Expanded Mercedes-AMG GT3 Effort Set To Extend IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD Points Leads in Texas

5 05 2017

A season-high four Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing entries in the GT Daytona (GTD) class at this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) will look to further extend the early-season success of the Mercedes-AMG GT3. Full- season Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing IMSA entrants Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports, WeatherTech Racing and SunEnergy1 Racing will be joined in Texas by Lone Star Racing, which will debut its Mercedes-AMG GT3 at COTA.

In the debut season of IMSA competition for the Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes- AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams have won the last two WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races.

At Sebring, the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3, co-driven by full-season teammates Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen and endurance-race addition Mario Farnbacher, earned the first class-victory for the Silver Arrows in 60 years in the legendary the 12-hour race. The No. 50 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, co-driven by Cooper MacNeil and Gunnar Jeannette, raced from last on the grid to first-in-class at Long Beach.

In total, Mercedes-AMG has filled five of the combined nine top-three podium spots in the first three GTD races of the year. Keating and Bleekemolen crossed the finish line second in the No. 33 at Long Beach – giving the Mercedes-AMG GT3 its first North American one-two sweep – in addition to finishing third with Farnbacher in January’s season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.

SunEnergy1 Racing, with co-drivers Kenny Habul, Tristan Vautier and Boris Said, finished third at Sebring to cap a breakout weekend for the first-year team. Vautier won the pole in the team’s No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 – giving Mercedes-AMG another IMSA first – and also set the fastest GTD lap of the race.

The early-season success has seen Mercedes-AMG and its drivers and teams take the lead in each of the three full-season IMSA WeatherTech GTD Championship battles heading into the fourth race of the season Saturday at COTA.

Mercedes-AMG leads the GTD Manufacturers Championship with 100 points, nine ahead of Porsche’s 91 points. Ferrari is third with 86 points.

In the IMSA GTD Driver and Team Championships, Keating, Bleekemolen and the Mercedes-AMG Riley Motorsports No. 33 lead their respective championships with 98 points. The second-place Ferrari team and its drivers have 77 points.

Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver lineups this weekend include Keating and Bleekemolen – who will be racing for their third GTD win in the last four years at COTA – in the No. 33, MacNeil and Jeannette in the WeatherTech Racing No. 50, and Habul and Vautier in the SunEnergy1 Racing No. 75.

The No. 80 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 will be co-driven by Dan Knox and Mike Skeen in the first of a scheduled four races this season. Knox and Skeen last raced in IMSA in last September’s race at COTA where they earned an eighth- place finish – the best of the four WeatherTech Championship races the team contested in 2016.

Circuit of The Americas is a “home-race” for Texas-residents Keating, Knox and the aptly-named Lone Star Racing team. Keating lives and runs his businesses out of Tomball, Texas, while Knox and Lone Star Racing are from the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at COTA is scheduled to start at 2:35 p.m. CDT this Saturday, May 6. Live coverage and timing and scoring is available via IMSA.com and the IMSA mobile app. Same-day television coverage of the race can be seen later on Saturday on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) at 7 p.m. EDT.

Stefan Wendl, GT3 Project Manager, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing: “The quick start to this season was a really great motivation for the whole team at Mercedes-AMG. It also shows that the development of our Mercedes-AMG GT3 race car is second to none. As in every series Mercedes-AMG Motorsport competes, our goal is to win. The very early success we had in the first races has given us the lead in the driver, team and manufacturer championships, and that is what makes us really proud. But the title fight is still too early at this stage of the season, there is still a hard and long way to go, and the competition in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship is very tough.”

Ben Keating, Driver – No. 33 AMG-Team Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3: “Being in the championship lead is a great place to be. We have literally had a perfect season so far. No mistakes by anyone on the team, and even the full-course yellows on track have fallen perfectly into our strategy. It won’t always be like this, but we will enjoy it while it lasts. As usual, anything can happen during any race, but battling for consistent finishes is easier than battling for a win. A little cushion is nice, but the competition is fierce and we cannot afford to ease off at all. I feel very good about where we are now. I expect the Mercedes-AMG to be good at COTA, just like it has been for every race, but I don’t expect it to be the fastest car in the field. This works great for us. We need to stay clean and keep the car as close to the front as possible.”

Jeroen Bleekemolen, Driver – No. 33 AMG-Team Riley Motorsports Mercedes- AMG GT3: “I think our minds are all on trying to win the race. For sure, when you are getting close to the end of the race, and it looks good from a championship point of view, we might be conservative. It makes the pressure easier. We have a lot of confidence from the results in the last races, and we know we can do the job if we don’t make mistakes. We have all been together for a long time, which also helps. We know exactly what we need to win from experiences of the past. All of that, combined with the help of Mercedes-AMG, and we are definitely on top of our game. This should be a good track for us, but it is very hard to predict. I believe our Mercedes- AMG GT3 can do well, although we have a little disadvantage on the straights. The whole field is very close and many teams can win.”

Cooper MacNeil, Driver – No. 50 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “I think our Mercedes-AMG GT3 will perform well at COTA. We have a bit of a smaller air-inlet restrictor since we raced at Sebring, which could come into play. The Riley Motorsports guys have been working hard since Long Beach and I am looking forward to giving them another strong result. My favorite section of the track at COTA is the esses. I am expecting them to feel magical in our Mercedes-AMG GT3.”

Gunnar Jeannette, Driver – No. 50 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3:
“Our Mercedes-AMG GT3 should be well suited to Circuit of The Americas. The higher speed nature of the track, and the need to use the curbing aggressively in every corner, should play to our strong points. That being said, I think the competition again will be very close. It certainly isn’t easy in IMSA competition at the moment, but when you do well it does make for better memories!”

Tristan Vautier, Driver – No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “I think COTA should be a good track for the Mercedes-AMG GT3. The car is very strong in medium to high-speed corners requiring good downforce, so it should be a good fit. Overall, the car performs really well on any track, and I think it’s pretty much the most potent of all the GT3 cars. I have driven the COTA track a few times so I am quite familiar with it, but never raced on it. To be honest, I enjoy the tight, bumpy tracks we find very often in the U.S. I find them very challenging, but COTA is very special, has a great flow and very unique and interesting corners. It’s a good change in the schedule to race on a track of this type. I really look forward to it and it will be fun.”

Mike Skeen, Driver – No. 80 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “Circuit of The Americas is a place that I’ve grown to love since I started going there right after its opening. It has some great passing zones and creates excellent racing with room to be aggressive. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 has proven to be a great car at many tracks and this will be no different. We have the advantage of having tested at COTA, which should give us an excellent starting point. Hopefully this will allow us to really polish the setup and make it do exactly what we need. I have also recently been able to get some more seat time in these cars in Europe in the Blancpain endurance series, so that will only help me understand what I am looking for out of the car. In the recent IMSA races, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 has proven to be quick and consistent, which is what we will need on race day. A top-five would be a strong performance for the team’s first time out this season, but I am always looking for more!”

Contacts:
Jochen Übler Tel.: +49 (0) 7144 302-92 470 jochen.uebler@daimler.com
Birgit Zaiser Tel.: +49 (0) 7144 302-581 birgit.zaiser@daimler.com
Robert Moran Tel.: +1 770-705-2270 robert.moran@mbusa.com

Further information from Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Benz USA is available on the Internet: www.media.daimler.com,www.mercedes-benz.com and www.mbusa.com.

For more information on AMG Customer Sports, please visit www.mercedes- amg.com/customersports.

Source: Mercedes-Benz USA

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NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Racing Series’ Steve Matusek Looks to Keep Momentum Rolling at Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals

4 05 2017

COMMERCE, GA – May 4, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – The strongest start to a season in Steve Matusek’s NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series career is also coming in the most competitive season in class history, an encouraging sign for what Matusek and the rest of his talented team hope to accomplish in 2017.

Matusek won his first career NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series two weekends ago in Houston driving his supercharger-powered Aeromotive, Inc. Chevrolet Camaro, and the Pro Mod standout currently sits fourth in points. All of it has come maintaining a consistent approach, which leads Matusek to believe the best may be yet to come, including at this weekend’s 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway and beyond.

“We’ve been a team that’s really started to jell,” Matusek said. “We’ve always had a relatively sophisticated program with a consistent car, but the competition is so good in this class. The cards really have to fall your way. But we’ve been really consistent going A to B and that’s been big for us, but we’re still not running to our potential. You have to get down the track, be consistent and not make mistakes, and not let anybody throw you off your game.”

The race, which is presented by Pro Line Racing and Fueltech, is the fourth of 12 events during the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season and will be shown on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) and Fox Sports 2 (FS2). Rickie Smith, the reigning world champ, is the defending event winner.

The stop in Atlanta finishes off a rare stretch of three straight races for the drivers and Matusek hopes to end this string on a good note. He won in Houston and lost in a first-round quad at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals where the slowest time in his group was an impressive 5.863. But that’s the nature of the ultra-competitive NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series class, which will feature 31 standouts in Atlanta, including previous world champions Troy Coughlin, Von Smith and Khalid alBalooshi, and 2017 winners Mike Castellana, the current points leader, and Steven Whiteley.

“When you talk about the talent in this class, the guys are just unflappable,” Matusek said. “You find that the guys in this class are very passionate and understand what it takes. The results have been amazing and I think that’s a testament to the talent and mindset of these drivers. Everyone is tough-minded and focused, and I’m proud to be a part of this class.”

Matusek certainly deserves mentioned among the elite in the class with his standout Pro Mod career. His NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series success is coming now as well, as evidenced by the quick start this season. That early momentum has raised the excitement level among his team, but Matusek knows this is a pivotal stretch to stay in championship contention.

He is eager to finish off this current three-race swing strong and then Matusek will compete in the NHRA Pro Mod event at his home track in two weeks in Topeka, which is followed by another rigorous three-race stretch in June. But Matusek is thrilled to accept the challenge, even if it includes dealing with the powerful and sometimes volatile Pro Mod cars.

“These cars are just animals,” said Matusek, who finished a career-best fifth in points in 2016. “It’s one of those things you can’t think about; you have to react. You have to know where you’re at and when to say when. You can’t just hop in one and muscle it down the track. In the first couple hundred feet you’re wrestling with them and then you have to finesse it, and that’s truly what makes this class exciting.”

Featuring the world’s fastest and most unique doorslammer race cars, the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series offers something for every kind of hot-rodding enthusiast. The class is highlighted by historic muscle cars, like ’67 Mustangs, ’68 Firebirds and ’69 Camaros, as well as a variety of late model American muscle cars. With more than 3,000 horsepower, the suspended door pro mod cars travel the quarter-mile in less than six seconds at speeds exceeding 250 mph.

NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series qualifying begins Friday, May 5 with qualifying sessions at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., continuing with the final qualifying session on Saturday, May 6 at 12:45 p.m. Round one of eliminations takes place on Saturday at 3:15 p.m. and continues on Sunday, May 7 at 12:45 p.m.

To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit www.NHRA.com/tickets. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. To honor the Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on general admission tickets at the gate. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.

NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES FACT SHEET:
LUCAS OIL NHRA SOUTHERN NATIONALS

WHAT: 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals, the fourth of 12 events in the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Series. The race will also showcase the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

WHERE: Atlanta Dragway, Commerce, Ga. I-85 to Exit 149 (Hwy 441).  After exiting the freeway, go north on Highway 441 to Steven Tanger Blvd. Take left on Tanger and then go right on Ridgeway Road.

COURSE: Championship drag strip; Track elevation is 1,100 feet above sea level; Track direction is southeast to northwest.

WHEN: Friday through Sunday, May 5-7, 2017

SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY, May 5
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 1:30 and 4 p.m.

SATURDAY, May 6
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 12:45 p.m. Round 1 of eliminations at 3:45 p.m.

SUNDAY, May 7 – Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES eliminations at 12:45 p.m.

TELEVISION:

Thursday, May 25, FS2 will televise 30 minutes of coverage at 11:30 p.m. (ET).

PAST WINNERS: Rickie Smith, 2016; Kenny Lang, 2015; Rickie Smith, 2014; Ed Hoover, 2011; Michael Gullqvist, 2010

TRACK RECORDS: 5.778 seconds by Rickie Smith, May ’14; 253.14 mph by Roger Burgess, May ’11.

NATIONAL RECORDS: 5.685 sec. by Mike Castellana, April ’17, Houston; 258.71 mph by Melanie Troxel, June. ’11, Englishtown, NJ.

TICKETS: For tickets call (800) 884-NHRA (6472). Tickets also available online at www.NHRA.com/tickets

About National Hot Rod Association

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Source: National Hot Rod Association

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Rough Start has Three-Time Pro Stock Motorcycle World Champ Sampey Focused on Good Memories at Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals

4 05 2017

COMMERCE, GA – May 4, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  Headed to a track that has brought Angelle Sampey so much success might be just the thing to get some positive momentum on her side. Sampey, a three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion, is a four-time winner at Atlanta Dragway, the site of this weekend’s 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals, and that’s good news for a rider who hasn’t had much fortune to start the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

A litany of difficulties has struck Sampey’s Precision Services Equipment Victory during qualifying, and she only squeaked into the field on her final attempt last weekend in Charlotte. Hopeful that those issues are now gone for the time being, Sampey is eager to enjoy some success again in Atlanta and for the first time this season.

“If we get qualified in the first round of qualifying in Atlanta, it’s going to look like I won the race,” said Sampey, whose 42 career wins are the most in NHRA history for a female competitor. “This is the track where it all started for me, and the first track I ever raced for my training. I’ve made a lot of runs on the track, it’s the local track for our team and it’s the closest race to home for me.”

Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car) Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event that will be televised on FOX Sports 1, including finals coverage starting at 6:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, May 7. It is the third of 16 races during the Pro Stock Motorcycle season and Sampey, currently 10th in points, hopes it provides a spark for her and teammate Cory Reed.

Reed, named NHRA’s top rookie in 2016, started the new two-bike team for 2017, with Sampey taking on the role of rider and team manager. Sampey’s round win last weekend in Charlotte is the only one either has this season, but Sampey knows they have the potential to be great.

“We have the power, we just haven’t been getting the runs down the track because some of the things that are happening,” Sampey said. “When things start working, we’re going to be an unbelievable team. Cory’s going to be great. There’s nothing you can to do upset him, his reaction times are great and he doesn’t beat himself. Even with some of the struggles, the team’s morale is unbelievably awesome. You couldn’t ask for a better scenario. We have a good thing going.”

Getting the season jumpstarted in a talent-rich class will be difficult this weekend, as Sampey will face off with the likes of defending world champion Jerry Savoie, Gainesville winner Eddie Krawiec, Andrew Hines and Charlotte winner L.E. Tonglet. But Sampey remains eager to perform on the bike and is locked in on success this season, even with the added duties of being the team manager for Reed’s growing team.

“It’s a lot of work and it’s a lot on my plate but this team is so awesome and easy to work with,” Sampey said. “They’ve put a lot of responsibility on me and it makes me real proud. It’s humbling and exciting at the same time, and I’m really enjoying it. It’s amazing how smoothly everyone has worked together. But I still have every bit of passion to race and I don’t want to stop.”

Kalitta’s third Atlanta win in Top Fuel came last year, but back-to-back world champ Antron Brown, and three-time 2017 winner and points leader Leah Pritchett pose stiff challenges.

Defending Funny Car event winner Hagan had two victories to start 2017, but he’s chasing points leader and reigning world champ Ron Capps, who has won two straight races.

Line’s second straight Pro Stock win at Atlanta helped his title run, but he will be pushed by season winners Greg Anderson, Bo Butner, Chris McGaha, Shane Gray and his son, rookie Tanner Gray.

The NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series makes its fourth of 12 stops in 2017 at Atlanta Dragway. The event also features thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, showcasing the future stars of the sport. After Nitro qualifying Friday, fans can watch the spectacular Larsen Motorsports jet dragsters sponsored by Florida Tech and Matrix System, and Douthit Motorsports Black Pearl Nostalgia Jet Funny Car. Jet cars are thrust driven propelled by jet engines with exciting pre-run flame shows.

As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers. Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.

Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 2:15 and 4:45 p.m. on Friday, May 5 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, May 6, at 1:15 and 3:45 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 7.

To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit www.NHRA.com/tickets. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. To honor the Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on general admission tickets at the gate. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.

LUCAS OIL NHRA SOUTHERN NATIONALS

WHAT: 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals, the seventh of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Drivers in four categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – earn points leading to 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships.

WHERE: Atlanta Dragway, Commerce, Ga. – I-85 to Exit 149 (Hwy 441). After exiting the freeway, go north on Highway 441 to Steven Tanger Blvd. Take a left on Tanger and then go right on Ridgeway Road.

WHEN: Friday through Sunday, May 5-7

SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY, May 5 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 3:45 p.m. and 6 p.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 4:15 and 6:45 p.m.

SATURDAY, May 6 – LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 12:45 p.m. and Round 1 of eliminations at 3:15 p.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 1:15 and 3:45 p.m.

SUNDAY, May 7 – Pre-race ceremonies, 10:00 a.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES eliminations 12:45 p.m.

TELEVISION:

Friday, May 5, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 8 p.m. (ET).
Saturday, May 6, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 1 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, May 7, FS1 will televise three hours of elimination highlights at 6 p.m. (ET).

2016 EVENT WINNERS: Doug Kalitta, Top Fuel; Matt Hagan, Funny Car; Jason Line, Pro Stock; Eddie Krawiec, Pro Stock Motorcycle.

MOST VICTORIES: Antron Brown, 4, TF; Larry Dixon 4; Doug Kalitta 4;  John Force, 7, FC; Warren Johnson, 5, PS; Dave Schultz 8 PSM.

TRACK RECORDS:

Top Fuel – 3.731 sec. by Doug Kalitta, May ’16; 328.86 mph by Kalitta, May ‘14.
Funny Car – 3.906 sec. by Matt Hagan, May. ’16; 329.02 mph by Hagan, May. ’16.
Pro Stock – 6.493 sec. by Erica Enders, March ‘14; 213.00 mph by Jason Line, March ‘14.
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.794 sec. and 197.54 mph by Eddie Krawiec., May ‘14.

NATIONAL RECORDS:

Top Fuel – 3.658 sec. by Leah Pritchett, Feb. ‘17, Phoenix; 332.75 mph by Spencer Massey, Aug. ’15, Brainerd, Minn.
Funny Car – 3.822 by Matt Hagan, Aug. ’16, Brainerd, Minn.; 335.57 mph by Hagan, May ’16, Topeka, Kan.
Pro Stock – 6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.;  215.55 mph by Erica Enders, May ’14, Englishtown N.J.
PS Motorcycle – 6.728 sec. by Andrew Hines, Oct. ’12, Reading, Pa.; 199.88 mph by Hector Arana Jr., March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.

TICKETS: Order tickets by phone at (800) 884-6472. Tickets also are available online at www.NHRA.com/tickets

About National Hot Rod Association

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Source: National Hot Rod Association

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Mecum Auctions To Sponsor No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet In 101st Indianapolis 500 With Hard-Charging Sage Karam At The Wheel

4 05 2017

DRR Legacy at Indy 500 goes back to the 1920s with “Pop” Dreyer

WALWORTH, WI – May 4, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Mecum Auctions today announced that it will be the primary sponsor for the No. 24 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet at the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 set for Sunday, May 28, with the young star Sage Karam driving at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The world’s largest collector-car auction company, Mecum Auctions, also sponsored the Dreyer & Reinbold entry driver Oriol Servia, who placed fourth at the 2012 Indy 500. Karam won the “Hard Charger” award in 2014 driving from 31st to ninth. Last year, Karam, the 22-year-old Nazareth, Pa., driver, worked his way up from the back of the pack in the Indianapolis 500 to run in fourth before being forced into the wall at the south end of the track on lap 94.

“Mecum Auctions is proud to mark our 30th Anniversary this year. Between our tremendous Indianapolis auction and the Indy 500 opportunity with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, this month of May is set to be one of our most exciting celebrations ever. I can’t wait to put a Mecum ‘SOLD’ sticker on the bottle of milk in Victory Lane,” said President and Founder of Mecum Auctions Dana Mecum.

The Dreyer & Reinbold family has a long history in the Indy 500 dating back to the 1920s with legendary car builder Floyd “Pop” Dreyer. Dennis Reinbold, Dreyer’s grandson, has been a car owner in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” since 2000 and has successfully qualified 37 entries in the race. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, a past winner in the Verizon IndyCar Series, has recorded four top-ten finishes in the Indy 500 including fourth in 2012, seventh in 2010, eighth in 2008 and ninth in 2014.

“We are very excited to have Mecum Auctions back with our Indy 500 effort in 2017,” said Reinbold, owner of the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing organization. “We had a great performance with Mecum in 2012 with a fourth place finish. The great livery of the Mecum Auctions car again at the Indy 500 will be extremely popular with the fans too. We can’t wait to see Sage and the No. 24 Mecum Auctions Chevy on the world’s greatest race track in a week or so.”

Karam got the opportunity to step up to the big stage by winning the 2013 Indy Lights Series championship and now also drives in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship, competing with co-driver Scott Pruett in a Lexus RCF GT3 GTD sports car.

“I watch Mecum Auctions on NBCSN regularly and am excited about this month in Indy,” said Karam. “It looks like a blast. I’m a car guy like most of the people in the Indy 500 garages. A lot of drivers have to work with some sponsor that aren’t too exciting for them. But I can tell you that the Mecum sponsorship gets me very excited because of my interest in their cars. To work with a sponsor which has some very historic and amazing machinery is very cool for me. We want to make sure that our No. 24 Mecum Auctions Chevrolet looks good all month for them.”

The month of May is truly a celebration for Mecum Auctions, as the company commemorates its monumental 30th anniversary with a 2,000-car offering at Dana Mecum’s Original Spring Classic auction May 16-20 in Indianapolis. Headlining the auction are several prestigious collections and a vast assortment of American muscle cars, classics, Corvettes, Hot Rods, Resto Mods and more at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Coupled with the sponsorship of Karam in the Indianapolis 500, Mecum Auctions will be a prominent player in the Circle City’s signature month.

About Mecum Auctions

Nobody sells more than Mecum. Nobody. The Mecum Auction Company is the world leader of collector car, vintage and antique motorcycle, and Road Art sales, hosting auctions throughout the United States. The company has been specializing in the sale of collector cars for 30 years, now offering more than 20,000 lots per year and averaging more than one auction each month. Established by President Dana Mecum in 1988, Mecum Auctions remains a family-run company headquartered in Walworth, Wisconsin. For further information, visit Mecum.com or call (262) 275-5050. Follow along with Mecum’s social media news and join us on Facebook,  Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

About Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing was founded in 2000 by Indianapolis car dealer Dennis Reinbold. The legacy of the Dreyer & Reinbold family dates back to the 1920s with Reinbold’s grandfather, the legendary Floyd “Pop” Dreyer, a former factory motorcycle racer. Dreyer served as a crewman and mechanic on the famed Duesenberg driven by Benny Shoaff and Babe Stapp in the 1927 Indy 500.  Dreyer went on to build Indy 500 cars in the 1930s, many of which started on the front row. In addition, Dreyer constructed championship-winning sprint cars and midgets, as well as quarter midgets called Dreyerettes. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing captured its first win in 2000 with driver Robbie Buhl at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla., and has fielded a variety of drivers including Buhl, Buddy Lazier, Sarah Fisher, Buddy Rice, Ryan Briscoe, Al Unser Jr., Townsend Bell and Sage Karam. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has successfully qualified all 36 drivers for the Indy 500 in its history.  DRR, who campaigned in the Red Bull Global Rallycross for the first time in 2015, captured the 2016 Red Bull GRC Lites championship. The DRR team recorded five main event victories, 23 heat race wins and eight fast qualifying honors in 2016.

Auction Schedule
Dana Mecum’s 30th Original Spring Classic

Date: May 16-21, 2017

Location: Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 E 38th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46205

Admission:  $20 in advance online, and $30 at the door and online once auction starts—per person, per day; children 12 and younger receive complimentary admission

Preview: Gates open daily at 8 a.m.

Auction: Vehicles begin at 10 a.m. daily; Road Art begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

TV Schedule: (NBC Sports Network) Thursday, May 18 from 12:30-4 p.m. (live) and 4:30-6 p.m. (live); Friday, May 19 from noon-3 p.m. (live); Saturday, May 20 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. (live) and 8 p.m.-midnight; Sunday, May 21 from 6:30 p.m.-midnight; Wednesday, May 24 from midnight-3 a.m. (All times Eastern)

Source: Mecum Auction, Inc.

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Arctic Cat All Star weekend at Lernerville and Mercer rescheduled for June 2-3

4 05 2017

SARVER, PA – May 4, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – With wet weather and unseasonably cold temperatures in the forecast for the entire upcoming weekend, Lernerville Speedway, Mercer Raceway Park and Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions officials have decided to postpone the Arctic Cat All Star visit to Western Pennsylvania until Friday and Saturday, June 2-3.

“Due to impending weather conditions, we’ve decided to postpone our Friday night program featuring the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions,” said Tim Tomson, Lernerville Speedway General Manager. “We are looking out for the safety of our competitors, as well as the fans. We hope to see everyone next month.”

As originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday, May 5-6, Tony Stewart’s Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions will host two, full programs awarding $5,000 each during their weekend trip to The Keystone State, kicking-off the two-race slate with a visit to Lernerville Speedway in Sarver on Friday, June 2, followed by an appearance at Mercer Raceway Park in Mercer on Saturday, June 3. It will be the first and only Arctic Cat All Star visits to Lernerville Speedway and Mercer Raceway Park in 2017.

“I think rescheduling the weekend is the best case scenario for all involved,” Eric Williams explained, promoter of Mercer Raceway Park. “It is not in our best interest to fight the weather. It was best for both tracks to move the entire weekend and hope for more seasonable conditions. This will also give our fans an opportunity to make other plans this weekend, while arranging plans to attend our All Star show next month.”

The Western Pennsylvania doubleheader will activate a busy month of June for the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions, concluding with Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket.

“We hate to have weather interfere with our schedule,” said Don Grabey, Arctic Cat All Star Series Director. “Unfortunately, the upcoming weather front seems to be inevitable. We’re all excited to have the opportunity to come back to Lernerville Speedway and Mercer Raceway Park in a few weeks.”

Additional news and notes regarding the events will be posted in the near future. Stay tuned online at www.lernerville.com and www.mercerracewaypark.com for information pertaining to gate times and ticket prices.

Additional Arctic Cat All Star Series Info

Those seeking additional information regarding the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions should visit its official online home at www.allstarsprint.com. Series updates and breaking news will be posted regularly on the official Twitter account of the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions: https://twitter.com/ASCoC. Find full text results from each and every event, as well as an up-to-date schedule, online at www.allstarsprint.com/schedule/.

About the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions

All Star Enterprises, LLC, wholly owned by Tony Stewart, d/b/a the All Star Circuit of Champions, is a winged sprint car series. The All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series is one of the oldest traveling 410 sprint car organizations and is a staple of grassroots, open-wheel racing.  Formed in 1970 by Bud Miller, the series has largely been considered the first ‘outlaw’ Sprint Car organization of the modern era. After a 10 year stint as owner of the All Stars, Miller passed control of the series to Bert Emick in 1980; a reign that would continue through 2002. Guy Webb then purchased the series from Emick in the summer of 2002 and served as the series President for the next 12 years.  Motorsports entrepreneur Tony Stewart agreed to terms with Guy Webb to become the sole owner of the original winged sprint car tour in January of 2015.

About Arctic Cat

The Arctic Cat brand is among the most widely recognized and respected in the recreational vehicle industry. The company designs, engineers, manufactures and markets all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), side-by-sides and snowmobiles, in addition to related parts, garments and accessories under the Arctic Cat® and Motorfist® brand names. Arctic Cat Inc.’s world headquarters is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. More information about Arctic Cat and its products is available at www.ArcticCat.com.

Source: All Star Enterprises, LLC

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After gaining Pro Stock Win Bo Butner Looking for More at 37th Annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals

3 05 2017

COMMERCE, GA – May 3, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  It took more than two years and eight final round appearances before Bo Butner grabbed his first career Pro Stock win two weeks ago in Houston. The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series victory provided relief for Butner, but it also gave the 15-time NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series sportsman winner added confidence in a class loaded with talent.

Currently second in points driving his Jim Butner Auto Chevrolet Camaro, Butner wants to keep his strong start going at this weekend’s 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. Winning his first Pro Stock event has also made him even hungrier to taste that winner’s circle success again.

“I was wondering if I was every going to win again in anything,” Butner said. “It was tough, but it was huge for me and my team. The guys never gave up on me and it was good for everybody. You get that first one done and that worry is over. Every time we leave the house we want to win. Atlanta is a big race with a big crowd and we’re looking forward to it, but we now that we have that win out of the way we just want to continue to go rounds and stay up there in points.”

Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car) Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event that will be televised on FOX Sports 1, including finals coverage starting at 6:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, May 7. It marks the seventh of 24 events in a year that has seen a different winner in Pro Stock at the first six events.

Butner’s KB Racing teammates, defending world champ Jason Line and points leader Greg Anderson, each have one, while other winners include Shane Gray, his son, rookie Tanner Gray, and Chris McGaha, who won last weekend in Charlotte. It’s a far cry from last season when Line and Anderson combined to win 16 races, with the rest of the class making big strides this off-season. It also showed Butner that parity will be evident the rest of the year.

“I promise you this, you cannot pick a winner for Atlanta because anybody in the top 12 or so can win at any given time,” said Butner, who had three No. 1 qualifiers in 2016. “The gap (from last year) is definitely gone. I don’t think you’ll ever see a gap like we had last year. When it’s this close, it’s a victory just to get a round win, and to sling a couple rounds together is huge. Unless something crazy happens, I think it’s going to be close the rest of the way.”

That makes the victories that much more rewarding, even if they are difficult to come by. Despite a first-round loss in Charlotte last weekend, Butner remains confident in the season his team is putting together. He has qualified second twice and has earned a number of bonus points during qualifying, with that consistency solidifying his spot at the top of the Pro Stock standings. Maintaining that qualifying success and consistency will continue to be the focus for Butner.

“I’m just trying to stay calm and not overthink things,” Butner said. “In this class, you can definitely think yourself right out of everything. This year has started off great and, in my opinion, I’m with the best team. We expect one of us to be in the final every race. Charlotte was a tough deal last weekend, but we’re fortunate to still be second in points.”

Kalitta’s third Atlanta win in Top Fuel came last year, but back-to-back world champ Antron Brown, and three-time 2017 winner and points leader Leah Pritchett pose stiff challenges.

Defending Funny Car event winner Hagan had two victories to start 2017, but he’s chasing points leader and reigning world champ Ron Capps, who has won two straight races.

Krawiec has Atlanta Pro Stock Motorcycle victories two of the past three years, but he’ll have to get past Andrew Hines, defending world champ Jerry Savoie and four-time winner Angelle Sampey.

The NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series makes its fourth of 12 stops in 2017 at Atlanta Dragway. The event also features thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, showcasing the future stars of the sport. After Nitro qualifying Friday, fans can watch the spectacular Larsen Motorsports jet dragsters sponsored by Florida Tech and Matrix System, and Douthit Motorsports Black Pearl Nostalgia Jet Funny Car. Jet cars are thrust driven propelled by jet engines with exciting pre-run flame shows.

As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers. Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.

Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 4:15 and 7:10 p.m. on Friday, May 5 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, May 6, at 1:15 and 3:45 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 7.

To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit www.NHRA.com/tickets. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. To honor the Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on general admission tickets at the gate. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.

LUCAS OIL NHRA SOUTHERN NATIONALS

WHAT: 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals, the seventh of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Drivers in four categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – earn points leading to 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships.

WHERE: Atlanta Dragway, Commerce, Ga. – I-85 to Exit 149 (Hwy 441). After exiting the freeway, go north on Highway 441 to Steven Tanger Blvd. Take a left on Tanger and then go right on Ridgeway Road.

WHEN: Friday through Sunday, May 5-7

SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY, May 5 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 3:45 p.m. and 6 p.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 4:15 and 6:45 p.m.

SATURDAY, May 6 – LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 12:45 p.m. and Round 1 of eliminations at 3:15 p.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 1:15 and 3:45 p.m.

SUNDAY, May 7 – Pre-race ceremonies, 10:00 a.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES eliminations 12:45 p.m.

TELEVISION:

Friday, May 5, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 8 p.m. (ET).
Saturday, May 6, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 1 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, May 7, FS1 will televise three hours of elimination highlights at 6 p.m. (ET).

2016 EVENT WINNERS: Doug Kalitta, Top Fuel; Matt Hagan, Funny Car; Jason Line, Pro Stock; Eddie Krawiec, Pro Stock Motorcycle.

MOST VICTORIES: Antron Brown, 4, TF; Larry Dixon 4; Doug Kalitta 4;  John Force, 7, FC; Warren Johnson, 5, PS; Dave Schultz 8 PSM.

TRACK RECORDS:

Top Fuel – 3.731 sec. by Doug Kalitta, May ’16; 328.86 mph by Kalitta, May ‘14.
Funny Car – 3.906 sec. by Matt Hagan, May. ’16; 329.02 mph by Hagan, May. ’16.
Pro Stock – 6.493 sec. by Erica Enders, March ‘14; 213.00 mph by Jason Line, March ‘14.
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.794 sec. and 197.54 mph by Eddie Krawiec., May ‘14.

NATIONAL RECORDS:

Top Fuel – 3.658 sec. by Leah Pritchett, Feb. ‘17, Phoenix; 332.75 mph by Spencer Massey, Aug. ’15, Brainerd, Minn.
Funny Car – 3.822 by Matt Hagan, Aug. ’16, Brainerd, Minn.; 335.57 mph by Hagan, May ’16, Topeka, Kan.
Pro Stock – 6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.;  215.55 mph by Erica Enders, May ’14, Englishtown N.J.
PS Motorcycle – 6.728 sec. by Andrew Hines, Oct. ’12, Reading, Pa.; 199.88 mph by Hector Arana Jr., March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.

TICKETS: Order tickets by phone at (800) 884-6472. Tickets also are available online at www.NHRA.com/tickets

About National Hot Rod Association

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Source: National Hot Rod Association

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Funny Car Standout Del Worsham Returns to Site of First Win Hoping for Spark at 37th Annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals

2 05 2017

COMMERCE, GA – May 2, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  Returning to the site of his first career NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series win, Del Worsham hopes it provides a spark to a Funny Car season that has not yet gotten on track. After a first-round win at the opening race in Pomona in his 10,000-horsepower Lucas Oil Toyota Camry, Worsham has five straight first round losses, something he hopes to change at this weekend’s 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

The track was home to Worsham’s first Funny Car win in 1991 when a then 21-year-old Worsham was just beginning to make his mark. Now two world championships and 39 wins later, Worsham has established himself as one of the top drivers in NHRA history, and the longtime standout is eyeing Atlanta as the place to get his 2017 season going.

“It’s a great track, great fans, and it would be a great place to get the season ff to a good start and turn it around and feel like we’re heading in the right direction,” Worsham said. “It’s our sponsor’s race and that makes it fun. You know your car will be highlighted a little bit and you always want to run well for your sponsors. I feel like the car is running better and we’ve got four runs to put ourselves in a good position going into Sunday.”

Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car) Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also last year’s winners of the event that will be televised on FOX Sports 1, including finals coverage starting at 6:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, May 7. It marks the seventh of 24 events during a season that started with Worsham making a big move.

He left Kalitta Motorsports, returning to his family-owned team with his father, Chuck Worsham. The early results have not been desirable, but strong test sessions after Las Vegas and Houston produced ideal solutions. Worsham liked the runs he made in Charlotte, which could translate into more consistency starting at the race in Atlanta to finish off a stretch of three straight events.

“There’s been a lot of unforeseen things take place and it’s taken a lot longer to sort out than I thought they would,” Worsham said. “But Charlotte was better for us and we’re really looking forward to Atlanta. We’re having to look past some of the old set-ups and forge towards a new set-up, and it’s been tough. We made some better runs in Charlotte and the info we got from that, I think it will really help in Atlanta.”

The good news is there has minimal damage to the car over the past two races and the stretch of three straight events should be good for the team’s rhythm. Of course, Worsham still has to compete with the elite in Funny Car, including points leader and defending champ Ron Capps, who has won two straight races, Matt Hagan and 16-time world champion John Force. But Worsham continues to treasure every moment of racing again with his father.

“It’s been great, spending time with my dad and team,” Worsham said. “Several crew members are crew members of the past, so that’s nice. I’m not going to lie, it can be frustrating. We all want success and we haven’t done that yet. But you know what you’re up against when you take a challenge like this, and it’s something we definitely want to take on. We’re looking forward to getting back on track and winning some rounds.”

Kalitta’s fourth Atlanta win tied him for most in Top Fuel history at the track. But back-to-back world champ Brown, and three-time 2017 winner and points leader Leah Pritchett pose stiff challenges.

Line’s second straight Pro Stock win at Atlanta helped his title run, but he will be pushed by season winners Greg Anderson, Bo Butner, Chris McGaha, Shane Gray and his son, rookie Tanner Gray.

Krawiec has Atlanta Pro Stock Motorcycle victories two of the past three years, but he’ll have to get past Andrew Hines, defending world champ Jerry Savoie and four-time winner Angelle Sampey.

The NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series makes its fourth of 12 stops in 2017 at Atlanta Dragway. The event also features thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, showcasing the future stars of the sport. After Nitro qualifying Friday, fans can watch the spectacular Larsen Motorsports jet dragsters sponsored by Florida Tech and Matrix System, and Douthit Motorsports Black Pearl Nostalgia Jet Funny Car. Jet cars are thrust driven propelled by jet engines with exciting pre-run flame shows.

As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers. Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.

Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 4:15 and 7:10 p.m. on Friday, May 5 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, May 6, at 1:15 and 3:45 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 7.

To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit www.NHRA.com/tickets. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. To honor the Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on general admission tickets at the gate. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.

LUCAS OIL NHRA SOUTHERN NATIONALS

WHAT: 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals, the seventh of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Drivers in four categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – earn points leading to 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships.

WHERE: Atlanta Dragway, Commerce, Ga. – I-85 to Exit 149 (Hwy 441). After exiting the freeway, go north on Highway 441 to Steven Tanger Blvd. Take a left on Tanger and then go right on Ridgeway Road.

WHEN: Friday through Sunday, May 5-7

SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY, May 5 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 3:45 p.m. and 6 p.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 4:15 and 6:45 p.m.

SATURDAY, May 6 – LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 12:45 p.m. and Round 1 of eliminations at 3:15 p.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 1:15 and 3:45 p.m.

SUNDAY, May 7 – Pre-race ceremonies, 10:00 a.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES eliminations 12:45 p.m.

TELEVISION:

Friday, May 5, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 8 p.m. (ET).
Saturday, May 6, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 1 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, May 7, FS1 will televise three hours of elimination highlights at 6 p.m. (ET).

2016 EVENT WINNERS: Doug Kalitta, Top Fuel; Matt Hagan, Funny Car; Jason Line, Pro Stock; Eddie Krawiec, Pro Stock Motorcycle.

MOST VICTORIES: Antron Brown, 4, TF; Larry Dixon 4; Doug Kalitta 4;  John Force, 7, FC; Warren Johnson, 5, PS; Dave Schultz 8 PSM.

TRACK RECORDS:

Top Fuel – 3.731 sec. by Doug Kalitta, May ’16; 328.86 mph by Kalitta, May ‘14.
Funny Car – 3.906 sec. by Matt Hagan, May. ’16; 329.02 mph by Hagan, May. ’16.
Pro Stock – 6.493 sec. by Erica Enders, March ‘14; 213.00 mph by Jason Line, March ‘14.
Pro Stock Motorcycle – 6.794 sec. and 197.54 mph by Eddie Krawiec., May ‘14.

NATIONAL RECORDS:

Top Fuel – 3.658 sec. by Leah Pritchett, Feb. ‘17, Phoenix; 332.75 mph by Spencer Massey, Aug. ’15, Brainerd, Minn.
Funny Car – 3.822 by Matt Hagan, Aug. ’16, Brainerd, Minn.; 335.57 mph by Hagan, May ’16, Topeka, Kan.
Pro Stock – 6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.;  215.55 mph by Erica Enders, May ’14, Englishtown N.J.
PS Motorcycle – 6.728 sec. by Andrew Hines, Oct. ’12, Reading, Pa.; 199.88 mph by Hector Arana Jr., March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.

TICKETS: Order tickets by phone at (800) 884-6472. Tickets also are available online at www.NHRA.com/tickets

About National Hot Rod Association

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Source: National Hot Rod Association

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