GLENDORA, Calif. (Jan. 9, 2015) — NHRA announced today that competitors in the Top Dragster and Top Sportsman classes will compete for NHRA National Championships beginning in 2015. Both season champions will be awarded with NHRA National Champion’s Wally trophies along with National Championship rings and jackets.
The two classes will be contested at 14 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series national events across the country, as well as the three NHRA JEGS SPORTSnationals events and at all NHRA Lucas Drag Racing Series divisional events. To earn NHRA National Championships, drivers in both classes will count their best three of their first five national events, and their best five of their first eight divisional events. The JEGS SPORTSnationals events will be counted as national events, with competitors earning national event points.
The six-second, 200 mph race cars featured in both classes have continued to increase in popularity and participation. The addition of three new events in 2015 will include the Route 66 NHRA Nationals near Chicago, which also plays host to the JEGS Allstars.
“We’ve seen the two categories grow since 2002 with the introduction of Top Sportsman and 2005 with Top Dragster,” said Josh Peterson, NHRA vice president of racing administration. “Recognizing an NHRA National Champion in Top Sportsman and Top Dragster is the next step as interest by racers, sponsors and fans continues to grow.”
Class field sizes will not change as a 32-car field will be contested at all national events, including the three JEGS SPORTSnationals, and at Lucas Oil divisional events in divisions 1-5. Divisions 6 and 7 will continue to contest 48-car fields with the final Lucas Oil divisional event of the year held at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosting a 64-car field.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Street program and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway 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.
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES RETURNS TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TO OPEN 2015 SEASON WITH CIRCLE K NHRA WINTERNATIONALS
POMONA, Calif. — The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will kick-off another season in sunny Southern California with the tradition-rich Circle K NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 5-8, at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Celebrating its 55th running, the iconic season-opener has always been on the top of every NHRA driver’s list of dream races to win on the Mello Yello circuit. Drag racing’s biggest names have reigned supreme at the facility located at the L.A. Fairplex, also home to the Los Angeles County Fair.
The best in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock will once again attempt to get off to a lightning quick start at one of drag racing’s most revered events. Khalid alBalooshi (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) were last year’s winners of the race that will once again be televised nationally on ESPN2.
In Top Fuel, reigning world champion Tony Schumacher will be looking to defend his crown. Schumacher, an eight-time world champion, will once again pilot the U.S. Army dragster for Don Schumacher Racing in 2015. He closed the 2014 season in style with victories at three of the six Countdown to the Championship events and clinched the championship during qualifying of the season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals in November. Schumacher is a two-time winner of the Circle K NHRA Winternationals.
Former world champions Antron Brown and Larry Dixon, as well as top category challengers J.R. Todd, Spencer Massey, Doug Kalitta, 2014 NHRA rookie of the year Richie Crampton and category newcomer Dave Connolly, will all be racing fast to prevent Schumacher from adding to his category-leading win total and winning another series crown.
In Funny Car, Virginia cattle rancher Matt Hagan claimed his second world championship at the season-ending race last season, dethroning 16-time world champion John Force. Hagan, who won his first championship in 2011, will return to the controls of his 10,000 horsepower Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger for Don Schumacher Racing. He was the Winternationals runner-up last season event and is a two-time defending winner of the NHRA Finals at Pomona. He is looking for his first victory at the Circle K NHRA Winternationals.
The Force-Hagan rivalry has been intense the last few seasons with both competing for the world championship and finishing first and second two seasons in a row. Fans are being treated to a Funny Car rivalry that is poised to enter the legendary status of the Force-Cruz Pedregon rivalry of the 1990s.
Force is not resting on his laurels however. He is determined to win his 17th championship and will be looking to repeat his season-opening win. He will be joined by Tommy Johnson Jr., teammate and daughter Courtney Force and teammate Robert Hight in their attempt to wrestle the championship away from Hagan.
In Pro Stock, Erica Enders-Stevens reigned supreme in one of the most exciting championship battles ever, defeating Jason Line in a winner-take-all final side-by-side race of the year to claim her first world championship. Enders-Stevens, who became the first female Pro Stock champion and third female to win a title in the NHRA professional ranks, returns in her Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro and will be looking to add a win at the season-opening event to her collection of 12 career victories.
Line, a two-time world champion, is the defending and three-time winner of the Winternationals. Past world champ Allen Johnson and Gray Motorsports teammates Shane Gray and Jonathan Gray will all figure to be major factors in both the Circle K NHRA Winternationals and the 2015 championship hunt.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and enjoy some cherished face time and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.
Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.
The event will also feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying begins Friday, Feb. 6, with sessions at 12:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, Feb. 7, at 12:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 8.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit www.NHRATIX.com. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.
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CIRCLE K NHRA WINTERNATIONALS FACT SHEET
WHAT: 55th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals, the first of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Drivers in three categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock – earn points leading to 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships.
WHERE: Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Pomona, Calif. Track is located off I-10 at Fairplex Drive. Go north on Fairplex drive.
WHEN: Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 5-8
THURSDAY, Feb. 5 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying
FRIDAY, Feb. 6 – LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, Feb. 7 – LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.
SUNDAY, Feb. 8 – Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 8, ESPN2 will televise qualifying coverage. Please check local listing for time.
Sunday, Feb. 9, ESPN will televise eliminations coverage. Please check local listing for time.
2014 EVENT WINNERS: Khalid alBalooshi, Top Fuel; John Force, Funny Car; Jason Line, Pro Stock
MOST VICTORIES: John Force, FC – 7; Bob Glidden, PS – 7; Greg Anderson, PS- 5; Don Garlits, TF- 5; Warren Johnson, PS – 5; Don Prudhomme, TF/FC – 5; Larry Dixon, TF- 4
Top Fuel – 3.704 sec. Morgan Lucas, Nov. ’14 and 330.15 mph by Doug Kalitta, Feb. ’14
Funny Car – 3.965 sec. and 324.12 by John Force, Feb. ‘14
Pro Stock – 6.480 sec. and 213.67 mph by Erica Enders-Stevens, Nov. ’14
Top Fuel – 3.701 sec. by Antron Brown, Oct. ‘12, Reading, Pa.; 332.18 mph by Spencer Massey, April ’12, Charlotte, N.C.
Funny Car – 3.965 sec. and 324.12 mph by John Force, Feb. ’14, Pomona, Calif.
Pro Stock – 6.464 sec. and 215.55 mph by Erica Enders-Stevens, May ‘14, Englishtown N.J.
TICKETS: For tickets call (800) 884-NHRA (6472). Tickets also available online at www.NHRATIX.com.
ORIGINAL PARTS GROUP RETURNS AS SUPER CHEVY SHOW SPONSOR FOR 2015 WITH FEATURE SEGMENT ON VELOCITY’S SUPER CHEVY SHOW PROGRAM
DECEMBER 10, 2014 – Longtime sponsor of the Super Chevy Show presented by Chevrolet Performance, Original Parts Group (OPGI) will return for the 2015 season and is ramping up the partnership by adding a feature segment on the new Super Chevy Show program on Velocity scheduled to air in October.
Each episode of the Super Chevy Show will feature the “OPGI Original Award” segment that will highlight a selected Chevelle or local Chevelle car club from each of the 12 Super Chevy Show events.
“We are thrilled to have Original Parts Group give our Chevelle enthusiasts a chance to have their cars featured on Velocity this upcoming season,” said Sara Griewing, Manufacturers Series Director
We know the hard work it takes to get a car ready for a show and we’re looking forward to seeing all the online submissions for the special OPGI Original Award and to present the special trophy to commemorate the victory and display the months between the event and when the episode airs”
To be considered for the OPGI Original Award feature segment at one of the 12 Super Chevy Show events, Chevelle owners and clubs will be required to submit an online application in advance. Online entries will be accepted for the 2015 season in January at www.superchevyshow.com. Winners will be contacted in advance and must be in attendance of the selected event in order to be eligible.
“Here at OPGI, we are proud of our long-standing participation in the premier national event for millions of Chevrolet enthusiasts. Offering something for everyone, from high-powered Chevy racing action to the best Bowtie show cars, the televised Super Chevy Show has become the best brand-specific event in the country” said OPGI Chief Operating Officer, Tony Genty.
In addition, OPGI will continue to support the Super Chevy Show by providing the participant goodie bags and other promotional items, as well as extend their tenure as the presenting sponsor of the Maple Grove Raceway (July 17-19) and Auto Club Famoso Raceway (November 7-8) events.
About Original Parts Group Inc.
Original Parts Group is the largest automotive restoration parts company in the United States. Original Parts Group has over 75,000 classic GM restoration parts and high performance accessories. They have the largest selection of Chevelle, El Camino, Monte Carlo, GTO, Le Mans, Tempest, Grand Prix, Bonneville, Catalina, Cutlass, 4-4-2, Skylark, GS, Riviera and Cadillac classic parts in the world. Dedication to research and development, product excellence, and outstanding customer service has helped us build this business into what it is today. Visit their web page at: www.opgi.com
About the Super Chevy Show
The Super Chevy Show tour is the premier national event for all Chevrolet enthusiasts offering something for everyone. From high-powered Chevy racing action to the spectacular show cars at the top NHRA and IHRA tracks across the country. The Series boasts one of the nation’s finest Performance & Restoration Midways for GM products, as well as a Swap Meet and Car Corral at most events. Kids are always welcome to take part in the free Revell Make ‘N Take activity each day to build their own model car to keep. The Super Chevy Show is widely considered the best brand-specific event in the country. For more information, visit: www.superchevyshow.com