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

NHRA DRIVERS AUTOGRAPH SESSION

A free NHRA driver autograph session at the ESPN Zone will kick off the
April 12-15 SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas
Motor Speedway.

STEWART JOINS CARRIER BOYZ

In 15 full seasons of Top Fuel competition, Cory McClenathan has not paid much
attention to his position in NHRA POWERade Series points this early in the
season.  Until now.
 
NHRA’s implementation of its new Countdown to the
Championship formula hasn’t altered the number of points or how they are
awarded.  What it did was put a premium on points earned in the first 17 races,
a.k.a. Countdown to Eight.  The top eight have their title hopes extended
another four races.  Then four more exit to set the stage for the final four to
figure it out in the last two events.

PRO TOP OUTLAWS OPEN IN FARMINGTON

The Pro Top Outlaw Series is set to begin their
6th season of competition this weekend in Farmington, North Carolina
at the first ever Tar Heel Nationals.  The series, which is a step up from Top
Dragster and not quite Top Alcohol, is comprised of dragsters, altereds, and
funny cars, either blower or nitrous, all racing heads-up against one another. 
This event will mark the beginning of the 2007 points chase and last year’s
champion Phil Esz and runner-up Brandon Booher will both be in attendance to see
if they can rise to the occasion once again.

The 2007 inaugural event will be held on April 13th
and 14th beginning with the ever popular “Night of Fire”
qualifying at 7:30 PM on Friday.  The event is yet another milestone for the
series as they hit the quarter-mile for the first time ever at Farmington
Dragway.  The event will feature a 16 car field with The Pro Top Outlaws
(qualifiers 1 thru 8) and the Pro Top Bandits (qualifiers 9 thru 16) each racing
for their respective trophies during eliminations on
Saturday.

AUTOGRAPH SESSION IN VEGAS

A free NHRA driver
autograph session at the ESPN Zone will kick off the April 12-15
SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The
autograph session will be held at the ESPN Zone inside the New York New York
Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on Thursday, April 12, from 7-8 p.m. Racers
planning to attend the event include: Jack Beckman, Jeff Arend, Del Worsham, Jon
Capps, Rod Fuller, Hillary Will, Jason Line, Greg Anderson, J.R. Todd, Cory
McClenathan, Clay Millican, Dave Connolly, Jeg Coughlin, Kenny Koretsky, Justin
Humphrey, Jerry Toliver, Bill Windham, and this list is still
growing.

LINE'S FAST START

After grinding his way through the 2006 NHRA schedule, a season in which Jason
Line won his first POWERade Pro Stock championship, the 37-year-old Summit
Racing Pontiac driver made a personal commitment to try and have a little bit
more fun this year. While still putting in long hours with his teammates at the
KB Racing Shop in Mooresville, N.C., early success on the track, including a win
at the tour's last stop in Houston, and a runner-up at Phoenix, would indicate
that Line's more relaxed approach may be paying off.

"One of my goals for
the year was to enjoy what's going on around me a little more," said Line. "And
I'll be honest, winning makes it a little easier. Drag racing is supposed to be
about fun, but sometimes you're reminded that there are more important things
than racing, or just winning for that matter. If I'm not going to have fun doing
this then I'm not going to do it. As far as less stress on the race team, that's
always a good thing. If one of us is in a bad mood then that tends to spill over
onto everyone else, and again, that takes some of the fun out of it. That's not
what this sport is about. We work hard, no question about that, but we need to
step back sometimes, take a look at what we've accomplished, and maybe enjoy it
a little bit, too."

GILBERTSON SKIPS LAS VEGAS

Nitro Funny Car racer Bob
Gilbertson has elected to skip the next race on the NHRA schedule, this
weekend's Summitracing.com Nationals in Las Vegas.
 
Gilbertson, who is currently ninth in the NHRA
POWERade points standings, regrets having to miss the race but was forced to
make that decision due to budget restraints, availability of parts and the cost
of having to travel to the west coast for a single event.
 
"This was the toughest decision I've ever had to
make in my racing career," Gilbertson said.  "There are a few factors that
figured into the equation.  First off the new diesel engine emissions law that
was implemented January 1, 2007 has had a direct impact on our racing budget. 
Freightliner, the largest truck manufacturer in the world, is one of my
company's biggest customers, we supply them with air tanks and they've seen
their sales drop off 40% and they've laid off over 6,000 people so far and with
that, the demand for air tanks has dropped like a rock. They don't expect sales
to improve until the fourth quarter and look to increase production then and
into 2008."

GILBERTSON TO SKIP LAS VEGAS RACE

Nitro Funny Car racer Bob Gilbertson has elected to skip the next race
on the NHRA schedule, this weekend's Summitracing.com Nationals in Las
Vegas.

GET TO KNOW WHIT BAZEMORE

Date of
birth:
  March 12, 1963

 

Age:
44

 

Birthplace:
New
York

 

Residence:
Indianapolis

 

High
school:
  North Fulton
High School, Atlanta

MIKE ASHLEY Q&A

Q&A with Mike Ashley, driver of the Torco Race Fuels, Inc. Dodge Charger and
vice president of Lend America, the Official Mortgage Source of NHRA. Mike
Ashley talks about his red light in Houston, the current status of the mortgage
business and Lend America, his feelings about mourning Eric Medlen, and the
importance of Passover to him.

 
Q: Mike, your weekend in Houston was
up and down, and it ended with an un-characteristic red light foul start. What
was going on that lead up to that?

Basically, it's two things. First
of all, I'm not the first person to red light, and I won't be the last. Ron
Capps already redlit this year, John Force has redlit, Gary Densham just redlit.
 So -- the question is really why -- Why do you red light.
 
I've had a
lot of time to think about it, and the reality is, I did have a good car that
weekend, a car that can win. In fact, we had the quickest and fastest car of the
weekend.

NHRA SPORTSMAN TV ON OUTDOOR CHANNEL

The NHRA Sportsman Spotlight which includes features on drivers in the
NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, as well as spotlights on NHRA’s
member track network, is part of the debut of the popular show Inside
Drag Racing, Friday, April 6 at 8 p.m. (ET) on The Outdoor Channel.

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