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

HAGAN TRAINING FOR THE REMATCH

Time after time Matt Hagan heard John Force’s spiel.
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Force would talk about how he was spending time in the gym, working to get stronger to beat this kid, a hulk of a young man with the physique of a linebacker. The now fifteen-time champion Force often referred to himself as an aging NFL quarterback avoiding a sack from a huge and younger defensive player.

The first two or three times can be inspirational said Hagan. However, when the picture is painted during nearly every interview, “It gets old.”

Next season Hagan plans a major role reversal.

AN INTERVIEW WITH DON SCHUMACHER

There’s team ownership in drag racing and then there’s Don Schumacher’s approach.
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The veteran team owner carried six nitro teams into battle during the 2010 with all six qualifying for the NHRA’s Countdown to 1 playoff system. Two of those cars finished within striking distance of world championships.

Equally impressive, Schumacher has managed to maintain major sponsorships and create new opportunities for marketing opportunities in the midst of a still challenging economic environment.

Attitude’s CompetitionPlus.com caught up with Schumacher on Thursday afternoon to discuss the latest news with his DSR operation as well as an insight into how he views drag racing.

KALITTA'S JIM O DANCING TO SUCCESS

12_09_2010_jimoVirtually all his life Jim Oberhofer has been involved with drag racing.

The grease and grime of working in the pits is second nature to Oberhofer. The 43-year-old has been working for Kalitta Motorsports since 1983 and is presently the crew chief for Doug Kalitta’s Top Fuel dragster.

Of all the things Oberhofer has seen and done, dancing, of any kind, wasn’t on his bucket list.

“I never ever thought about dancing,” said Oberhofer bluntly.

Why would he? Oberhofer tunes an 8000 horsepower nitromethane-fueled dragster to go 320 mph in 1,000 feet. What’s more, Oberhofer’s boss is the legendary Bounty Hunter Connie Kalitta.

MASSEY GOES FROM ONE LEGEND TO ANOTHER

12_09_2010_spencer_masseySpencer Massey wasn’t aware the official press release had been distributed on Monday afternoon following the Thanksgiving weekend.

Massey, a past IHRA Top Fuel champion and NHRA Rookie of the Year award winner, was named as the driver of the Prestone/Fram Top Fuel dragster at Don Schumacher Racing.

“I knew the release was coming, so this is a plus,” Massey said.

For the second time in three seasons, Massey will assume the seat of a veteran driver. Two years ago he replaced Larry Dixon at Don Prudhomme Racing following Dixon's move to the Al-Anabi Racing team.

Massey is confident he'll adjust quickly to yet another job driving for a legend.

J.R. TODD TAKES ON PX CHALLENGE IN QATAR

12_09_2010_jrtoddHe was a Top Fuel neophyte at 19-years old, the NHRA’s Rookie of the Year in 2006 and now after a couple of years out of the driver's seat, J.R. Todd is about to accept his next challenge as Al-Anabi Racing’s newest Pro Extreme (PX) pilot behind the wheel of a brand-new, Garret Livingston-built ’57 Chevy. He’ll make his competition debut Dec. 2-3, in the Arabian Drag Racing League’s 2010-11 season opener at the Qatar Race Club.

“I am going at this totally blind,” Todd says. “I was hoping to get some testing in before we left the States, but this is the hand that we have been dealt. With the great equipment I have been provided and the great complex they have here at the Qatar Race Club, I am hopeful that everything is going to be just fine.”

Todd has always been known as a racer willing to pay his dues.

ROGER BURGESS: FROM BUSINESSMAN TO NHRA PRO MOD’S VISIONARY

Two years into what some deemed as a major gamble, Pro Modified advocate Roger Burgess is beginning to see the payoff for all his efforts.

11-27-10burgessBurgess, the driving force behind Pro Care RX’s Get Screened America program, recently completed his second season as sponsor of the NHRA’s Pro Modified class, now an officially recognized series.

“I think we had a really good start,” Burgess said as he reflected on the 2010 season. “We see this as like any new thing you step out and do; it just takes a few years before it takes on a life of its own. We are hoping that it can do that starting next year, in year three. We need to continue to grow this until we become favorites out there.”

ED MCCULLOCH PLANS TO RETIRE FROM DRAG RACING

Ed McCulloch will tell you drag racing has been awful good to him for four decades. With that said the 11-27-10mccullochveteran nitro racer who morphed into one of drag racing’s most talented crew chiefs plans to fade away into the sunset.

Forget what has been posted as speculation on other drag racing websites or message boards. McCulloch has had his fill of drag racing. It’s not a bitter departure at all for the Indianapolis-based McCulloch, he’s just ready to move into life after drag racing.

“I will not be returning to Don Schumacher’s,” McCulloch told Attitude’s CompetitionPlus.com in an exclusive interview Friday afternoon. “I have no other deals. I have nothing going on with anyone else. I plan to fade into the sunset, I guess you could say.”

ED MCCULLOCH PLANS TO RETIRE FROM DRAG RACING

Ed McCulloch will tell you drag racing has been awful good to him for four decades. With that said the 11-27-10mccullochveteran nitro racer who morphed into one of drag racing’s most talented crew chiefs plans to fade away into the sunset.

Forget what has been posted as speculation on other drag racing websites or message boards. McCulloch has had his fill of drag racing. It’s not a bitter departure at all for the Indianapolis-based McCulloch, he’s just ready to move into life after drag racing.

“I will not be returning to Don Schumacher’s,” McCulloch told Attitude’s CompetitionPlus.com in an exclusive interview Friday afternoon. “I have no other deals. I have nothing going on with anyone else. I plan to fade into the sunset, I guess you could say.”

HONORING THE 2010 NHRA CHAMPIONS

11-19-10nhra_championsAttitude's CompetitionPlus.com has profiled the NHRA Full Throttle champions. Read about their championship battles and the ensuing elation in their accomplishments.

Larry Dixon, John Force, Greg Anderson and LE Tonglet tell their stories of winning the championship.

ADRL’S FORTUNE IN MIDST OF CHANGE

It’s official. Kenny Nowling is no longer associated with the American Drag Racing League (ADRL).
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After creating the country’s preeminent outlaw doorslammer series from what in 2004 was intended only as a one-off showcase for NHRA Pro Mod stars at tiny Carolina Dragway, Nowling’s departure was announced in a Nov. 18 press release from the O’Fallon, Missouri-based sanctioning body and its previously unconfirmed ownership group, Al-Anabi Companies, headed by Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al-Thani (KH) of Qatar.

“ADRL Co-Founder Kenny Nowling will step down as President and CEO effective immediately to take an expanded role in the company’s international development,” the release stated. It also said that chassis builder Tim McAmis, already responsible for overseeing Al-Anabi’s United States racing operations, immediately assumes the CEO role and all other current ADRL executives will remain in place.

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