WORSHAM’S WIN MOVES HIM TO SECOND; BROWN TO FIRST IN POINTS LEAVING ST. LOUIS: One year later and with a whole new team, Funny Car driver Del Worsham stepped on to the podium at Winners Circle at the O’Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, Wally in hand, with more than just another career win to add to his list of 23, but a huge jump in the point standings that moved him from sixth to second, right behind the man who finished second to him at the event, Ron Capps. But, even more impressive than his holeshot win over Capps or his huge climb in the point standings was that Worsham did it with a team that at the end of the 2008 season didn’t exist yet.
“This was a brand-new team that came out running so well early that our expectations got so high, and we had to sit back and realize that it’s going to take a couple races, a couple runs, or maybe even a year to get this team running the way it did,” said Worsham, referring to his Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing Toyota Solara team. “Alan Johnson, Aaron Brooks, they put this thing together, and they have a tune-up that runs very well. This team was assembled to do well and to win and to win championships.”
Worsham wasn’t the only driver who made a huge leap in the point standings this weekend. Both Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle winners Antron Brown and Eddie Krawiec moved into the top spot in their respective fields after each collected his second win of the season.
“Our team was getting better one step at a time,” said Brown, who also started the season with two new crew chiefs and a new crew. “We were getting faster and faster. In the final, we decided to give it everything we’ve got. We took the wickerbill off, so I knew it would run a big speed if it was stuck. Even so, I was surprised that we ran 318 (mph).”
Pro Stock defending champion Jeg Coughlin continued his dominance in the class, strengthening his lead in the point standings and earning his third win of the season. For more results from the 13th annual O’Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals, visit www.nhra.com.
BRISTOL DRAGWAY AND zMAX DRAGWAY TEAM UP TO OFFER FANS INCREDIBLE TICKET PACKAGE: NHRA fans in both Bristol and Charlotte still have the chance of a lifetime as Bristol Dragway and zMAX Dragway have teamed up to offer an amazing ticket package for $199. With the package, fans will get three-day tickets to the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, May 15–17, as well as four-day tickets to the NHRA Nationals, September 17–20, at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte.
On top of the opportunity to attend two of the biggest races on the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series circuit, fans purchasing four tickets will be able to take laps at both Bristol Motor Speedway and Lowe’s Motor Speedway during each NHRA event weekend. And the first 100 fans to purchase the package will receive a free die-cast Funny Car. To purchase tickets for this special package, call Bristol Dragway at 423/989-6900 or visit at www.bristoldragway.com. The promotion ends Friday, May 8.
SIOUX CITY TRUCK AND TRAILER NAMED OFFICIAL HEAVY-DUTY TRUCK DEALERSHIP OF NHRA, NHRA SAFETY SAFARI: Sioux City Truck and Trailer, a leading distributor of high-quality heavy-duty trucks and trailers, has extended its agreement as the official heavy-duty truck dealership of NHRA and the NHRA Safety Safari presented by AAA. The official marketing partnership increases Sioux City Truck and Trailer’s participation in NHRA Championship Drag racing. The company also is an associate sponsor of the nitro-powered Funny Cars driven by Cruz and Tony Pedregon.
As part of the exclusive, multiyear agreement, Sioux City Truck and Trailer is providing NHRA with three Volvo 780 trucks and two trailers to add to its traveling fleet of vehicles that transport equipment to each NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event. In turn, NHRA is providing Sioux City Truck and Trailer with multiple exposure opportunities through a variety of NHRA marketing platforms, including National DRAGSTER, NHRA.com, the annual NHRA Fan Guide and track signage at every NHRA Full Throttle Series national event. In addition, Sioux City Truck and Trailer will have the opportunity to use the NHRA mark in its advertising and promotional campaigns.
NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS, BRISTOL DRAGWAY, MAY 15–17: NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing heads back to Thunder Valley and the Mountains of Northern Tennessee for the eighth of 24 events on the 2009 schedule. Defending event winners include Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); Melanie Troxel (Funny Car); and Dave Connolly (Pro Stock).
O’REILLY NHRA SUMMER NATIONALS, HEARTLAND PARK TOPEKA, MAY 29–31: Heading to the heartland of America, NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its ninth stop on the 2009 tour. Defending event winners include Hillary Will (Top Fuel); John Force (Funny Car); and Ron Krisher (Pro Stock).
UNITED ASSOCIATION ROUTE 66 NHRA NATIONALS, ROUTE 66 RACEWAY, JUNE 4–7: NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing returns to the Windy City for the 10th stop on the 2009 season. Defending event winners include Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); Tony Pedregon (Funny Car); Kurt Johnson (Pro Stock); and Chris Rivas (Pro Stock Motorcycle). F
HE SAID, SHE SAID
“I’LL HAVE ANOTHER!”: Defending Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Eddie Krawiec on picking up his second career win at Gateway International Raceway after grabbing his first career win just two weeks before in Atlanta: “To come out here and get my second win, it’s just a cool opportunity. It’s tough going out there and getting your first win and everyone told me that once you get your first win, it’ll get easy, but I never thought it would get this easy.”
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
7: That’s the number of drivers out of 16 total that have won more than one event at Bristol Motor Speedway since the addition of the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals to the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing schedule in 2001:
- Doug Kalitta (TF 2006, 2005, 2001)
- Brandon Bernstein (TF 2007, 2003)
- Tony Schumacher (TF 2008, 2004)
- Ron Capps (FC 2006, 2001)
- John Force (FC 2007, 2004)
- Greg Anderson (PS 2004, 2001)
- Warren Johnson (PS 2005, 2002)
DID YOU KNOW…
…that in the first seven races of the season, three different drivers have led the Top Fuel point standings (Antron Brown, Doug Kalitta and Tony Schumacher) compared to 2008 when only one driver had led the point standings seven races into the season (Tony Schumacher).