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Rookie of the Year J.R. Todd knows he needs a big weekend to keep his
championship hopes alive and he responded with a top-qualifying effort
of 4.541 seconds at 318.47 mph Friday night at the 22nd annual O'Reilly
Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec.

The Top Fuel racer joined surprise Funny Car leader Tim Wilkerson, Pro
Stock stalwart Greg Anderson, and Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader
Andrew Hines on the provisional low qualifier's podium.

Currently 77 points behind the fourth and final spot in the Countdown
to Four, Todd has two races to make up the deficit. He's off to a good
start with a quick 4.541 seconds at 318.47 mph in his Skull Gear

"Last week we missed a perfect opportunity to make up some ground on
the guys in front of us but, it is what it is, and now we've got our
work cut out for us this weekend," Todd said. "Hopefully now can go
some rounds, pick up some points, and go into Richmond and get in that
top four. This is a good morale booster for us because we've all been
down in the dumps. Right now everyone is pumped up."


The IHRA’s decision to hold racer parking until Friday has drawn the
ire of several racers that opted to return for the rescheduled IHRA
Motor City Nationals at Milan Dragway in Milan Michigan.

According to the professional racers who discussed the issue with
Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com, they are saddled with six hours worth of
set-up time leaving little time to prepare their cars for Friday’s 6:30
PM qualifying session. Sportsman racing begins at 3 PM.

IHRA President Aaron Polburn said the issue shouldn’t be that much of a
big deal.With many of sportsman cars having been eliminated and because
those cars are no longer a factor in this weekend, the lines to get in
should move quicker. He said when you have to credential all of the
professional and sportsman cars, that in itself is a time-consuming
affair that requires the extra day.


DRbookcover.jpgRising drag racing star Darrell Russell lost his life at the height of his professional career in an on-track accident at Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis in the summer of 2004. During his all-too-brief three-and-a-half-year stint as the driver of legend Joe Amato's 330-mph dragster, no one was closer to Russell than NHRA.com Senior Editor Rob Geiger.

In Darrell Russell: Broad Smiles, Quarter-Miles, Geiger memorializes his best friend and fellow Texan by exploring the person he was, from his boyhood years in Houston to his life in the fast lane of NHRA Championship Drag Racing.

Filled with stories of Russell's early days with his beloved family on through to his numerous successes on the racetrack that made him one of the most sought-after racers on the circuit, Geiger's book already has garnered some high praise in media circles.


Patty Bradford, mother of NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Tom Bradford, passed
away just before the Memphis race weekend. Tom sat that one out, but resumes his
race schedule this weekend in Dallas. "It's what she would have wanted us to
do," said Tom, driving to the Texas Motorplex with his father Lloyd "Brad"
Bradford. "For my first ten years of racing, she was a big factor in my team.
Driving to and from races, videotaping the passes, and holding it all together.
It was all about everybody else more than it was for her. She was a great woman.
Very loving and caring, and it didn't matter who you were, she'd welcome you
into the home."
Patty was raised as a North Dakota farm girl before her
family moved to Milwaukee when farming got tough. "Her dad got a job at American
Motors," said Tom. "My was dad stationed in the Navy down at Great Lakes near
Chicago. He'd come up to Milwaukee on leave, and that's how he met my mom. They
were married for 44 years, and had me and my sister Christine Wallis. Mom was a
grandmother of four.



Former two time NSCA World
Champion Randy Jewell returns to the NSCA this weekend for the series finale,
the BES Racing Engines World Finals presented by RPM Magazine.

Jewell will be at the
wheel of the Jewell, Falco and Mars twin turbo Camaro that was built during the
off hours at Pro Car Performance in Rochester,


mmps_30_logo_220.jpgBob Glidden isn’t a man who
spends time wondering “what if” but when it comes to a certain race in
1987, he can’t help it. On a qualifying run at Darlington Dragway in
South Carolina, the Whiteland, Indiana-based Pro Stock legend reeled
off an astounding 199.11 mph blast. That marked the fastest speed any
legal doorslammer vehicle had achieved on the quarter-mile.

Later that evening, a Top Sportsman entry ran 202 mph to steal the accolades.

Many wondered what would have happened had Glidden nailed the 200 mph
mark first. In all likelihood, Glidden would have had it not been for
one detail.

“We broke a darn wheelie bar,” Glidden said. “The darn car came up real
high and stayed up through the end of third gear. If we would have made
a clean run then we could have run 200. We came close. We were really

Glidden said he still remembers that day. He said it was like the ultimate fish story – the one he let get away.


Priorities are a vital concept in life and NHRA POWERade Funny Car driver Mike Ashley isn’t afraid to keep his in check.

In the midst of tight Countdown to the Championship battle and coming
off of a disappointing DNQ in Memphis, the Torco Race Fuels-sponsored
Ashley has chosen to stick to his principles this weekend.

Ashley will not race on Saturday in observance of the Jewish holiday
Yom Kippur. He will spend Saturday in prayer at a local Temple.

"Racing is not the only thing in life, and definitely not the most
important in the big picture. I take what I do on the racetrack very
seriously, but I take life even more seriously." Ashley said.

Ashley said maintaining his priorities are what make him the person he is today.
"I have to live what I say I believe, and for me, my faith in God and
being an example and leader in my family takes priority,” said Ashley.
“I know Evan [Knoll, owner of Torco Racing Fuels and Ashley's title
sponsor] and my other sponsors understand, the team is with me, and I'm
confident we'll perform well so it won't be an issue," he said.


Pro Modified has made a transformation of monstrous proportions since
1990s inaugural season. A class built on the competitive mix of two
diametrically opposite combinations and bearing the moniker of “run
whatcha brung and hope you brung enough,” today’s Pro Modified clearly
dictates that having nitrous in your doorslammer just isn’t enough to
run with the two major sanctioning bodies.

Many of today’s leading nitrous racers have proclaimed that for years
and while many dismissed those claims as lobbying for a rule change, it
has become clearly evident the disadvantage has been enough to keep
them away in droves.

Many nitrous racers allege the IHRA has turned a deaf ear to their
pleas and because of that they refuse to participate in what they
clearly define as an un-level playing field. Others decline to even
comment on the NHRA AMS situation.

During the 2007 season, the IHRA has rarely attracted over five nitrous
entries per event. That’s a dramatic turnaround considering that in the
first Pro Modified national event back in 1990, fifteen nitrous cars

The nitrous cars are still in existence, but many are flocking to the
American Drag Racing League because of their willingness to split the
Pro Modified class into two entities – nitrous and supercharged.


Rockingham Dragway owner Steve Earwood announced Thursday a new five-year
contract extension that will keep the All-Harley Drag Racing Association’s
popular Screamin’ Eagle Eastern Finals at The Rock at least through the 2011

 This year’s 16th
annual event, featuring the quickest and fastest Harley-Davidson motorcycles on
the planet including the 224 mile-an-hour Top Fuel Harleys, is scheduled Oct.

 “The AHDRA Finals
always has been one of our favorite events,” Earwood said.  “(AHDRA General
Manager) Craig Tharpe and his people put on a great show and we’re pleased to be
able to guarantee our fans the best Harley show in America for at
least five more years.”


royce logo.gifFormer NHRA Division 4 Top Alcohol Dragster Champion turned Top Alcohol Funny
Car driver Lee Callaway will debut new primary sponsor Royce Homes during this
weekend's O'Reilly Fall Nationals presented by Castrol at the Texas Motorplex
just south of Dallas.  Despite being only the second national event behind the
wheel of his 2007 Mustang Funny Car, Callaway hopes to lean on the experience of
Crew Chief Jackie Stidham, who won six Division 4 Championships in Top Alcohol
Funny Car as a driver.
Callaway, from Baytown, Texas, is excited to have
Royce Homes on board for the remainder of the season.  The team will also assist
Royce Homes founder Mike Manners, who currently competes in Top Dragster and Top
Sportsman, upgrade his license to Top Alcohol Funny Car during post-race testing
on Monday.
"We're very pleased to have Mike Manners and Royce
Homes on board," said Callaway.  "We have a lot of experience in our corner in
Jackie Stidham, Stacy McLemore and my dad Dickie.  We feel like we have the
right parts and pieces on the car, and adding Royce Homes as a sponsor will help
us mix it up with the top cars in the class.  This year has been a learning
process for us and we hope to make a big step in the right direction this