:::::: Rumor Mill ::::::

IS THE HOTTEST NHRA TOP FUEL DRIVER AVAILABLE?

We’re hearing some serious talk that an-almost rookie driver who had a
remarkably successful Top Fuel season, including a  Top 5 points finish with
POWERade Series event victories, could be  available.  Despite the
appearance of a major sponsorship on the car  he's driving, the other rumor
we’ve heard is that there’s more flash than substance to that corporate
backing.  The driver in question is  an exceptional car handler and superior
leaver, which probably means when word of his potential availability gets
around, he won&rsquo

ANOTHER BRACKETEER TURNED TOP FUEL?

A source close to Rockingham Dragway confirmed that top-running bracket racer Jeff O'Neill made licensing runs at the track last weekend behind the wheel of Bruce Litton's dragster. O'Neill reportedly made runs that were on pace by incrementals to land in the 4.7-second range. The word is the former junior dragster racer (since 11) has enough sponsorship in place to run a minimum of six national events.

SECOND O'BANNON CAR

Sources have confirmed that five-time Top Alcohol Dragster championship team owner Jack O'Bannon will be announcing an expansion to include a second car. Joining Sean O'Bannon will be a Top Alcohol Funny Car by a female driver sponsored by Paul Mitchell Hair Care products, a Tequila company and Torco. The car will reportedly be tuned by Randy Anderson.

Don't be surprised if this ride is a stepping stone into the fuel ranks. 

DON SCHUMACHER'S DECISION

Expect a decision within the next ten days from Don Schumacher as to whether he will keep Jack Beckman in his record-setting Funny Car or move him to Top Fuel. Sources indicate that Schumacher is seriously torn as to which direction to go. We are hearing the largest sticking point is that Schumacher is not keen on taking Beckman away from a crew that is performing really well, not to mention the fact the team just set the world record.

THREE'S COMPANY IN TOYOTA CAMP?

The popular word is that a third Toyota flopper could join Scott
Kalitta and soon-to-be-announced Jerry Toliver in the research and
development group. If this story pans out, it could mean that at least
one single-car Funny Car operation could have some partners to battle
against the multi-car Ford, Mopar and GM efforts.

WHERE IS MIKE ASHLEY GOING?

Multiple sources have indicated that NHRA Funny Car driver Mike Ashley
will make his long-awaited announcement regarding his future in the
class during the first day of qualifying in Pomona. The announcement is
expected to detail his departure from Don Schumacher Racing, who has
managed the team since July. The popular rumor is that Ashley will
field his own team with backing from Evan Knoll and Knoll will dissolve
his ownership of the Funny Car team.

THE FORMER CHAMPION?

Multiple sources have confirmed that Scotty Cannon will return to competition in 2007 behind the wheel of Evan Knoll's Top Fuel dragster. The word is that he will run the full IHRA schedule with a few stops on the NHRA tour. No word yet on the tuner yet, but most likely it will be a current established runner. We'll have more on this as it develops.

ADRL IN NORWALK

Sources indicate that the American Drag Racing League will host an event in Norwalk, Ohio. The kicker, from what we hear, is this event will be hosted on the weekend previously reserved for the World Nationals - August 24 - 25.

NEW TV SHOW FOR TJ AND MELANIE?

The word floating around is that ESPN2 will soon announce plans for a show that will be hosted by Tommy Johnson Jr., and Melanie Troxel. This is said to be ESPN's equivalent to PINKS on Speed. The car owners will race for titles and have the ability to bring their winnings back the next week. The show will be called "King of the Streets." The action will be filmed at Bristol Dragway.

HARKER TO DRIVE FOR CONWAY?

A reliable source has confirmed that newly christened TAD licensed driver Kate Harker will drive for veteran team owner Tom Conway during this weekend's NHRA divisional in Las Vegas. Lee Callaway will return in Pomona as the driver.

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