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


IHRA President Aaron
Polburn denies any truth to an unsubstantiated rumor circulating that suggests
the IHRA plans to run a complete eighth mile schedule in 2008.

In fact, Polburn laughed
for a full 15 seconds before responding, “Does that answer your question?”

“Where did that one come
from?” Polburn asked. “We would consider running one or two somewhere, but as
of right now – no.”

Polburn told Torco's CompetitionPlus.com that the IHRA
Knoll Gas Nitro Jam Series is looking very seriously at running an eighth-mile
national event in 2009 at a facility not currently on the tour.



Jon Yoak made his place in
history by becoming the first IHRA mountain motor Pro Stock driver to win a
championship having never won a national event.

The second-generation Yoak
said the keys to his team’s success were consistency and knowing his comfort

In just five years, the
father and son duo of Bob and Jon Yoak amassed four victories in fifteen
final-round appearances. He won two championships – in his sophomore season of
1996 and in 2000, the final full season in his career.

“Consistency was our key
and my dad always provided us with the best stuff - from the car to the parts we
put in it,” said Yoak. “We maintained it and that worked out best for us.”

If there were ever
competitors who exemplified the term baseline, it was the Yoaks.

“We didn’t know a whole lot
to do much testing,” Yoak said. “We had a lot of good help from people like Pat
Norcia at Ram Clutches, who showed me the ropes. I always did the clutch and
never really stepped outside of the bounds of what I was assigned to do. I kept
doing what worked for me and tweaking a bit here and there. We didn’t really
know a lot to step out of our comfort zone.


At 13, Gunnar Boelman is already a local celebrity.

He’s been praised by his middle school principal, he’s on a first-name
basis with two professional drivers, and he can even do a pretty smooth
interview with media.

He’s just short of signing autographs at the lunch table.

Boelman, an NHRA O’Reilly Auto Parts Jr. Drag Racing League driver from
Diamond Bar, Calif., was one of six finalists featured in September on
the Cartoon Network program “Props,” a contest that lets online users
choose the most impressive American kids from a field of 16 using links
on the network’s website. Boelman was nominated by his AYSO league
soccer coach.

To select the six finalists, fans watched special videos made for each
contestant and voted for their favorite one. Boelman knew his friends,
family and NHRA fans were voting in the hopes of pushing him to the
Final Six, but he didn’t expect what came next.


M_Ashley.jpgTorco Racing Fuels Funny Car driver Mike Ashley is determined to continue the
momentum following up his dramatic win at the U.S. Nationals just two weeks ago,
and his Gotham City Racing team is fully prepared to be his supporting cast this
weekend at the O'Reilly NHRA Mid South Nationals in Memphis,
"Trying to put that win into words is still difficult, but amazing
and awesome come to mind right off the top," Ashley said. "I can't say it
enough, that the win was a team effort, and I have the best team and sponsor in
drag racing behind me."
Coming into Memphis, Ashley is ranked second in
POWERade Championship points and just 21 points out of the lead -- solidly
ensconced among the top four who will advance to the next stage in the NHRA
championship battle: the Countdown to One. This weekend is the second of four
events in the next month that determine which of the top teams will advance and
compete for the Funny Car crown.


R_Fuller.jpg“Hot Rod” Fuller has many reasons to dislike the new
Countdown to the Championship format. In fact, he’s got 174 of them.

That’s how many points
Fuller surrendered when the points were readjusted for the second phase of the

Timing is everything for
Fuller and earlier this week, the current point leader announced a marketing
partnership for 2008 with CAT. In a sport where marketing value ensures
survival of a team, Fuller sees a greater value under the former system.

“You look at a guy like me
that has been the No. 1 car all year long and the top car should get the top
exposure,” Fuller said. “I didn’t get a lot of exposure because they were
concentrating on the six through twelve cars. Now that we are down to eight,
the focus is on the Countdown itself.

“There’s a lot of things I
like about the Countdown and a lot of things I don’t. They could at least
spread it out a bit and talk about the points leader and the guys who are
winning races. I’ll be waiting to see how all of this pans out and to see what
kind of exposure we get. To see how this second cut-off deal is. I’m not a big
fan of this second cut-off deal. I don’t think a championship should be decided
on two races.”


Bristol Dragway received yet another prestigious honor when the
track was inducted into the Fun Ford Weekend Hall of Fame at the Second Annual
Fun Ford Weekend awards banquet last Sunday night in Ennis, Texas. 

In his award presentation, Bill Alexander, Fun Ford Weekend
Event Director, explained that the facility and its staff are the main reasons
why Bristol Dragway was selected for the award.

“We produce the Fun Ford Weekend at the finest facilities in
America, all of them national event caliber race tracks,” said Alexander.  “But
like everything else, what makes Bristol stand out from the rest of the pack is,
quite simply, the people.  The staff and crew at Bristol Dragway are among the
absolute finest professionals of anywhere we go.”


5.jpgBack in the mid-90s  Warren Johnson came into the U.S. Nationals as a
serious championship contender.  Every single point was precious to
him, and with good reason.  At the same his son, Kurt, was not only not
a factor in the points chase, he was campaigning an Oldsmobile that
lacked major sponsorship support.  During an early round of
eliminations on that Labor Day Monday the two faced one another, and
there probably wasn’t a fan in the house who didn’t wonder if the fix
was in as the two cars staged.  When the light went green all doubt was
erased from their minds as KJ cruised off the starting line, and WJ
blasted down track.

A chorus of boos chased KJ down track, but a funny thing happened on
the return road.  As his car was towed in front of the stands Kurt held
up a large hand lettered sign reading, “I Still Had A Job.”  The boos
suddenly became cheers, and the Johnson clan found themselves with
hundreds of new fans.  His public acknowledgement of going in the tank
for his father struck a responsive chord with the spectators, not
because it happened, but because they acknowledged it.


PowerTV will be producing video from the 2007 Hot Rod Drag Week presented by TCI® & co-sponsored by COMP Cams® from the entire 1,000+ mile event with next-day
coverage from Cordova to Cedar Falls. Hot Rod Drag Week 2007 is the ultimate
test of street driven drag machines, as 10 classes of vehicles must drive the
entire 1,000 mile trip on their own power with no support trailers & then
race at every venue.

Daily highlights of the event will be posted
beginning Sept. 11, 2007 and will continue throughout the week -
concluding on Saturday, Sept. 15. The broadcast details all of the excitement of
Drag Week, including the daily drag racing competition between contestants, as
well as the cruise between each drag strip, along with the stories of all the
fun, trials and difficulties along the way.

To watch the current coverage of the 2007 Hot Rod
Drag Week now, visit online at PowerPerformanceTV.com.


reminder that if you cannot attend the NHRA playoffs live, all five of the
remaining races in the inaugural Countdown to the Championship are being shown
on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD in the same 7-10 p.m. ET primetime time slot, beginning
with this Sunday’s O’Reilly Mid-South Nationals from


It's been quite a few years since Nitro Funny Car racer Bob Gilbertson
has run a match-race but Gilbertson will face off against South
Carolina's Andy Kelly in a two-round battle on Saturday night,
September 15th at Carolina Dragway in Jackson, S.C. at the O'Reilly
Auto Parts Thunder Jam presented by Torco Racing Fuels.
Gilbertson, who cut his teeth in in the sport match racing all over the
west coast where he started his career, is looking forward to making
some laps at the track nicknamed "The House of Hook."
"Being that Carolina Dragway is just a few hours from our raceshop this
is a home town race for us and the team and I are ready to show the
fans what we've got in a no-holds barred match race," Gilbertson said. 
This will be fun and we're looking to setting the track record deep
into the three second range at over 250 mph and give the fans their
money's worth.  Plus we'll be able to determine who's got the quickest
and fastest Nitro Funny Car in the Carolinas."
Gilbertson will be racing his very popular "Jungle Jim" tribute car
body that won the prestigious "Best Appearing" awards last year at both
the IHRA Nationals in Epping, N.H. and the NHRA Nationals in Indy last