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


R_Fuller.jpgRod Fuller is Mr. Vegas. Now
he’s aiming to be the champion. The Las Vegas
resident – by way of Northwest Arkansas –
enters the first race in the Countdown to 1 trailing category-leader Larry Dixon
by just 10 points. Having led the points following 14 of 21 races this season,
the two-time ‘07 Top Fuel winner looks to regain his points lead when he battles
Dixon, Tony
Schumacher and Brandon Bernstein for the 2007 NHRA Top Fuel crown beginning at
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 26. In just his second full season
behind the wheel of the Caterpillar-backed rail, Fuller has been the surprise
name near the top of the standings all season long. In this Q&A the
five-time NHRA Top Fuel winner talks about the Countdown to the Championship,
his 2007 season and his final-four competition.


Q: You’ve reached the Countdown to
1. Are you happy with your season to date?


FULLER: Yeah, it’s been a dream come
true. We ran most of the season without a primary sponsor. Valvoline and Matco
(Tools) were there, but David (Powers) funded most of this deal. No matter what
happens from here on out it’s been a great year, but I want to win the
championship. The two wins and four poles are great, but we’re not done yet. If
not, we’ve still had an awesome year. We acquired a great sponsor in Caterpillar
and the CAT dealers and I’m really happy for Rob Flynn. He’s proven to be an
A-list crew chief in our sport.


After record-breaking 2007 season, the Pro Top Outlaw
Series is looking forward to what will be their 6th year of
competition next year.  The series that was organized by Ron Bales and Tom
Mueller will begin 2008 under new management when back-to-back series champion
native Phil Esz will assume ownership of the

The series which showcases the talents of some of the
best dragster, funny car, pro mod  and altered drivers in the Midwest already
has 8 tracks committed to running events next year and there are more still in
the works.  The 2007 season was the finest year yet for the series that boasted
record-breaking fields and was featured on Inside Drag Racing with Bob Frey, the
voice of NHRA, announcing.  In 2008, they plan to continue to capitalize on the
momentum bringing in new and exciting benefits to members and the fans who fill
the stands every weekend.

Next year, in an effort to continue to grow their fan
base and membership, the series will race in Ohio, Kentucky,
Tennessee, Indiana and Michigan
remaining within a 300 mile radius of the home base in Cincinnati, Ohio.  They have also made changes to the
rules including allowing the 1471 blower into competition.  There are more
opportunities than ever for racers to get involved with this growing
organization, so be sure to check out the complete list of rules on their
website to see where your combination fits into the


After consulting with crew chiefs, sponsors and other key team members, 14-time
NHRA Funny Car Champion John Force announced Monday that Phil Burkart Jr. will
be in the cockpit of the Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang for three days of
open testing beginning Tuesday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
 Burkart will join Countdown to One qualifier Robert Hight,
Rookie-of-the-Year contender Ashley Force and rookie-to-be Mike Neff in John
Force Racing Ford Mustangs during three days of open testing on the same track
that next week will play host to the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals.
 “For right now, with the approval of Castrol and our other sponsors, Phil
Burkart will be driving my car in testing only,” Force said from his room at
Baylor University Rehabilitation Center, where he continues to recover from
hand, leg and foot injuries suffered in a Sept. 23 crash at the Texas
 “Burkart was the best fit for us,” Force said.  “He’s about my size, he’s
experienced and he was available (but) no decisions will be made about which (of
our) teams will be running the Las Vegas Nationals until after testing.  We’ll
make that call after I talk to the crew chiefs.”


S_Johnson.jpgColorful NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle
racer Steve Johnson has a penchant for stepping outside of the circle but
recently he tread where no other drag bike racer has gone before. The Snap-on
Tools rider took an Indy car ride at the 2.38-mile Barber Motorsports

Johnson took a ride in the
Indy Racing Experience two-seater with former Indianapolis 500 veteran Davey Hamilton


Melvyn Record, the transplanted Englishman who wrote so authoritatively
for NHRA’s National Dragster before leaving to take a marketing
position with Infineon Raceway in Northern California in 2000, has
again moved on. He’s just been named Marketing & Sales vice
president of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey. Drag racing’s loss
is definitely road racing’s gain, as Record will do his usual
impeccable job on behalf of his new employers.


Jerry Haas may drive Pro Stockers at 200 miles per hour but he learned
a lesson about driving I-75 last Thursday. When you’re driving south,
don’t lift off the gas pedal because the slower pace does not apply to
the freeway.

Haas was delivering a new Chevrolet Cobalt for Kurt Johnson and was
slowing for traffic ahead when a driver tending to a new cell phone
rear-ended his trailer. He wasn’t hurt but is feeling the after-effects

Haas said that he’d slowed to 45 mph while driving in the middle lane to fall in line with traffic ahead of him.

“It hit me so hard that it knocked the cap off of my head,” Haas said.
“The back seat of my duallie truck came flying forward. I told the
officer that he ought to be glad I am a race car driver because I know
how to react. I initially had thought a semi had run into the back of

Haas glanced in his mirrors and saw the carnage behind him.


The details of the Julie Russell lawsuit versus the NHRA and Goodyear was
settled last week, but details of the settlement will likely never be known
outside of the litigation circle.

Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com confirmed with a member of the NHRA’s
management team that the case had been settled before the court case was
scheduled to begin on Monday.
We spoke with Julie Russell’s trial attorney, Judd Waltman, who spoke to
us on her behalf. He confirmed a settlement was reached, but declined to discuss
the details.
“We were supposed to go to trial on Monday and didn’t go,” Waltman said.
“The case was resolved.”
Waltman said he could speak in a limited manner on the NHRA’s side but
was unable to comment at all on the Goodyear portion of the suit.
Was there a financial settlement from the


The premiere Pro Stock and Pro Modified programs in drag racing just got a whole
lot better.

IHRA and Torco Racing Fuels, the
Evan Knoll-owned fuel company based in Decatur, Mich., have entered into a
three-year agreement that will turn the Torco Racing Fuels Pro Modified Shootout
and the Torco Racing Fuels Pro Stock Showdown into $100,000 contests that will
pit the eight top drivers in each respective class against each other with
$50,000 first prizes on the line. The runner-up will take home $20,000 while
each semifinalist will pocket $9,000. Quarterfinalists will claim $3,000

The Pro Modified Shootout, which is
a point-based eight-car qualified field, will be run off at the Torco Racing
Fuels Northern Nationals held at Knoll
Gas Motorsports Park in Martin, Mich.
next August. The Pro Stock Showdown, with the same qualifying points structure,
will be run off at the Torco President’s Cup Nationals in Budds Creek, Md. Next October.

Drivers in both classes accumulate
points through qualifying position at each Knoll Gas Nitro Jam event. The
drivers must display the proper decals on their car to accumulate points. The
new Shootout and Showdown structures will be in place through the 2010 Knoll Gas
Nitro Jam season.

IHRA president Aaron Polburn is
thrilled with Torco’s increased commitment to these



After three days of
exciting racing and memories, the California Hot Rod Reunion wrapped up as the
sun set on Sunday evening.

Brad Thompson claimed the
Nostalgia Top Fuel crown by stopping Pete Kaiser in the final round. Thompson
ran a 5.721 elapsed time at 261.62 miles per hour to easily cover Kaiser’s 5.924,



The Ford Motor Company will add some flair to this year's Warriors in
Pink campaign by enlisting celebrities to join them in the fight
against cancer by decorating and signing mini Warriors in Pink
Mustangs. These 1/18th-scale models of the recently-launched 2008
Mustang with Warriors in Pink packaging will be auctioned off on
eBay.com from October 15 -25 with all proceeds benefiting Susan G.
Komen for the Cure.

The Force family has joined the fight
against this deadly disease by adding their own personal mark on the
mini-Mustangs. For more information on the auction, please go to
www.ebay.com/warriorsinpink. John Force's wife Laurie and daughters
Ashley, Brittany, and Courtney have added their touch to each of the
cars available in this special auction.