:::::: News ::::::

LEE SHEPHERD - #4 MMPS ALL-TIME

mmps_30_logo_220.jpgIf Lee Shepherd hadn’t lost his life in a testing accident in March of
1985, there’s no doubt he would have rewritten virtually every Pro
Stock standard.

Shepherd was the soft-spoken fan favorite driver for the popular Reher
& Morrison team out of Arlington, Texas. When the NHRA adopted
their 500-inch format, it made crossover feasible for Shepherd and the
team.

IHRA Pro Stock was never the same after the 1982 season.

In just three seasons, Shepherd drove his way to nine victories in
thirteen finals. He joined a select few drivers who were able to win
championships under the IHRA and NHRA sanction simultaneously.

Shepherd added a second “double-up” championship in 1984.

“Racing the IHRA’s mountain motor program was a lot of fun,” said
Reher. “The IHRA people and Winston were always good to us in those
days. There were a lot of dedicated drivers running in the IHRA back in
those days.”

TORCO'S FUELING THE SPORTSMAN CONTEST

Torco Racing Fuels announced
today the launch of their year end Fueling the Sportsman Contest, starting just
in time for the Torco Racing Fuels President’s Cup at the Maryland
International Raceway, Mechanicsville, Md., September 28 – 30.

The winner of the Fueling the
Sportsman Contest will be given the option of one barrel of Torco Mach Series
110 or $200 cold hard cash.  The contest
will continue until the end of the 2007 racing season, but rumor has it that
Torco officials are in the planning stages for a 2008 Sportsman Appreciation
Contest to run the entire 2008 race season. 

DOUG KIRK - #5 MMPS ALL-TIME

mmps_30_logo_220.jpgDoug Kirk just can’t forget the moment. He and his dad, Carl, had just
boarded a plane for Charlotte, NC, the closest airport to Rockingham
Dragway.

The elder Kirk, a former member of Gil Kirk’s Rod Shop team, told his
son, “I guess we’ll find out this weekend if we need to invest any more
money in this Pro Stock thing.”

Doug Kirk was on his way to the “Rock” to drive for Roy Hill, who was
unable to drive for the remainder of the 1987 season for personal
reasons. When he looked for a replacement, he chose a driver with only
one race under his belt.

Not only did Doug Kirk qualify Hill’s Penny Family Thunderbird at the
U.S. Open Nationals, but he also drove his way into the final round and
stopped the seemingly unbeatable Rickie Smith.

NO MOE BRIBERY CHARGES

According to the
Associated Press, federal bribery charges against former Spokane Raceway
Park
operator Orville Moe
have been dismissed by Judge Edward F. Shea. The former mayor that was accused
of bribing pleaded guilty to taking a bribe.

Moe’s government case was
dismantled in two steps before reaching a U.S. District Court jury could hear
the closing arguments regarding a $109,000 loan to former mayor of Airway Heights, WA.
Dale Perry.

FAST FIVE WITH KUHL & OLSON

Teammates, friends, champions: that describes Mike Kuhl and Carl Olson.
Together they formed the famous and formidable drag racing team of Kuhl
& Olson in the '60s and '70s. The two are being honored at the
Automobile Club of Southern California Hot Rod Reunion, presented by Holley,
Oct. 12-14, at Auto Club Famoso Raceway near Bakersfield.

Kuhl &
Olson began their drag racing careers in the early '60s although at the time
they were separated by thousands of miles. Kuhl first achieved drag racing
notoriety with a blown gasser. Running out of his native St. Louis, his
Buick-powered '38 Willys coupe ran impressive 11.70s at more than 132
mph in 1960. Moving to southern California in the late '60s Kuhl opened a
very successful engine business specializing in superchargers. Olson began
his career driving un-blown dragsters in Northern California while serving
in the Coast Guard.

The pair enjoyed their greatest success in drag
racing after teaming up in the early '70s to race a front-engine Woody
Gilmore dragster. A series of great-looking and great performing Top Fuel
dragsters soon followed. Among their most memorable seasons was 1972 with
wins at the NHRA Winternationals, a runner-up finish to Tom "The Mongoose"
McEwen at the March Meet and the Top Fuel win at The Last Drag Race at the
legendary Lions Drag Strip. They came back to win the March Meet in 1974.
Kuhl continued to run his business until his recent retirement and Olson
became an industry executive with positions at SEMA, as a long-time vice
president of NHRA and currently with SFI.

NHRA ROTY CANDIDATES ANNOUNCED

Five National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) rookie drivers, representative
of three pro categories, have been selected as nominees for the 2007
Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award, it was
announced today by officials from the NHRA and Automobile Club of
Southern California.

The nominees for the prestigious award include, in alphabetical order,
Ashley Force (Funny Car), Craig Hankinson (Pro Stock), Barry Henson
(Pro Stock Motorcycle), Justin Humphreys (Pro Stock) and Matt Scranton
(Pro Stock).

The award, which recognizes the top rookie competitor in the NHRA
POWERade Drag Racing Series and offers a $20,000 prize and traditional
trophy to the winner, will be presented during NHRA's annual
championship awards ceremony on Monday, Nov. 5, at the spectacular
Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles.

“For more than 100 years the Automobile Club of Southern California has
represented integrity, commitment and professionalism to our millions
of members. The Road to the Future Award has come to symbolize these
same attributes in the sport of NHRA POWERade Drag Racing,” said Thomas
V. McKernan, president and CEO of the Automobile Club of Southern
California. “To be nominated recognizes not only that a rookie driver
had a noteworthy first season, but also that they demonstrated
exceptional potential for the future. We congratulate all five of the
nominees for this year’s award and look forward to enjoying their
achievements both on and off the race track for many years to come.”

WARREN JOHNSON - #6 MMPS ALL-TIME

mmps_30_logo_220.jpgWarren Johnson was winning races and championships on the IHRA mountain
motor Pro Stock tour long before he became the legend he is today in
the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock ranks. Johnson said this success in the big
engine class provided a springboard to his career.

When Johnson came to race, he came to win – whether he was running his
“Hulk” Camaro or the cars he drove for Georgia businessman Jerome
Bradford. For that matter, his venerable Oldsmobile-bodied entries fit
into that category.

Johnson accomplished two feats in one season back in 1979. Winning his
first world championship was incredible, but his triumph halted the
total domination of “General” Lee Edwards, the first two-time champion
in the class.

JEG'S SPORTSNATIONALS COMES TO COLUMBUS

Scenic National Trail Raceway will be jammed packed this weekend as several
hundred of the nation’s best sportsman drag racers make their way to Columbus
Sept. 28-30 for the third annual JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals. The racers
will be competing for a share of more than $65,000 in cash and $400,000 in
contingency postings that are available in the following NHRA eliminators: Comp,
Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Top Dragster and Top
Sportsman. The Spitzer Race Cars Top Dragster class and the Dart Top Sportsman
category will also run at this event, as well as the popular Mopar Performance
Super Stock Hemi Challenge.
   
In addition to the huge cash prizes, the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals
presents one of the last opportunities in 2007 for sportsman racers to earn
points towards NHRA Lucas Oil Series national and divisional championships.
Racers in Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp and Super Gas can earn points
towards national championships while Super Street, Top Dragster and Top
Sportsman competitors will be racing for divisional points. The points battles
in almost every eliminator are close meaning that this event could go a long way
towards determining the 2007 NHRA champions.
While the sportsman racers are the undisputed stars of the JEGS NHRA
Northern SPORTSnationals, fans who attend the event on Saturday will also be
treated to a the Hot Rod Heritage car show and exhibition runs by nitro-burning
front-engine Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragsters and Nostalgia Funny Cars.

VEGAS CARDS FOR KIDS POKER TOURNEY

The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children’s
Charities will hold its fourth annual “Cards for Kids” Texas Hold’em Poker
Tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Cannery Hotel & Casino.  The
charity event will kick off the NHRA AC Delco Las Vegas Nationals Oct. 25-28 at
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 

Tournament players will have the opportunity to
play against NHRA drivers, including Brandon Bernstein, Melanie Troxel, Morgan
Lucas, Dave Connolly and “Fast Jack” Beckman and the list is expected to grow. 
Entry fee (buy-in) is $250 and players will receive $1,000 in tournament
chips.  Players also will receive complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks
throughout the evening.

RONNIE SOX - #7 MMPS ALL-TIME

mmps_30_logo_220.jpgNo matter what form of Pro Stock racing he participated in, Ronnie Sox excelled.
When the IHRA converted to the mountain motor configuration in 1977 Sox
immediately began to qualify at the top of the fields.

 

If not
for a broken engine Sox would have been in the final round of the 1977 IHRA
Winternationals at Darlington, SC. The IHRA’s break rule replaced Sox after a
semifinal victory over Harold Denton.

Denton
went on to score the win over Roy Hill. That victory could have belonged to
Sox.

 

Sox
went to an incredible 25 career finals in IHRA competition and he emerged
victorious 14 times. In fact, when the IHRA staged its very first national event
in Rockingham, NC, Sox took home the trophy.

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