SIX DECADES OF DRAG RACING TO BE CELEBRATED DURING CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE U.S. NATIONALS: The Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals will celebrates its 60th anniversary during the traditional Labor Day weekend showcase of speed and high performance. For six decades, the event has been a proving ground for the best NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series teams, and a victory at this event can elevate a driver to legendary status. Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased by calling the NHRA Ticket Sales Center at 800-884-NHRA (6472), or online at www.NHRATIX.com.
CRAMPTON, C. PEDREGON, COUGHLIN, HINES WIN IN ENGLISHTOWN: Richie Crampton claimed his first career Top Fuel victory, becoming the 100th different winner in the category, at the Toyota NHRA Summernationals last Sunday. Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were respective winners at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Crampton defeated Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta in the final round. The victory came during the Australian’s ninth career start after replacing Morgan Lucas in the off-season and only a week after Crampton and his girlfriend welcomed the birth of their first child.
"This is all surreal right now," Crampton said. "I’m really just living the dream. I know that sounds cliché, but I’m just lucky to be in the position I’m at in my personal life and my career."
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES THUNDERING INTO BRISTOL: The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to Tennessee for its 10th stop on the 2014 circuit at the 14th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, June 13–15, at Bristol Dragway. The best in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock will all compete for the Wally beneath the shadows of the Appalachian Mountains. Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car) and Rodger Brogdon (Pro Stock) were last year’s winners of the event that will be televised nationally on ESPN2. Bristol Dragway has proven to be a valuable asset to the NHRA Mello Yello Series circuit. Held on Father’s Day, the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals have become a popular event where the NHRA’s best duke it out for the ultimate bragging rights for the state of Tennessee.
He Said, She Said
"Pro Stock is the most competitive I’ve seen it since I’ve joined the ranks in late 1997. Competitive meaning that just about any car that is qualifying for these shows can win the race on Sunday. That makes it more difficult for the crew chiefs, that makes it difficult for the drivers, but that is what makes it fun for the fans, that extremely competitive side-by-side racing. But, you do see teams that get little breakout runs, and Allen (Johnson) and I want to keep our names at the top of the list."
—Jeg Coughlin Jr., who has raced to three consecutive final-round appearances and captured wins in two of them. He is tied for second in points with his teammate Allen Johnson and both trail points leader Erica Enders-Stevens by 123 markers.
Inside the Numbers
MINIMUM AGE RESET FOR NHRA SUMMIT RACING JR. DRAG RACING LEAGUE: “Effective June 15, the minimum age for kids eligible to participate in the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League will be 5 years old. The announcement was made at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, the birthplace of the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League. In the 5-year-old classification, the Trainee category, participants can begin running a Jr. Dragster with a crate engine from Briggs & Stratton with a slide valve limiting the power output of the engine. Another separate classification for 6- and-7-year-olds also has been created—the Youth category—which will allow participants to begin competing head to head on the track at the 13.90-second index with a crate engine and slightly increased power output from the Trainee category engine.
"It is important to provide competition opportunities for children in these age groups," said Josh Peterson, NHRA vice president of racing administration. "With similar introductory programs available in stick-and-ball sports for ‘pee-wee’ competitors, we wanted to put an NHRA Drag Racing option into that mix for families to consider."
View the complete 2014 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.