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


Three Board members up
for reelection were unanimously returned to office, including Connie
Kalitta, Doug Herbert and Don Schumacher.  There had been some talk
that Kenny Bernstein would step down as president, but he’s apparently
been convinced to stay on board.  His leadership will be needed, as
numerous issues are facing the group prior to the start of the 2008
season.  For example, NHRA has already informed the competitors that
hospitality space in the pits will increase in cost by a considerable
amount.  There will also be an increase in costs for racer souvenir
trailer space from $1,500 to $2,500 per race, but Bernstein vows “to
push back on these and other issues.”  Among those other issues are an
increase in both the costs of food for catered hospitality areas as
well as for trash removal.

In the face of these increases the competitors were less than pleased
to be told that there would be no purse increase for 2008.  It has been
several years since the last purse increase, and while the costs of
competing continue to skyrocket, racer income levels haven’t come close
to keeping pace.


Former Carolina Coalition champion Chris Plott just missed out on a sweep of the
Footbrake titles and teammates Allen Britt, E.J. Womack and Nick Womack won
everything else during the annual Fall Bracket Nationals at Steve Earwood’s
Rockingham Dragway.

 Britt beat Joe Gary
of Greenwood, S.C., in an all-dragster final to claim Saturday’s $10,000
prize in the Top Eliminator class and Womack matched that with a Sunday win over
Todd Whited of Richlands,
Va., and his 1995 Oldsmobile. 


Four-time Top Fuel champion
Shirley Muldowney, who was hospitalized in Las Vegas
suffering from gastroenteritis, has returned to her home in Michigan.


Army Pro Stock Motorcycle riders
Angelle Sampey and Antron Brown finished the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing
Series season strong Sunday at the Auto Club Finals at Pomona, by posting semifinal
round advancements.

Sampey closed the campaign holding
fifth-place in the points, with Brown finished in 10th. The Auto Club
Finals marked the close of Sampey’s and Brown’s four-year run with the Army.

“We are very proud of the passion
and dedication that Angelle and Antron have shown over the past several years,
both on- and off-track,” said Colonel David Lee, director, marketing and
strategic communications for the U.S. Army. “Throughout their career with the
U.S. Army, they have exemplified Army values, showing true mental, emotional and
physical strength through their racing success and their participation in the
U.S. Army’s educational programs, visits with soldiers, multicultural programs,
and numerous other national events.”


Stop us if you’ve heard
this scenario before. Tony Schumacher enters the final race of the season
trailing in the points and has to win the event to claim the championship.

Blame it on Schumacher for
making it look easy last season by not only winning the event but in also
setting the new elapsed time record.

Standing in his way this
time was Bob Vandergriff, a 12-time runner-up in final round matches.

Schumacher certainly had
the pressure on his shoulders considering he’d lost two out of three matches in
2007 to Vandergriff. The one bright spot is the final round in Sonoma where Schumacher beat him.

That, and a championship
on the line, was all Schumacher needed. He clinched the title with the
convincing victory over Vandergriff and edged Hot Rod Fuller by 19 points.


Tony Schumacher and Matt Smith needed wins in the final round of Sunday's 43rd
annual Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals to clinch Countdown to the
Championship titles in the POWERade Drag Racing Series. New Funny Car champion
Tony Pedregon sweated it out until the semifinals before securing his second
crown, while Jeg Coughlin wrapped up his third Pro Stock title in the

For the second year in a row, Schumacher waited until the
final pass of the season to steal the title away, this time from "Hot Rod"
Fuller. He defeated Bob Vandergriff with the quickest pass of the race, a 4.486
at 328.30 mph. Robert Hight beat fill-in teammate Phil Burkart in the Funny Car
final when Burkart's car lost traction 200 feet out.

In Pro Stock,
Coughlin punctuated his title with his 38th career win, this one over first-time
finalist Justin Humphreys. Smith beat fellow Buell rider Chip Ellis in the Pro
Stock Motorcycle final.


J_Coughlin.jpgJeg Coughlin, Jr. took a
season off and came back with only three races to go last year. That’s all the rest
he needed to win a fourth world title and third in Pro Stock. That, and a second-round
win over Richie Stevens combined with Greg Anderson and Dave Connolly's
first-round exits.  

"What a
feeling!" Coughlin said. "To win another championship for JEGS.com
and all of our employees and fans is special. It's such a cool deal to win the
first championship under the NHRA's new Countdown playoff system. It was a
tough battle against the best racers in the world but we got it done as a team
and I couldn't be prouder of the entire Victor Cagnazzi Racing

Coughlin opened the final
day of the season trailing Anderson
by 36 points. Each elimination round is worth 20 points, meaning Coughlin had
to advance two rounds further than his rival. With Anderson
on the opposite side of the ladder, Coughlin needed some help and he got it
when newcomer Justin Humphreys left on Anderson
by a whopping .053 seconds, which translated to a stunning 6.669 to
6.658-second holeshot win at the top end.


Point standings (top 10) for NHRA professional categories following the 43rd
annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway
at Pomona, the final of 23 events in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series -


Sunday's final results and pictures from the 43rd annual Automobile Club of Southern
California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.  The race is the final of
23 in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series:


Final round-by-round results from the 43rd annual Automobile Club of Southern
California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the final of 23 events in
the  NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series: