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

AMERICAN DRAGSTER FINALE SUNDAY

The final episode of the
10-show, second season of American Dragster will air July 1st on ESPN2 11:30am
EST, 8:30am PST.
 
In this episode, drivers Tony Schumacher, Ron Capps,
Max Naylor and Erica Enders discuss why, given all the challenges and risk of
racing, they continue to pursue their sport.
 
During the O’Reilly NHRA
Summer Nationals in Topeka, they explain why they strap themselves into a
super-tuned racecar and rocket down the track and why any other job just
wouldn’t cut it.

K&N SPONSORS NEW NHRA PS SHOOTOUT

K&N Engineering, Inc., will sponsor the K&N Horsepower
Challenge, a lucrative bonus event for Pro Stock
competitors.

The K&N Horsepower Challenge is a special race-within-a-race bonus
program for the top Pro Stock drivers in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing
Series. The $76,000 K&N Horsepower Challenge will move venues in
2008 and will be conducted at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park
in Norwalk, Ohio.  The race features a special elimination pairing with
the eight quickest Pro Stock drivers who have accumulated the most
points in qualifying during the 23-race Challenge series.

Drivers will begin earning 2008 K&N Horsepower Challenge points
beginning at this weekend’s event in Norwalk and will continue to
accumulate points through the race prior to next year’s Summit Racing
Equipment NHRA Nationals.

The winner of the K&N Horsepower Challenge will earn $50,000, and
the runner-up will earn $10,000. The two semifinalists will earn $3,000
each, while the four first-round finishers will receive $2,500 each.

BOB DANIELS PASSES

Bob Daniels, one of the original seven NHRA division directors chosen
to organize national operations on a regional basis in November 1959
and a former general manager at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis,
died June 30.

Daniels served as Division 3 director for 20 years, then spent 12 years
as general manager at the venerable Indianapolis facility, the home of
the U.S. Nationals since 1961 and then known as Indianapolis Raceway
Park. Daniels' many contributions to the sport include the
establishment of prominent dragstrips in the North Central United
States and significant advancements and renovations at ORP.

Like most of the early NHRA officials, Daniels' interest in hot rodding
began with street racing, but after several encounters with local law
enforcement, he saw the long-term advantages of organized drag racing
on off-road sites and concentrated all of his energies and resources in
promoting the growth of NHRA. He built his first serious race car, a
'32 Ford with a setback engine, center-point steering, a chopped top,
and a '55 Chevy 265-cid engine that was bored out to 292 cubic inches,
in the winter of 1956-57. He competed with that car, in C/Altered, at
the '57 Nationals in Oklahoma and was so impressed that he made a trip
to California to see what hot rodding was all about out west.

NORWALK FRIDAY


POINTS LEADERS FULLER, ANDERSON, SMITH PACE FIELDS WHILE HIGHT SITS ATOP FUNNY CAR QUALIFYING IN NORWALK
 

Top Fuel points leader "Hot Rod" Fuller only made one run down Summit
Racing Equipment Motorsports Park Friday but he made it a good one,
streaking to the forefront of the inaugural Summit Racing Equipment
NHRA Nationals with a 4.533 at 323.50 mph.

Greg Anderson followed the same formula in Pro Stock, making one
noteworthy pass of 6.654 seconds to lead his class. Funny Car's Robert
Hight (4.713) and Pro Stock Motorcycle's Matt Smith (6.965) also shined.

THE NEW NORWALK

Race track owners, sanctioning body officials and sponsors have a
“problem.” That problem is often the racers, the fans and yes, even
those of us in the media who fail to faithfully mention, in every
story, the full name of a particular race track or event. Given their
choice, the management at the track in Norwalk, Ohio would like all of
us to call the facility by its now proper name, Summit Racing Equipment
Motorsports Park, and quite honestly, we don’t have any problem with
that. They’ve paid for that name change, and “deserve” to have the
track referred to by it.

By the same token, if we’re following “procedure” we should also be
referring to the event as the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals at
Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.

That’s in the ideal world. In the real world it’s going to take years,
and maybe even decades before anyone consistently refers to the
facility or the event by its full and complete proper name. Until then
everyone’s going to continue to reference the track as simply
“Norwalk.” When someone talks about the race they’re probably going to
call it the “Summit Nationals,” or maybe something even more
simplified, like the “Summit race.”

This is anything but an isolated problem. It’s somewhat
universal. Management would like us to refer to the Mac Tools NHRA U.S.
Nationals at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, but for all
eternity those of us who live and breathe drag racing will continue to
just refer to it as “Indy.” In reality it’s the AC Delco NHRA
Gatorationals at Gainesville Raceway, but to us it’s always going to be
either “Gsainesville,” or maybe “the Gators.”

COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP UPDATE

Maybe this was what Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Skoal team needed, a little pressure from their bosses.

Racing in the shadow of Skoal’s Greenwich, Conn. headquarters, with two
busloads of employees watching, Johnson ended a season-long slump by
winning his first race to move up from 12th place all the way to
eighth, just inside the Countdown cutoff.

Johnson was the No. 1 qualifier and had the best car in three of four rounds of qualifying, so it’s not a surprise that he won.

Not unless you were in Englishtown and saw the inferno after his first-round win that melted his Chevy Impala SS body.

BOGACKI WINS BIG

Luke Bogacki added to what may be the most successful season of his career last
weekend at the Southern Survival Series event at Music City Raceway.  There,
Bogacki drove his beautiful CSR Performance Products backed American dragster to
a $10,000 triumph in Saturday’s main event. 
 
Bogacki defeated close friend Jeremy Jensen in the final round, culminating
an awesome string of stellar reaction times and close runs from his Huntsville
Engine & Performance powered machine.  On his way to victory, Bogacki
knocked off notable hitters W.G. Miller, Clint Dishman, Phillip Chester, Kenny
Dixon, and more before squaring off with Jensen in the final round.
 
“Jeremy and I had a little fun in the final.  We‘re real good buddies, so
it was a victory for both of us to run each other at the end,” said Bogacki. 
“We split the money and dialed-in at 7.00,” laughed Bogacki.  The final round
dial-in made for an interesting run, as Jensen had been running 5.4’s all day,
to Bogacki’s 4.90’s. 

PETER OSTERIO PASSES

World renowned businessman and IHRA Alcohol Funny Car driver Peter Osterio
passed away Wednesday after experiencing a sudden heart attack.  Osterio, 53,
immigrated to the U.S. from Australia to pursue his passion for drag racing.  He
is survived by his wife Ann K. Marshall, and brother Brian Osterio.
 
Away from the track, Osterio, a graduate of the University of
New South Wales in Sydney, Aus., was a successful business man in the corporate
world, operating his company, The Osterio Group, which specialized in Business
Processes, Risk Control, Audits and Corporate Governance.  He gave numerous
seminars all over the world to corporate clients and was the author of five
books on business risk, control and audit. 
 
Prior to moving to the United States, Osterio raced drag bikes
in his homeland of Australia.  While racing bikes he befriended the late Elmer
Trett of Top Fuel Bike fame, along with current Top Alcohol Funny Car racers
Steve and Jenelle Harker.

BRUCE LITTON'S 2ND CAR

Twenty-six year-old Jeff O’Neill will make his competition debut in drag racings
ultimate category, Top Fuel Eliminator July 6-8 at the IHRA Cars RV & Marine
Rocky Mountain Nationals presented by Torco Racing Fuels at Castrol Raceway in
Edmonton, Alberta.  O’Neill, who hails from Pennsdale, PA is no stranger to the
driver’s seat or the winners circle, having honed his skills in sportsman
vehicles since the age of eight.
 
Back in November, O’Neill earned his Top Fuel competition license at the
wheel of Litton’s Lucas Oil backed machine, and has since patiently waited his
opportunity to compete at the sports highest level.  That opportunity presents
itself in Edmonton, as O’Neill will pilot a team car for former IHRA Champion
Litton.  O’Neill will be working with the same Litton team that gave 2006 NHRA
Rookie of the Year J.R. Todd his first opportunity behind the wheel, and also
aided multi-time IHRA Champion Clay Millican’s progression into the Top Fuel
ranks.

DOUG KALITTA SR. PASSES

Doug Kalitta, Sr., the father of NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel
driver Doug Kalitta and brother of drag racing legend Conrad “Connie” Kalitta,
lost his battle with cancer yesterday. He was 67. He passed away at his home in
Mt. Clemens, Mich.

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