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

FORCE WINS SHAV GLICK AWARD

FORCE’S DAUGHTERS ACCEPT SHAV GLICK AWARD ON HIS
BEHALF IN CEREMONIES DURING RAIN-PLAGUED AUTO CLUB 500
 
While their father was busy Sunday racing in Arizona, Brittany and Courtney
Force and Adria Hight accepted the Justice Brothers-Shav Glick Award, on his
behalf.  The annual award, presented in conjunction with the Auto Club 500 at
California Speedway,  recognizes those who have made distinguished contributions
to motor sports in the state of California,
 
 From Firebird Raceway, where he was eliminated in the first round of
Sunday’s 24th annual Checker/Schuck’s/Kragen Nationals, second race in the 2008
NHRA POWERade Series, Force acknowledged both Glick, the dean of American motor
sports writers who last year succumbed to complications of melanoma, and the
other nominees for the award.
 
 “Being nominated for an award with Shav’s name on it is an honor by
itself,” Force said, “but to be with people like Robert (E.) Petersen, Chris
Pook and Jimmie Johnson, the NASCAR champ, makes it even more special.  I wish I
could have been there myself but I’m just glad my girls were able to accept it
for me.  It’ll go right in my museum.”
 
 Johnson, the 2006 and 2007 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion, began riding 50cc
motorcycles at age five.  Before heading to NASCAR, he drove in the Mickey
Thompson Entertainment Group Stadium Racing Series and won championships in the
SCORE International Off-Road Series and SODA Winter Series.

FINAL ROUND RESULTS FROM PHOENIX

Sunday's final results from the 24th annual Checker Schuck's Kragen
NHRA Nationals presented by  Castrol at Firebird International
Raceway.  The  race is the second of 24 in the  NHRA POWERade Drag
Racing Series:

NAPA'S HONORARY CREWMAN

sunday_notes_napa.jpgJohn Carapellese, a 29-year-old drag-racing enthusiast from Flagstaff, Ariz.,
was selected as the second NAPA AUTO PARTS Honorary Crew Member of the 2008 NHRA
season at this weekend's NHRA Nationals at Firebird Raceway. Carapellese, who
works at the Flagstaff NAPA AUTO PARTS store which also serves the Winslow and
Prescott, Arizona, valley areas, was nominated by the wife of his boss, Brent
Crosser, for the prestigious honor.
 
Carapellese helped escort the NAPA
AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driven by Ron Capps to the staging lanes
in the team's Dodge Durango tow vehicle during the first round of eliminations
and then helped retrieve the race car at the end of the track following the run.
He also received a NAPA team shirt and met the entire NAPA AUTO PARTS racing
crew.

NEW FORTUNES FOR ALLEN JOHNSON

Allen Johnson was shaking his head in disbelief as he wandered into the post-qualifying press

Image
Allen
Johnson replaced the memories of a DNQ the subsequent heart attack of
his dad/engine builder Roy Johnson with a fourth career pole position. (Roger Richards)

conference.
How could one of the worst memories of his life a year ago at the NHRA
CSK Nationals, do a 180-degree turn in the positive direction a year
later?

The veteran driver kept the memories of a 2007 DNQ [Did Not Qualify]
and the subsequent heart attack of his dad/engine builder Roy Johnson
in the back of his mind. They were quickly replaced by the reality of
his fourth career pole position during the 2008 event.

“We couldn't do nothing right,” said Johnson. “We got down the track
one time I think.  We just could not get a hold of the race track. 
Then the deal with dad happened on Sunday.  We said coming back here
last week the media asked me, ‘How are you going to feel going back
there?”

SUN SETS EARLY FOR TEAM VIS VIVA IN ARIZONA DESERT

The old saying "some days you are the windshield, and some days you're
the bug" couldn't be more true for Top Fuel driver Alan Bradshaw during
the NHRA CSK Nationals in Phoenix, Arizona.

"This weekend we were the bug," Bradshaw said.

Only seventeen cars made the trek to Phoenix and entering the final
session, Bradshaw was on the outside looking in courtesy of an aborted
opening run.

PEDREGON CONTINUES ADJUSTMENT

Tony
Pedregon refused to get frustrated, but the task at hand was clearly
getting the best of him as rain fell on Firebird Raceway. A once simple
task of applying decals suddenly took on a bit of complexity with a
seriously burned hand sporting a protective glove.

“If I had two good hands, I’d be able to do a lot better at this,”
Pedregon explained, as he pulled off his third attempt at placing a
Chevrolet decal on his new Impala Funny car body.

This was a task he was unable to complete during his week off between
events. Most of his off week was spent working with the doctors and
nursing his burned hands to the point he could use them to drive this
weekend. His right hand received second degree burns.

FINAL PHOENIX QUALIFYING

WILKERSON COLLECTS SECOND CONSECUTIVE NO. 1 OF 2008; BERNSTEIN, JOHNSON ALSO NO. 1 AT CHECKER SCHUCK’S KRAGEN NHRA NATIONALS

Image
Tim Wilkerson continued to fly the banner for the lesser financed teams.

Funny Car driver Tim Wilkerson raced to his second consecutive No. 1
qualifying position of the season during Saturday qualifying at the
Checker Schuck’s Kragen NHRA Nationals at Firebird International
Raceway.

Brandon Bernstein and Allen Johnson also were the No. 1 qualifiers in
their respective categories at the second NHRA POWERade Drag Racing
Series event of the 2008 season.

Wilkerson drove his Levi, Ray & Shoup Chevy Impala SS to a 4.775
second run at 327.03 mph to secure the No. 1 spot in Funny Car, after
rain on Friday shortened the qualifying sessions from four to two.

“With only two runs, it was anybodies ball game there,” Wilkerson said.
“If we’d had more runs you’d probably see somebody else No. 1, but
that’s ok. We’re happy and we’ll take our No. 1.”

THE WILKERSON FACTOR

Image
“The 90% has really helped
my deal because my parts are a little weaker than others so the percentages help
my car run a little better. My car was already heavy from
last year so the weight they put on the car didn't really do anything to affect
me.
" -
Tim Wilkerson

If there was any question
that Tim Wilkerson’s superb performance in Pomona
was a fluke, he provided an encore performance two weeks later in Phoenix by securing a
second No. 1 qualifying effort in as many events.

Wilkerson laid down the
quickest runs in each of Saturday’s NHRA CSK Nationals Funny Car qualifying
sessions.

“With two runs, it was
anybody’s ball game,” Wilkerson admitted. “If there had been more runs, it
might have been someone else. But, that’s okay. We’ll take number one. We had a
mechanical failure last weekend at Pomona
when it broke a valve on the starting line. 
Hopefully we can stop doing stuff like that and go some rounds.  We've got a good car there's no doubt about
that, it's not leaking and beating anything up.”

Wilkerson’s actions send a
clear message – twice is not a coincidence.

LAST MINUTE JFR HEROICS IN PHOENIX

John Force may have thought he had the market cornered on heroics, but
during Saturday qualifying at the Checker Schuck’s Kragen NHRA
Nationals hired guns Mike Neff and Robert Hight put on a clinic with a
pair of runs the claim a spot during the final qualifying session..

In the first session Neff drove his Old Spice Ford Mustang to the top
half of the field with an impressive 4.835 second pass and was
confident heading into the second session. Working with Crew Chief John
Medlen, Neff knew that his BOSS 500 Ford motor was coming around for
his team.

“I’m real proud of John Medlen and the Old Spice crew. They did their
job and I should have been No.1 qualifier. I feel bad that I couldn’t
have gotten it to the lights (finish line) under full power. It was
still a good run.”

SCARY MOMENT FOR TASCA IN PHOENIX

tasca_phoenix.jpgSmoking the tires and failing to qualify for the NHRA CSK Nationals was
a tough pill to swallow for Bob Tasca III but not nearly as tough as a
wide open throttle might have provided. An exploded supercharger
provided an escape for the rookie driver.

“Not a good situation,” said Tasca after the throttle. “Our car shook
and I pedaled it, but we had something fail with the throttle. When I
stepped off of the throttle at the finish line, it was still wide open.
I’ll tell you what, I’ve never been afraid in one of these cars, but
when you’re going over 300 and your foot is off the throttle and the
car is still accelerating, that gets your attention. Fortunately for
us, the parachutes both came out.”

Tasca pulled into the shutoff area of the track following his second
run with a crack across the top of his Shelby Mustang and smoke coming
from underneath.

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