Fifteen-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force and three-time NHRA Top Fuel champ Larry Dixon have been announced as two of 11 finalists for the Economaki Champion of Champions award. The winner of the award, presented by National Speed Sport News, will be announced in its year-end issue due Dec. 15.
“This is a huge honor. Anytime your name is mentioned along with a name like Economaki, that is a big deal,” said Force. “I am excited to be nominated with Larry Dixon. I know he had a great season, so did Jimmie Johnson, who just won his fifth NASCAR championship in a row. I saw Jimmie in Homestead, and I wished him luck before the race. He is a great champion, and when you look at the list of finalists, National Speed Sport News has a tough call to make. I am glad they are making the decision and not me,” said Force.
The award is annually given to the North American racing champion judged to have had the best season on and off the track. It is named after legendary motorsports journalist and publisher Chris Economaki, who began editing National Speed Sport News in 1950. National Speed Sport News is often and accurately described as “the bible of motorsports.” It is a weekly must-read for serious fans, drivers, and crew, and industry leaders alike.
The NSSN staff selected 11 deserving finalists for this year’s honor, which goes to the champion who is judged to provide the best combination of on-track success and dedication to the sport.
NASCAR 2010 Sprint Cup champion Johnson is the only former winner of the award nominated this season. NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher is the only two-time winner of the honor; other winners are J.J. Yeley, Steve Kinser, Donny Schatz, and Kyle Busch.
The other eight finalists are Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas (Grand Am Rolex Series), Tim Shaffer (O’Reilly All Star Circuit of Champions), Jason Meyers (World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series), Scott Bloomquist (Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series), Dario Franchitti (Izod IndyCar Series), Levi Jones (USAC Sprint Car, Silver Crown Series), Bryan Clauson (USAC Mopar National Midget Series), and Chip Ganassi (Izod IndyCar, NASCAR, Grand Am).
Spencer Massey, the 2009 NHRA rookie of the year, will join Don Schumacher Racing to drive the Prestone/Fram Top Fuel dragster for the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and provide a three-driver challenge for the championship.
According to Schumacher, the addition of Massey gives his Top Fuel program three legitimate candidates for a championship in the coming season. Massey strengthens a potent DSR program that features Tony Schumacher, seven-time world champion in the U.S. Army dragster, and Antron Brown, who finished fourth in 2010 driving the Matco Tools dragster.
“Spencer is one of the most talented young Top Fuel drivers and a perfect addition to DSR,” said Schumacher. “We expect him to battle Tony and Antron for the 2011 championship from the first race and to be a great representative for the Honeywell team of Fram, Prestone, and Autolite.”
In his inaugural NHRA nitro campaign, the Fort Worth, Texas, native won two national events in 2009 (Chicago and the second Las Vegas race) on his way to a sixth-place Top Fuel finish and receiving the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award.
“This is a great opportunity,” said the 28-year-old. “I got hooked on nitro and tire smoke as a kid; growing up in Texas, Eddie Hill was my idol.”
His father worked on friends’ dragsters as Massey hung around the shop, learning whatever he could about the cars. He eventually worked for his own friends and moved up to crew for Scott Palmer’s NHRA Top Fuel team (2001-03), Ashley Force Hood’s Top Alcohol Dragster (2004), and Morgan Lucas’ Top Alcohol Dragster (2005).
Massey began his driving career as a 13-year-old in Jr. Dragster, then progressed through local bracket racing into Top Alcohol Dragster (2006-08) and IHRA Top Fuel, in which he won the 2008 championship (including four victories in five final rounds at 10 events).
His 2009 NHRA team shuttered its operation following the season, leaving Massey without a ride, so he spent this season competing in IHRA Top Fuel match races and looking for an NHRA nitro ride.
“This is a great opportunity,” he said. “I am driving for a drag racing legend in Don Schumacher on a team with an incredible list of accomplishments. I know I can learn a lot from teammates like Tony and Antron, and just being around them will make me better.
“And I am representing legendary names in automotive products – Fram, Prestone, and Autolite, names which I intend to put on display in the winner’s circle on a regular basis.”
Thank you for making 2010 another great season of championship drag racing at Texas Motorplex. We want to extend our thanks and appreciation to our fans and supporters by offering a special sale now through Dec. 15. Click here to take advantage of this offer now.
Thank you for making Texas Motorplex one of the best race tracks in the country. Check our website for 2011 feature event dates, our newly extended bracket program race schedule and more! You should also expect a ticket renewal offer for the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals coming in the mail soon! Stay tuned and thanks again for a great 2010!
2010 NHRA South Central Division Year End Awards
Once again it is time for you to vote for your year end award winners. You as a racer will be able to vote for the people that you feel to be most deserving of each and every award. The process will be fairly easy. You will see a list of candidates for most all awards while others are a write in award. At the end of all of the nominees you will see the ballot. On the ballot you will have to type in who you want to win each award and on the write in blocks you will have to enter who you think is deserving of that award. Once you have completed that ballot you will hit “Vote Now!” and a copy of your ballot will be sent to my e-mail and I will tabulate the winners. Each racer can only vote one time and we will check to see that “ballot stuffing” is not taking place. For each nomination you are welcome to vote for anyone you would like even if that person is not listed on our list. Our list is just possible winners not the complete list. Voting ends on December 17, 2010 and late votes will not be counted.
For the Nominees and to vote please visit http://www.nhradiv4.com/apcm/templates/divnews.asp?articleid=17410&zoneid=19
New Event at New England Dragway Added to Northeast Division; Event returns to South Georgia Motorsports Park in Southeast Division
GLENDORA, Calif. (Nov. 13, 2010) – NHRA released its 2011 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series schedule today, which features 41 events, with a minimum of five races conducted in each of NHRA’s seven divisions and four series specialty events.
The 2011 schedule also includes the addition of a new event July 22-24 at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H. in the Northeast Division.
NHRA Lucas Oil Series drivers in seven categories compete for valuable points leading to divisional and national championships and a share of the $561,000 purse. The series also includes three sportsman-focused national events: the JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals in Belle Rose, La.; the JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals in Fontana, Calif.; and the JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals in Columbus, Ohio.
The 2011 season marks the 10th year of Lucas Oil’s support of NHRA sportsman racers in a partnership that extends through 2012.
Headlined by the powerful Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car classes, the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series allows racers to compete for a championship close to home. Other categories that compete in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series are Comp Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock Eliminator, Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street. Some divisions also opt to run additional categories, including Top Sportsman, Top Dragster and the Sportsman Motorcycle Series presented by Harley-Davidson.
“We are extremely proud to be involved with the dedicated racers who compete each weekend in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series,” said Forrest Lucas, owner and CEO of Lucas Oil Products. “We can’t wait to start another successful and memorable racing season.”
Bonus programs available to competitors in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series include the $100,000 JEGS Allstars, the NHRA Perfectly Strange Performance Award, in which a total of $45,000 is up for grabs throughout, and the Sportsman Motorcycle Series presented by Harley Davidson. Individual divisions may also have additional bonus programs available to racers.
Some prominent graduates of the NHRA Lucas Oil Series who have gone on to successful careers in the NHRA Full Throttle Series include Brandon Bernstein, Morgan Lucas, Shawn Langdon, Ashley Force Hood, and Jeg Coughlin.
Headquartered in Corona, Calif., Lucas Oil Products was founded in 1989 by Forrest and Charlotte Lucas. Through innovative product research and development, along with aggressive marketing programs, Lucas Oil has established itself as one of the fastest-growing lubrication product lines in the consumer automotive aftermarket. The Lucas Oil product line features engine oils, greases, gear lubes and problem-solving additives for everyday cars and trucks. In addition, Lucas Oil continues to be directly involved in the American racing industry at all levels through multiple vehicle sponsorships and racing events. More information on Lucas Oil Products can be found by visiting www.LucasOil.com.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA has 80,000 members and 140 member tracks worldwide. As the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States, NHRA presents 23 national events through its NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. Two NHRA-sanctioned bracket racing series provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels: the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers the Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 8 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
2011 NHRA LUCAS OIL DRAG RACING SERIES SCHEDULE
May 27-29 Maple Grove Raceway Reading, Pa.
July 1-3 Lebanon Valley Dragway West Lebanon, N.Y.
July 22-24 New England Dragway Eping, N.H.
Aug. 5-7 Atco Raceway Atco, N.J.
Aug. 19-21 Cecil County Dragway Rising Sun, Md.
Sept. 9-11 Old Bridge Township Raceway Park Englishtown, N.J.
Feb. 11-13 Bradenton Motorsports Park Bradenton, Fla.
Feb. 18-20 Gainesville Raceway Gainesville, Fla.
March 4-6 South Georgia Motorsports Park Cecil, Ga.
May 20-22 Atlanta Dragway Commerce, Ga.
Oct. 14-16 Silver Dollar Raceway Reynolds, Ga.
NORTH CENTRAL DIVISION
April 29-May 1 O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis Indianapolis
May 13-15 Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park Norwalk, Ohio
June 10-12 Route 66 Raceway Joliet, Ill.
July 22-24 National Trail Raceway Columbus, Ohio
July 30-31 Mid-Michigan Motorplex* Stanton, Mich.
Aug. 26-28 Beech Bend Raceway Park Bowling Green, Ky.
SOUTH CENTRAL DIVISION
March 4-6 Houston Raceway Park Baytown, Texas
April 15-17 Texas Motorplex Ennis, Texas
May 27-29 No Problem Raceway Belle Rose, La.
June 10-12 Tulsa Raceway Park Tulsa, Okla.
Sept. 16-18 Houston Raceway Park Baytown, Texas
Oct. 7-9 Thunder Valley Raceway Park Noble, Okla.
WEST CENTRAL DIVISION
April 13-15 SRCA Dragstrip Great Bend, Kan.
May 27-29 Brainerd International Raceway Brainerd, Minn.
June 17-19 Bandimere Speedway Morrison, Colo.
Aug. 12-13 Cordova Raceway Park Cordova, Ill.
Aug. 26-27 Heartland Park Topeka Topeka, Kan.
Sept. 9-11 Tri-State Raceway Earlville, Iowa
April 29-May 1 Firebird Raceway * Boise, Idaho
May 27-29 Mission Raceway Mission, B.C.
June 17-19 Spokane County Raceway Spokane, Ore.
July 15-17 Woodburn Dragstrip Woodburn, Ore.
Aug. 19-21 Pacific Raceways Seattle, Wash.
Sept.10-11 Champion Raceway Eagle Point, Ore.
Feb. 18-20 Firebird International Raceway Chandler, Ariz.
May 20-22 Auto Club Famoso Raceway Bakersfield, Calif.
June 10-12 Top Gun Raceway Fallon, Nev.
July 22-24 Infineon Raceway* Sonoma, Calif.
Oct. 7-9 Southwestern International Raceway Tucson, Ariz.
Nov. 4-6 The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Las Vegas
NHRA LUCAS OIL SERIES SPECIAL EVENTS
March 18-20 JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals * Belle Rose, La.
May 13-15 JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals* Fontana, Calif.
June 9 JEGS Allstars Joliet, Ill.
Sept. 23-25 JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals * Columbus, Ohio
* Top Alcohol classes not contested