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

NHRA FINES SCHUMACHER

NHRA officials have announced that Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher has
been fined $20,000 for failing to follow the commands of NHRA Chief Starter Rick
Stewart during Saturday’s final qualifying attempt at the Automobile Club of
Southern California NHRA Finals.


NHRA NAMES NEW DIRECTOR, TOP FUEL AND FUNNY CAR RACING

NHRA announced today that Dan Olson,
veteran crew chief most recently with
Don Schumacher Racing, has been
named as Director, Top Fuel and Funny Car
Racing.  Olson, who has more
than 40 years of experience in nitromethane
racing, starts his new
position on Dec. 1.

"We are excited to have
someone with Dan's knowledge and experience
working at NHRA," said Graham
Light, senior vice president of racing
operations.  "Dan is a tremendous
asset and will help us to provide
long-term solutions to advance our sport." 

SCHUMACHER ON SHUT-OFF - "I clearly saw him."

DSD_1404.jpgOfficial starter Rick Stewart spotted some fluid leaking onto the right lane
from Tony Schumacher's Army car, and he and Rick Shreck, assistant director of Top Fuel and
Funny Car racing (Ray Alley's replacement), clearly ordered the team to shut off
the car.

Schumacher's team ignored the order. Schumacher ran, and
his plans went up in smoke immediately. He lost traction at the first hit of the
throttle. So his 4.458 E.T. that had put him at the head of the list the
previous two days had to serve as his best.

NHRA officials are reviewing
the incident and a prepared statement indicated that they are considering
punitive action against the team.

NHRA LODRS SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED

Divisional races at Bradenton, Florida, and Baytown, Texas, Feb. 16-18
will kick off the 2007 edition of the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

In addition to the 44-race schedule of divisional events are four
specialty events spread out throughout the season. Jeg's will sponsor
the first three: the April 20-22 Jegs.com NHRA Cajun Sportsnationals at
Belle Rose, Louisiana; the June 9 Jeg's All-Stars at Joliet, Illinois;
and the Jeg's Northern Sportsnationals at Columbus, Ohio. The NHRA
Pacific Sportsnationals will be Oct. 5-7 at Fontana, California.

The series has expanded to two new markets. The North Central Division
has added Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio,
and the newest West Central Division venue is Cordova Dragway Park in
Illinois.

WORSHAM BRUISED BUT NOT BROKEN

DSC_0077.JPGDel Worsham was back at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona by eight this morning, ready
to defend his provisional pole slot in Saturday’s two qualifying
sessions. Although Worsham suffered a broken tail bone, there’s nothing doctors
can do to help the healing.

His Chuck Worsham-led Team CSK added a bit
of padding for Del’s seat and sent him out this morning with a repaired Chevy
Monte Carlo body shell on a former Mike Ashley chassis, which Ashley used when
he and Worsham were teammates. Worsham’s rear wing, destroyed in yesterday’s
wreck, was replaced by a spare from teammate Phil Burkart’s Havoline special
edition car.

BACK UP CAR WORKS FINE FOR KALITTA

kalittaDSD_0931.JPGDoug Kalitta's 4.452-second blast at 328.22 mph came in a back-up version of the
Mac Tools Dragster that replaced the one that was damaged in Saturday's opening
session. It was the car he drove for the first third of the season.

"Rahn
said if it feels good, just run it through. If it goes out and does anything
stupid, shut it off," Kalitta said.

THE POMONA PRO STOCK SHUFFLE

The Auto Club Finals Pro Stock field is as notable for who’s missing on the
16-car grid. The Professor, Warren Johnson failed to qualify (he was 21st of 25
and struggled all weekend), as did Richie Stevens Jr, as noted above. Larry
Morgan could only manage the 19th quickest speed and Max Naylor, in competition
for rookie honors had the 20th best lap. Captain Chaos will miss the season
finale, as Kenny Koretsky failed to get a capable speed, slotting in at
22nd.

FIRE IN THE HOLE

Saturday's qualifying for the AAA Auto Club Finals produced a couple of
fireballs captured by Brian Losness.

POMONA - FINAL QUALIFYING

       

 

KALITTA, BECKMAN, LINE
AND HINES EARN NO. 1 QUALIFYING HONORS AT AUTO CLUB NHRA
FINALS

beckmanDSD_1300.JPG

 

Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta outran championship rival Tony
Schumacher with a dramatic 4.452-second pass in the final qualifying
session of the Auto Club NHRA Finals to earn the No. 1 qualifying
position heading Sunday's 11 a.m. eliminations.

Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock), and Andrew Hines (Pro
Stock Motorcycle) also qualified on top of their respective categories
at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in the final of 23 races in the $50
million POWERade Drag Racing Series.

TOWNSEND WILL SIT OUT 2007

Seven-time NHRA North Central Division Champion Danny Townsend will take a “bye”
on driving in 2007. The announcement came from Townsend’s Muncie, Ind., home,
where he is recovering from a final round accident at the September NHRA Lucas
Oil Drag Racing Series event in Columbus, Ohio.

“I’m just about 100
percent recovered from the crash,” he said. “I feel great, but, based on
discussions with my medical team, I believe it best that I pass on 2007 and look
at 2008 for a come back.”

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