Jupiter, Fla. (January 13, 2010) – Palm Beach International Raceway has seen some stellar times posted as the NHRA teams are at the facility testing for the upcoming 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Ideal weather conditions and a smooth concrete surface are definitely benefitting the teams as they perfect their tune-ups.
Testing has shown that the season long rivalry between Al-Anabi Racing and Don Schumacher Racing last year is still alive and well. Yesterday the Al-Anabi Top Fuel car of Larry Dixon posted a 3.767 ET (elapsed time) at 322 mph. Early in the test season on Wednesday, Larry Dixon posted another stellar run with a 3.763 ET. Tony Schumacher bested him early Wednesday with a 3.759 ET at 318 mph. He followed that up later in the day with a 3.753 ET at 322.88 mph.
A few of the drivers discussed the off season, the test at PBIR and their expectations for the 2010 season.
Tony Schumacher, driver of the Don Schumacher Racing U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
On the test session at PBIR: “It’s great. It’s way better than what we normally get. Generally speaking when we show up at Phoenix we’ve got to run side by side with other cars and we only get to run when they want us to run, and we’re testing, that’s not how we want to do it. We come down to a place like this, it’s an amazing facility. It’s just as nice as any of the other tracks that we race on and we get to fast.
Expectations for the 2010 season: “There will be good battles. There’s about 10 good cars out there that are going to battle every weekend. It’s what you show up for. No one out here is showing up for an easy battle, we’re all showing up to dig deep and to battle it out.”
Morgan Lucas, driver of the Morgan Lucas Racing Geico Powersports Top Fuel Dragster
On the test session at PBIR: “Now that we’re into our second day of testing I’m really, really impressed with the facility here. The security and personnel here are very nice, the surface of the track is very smooth and it’s got a lot of grip. We’re running as good of times that we ran at any point last year and it gives you a lot of confidence going into the season. It’s nice to go somewhere where you can trust what you’re going to have and know that you’re going to learn something and address it. You never want to go into a race season, especially one 23 races long with your tail between your legs wondering what’s really going to happen when you get there.”
Expectations for 2010: “Our main goals are just to go out and minimize first round losses. That’s what we did last year and we ended up winning a few races out of that. You have to put yourself in a position to win and we’re going to have to pick up our performance a little bit to keep up with the Schumacher’s and the Alan Johnson cars, they’re running over 320 mph right now at 1,000 ft. and that’s very impressive. That’s something we’re trying to pick up on and get that extra ET out of these cars. Getting these cars on the track, being more consistent and not making mistakes to beat ourselves, that’s really what we’re looking at. Hopefully we can go out there and finish top 5 this year and chase the championship and put ourselves in those good spots, that’s what we’re all about.”
Cory McClenathan, driver of the Don Schumacher Racing FRAM Top Fuel Dragster
On the test session at PBIR: “We’re really happy. We knew last year after we came to PBIR that we were not going to go to Phoenix or Vegas, we were just going to come here and wrap it all up in a weeks’ time. We made sure that Alan Johnson and all of the other teams, and everyone at DSR, really wanted to do this. We knew that in a years time the track would be that much better, and we’ve definitely proved that. We’ve ran a 3.77 ET now at 321 mph, it’s just right off the tick at being record runs. So we know that this is what we’re looking for. I think we’ll be very comfortable testing through Thursday and be able to leave here and go to Pomona and go racing.”
Expectations for 2010: “The only thing I want to do is finish three spots better than I did last year. That would be the key thing. It’s one thing that NHRA has done, the point system, and what happens there has really changed things. It’s made it a real driver’s game and it’s made it good for the fans. To go into Pomona and know that you have a shot at the championship and end up fourth was a little bit alarming for me. But if you don’t have that shot at it, where’s all the drama at? I want to see it where we are and it’s exciting that way. We’re back with a fresh paint job and a whole new attitude and we’re looking forward to it.”
Ron Capps, driver of the Don Schumacher Racing NAPA Auto Parts Funny Car
On testing at PBIR: “It’s going great. Last year was our first time here at PBIR and we enjoyed it so much. We had such a good time last year and the people were so good to us at the track that we would rather just spend our whole time down here getting ready for Pomona and that way the guys have time to go back to Indianapolis and get everything ready and then take the trucks and go to Pomona. Last year we were low ET for most of the test session, we’d just love to have a race here. I just ran a 4.10 ET and I shut it off early and it was on a good run. The track is great, the people are great and the best part about it is the group of cars that are here. It’s a small enough group that you’re not waiting long to run and it’s all teams that you don’t have to worry about strange things happening to the surface of the track. All in all it’s been great, you look around the pit area and everyone’s smiling.”
Expectations for 2010: “Last year when we left here I was pretty confident. We went to Pomona and we won, went to Phoenix and we won, and I feel the same way right now. (Crew chief) Ed McCulloch is the best. He’s got his game face on already and we just got here. He’s relaxed and he’s excited about pushing the limits on our car and the NAPA guys have two brand new cars ready to run.
30 days remain until the ticket renewal deadline for the 25th Annual O’Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals. Renew the same seats that you held in 2009 for 2010′s power packed celebration of 25 years of drag racing at the Texas Motorplex that you do not want to miss.
You can renew by phone by calling 800-MOTORPLEX (800-668-6775), visiting TexasMotorplex.com or by clicking here.
Kansas City (Jan. 12, 2010) – The Super Chevy Show series hired Tom Kreager as General Manager, it was announced today by the ownership group, SCSW, Inc.
In a series that will be celebrating its 30th anniversary of drag racing, car shows, swap meets and collector cars for sale, Kreager will be responsible for the development and growth of the series as well as ensuring uniformity at each of the 10 national events.
“We are celebrating a milestone anniversary with the Super Chevy Show this year and there will be significant changes that will go along with the new ownership group while maintaining the heart of a series that has cultivated loyal fans across the nation for 30 years,” Kreager said. “We are working on enhancing the shows, bringing new faces into the series and making sure it becomes a premier event at each of the host tracks.”
SCSW, Inc. board of director’s President John Bandimere Jr., said hiring Kreager was an easy decision.
“Tom has all the tools needed by this strong group of owners,” Bandimere said. “We have 10 facilities on the schedule that are used to making major decisions every day and we needed someone that every track could trust. We wanted everyone to be confident in working with the series GM so we can all build up the Super Chevy Show series together. Tom has the background and experience working with major sanctioning bodies that will help him successfully do the job. He’s a strong addition to the series.”
Kreager has been involved with racing for more than 25 years, working with racing sanctioning bodies including NHRA, IHRA and AMA. He also will be working closely with Forward Sports Marketing on sponsor development and services.
“I have always admired the Super Chevy Show series and wanted to be part of it,” Kreager said. “I believe this is a great opportunity to make a good product even better and I’m confident we will do that starting this year. There is a lot of talent working on the events right now and I’m excited to put my experience as a series director to work and make some big contributions to the series.”
Racers, car show participants, fans, vendors and sponsors can call 800-692-6230 for more information on the Super Chevy Show series or go online at www.superchevyshow.com for details on 2010′s 30th anniversary season.
NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle rider David Hope has signed a major sponsorship agreement with Brian Bozsum and Mohegan Sun Racing for the full 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season.
“The talks of a partnership with Hope and Hammock started a few weeks ago after coming to the realization that we would not be able to run with Matt Guidera until Indy of this year due to the unforeseen circumstances that occurred last year,” said Bozsum. “It’s truly an unfortunate situation to be involved with, considering how successful the team was and the friendships that we all forged during the past couple of years.”
Bozsum continued, “Mohegan Sun Racing wants to have a continued presence in the NHRA, and David Hope and John Hammock will be able to provide that. My wife and I look forward to the 2010 season with much enthusiasm, and we’re very proud to be associated with David and John. We’ve known John Hammock, Vroom team owner, since we hit the NHRA in 2005 and have always considered him a very good friend.
“We’re looking forward to starting the same relationship with David and his family. David seems to have such a great presence at the track and has done some great things to bring awareness to the struggles with breast cancer. Good things happen to good people, and this is a great example of it.
“We’re looking forward to a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship that will not only pay significant dividends on the racetrack but also make the Mohegan Sun/Vroom Racing team one of the top teams in 2010.”
Hope will debut the Mohegan Sun/Vroom Racing Buell March 11-14 at the 41st annual NHRA Gatornationals season opener for the Pro Stock Motorcycles in Gainesville.
Situated on 240 acres along the Thames River in scenic southeastern Connecticut, Mohegan Sun, owned by the Mohegan Tribe, is one of the largest and most distinctive and spectacular entertainment, gaming, shopping, and meeting destinations in the United States.
Team NHRA had its best showing ever in the annual Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen Engineering Sunday with rookie competitor Melanie Troxel earning the gold medal at the charity event.
Fellow drag racer Jeg Coughlin Jr. was just .07-seconds back of Troxel’s two-run combined time of 1:39.33 seconds, bringing home silver in his JEGS.com bobsled with a 1:39.40. NASCAR road race specialist and multi-time Challenge winner Boris Said ended up third, filling out the podium with a 1:39.69.
In the second contest of the day, the NASCAR vs. NHRA showdown, Troxel once again shined, blazing through the NHRA side of the ladder before taking runner-up honors behind NASCAR rookie of the year Joey Logano, 49.81 to 50.07.
“I’m shocked,” said Troxel, the first woman to ever compete in the event. “That final (gold medal) run didn’t even feel that fast. It seemed like I hit the walls a lot, but I guess it was quick enough to win. There was definitely some beginner’s luck on my side today.
“I sure came a long way in a few days. At first I was getting so much advice and it didn’t even make sense to me but as the weekend went along I started understanding what they were telling me and what areas of the track they were talking about. I think driving my R2B2 Voodoo Corvette was probably some pretty good training because those Pro Mod cars are right on the edge also.
“The whole atmosphere of this event and the fact we’re helping our Olympic athletes go for the gold with these ‘Made in America’ bobsleds from the Bo-Dyn Project makes it so special. It’s been a real honor to be here.”
Top Fuel teammates Shawn Langdon and Morgan Lucas finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the first race with combined times of 1:40.12 and 1:40.32. Langdon, the driver of the Lucas Oil/MAV TV Top Fuel dragster, was competing in his first Lucas Oil Bobsled Challenge.
Lucas, who usually drives the GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster, is the most tenured member of Team NHRA, having competed in the race four times overall. The defending event champion, Lucas reached the semifinals in the NASCAR vs. NHRA Challenge but lost to Troxel by .02 seconds, 50.12 to 50.14.
Pro Stock racer Coughlin had the fastest pass of the event, reaching 102.62 kilometers per hour on the 20-turn Olympic course on Mount Van Hoevenberg. His two runs of 49.31 and 50.09 seconds in the first event looked smooth, although the five-time world champion said he could have been quicker.
“I skidded through a few of the lower turns in both runs and that scrubbed off a bit of speed,” he said. “But I’m really pleased with this result. Two years ago I came in third here and got the bronze. Now I’ve got a silver medal to go with it so we’ve improved and that’s exciting. I guess I need to come back and get a gold to finish the set.
“What Geoff Bodine has done for bobsledding is phenomenal and this event is not only a lot of fun but it’s something that just makes you feel great. I’m excited to go up to the Olympic Games in Vancouver next month with Team USA and watch them on the world’s biggest stage. We all wish them the very best.”
NASCAR legend Bodine conceived the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project more than a decade ago after watching U.S. athletes struggle to compete with old, used sleds from their European rivals. Bodine contracted racecar designer Bob Cuneo of Chassis Dynamics in Oxford, Conn., to create “Made-in-America” bobsleds for the United States men’s and women’s national teams. Since switching to Bo-Dyn sleds, U.S. athletes have risen to the top of the sport, winning multiple Olympic and World Cup medals in both two-man and four-man competition.
Official results of timed Olympic-style race:
1:39.33 Melanie Troxel
1:39.40 Jeg Coughlin Jr.
1:39.69 Boris Said
1:39.82 Todd Bodine
1:40.12 Shawn Langdon
1:40.32 Morgan Lucas
1:40.40 Joey Logano
1:40.53 Phillip Morris
1:40.97 George Brunnhoelzl III
1:41.19 Carl Renezeder
Official results of NASCAR vs. NHRA Challenge:
Round 1: Logano 50.00 defeats Said 50.03; Lucas DNF beats Renezeder DNF (better incrementals)
Round 2: Logano 49.70 defeats Bodine 50.12; Troxel 50.12 defeats Lucas 50.14
Final round: Logano 49.81 defeats Troxel 50.07
Coughlin quickest member of Team NHRA at Bobsled Challenge (1/19/2010)
12 drivers set for Bodine Bobsled Challenge (1/4/2010)
The field is set, and the weather is forecast to be quintessential Adirondack in January.
With ample snow, a typical chill in the air, and the 30th anniversary of the 1980 Winter Olympics just a month away, Lake Placid will present a Currier & Ives winter scene Jan. 8-10 to the 12 drivers from NHRA and NASCAR who will converge on the two-time Winter Olympics village for the fifth annual Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen Engineering.
The daring dozen will leave their comfort zones and drive modified bobsleds down the three-quarter-mile, 16-turn Mount Van Hoevenberg track, site of the 2000 Winter Goodwill Games as well as the 2003 and 2009 World Bobsled Championships.
NHRA will be represented by Top Fuel drivers Morgan Lucas, Shawn Langdon, and Melanie Troxel and Pro Stock standout Jeg Coughlin Jr. Joey Logano, the 2009 NASCAR rookie of the year, and road racer Boris Said, who has been the dominant performer at the previous four challenges, also will be in the field. Other competitors are Geoff Bodine, named one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers; two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Randy LaJoie; 2009 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified champion George Brunnhoelzl III; 2009 NASCAR Whelen All American Series driver Philip Morris; off-road racer Carl Renezeder; and past NASCAR champion Todd Bodine, younger brother of Geoff and Brett Bodine.
The competitors will have practice sessions Friday, Jan. 8, at 2:30; practice and qualification Saturday, Jan. 9, beginning at 9 a.m.; and a pair of races, including the NASCAR versus NHRA head-to-head confrontation, Sunday, Jan.10, at 10 a.m.; pre-race festivities will commence at 9 a.m.
Though the goal for any race car driver is to win, the mission of the event is to create awareness and greater funding for the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project Inc. Bodine, winner of the 1986 Daytona 500, joined forces with auto racing designer Bob Cuneo of Chassis Dynamics in Oxford, Conn., to create made-in-America bobsleds for the United States men’s and women’s national teams.
Since 2002, the Bo-Dyn effort has produced one Olympic gold medal (Jill Bakken), two silver medals (Todd Hays and Shauna Rohbock), and a bronze (Brian Shimer). Additionally, U.S. team member Steve Holcomb ended a 50-year world championship drought when he drove his four-man Bo-Dyn sled to the world title in Lake Placid last February.
The men’s and women’s squads have claimed numerous World Cup medals this season — five gold medals among them — in the run-up to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. With the help of Bo-Dyn technology, the team is poised to end a 62-year gold medal drought in the Winter Olympics.
The Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project Inc. graciously accepts and appreciates support of its made-in-America efforts. To make a donation, log on to www.bodinebobsled.com.
Tickets are available for the gala banquet and auction Saturday night at the Lake Placid Crowne Plaza Resort. To purchase, log on to http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase.