:::::: Feature Stories ::::::

TRUSSELL'S PASSION FOR CARS CHANGED HIS LIFE

10_01_2009_trussellLittle did Paul Trussell realize when he was just 12 years old, how much the course of his life would change through one event.

"I remember when I was 12, and  my dad bought me my first car," Trussell said. "He bought me a 1932 Ford five-window coupe."

As the story goes, Paul's father obtained the car to settle a $300 debt. To this day, Paul still owns that car and many, many more.

BUNNY BURKETT: FROM POVERTY TO THE BIG STAGE

10_01_2009_burkettFor anyone who thinks that drag racing is just two cars going in a straight line really fast, you couldn’t be any further from the truth.
There is so much more to the sport than just the action seen on the track. Just ask the living legend known the world over simply as Bunny.

For Bunny Burkett, the sport of drag racing has been many things. From providing a stage to climb from poverty to stardom, to providing a second family, to acting as a form of medicine, the sport of drag racing has been Burkett’s life for the past 44 years and will continue to be her life for as long as she lives.

JOHN MEDLEN: ANSWERS ARE NEEDED

According to one man, answers are needed.
9-24-09johnmedlen
It was answers which saved John Force's life following his horrific crash at the Texas Motorplex, two years ago. It was answers that saved Bob Tasca's life Saturday afternoon at the NHRA Carolina's Nationals, just one week ago. Answers to why Eric Medlen died while testing his Funny Car at Gainesville.

There needs to be answers - the right answers, according to John Medlen, crew chief on Mike Neff's Drive One Ford Funny Car and father of the late Eric Medlen. Equally important to Medlen is how much time passes before an informed conclusion is reached. Lives could be depending on it.

MIR OWNER RECALLS ARMED ROBBERY

9-24-09roycemillerRoyce and Linda Miller know they were lucky, this time.

The owners and operators of Maryland International Raceway, an IHRA national event drag strip in Budds Creek, Md., were the victims of a robbery at their home. They cannot determine whether the crime was related to their association with the track or not, but regardless, for all the precautions they’ve ever taken in the name of safety, they were confronted by a pair of robbers.

This is the first time Royce has discussed the incident with the drag racing media.

For the Millers, August 18th was no different than any other Tuesday. Royce had finished hosting a test session for NHRA Pro Stock team owner Jim Yates while Linda worked from home tending to the track’s book-keeping chores. The hour wasn’t late, about 8:30 PM.

CAPPS HOLDS ON TO TITLE HOPES

"Anybody here seen my old friend Ron? Can you tell me where he's gone?"
 
nfc winner 2Seems like a catchy and relevant tune for the National Hot Rod Ass'n. in the aftermath of India-scrap-olis. The haunting music of peace-loving folks and the 40th anniversary of Woodstock could make everything groovy again (although John Force already told a television audience that it's all groovy again).
 
Anyway . . . Whatever became of Ron Capps?
 
Surely you remember him, the driver of the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge. He was at the top of the Funny Car charts for the first 10 races of the season. He delivered hit after hit, winning the first two events of the year, three of the first five, and four of the first nine in five final-round appearances.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY … TO US

There comes a day when the journey has taken you afar, when you pause for a moment, look 09_15_2009_birthday.jpgback and see just how far you’ve traveled. That’s exactly how I feel looking back on this day ten years ago when myself and a talented web designer named Frank Dill pushed the button to launch CompetitionPlus.com.

Sometimes you look back and wonder how you have been so lucky and blessed.

By all business logic, CompetitionPlus.com should have failed.

BAZE: HYPOCRISY ABOUNDS

09_09_2009_bazemore.jpgTony Pedregon, 2003 Funny Car Champion, got mad Monday afternoon. Then he tried to get even.

He had just gotten his head handed to him by Ashley Force Hood in the same semifinal round of the U.S. Nationals his brother, Cruz, had been replaced in the Countdown to 1 by Robert Hight. Tony knew he was beaten fair and square. What he was angry about was how Robert Hight, running against his boss, John Force, had won the most important round of a very tough season.

So Tony decided to get even. He stood up in front of the ESPN2 cameras and called out John Force. He accused Force of cheating and taking a dive, of manipulation, all the while forgetting that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

ADRL'S UNIQUE ANNOUNCING ONE-TWO PUNCH

They are loud and proud.
09_09_2009_tucci_olson.jpg
When the ADRL partnered veteran announcers Al Tucci and Brian Olson on
their announcing deck, they must have known the combination would bring
together two emcees with an equally overwhelming passion for the sport.

One guy provides the meat and potatoes and the other serves as the
dessert. In the end, their love of the sport and of announcing,
wonderfully conveys the intensity of the drag races they announce.

“Here’s the thing, Al Tucci is one of the greatest funniest one liner
guys in the world,” said Olson, who served as a color commentator on
SPEED’s race coverage before joining the ADRL. “One of the greatest
individuals I've ever met and a guy that I've become a very close
friend with.  He came up with a saying about eight months ago, he says
"I am the flour and you are the water and together we make the dough.” 

INDY 2009 – A HISTORIC AND EXPLOSIVE RACE

We’ll get to the details, but for right now digest the biggest story
out of Indy:  Tony Schumacher has tied the legendary “Big Daddy” 09_09_2009_indy_2009.jpgDon
Garlits for the most U.S. Nationals Top Fuel victories at eight.  This
is an important achievement, something to be taken seriously, and
considered thoughtfully.  Winning Indy is the dream of every drag
racer, and once victory is achieved it separates one from the pack. 
It’s something no driver ever forgets.

FRIDAY INDY - IT IS, AFTER ALL, THE NATIONALS – NOT JUST THE NATIONALS -- THE NATIONALS

First things first.  Were you at O’Reilly Raceway Park today for the
first day, or evening, of Pro qualifying?  Well, you should have been, hemi_challenge.jpgand
there’s still time to get here.  Not tonight, but Saturday, Sunday or
even Monday.  But that’s not our point.  If you had been here the first
thing you would have noticed…  “Noticed,” now there’s improper word
usage if we’ve ever seen it.  The first thing you would have seen are
the massive, and very steep grandstands on the east side of the track. 
They are awesome.  Good job, NHRA.  You’ve given your fans one
of the best seats the sport has to offer, and we were pleased to see
that a very nice crowd was in attendance to experience this new amenity.

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