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PAUL MERCURE LEADS FIRST DAY NHRA US NATIONAL QUALIFYING

 

Paul Mercure figured the first day of the GM Performance NHRA U.S. Nationals needed a blast from the past. 

Mercure, of White Lake, Michigan, and an iconic class racer raced to the top of the Stock Eliminator qualifying list, scoring a -1.523 hit against the Factory Stock/F index with his Checkmate COPO Camaro. 

JOHN FORCE AND TERRY McMILLEN CLAIM LOTTERY STARTING SPOTS IN NHRA TRAXXAS NITRO SHOOTOUT AT INDY

John Force and Terry McMillen secured the No. 8 positions in the NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout following special lottery drawings held today during a press conference in downtown Indianapolis to preview the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals and the lucrative specialty event held during the weekend.
 
In Top Fuel, McMillen, who has never competed in the NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout, upset Clay Millican who led the Top Fuel votes with 43 percent. McMillen earned the third most fan votes with 17 percent. He will meet top seed Antron Brown in the first round of the NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel on Saturday.

PRO STOCKER SHANE GRAY TO SALUTE VALVOLINE AT U.S. NATIONALS

Pro Stock ace Shane Gray will sport a special paint scheme at this weekend's 62nd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals to commemorate 150 years of Valvoline and highlight their Max Life products.

"Valvoline has been a great partner and supporter of ours, and we wanted to do something nice to show them how proud we are to wear their colors," Gray said. "I called my buddy Sean Cain at Blackbeard and he designed this paint scheme for us, and we all think it looks fantastic.

CHAD HEAD TO HONOR SAFER RACING WITH STAND 21

The Head Racing Funny Car will be proudly carrying the RacingGoesSafer.org logos of the Stand 21 Safety Foundation at this weekend’s NHRA, Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, in Indianapolis on Aug 31 - Sept 5. 
 
Said team owner Jim Head, “We have been working with Stand 21 and its Safety Foundation for the last several years on improved driver safety equipment and we wanted to thank them for their contribution to safety in our sport.”  Jim and Chad Head’s introduction to Stand 21 was at one of their safety seminars in 2012. 

Stand 21 and their Racing Goes Safer, racer education program may not be familiar names in drag racing, but they are starting to make their mark in TF and FC classes. 

NMCA ANNOUNCES 2017 SCHEDULE

The National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) has announced the official event schedule for the 2017 season. With six jam-packed events that blanket the heartland of America, the NMCA is quickly becoming the largest and most popular muscle car drag racing series in the country. The family-friendly events have something for every fan.

“We’re thrilled about this exciting schedule for 2017,” said Rollie Miller, NMCA General Manager. “We have a great group of track partners and host cities and they’re all looking forward to the coming year with NMCA.”

ENCORE: THE DAY THE SPORTSMAN RACERS FOUGHT BACK

1-14-07-standingup.jpgThere's nothing more prestigious than winning Top Fuel at the NHRA U.S. Nationals, and that's exactly what inspired a group of sportsman racers to use the first round of eliminations as a protest platform. No sportsman division had dared to stand up to the seemingly invincible sanctioning body, not to mention during their flagship national event. There's always a first time for everything, however, and in 1981 a group of disgruntled sportsman racers took the NHRA to task in front of their paying customers.

This makeshift group of sportsman racers had been rumor fodder in the pits for a few months prior to the event, yet when they confronted the sanctioning body the issue was always sidestepped. On Labor Day weekend in 1981 they took the unprecedented step of airing their concerns before one of the largest crowds of the year. After all, they had nothing to lose.

J. FORCE AND MILLICAN WIN TRAXXAS NITRO SHOOTOUT FAN VOTE

Legendary Funny Car racer John Force and 2015 Top Fuel lottery drawing winner Clay Millican are the winners of the fan vote of Traxxas Nitro Shootout that was concluded today.

Force’s fan base granted him 63 percent of the votes and Millican received 43 percent to earn an advantage to win the final starting positions in their respective categories in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout, which will be decided by a lottery drawing. The winners of the Traxxas Nitro Shootout will be awarded $100,000 each.

QFT FOUNDER MARVIN BENOIT RETIRES AFTER 19 YEARS

Ask any racer or performance enthusiast about the defining attributes of Quick Fuel Technology and they are likely to sum it up in one word – “innovation”.

Marvin Benoit is all about creating fuel system products that are easier to use, faster on the track and more affordable for the racer, because, after all Marvin is a racer at heart, and he is building products he would want to use on his own racecars.

ENCORE: THE DAY SHOE, BLAINE CROSSED PATHS

Originally published 9-1-2006

On one weekend the careers of Blaine Johnson and Tony Schumacher intersected...

indymemories_blainecover.jpg Many drivers look back on the first elimination-round passes of their professional careers as a bit surreal. But nothing could come close to the emotional swing that Tony Schumacher experienced in his first race in a Top Fuel dragster.

It promised to be intimidating enough for Schumacher because it came at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, the National Hot Rod Association's oldest and most prominent race.

But 10 years ago, that first quarter-mile ride, which should have taken about 4.7 seconds, seemed to take an eternity.

Schumacher was the No. 16 qualifier. As such, he was paired against No. 1. But this time the No. 1 qualifier didn't pull up to the starting line. He had died two days before of massive head injuries from a top-end accident during qualifying.

So Schumacher had a single pass instead of getting to race Blaine Johnson, the 34-year-old sensation who was running away with the Top Fuel championship, owned the national speed record, and set a track-record 4.61-second elapsed time on his final run. Gone was the likeable Californian whom veteran publicist Rick Voegelin called "a tiger in a race car." But little did anyone know just how much this rookie Schumacher, this rather overwhelmed 26-year-old from Chicago, would turn out to be the same kind of driver.

ENDERS TO RACE FACTORY STOCK SHOWDOWN IN INDY

Erica Enders plans to pull double duty this week in Indianapolis.

The defending NHRA Pro Stock champion plans to not only drive her Mopar Performance Dodge Dart Pro Stocker but also take the wheel of a supercharged 354 cubic inch, Gen III HEMI engine-powered Mopar Dodge Drag Pak prepped by the Joe Welch Racing organization and outfitted in official Dodge and Mopar graphics in the Factory Stock Showdown.

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