CHARLOTTE, N.C. – NHRA officials announced today that the continuation of eliminations for the Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals, round one of the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs, will be completed during qualifying rounds at next weekend’s AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas.
Three rounds of racing remain for both Top Fuel and Funny Car and all rounds remain for Pro Stock Motorcycle. Four pairs of Pro Stock cars also need to complete their first round runs.
Persistent rain showers moved into the Charlotte area on Sunday afternoon and halted racing after only the first round in Top Fuel and Funny Car had been completed. Four pairs of cars in Pro Stock had finished and the rain began to fall just as the NHRA Safety Safari was cleaning up the racing surface following a crash during Pro Stock eliminations.
In Pro Stock racing, Shane Gray, Jeg Coughlin, Jason Line and V. Gaines all won their opening rounds. Gaines, whose Dodge Dart went out of control and crashed past the finish line in his round win over Allen Johnson, was uninjured in the incident and he will be allowed to use a replacement car for the continuation of eliminations. Four first-round Pro Stock pairs remain, including Erica Enders-Stevens vs. John Gaydosh; Jonathan Gray vs. Rodger Brogdon; Vincent Nobile vs. Larry Morgan; and Dave Connolly vs. Shane Tucker.
Top Fuel quarterfinal pairings are J.R. Todd vs. Spencer Massey; Billy Torrence vs. Tony Schumacher; Steve Torrence vs. Leah Pritchett; and Morgan Lucas vs. Khalid alBalooshi. The quarterfinal pairings in Funny Car are Dave Richards vs. John Force; Bob Tasca vs. Ron Capps; Robert Hight vs. Jeff Arend; and Matt Hagan vs. Tim Wilkerson.
With one round of pro nitro eliminations complete, fans attending today’s event at zMAX Dragway are entitled to a 50-percent credit for a one-day ticket to either NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at zMAX Dragway in 2015.
ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 15, 2014) – Kebin Kinsley’s new Top Fuel dragster, sponsored by Gas Monkey Garage, will be unveiled at the first-ever PreStage Fan Fest in downtown Ennis on Sept. 17.
Fans will get their first look at Kinsley’s new ride at the PreStage event, which takes place the day before Texas Motorplex hosts the 29th annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals, the second playoff race in the Countdown to the Championship.
In partnership with the city of Ennis, Texas Motorplex is giving its fans even more to look forward to and enjoy with the PreStage Fan Fest, which will feature a number of special events.
Dallas-based Gas Monkey Garage, owned by well-known television host Richard Rawlings, is sponsoring the Hennen Motorsports Top Fuel dragster, driven by Kinsley, at the AAA Texas Fall Nationals, the debut event for the team. Robert Hight, Chris McGaha and other stars of NHRA drag racing will be on site to meet fans.
Both professional and sportsman drivers will be on hand, meeting fans and signing autographs, while many will also have their cars there. Fans can also enjoy live music from Heather Roberts, TRRR Music Award’s Female Vocalist of the Year, plenty of food and a live remote from The Ranch. A beer garden also will be available.
The Fan Fest, which is free, takes place from 5-10 p.m. Streets in the McKinney/Knox area of Downtown Ennis will be blocked off so fans will be able to take full advantage of all the activities.
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.
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.
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!”
TWO-TIME FUNNY CAR WORLD CHAMP CRUZ PEDREGON READY TO FLIP COUNTDOWN SWITCH DURING AAA TEXAS NHRA FALLNATIONALS
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.
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.
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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
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.
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.
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
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or at (217) 345-6537