Texas Performing Artist Kirk Baxley to Sing National Anthem at AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals

September 13, 2014 by  
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Texas Motorplex is honored to have Texas performing artist, Kirk Baxley, sing the National Anthem at the 2014 AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals!

Texas born and raised, Kirk Baxley sings about what life is like living in a small town. Kirk’s faith & his love for his family shine through his honest lyrics.

Kirk Baxley’s debut self-titled EP, on Built By Hand Records, is now available on iTunes. Kirk’s first statewide radio single, Badlands, is set to be debuted on all Texas Country radio stations on Mon. Sept. 29th. Please call and request his single.

In 2014, Kirk has shared the stage with:
John Anderson, Aaron Watson, Bart Crow, Cory Morrow, Kyle Park, Stoney LaRue, Charlie Robison, Jack Ingram, William Clark Green, Eric Paslay, Curtis Grimes, Zane Williams, Brandon Rhyder, The Damn Quails, JB & The Moonshine Band, Josh Grider, John Slaughter and more!

Quote from Aaron Watson about Kirk’s debut self-titled EP:
“It’s refreshing to hear a singer that’s actually a true artist. Kirk Baxley paints his own picture by pouring nothing but heart and soul into his songs. As a friend, I’m excited to see what the good Lord has in store for his career. This is some good stuff! Check it out!”

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TWO-TIME FUNNY CAR WORLD CHAMP CRUZ PEDREGON READY TO FLIP COUNTDOWN SWITCH DURING AAA TEXAS NHRA FALLNATIONALS

September 12, 2014 by  
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ENNIS, Texas — If taking momentum into the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship is an important factor in winning a world championship title, Funny Car standout Cruz Pedregon may not like his chances.

But if performing well under pressure and in big moments is just as important, then things may be lining up perfectly for Pedregon and his 10,000-horsepower Snap-on Tools Toyota Camry to make another run at a Funny Car title.

The two-time world champion hasn’t performed exactly the way he would’ve liked as of late. He heads into the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship in eighth place in the points standings. But he has consistently risen to the occasion during the NHRA’s six-race playoffs and that includes a win a year ago in Dallas. Pedregon will try to make it two straight at the 29th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, which takes place at the famed all-concrete Texas Motorplex, Sept. 18-21.

“We’ve been given a chance to reset all the points,” Pedregon said. “Whatever growing pains and challenges we’ve had, it’s all out the window. It’s kind of starting off like a second season for us, so that breathes new life into us. I think our team is ready for the challenge. I like this. This is crunch time. In the past years for some reason I do better when the pressure is on.”

Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also last year’s winners of the event that will once again be televised nationally on ESPN2. It marks the second of six races in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship and the second of four straight race weekends to kick off the NHRA playoffs.

Pedregon, who has finished in the top four each of the past three years, has six victories in 24 Countdown events, including wins at Dallas in 2013 and 2011. That late-season success in Dallas also bodes well for the fast start that Pedregon will need to open up the playoffs.

“The race track is challenging for a lot of teams but we’ve had success there,” said Pedregon, who has four wins and seven final round appearances. “I think the hot conditions favor certain cars and it must favor our car.”

Since a victory at Englishtown, Pedregon has not been able to replicate that winning performance in 2014, advancing to the semifinals just twice in the past nine races. Pedregon fell in the first round of the last two events leading into the Countdown, including the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, but he remains upbeat about how his team and car can perform down the stretch.

“I would assess our race team and race car as solid,” Pedregon said. “We’re ready to take what we’ve learned and apply it. We’ve had some ups and downs, but we’re in good shape. We have to keep our nose to the grindstone.”

But Pedregon also realizes that he needs to go rounds and pick up victories to claim a third world championship. Repeating his dramatic 2008 run to the championship, one that included three victories and four final round appearances in the Countdown, would be ideal, but it will be difficult against a star-studded Funny Car field headed by points leader and reigning world champion John Force.

Other championship contenders in the Countdown include two-time Dallas winners Del Worsham and Robert Hight, Courtney Force, Matt Hagan, U.S. Nationals winner Alexis DeJoria, Ron Capps, Tim Wilkerson and Tommy Johnson Jr.

That means nothing will come easy but Pedregon doesn’t expect anything different. He knows the arduous task facing him and as Pedregon, who has 35 career wins, has always done throughout a standout career he is embracing the challenge.

“We’re just going to approach each race and each round individually,” Pedregon said. “We’ll see where we stack up after the first race. We know we have to do better than we have the last few races if we even want to be a factor. We want to score as many points as we can and at some point you’re going to have to win lots of rounds.”

In Top Fuel, Kalitta has advanced to nine final rounds in 2014 and will be after a second straight Dallas victory, while the ultra-talented field also features Countdown qualifiers Tony Schumacher, who has five Dallas wins, Antron Brown, reigning world champion Shawn Langdon, Spencer Massey, Brittany Force, Khalid alBalooshi, U.S. Nationals winner Richie Crampton, Steve Torrence and J.R. Todd.

Line, last season’s Dallas winner in Pro Stock, took over the points lead after winning in Brainerd and is after his third career world championship. Line will try to thwart off challenges from a strong field that includes reigning world champion Jeg Coughlin, Allen Johnson, four-time 2014 winner Erica Enders-Stevens, Dave Connolly, V Gaines, Indy winner Shane Gray, rookie Jonathan Gray, Vincent Nobile and Texas resident Chris McGaha.

Krawiec and his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team has been the most consistent this season. Teammate Andrew Hines is the current points leader and Krawiec enters the Countdown off his first Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals win. Reigning world champ Matt Smith, Michael Ray, Angie Smith, Steve Johnson, Hector Arana, Hector Arana Jr. and Scotty Pollacheck are a few of the Pro Stock Motorcycle riders who will attempt to take home a Dallas victory.

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, Sept. 19, with sessions at 2:15 and 5:15 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, Sept. 20, at 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21.

To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call Texas Motorplex at (800) MOTORPLEX (668-6775) or visit www.texasmotorplex.com.  For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.

Before the NHRA Mello Yello Series arrives in Dallas for the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, the circuit will visit zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 12-14, for the Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals, the opening round of the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. Keep up with all the action on ESPN2.

* * *

 

AAA TEXAS NHRA FALLNATIONALS FACT SHEET

 

WHAT: 29th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, the 20th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and the second of six playoff races in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. Drivers in four categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – earn points leading to 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships.

 

WHERE: Texas Motorplex- Track is located at 7500 W. Highway 287 in Ennis, Texas.

 

WHEN: Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 18-21

 

SCHEDULE:     

THURSDAY, Sept. 18- LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying

 

FRIDAY, Sept. 19 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying and eliminations

MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 2:15 and 5:15 p.m.

 

SATURDAY, Sept. 20 – LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations

MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.

 

SUNDAY, Sept. 21 – Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.

MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.

 

TELEVISION:

Sunday, Sept. 21, ESPN2 will televise 90 minutes of qualifying highlights at 3:30 a.m. (ET).

Sunday, Sept. 21, ESPN2 will televise three hours of coverage starting at 8:30 p.m. (ET).

 

SATELLITE (Digital HD feed):      

Friday, Sept. 19, 9:30 – 10 p.m. (ET), AMC 9 / Transponder 03C

Saturday, Sept. 20, 6:30 – 7 p.m. (ET), AMC 9 / Transponder 03C

Sunday, Sept. 21, 7:30 – 8 p.m. (ET), AMC 9 / Transponder 03C

(3760 MHz, horizontal; Data Rate: 40.46147055 Mbp; Symbol Rate: 29.27 Ms; FEC: ¾; Bandwidth: 36 Mhz)

Video news release contains race action highlights each day and winners’ interviews on Sunday.

 

2013 EVENT WINNERS: Doug Kalitta, Top Fuel; Cruz Pedregon, Funny Car; Jason Line, Pro Stock; Eddie Krawiec, Pro Stock Motorcycle.

 

MOST VICTORIES:  John Force, FC, 7; Tony Schumacher, TF, 5; Warren Johnson, PS, 5; Cruz Pedregon, FC, 4; Greg Anderson, PS, 4.

 

TRACK RECORDS:            

Top Fuel – 3.767 sec. and 325.53 mph by Shawn Langdon, Sept. ’13

Funny Car – 4.052 sec. and 313.37 mph by Robert Hight, Sept. ’13

Pro Stock – 6.550 sec. and 211.99 mph by Allen Johnson, Sept. ’12

Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.828 sec. by Hector Arana Jr., Sept. ’11; 197.22 mph by Michael Phillips, Sept. ’11

NATIONAL RECORDS:    

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.

PS Motorcycle – 6.728 sec. by Andrew Hines, Oct. ’12, Reading, Pa.; 199.26 mph by Eddie Krawiec, March ’11, Gainesville, Fla.

TICKETS: For tickets call (800) MOTORPLEX (668-6775). Tickets also are available at www.texasmotorplex.com.

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Everyone Is Invited to DRAW’s Auction at the Texas Motorplex on Sept. 20

September 12, 2014 by  
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Everyone Is Invited to DRAW’s Auction at the Texas Motorplex on Sept. 20 

Fans and racers are welcome to enjoy a fun night for a special cause when the annual DRAW Auction takes place on Saturday (Sept. 20) beginning at 7 p.m. during the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas.

The Drag Racing Association of Women provides assistance to drivers and crew members injured in on-track drag racing accidents. The live auction will be held at Champion’s Club which is located between the suite tower and the staging lanes.

Several of the biggest stars of NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing regularly attend with bidding wars providing as much entertainment as their contributions provide help for fellow racers. Auction items include artwork, collectables, racing parts and much more and are available on www.drawonline.org or DRAW’s Facebook page.

For more information or to donate an item, please contact: Rosalee Noble: rnoble@consolidated.net or at (217) 345-6537

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COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP TOP SEEDS ALL HAVE FOUND SUCCESS AT LEGENDARY TEXAS MOTORPLEX

September 10, 2014 by  
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ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 9, 2014) – The field for the 2014 Countdown to the Championship is set and in less than two weeks the title battle will invade Texas Motorplex for the second race in the Countdown, the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals.
To no one’s surprise, the top seeds in each of the classes have experienced success at the all-concrete marvel in Ennis, which will make for plenty of exciting racing during next week’s Sept. 18-21 shootout.
Doug Kalitta comes into the 29th annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals as the top seed in the Top Fuel class and is also the race’s defending champion. It was at the 2013 event that Kalitta finally ended a 71-race draught by picking up what was his second career Wally at the Motorplex.
Joining Kalitta in the Top Fuel playoff race is Antron Brown, who is 30 points out of first place, 2013 Top Fuel Champion Shawn Langdon, 5-time Motorplex winner and Austin resident Tony Schumacher, Fort Worth resident and native Spencer Massey, Khalid Albalooshi, Richard Crampton, Brittany Force and J.R. Todd. Kalitta holds a 30-point advantage over Brown heading into the playoffs.
Other than Kalitta, only Schumacher, Brown and Todd, have found their way to winner’s circle at the Motorplex. Todd won Top Fuel in 2008 while Brown notched his first career pro win in Pro Stock Motorcycle at the Motorplex in 1999 and earned his first win at the Motorplex in Top Fuel in 2012.
Perennial winner and 16-time Funny Car champion John Force, a seven-time winner at Texas Motorplex, heads the FC field and is on a roll after making the finals the last six events.  Force enters the Countdown to the Championship with a 30-point advantage over teammate Robert Hight.  Also in the field is Ron Capps, Indy winner and Austin resident Alexis DeJoria, Tommy Johnson, Courtney Force, Matt Hagan, last year’s AAA Texas Fall Nationals winner Cruz Pedregon, Del Worsham and Tim Wilkerson.
Of the playoff contenders, Force, Pedregon (4), Hight (2), Worsham (2), Capps (1), Hagan (1) and Wilkerson (1) all have wins at Texas Motorplex on their resumes.
Jason Line, who made a big run toward the end of the regular season, enters the Countdown as the top seed in Pro Stock. He has two career wins at Texas Motorplex, including last year’s victory. Line is the only pro racer to earn two Texas cowboy hats in Winner’s Circle – a tradition started in 2010. Each pro and sportsman winner receives a specially sized, steamed and branded cowboy hat after the win – and only Line, so far, has two of them in his trophy case.
Erica Enders-Stevens is second, 30 points in arrears to Line, followed by Allen Johnson, 2013 category champ Jeg Coughlin, Dave Connolly, Shane Gray, Vincent Nobile, V Gaines, Odessa, Texas resident Chris McGaha and Jonathan Gray.
Connolly has a pair of wins at the Motorplex as does Gaines while Coughlin and Johnson both have one each.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Andrew Hines has a 30-point cushion, followed by defending AAA Texas Fall Nationals winner Eddie Krawiec, Hector Arana Jr., Hector Arana, John Hall, last year’s world champion Matt Smith, Michael Ray Jr., Scott Pollacheck, Angie Smith and Steve Johnson.
There has never been a double winner in Pro Stock Motorcycle at Texas Motorplex and that trend could continue this year as only Krawiec, Arana and Ray Jr. have notched victories at the Ennis track.

Tickets for the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals are still available, ranging from just $10 to $380 for weekend packages. Youth tickets for children 12 and under start as low as $5.   For tickets or more information, please call the Texas Motorplex office at (800) MOTORPLEX or visit www.texasmotorplex.com.

The first ever PreStage Fan Fest in Downtown Ennis will be held Wednesday, Sept. 17 between 5-10 p.m. with food trucks, music, driver appearances and more.

Gates open for the 29th annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 18 with sportsman qualifying runs between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Two rounds of professional qualifying, at 2:15 and 5:15 p.m., highlight the Friday, Sept. 19 schedule, along with sportsman qualifying throughout the day. Saturday, Sept. 20, is packed with sportsman eliminations and the final two rounds of professional qualifying at 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.

Gates open at 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, with pre-race ceremonies at 10 a.m. and final eliminations getting under way at 11 a.m.

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MASSEY STILL LOOKING TO GRAB FIRST WIN AT TEXAS MOTORPLEX

September 9, 2014 by  
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ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 16, 2014) – The first time Spencer Massey ever laid eyes on Texas Motorplex was also the first time NHRA drag racing fans saw it. That’s because Massey, who was all of 4 years old at the time, was at the iconic all-concrete track back in 1986 when it first opened.

Nearly three decades later, Massey, who hails from Texas, will return to his home track for the 29th edition of the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals Sept. 18-21, in hopes of picking up what would be his first-ever professional win at the track in the second race of the Countdown to the Championship.

“Obviously, it would mean a lot,” said Massey, who has already clinched a spot in the Countdown. “The first race I even went to was at Texas Motorplex, the first year they opened it. Every time I pull up there and look at the grandstands and at the track and I remember being 4 years old and thinking about racing right there and driving a Top Fuel car.

“And now I get a chance to do that. But I’ve never won there, not in Alcohol Dragster or Top Fuel and it’s such a huge race. I would love to finally get that Wally at Texas Motorplex and wear that cowboy hat they give to the winners.”

It goes without saying that Massey always has to come up with a few more tickets when the NHRA circuit hits Ennis.

“I have so many people there, just hanging out, just wanting to talk and not just about racing,” he said. “There’s always a lot of media there and friends and family and division racers and sportsman racers. They’re all there and that’s my second family.

“I miss going to that track. I wish we could race there twice a year. Every time I go there it’s special. (Owner) Billy Meyer knows what he’s doing with that race track. I’m really excited to get there and hopefully we can actually pull it off and walk away with a Wally.”

Like every driver with dreams of a NHRA championship on his mind, Massey is well aware that doing well in the early part of the Countdown is crucial to winning a title.

“The Countdown is made to make it very interesting,” he said. “To make it tight in the beginning so it can be anybody’s ballgame. So if you stumble, it hurts you bad. If you can motor right into the Countdown, you’re ready to go. You have to be the best of the best in the Countdown to win a championship.

“The Dallas event is right at the start of the Countdown so you really have to go rounds to stay in that top three or five. If you start falling behind it’s tough to catch up. This is a race where you really have to start laying the foundation for a championship run, and you really have to keep that momentum going.”

Tickets for the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals are available now, ranging from just $10 to $380 for weekend packages. Youth tickets for children 12 and under start as low as $5.   For tickets or more information, please call the Texas Motorplex office at (800) MOTORPLEX or visit www.texasmotorplex.com.

The first ever PreStage Fan Fest in Downtown Ennis will be held Wednesday, Sept. 17 between 5-10 p.m. with food trucks, music, driver appearances and more.

Gates open for the 29th annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 18 with sportsman qualifying runs between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Two rounds of professional qualifying, at 2:15 and 5:15 p.m., highlight the Friday, Sept. 19 schedule, along with sportsman qualifying throughout the day. Saturday, Sept. 20, is packed with sportsman eliminations and the final two rounds of professional qualifying at 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.

Gates open at 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, with pre-race ceremonies at 10 a.m. and final eliminations getting under way at 11 a.m.

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