any team during the post-season.

“I call it more of a semi-home game,” Wilkerson said. “It hurt to lose this track but it’s great to have it back, and now that it’s a fall race it’s part of the playoffs, and that’s very cool. Like any racer who has a “home game” will tell you, the whole being-close-to-home thing is a double-edged sword. It’s great to have so many friends and backers around, but you also spend a lot of time answering calls for tickets and sorting all of that out. It’s all good though. It’s an easy road trip for my wife Krista and me.”

Wilkerson knows that he’ll need to grab a win at Gateway if he wants to keep trending upward in the standings. Series points leader Ron Capps has had two strong playoff races as well in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger. Other drivers who are standing in Wilkerson’s way are second place Mike Neff, who won at Indy and was runner-up in Charlotte, Snap-on Tools Toyota driver and two-time world champ Cruz Pedregon, Robert Hight, who drives the Auto Club Ford Mustang and Dallas top qualifier Courtney Force, 24-year-old rookie driver of the Traxxas Ford Mustang.

If anything, Wilkerson can draw inspiration from Hight, who won the world championship in 2009 from a 10th place starting spot in the playoffs.

“We have nothing to lose,” Wilkerson said. “We got in on the last day and we got in 10th. Worst we can do is 10th, so we’ll just keep the hammer down and we’ll keep going for it. We’ve gone from barely getting in 10th, to moving up to 9th, and now to 7th place as we get ready for Gateway, so at least we’re trending in a positive direction.”

In Top Fuel, playoff top seed Antron Brown charged back to the top of the standings with a victory in Dallas and is tied with Spencer Massey for the points lead. Seven-time world champ Tony Schumacher is 24-points back in third and the suddenly surging Shawn Langdon, who won the playoff-opener in Charlotte, is fourth overall in his Al-Anabi Racing dragster, 41 back of the leaders.

Allen Johnson raced to victory in Dallas in Pro Stock and takes a 93-point lead to St. Louis over defending world champion Jason Line. A couple of young drivers, Dallas runner-up and three-time season winner Erica Enders and Charlotte No. 1 qualifier and two-time season winner Vincent Nobile, are showing that they are both ready to claim a post-season victory. You can never count out past world champs Greg Anderson , Mike Edwards and Jeg Coughlin in the 200-mph factory hot rod category.

The Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson duo of Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines are still at the top of the Pro Stock Motorcycle standings, but Michael Ray broke their streak of victories in Dallas when he claimed his first career victory. Ray moved to fourth in the standings on his Viper Motorcycle Company Buell, just behind Hector Arana Jr., who was the top qualifier in Texas on his Lucas Oil Buell.

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Short Day for Team Patrόn

September 24, 2012 by  
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Ennis, Texas (September 23, 2012) —On the final day of the 27th Annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals, Funny Car driver Alexis DeJoria, who is celebrating her one year anniversary of getting behind the wheel of her Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrόn Toyota Camry, encountered a challenging learning experience in the first round of eliminations today, and handled it like a pro.

Rookie driver DeJoria, the eighth qualifier, went into round one with the advantage of lane choice over veteran driver, number nine qualifier Bob Tasca. On a sweltering Texas day, DeJoria and Team Patrόn were ‘back of the pack’ in the race pairings, and had to wait and watch seven pairs of Funny Cars go down the track as the temperatures climbed and the track surface continued to heat up.

“It was going to be a good run for both of us, as we were somewhat even in qualifying,” said DeJoria, who will be celebrating her 35th birthday tomorrow. Instead, both cars had issues and struggled throughout the run, resulting in what is commonly referred to as a ‘pedalfest.’

“The run seemed good at first, but we broke the tires loose at around mid-track. I pedaled it pretty good, but it broke loose again, and then I saw him pull pass me. It finally hooked up at the very end, but it wasn’t quick enough, and he was able to take the win. It was unfortunate to be out early, but it was definitely my best pedaling job as of yet- and in the heat, no less, so I’m happy about that, and pleased with how I handled the car. It was a good experience for me- every run I make is a learning experience. Even though I’ve been racing [as a Funny car driver] for a year now, there are always new things that are going to come up that you have to experience and learn how to manage. ”

“I talked to Del [Worsham, crew chief] after the run and he said that there was nothing wrong with the tune-up and it shouldn’t have done that, so our team is hard at work right now combing through the car to figure out where the issue lies. Our Tequila Patrόn Toyota Camry is solid, and my guys are doing a great job. I feel very confident in our team, and I’m ready to get right back out there in just a few days in St. Louis and race again!”

The Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrόn Toyota Camry Funny Car team competes next at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals in Madison, IL, September 28th-30th.

TV Schedule
Eliminations
September 23rd, 8:30PM-11:30PM EST
ESPN2

About Alexis DeJoria
Alexis DeJoria, daughter of the famed John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and proud owner of Tequila Patrόn, is a professional NHRA race car driver, competing in the Nitro Funny Car class on the Kalitta Motorsports team. She is their second Nitro Funny Car driver and fourth member of the team. Alexis drives a Tequila Patrόn-sponsored 2012 Toyota Camry.

Alexis had a successful career in the Top Alcohol Funny Car category where she co-owned and operated her team, and was one of the few females ever to do so. She left the TAFC category holding the title of Top Female Top Alcohol Funny Car Racer and 2011 NHRA Northwest Nationals TAFC event champion. She is the 2nd woman ever to win a TAFC race. She is currently the female world record holder for the fastest and quickest TAFC speeds. Alexis is also well-known for her infamous 2009 Englishtown, NJ crash.

Alexis, who had all the opportunity in the world to pursue any type of career, felt strongly about following her passion, and her need for adrenaline drove her to pursue the unlikely profession of auto-racing. The determination to ‘blaze her own trail’ continues to drive her and push her to higher levels in male dominated sport of drag racing.

About Kalitta Motorsports
Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. The team was founded and is owned by drag racing icon Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. For more than 50 years, Connie has been involved in the sport as a driver, tuner, and an owner. Kalitta Motorsports is one of the most successful teams in the history of auto racing with five world championships and over 50 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.

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Brown, Tasca, Johnson, Ray collect Dallas wins

September 24, 2012 by  
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Antron Brown raced to the Top Fuel victory Sunday at the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at the famed all-concrete Texas Motorplex near Dallas.

Bob Tasca III (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock), and Michael Ray (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners at the second of six playoff events in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship.

Brown claimed his fifth victory of the season and moved into a tie for the points lead with the driver he beat in the final round, teammate Spencer Massey. Brown powered his Matco Tools dragster to a 3.898-second run at 311.49 mph to hold off Massey’s FRAM dragster, which finished with a 3.945 at 300.60.

“This is definitely the way to rebound,” said Brown, the playoff top seed who dropped to fourth in the standings after a first-round loss at the playoff opener last weekend in Charlotte. “I have to give credit to my team for sticking together. We were winning in the first round in Charlotte when we broke an input shaft. It’s so easy to get down after something like that. We came here, and the car was throwing us fits by being overaggressive. Brian [Corradi] and Mark [Oswald, co-crew chiefs] kept backing it off until they got a good handle on it in the semi’s.”

Brown and Massey lead seven-time world champ Tony Schumacher by 24 points and the suddenly surging Shawn Langdon is 41 back as the playoff race in the 8,000-horsepower category gets intense.

“In that final, we had to give it everything we had against the FRAM car,” said Brown, who beat three Countdown contenders — David Grubnic, Langdon, and Morgan Lucas — in the first three rounds. “We edged them, and it felt really good to win and to tie them in the points lead. We have four races left, and it’s going to be a slugfest to the end. Everybody’s throwing haymakers. It’s an all-out battle royal right now.”

Funny Car featured a final-round battle between two drivers who aren’t in the Countdown playoffs; Tasca prevailed in a tire-smoking final round duel with defending world champ Matt Hagan. Both cars lost traction near midtrack, but Tasca was able to guide his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Shelby Ford Mustang to the finish line in front of Hagan’s Aaron’s/Mopar Dodge Charger.

“This weekend just kind of epitomized our whole season, just keep fighting,” Tasca said. “We went through three motors. The guys haven’t worked this hard all year, but to put Motorcraft and Ford in the winner’s circle where they belong, I tell you, is long overdue for our team. We just kept fighting. Marc [Denner] and Chris [Cunningham, crew chiefs] just pulled together and got this car back on track. It wasn’t pretty. Trust me, there was some driving that had to be done out there, but we got it done. We got a win, and hopefully, this is the momentum we need to finish the year strong.”

Tasca outran Alexis DeJoria, top qualifier Courtney Force, and defending event winner Cruz Pedregon to advance to the final round. Tasca was very proud of his team’s effort in taking out two top Countdown contenders and claiming the team’s first victory of the season and fourth of his career.

“We have as much fight now, and I think we’re more determined now than ever before,” Tasca said. “Not making the top 10 was a lot of heartache for the guys on this team. I said to my team, ‘This will be a defining six races because I want to see what we’re all made of, me included. Are we going to roll over and play dead these next six races, or are we going to come out with some fire in us and take this thing to Pomona and let everyone know that we may not be in this year but watch out next year.’ I think this weekend was a defining weekend for our team because we fought through some tough rounds, three motor changes in four rounds in this heat, and we put ourselves in a position to win. I did my job, and we’re leaving with the trophy.”

Series leader Ron Capps, who lost to Hagan in the semifinals, increased his Countdown playoff lead to 96 over second-place Mike Neff, who lost in the second round to Pedregon. Saturday’s Traxxas Nitro Shootout winner, John Force, lost in the first round to Hagan.

Johnson earned his fifth Pro Stock victory of the season and first in the Countdown playoffs by outrunning local favorite Erica Enders in the final round. Johnson’s Team Mopar Dodge Avenger pulled away at the start and finished with a 6.598 at 210.93, while Enders’ GK Motorsports Chevy Cobalt slowed to a 6.835 at 209.39.

“The Mopar Dodge Avenger was consistent,” Johnson said. “It was low in all four qualifying rounds, low in two of four rounds today, and got the job done. We’ve got a great crew that makes great decisions. We’ve got great power from Dad [Roy Johnson] and the guys at the engine shop. The driver, fortunately, did his job.”

Johnson outran “the Professor” Warren Johnson, Charlotte winner Dave Connolly, and the ultra-quick Vincent Nobile in the first three rounds. With the win, Johnson increased his points lead to 93 over defending world champ Jason Line.

“I looked at the elimination ladder last night and thought, ‘Oh, my, I’m going to have to work for this one,’ ” Johnson said. “We just took it one round at a time without getting ahead of ourselves. Somebody who’s won several championships called me before this thing ever started and told me, ‘Just enjoy it, and have fun.’ That advice was very important. I’m up for this challenge, and I’m enjoying it.”

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Texas native Ray claimed his first career victory, powering his Viper Motorcycle Company/GottSpeed Racing Buell to a performance of 6.920 at 192.77 to hold off Karen Stoffer’s GEICO Suzuki, which trailed with a 7.028 at 190.48.

“It’s really surreal, and I don’t think it’s really sank in yet that I’m getting to go home with the biggest thing that I’ve worked my whole life for,” Ray said. “When we got here this weekend, we knew we had a great bike that could go out there and be competitive, coming off our performance in Charlotte. I just knew that as long as I just kept my cool and rode the bike consistently there’s not a better tuner out here when it’s hot than Matt Smith, and I think we showcased that today.”

Ray, who beat Scotty Pollacheck, Hector Arana Jr., and Andrew Hines to advance to his second career final round, moved from seventh to fourth in the standings with the victory. Points leader Eddie Krawiec increased his championship lead to 11 over second-place Hines.

“I think there’s no better time than now to start a run at [the championship],” Ray said. “I don’t think there’s any better team on Sunday to be consistent than our bike. I think if I’m sitting here answering questions in Reading my response might be a little bit different, but right now, I just want to go out and be consistent and then let the points shake out where they’re supposed to.”

The NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship playoffs continues with the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, Sept. 28-30, at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis.

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