It would seem that the name Schumacher is synonymous with speed and success. Certainly there is every indication that Tony Schumacher is destined to make it to the top of his field. The American drag racer has dominated the NHRA Top Fuel class for the past four years and it seems this year will be no different.
When Tony Schumacher thrashed his opponents at Infineon Raceway on Sunday, he continued to uphold his already well established reputation as a top NHRA driver. The drag racer is now the sixth driver in the history of the sport of drag racing to manage to take the entire western swing of NHRA races consecutively, winning in Denver, Seattle and Sonoma. His latest win is his eighth NHRA victory this season. It was also his 49th career win, putting him just three wins short of Joe Amato’s all-time best of 52. Other drivers who have managed to â€˜sweep the swing’ include Joe Amato, Cory McClenathan, Larry Dixon, John Force and Greg Anderson. Anderson was the last person to do so and that was back in 2004.
When the green light lit up, Schumacher had the best reaction time allowing him to storm to the other end in 3.886 seconds at an average speed of 307.93 mph. In doing so he blew his chief competitor, Hillary Will, out the way. Will did well but her run lasted 3.988 seconds and her average speed was 306.19 mph. The race was virtually decided right from the start. Hillary Will was the local favorite, having come from Eureka in California. But it seemed that Schumacher was just one step ahead of her. Commenting on his victory, Schumacher said: “It’s been a lot of fun. The last couple of races have just been outstanding.”
When Schumacher took his U.S. Army dragster to the quarterfinals, he not only clinched the No. 1 seed in Top Fuel, but earned himself the 20-point bonus that comes with that achievement. Schumacher was not the only driver to enjoy some success on the weekend. Robert Hight won Funny Car with a run of 4.163 at 296.50, defeating mentor Gary Densham. Dave Connolly managed to claim the Pro Stock trophy with a 6.628 at 207.69 win over Jeg Coughlin. Matt Guidera won his second season race in Pro Stock Motorcycle with a 7.054 at 185.74 over Andrew Hines. Fans of the drivers now look forward their next races with keen anticipation.
The NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series are set to return of the Auto Club Speedway later next month for three great days of fan interaction and spectacular auto racing. Additional entertainment is also lined up for the event to ensure that the weekend is unforgettable.
Situated in Fontana, California, the Auto Club Speedway will certainly be buzzing with life from August 28th to 31st. The weekend’s festivities will kick off with the Stater Brothers Race Fest 2008 which will take place at the speedway’s Opportunity Fan Zone on Thursday. The event will last four hours and will feature tons of great interaction between fans and the stars of the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup series. Tents will be set up to house the different drivers, and fans can easily move about obtaining autographs, pictures and special giveaways. Live entertainment, shopping and special displays will add to the mix. Essentially the event is a massive, fun pre-race party.
Then things get a bit more serious on Friday afternoon when practice sessions for both races get underway on Laughlin Qualifying Day. By the end of the day, Sprint Cup teams will head to the speedway’s two mile over to do their qualifying laps, which will determine where they stand on the starting grid for the Pepsi 500. No doubt there will be great racing, excitement, frustration and fun, so the day is definitely worth being present for. Saturday will start with qualifying laps for the Nationwide Series. It will also be the last opportunity to get some practice in for the Sprint Cup Series. Then, at 7 pm the action gets underway with the cars lining up for the Nationwide Series race. The Camping World RV Service 300, presented by Coleman, is 150 laps of the two-mile oval. Competition will be tough with drivers such as series leader Clint Boywer and teams like Joe Gibbs Racing taking part.
But the fun and excitement doesn’t end there. Sunday heralds the fourth and final day of the Auto Club Speedway’s massive weekend. The Pepsi 500 is the highlight of the weekend and will get underway at 5pm and continue late into the night. The difference in day and night driving means a change in track temperatures, so crew chiefs will need good strategy to ensure that their driver’s excel under these changing conditions. The race is bound to be a memorable one. There are a wide variety of tickets available for the weekend to suit different budgets, so make sure that you don’t miss out all the action by getting yours now!
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.
Auto racing fans in Southern Indiana are no doubt looking forward to a fantastic Fourth of July weekend. Both the O’Reilly All Star Circuit of Champions and the O’Reilly Midwest All Star Series will be heading to the Terre Haute “Action Track” to celebrate the weekend in style in what is one of the most anticipated events of the season.
It will all kick off when the O’Reilly All Star Circuit of Champions makes a stop at the KC Raceway in Chillicothe, in Ohio, on July 3rd. The event taking place there is called “The Night the Stars Come Out” and it will see the best of the series vying for first place and extra points on the high banked 3/8 mile track. After that the series will head off to the Terre Haute Action Track for the Independence Day festivities. Off the track fans can expect the usual buzz with promotional tents, t-shirt trailers and plenty of excellent food. The autograph sessions will start around 16:30 and fans will be able to get their effects signed by Brian Ellenberger, Kody Kinser, Jerrod Hull, Miranda Throckmorton and more.
The racing schedule promises to be excellent and event organizers have tried to ensure that fans get to see a wide variety of events. The action will kick off with two non-winged sprint car events – the Don Smith Classic and the Tony Hulman Classic – and then go on to feature the main event: the All Star series. The All Star drivers will bring a very high caliber of driving to the circuit and fans will no doubt enjoy watching them blast around the track at exhilarating speeds. Once all the racing action is over, fans can stick around for a massive fireworks display by Sky Magic Promotions. All of this will mark the perfect start to the Fourth of July long weekend. Tickets for the event are only $10, while family’s can organize a family infield pass for two adults and four children for just $25. Reserved Grandstand tickets are also available for those who enjoy their little luxuries. Gates will open at 16:00 and hotlaps will begin at 18:00. So make sure that you don’t miss out on all this hot racing action!
Despite a slow start to the season, the American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) Northwest Region will soon be kicking into first gear with the Northwest Speedweek, only weeks away. This exciting annual race promises fans some exciting drivers, and cars are already being tweaked to ensure that they provide drivers with the best performance.
The Northwest Speedweek will be taking place from July 14 to 19. The series will feature six nights of non-stop, action-packed racing, during which the best 360 sprint car drivers in the region will be put through their paces. The racing will get started on Monday at the Southern Oregon Speedway in Medford. The action will then continue to be a feature on different Oregon tracks for the next four nights straight. The second stop is Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, followed by Willamette Speedway in Lebanon. The Oregon leg of the Northwest Speedweek series will then end at Sunset Speedway in Banks, before crossing over to Washington where it will conclude with a massive two-night show at Grays Harbor Raceway. Since undergoing an extensive renovation, Grays Harbor Raceway is considered to be one of the premier dirt tracks in the country and fans can expect to see some truly great racing here. This is also the first year that teams will not be given a night off to regroup during the Northwest Speedweek. As the event approaches we find Seth Bergman in the lead with Henry Van Dam just four points behind him. Jayme Barnes is in third place but only time will tell how these positions will be altered by the end of the Northwest Speedweek.
That may mark the end of the Northwest Speedweek, but it is not the end of the racing in the northwest regions. ASCS Northwest Region teams will go on to compete at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, in a non-points event before darting off to compete in the Fred Brownfield Memorial and the Championship Weekend in Yakima, Washington, on September 26-27. Clearly racing fans in the northwest have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming months. You’d better make sure that you’ve got your tickets ready if you don’t want to miss out on all the action!