Compiled by SEMA Editors
IMPROVEMENTS CONTINUE AT WILD HORSE PASS MOTORSPORTS PARK: Massive facility upgrades continue at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park located outside of Phoenix, for the upcoming CARQUEST NHRA Nationals, February 21–23. Seven hundred feet of concrete have been poured in the launch pad; new CompuLink timing, new public-address systems and new scoreboards will be installed prior to the event. A full story on the improvements can be found on www.NHRA.com.
MCGAHA SECURES JIM YATES AS CREW CHIEF FOR 2014: Chris McGaha continued his off-season moves when he hired Jim Yates to be his crew chief for the 2014 campaign on his Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro beginning at the Circle K NHRA Winternationals, February 6–9. Yates has two championships as a driver (1996 and 1997), and most recently was with Johnson & Johnson Racing during their back-to-back championships with Allen Johnson in 2012 and Jeg Coughlin in 2013. For more on this story visit, www.NHRA.com.
AIR TIMES AND DATES FOR FIRST THREE NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES EVENTS ANNOUNCED: The 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season is nearly at hand and ESPN and ESPN2 are set to bring the sights and sounds to fans across the country for the coming season. NHRA and ESPN have announced airdates and times for the first three events, including the season opening event, the Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, February 6–9. ESPN will air the conclusion of the event in a three-hour broadcast, February 9, from 8:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m. (EST). More information on this story can be found on www.NHRA.com.
CIRCLE K NHRA WINTERNATIONALS, Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, February 6–9: The Circle K NHRA Winternationals starts the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series at one of the most historic facilities on the NHRA circuit—Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Courtney Force (Funny Car) and Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) will attempt to defend their 2013 wins and start the season on a positive note.
CARQUEST AUTO PARTS NHRA NATIONALS, Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, February 21–23: For the 30th season, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series races into the Valley of the Sun for the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals. The venerable facility south of Phoenix has hosted many historic performances throughout the years. Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) recorded wins at the track in 2013 and will again be among the favorites to claim early-season victories.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
“I have a lot of passion for the sport, and I don't want to be the weak link for the team. So I think it was a lot of pressure on me that I put on myself to perform. I think now having experienced that this last year, I think it's going to help me be better this year because I know what to expect. I know what it's like to be in these huge pressure situations, racing against the best, all eyes on you and you're racing for the championship. I think just being in that position now, this team knows how to do it.”
—Shawn Langdon on his season-long quest for his 2013 Top Fuel world championship and his thoughts on the upcoming season.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
533: Number of round wins Jeg Coughlin Jr. has in his 330-race career. He is only the 12th driver in NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series history to win more than 500 rounds of racing. In his career, he has amassed 56 national events wins, five Pro Stock World championships and is the reigning world champion. His title defense and quest for another championship begins at the Circle K NHRA Winternationals, February 6–9, at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
DID YOU KNOW…
CHANDLER, DSR TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR MAKE-A-WISH IN 2014: NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car team sponsor Terry Chandler, along with team owner Don Schumacher of Don Schumacher Racing, has announced that they will soon debut a brilliant Make-A-Wish paint scheme on their Dodge Charger R/T in 2014 with the intention of raising awareness for the non-profit organization. Tommy Johnson Jr., a nine-time national event winner in the series, will pilot the Chandler/DSR Funny Car in 2014.
"For me, this year is about giving back, and I thought a long time about how we could do that," said Chandler, a co-sponsor on the DSR Funny Car last year with her brother and then-driver of the Pitch Energy Dodge, Johnny Gray, who has since retired from full-time racing.
For more information on this story, visit www.NHRA.com.