|Del Worsham||Vincent Nobile|
WORSHAM NABS THIRD WIN OF SEASON; NOBILE EARNS FIRST OF CAREER IN HOUSTON: Former Funny Car driver-turned Top Fuel pilot Del Worsham raced to his third win of the 2011 season at the recently completed O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals in Baytown, Texas. Worsham, who faced teammate and defending world champion Larry Dixon for the second consecutive time in the final round, drove his Al-Anabi Racing Dragster straight to the finish line and his third win in five races—posting one of the most impressive starts to a season in Top Fuel history. Worsham also became the first NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series driver this year to reach the 500-point mark in the point standings, and currently sits an impressive 95 points ahead of second-place driver Dixon.
“This is surreal,” said Worsham. “The way the day unfolded, we had some close races, and it was amazing. It was great to race Larry in the final because he’s the champion and we’re all shooting for him. The final was a heck of a race. I’ve got to give all the credit to the Al-Anabi team. I am just a small part of it.”
While the veteran Worsham raced to his 28th career victory, Pro Stock rookie Vincent Nobile was picking up his first. In one of the most exciting and closest finishes in NHRA history, Nobile drove his Mountain View Dodge Avenger past runner-up Rodger Brogdon, beating him on a holeshot with a reaction time of .007 on the starting line.
“It was close, I didn’t even know who won at the stripe,” said Nobile. “Then everyone was screaming in my ear that we won. It was incredible.”
In Funny Car, Jeff Arend powered his DHL Funny Car past points leader Mike Neff to collect his first win of the season and move up to the fifth spot in the point standings, while three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Andrew Hines raced to his 24th career win when he held off hot-charging Michael Phillips in the final round. Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammates Eddie Krawiec and Hines are now one and two in the Pro Stock Motorcycle standings. For more results from the 24th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Springs Nationals, visit www.NHRA.com.
‘SNAKE AND MONGOOSE’ FEATURE FILM MOVING FORWARD: Rhino films and newly formed shingle, Storywise Productions, have acquired life-story rights from legendary drag racing rivals, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen and partnered with the NHRA to produce a motion picture about their years revolutionizing one of the world’s most thrilling sports on and off the track.
The movie will tell the story of Snake and Mongoose’s legendary rivalry, friendship, and accomplishments. It will show how the two men not only made drag racing history as champion drivers and owners, but also how they modernized the sport in 1970 by shrewdly enticing toy giant, Mattel Inc. to make its then-new Hot Wheels line the sport’s first major corporate sponsor. When Mattel put logos on dragsters to make them 200-mph billboards for its toy line and put real-life drivers into its TV
commercials, Mattel became the first non-automotive sponsor in a racing sport, and the industry’s first commercial tie-in was born. Principal photography is expected to start by Fall 2011, with an anticipated theatrical release target date in 2012 commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Snake and Mongoose’s partnership with Mattel. For more information on this story, visit www.NHRA.com.
SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT NHRA SOUTHERN NATIONALS, ATLANTA DRAGWAY, May 13–15: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns to the South and the Atlanta area for its sixth stop of 2011. Defending event winners include Larry Dixon (Top Fuel); Robert Hight (Funny Car); Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock); and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle).
NHRA SUMMER NATIONALS, HEARTLAND PARK TOPEKA, May 20–22: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its seventh stop of the season during the start of the summer months. Defending event winners include Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); Robert Hight (Funny Car); and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock).
NHRA SUPERNATIONALS, OLD BRIDGE TOWNSHIP RACEWAY PARK, June 2–5: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its eighth stop of the season at historic Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. Defending event winners include Larry Dixon (Top Fuel); Bob Tasca (Funny Car); Mike Edwards (Pro Stock); and Michael Phillips (Pro Stock Motorcycle).
HE SAID, SHE SAID
ONE FOR SCOTT: DHL Funny Car driver Jeff Arend on getting his first win of the season Sunday at Royal Purple Raceway. The same track where Scott Kalitta grabbed his first and only Funny Car win in 1989: “You never know what is going to happen in drag racing, and sometimes, it surprises you. To get this win and dedicate it to Scott, that was huge.”
60 YEARS IN NHRA HISTORY
1978–1979, GLIDDEN UNBEATEN FOR CALENDAR YEAR: From July 16, 1978 in Englishtown to June 30, 1979 in Denver, Pro Stock legend Bob Glidden never lost a single round of racing, picking up nine national event wins in the process. To this day it stands as the most consecutive victories of any NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing class in NHRA history.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
3: Of the four NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series classes, three of the classes have teammates in both the first and second position in the point standings, Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock Motorcycle. Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammates Eddie Krawiec and recent Houston winner Andrew Hines (pictured) sit one and two respectively in the two-wheel category.
DID YOU KNOW…
…that iconic Pro Stock driver Warren Johnson will be the NHRA Legend honored next week when the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to Atlanta for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals. Not only will Johnson, the winningest driver in Pro Stock history, be competing in the event, but he also will be participating in special NHRA 60th Anniversary activities such as autograph sessions, meet-and-greets with fans, and the popular “Track Walk with a Legend” series Sunday morning before pre-race.