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


In an effort to thank all the sportsman racers who participate at the re-run of
the Skull Shine Sooner Nationals at Tulsa Raceway Park, IHRA will be hosting a
free race for sportsman competitors on Friday,
June 22. There is no entry fee and
the payout will be over $300,000 in national event contingency


“After figuring out the rescheduled date, the next thing
we went to work on is coming up with a way to create added value for all the
sportsman competitors who will be returning to the event,” said director of
competition Mike Baker. “We understand the increased costs associated with
competing on the Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am or Knoll-Gas Nitro Jam series
this year, let alone having to come back a second time.  There are a lot of sportsman teams that
braved the rain and a lot of teams who sat it out the first time that will now
be coming to Tulsa because the sportsman fields are still


“Our focus for the rescheduled event is
on creating a second sportsman race to help justify the travel expense and at
the same time to say ‘thank you’ to the sportsman competitors for their support
of IHRA,” said Frank Kohutek, IHRA division 4 director.  “Since most of the competition department is
made up of current and former sportsman racers, we know most every racer
concentrates on the thousands of dollars in contingency postings available at
national events. We thought that having two chances in the same weekend of
winning national event contingency would be a great way to reward the sportsman
racers for their efforts.” 


Race fans attending the ProCare RX SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway
Park on June 22 - 24 will have an opportunity to win a piece of motorsports
history, while at the same time, say thanks to American Forces at the Landstuhl
Regional Medical Center in Germany.

The Army Special Forces Association,
Randall Shughart Chapter 64, based in Carlisle, Pa., will be raffling an
autographed racing helmet signed by 44 NHRA drivers including current and former
champions. The proceeds will be used to purchase telephone cards, clothing items
and duffle bags for use by wounded/injured personnel at LRMC.

Members of
the Randall Shughart Chapter 64 of the Army Special Forces Association travel to
LRMC via SpaceA on U.S. Air Force aircraft and distribute the items. For the
past two years, members of SFA Chapter 64 have also served as the advance team
and on-site organizers for "Operation Support Our Wounded," a post-season visit
by NHRA goodwill ambassadors Warren Johnson, Jim Yates, Melanie Troxel, Tommy
Johnson Jr. and Cory McClenathan with American troops in Germany.


Whit Bazemore can be described in countless ways. He’s arguably the most
competitive driver in NHRA drag racing. He’s a loving, caring husband and
father. He’s a passionate and driven racer. Bazemore also is never at a loss for
words. Sometimes controversial, but always of strong opinion, the 20-time NHRA
winner recently completed the first third of the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing
Series season. Eight races into his first season in the David Powers Motorsports
camp behind the wheel of the Matco Tools dragster, the veteran nitro pilot is
adjusting just fine to his new 300” ride. Yet to reach the winner’s circle in
’07, Baze and his Lee Beard-led race team have proven they have one of the elite
cars in the sport. At the Houston race in late March, Bazemore became
just the 15th racer in NHRA history to earn poles in both Top Fuel
and Funny Car. Now Baze has his sights set on becoming the 14th to
earn wins in both nitro classes. As the NHRA schedules offers up a grueling
stretch of eight races in nine weeks, Bazemore recently conducted a 10-question
Q&A. Bazemore talks about driving a Top Fuel dragster, his recent move to
Oregon and his
career goals.


Rising Top Fuel star Rod Fuller will be back
behind the wheel of the Fabick CAT dragster. The four-time NHRA Top Fuel winner
will pilot the yellow-and-black rail for the second time this season as David
Powers Motorsports and Fenton, Mo.-based Fabick CAT have partnered for the
10th annual Torco Racing Fuels Nationals, June 8-10, at Route 66
Raceway near Chicago. Linn State
Technical College, located in Linn, Mo.,
also will be part of the event.


relationship between David Powers Motorsports and the CAT dealer groups is
designed as a pilot program to increase technician recruiting. Caterpillar
dealers are experiencing a shortage of technicians, and NHRA drag racing offers
a technician-rich recruiting environment to find qualified candidates with
experienced mechanical backgrounds. Fabick CAT is
the authorized dealer for Caterpillar equipment, prime and stand-by power
systems, parts and service, compact construction, and rental equipment for 99
counties in southern Missouri and Illinois. David Powers
Motorsports partnered with Houston-based Mustang CAT during the Houston race and Fabick CAT for the St. Louis race in early


Larry Morgan said he wanted to make
someone’s day and did just that. He invited a clown to the race.

mind the fact Morgan’s crew thinks he’s a clown incognito; Morgan extended the

Fumbles the Clown was in the Morgan house … eh …

“I’ve got my own personal clown,” Morgan said, laughing with the
response. “We went to eat breakfast and this guy was clowning around in there.
He asked me if I was with a team and I told him yes. Then he hinted that he
would love to come to the race. I extended the invitation and he

The time frame was tight for Fumbles. He had an hour to spare and
that was long enough to make an appearance on the starting line for Morgan’s
third qualifying attempt.


Before this season, Melanie Troxel had never heard of Pfc. Paul S. Czerwonka. Now she wears his name.

Troxel has heard plenty of stories of war since her Top Fuel dragster
became the fastest Vietnam Veterans memorial on the planet. At every
NHRA POWERade Series event, veterans and family members of American
servicemen and women come to meet Troxel and see her Evan Knoll-owned
Vietnam/Veterans/POW-MIA dragster.

Czerwonka is a U.S. Marine who was killed in South Vietnam on May 10,
1968. His name is engraved on the silver remembrance bracelet she’ll
wear for one year, until it’s time to return it to the original owner.
She may not know much about him, but every story and every name matter
to her.

“Every Saturday (before qualifying) we have a get-together, where we’ve
invited between five and 20 veterans to the track, or families of
veterans and POW’s still missing in action,” Troxel said. “A lot of
veterans come to the races and bring us gifts, like flags that have
flown in missions, or medals.”


Jack Beckman tested a Top Fuel dragster last
week in Indianapolis. The sophomore Funny Car racer drove the ex-Melanie Troxel
SKULL SHINE dragster that she vacated when moving over to the Morgan Lucas

Beckman said no imminent plan exists to switch to a dragster. The
test was nothing more than keeping that car turn-key if a deal comes along for a
second Don Schumacher Top Fueler, so the start-up will be minimal, Beckman said.

“My crew got elected to go out and test the car in Indy,” Beckman said.
“We’ll probably have one more shake-down before the end of the year. That way,
what Don has is a car ready to go once he decides what he wants to


Reigning Pro Mod champion Quain Stott had a few thoughts about the rule
changes headed into 2007.

"The competition hasn't really stepped up. The rule changes
screwed everybody up. It's thrown us a curve, and we really haven't quite
figured it out yet," he said., although he qualified in the top half of the
field at seventh.

"We don't have the budget to go out there and wear
motors out trying to figure this new rule out with the 4:30 gear they have. The
higher-funded teams are obviously figuring this out quicker then we are. We are
getting better every race. This is the first race this year we've been in the
top half, but actually believe it or not, I’m in better shape now than I was
this time last year.


A recent online poll of
avid NHRA fans presented the following statement and question: "Only four Funny
Car drivers have qualified at all seven events this season. Who will miss

The choices were Ron Capps, Gary Scelzi, Tony Pedregon, and Checker,
Schuck's, Kragen blue team driver Jeff Arend. Throughout the course of the
online voting, the "turnout" at the polls was enormous, as more than 19,000 fans
cast their votes to show their opinion on the subject. In the end, the consensus
was overwhelming, as 60 percent of the vote went for Arend to be the next to


Racing helmets, as wonderful as they
are, are not custom fits. “They’re like socks -- one size fits all,” John Force
said. And in the wake of Eric Medlen’s fatal crash in March, that isn’t good
enough for the team owner and 14-time champion.

“Winning and safety are
my priorities,” Force said. And while some might joke from time to time that the
popular and personable Force needs to have his head examined. But that’s just
what he is going to do.