The NHRA Full Throttle Series kicks off in 2012 with the 52nd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals, which is presented by Super Start Batteries. The exciting season opener will see new cars, teams, drivers and sponsors hitting the track.
Date: 9 to 12 February 2012
Venue: Auto Club Raceway at Pomona
Country: United States of America
The Auto Club Raceway, Pomona, was abuzz with excitement as the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series got underway. There were some concerns as the weather during the qualifying days was marked by intermittent rain, but it also allowed for teams to enjoy fierce competition in varying weather conditions, leading to much action and excitement. The four day event was enjoyed by both competitors and spectators, providing unexpected results and surprising outcomes that had everyone at the edges of their seats.
Fans in the stands were confident that last year’s two top drivers were going to make a huge impact on the series, but were greatly disappointed when both Larry Dixon and John Force fell out of contention in their respective categories. There are four main divisions in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, namely Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and PS Motorcycle. Over the course of the series, drivers gain points with each event that takes place throughout the year, allowing officials to determine who the top drivers of that year were. John Force was the champion of the Funny Car division last year, while Larry Dixon took the Top Fuel victory with ease.
With the first event of the series this year, John Force only got as far as the second round in the funny car eliminations, while Larry Dixon only made the top fuel first round. The top fuel event came down to the Lucas Oil drivers, Morgan Lucas (Son of Lucas Oil owner) and Shawn Langdon, who have been friends since school. When Lucas was asked about his victory, he commented: “I have never been in the points in Top Fuel before, and I don’t really even know how to feel right now.” Robert Hight (John Force’s son-in-law), put John Force out of contention, and went on to beat Matt Hagan in the finals for the Funny Car.
Jason Line, on the other hand, qualified eleventh in the Pro Stock division, but seemed to have his game face on, on race day as he raced to victory in his Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac. It was his twenty-second victory and he was extremely happy with the outcome and his car’s performance. Line, Lucas and Hight ensured that there was excitement every step of the way, and started their season on a very high note.
Ron Capps and Antron Brown seem to be streaks ahead of the pack at this relatively early stage in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Racing Series. Both drivers have dominated their respective fields during the first two events of the season and have also started to build a rather impressive points lead in the Full Throttle standings.
Ron Capps may have endured a rather dismal 2008 season, but he managed to catch up somewhat at the end. This year he seems to have picked up where he left off. His explosion into the limelight this year started when he won the Funny Car season opener at Pomona in California. His most recent victory took place at the Firebird International Raceway on Sunday when he captured his second straight Funny Car title in the young campaign by beating Robert Hight and Del Worsham in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist Nationals. Not only did he win, but he managed to gain an impressive 97 point lead over fellow competitors. Commenting on his most recent victories, Capps told reporters: “I’m living a dream right now.” He also commented on his recent experiences behind the wheel, saying: “It’s like a really good cook learning how to cook again completely differently. The car is just so different to run, to feel, and it puts me in the trunk at half track. It’s so much fun to drive and when the win light comes on, it’s even better.” No doubt fans can expect to see more from Capps in upcoming races.
Brown began his 2009 Top Fuel season with a No.1 qualifier and a runner-up finish during the Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals held at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona. He followed it up with his most recent performance in Phoenix which saw him take the lead over two-time event winner Brandon Bernstein to take the checkered flag. The win also boosted him to the lead in the Top Fuel standings. Speaking about his victory, Brown said: “This just shows how strong our team really is here at Mike Ashley Racing. With all the adversity we dealt with this off season, this is just an awesome feeling.” Brown and Capps were joined by Jeg Coughlin who won in Pro Stock at the recent 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Racing Series event.
The NHRA recently released the details for the 2009 Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. But it isn’t the 24 different events that have everyone talking – it’s the more than $1.3 million purse! The figure is higher than ever before and even beats estimates of what it might have risen to, so fans are excited and drivers are setting their minds on trying to place in next years fantastic NHRA drag racing series.
So exactly how is all that money going to be divided up? There are, after all, 24 different races on the calendar. Well, it starts with the Top Fuel and Funny Car national events which each have a purse of $50 000 (about 25% more than this year). The next biggest winners will be the Pro Stock drivers who stand to take $25 000 home, followed by Pro Stock Motorcyclists who could win $10 000. However even these figures are completely dwarfed by the most prestigious drag racing event in the world – the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. The year 2009 will see that 55th running of this massive race and winners of the top two nitro classes will each walk away with a check for a cool $100 000. The event’s Pro Stock winner will take $50 000, while the Pro Stock Motorcycle winner will be able to look forward to spending $20 000. Increases in prize money will also be made for semifinalists, second-round finishers and runner-ups in a number of the different races. The total purse increase for the Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle classes is $1 353 700. For many drivers this is the stuff dreams are made of.
The 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule takes place in the following order: NHRA Winternationals (Pomona), Checker Schuck’s Kragen NHRA Nationals (Phoenix), ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals (Gainesville), O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals (Houston), SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals (Las Vagas), Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals (Atlanta), Midwest Nationals (Madison), O’Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals (Bristol), O’Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals (Topeka), NHRA Route 66 Nationals (Chicago), NHRA SuperNationals (Englishtown), Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals (Norwalk), NHRA Winternationals (Pomona), Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals (Denver), Schuck’s Auto Supply NHRA Nationals (Seattle), Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals (Sonoma), Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals (Brainerd), Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals (Reading), Mac Tools U.S. Nationals (Indianapolis), NHRA Nationals (Concord), O’Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals (Dallas), O’Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals (Memphis), Virginia NHRA Nationals (Richmond), ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals (Las Vegas), Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals (Pomona). The races will take place between Feb 5 and November 15, so racing fans have a whole lot of great racing to look forward to.