Bill Stephens hosts NHRA’s Greatest Races
Take a step down memory lane as NHRA, in cooperation with longtime announcer, television commentator, and author Bill Stephens, relives the great history of NHRA’s most memorable events in a 13-week series entitled NHRA’s Greatest Races presented by ProCare Rx. NHRA’s Greatest Races airs each Sunday at 11:30 a.m. in all time zones for 13 consecutive weeks on Fox Sports Net. The first show aired Sunday, Jan. 3.
“This is a project I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” said Stephens. “Back in the 1970s and 1980s, I was that guy sitting on his couch every weekend watching tape-delayed telecasts of NHRA national events.”
NHRA’s Greatest Races has been produced to preserve and present the great history and tradition of NHRA and its greatest heroes of the time period, focusing on the people, personalities, and their performances. The 30-minute shows highlight key stories from NHRA national event television coverage from 1972 to 1999, featuring the original race call and commentary of the legendary broadcast team of Dave McClelland and the late Steve Evans. The original footage has been selected from NHRA’s extensive video library, much of which hasn’t been broadcast for decades.
The shows also feature recent interviews with many of the drivers spotlighted in the races, who reflect on their memorable performances, along with historical commentary and personal observations from longtime NHRA announcer Bob Frey.
The series is sponsored by ProCare Rx and produced by Stephens’ production company, Ultimate Garage Productions Inc. Each episode will be on DVD and available exclusively online at www.nhradvd.com.
Shirley Muldowney, far lane, defeated Lucille Lee in the first all-female Top Fuel final at the 1982 Springnationals, one of the featured Greatest Races.
The schedule includes the 1982 NHRA Springnationals at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio, where NHRA’s first all-female Top Fuel final round was contested between three-time world champion Shirley Muldowney and Lucille Lee; the 1978 Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, featuring the dramatic Funny Car final round between Don “the Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen shortly after McEwen’s teenage son passed away from leukemia; and the 1984 NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, where Joe Amato unveiled an enormous rear wing on his Top Fuel dragster that revolutionized the performance capabilities in that category.
NHRA’s Greatest Races will reach two audiences: the longtime fans of the sport who want to relive the great history of NHRA’s most memorable events that haven’t been seen for many years and the new generation of fans who never got to see the legends of the sport race each other.
“I think anyone who watches this series and is a true drag racing fan will get goosebumps seeing the old footage and so many legendary stars racing head to head at the peak of their careers,” said Stephens.
39 Days remain to renew tickets for the 25th Annual O’Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals
Time is flying by, there are only 39 days left until the 2010 O’Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals ticket renewal deadline. Renewing your tickets is the only way that you can guarantee that you will have the same great seats that you had in 2009 for this years event celebrating 25 years of NHRA Drag racing at the Texas Motorplex on September 23-26, 2010.
Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Angie Smith will race a full schedule on the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series tour aboard Karl and Kim Klement’s Buell thanks to sponsorship from Coffman Tank Trucks. Smith’s husband, former NHRA Pro Stock Bike champion Matt Smith, will build the team’s engines and oversee the program from the crew chief role.
“I really excited about this,” said Smith, better known to fans as Angie McBride before her marriage to Smith early this year. “This is the first opportunity I’ve ever had to race fulltime. This has been my dream and now it’s coming true. It’s probably the biggest Christmas present I’ve ever gotten.”
Thanks to the sponsorship with Coffman, the Klement Racing team will be ample availability to test as well as conduct research and development programs.
“We are going to have a good program and I feel like we have a team that will perform well,” Smith added. “Our biggest goal is to get in the top ten this year and we feel like we have a team that legitimately to do that.”
“We have a fantastic deal for 2010,” Klement agreed. “I am really excited. The game plan is to win a championship. This will be my third full-time year and with the program that I have with Matt building the engines and Angie riding, is capable of winning a national event at any track on the tour. She just needed some support behind her and with Coffman Tank Trucks, I feel confident that we have got what it takes to get the job done.
Coffman Tank Trucks is owned by J.D. and Terrisa Coffman, former bracket racers who had a working relationship with Klement and attended the NHRA Fall Nationals this September in Dallas.
“I hope this develops into a long term deal because Karl and I have become close friends with everyone,” said Coffman. “We’re looking forward to it.”
Recently, Frank Hawley, founder and instructor of Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School, was invited to speak to a group of NASA employees of the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
The offer to conduct a lecture was extended to Hawley after Chip Kroll, a NASA engineer, attended a Super Class at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School’s Gainesville, Fla., location in June.
In his free time, Kroll races the Friday Night Street program at Houston Raceway Park in Texas, and he attended Frank Hawley’s class while working to acquire his NHRA license. After the lecture, he decided the topic may be appropriate for colleagues at work and approached management about how to invite Hawley to talk to them.
Once the offer was extended to Hawley, he graciously accepted and plans were made for his trip to Texas.
On Dec. 10, Hawley spoke to a room of approximately 90 attendees, made up mostly from the Avionics Systems Division.
“To me, there are numerous similarities to the extremely fast decisions that need to be made by folks who hold highly technical positions and those of drag racers,” Hawley said. “Many of the same things I teach to my students during a Super Class were conveyed during my lecture for the NASA employees, with maybe a little more emphasis on items that would apply to the general population. Everyone deals with stress in their lives. Some, of course, have a lot more than others. If you work in an environment where you may be challenged with making critical decisions, it can help to have a better understanding of your own human performance capabilities and develop methods with which you can train yourself to handle these situations more efficiently.”
The trip was not Hawley’s first time visiting a NASA facility, but it was his first time being invited for a speaking engagement.
“I am a huge fan of the space program and the folks who make it happen. I have photos of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo rockets in my office,” said Hawley. “On a clear day in Florida, you can see the shuttle launch from the track in Gainesville. We have even stopped classes for a few minutes to watch it. The chance to spend time with these folks at this facility was a great experience.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed my entire visit to Johnson Space Center,” he added. “During my time there, I was pleased to be able to share with them the things I’ve learned throughout my career. It was a very enlightening experience for me, and I sincerely look forward to any opportunities to return in the future.”
Kansas City (Dec. 15, 2009) – If you think the months of December and January are for taking time off and vacation, think again. The new owners of the Super Chevy Show series couldn’t be busier. One of the top priorities is arranging a feature category for each of the 10 national events featured on the 30th anniversary season in 2010.
While each of the 10 national events will have some consistency in the type and caliber of entertainment on and off the race track and car show stage, there will be room for local interpretation on what the feature category will be at each venue. The owners of each Super Chevy Show series event has the ability to provide one major feature category – a task they are taking seriously. Each track wants to give fans and participants something exciting, especially in the 30th anniversary of the Super Chevy Show series.
Bill Bader, owner of Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio and host of the June 12-13 event, has already booked the nostalgic Fuel-Altered race cars to feature his Super Chevy Show.
“We are going to have the period-correct, short-wheel base cars from the 1960s that fans love,” Bader said. “They run on nearly 100 percent nitro methane and they are ill-handling cars that travel at speeds topping 230 mph. They are really neat old cars and they need a home because they don’t appear in any other sanctioning body or series.
“We are going to have the Pure Heaven car, the Rat Trap and other fan-favorites and hopefully we can build a future with them in the Super Chevy Show series because they are great nitro-burning cars that add an exciting element to the racing portion of the weekend.”
Firebird International Raceway will feature Nostalgic Funny Cars when the Super Chevy Show rolls into Phoenix for the season finale event, Oct. 23-24. Firebird’s Charlie Allen said he wants to have this particular nitro-burning race car during the weekend to give fans a taste of speed and history.
“Every track owner is excited about finding their unique feature to the Super Chevy Show series,” Allen said. “We are going to have the nostalgic Funny Cars because the nitro coupes run in the five-second range, they burn nitro and they represent a great era of racing.
“These Funny Cars are unique and appeal to all kinds of race fans and car enthusiasts. The Super Chevy Show is going to be quite an event for us in 2010.”
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.